Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone test, 2014

Red Bull no closer than in Australia – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Silverstone test, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel admits Red Bull are no closer to Mercedes’ performance than they were at the beginning of the season.


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

Seb: We haven’t closed the gap (Sky)

“Right now the gap is very big and we haven’t really closed the gap since race one.”

McLaren abandons ‘going radical’ (ESPN)

Eric Boullier: “There won’t be any radical change now. We’re going to push as hard and as long as possible the development of this car as long as we can carry the concepts over to next year’s car.”

FIA rejects Raikkonen penalty claims (Autosport)

“Although the FIA accepted that Raikkonen would not have crashed if he had slowed down dramatically, it is understood the governing body believed that any other driver would have rejoined the track in the same manner.”

Stat Centre: The British Grand Prix (Red Bull)

“Sebastian’s early stop got him out of traffic with the McLarens – but it meant a one-stop wasn’t possible for him.”

The First Time – with Marussia’s Max Chilton (F1)

“The first thing I did after getting signed by an F1 team was winning the GP2 race in Singapore! I won the feature race straight after being announced as Marussia reserve.”

Saison 2014 (Canal +)

Over half an hour of onboard footage from the British Grand Prix.


Comment of the day

Arki is pleased Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were left to sort it out between themselves at Silverstone:

I am extremely glad that there was no intervention by Charlie Whiting or the stewards in the magnificent Vettel/Alonso tussle during the British Grand Prix.

I was very fearful that a penalty for being too defensive or the breaking of another the myriad of rules governing (limiting) driver engagements would be handed out and that would have been a travesty. That battle was entirely the sort of thing I watch F1 for and since I have rejoined the scene in the past couple of seasons the over nannying of such encounters has been disappointing to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely see the need for stewards (and some of the driver stewards are epic guys) but in my opinion there is too much intervention and criticism of overtakes and/or when two cars come together.
Arki (@Arki19)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dougy_D, Joaqo, Pabs1, Tomd11 and Pawel!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher notched up his tenth win from the first eleven races of the 2004 season in the British Grand Prix. He lined up fourth in the grid, but this was in the days of ‘race fuel qualifying’, and once his rivals had pitted he was in the lead within a dozen laps and on his way to victory.

Here’s the start of the race with Kimi Raikkonen taking the early advantage from pole position:

Image © Red Bull/Getty

120 comments on “Red Bull no closer than in Australia – Vettel”

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  1. Red Bull no closer than in Austrlia – Vettel

    As if it wasn’t confusing enough between Australia and Austria, now we have a country called Austrlia. :P

    In all seriousness Vettel is right, and I am surprised by it. Red Bull are known for their relentless development rate, but we haven’t see anything of that yet. They only seem to be going backwards if anything. Williams have out-developed them from Australia until now, and the gap to Mercedes is increasing even more if anything.

    1. While the Mercedes powered teams can unlock the same performance thru development as the Mercedes team itself. RBR is basically a sitting duck, because Renault’s HW seems to be insufficient to build on it.

      1. Indeed. You look the car go around a track and it looks very strong aerodynamically. The Power Unit deficit is hurting their performance badly. I think Red Bull will give Renault a shot in 2015 but if they fail again they will consider radical options like Ferrari (if they themselves improve), Mercedes (if there’s space for another team) or even Honda (if their 2015 PU is good).

        1. @jcost or a new Infiniti/Nissan/Dacia engine….

          1. @davidnotcoulthard

            Isn’t Dacia a Renault brand?

            Nissan (Infiniti is actually a Nissan with a luxury touch) has motor sports experience and could adapt to the F1 pace, I think. But the million dollar question is: are they willing to invest in building an F1 PU for a single team? Would it be competitive enough to lure other teams to jump in? (Toro Rosso would a “natural” customer, I guess). Do they current expertise can be translated into a efficient hybrid power unit?

            On paper, Red Bull’s best option still is betting in Renault. People expect (including myself) to see Renault in better shape in 2015 but next year should be decisive in their relationship.

          2. My exact point.I reckon Renault can re-develop their engine, without restrictions, and when it’s done introduce it as a Nissan/Dacia/Infiniti engine.

            Oh, I forgot another possibility: A Datsun engine.

          3. Note: Nissan is connected to Renault, @jcost (forgot to tag you as well in the above post)

          4. @davidnotcoulthard Yes, you’re right. Nissan and Renault are children of the same parents :)

            If they were in pharma business they could rename their brand as:


            I don’t know how Renault hybrid road car technology is, but I’ve read that Mercedes has used the PU tech in their road cars, maybe they should buy a Mercedes hybrid car and tear it apart…

          5. American F1
            11th July 2014, 18:40

            RBR going with a Nissan engine is not as crazy as it might sound. Nissan just ran their ZEOD car in the 24hr of le Mans and it was powered by both an electric motor, which, on its own, propelled the car to an impressive 186mph, and a 1.4L, turbocharged 3-cylinder gasoline engine that produced an even more impressive 400bhp weighing in at only…wait for it…88lbs (40kg) and could fit in the overhead luggage compartment of a typical airliner! I’m still geeking out over it! Read about it here:
            Mash two of these together and you have one hell of a V6 turbo. Now ask yourself, why is this kind of innovation not in F1?

        2. There is no way Ferrari or Mercedes will sell Red Bull a PU. More likely it will be a Honda

          1. @timpey I think it’s more Red Bull not willing to be dependent on their main rivals. From suppliers point of view there’s no big deal. Red Bull has actually dismissed such options (Mercedes, Ferrrari) because they want the “factory team treatment”.

            Mercedes was working fine with McLaren after “reshaping” their relationship following the introduction of Mercedes AMG F1 team, it was McLaren that decided to find another supplier with who they could enjoy that factory treatment.

            But like Keynes once said: “when facts change, I change my mind”. Red Bull wants to win if either Mercedes or Ferrari puts a solid proposal on the table, they will grab it.

          2. I highly doubt Red Bull will have any of those three engines in their cars. They want to have a works deal, and none of those manufacturers are going to provide them with that so they are not viable options if Red Bull ditch Renault after next year. They may have to try to persuade a manufacturer to enter, such as BMW, to get that works deal.

          3. @jcost

            But like Keynes once said: “when facts change, I change my mind”. Red Bull wants to win if either Mercedes or Ferrari puts a solid proposal on the table, they will grab it.


            Someone said if you can’t beat them, join them.

            Ferrari don’t look capable of producing a race winning car anytime in the near future… so might as well have the Ferrari name associated with a team tat actually knows how to win -> Red Bull

            Red Bull Ferrari … It actually has a great ring to it. Plus the a Red car with a Red Bull on it… might look menacing

    2. The issue Red Bull have is that there problem is not the car, More or less everyone in & around F1 seems to agree that Red Bull have as usual produced one of the best cars on the grid in terms of aero & mechanical grip & that if they had the Mercedes engine they would be in strong contention for the championship.

      Pretty much all of Red Bull’s performance deficit this year is down to Renault, The engine is badly down on power, The ERS system doesn’t charge as fast or as much as the Mercedes unit & they can’t use as much of that stored ERS energy as the Mercedes. The Renault is also not as drivable as the Mercedes is.

    3. And just something regarding Williams.
      A big benefit for them recently has been that since Austria they have had access to new engine modes & ERS software that the factory team have had for a couple of races.

    4. I don’t think Williams have outdeveloped Red Bull as such. Williams had a strong car in pre season testing, and they brought some serious pace to Australia as well (shown by Bottas’ monster drive that Sunday).

      I think Williams drivers fail to capitalise in the opening races, and for some reason, they couldn’t get it together in wet conditions. Overall, Williams was as good as Red Bull in perfectly normal, dry conditions, it was just the Williams drivers who improved a few races into the season.

    5. I think it might just be that we have seen the relentless pace of development at Red Bull. Only it doesn’t help them get closer when Mercedes is keeping up their development as well @kingshark

    6. I’d like to comment on that with a statement. Whether it is true or not is up for discussion

      Red Bull their car is so good already, all it really needs is a better engine.

      1. Seems to me RB isn’t bad in terms of aero. That PU really is subpar.

      2. @xtwl Then again, with a jet engine a Marussia might be the fastest car on the field….

    7. Firstly, I’ve got to say, if Seb really made a comment like that, it is utterly unfair towards the team that provided him with a winning car for four consecutive championships. Anyone knows why RBR can’t get Mercedes engine…?

      1. Anyone knows why RBR can’t get Mercedes engine…?

        It’s taken Mercedes five years to change the headlines from “Red Bull win again” to “Mercedes win again”. Why would they want to go back?

        1. @keithcollantine
          Do you believe that the RB10 is a superior chassis to the WO5? Just curious.

          1. Oh, I didn’t know that we have to believe that? Nice one ;-)
            Just for comparison. Williams switched engine this season. Right?! They seem to have second fastest car at the moment. Right?! Now, I have to believe that Williams team all of sudden acquired the ability to build a competetive car and guys at RBR lost their way. You must be joking, aren’t you mate!?
            In my opinion the strength of Mercedes engine ( car ) is not the layout of turbocharger unit but the way how MGU-H is used in combination with it. The operation of all components is separable. That’s the reason why they managed to finish second in Canada in spite of MGU-K failure. Imagine this: Low revs – separate turbine from the compressor and drive the compressor electricaly, you actualy have a supercharger phase until turbine starts to rev at the same speed as compressor. When they are synchronised you clutch them together and engine enteres pure turbocharge phase ’till you begin to harvest instead of loosing energy trough the wastegate. That principle of operation is doable even with Renault’s design although it is much easier to achieve it Merc’s way…
            Interesting though, the rule says that the turbine has to be on the same axis as MGU-H unit, says nothin’ about compressor unit. So, you could drive the compressor unit solely by electromotor and possibly packaging it at the bottom of intercooler… Talking about streching the rule and still being pukka ;-)
            Sure, it is much more complexed than that but that’s the main principle behind Merc being faster than the Bull. The better chassis is still on the Bull’s side and I don’t believe that, I know it!

  2. So the Mclaren will be slow next year too? I thought the whole idea behind “new concept for 2013” was to avoid a pitfall such as this.

    1. I think he means they will keep at their steady rate of development, as they have been doing- which has to have worked. Doing something radical has the risk of huge failure compared to what they know works.

  3. How many drivers are getting pay in F1? Presumably, 5 drivers!

    Hmmm… Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa are 6 drivers that I am sure are getting paid by teams. Alonso? Is he getting money from Ferrari or Santander? However, he is surely getting money.
    Next group of 6: Ricciardo, Magnussen, Hülkenberg, Vergne, Bottas and Bianchi, I am not sure wether they get money from the teams or not (to a varying degree), but they are not paying the teams (keeping the money they have from personal sponsors). Maybe even Kvyat in this group? I don´t know…
    So there´s 8-10 Pay-drivers currently.
    Any yes, pretty much any other motorsport-series has more paid-drivers than F1. Even VLN has, though that was originally was designed as a possibility for “motorsport for everyone”.

    1. I think your next group of 6 are definitely getting paid by the teams…however, their salaries are nowhere near the top tier. If Im not wrong, Hulk’s salary was around the Million/year mark, whereas the rest were in the 100s of 1000s. Bianchi’s salary might be borne by Ferrari, in the form of discounted engines perhaps?

      Romain Grosjean should be getting paid by Lotus…at least I hope.

      Is Sutil bringing any money to Sauber?

      1. Sutil is bringing Medion and Capri-Sun as sponsors. Grosjean is connected to Total and through that brings money to Lotus.

    2. I think there’s only a few drivers that actually pay for their seat, as opposed to them getting paid one way or another and someone else giving the team money. There have been plenty of drivers who have stated they got a small salary (still in the 100s of thousands) while their sponsors gave money to the team. Verstappen used to be quite vocal about getting paid by the teams he drove for, despite bringing sponsors to the team. I think the likes of Sutil and Perez are in similar situations.

      Honestly, Ericsson and Gutierrez are the only two drivers who I personally feel aren’t up to F1. Then there’s the ‘overstaying their welcome’ crowd like Maldonado, Sutil, Kobayashi and Chilton, who probably would not be in F1 were they not either experienced or a source of wealth and a safe pair of hands.

      Then again, where are drivers like Inoue? I haven’t seen any driver not make the 107% rule on average, while his teammate is comfortably in it (Rosset, Yoong) or being systematically behind their teammate by an unexplainable margin (Heidfeld-Pantano, Sato-Ide). At best, some semi-talented drivers made their way into an HRT for a few races, but that problem took care of itself. Caterham is at risk now, but frankly, I’d take Chilton and Ericsson over Ide and Rosset any day of the week.

      Would it be better if all the F1 seats were taken by the 22 most talented drivers? Yes. Has it been worse, even in recent years? By far.


      Any yes, pretty much any other motorsport-series has more paid-drivers than F1.

      Pretty much any amateur football league has less debt than any professional league as well, not to mention bigger banks having more debt than small ones. The larger you go, the more money you need. It’s worth noting that drivers like Jeroen Bleekemolen, who aren’t signed to a factory team, have to do as many races as he does to make a living. Bleekemolen comes from a well to do background, but I know some Dutch racing drivers on the international stage made more money working for the advanced driving school at Zandvoort, than actually racing on the track there.

    3. Bottas is ‘paying’ Williams, sort of. He brought two Finnish sponsors with him. Some time ago I linked to a Finnish interview with one of the companies saying that it didn’t cost ‘tens of millions’ but that the money involved was significant.

      1. @npf1 Then there’s the ‘overstaying their welcome’ crowd like Maldonado, Sutil, Kobayashi and Chilton, who probably would not be in F1 were they not either experienced or a source of wealth and a safe pair of hands.

        This just reveals your prejudice/bias against Maldonado, who is one of only three F1 drivers on the grid to have won a race w/o also having already won WDC: Massa, Rosberg, Ricciardo.

        A man does not win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the modern era and then reasonably have it suggested two years later that he has overstayed his welcome in the sport.

        1. Maldonado has had plenty of opportunities to prove his worth, but had squandered all but one. One race victory does not guarantee a place in F1, not even in the modern era. Nobody was interested in Johnny Herbert in late 2000, despite winning a race in 1999, because he simply had shown too little over the years.

          I’m putting Maldonado down there with Sutil, who could win a race in a competitive car (he finished 3rd at Monza 09 to Fisichella’s 2nd at Spa 09), but has shown little development over the years. Kobayashi’s development has been slow, which was mostly visible during 2012 (as compared to Perez’ rate of development) and Chilton has developed a little, but simply isn’t WDC material.

          @jdanek007, I’m saying these drivers are overstaying their welcome, not calling for their heads. Chilton has an impressive finishing record, Kobayashi got a well deserved podium at his home race in 2012 and Sutil certainly earned a chance to stay in F1 for several years. All I’m saying is; they have shown their potential and development and those drivers lack there in.

          Besides, only scoring a win and no other podiums in that car is a testament of Maldonado’s erratic performance, not of his strength. That victory was rightfully his, but Williams deserved a lot more podiums. (Notice how I am implying Maldonado would have done that, as opposed to Bruno Senna.)

        2. A man does not win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the modern era and then reasonably have it suggested two years later that he has overstayed his welcome in the sport.

          Maldonado is a prime example of a driver hitting his sweet spot in one weekend during his career and then being a complete disaster in all the others.

          You’ve got to be turning a blind eye to 99% of maldonado’s performances if you think he hasn’t already over spent his welcome

    4. 2013 salaries were as follows:

      1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari €20m
      = Lewis Hamilton Mercedes €20m
      3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes €16m
      4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing €12m
      5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes €11m
      6. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing €10m
      7. Felipe Massa Ferrari €6m
      8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus F1 Team €3m
      9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes €1.5m
      10. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team €1m
      = Pastor Maldonado Williams €1m
      = Nico Hulkenberg Sauber €1m
      13. Valtteri Bottas Williams €600,000
      14. Jules Bianchi Marussia €500,000
      = Adrian Sutil Force India F1 €500,000
      16. Paul di Resta Force India F1 €400,000
      = Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso €400,000
      = Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso €400,000
      19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber €200,000
      20. Charles Pic Caterham €150,000
      = Giedo van der Garde Caterham €150,000
      = Max Chilton Marussia €150,000

      1. @thebladerunner Where did you get these numbers? Because I seem to remember at least one driver only got €100000, max? I also thought Vettel and Webber earned the same and Alonso earned a lot more than anyone else.

        1. They were released fairly publicly last year.

          Interestingly, Kimi page “Kimi Raikkonen Space” has this year’s top 10 salaries as follows:

          1. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – €20 million ($27.14 million)
          & Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – €20 million ($27.14 million)
          3. Jenson Button – McLaren – €16 million ($21.71 million)
          & Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – €16 million ($21.71 million)
          5. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – €11 million ($14.93 million)
          6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – €10 million ($13.57 million)
          7. Felipe Massa – Williams – €4 million ($5.43 million)
          8. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – €2.5 million ($3.3 million)
          9. Sergio Perez – Force India – €2 million ($2.71 million)
          10. Romain Grosjean – Lotus – €1.5 million ($2.04 million)

          1. @thebladerunner @xtwl If we don’t even know who they’ve been released by then they might as well have been made up. And this sort of information often is, so I wouldn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to it.

          2. @keithcollantine The information was reported as having been published by ‘Business Book GP’ which is a French publication.

            They are deemed reliable enough to have been reported by Sky, Fox plus other F1 specific sites and publications.

          3. @thebladerunner I hope McLaren is not spending all that money on Mr. Button…

          4. @jcost Ha! I suspect they probably are…

            … Button to Williams next year? (discuss)

          5. @thebladerunner

            If they are, it just adds another chapter to the best seller:

            “The Curious Case Of Jenson Button”

            Williams will let Massa go? Because I think they’re keeping Bottas. Unless it’s a direct swap: Williams gets Jenson and McLaren gets Bottas… others possibilities for McLaren would be (it’s getting old) Hulkenberg or Grosjean.

          6. @jcost He’s mentioned Williams an awful lot in interviews this year and it makes sense from a career perspective. Started and ended at Williams.

          7. Paul (@frankjaeger)
            11th July 2014, 11:00

            I’d love for Bottas to head to the Mclaren camp but I think they should retain button for 1 more year with Honda

          8. I don’t see the Williams line-up changing next year. Massa and Bottas are doing fine jobs (the former has been rather unlucky). I think Button will have one more year with McLaren, and then perhaps see out his career at Williams after Bottas has taken either Hamilton or Rosberg’s seat at Mercedes.

          9. @thebladerunner Thanks, always more useful to know what the original source for something is. Will have a look into it.

      2. Kimi was paid?

        1. 21 drivers are getting paid, no doubt nothing remotely close to what an F1 driver gets paid, and probably all of them would pay for an F1 ride and the prestige that comes with it if they had the money and were invited to do so.

  4. Well chosen COTD, I totally agree with the sentiments expressed, to penalise 1 would be to have to penalise both which would have been a travesty, that kind of close wheel to wheel racing going on for lap after lap is what has been missing from F1 for a long time. It is no coincidence that the best racing we have seen in the last 12 months has hapened when the drivers have not been (rightly) afraid of pushing their tyres hard, either because a safety car near the end of the race meant their new tyres would last to the end of the race even if abused, or as in this case, the more durable Hard/Medium tyre choice available allowed the drivers to race hard without the strategy wrecking penalty of an additional tyre change being necessary due to ridiculously high tyre degradation. More races on the hard/medium tyres please.

  5. 90’s BTCC + 90’s F1. I cannot think of a better deal !

  6. In case you hadn’t noticed, the audio on the Canal+ On Board videos have Dolby ProLogic surround sound encoding.

    1. @mtlracer Do you have a link which says that on board sound have Dolby ProLogic encoding? I would like to learn more about the technique they use to get the results we hear from the on board views. Thank you!

      1. @sincewave No, I don’t, sorry. I noticed by accident when I decided to send the output to my home theater which had Prologic turned on at the time. If the audio didn’t have surround encoding, I’d have to off the decoder because to my ear it muffles the sound and reduces stereo effect.

  7. Absolutely loving the onboard highlights from Canal +

    1. Yes this is pretty good but is anyone else having the experience after 24:40 or so of some of Williams car’s logo(s) being obscured/blurred/blocked?

      I don’t understand why this is happening and if it’s b/c I’m using an anonymous open proxy server in a different country, or something else.

  8. From my point, and as much as I dont want to agree with it, but, Vettel isn’t wrong. Since the season opener, Red Bull haven’t gained in car performance that much at all, but what Red Bull have made gains in is driver perfoemance. I personally think that Red Bull have chosen the right driver to replace Webber. Daniel Ricciardo not onlu has a lot F1, but he also has talent that is world championship worthy. He has achieved a number of podiums already as well as his first win in Canada but while he shows maturity in his driving that makes hin look like hes git as much experience as Vettel, hes still a learner at Red Bull. Vettel on the other hand may have earned 4 WDC in a row, he still is learning the ways of these new generation cars. At Australia, his car control looked sloppy, now, hes driving cars better than.most around him. I hope for Red Bull’s sake that the ban of the FRIC suspension will end the Mercs domination and see other teams win without Hamiltons or Rosbergs car failing.

  9. Calado I’m with you.

    1. @peartree I think 18′ is too much. Who said fans want F1 cars to look like their road cars?

      They could try 15′ or just keep the old 13′.

      1. Did the fans want snow-plough front wings, or high rear wings, or step noses, or DRS or any of the other changes we’ve seen introduced in recent years ?

        F1 doesn’t care about what the fans want; they only care about what the teams, suppliers, FIA & FOM want and most of them get ignored most of the time if they happen to disagree with Bernie and/or the FIA President.

        1. No, they wanted the fastest cars racing.

          1. @austus hence grooved dry tyres? Or the removal of beam wing? :p

      2. @jcost Yes I agree. Tyre manufactures though want something that resembles more an actual road tyre and 18′ is the smallest size you see out there. In the end 18′ is too big and clumsy for a F1 car and as Calado states it adds up to the lack of harmony in F1 looks lately. Jcost I see that there’s lots of people that don’t care about the same things we do, so I wouldn’t be surprised that this possible change would not suffer much resistance less than other aesthetical aspects have suffered.

  10. Excuse my ignorance but is the FRIC ban official?

    1. @kingshark unless the teams collectively agree (yea, right!) to postpone the rule change until next year, it will be in effect for the German Grand Prix, as I understand it.

    2. Well, yes. But also maybe not is the closest answer @kinghsark.
      Because first of alll, the FIA asked teams for their opinion, and IF (a big if) they all agree to keep it as is for the rest of the year it will still be considered legal (but reading things from Vettel as well as Boullier about not having much issue with doing away with it and it hurting Mercedes most, I doubt one or 2 teams would not like to take their chances at that).

      But then even if it is not completely legal, I am not sure whether it would be a reason for DSQ if a team ran it next race, or whether it would only be if one of the teams actually files a complaint about a competitor running the system.

      1. eh, typing is not working for me, sorry @kingshark

      2. Merc and RedBull said they will not run it in Germany while they wait for clarification, I assume both Merc and Red Bull tested without it in Silverstone. A spin by Lewis shouldn’t take 3+ hours to clean up, Im sure they were prepping the car to run without it, also I think Red Bulls claim that they had to change the engine is also not true as they would have done that before the day began. I think they also tested without it. (But I assume it won’t change much, Mercs advantage is not due to FRIC alone and if you have a minimum of 2.5 secs advantage I assume if it reduces the gap it will be by about 6 tenths or so, which won’t make much of a difference)

      3. I read somewhere Force India is the only team not running FRIC. And from what I understood in the Autosport article, one competitor would have to protest against another car (which would lead to a DSQ if the car is indeed illegal).

    3. @kingshark No (not yet anyway).

  11. So because all the drivers would do what Kimi did makes what Kimi did okay? If it’s dangerous, it’s dangerous and it doesn’t matter how many drivers would do it.

    If “they all do it” is a valid reason, then they should turn a similar blind eye to drivers exceeding the track limits, as they all do this as well.

    More evidence (along with the mid-season FRIC ban) that the FIA is a bunch of clueless idiots and that Charlie Whiting needs to be replaced by the FIA as soon as possible (if not sooner).

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      11th July 2014, 19:14

      I can’t wait until a similar incident to Raikkonen’s crash happens and the FIA penalize that driver.

      1. @lite992 what kind of a fan of Formula 1 would actually express eager anticipation to see another crash as terrible as Raikkonen’s, just to spite the FIA?

        By the grace of God Kimi was not seriously injured, and Massa’s cat-like reflexes saved his legs. but maybe next time Max Chilton gets his head torn off – just so you can finally have substance to criticize FIA?

        Such a thought is shameful.

        1. You are taking his words much too literally…

  12. Hmm…..Lewis has got HAM on his helmet. Thankfully it didn’t generate a ridiculous reaction.Long may that last and I hope I don’t jinx it….

    1. Its been there all year

    2. Yeah we all missed on such a brilliant opportunity to attack him for that.

      1. Didn’t people attack him over it for wearing it on his helmet at Austin 2012? Well, before he went on and had to remove it. And won the race.

        Honestly, I applaud Hamilton for embracing some hip hop culture.

  13. I think Red Bull did got closer since Australia – but the gap just grew bigger again in the most recent race.

    1. Considering Merc probably run their car at 60% in Australia, you could be right, they could have reduced the gap from 4 secs to 3secs

  14. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    11th July 2014, 10:31

    Interesting comments from Jo Ramirez about Checo having a “bad attitude”. I can’t say I particularly disagree, he certainly is one of the grid’s more casual drivers (often beating Kimi to be the first out of the paddock and last in), and it is in that sense that he simply “wasn’t very McLaren” (although interesting you could also say that Alonso, unquestionably the grid’s most intense driver, also “wasn’t very McLaren”). In fairness to Perez I would also say that a team-driver relationship is a two-way street, with a driver far more likely to reciprocate team values if he is made to feel internally comfortable, and because McLaren don’t go out of their way to assimilate driver habits, they have a hit/miss record with young drivers (Hit: Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Hamilton Miss: Perez, Kovalainen, [Michael] Andretti). Also, Force India and Sauber have no complaints about Sergio, so did he just grate with McLaren’s intense procedural culture?

    I suppose it’s nice to know that it wasn’t only me that thought Sergio did a perfectly good job last year on track, and that the decision to replace him had some true substance, and was not merely a knee-jerk engineer vote on the basis of Magnussen’s Silverstone test and FR3.5 results; the way it appeared at the time. Still, the disposal of a good driver on an almost ideological basis poses the question as to whether McLaren would consider looking outside the narrow box of what they deem a driver ought to be if it meant hiring a driver that was more competitive; say Alonso. Perhaps we will find out in 2016…

    1. I suppose it’s nice to know that it wasn’t only me that thought Sergio did a perfectly good job last year on track.

      You certainly weren’t alone with that thought.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        11th July 2014, 15:09

        @deej92 – When I heard that the decision to replace Perez was primarily based on an engineer vote I can’t say I was too impressed. Whilst having a driver that grates against the team is never a good thing, McLaren presumably didn’t finish the Silverstone test with a piece of paper that conclusively said that Magnussen was better than Perez, and therefore the decision to remove was likely almost on an ideological basis. Believe it or not Ron, a racing driver can still be a great racing driver even if he doesn’t fulfill the full extent of your check-list; you are looking for a future champion not merely a like-minded fellow…

    2. Also, Force India and Sauber have no complaints about Sergio

      There have been articles on Sauber staff not being to keen on Perez either, especially when the rumors started last year, though. Then again, Sauber is another team with a very different culture than most teams, going by what they put their drivers through for sponsors in the past.

      1. going by what they put their drivers through for sponsors in the past.

        @npf1, ???

        I am not familiar w/ an outrageous history for this team. Can you advise what you’re specifically referring to? Thanks.

        1. @jdanek007 I’m talking about how Sauber expects its drivers to be ok with playing dress up an awful lot. There’s pictures of Heidfeld and Kubica ranging from being dressed up as chefs to dressed up in traditional Swiss clothing, handing out sushi to people. There’s also pictures of Perez and Kobayashi looking like doofuses at the Chelsea announcement, plus examples from Massa, Raikkonen and Fisichella which I can’t remember right now. I believe they had Massa dressed up in carnaval clothing, but can’t find the photo in my collection.

          Sauber seems to be very extreme in pleasing its sponsors and using its drivers towards them. Painting one of their old cars in the colors of one of their development driver’s sponsors is another thing I can think of no other team would do. I’d rate Sauber the second most corporate team, based on the examples I’ve given above.

          Two of the above examples:

          1. @npf1 I’d rate Sauber the second most corporate team, based on the examples I’ve given above.

            Sounds like you mean to say “the second most corporate sell-out team! lol…


  15. Very interesting decision regarding Raikkonen.

    Firstly, well done FIA for using common sense. Whilst under the rules of F1, I believed it to be worthy of a penalty, I’d rather it wasn’t. He clearly suffered enough from the accident to not do it again.

    My question though, would be whether a new precedent has been set for arguing cases with the FIA?

    “it is understood the governing body believed that any other driver would have ______________________ in the same manner”

    There have been lots of racing incidents where penalties have been given that now would surely be argued with “everyone else would have done the same thing.”

    1. My question though, would be whether a new precedent has been set for arguing cases with the FIA?

      @petebaldwin – I’m sorry but I think you misunderstand the nature of a “precedent” in the realm of administrative sporting sanction by an IOC-accredited international sporting federation (or duly-appointed arbitration panel) against a license-holder.

      A precedent can only be derived from a decision to actually take action and apply a sanction. So incidents that do not trigger formal inquiry or charge-laying against a license-holder and so cannot result in written decisions by the IF simply do not create precedent for future disciplinary tribunals. Choosing not to punish Kimi in this instance does not establish any precedent because there’s been no formal action against him that could even be referred back to as if it was case law!

      Basically, non-action does not set precedent…

  16. Not related to today’s roundup items but back to the 18” wheels – Charles Pic and Pirelli give some further details in the sky article here:

    Have to say, it doesn’t exactly sound promising from a performance point of view, although hopefully Pic’s comments are mostly due to it being a prototype tyre and the car not being set up correctly for them. But at least Pirelli answered my question on overall weight of wheel + tyre:

    “The total weight, including the rim, is around 4 kilograms heavier.”

    1. It’s way too early to be thinking about the performance of those tyres, the ones used this week are an early development model that are for data gathering only so they’ll be extremely conservative in design and compound to ensure they don’t have any blowouts in early testing. If Pirelli are hoping for these to be used in 2016 then it gives them over a year of development before we see anything like a finished design.

      1. @beneboy @keithedin – Paul Hembery has said already that the running of the 18″ set-up was done only so that Pirelli could make photos and video of the actual tire/rim combo to present to decision-makers later – so they wouldn’t have to use artist’s renderings…

        No performance analysis should be based on this single photographical outing.

    2. @keithedin By the way the point about the weight was covered here earlier.

  17. Regarding COTD (@Arki19) – that’s the problem with F1 at the moment. If someone goes for a daring dive down the inside and the other driver yields, it’s called “a great overtaking manouver.” If the other driver doesn’t yield and they come together, it’s called a “stupid move.”

    There seems to be no room in F1 for the fact that sometimes a driver will go for something and unfortunatey, it just doesn’t work out. Happens in racing all the time but with F1, someone always has to be to blame.

    1. +1000
      If the overtaking driver takes the racing line at a corner, forcing the other driver to use the less optimal part of the track, if the driver being overtaken decides he’s not having that and bangs his car against the overtaking driver, strangely the overtaking driver gets penalised.

      No wonder there’s been such a reduction in daring manoeuvres.

    2. While I think I agree with your point, I also think that those “daring dives down the inside” always are a bit stupid, and not at all “great overtaking manouvers”. Those who try deserve to get the door shut and be involved in an incident every now and then.
      A really great overtaking manouver is set up at least one, if not several corners before, and avoids any chance of the defending driver to shut the door in time.

    3. @petebaldwin

      There seems to be no room in F1 for the fact that sometimes a driver will go for something and unfortunatey, it just doesn’t work out. Happens in racing all the time but with F1, someone always has to be to blame.

      I’m partly playing devil’s advocate here, but isn’t this what we expect from what is supposed to be the pinnacle of motor racing? If these are the best drivers in the world they shouldn’t be taking speculative dives up the inside and there should be consequences when they take a rival out.

  18. I agree with Vettel. Actually, I was surprised to hear so many people from RB in the first few races saying “we are definitely improving and closing the gap little by little”. I didn’t see that. In the first race Red Bull finished second, in the second GP Vettel came very close to outqualifying Hamilton and he challenged Rosberg in the middle of the race. The situation has not improved since then.
    Sure, the RB10 right now looks much better to drive than a few races ago, but Mercedes has improved just as much.

    1. @yobo01

      in the second GP Vettel came very close to outqualifying Hamilton

      In fairness that was because qualifying was wet – Red Bull have been closer in wet qualifying all season long, as was also the case in Silverstone.

      1. True, but with the race pace these Mercs have do you think there might be a little sandbagging going on?
        I’m not sure myself really,

  19. we haven’t really closed the gap since race one.

    Maybe, but RIC has a race victory and is constantly scoring podiums.

    Maybe it’s because of his positive attitude in that he chooses to see the glass as half-full and not as half-empty.

  20. Not sure I agree with COTD. The corners both before and after Vettel’s move on Alonso, Vettel went outside the track limits. He wouldn’t have been able to overtake without doing so – or I’m sure he would have done. How can that be fair? I’m all for encouraging close racing, and avoiding over harsh penalties, but if you overtime while not keeping within the track limits, surely you MUST give the place back?

    I’m wouldn’t have supported Vettel getting a drive through or other time penalty. But for all those saying “this is what we want, close racing”, how much more close racing would you have had if Vettel had been required to overtake legally? 1 more lap? 2? till the end of the race?

    To, me Vettel is now simply a cheat (possibly Alonso too, although his weren’t as noticeable when I watched). Which to me makes those exciting laps pointless.

    And as for encouraging drivers to go on the attack, what about encouraging drivers to defend? We’ve seen many occasions over the past couple of seasons where a driver has simply not defended to avoid spoiling their own race. It’s going to be even worse now – why bother defending when they guy behind can just leave the track to overtake?

    1. Well, the thing is that we are talking about very small off tracks. I mean, it’s not like one of them jumped a chicane or carried an insane amout of speed through a corner and used the runoffs. This year they’ve been quite strict with track limits, last year going a bit wide at Copse wasn’t a problem at all.
      I mean, Copse is a blind, fast corner. It’s a difficult corner by itself, if you are side by side and you go slightly wide it’s no big deal in my opinion.

    2. @fluxsource

      The corners both before and after Vettel’s move on Alonso, Vettel went outside the track limits. He wouldn’t have been able to overtake without doing so – or I’m sure he would have done. How can that be fair?

      Vettel did not exceed track limits at Luffield before he passed Alonso at Copse (unless you count Woodcote as the preceding corner, which is just an acceleration zone).

      More pertinently, you can just as easily make the case that on earlier occasions where Vettel might have been able to pass Alonso he was unable to do so because Alonso exceeded track limits. If race control weren’t going to enforce the rules on Alonso why should Vettel obey them?

      To, me Vettel is now simply a cheat

      Well he’s not, you’re just holding him to a higher standard than Alonso. After all Alonso was the only one of the pair to actually be warned for not obeying track limits. Had the stewards given Alonso a warning but then punished Vettel for the same without giving him a warning it would have been hypocrisy.

      1. @keithcollantine

        Vettel did not exceed track limits at Luffield before he passed Alonso at Copse (unless you count Woodcote as the preceding corner, which is just an acceleration zone).

        My mistake – I didn’t notice the preceding corner in the race at the time, and was basing my comment on a report I read. The point still stands for the following corner though.

        More pertinently, you can just as easily make the case that on earlier occasions where Vettel might have been able to pass Alonso he was unable to do so because Alonso exceeded track limits.

        You’re absolutely right – exactly the same arguments apply to Alonso. I just felt my post had been long enough without repeating the same again.

        Well he’s not, you’re just holding him to a higher standard than Alonso.

        See above. If it was up to me on Sunday, I would have given Vettel the same warning Alonso received at the first instance of the offence. When the fighting heated up, I would have asked their respective teams to remind them of the rule, and the enforcement, and – if it was continued by both – given both a penalty of some kind. I realise it’s a difficult call sometimes, but if they’re both breaking the rules, then give them the same punishment. That way the stewards don’t decide the outcome of that particular fight, but it still enforces the fact that racing must take place actually ON the track.

        We’d already had times deleted during qualifying for exceeding track limits, why is the race different?

    3. how much more close racing would you have had if Vettel had been required to overtake legally?

      How much would we have had if Alonso had been required to defend legally? Quite a bit less, I suspect.

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