Vettel’s criticism blamed for small German crowd

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel’s complaints about F1 engine noise are linked to the poor turn-out for last weekend’s German Grand Prix.

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F1 asks: Where did all the German fans go? (Reuters)

Hockenheimring adviser Katja Heim: “As a four times world champion from Germany, people believe him more than they would the sales people. So if he says there’s nothing any more for the fans, it’s not Formula One like it used to be, that was 100 percent quite damaging.”

Germany has a Formula One problem (The Telegraph)

“The attendance this weekend was nothing short of pitiful. At Silverstone, 90,000 came to Friday practice. Here it was probably around 10,000. It was a similar story for race day. While 122,000 flocked to the British Grand Prix, it is around 50,000 here.”

Bernie Ecclestone: No doubts over Russian GP after MH17 tragedy (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Were they [Russia] in the World Cup or not? You would have thought people would have tried to stop it, wouldn’t you?”

Felipe Massa, Williams, Silverstone, 2014Massa urges young drivers to calm down (ESPN)

“I am not saying the young drivers don’t have the talent to be in F1, they have very good talent. But sometimes they need to understand that you cannot win the race at the first corner.”

Lewis Hamilton targets a ‘clean weekend’ in Hungary after frustrating third place finish (The Independent)

Kimi [Raikkonen] hit me. because when I watched the replay I was ahead. I locked up and he hit my wing.”

Raikkonen happier with Ferrari feel (Autosport)

“The car felt much better here – more to my liking – I could drive it more as I wanted and it started to feel nice.”

‘Brake change sets precedent’ (Sky)

Christian Horner: “It is not something we are going to protest, because really it is down to the stewards and if they are happy with it, it sets a precedent going forward.”

Glad someone is talking sense (A former F1 doc writes)

“I’d almost defy anyone to point out any advance in medical/rescue science, technique, or prevention (with the exception of the Zylon visor reinforcement, developed purely by engineers) applied by the FIA since 2008. The lack of progress, I believe, results from leadership that views the organisation as a cash cow rather than as a means to an end.”

Searching for NASCAR’s future (The Way It Is)

“All this discussion echoes the squabbles between Bernie Ecclestone and F1’s team owners over the past thirty years. The team owners are always pushing for more TV and prize money while endlessly discussing methods of cost cutting. In F1 the game goes on and on with little or no resolution and it will be interesting to see if RTA is able to make some real progress with NASCAR.”

Bernie Ecclestone “Not Planning” To Buy Back Formula One (Forbes)

“It remains to be seen whether F1 will sell for as much as $10 billion. A source close to the situation says ‘CVC have multiplied their investment several times and I think the reason why a sale is not happening is that the price they are seeking to achieve is not something the market is prepared to pay at the moment.'”

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Comment of the day

As Adrian Sutil breaks Pierluigi Martini’s record for most F1 starts without a podium finish, Nic compares their careers:

Point finishes: 10 vs. 28
Points: 18 vs. 124 (Sutil has scored most of his points under the 2010 points rule)
Amount of podiums scored by team during stay: 0 vs 1 (Fisichella’s 2nd place finish at Spa 2009, Perez’ obviously scored the podium after Sutil left Force India)
DNFS: 66 (4 DNQs/DNPQs) vs. 37

By all means Adrian Sutil has had the more favourable position to actually end up on the podium and arguably he should have at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. The only thing that ‘excuses’ Sutil’s new record is his beginnings being miles away from the podium and his team mates (in the shape of Liuzzi, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Gutierrez) have amassed the same number of podiums, albeit in less time. ;)

Personally I feel Pierluigi Martini’s performance is incredible, to score that often with Minardis. Meanwhile, there have been several windows for both Adrian Sutil and Force India, but they have managed to miss them all. To me, it’d be the same as someone managing the same statistics of self-inflicted DNFs as Andrea de Cesaris.
Nick (@Npf1)

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On this day in F1

Niki Lauda won the British Grand Prix 30 years ago today, moving within two-and-a-half points of team mate Alain Prost, who had led the race until he dropped out with gearbox trouble.

The race was run in two parts after being red-flagged due to a crash on lap 11. Derek Warwick finished second ahead of Ayrton Senna, who made his return to the podium following his breakthrough result in Monaco.

http://youtu.be/id7bJpmOXNY?t=1m44s

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155 comments on Vettel’s criticism blamed for small German crowd

1 2 3
  1. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:18

    Felipe, just shut up and drive.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:27

      Driving’s not his strong point either.

      • In_Silico (@insilico) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:13

        But he’s still better at driving an F1 car than 99.9% of people on this planet. So yes, driving is his strong point.

        If you think about it, comments like this and all over the internet in criticising professional athelete’s are utterly outrageous and completely hypercritical. I mean, what gives people the right to say “oh he’s had a terrible race”, “Sutil is useless”, “Max Chilton is awful” etc. etc. I could write a thesis on how skilled F1 drivers are, how they are incredibly fit, in peak physical condition, are incredible multitaskers, can cope with phenomenal speeds/high G-Forces, have sacrificed huge amounts to chase their dream of becoming a professional racing driver, usually from a very young age. The list goes on and on.

        Granted, there may be other drivers waiting in the wings who potentially might do a better job than the driver/s in question. But it’s the way some people comment or word their posts which can be so excessively disparaging and derogatory towards some F1 drivers which really grinds my gears. Give them a break and stop being so critical, as I’m sure you wouldn’t do even remotely better!

        • Agree 100% with you about people that don’t have anything good to say about drivers. They must sit in a simulator and check how many corners they make before crashing. Massa have a front running car now. They reason he didn’t crash so much last year is because there was nobody close enough to crash with.

          • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:33

            You’re joking, right ?! A higher position (closer to P1) at the start… the better ! I know Massa last year had better Qualies than this year, but life is harder in the middle of the pack, everybody knows it.

        • W-K (@w-k) said on 22nd July 2014, 3:24

          You do realise that you have just said 0.1% of the population are better drivers than Filipe. Well I can agree with that.

          N.B. 0.1% of world population of 7.25 Billion is 7.25 Million.

        • Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 22nd July 2014, 4:01

          @insilico +1 but seriously… Chilton…

          lol, jks

          As an F1 supporter I’m growing to dislike Massa, his attitude towards incidents, regardless of who was in the wrong, have been embarrassing.

          Although… the instagram battle between himself and Sergio Perez with arrows pointing everywhere was pretty funny.

        • tektonnic said on 22nd July 2014, 7:28

          Isn’t the point exactly the one you make at the start, it’s entirely relative.

          On one hand you are correct, these guys who line up on a Sunday afternoon are all exceptional when compared to everyone else in the world (your 99.9%) HOWEVER, unfortunately for them, you have Hamilton, Raikonnen & Alonso (I’ve picked people we can hopefully all agree on) who do the exact same thing to the rest of the field, they make them look like the 99.9%? So whilst I take your point that it’s a unfair for us enthusiasts to berate any of them too harshly, I think we are all in a position to determine who of the field is more talented than others and therefore remark on the relative competency.

          i.e. Max Chilton is a gifted racer and does something that I or 7 billion people couldn’t do anywhere near as well, he clearly does a lot of training, he seems very focused and committed to his job. Max Chilton is not very good when compared to his team mate in equal machinery. Max Chilton is awful compared to the top 5 of the field.

          • Baron (@baron) said on 22nd July 2014, 9:13

            “Max Chilton is awful” what a puerile statement. How is he awful exactly and how could you know? His results (compared to his teammate) are not not up to scratch but that doesn’t make him awful in the slightest. There is a distinct surfeit of misused superlatives on the inter web and it’s a growing problem, so much so that it becomes standard practice to hate almost everyone else.

          • NoseBear said on 22nd July 2014, 12:17

            Agreeing on Räikkönen as a Driver who makes Massa look bad seems a bit … off.
            The former has scored less points in these first 10 races than Massa ever did at a comparable stage of the season. So far, the Finn has even failed to score a single top 6 result – something that had never happened before in the history of the team!
            As for crashes, well: There was that incident with Magnussen at Sepang, another bang with Magnussen in Monaco, the accident in Silverstone, and at least one avoidable collision with Hamilton in Germany.
            Also, there was that collision with Perez in Monaco 2013, entirely avoidable from the Finn’s perspective. He threatened to punch Perez afterwards.

            I honestly think you made a bad call by choosing Räikkönen as an example of someone who makes Massa look bad.

        • Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:48

          @insilico disagree… I can comment on when a football player makes a rookie mistake as well, we ARE judging them in comparison to their competition, not to the guy serving hamburgers at McD…

          I hate the retoric method of “do it better yourself then!” because it’s soo not related to the subject. They could put a player from Serie B in Italys national team and he would be better than 99% of the worlds players, but that doesn’t mean that he has earned that place in the team.

        • AldoH said on 22nd July 2014, 11:55

          I agree 100%. That kind of teenage nonsense is becoming a mainstream trend. First it was Grosjean, he was really the most dangerous thing since the invention of death. But then it was Maldonado the most ridiculous driver since ever, and now is Massa, a guy with 200 GPs and 11 wins under his belt, something that normal people can’t even dream to achieve. The world must be full of couch masters who could do better than any of those three guys.

        • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 22nd July 2014, 12:46

          There’s no evidence available to back up the claim that Felipe (in fact any F1 driver) is better at driving an F1 car than 99.9% of people on the planet.

          The vast majority of people have no opportunity to try driving an F1 car, fewer still are given the opportunity to drive F1 cars as good as those Felipe has been lucky to have driven during his career.

          Even in a rich country like GB fewer than 1 in 100 children will get the chance to race a go-kart and of those that do only a very small amount will have parents that are rich enough to pay for the sort of equipment needed to compete in serious karting competitions, as such the vast majority of British children will never get the chance to get onto the first step on the path to F1 regardless of their abilities. The picture is much worse in other parts of the world, how many African children will ever get the chance to even touch a go-kart, let alone race one ?

          Unlike sports such as running and football the biggest barrier to taking part in motorsport is money, not ability. Any child can go for a run or kick an old football around and develop their skills with close to zero outlay of money, just going to have a try out at your local karting track will cost a minimum of £20 -which is more than over a third of the people in the world earn each week.

          Even for those that make it into motorsport, very few will get anywhere near an F1 car, often for reasons unrelated to their abilities and more to do with their nationality, links to manufacturers and a whole load of luck to name a few factors.

          At most you could say that Felipe is one of the best drivers in F1 at the moment but even that isn’t particularly accurate as he’s been consistantly beaten by his team mate in almost all of the seasons he’s been in the sport and has only come close to winning the WDC once even though he’s regularly had a car that was good enough to win.

        • macrob said on 22nd July 2014, 13:36

          Comment of the YEAR! +1000

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:40

      I hate when people state ” oh well but he’s better driver than you” – that in itself is entirely missing the point. Formula One is not about how you fare against the rest of the world’s population, it’s how you fare against the other 21 drivers, who should be the best 21 drivers in the world ideally. And if you fall short of that consistently – with better drivers waiting for their opportunity in the lower categories – then absolutely they should attract criticism.

      It’s a competitive sport, guys. It’s not about being nice.

  2. Slr (@slr) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:23

    Some pointed the finger at the country’s reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, struggling for form at a below-par Red Bull this season and unhappy with the new rules and engine format.

    Others blamed World Cup fatigue, Germany’s strict tax rules on corporate hospitality or the absence of Michael Schumacher – the most successful driver of all time who retired in 2012 and is still in hospital after a near-fatal ski accident.

    It’s concerning that no one has apparently even considered that high ticket prices could be the issue. It’s also highly plausible that this desperation to improve the show is also turning people off the sport. Those with the higher power involved the sport continue to claim that they listen to the fans, but what we get is all talk and no action.

    Whilst I don’t disagree with Massa’s claim that younger drivers tend to be more erratic and perhaps desperate whilst racing these days, I feel Massa should just swallow his pride and accept that the accident was more of his doing than Magnussen’s.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:02

      Recently rookies havent been too bad. Bottas, Bianchi, Chilton, Ericson, Kvyat might the worst of them.

      Massa is very quickly joining the club of reckless crash-prone drivers who are only in the sport because of the sponsors they bring in (along with Maldonado and Perez).

      • Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 22nd July 2014, 4:51

        @austus I wouldn’t count Perez among those drivers. Certainly he has a good bit of cash, but he has also put in a good amount of impressive performances over the past few years (2012 springs to mind) and McLaren certainly didn’t choose him for sponsorship, but for his abilities, (Telmex wasn’t on the car) he might be the best tyre preserver in the field.

        I think Gutierrez is the Mexican you were looking for.

    • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:20

      if the desperation to improve the show is such a factor, why were so many people in the UK 15 days ago? i really dont know how expensive the tickets are for the british, but i guess it’s about the same for the germans, so i don’t see like that. Maybe it’s because Hockenheim is far from the most populated cities? i really don’t know anything about german geography :D

      • Sven (@crammond) said on 22nd July 2014, 4:00

        Yes, the Nürburgring is closer to several high-population cities than the Hockenheimring. It hosted the Truck-GP the same weekend, with more than double as much attendants, by the way.
        About prices: The cheapest weekend-ticket for F1 in Hockenheim was 216€, giving you access to one of the less desirable grand-stands. Full access to all grandstands on DTM-weekend is 21€, so less than a tenth. You can go to all DTM-races in germany this season and the Nürburgring-24hour-race for the price of one F1-race.

      • I think the problem is also that in Germany many reduced Formula 1 just to Michael Schumacher, they never were quite interested in the sport itself like the british fans, it is a german thing same with Tennis (Boris Becker, Steffi Graf), Cycling (Jan Ullrich), Basketball (Dirk Nowitzki, and Detlempf Schrempff although nobody used to know Schrempff although he played like a decade in the NBA an then suddenly everbody watched the 1996 NBA Finals where he lost with his Sonics team to Jordan) and the list goes on.
        They are not interested in the sport itself, rather on athletes who compete in it who might be german, and maybe there is also a lack of real motorsport culture especially for F1.
        Germany ist a country where football seems to be the only sport in which the people are REALLY interested, it seems so when you look at the media though.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 22nd July 2014, 6:07

      @slr, I found it funny that in his season of misery, Sebastian is also blamed for the poor attendance at the Grand Prix. I found it interesting that the article suggests that there were not enough new/young fans attending the GP, though I shiver at their final conclusion “We have to be cooler” (what gimmicks will they come up with next?).

      You could be right, it might simply be a case of ticket prices being too high. How many 20-year olds can afford to attend a Formula 1 race?

      About Massa, he has always been a driver who turns into the corner ‘rucksichtslos’ whenever he is an inch in front. I wonder if any of his employers ever suggested to take a wider line to avoid a collision. Williams, and previously Ferrari must surely be fed up with Felipe squandering so many good points.

      • dirgegirl (@dirgegirl) said on 22nd July 2014, 11:06

        @adrianmorse @slr I think it’s reasonable to consider that Vettel’s comments may have been a factor, even if a minor one compared to ticket costs, gimmick fatigue etc. I found the pre-season a real turn-off because of all the moaning about engine noise, the dubious rule changes etc. To hear the WDC bemoaning the formula in 2014 was depressing, even though I’m not a Vettel fan.

        • tigen (@tigen) said on 22nd July 2014, 19:44

          Vettel was just voicing the same concerns many people had anyway. It’s not like Vettel was the only guy to notice these things.

          Anyway, besides gimmick/rule fatigue I suspect there is GP fatigue. Austria is not really too far away from Germany. If I was in the vicinity, I might be tempted to visit the “new” track instead of the old Hockenheim, or perhaps travel to a neighboring country. Going to multiple GPs in succession is only for fans who are both hardcore and well-heeled.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd July 2014, 7:10

      +1

      In the end, price is the main factor. If you can’t sell tickets at 200 euros, maybe you should try 150 euros and if doesn’t work either, try an even lower price…

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:04

        @jcost the track needs to recoup the hosting fees which are astronomical. With all of the advertising board space being filled by the CRH’s commercial partners, there’s no advertising revenue available for circuits. Ticket sales is literally the only means of making the money back, so there does come a point where even a sellout crowd wouldn’t make up the cost, if the ticket prices are too low.

        However, high ticket prices didn’t put the crowds off in GB or Austria, so there must be other factors at work.

        • Luis Rodrigues said on 22nd July 2014, 10:38

          Sense….. ….Germans have some!

        • Sven (@crammond) said on 22nd July 2014, 20:39

          Spa is beginning with 130€ and closer to the highly populated Ruhr-area, so expect some germans there.

          And for GB, as far as I know the Silverstone-GP is also the annual meeting of british petrolheads (=those who are generally interested in motorsport and not just there for a current star-driver), whereas for german petrolheads the annual meeting is the Nürburgring 24h.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:15

      @slr Berger broke it down quite nicely. With the high ticket prices you have to have a show and a weekend full of action. Compared to the Austrian or British weekend, the Hockenheim race offered very little in that regard.

    • Race attendance has been down all year at numerous GP’s, not just in Germany. And world wide TV viewership is down as well. On a list of reasons why that should be I’d put Vettel’s criticisms down around twentieth place. The specific thing’s he’s criticized, the lack of engine noise for instance, are much bigger factors.

      There are a lot of reasons why people are tuning out. High ticket prices (or high viewing costs for the TV audience) is one. This years technical regs with the fuel flow limits and muted engine sounds are not a hit with fans. The incredible dominance of the W05 must be turning off many people. There were plenty of complaints about how dominating the RB’s were over the last few years, and they were nowhere close to this years Merc in terms of overpowering the opposition. The rules changes, many of them seemingly arbitrary like the FRIC ban, leave people confused.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 23rd July 2014, 15:41

        Race attendance at Silverstone and in Austria were not down at all. Apparently the attendance at Hockenheim was also up from the 45.000 that visited Nurburgring last year.

        So it’s something more specific than the usual bla bla about sound levels, domination by a single team or ticket prices.

  3. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:26

    Are they really going to blame the driver? Blame Bernie’s host venue costs, and as a result the ridiculously high ticket prices for the lack of crowd.

    • Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 22nd July 2014, 4:12

      @kingshark Yep. Everything is Sebastian Vettel’s fault.

      There was no butter in the fridge this morning for my toast. Most likely has something to do with Sebastian Vettel and how it’s his fault.

      • Eric (@) said on 22nd July 2014, 20:48

        @prof-kirk

        In 2011, if something happened, it was Hamilton’s fault.
        In 2012, if something happened, it was Grosjean’s fault.
        In 2013, if something happened, it was Maldonado’s fault.
        2014 will finally be Vettel’s year. :)

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 22nd July 2014, 11:56

      Agreed! True he has been very vocal but heck, if I really want to see a race, I´ll go regardless what he says… specially him of all people! LOL

      People blame high ticket prices… Isn´t germany europe´s motor? Surely they can afford the tickets.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 22nd July 2014, 13:16

      @kingshark Sounds to me like we’ll probably be going to Nurburgring, with its new owners and 5 year deal, for the next 5 years.

  4. Kiefer Hopkins (@kieferh4) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:45

    Massa said it right there ‘the race isn’t won in the first corner’. And as a supporter of McLaren and Magnussen, I think he needs to just ‘hold his horses’ a little bit (kiwi way of saying calm down and be patient). Yes, he has talent, yes, if the McLaren was a little stronger like it was in 2012, he could contest Mercedes for the win sometimes, but he just needs to calm down and think about others around him, I mean, he wouldn’t want to be labeled another Maldonado would he? That’d be a real shame, and all because he wasn’t patient.

    • Irejag (@irejag) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:02

      Magnussen had no where else to go, he was surrounded by cars. Massa is the only has himself to blame should just let it go.

    • salcrich said on 22nd July 2014, 8:23

      Contrary to most opinions I think there is some truth in Massa’s statement ( NB I am not apportioning blame here). As soon as I saw the grid I said to my wife that Massa and Magnussen would collide at the start. This was purely based on the assumption that Magnussen would be over eager. There have been a lot of comments about where else was Magnusson supposed to go? One alternative answer may have been to anticipate a chop and not go there. Ok some would see this as uncompetitive but he would still have been in fourth with the whole race yet to unfold. I would place a bigger bet on a more experienced driver getting through this situation than a rookie even with his previous racing experience.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:48

    “his team mates (in the shape of Liuzzi, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Gutierrez) have amassed the same number of podiums, albeit in less time”

    That’s probably a win for Adrian’s management team rather than Adrian’s performance securing him a place in F1…

    About Vettel’s comments. That’s true. Along with everyone making wrong promotion. It’s less about F1 being rubbish (which it isn’t, considering Silverstone, Bahrain, Hockenheim, and all those great races we had this year) or the noise of the cars, but the people that:

    a) make wrong decisions in terms of the way the championship is decided (aka Double Points, Safety Car restarts) or technical discussions that are often controvertial,
    b) people having a hard time reaching the sport (no live broadcast online, not a single proper highlights video by FOM on youtube, and so on),
    c) people having a hard time understanding everything (my dad, proper petrolhead and all, needs me to explain everything that’s happening, and even so I cannot understand some of the graphics that appear during the broadcast),
    d) lack of promotion, or bad promotion: who’s going to attend a GP if the current star of the show says it’s rubbish? who’s going to pay those hugely expensive tickets if the guy that tells you “think before you drive”, DRIVES the sport into oblivion?

    As someone said in twitter. GP2 also provides incredible excitement every weekend, but it’s not going to fill up the grandstands because it’s not the main thing. F1 needs to do a bit more than “improve the show”, and trying to do exactly that with gimmicks works the other way. As we all say, don’t fix what’s not broken, we don’t need sparks… Fix what it is broken, aka the people managing this sport, old as they are, totally out of times, need to look at the wide picture and not just stare at the empty grandstands and say: “Jeez, we’ll need to tell those 20 to pay 4 million euros to make this profitable for US”

    • Sven (@crammond) said on 22nd July 2014, 8:22

      “his team mates (in the shape of Liuzzi, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Gutierrez) have amassed the same number of podiums, albeit in less time”

      “That’s probably a win for Adrian’s management team rather than Adrian’s performance securing him a place in F1…”

      Or it shows he simply never had the car (except Spa/Monza 2009). I don´t get all the recent Sutil-bashing, he has beaten every teammate bar Fisichella. I don´t see any point why he should do worse than Rosberg given the same car. Sutil just ain´t given that car, and most of all that incident with Eric Lux harmed his career massively. But I still believe he belongs to that large group of 10-12 drivers whose performance is nearly equal, which means their respective race-finishes are pretty much determined by how good their car is.
      The number of drivers who can outperform their car above that is pretty limited.

      • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd July 2014, 9:04

        Sutil’s ‘crime’ is filling a seat that could go to new blood that potentially could be one of those few that outperforms the car. The Rosberg comparison goes limp, imo, as Rosberg was up against Webber (who was more experienced), Nakajima (who even remembers him) which gave us little to compare. Then, he went on to beat Schumacher for 3 years, getting a win over Schumacher’s podium and scoring a few more podiums. The 2010 car had no right to be near the podium, so I’d say Rosberg is a driver who can outdrive the car on rare occasions and is holding his own against Hamilton. Sutil has beaten teammates who either fall into the Nakajima category (Albers, Yamamoto) were on their way out after impressing nobody (Liuzzi, although Sutil was genuinely impressive in 2010) a rookie (Paul di Resta in 2011) and was beaten by di Resta in 2013. Di Resta also got eerily close to the podium a couple of times in 2013, while Sutil’s best of 5th came at Monaco.

        He probably would do worse than Rosberg on account that he has only beaten inexperienced or under-qualified drivers, while Rosberg beat an aging Schumacher for 3 years. Who still put in a fastest Q3 time and finished 3rd during his final season.

        To me, Sutil is a driver from the Mika Salo school of driving; decent enough to accomplish the goals set by the team, nothing more, nothing less. As I said in the COTD, Sutil does have the facts on his side as only the vastly more experienced Fisichella only ever scored a podium while being his teammate, but that’s all he’s got going for him. Meanwhile, people are calling Gutierrez a useless pay driver, yet Sutil has only finished 1 place higher than him. Arguably the Sauber isn’t up to the points, but both of them threw away points finishes at Monaco and Sutil’s spin at the last race isn’t exactly something you see Hulkenberg, Perez, Bottas or Ricciardo doing.

        • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 22nd July 2014, 13:45

          @npf1 Nakajima didn’t do that badly IMO, but his problem was 2009 was ultra-competitive.. only 1 second covered the whole grid. McLaren went from backmarkers to race winners! For Nakajima, thus a shortcoming of a few tenths left him at the back, rather than fighting in the mid-grid – the same fate befell Grosjean on his first attempt at F1.

          Sutil’s spin was said to have been a product of the throttle going from full to no throttle and back i.e. having problems. But I agree, in that since 2011, Sutil has lost that spark.. time to be replaced by di Resta or the next up-and-coming young gun.

          Frijns I think would fit Force India’s driver model quite well, i.e. pay a WDC potential driver a pittance but secure their services and give them a chance. But now, even FI need Perez’s funding to pay for works tech/Hulk/extra budget…

        • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 22nd July 2014, 13:46

          PS. We already know how Hamilton and Sutil would get on vs. each other – F3. Hamilton took the title, while Sutil was runner-up.

          • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd July 2014, 14:05

            @fastiesty Nakajima might not have been bad (neither was Albers, just wholly unimpressive) but Rosberg was always going to be the favored driver at Williams since Nakajima was their engine payment to Toyota. He would not have been in F1 without that deal and quickly left with it; not the mark of an overly talented F1 driver. Much like Albers (though much unlike Liuzzi) he did impress in other high end forms of racing, so again, he wasn’t that bad. Just not all that good in F1 either.

            Di Resta has little to gain from joining Sauber I think, as they’re running Ferrari engines. Basically the doors closed on him when he couldn’t move up to Mercedes or McLaren. Sauber might as well take a chance with a rookie right now, actually.

            Frijns would fit the Force India model well, but he has no money, no recent experience and little F1 mileage. He’s quickly becoming a liability.

            As for the 2005 F3 Euroseries season, I left that out on purpose because that season also had Di Resta battling Hamilton and Vettel. Then there was van der Garde who picked up the odd podium that season. The lower categories don’t necessarily predict the future of their stars too well, as Liuzzi showed us.

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 22nd July 2014, 17:28

            @npf1 I can agree with that.. he’s currently leading the Japanese F3000 standings, with some not-bad competition, like the other regular Le Mans winners. But Rosberg is not too far off Hamilton, so is tough competition to race, although Kazuki did outqualify him occasionally.

            True.. I simply meant that Di Resta deserved to stay in F1, more than Sutil, while Perez should have gone to Sauber and propped them up with Telmex and Gutierrez. But FI were more competitive, and so got the deal with Perez, and Sutil made do at Sauber.

            It’s a shame Frijns has gone down a dead-end.. he has the talent to be in F1. I just hope we aren’t saying the same for Max Verstappen in 5 years’ time, given his ‘they will come to me’ attitude. Where did we hear that one before… Well, snubbing Red Bull twice doesn’t look wise now, given he could have ended up in Ricciardo or Kvyat’s eventual Red Bull seats.

            Indeed…. Vettel was the best of those rookies that season, regularly battling Hamilton in the second half of the season instead of Sutil. This shows how quickly he adapted and moved ahead of Sutil, di Resta, Van der Garde etc. and that profile has been followed in F1. di Grassi and Rossiter also took a victory, while Duval did well early on like Rossiter.

            2006 (2nd season) is thus representative for Vettel and di Resta – Vettel led until his attention switched to FR 3.5 and F1 testing – he was being fast-tracked. Di Resta then managed to sneak the title, and hasn’t kept quiet about it since….

            Van der Garde had another there or thereabouts season as he all too often does, as did Nakajima, while Kobayashi, Buemi and Grosjean were all learning the formulae. The latter 3 then battled for the title in 2007, with rookie Nico Hulkenberg, who then dominated in 2008, after beating a sophmore Kobayashi for 3rd in 2007.

            Formula 3 and FR 2.0 levels usually need 2 attempts, a learning year and a title year – even Hamilton, Vettel and Hulkenberg needed that. But the real talents will adapt quick enough to be battling for wins before season end of their learning year – all those three above, and Rosberg, managed to do that.

            This is what makes Verstappen’s title year in F3 all the more surprising – he’s basically skipped 3 years of learning, and at 16 is where even raw F1 level talents like Marciello were at 18/19. Talk about a WDC in waiting..

          • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 22nd July 2014, 19:23

            *Bianchi and Bottas then did the same as Hulk in 2009/10. No wonder all these guys are now shining in F1…

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd July 2014, 13:17

        @crammond for 2 races he had the car to win, and binned it.

        He’s been in the sport since 2007. That’s WAY too much for a driver whose finishing position is just what the car is capable of. Most of the times, he didn’t even get that, considering he never really beaten any of his equally average rated team mates (past times Fisichella and Di Resta…).

        If he’s average, and it’s been 7 years now, it’s time to go…

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:49

    It’s so silly for Bernie to compare Brazil’s World Cup and Russia’s current situation. Russia’s soccer staff (players, managers, etc) and their fans are in no way dangerous. It’s a small group.
    But current conflicts IN the country make me think it’s crazy to make thousands of people get together in a place that could be attacked with a missile. I know it’s far from the combat zone, but we have seen unexpected and horrible attacks before. Let’s hope nothing bad happens.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2014, 1:38

      It’s even sillier given that the World Cup was over before the de facto Russian militia shot down a passenger plane flying an international route that has been flown for years by many airlines. My conscience is going to give me a very hard time if I watch the Russian GP. @omarr-pepper.

      • Irejag (@irejag) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:06

        Did you watch the race in Bahrain without a feeling guilty?
        You cannot blame an entire country because of their government. The Russian people have just as much of a right to want to host an F1 race as anyone does.

        • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:44

          @irejag True that, I never understood the attitude of not watching a race. I mean who’s going to notice?
          If you were planning to go and cancelled your trip it makes more sense, but seriously not even watching it on TV?

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2014, 3:37

            “Who’s going to know”? I will, that’s why my conscience will give me a hard time.
            Don’t tell me it wont have anything to do with politics either.

          • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 22nd July 2014, 6:36

            @hohum Well if you’re troubled by that you must have a very clean conscience then hehe.
            But I don’t know, the way I see it if your actions will not actually contribute to solve the problem then why stress about it? There’s enough stress in our lives already that’s why we watch F1 in the first place, to escape from it!

          • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd July 2014, 9:16

            @mantresx Plenty of individuals have decided against getting F1 on pay per view. Plenty of individuals have decided not to go to the German GP this year.

            If enough individuals do not watch the Russian GP it will be considered a commercial failure and thus be impacted.

            If your personal mantra is ‘if I cannot change it personally, I don’t care’, I wonder why they should even run F1. We’re all going to die, why have fun, if we’ll all be one with the endless void sooner or later?

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2014, 3:32

          I’m not blaming the whole country (although they did vote for their leaders), but I do blame Putin and the ultranationalists he plays to.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:35

        @hohum – Had the same thought on the downed flight/World Cup timing.

        Someday a book named Bernie Logic & Other Oxymorons will sell millions.

      • regs (@regs) said on 22nd July 2014, 5:51

        De facto ukrainian army did it with US advise. They both were doing it before.
        – Poroshenko insisted plane was shot down immediately without having any little facts, info and without having seeing any piece of wreckage.
        – Audio tape appered to be montage made from parts recorded long before july 17.
        – Video tapes with presumable moving BUK to Russia appeared to be made deep inside territory controlled by Ukrainian army.
        – Not talking about the fact that BUK isn’t that easy to operate. An amateur can’t just sit and shot.
        – Putin plane with nearly identical livery was crossing the way of MH17 minutes before the tragedy. That also could say that west ukrainians tried to shot it down, but mixed up planes.
        – And what ukrainian army and neonazi does is genocide. If they don’t give a thing on people lifes, while shelling and bombing cities with forbidden bombs, would they care about a single plane?

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 22nd July 2014, 8:20

          @regs, I know, did you also know that the World Trade Center attack was actually an Israeli plot assisted by the CIA. and it was british soldiers disguised as Nazis that invaded Poland as an excuse to start World War 2.
          Some of us have been here before, when the then USSR shot down a Korean Airlines 747, same obfuscation and crazy conspiracy theories then, Putin may well have been involved in the propaganda being ex KGB himself.

        • Nick (@npf1) said on 22nd July 2014, 9:09

          “Putin plane with nearly identical livery was crossing the way of MH17 minutes before the tragedy. That also could say that west ukrainians tried to shot it down, but mixed up planes.”

          You know, if one is smart enough to operate a missile system, they surely are smart enough to distinguish size and radar data? Or did the people behind this attack look at the sky with a telescope and thought ‘hold on, that there plane looks like Putin’s, let’s ignore any other data we might have, let’s fire’?

          Or is that what the NWO wants me to believe?

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 22nd July 2014, 11:06

            There wouldn’t be much size difference between a military supply plane and a commercial airliner. If they were going by radar alone they wouldn’t have any transponder information to identify the plane. I’m pretty sure it was shot down by mistake, but it’s a mistake which a proper organised military wouldn’t make. Unlike an amateur militia being supplied with high end ordinance by the Russian government. For instance..

          • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 22nd July 2014, 11:45

            @regs I don’t think this is the right place for a geostrategic debate, but you are really poorly informed and make assumptions on unverifiable claims.
            And even total rubbish about so-called genocide, about presuming separatists-terrorists are amateurs and so on.
            Stop reading ria novosti and let’s talk about Formula 1 instead

  7. happy to see this reaction from fans.. why should they waste So much money and effort just to see ugly n dumb cars? they are not loosing much on TV either!

    • Hubert said on 22nd July 2014, 1:36

      Me too! Who wants to see “PowerUnit-Fuel-Tire-EnergyHarvesting-Managers”? Lewis Hamilton could not even find the sub-menu he was asked to change a setting in! They are not race-drivers any more and the vehicles are not race-cars any more. The terms for the PowerUnit components are the greatest joke of all. How about a good old engine and some old fashioned racing? That I would pay for. F1 did not do itself a favor with recent rule changes. Oh yeah, blame it on Vettel!

      • yeah damn right.. and Drivers wont say it out-loud that we hate these cars/rules… thats y i said happy to see the reaction from fans

      • Jules Winfield (@jules-winfield) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:59

        F1 has always been about conversing fuel and tyres. Prost was a master at it. Cars used to run out of fuel on the last lap.

        Like it or not, times have changed. Car manufacturers stress efficiency and economy.

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 22nd July 2014, 16:21

        How about a good old engine and some old fashioned racing?

        Which had exactly the same fuel conservation and tyre management concerns as the latest formula, as teams regularly underfuelled cars to give them extra speed in the opening laps.

        • Eric (@) said on 22nd July 2014, 20:55

          @raceprouk, @jules-winfield

          Name one season prior to 2014 where Drivers had to lift and coast towards a corner before the 150m board. or rather, almost 3 times as far as they would normally apply the brakes?

          Spoiler; There’s hasn’t been a single race where that has happened priot to 2014.

          F1 has always been about conservation and finishing the race in the slowest way possible. But 2014 is taking it to an entirely new level. Lift and coast is something you do when approaching a red light. It should be illegal on a race track.

    • Jules Winfield (@jules-winfield) said on 22nd July 2014, 11:00

      “loose” = not firm or tight.
      “lose” = opposite of win.

  8. matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:50

    “understand that you cannot win the race at the first corner”

    So explain why you thought sweeping from the outside of the track to the apex would be sensible, given that no matter how much the cars on the inside anticipate and try to back off, eventually they too will be at that busy apex (which they have far more right to, due to being on the inside, anyway)? Particularly given that they are reacting to other cars around them.

    Given that Magnussen was on a shallow line and reacting to Bottas, all Massa had to do was take a slightly compromised line and he could surely have maintained the speed he needed to sweep around the outside. But as with India 2011, he feels he is owed corners and that racing for position means the other driver doing nothing to interrupt Massa’s line, even though going side-by-side with one OR BOTH drivers taking a compromise is the only way a pass or any racing can actually happen.

    • In_Silico (@insilico) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:24

      I personally felt it was a racing incident (as did the stewards). I’m not sure when Massa made those comments on that ESPN article, presumably just after the race, but in my opinion people should give him a bit of leeway in his comments about this incident. This is the third big, big accident that Massa has been involved in this year, and none of them were completely his fault (although some will disagree of course). He’s seen great positions squandered due to big accidents and has also been unlucky at other times this year with pit-stop mishaps and so on. So of course he’s going to be vocal and perhaps a tad outspoken on 50/50 incidents like this in blaming the other driver. I imagine that he’s pretty frustrated and dissapointed with how some of his races have turned out, so he’s bound to be annoyed.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:58

        @insilico – Hard to see this being a 50/50 incident. Magnussen reacted to the car in front of him and followed directly behind Bottas into the corner on the racing line, both of them with no room to spare on the right side of the track. The only reason Massa was slightly ahead of Magnussen as he plowed into him coming from the other side of the track was because Magnussen had to slow enough to pull in behind Bottas and Massa was coming in hot and rather deep into the corner.

        I guess according to Massa, Magnussen should have a) driven off the track to the right to get out of Massa’s way, b) slam on the brakes to get out of Massa’s way thereby endangering multiple cars behind him, or c) plowed into the back of Bottas to get out of Massa’s way. Have I missed any other options that Magnussen may have had? How could he have predicted Massa would come all the way across like that and what could he have realistically done about it?

        An interesting “what if” would be: What if Magnussen were ahead of Bottas and Massa would have come across and slammed into Bottas instead? I wonder if Sir Frank would have appreciated Massa’s excuses and words of wisdom to the younger drivers.

        I’m not a Massa basher, but his excuses and refusal to accept his part in nearly any incident means he is only more likely to repeat them. He has many fine qualities and at times he has been one of the better drivers on the track. His inconsistency is a big downfall, refusal to accept blame when deserved is worse.

      • W-K (@w-k) said on 22nd July 2014, 3:35

        Didn’t DC say a year or so ago, that when you are the common factor in all these accidents, then maybe it is you, and make the decision to retire.

    • OOliver said on 22nd July 2014, 8:51

      This was the same attitude that Massa used in messing up his and Hamilton’s 2011 season.
      Matter of fact he mirrored exactly what he did at one race that year, although this time he was less aware.
      It all comes down to recklessness, teams want wins and points not a driver who stands his ground to the point of mutual distruction.
      Massa thinks because he has “right of way”, the other car will magically disappear.
      The team don,t want to hear that he is right, they want him to get it right.

    • Palle (@palle) said on 22nd July 2014, 17:23

      @matt90: +1. I found almost it OK that the stewards don’t penalise Massa, as the move did cost a DNF, but given his stupid attitude I think he should have had a punishment. Any qualified F1 driver knows that first corner is congested, and try to act accordingly. When You don’t, like Massa in this case, You can end up in an accident. Instead of this childish blaming the other driver, he should concentrate on the issue of the low noses causing flips. Is that more dangerous than it was before?

  9. Robert (@gicu) said on 22nd July 2014, 0:56

    Bernie’s football parallel might just be the most idiotic thing I read this year. It’s apples and oranges, or, for a better tangent to the man himself – bribes and drives. But I guess it’s hard to defend something when there are no arguments in their defence.

  10. Theo Parkinson (@theo-hrp) said on 22nd July 2014, 1:51

    About Hamilton’s comments on Hungary, I to hope he gets a clean qualifying so we a get a straight fight between the Mercs again. For the past few races the story of the race was damage limitation, and for me that is becoming a tiny bit stale.

  11. Theo Parkinson (@theo-hrp) said on 22nd July 2014, 1:56

    Though prices are the main issue, big figure heads of F1 critisizing it aren’t going to help. Vettel, Bernie and Luca have taken away from some of the on track action this year and its understandable that people’s opinions might be changed.

    • Eric (@) said on 22nd July 2014, 20:59

      @theo-hrp

      But if they don’t speak up, who will? We can all stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s gumdrops and icecreams around us but that won’t do anything at all.
      And you can bet your dime and dollar that the people that didn’t show up wouldn’t have shown up even if Vettel or Di Montezemolo hadn’t said anything.

  12. Breno (@austus) said on 22nd July 2014, 1:57

    Vettel’s comments dont help, but he is entitled to his opinion.

    Maybe the World Cup had something to do with the German GP attendance? People would rather take a vacation and watch the cup instead of visiting Hockeheimring?

    Massa, sometimes you cant get past the first corner.

  13. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:21

    his team mates (in the shape of Liuzzi, Di Resta, Hulkenberg and Gutierrez) have amassed the same number of podiums

    Was Hulkenberg ever teammates with Sutil?

  14. SubSailorFl said on 22nd July 2014, 2:52

    High ticket prices and not allowing manufacturers to improve their engines makes it tough for people to believe it will be anything except Mercedes cars and Mercedes powered cars up front at the end.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 22nd July 2014, 10:00

      …and not allowing manufacturers to improve their engines makes it tough for people to believe it will be anything except Mercedes cars and Mercedes powered cars up front at the end.

      …which would be seen as a negative for a German crowd how? Isn’t it in the stereotypical German mindset to enjoy a complete and utter steamrollering of the opposition, demonstrating utter perfection over their rivals through superior organisation and engineering?

      Pretty much describes both their football and F1 at the moment.

      Hockenheim was a ghost town because it came mere days after a much bigger international sporting event. F1 had the common sense to schedule itself around the 2012 Olympics in the UK – quite why they tried to schedule against the World Cup was mental.

      German fans likely spent a fair amount on supporting their team, including expensive air travel, so spending on F1 was always likely to suffer – more so with the Bernie Tax being included in the ticket prices.

  15. joac21 (@joac21) said on 22nd July 2014, 2:54

    Cant believe massa. And also cant believe how much i dislike him since 2008 when i was ccheering for him

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