Andre Lotterer, Audi, World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, 2014

Lotterer tipped for surprise F1 debut at Spa

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Andre Lotterer, Audi, World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, 2014In the round-up: Audi’s three-times Le Mans 24 Hours winner Andre Lotterer could make a surprise F1 debut in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix with Caterham.


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Lotterer linked to Caterham drive (Autosport)

“It is likely he would replace Kamui Kobayashi, who has been told that there are no guarantees he will retain his seat until the end of the campaign.”

Ecco come sarà il nuovo muso della Caterham! (Omnicorse, Italian)

Caterham are also reported to have a new nose design and revised diffuser for this weekend’s race.

Vijay Mallya may have to exit company boards if declared ‘wilful defaulter’ (The Times of India)

“A wilful defaulter tag may force UB Group boss Vijay Mallya to quit the boards of India’s largest alcoholic beverage companies, dealing a big blow to the tycoon whose jet-setting lifestyle once won him many young admirers.”


Comment of the day

Some were surprised to see Fernando Alonso name Jarno Trulli as his fastest team mate over a single lap, but not everyone:

Flavio Briatore seemed to turn on Trulli well before his performance dipped. It seemed to me at the time that Trulli’s performance was a result of Briatore’s bullying rather than the other way round.

It’s nice of Alonso to remember Trulli, a truly exceptional driver over one lap.
Tgu (@Thegrapeunwashed)

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On this day in F1

Niki Lauda used all his cunning and mechanical sympathy to win his home grand prix for the first time 30 years ago today.

Both McLarens suffered gearbox problems. Alain Prost spun off while trying to keep his car in gear.

Lauda, however, stroked his car home. Behind him Nelson Piquet believed Lauda was merely preserving his car and elected to do the same. When he discovered afterwards the trouble Lauda had been in, he realised he squandered a chance for victory.

It was a valuable victory for Lauda in a year when he eventually won the title by half a point.

Lauda had passed Piquet earlier in the race – at a point when the television coverage was not to the standard expected by champion-turned-commentator James Hunt:

Image © Audi

119 comments on “Lotterer tipped for surprise F1 debut at Spa”

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  1. Verstappen is definetly too young for F1. But I see one reason, which can justify him starting so young in F1 – enormous talent.

    I can make a comparison to Lithuania’s best basketball player in history – Arvydas Sabonis. He made his debut in most successful Lithuania’s basketball team “Žalgiris” when he was 17 and soon became a leader. It was because of his enormous talent. Next year he made a debut in USSR national team. He won Soviet league with “Žalgiris” 3 times in a row and later was picked by NBA team, but didn’t debut just because he was too young under NBA regulations at the time. He had a hugely successful career in Europe and later finally went to NBA where he was one of the best centers in the league.

    So if Max is a new Schumacher or Senna, his debut may be justified and he can have a hugely successful F1 career.

  2. Please replace Ericsson, that slow, rubbish driver!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Really dissapointed to see such a prospect in Jean-Eric Vergne, who was matching Ricciardo last season, get kicked out like all the others do. Even more annoying he is being replaced by a man born in 1997. What else can Sainz, FDC, etc. do to even raise Helmut Marko’s eyebrow when he’s appointing kids to drive these machines which even the best in Vettel, Raikkonen, Massa etc, has taken so long to get to grips with the new vigorous technologies?

  4. If a 16 year old can enter Formula 1 and be on the pace and race with the big names then F1 has become too easy and as such will lose lustre in the eyes of the viewership/fan. In days of yore the junior categories had to be conested and won to get into formula 1. As a result, we were more than fairly certain that the drivers in F1 were bloody good, the best even. So if this kid waltzes in and gets string of decent results, to me that is because the game is too easy to be called the pinnacle of motorsport. Yes, its the pinnacle in technology terms but not in driving ability terms anymore.
    I have come to the belief recently that this is in part due to the fact that the cars are much slower than they were 10 years ago. The mental stretch is not what it was to drive these cars and the skill level required is not as high. Look at this youtube video of Barrichello chasing Trulli. The cars had more grip, more power, more downforce. The direction change and cornering speed even in the slow bits is staggering. It took experience to handle that. The thinking time was much more compressed, to the point where the whole lap looks like one fluid action behind the wheel. This is also why we hear lengthy radio debates between driver and pit crew, he isn’t as stretched. Sad times!

    1. The debuts of Senna (from F3), Button (from F3) and Raikkonen (from Formula Renault 2.0 (!)) among others prove you wrong. Or at least, they prove you that also in the past it was not uncommon to make the step from F3 to F1 if you’re good enough. And in the past the performance gap between F3 or FR2.0 and F1 was much bigger!

      1. I disagree, Senna won FFord 1600 championship, FFord 2000 Championship, F3 Championship and the Macau GP before F1. Button won dominating karting winning all 34 events in the 1991 Kadet Championship, British open kart champ x 3, Won Ayrton Senna Memorial Cup, Won european Super A championship. In cars he won FFord Championship and FFord Festival winner, Autosport Young driver award, 3rd overall in debut F3 season and top Rookie award and 2nd at Macau GP. Verstappen hasn’t got half that under his belt.

    2. Wouldn’t that mean the drivers who were good at driving the ‘difficult’ cars with unlimited areo, launch control and traction control such as Alonso, Button and Raikkonen would have a field day with the modern ‘easy’ cars? Why aren’t they beating the likes of Grosjean by a country mile?

      If those cars were so incredibly difficult, why did drivers like Gene and Pizzonia manage to control them mid-season? What about that 19 year old Vettel lad who once did a test for BMW Sauber? Did you know that some kid named Nico Rosberg tested for Williams in 2003? He was 18 years old, yet, he managed good times.

      Get off the angry chair, @coefficient, your sense of nostalgia is blinding you. But feel free to watch the 2004 Hungarian GP instead of an actual F1 race any time.

    3. So if this kid waltzes in and gets string of decent results, to me that is because the game is too easy to be called the pinnacle of motorsport.

      I hope you don’t watch Moto GP…

      1. @David-A on the contrary. Marquez dominated the junior categories to earn his place in the top flight. In these circumstances age is secondary.

  5. Compare these two, the first seems much more impressive to me. I could be wrong.

    1. There’s one thing that has to be taken into account here (apart from the cars): the FOV of the camera and 4:3 aspect ratio changes the perception of the speed quite a lot.

  6. @keithcollantine
    Funny you sarcastically mentioned Spa 2008. Massa was “given” the victory after Hamilton cut the chicane while trying to pass Kimi.

    I remember after the Canadian GP this year, a lot of the britsh fans were “demanding” a penalty for Roberg for having cut the chicane “under pressure”.

    1. @brunes That’s not sarcasm and I didn’t say Rosberg should have had a penalty.

      1. @keithcollantine
        I did not mean you said that.

        Just the public in general. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        But it did look a little sarcastic. Haha

    2. I think Hamilton fans got mad because Rosberg gained an advantage but never gave it back fully, while in Belgium Hamilton gave the place back but the stewards were not happy with it. They should have told him then, rather than waiting after the race. Perhaps Hamilton deserved a 5 second penalty(which didn’t exist), which people thought Rosberg should have gotten in Canada, because a 20 second penalty is too harsh on both occasions.

      1. @theo-hrp Rosberg did give it back fully over the course of the next lap.

        1. He gave it back earlier than that, He backed off after turn 2 just as FOM started to play the replays of him running wide.

          By the middle of the lap the gap was as it was before he went off.

  7. Surprised Keith didn’t mention Nico Hülkenberg in the birthday column. Happy birthday to him!

  8. Regarding both Kamui Kobayashi and Lotterer. Do tell me which driver their career started at HRT/Caterham/Marussia and really took off well after a season with them…

    1. well, ricciardo did get his first shot at F1 in an HRT car … @xtwl

      1. @bascb True. I just had to have missed one guy… :)

  9. The management at Caterham seem to have forgotten they have Robin Frijns as third driver.

    1. No, Frijns doesn’t bring amy money sadly.

      In todays F1 you have to have talent and sponsor money OR an F1 team willing to back you financially like Magnusson (and now Verstappen)

      1. Neither does Lotterer apparently.

  10. I don’t believe this.

  11. Sometimes I think that James Hunt was a better commentator than a driver. That is to say, he was an incredibly entertaining speaker. He was the perfect foil for Murray, and these two could make a dull race funny, and a good race great.
    Perhaps the British tradition of colour commentary by drivers will continue with Button. They could do worse.

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