Rossi learned he wouldn’t race after practice

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Alexander Rossi, Marussia, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014In the round-up: Alexander Rossi didn’t find out he wouldn’t be racing in the Belgian Grand Prix until after the first practice session.


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Rossi last to find out that he would not do Belgian GP (Adam Cooper’s F1 blog)

“He found out after the world at large that he would not be driving for the rest of the weekend. The team management told the media during FP1 and the news was quickly circulated, but Rossi himself was not informed until he got out of the car at the end of the session.”

Marussia farce as Chilton reinstated for Belgian GP (The Telegraph)

“‘What everyone seems to think is the issue is not what it is.’ What was the problem then? ‘I’m not going to say that, because then you’ll use it.'”

Bernie Ecclestone I’ll run F1 for as long as I can – Ecclestone (BBC)

“I asked somebody the other day ‘have they decided who shot that plane down?’ Nobody seems to know do they, so what’s the link [with Russia]?”

F1 has no argument with Russia, says Ecclestone (Reuters)

“If people have got arguments with Russia, maybe they have (issues). I don’t know. We haven’t got any.”

Jacques Villeneuve slams decision to allow Max Verstappen into F1 as ”worst thing ever” (The Mirror)

“It will either destroy him or, even if he is successful right away, then F1 will be meaningless.”

Maldonado ‘unlucky’ in accident (Autosport)

“It’s nothing related to the car or from my side, [just] unlucky.”

Andre Lotterer, Caterham, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Lack of corner speed surprises (Sky)

Andre Lotterer: “I think our Michelin tyres are a bit better, we can push them much harder and do over 700km on one set of tyres and more downforce as well so you can push an LMP1 car a bit more in the corners.”

Nico Hulkenberg Q&A (F1)

“Q: Your team boss Vijay Mallya has identified Valtteri Bottas as the surprise of the season. Was that a bit of blow – your boss praising a driver from another team?
NH: No, not really. You have to be realistic and give credit to what Valtteri has done – but Daniel (Ricciardo) has achieved even more in his Red Bull. So no, no envy at all.”


Comment of the day

Alexander Rossi was an F1 racing driver for almost 24 hours until Marussia performed an abrupt U-turn yesterday:

A lot of people slating Marussia for this, but to be fair Rossi is just their reserve driver, he’s only there for when one of their actual drivers can’t, won’t or isn’t allowed to drive. Obviously Chilton had some contractual issues going into this weekend but now they’ve been resolved the drive is his.

I’m annoyed as well, because I also think that Chilton doesn’t deserve his seat, but the fact some teams in F1 are dependent on pay drivers is less Marussia’s fault than it is the governing body which run F1’s.
Adam Kibbey (@Kibblesworth)

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On this day in F1

The first world championship Austrian Grand Prix was held 50 years ago today, and saw the first start for Austria’s first champion, Jochen Rindt. Coincidentally, his last F1 start came six years later, also in Austria (see the August 16th round-up).

A short, bumpy circuit on the Zeltweg airfield was used for Austria’s first world championship race – and never revisited. Lorenzo Bandini took his only F1 win for Ferrari.

Here is some mute footage from the race:

Images © Marussia, Caterham/LAT

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58 comments on Rossi learned he wouldn’t race after practice

  1. How poorly can someone manage a situation like this? It boggles my mind how Marussia told the world that Rossi wouldn’t be racing, before they told Rossi? It’s unfortunate and not entirely their fault that their money situation is so dire, but if they have people who make decisions like this, it’s no wonder that they’re at the back of the grid.

    In reference to Maldonado’s incident, I think we all know how ridiculous he is being when he’s saying that luck was to blame for his crash.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 23rd August 2014, 6:15

      In the space of about 48 hours Marussia have managed to build their goodwill to a higher value and the dash it to a much lower value than just about ever. Even if their situation is not entirely of their own making, the way they handled it is. Especially telling the paddock before they told Rossi. That’s just not right. I really want them to stay on the grid and improve, but they have lost a bit of respect now.

  2. Strontium said on 23rd August 2014, 0:23

    Maldonado was not unlucky at all. He drove with half his car on the grass down a straight, not lifting or trying to return the car onto the road. It was a stupid accident of his own fault.

    • Chris (@mccosmic) said on 23rd August 2014, 7:34

      I thought exactly the same when I saw it. Not least who’s foot is on the accelerator? He is the master of denial. Anyway his attitude will for sure cheer the mechanics up.

    • Michael Brown (@) said on 23rd August 2014, 22:42

      It turns out that unlike F1 2013, you can’t drive straight on the grass. He did something similar in Spain, when he didn’t bother lifting when he went off on the runoff, causing a crash

  3. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 23rd August 2014, 0:51

    Lotterer sounds seriously impressed with F1!

    • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:04

      The pinnacle of motorsport…

    • Breno (@austus) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:29

      Am I the only one who saw that comment coming from a mile away?

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:35

      Mind you, he is driving a Caterham. So he’s not really getting the best of the best.

      • S2G-Unit (@s2g-unit) said on 23rd August 2014, 2:35

        It’s NOT because he’s driving a Caterham! I don’t get how some people are unable to see it’s because of Pirelli’s poor tires.

        The drivers can’t come out and insult Pirelli because of F1’s politically correctness. It is evident by hints the drivers think the tires are shit. Although, they do know it’s the same for everyone.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd August 2014, 4:32

      And amazing tyres, better grip and last over 2 GP lengths, obviously Pirelli would not be able to make tyres for F1 that last for a whole GP so we will have to learn to love pit-stops and the opportunity they give the teams to keep their drivers away from other drivers.

      • joew said on 23rd August 2014, 7:39

        The point is that pirelli could make tyres that would last a GP distance, but then f1 would be even more about tyre management.

      • anon said on 23rd August 2014, 8:26

        It’s worth noting that the tyres in the World Endurance Championship are also noticeably wider than in F1 (about 16% wider), which is a noticeable advantage for sportscar racing.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 23rd August 2014, 14:34

          Great. let’s go straight to WEC dimensions on F1 and lose some wing.

          • I will add the caveat that my earlier post only answered part of the question.

            It is worth noting that increasing the width of the tyres would also increase the magnitude of the turbulent wake behind the cars, increasing both lift and drag – an issue that is not apparent in the WEC because the tyres are enclosed rather than being presented to the open air.

            The cut in engine size to 1.5 litres in the early 1960’s, as one example, created a situation where teams sought to reduce, rather than increase, the width of the tyres – in that scenario, reducing the lift and drag generated by the tyres was more beneficial than the gain in mechanical grip from using a wider tyre.
            Even with the “return to power” in the late 1960’s when the 3.0 litre engines came in, those issues with lift and drag means that the tyres of the time were actually relatively narrow (front tyres in particular – the front tyres of a car from 1967 tended to be about 20% narrower than a modern F1 slick tyre). Ironically, it was the one thing you are complaining about – wings and increasing downforce levels – that made it feasible to fit much wider tyres to the cars, particularly in the early 1970’s.

            Bolting on wider tyres to the cars might not necessarily shift the equation in ways that you anticipate – it could well be that the increased width is partially counteracted by detrimental aerodynamic effects, not to mention making it harder for a driver behind to follow closely because of an increased and more turbulent wake.

  4. Franz said on 23rd August 2014, 1:08

    Of course it’s not Maldonado’s fault. Bad luck just wheeled his car on to the grass. He wasn’t even driving it at that moment… stupid luck, ruining everything all the time.

  5. tino852 (@tino852) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:50

    Call me a nut but I’m starting to think Maldonado sealed his fate the day he chose to race with unlucky number 13.

  6. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:54

    I know he was only drving a Caterham, but Andre Lotterer just confirmed to the world what Mark Webber said last year. Gimmicks are ruining F1!

  7. Roland said on 23rd August 2014, 1:54

    Shame for Rossi who didn’t find out until after FP1… but that’s his job.

    As for Bernie and Russia – well there are serious implications for every nation sending a team to race in Sochi considering Putin’s import ban and the minor fact Russia invaded the Ukraine today. I try not to get polotcal and understand governments rarely are representative of the people they govern but this is a major issue. Russian supplied and funded some idiots who shot a commercial airliner out of the sky. This can not be dismissed!

  8. Roland said on 23rd August 2014, 1:56

    Also JV is just as bad as Kanye for getting headlines for making seriously derranged statements. Enough already.

  9. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 23rd August 2014, 1:57

    Maldonado as usual blaming something else for his own mistakes. This time, something that isn’t even a human being or a mechanical part of the car. What does it take to knock some sense into this guy’s brain? Two race ban? A whole season ban? I doubt that any of this will work! Definitely either him or Ericsson are the worst on the current grid. Only thing you can really do is ban him from F1 forever.

  10. Dane said on 23rd August 2014, 2:31

    I think Villeneuve has a point. There’s a lot of hype around Verstappen. If he’s the real deal, he should have no problem in GP2 and will gain experience. If he can’t live up to the hype he will prove the doubters right and cast doubt on other young drivers as being to inexperienced.

    • JV knows a thing or two about petering out early in one’s career

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 23rd August 2014, 6:09

        And JV knows how to pick a popular/controversial topic to pontificate upon, not seeking any publicity for himself, of course. ;-)

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 23rd August 2014, 12:51

        Petering out early in one’s career? Let’s see…Indy 500 winner, CART Champion, F1 World Champion, built up a brand new team in F1, second place at Lemans, and as recently as this year came 14th in a return to Indycar, now doing FIA World Rallycross. Been at F1 races since he was a kid, with his Dad and family. What could he possibly know about the world of racing?

        If Max achieves a fraction of what JV has, he’ll be successful. JV didn’t ‘pick’ a popular topic to pontificate upon ‘for the the publicity’…Torro Rosso picked a 16 year old for their team, and JV was asked about it. But I guess then anybody who now comments on a controversial topic is just headline grabbing? So nobody should speak their mind any longer? Or just people you don’t like aren’t allowed freedom of speech? Ridiculous. Better write letters of complaint to the other current F1 drivers who have said they weren’t ready for F1 at 17 years of age…such scandalous headline grabbing for themselves.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 24th August 2014, 0:35

          Max has more experience with an actual car than Raikkonen when he started in F1, appearently. If the FIA wants to put an age restriction on the super license, by all means do that. Otherwise, someone younger is always bound to come knocking.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 23rd August 2014, 6:23

      I can agree with some of the points that Villeneuve makes, but you know when F1 would really be meaningless? If Villeneuve would make a comeback and be successful right away ;-)

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 23rd August 2014, 12:58

        You know, I think JV would even agree with that. He would say F1 is too easy if even a WDC level driver like himself could come back after being away for more than a few years, and be successful right away. JV’s preferred vision of F1 is that it not be devalued and that it should be hard. If it wasn’t challenging he wouldn’t want to be in it. Nor would he feel rewarded, if it was a cakewalk.

    • jon snow said on 23rd August 2014, 10:26

      He has a point about the superlicense thing, I gotta admit…

    • I don’t think Villeneuve has a point. He is correct. It’s not a case of whether Max succeeds the fact he has been hired and that is a testimony of many things, for once the marketing appeal trumps everything, and these days you don’t need experience to safely drive an F1 car.

  11. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd August 2014, 3:56

    I’d LOVE to hear more from Lotterer after the race. It’s really interesting to compare the two top motorsport series.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 23rd August 2014, 8:56

      I like him, he’s about to start his first F1 race and he seems so relaxed. According to Rémi Taffin, his feed-back is good too. Can’t wait to see what he is capable of tomorrow.

  12. mateuss (@mateuss) said on 23rd August 2014, 7:56

    So disgusting from Bernie… We sometimes complain how his money takes priority over the viewing pleasure and the opinions and needs of the fans of the sport.

    But what is that compered to basic freedoms, human life and peace?

  13. ShoponF (@shoponf) said on 23rd August 2014, 8:30

    But there is this thing of ‘the younger, the better’. What’s the next step?

    Is F1’s future is ‘camel racing’? In camel racing children were favored as jockeys, although I believe the practice has now been stopped. Jacques Villeneuve is absolutely right in his comments about Max Verstappen.

  14. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 23rd August 2014, 8:31

    I think Marussia done the right thing in not telling Rossi until after the session. He had a whole FP1 program to do and surely an announcement over the radio saying “Oh yeah, Max is driving from FP2 onwards this week” would have surely put him off from the task at hand.

    With regards to Maldonado, awful. Absolutely awful. How he has a 2015 contract whereas Vergne does not is pretty ridiculous.

  15. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 23rd August 2014, 8:38

    Surprised to see so many people agree with Jacques Villeneuve, I’ve stopped reading articles about him a long time ago.

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