Sochi International Street Circuit, 2014

Video: Vettel completes first lap of Russia’s F1 track

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sochi International Street Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel becomes the first F1 driver to complete a lap of the Sochi International Street Circuit which will host the inaugural Russian Grand Prix in October.


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

Sebastian Vettel Takes First Ever Lap of Sochi F1 Track (YouTube)

Lewis Hamilton wins Jenson Button’s backing over Spa F1 crash (The Guardian)

“I think any driver would look at it now, and I am sure Nico would look at it and say: ‘What was I thinking?’”

Massa: Rosberg could’ve been penalised (Autosport)

“Maybe Nico created a problem for the other guy and maybe he should have been penalised. He was outside, so when he touched the car he was in a position where it was impossible to overtake.”

Mercedes weigh up how to punish Nico Rosberg following Lewis Hamilton collision (The Independent)

Toto Wolff: “If Lewis said there’s going to be a slap on the wrist and no consequence then he’s not aware of what consequences we can implement. We can do a lot. Today we have seen the limits of the slap on the wrist. Maybe the slap on the wrist isn’t enough.”

Mercedes deserve praise (The Telegraph)

David Coulthard: “If it happens a third time? We may begin to consider [Rosberg] a driver in the mould of his former team-mate Michael Schumacher, who went to astonishing lengths to win.”

Hamilton wonders whether Rosberg can be trusted (Reuters)

“When you’re out there you have to trust people to think with their heads and not do things deliberately. But after that meeting I don’t really know how to approach the next race.”

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton Mercedes to let drivers ‘calm down’ (BBC)

Wolff: “I thought with the two of them, with the way they have previously driven against one another, that it wouldn’t come to this point.”

Lewis Hamilton Q&A (Sky)

Hamilton: “It was interesting because we had that meeting on the Thursday and Nico literally expressed how angry he was. And I was thinking, ‘It’s been three weeks, you’ve been lingering?’ He literally sat there and said how angry he was at Toto and Paddy, but I thought we should be good. After that and then this result, it’s interesting.”

Horner: We never thought Ricciardo would be this strong (Crash)

“We crunched the numbers very quickly and it looked like, if Nico was 2.5-3secs quicker, he would be within a second at the end of the race, so we gave Daniel a target on the lap time of 53.4 – based on Nico being in the 51s. Thankfully it just about worked out.”

I don’t see myself retiring ever, says F1 boss Ecclestone (Business Standard)

“I have not thought about retirement really and I don’t think I will ever come to that stage.”

The Contrasting Roles of an F1 Driver (F1 Elvis)

“Effectively, in these lower categories, the race teams are being employed by the driver to provide them with a race winning car. […] In F1, in the most part anyway, it works the other way.”


Comment of the day

Would a rules change help prevent the kind of ‘accidental but beneficial’ contact we saw between Rosberg and Hamilton?

It was interesting watching the Australian V8 Supercars (400km race) and then the F1 on Sunday. The Supercars rules make it clear if you stuff up another driver’s race for any reason then you will be penalised (with a drive-through penalty, usually), so the onus is very much on the following driver to not initiate contact with a car in front – no matter what.

Racing incidents are always split-second decisions (in F1m split-split seconds…) so taking away the inevitable right-wrong arguments and instead emphasising the mantra of clean driving is a great concept – so I reckon they should have this in F1 as well.
Adrian Kemp

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On this day in F1

Another McLaren one-two at Zandvoort 30 years ago today left Niki Lauda ahead of Alain Prost in the drivers’ championship by a mere half-point – exactly as it turned out.

170 comments on “Video: Vettel completes first lap of Russia’s F1 track”

  1. I desperately hope the FIA do not intervene in the Hamilton/Rosberg saga. If they have any sense then they’ll realise that this is the answer to all their prayers over what can be done to make the sport more popular. It’s exactly this, genuine sporting drama. This is the sort of story that comes along once in a generation, and has all the potential to be remembered as one of sport’s greatest rivalries. Like Karun says, it could be a great film in a few years time. Let the boys have at it.

    1. The problem isn’t about it being a “racing incident,” it’s with the action being deliberate. I’m ok with no further actions being taken is it was truly a mistake, but it’s looking more and more that the racing incident could have been avoided by Rosberg. If purposefully taking out your race leading championship rival who just so happens to be you teammate doesn’t warrant a second look I don’t know what does.

    2. @jackysteeg I find it interesting that some people are saying Rosberg deserved a penalty when, intentions aside, it was a racing incident.

      Many times before we’ve been shouting to the FIA to let the drivers race and not intervene in EVERY single wheel-to-wheel scrap. I find it increasingly frustrating when whatever happens on track, there’s always an investigation going on.

      If you overly police racing, drivers either become frightened of racing OR they cry about every single contact.

      Unless Rosberg admits it, FIA has no right to penalize him. The truth will only be known if Rosberg shares it with the world. Otherwise, it’s just a case of innocent until proven guilty, no matter what Toto, Lauda or Lewis say.

      1. @fer-no65 Intention in this case is everything. While the FIA should tread carefully, some punishment should be dealt out if that is the case that Rosberg’s actions were deliberate. The telemetry is available and the can see whether Rosberg took sufficient avoiding action or whatever the case may be.

        I am firmly in the belief that racing should not be penalized however harming a fellow competitors race on purpose should face strict sanctions.

        1. @rybo how do you police such thing, though? it has happened before. The very first case I can remember is Fisichella and Schumi at Interlagos 2006. Hamilton did it with Seb at Silverstone 2010 too.

          I’m not sure how the telemetry could show the intention of the move. It didn’t really say much about Monaco this year, this one is even trickier to spot.

          Unless Rosberg admits it, that is.

          1. @fer-no65 Sadly, its hearsay and there isn’t much to do. Telemetry would show the steering traces of that lap versus others. If the traces were the same the move could be argued as intentional as Rosberg didn’t avoid a collision. However its easy he just misjudged his closing speed.

            My grievance more than anything is that this could be the defining moment in the championship with the races thick and fast. How Mercedes and the FIA handle this situation is paramount. A competitor took the race in his hands(as were lead to believe from Hamilton’s comments,) and seemingly got away scotch free. Where does that leave us with the rest of the season?

            Call me naive, but I would like as fair a shoot out as possible. Not just for the WDC, but for all the battles yet to be decided. Ferrari vs Red Bull vs Williams. McLaren vs Force India. Will Caterham or Sauber catch Marussia? Plus all the driver battles, which are equally engaging. If all someone has to do is have a slight “mistake” and penalize your competitor while you gain hand over fist I fear F1 has lost the plot altogether.

          2. @rybo

            Sadly, its hearsay and there isn’t much to do. Telemetry would show the steering traces of that lap versus others. If the traces were the same the move could be argued as intentional as Rosberg didn’t avoid a collision.

            Again, how could you? he never went outside Les Combes at any other time. There’s no way of comparision. Also, it was such a tiny touch, and not an uncommon one, that it’d be very hard to spot, IMO.

            I agree though that it’s a very tricky situation. Intentional “little” mistakes come from Piquet Jr’s recipe, really. It’s a hard blow to see someone actually benefit in a huge part after such a careless mistake…

          3. If your child is a bit clumsy and drops a glass of milk, you don’t punish him. You’ll smile amd clean it up. But if the child then says he did it on purpose now, you’ll get angry, no?

            Intention IS important. The ‘data’ can’t tell you whether it was just clumsy or deliberate or at least that it was done with no care if it would happen, then the kid needs to be disciplined.

            If Nico said he didn’t do it deliberately but also would back off ‘to make a point’ he put both of their cars at risk, he was fully aware but cared less about the possible consequenses than his own ego making a point.

          4. @rybo

            I disagree that intention is important. It might be what we desire to find out so that we can feel justified in our moral indignation (or lack thereof depending on who’s side we are on), but as far as sporting rules, it just muddies the waters.

            The action is either legal, or it is not. Nico either has the right to maintain his line and position through the corner, or he does not. Simple.

        2. BTW I truly believe it was 100% Rosberg’s fault, even if unnintentional. He was behind, was off the line, and was never going to make the move stick, so he was absolutely careless and Mercedes, at least internally, should punish him for ruinning what, on paper, would’ve been one of the easiest 1-2 of the season for them.

          1. @fer-no65 Telemetry doesnt show a “place” on track per se. But a position relative to time. Where exactly he was on the track ie inside, outside, or middle wont show up. What will show up is steering angle, and that will show if he took avoiding action. That in combination with the GPS will show exactly what happened, but again it’s easy for Rosberg to counter with a “I made a mistake.”

      2. @fer-no65

        Unless Rosberg admits it, FIA has no right to penalize him.

        Man, punishment does not require admission. FIA actually penalized Schumacher despite his denial. I’m not a specialist, but I think admiting could actully help his cause.

        1. @jcost yeah but in that case the telemetry showed it. I doubt the telemetry can detect intention

          1. @fer-no65
            “reading telemetry” is basically trying to understand the action behind the fact and through that, determine intention or not. That’s what courts try to do.

            Confession is not necessary for judges to call a specific offense “intentional”.

    3. But before being a movie, it’s a sport and we should avoid the laissez-faire attitude because it can go from dramatic racing to destruction derby pretty quickly.

      In 2011, Lewis was involved in many crashes and sometimes he would be stubborn to admit guilt but he really has matured since then and usually says sorry when he does wrong and I hope Nico grows from this as well, so he can admit his mistakes for his reputation sake.

    4. If only the current drivers had the charisma of Hunt and Lauda… or were otherwise half as interesting. But Ros and Ham just feel like Kindergarten, watching their interviews and public appearances causes fremdschämen.
      So, even if a battle with a scent of scandal does create some entertainment, it´s more of a soap-opera than a titanic battle of sport-icons. Let´s just hope other teams are ahead of Merc next year and we can get rid of the spotlight on those two.

  2. Michael Brown (@)
    26th August 2014, 0:51

    Looks just like Valencia. Gotta love Vettel sliding it through the corners.

    1. I’d say it looks just like a track made by a young modder with no regards to scenery or variation..

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        26th August 2014, 2:25

        @npf1 – So Tilke is a young modder? Makes PERFECT sense now!

      2. I expect the safety-car will be busy at Sochi.

    2. This circuit is so dull and grey. It inspires nothing in me. Elevation: Zero. Variation: Zero. Greenery: Zero. Scenery: Zero.

      It is a street circuit with the best elements removed; there are at least a dozen corners where if you misjudge the corner, you can cut the apex or run wide. What happened to precision driving?

      1. Totally agree! Looks like just another boring 100% tarmac Tilkedrome with no grass, sand, close barriers etc. :(

      2. Isn’t race day going to be like the Olympic closing ceremony, with lights, fireworks and other shiny distractions everywhere? Singapore looks grey and dusty too, in the daytime practice sessions.

        The lap goes on and on and on – there seem to be about 35 turns. The cuts to Vettel’s cheesy grin look like they were added in later, like a Top Gear lap…

    3. Director should make us a favor and use less that on-board camera (Infiniti certainly would like people to see more their car instead of the tarmac). But I my opinion on the circuit is better today than it was a few months ago.

    4. If Vettel has to smile quite a few times through the lap, how bad can it really be. Saying the racing will be bad because there is no trees around…

    5. It’s fun watching Vettel play around in a relatively pedestrian Infiniti. All that’s missing is Ricciardo in a identical car in front of him :)

      1. First corner looks like it’ll be a lot of fun then after that a complete bore. I get the run off areas that are wide at the corners and the close up onto the straights but why oh why have so many corners that are away from the wall on the inside? It takes so much of the skill and risk/reward out of the corners.

        Again I’d understand if it was a high speed corner but a lot of those look like slowish corners which they’ve moved the wall back by 2 meters and added a tiny sausage curb about a metre inside the apex. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    26th August 2014, 0:52

    Comment of the day is spot on. Racing incident or not it was ridiculous that Nico got away with little and Lewis had his race ruined. Ricciardo is now closer to Lewis in the standings than Nico to Lewis.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      26th August 2014, 0:53

      My mistake, no he’s not.

    2. The problem is that until recently the FIA was handing out penalty’s for racing incidents & Nico likely would have got a penalty when they were doing that, However whenever the FIA did hand out a penalty for a racing incident everyone complained.

      With regards to V8 Supercars since they cracked down on racing incidents & started handing out penaltys many fans have complained that its taking away from the racing by discouraging drivers from having a go.

      It was the same in Indycar, They used to hand out penaltys for ‘avoidable contact’ & situations like Nico/Lewis woudl have fallen under that. However teams, drivers & fans complained about it because it was making drivers less willing to try & make an overtake happen so like in F1 the Indycar officials have taken a more lenient approach & the quality of the racing has improved with drivers now more willing to take a risk when trying to pass another car.

      I’ve always felt that the only time a penalty should be handed out is when its something utterly stupid, Like the move Maldonado pulled on Guttierez at Bahrain.
      Minor contact due to a misjudgment from a pure racing incident like Nico/Lewis should not result in a racing penalty.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        26th August 2014, 1:15

        But Hamilton has been penalised here for doing nothing and Nico gets off almost unpenalised.

        1. Could the FIA maybe take a similar approach to V8 Supercars, and make it more based on that single event? For example, what if Hamilton had no puncture? Rosberg had to pit longer to change his front wing, so he suffered for making a judgment error, but Hamilton could have gone on to win. However in this specific example, Hamilton suffered a puncture which totally destroyed his race, through no fault of his own, only a silly mistake by Rosberg. Something like 10 seconds stationary in his pit box before the team can work on the car, could be a more fitting punishment?
          Rosberg is smart, he knew it was a calculated risk, and what would be the worst for him? A damaged front wing, when the Mercedes can still be competitive even if they don’t change it. Yet high chance Hamilton was going to get a puncture.

      2. I agree with PeterG, more penalties is the last thing our over-regulated sport needs. If it is not possible to give more freedom to engineers, then at least give some freedom to the drivers.

    3. @collettdumbletonhall I no longer follow the V8’s due to the rigid rulings. It has become a case of, rubbing = penalty. And for a category where heavy saloons that require long distances to pull up, a number of drivers have had their races ruined by a genuine mistake, and some, that aren’t entirely 100% their fault. However, the rules are likened to an insurance claim where someone HAS to be at fault, and there is no room for a genuine racing incident. I would like to see F1 not tighten their rules on contact, but allow for the benefit of the doubt, that contact was incidental, unless there is fact/evidence to the contrary. Similar to LBW rulings in cricket, where the umpire should rule in favour of the batsmen when there is insufficient evidence.

    4. Remember in Brazil 2012 when a small error made Hulkenberg smash into Hamilton? He got a penalty. Some thought it harsh, but I thought that putting out another car, particularly the leader, with such a large impact was worthy of punishment. The trouble is that slight contact with a wing these days can be quite easy and can have only millimetres in it, plus unfortunate placement to actually cause a puncture. But if Rosberg touched him because he thought he had a right to put his nose there rather simply misjudging how close he was, that sounds worthy of a penalty. The trouble for the stewards is identifying the difference between misjudgement and poor race craft. Or it all gets punished regardless so long as another driver has been seriously impeded. That would have made Hamilton himself guilty of at least one incident, against Barrichello in Brazil 2009.

    5. Maybe the early 20th century studies of Arthur Pigou would help here. The concept of externalities is widely known and very effective in a number of fields.

      If you action cause negative externalities on someone, you should compensate them directly or pay a “pigovian tax”, i.e., in the specific case of F1, be penalized if your action harms seriously someone else’s race.

      1. IMO the fairest thing yo do would have been to hand ROS a penalty equivalent to the time HAM lost on the 2nd lap… This would have discouraged HAM from having to complete the lap too quickly and therefore ruining his race. They were neck and neck, so the fairest penalty would be to make them neck and neck after pitting due to the collision. This would have probably have to have been applied post race, but I think Lewis lost something like 80 seconds. It was probably not cynical by ROS but more like “letting it happen” instead of backing out. The overtake was definitely not on, so fair he be punished. Lewis destroying his floor by speeding with a flat tyre was his own fault, though… But if he went 20 mph he would have lost even more time, the fact that he had 42 laps with a 2second per lap advantage over any other lap would ostensibly give him a window of around 84 seconds to return to the pits, a three mile track plus the 75 or so seconds a normal lap would take could have resulted in a podium or nearly if he just did not lose his head and shred his tyre. HAM is far too emotional at times, but 100% ROS fault for the actual contact.

  4. Firstly, Horner must surely be glad they got Ricciardo not Kimi now!

    Secondly, Bernie is clearly doing this just to have a laugh now because he can! Classic, and I say good for him.

    Finally, I have to say that the street circuit doesn’t seem like one. It is just a normal track with more concrete barriers and the barriers a touch closer, but I guess that is what Valencia was like to some extent, but this is more like Korea (which was designed as a street circuit I guess, confusing eh?). Just something about it doesn’t seem right to me..

    1. That’s what I was thinking. It’s like a drab Korea-Abu Dhabi crossover. What’s worse, it seems to be a perfect place for more Mercedes domination. With any luck Hamilton will have stopped fuelling the fire and Rosberg at least makes an apology and there will another good fight. On a different gossipy note: Do you think one of the two Mercedes drivers will leave at the end of the year? I can’t imagine them finishing their careers one eachother’s toes and at eachother’s throats.

      1. @erico As regards the Mercedes drivers, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Rosberg has signed on for another couple of years. I don’t know Hamilton’s contractual obligations, but given the building acrimony between the two drivers, could Lewis take another flier, and return to McLaren next year? They’ll be back at the pointy end eventually, and maybe the reunion with Honda will give them that boost. Anyway, it’s hard to imagine Lewis and Nico (and Mercedes) going through all this stuff again next year.

    2. @Strontium

      heck yeah, that saved 28.9 million buck$ and Dan is winning races …….winwinwinwinwin

      thats 28.9 million buck$ in overtime they can pay to get the RBR running without catching fire,

  5. “I thought with the two of them, with the way they have previously driven against one another, that it wouldn’t come to this point,” he said.

    “But we are at that point and it needs to be managed going forward.”

    Here’s the thing, Toto. I might just be an armchair F1 expert and my knowledge of psychology goes no further than a passing interest, but ‘part results do not guarantee future outcome’. Nico and Lewis have raced eachother before, but never was this much at stake. Up until Canada, people were 100% sure one of your drivers was going to win the championship. With the recent mistakes from drivers, strategists and board members, you’re giving it away, adding to the pressure on both Nico and Lewis. With this car, they have to win the title. Anything less would be utter defeat.

    Let’s not forget Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa had many run-ins in 2011 of which both were to blame (either for separate incidents, or for a singular one). They have raced each other successfully before and since. Yet, 2011 saw them both frustrated and with a lot of pressure; they were champion and runner up in 2008, yet could do nothing against the might of Vettel in 2011 and weren’t winning their respective intra-team battles. Yet, that’s nowhere near the pressure a certain championship in an utterly dominant car gives a driver, especially when mistakes are more likely to happen than not (since Canada anyway) and the other driver keeps influencing the other’s race.

    Frankly, I expect them to turn friends again if the Mercedes domination vanishes in 2015. This year might have produced an amazing car for Mercedes, but it has been a PR nightmare lately, and the mechanics are probably the only ones who are not to blame.

    1. Dominant cars are great for trophies, terrible for PR. Ferrari and Red Bull got tons of flak because of their driver policies, and this is what happens when a dominant team has two drivers with similar performance.

      1. Ferrari and Red Bull never messed up when having a dominant car, though. You hardly ever saw Ferrari making things more difficult for Schumacher in 2002 or 2004, nor did Red Bull’s policies or strategies ever get in the way during Vettel’s 2011 or 2013 seasons. Mercedes is throwing oil on top of the fire by constantly messing up pit stops, strategies and the details of their driver policy.

        Ultimately, they got flak for making the sport boring, not for having the average Joe thinking ‘wait, the guy from pole went 4th and his teammate from behind came 3rd?’ or ‘how does a car that’s 2 seconds per lap faster than the rest finish 2nd?’.

        1. for me, it comes down to management: Ferrari had Todt and Brawn (who can argue with any of them?) and even when Webber wasn’t that even with Seb as Hamilton is to Nico, you should se the hand of Chris Horner, not letting the wcc AND wdc slip away because drivers crashing at each other

          1. BOOM!

            This is where bullying Ross Brawn away comes back to bite them.

            He would have managed all the ego’s involved or at least he has proven he could would he still been there. Not everybosy

    2. Formula Indonesia (@)
      26th August 2014, 8:58

      I’m really sorry guys, but what is PR means? Thanks

      1. @f1indofansPublic Relations
        (but rather than asking here you should have first looked it up in your favourite search engine, and surely this would have given you a wikipedia article and other definitions)

      2. @f1indofans PR is a term used by marketing agencies to tackle Public Relations. Its used to basically indicate “marketing spin” or in this case the perception of the team by the fans.

      3. Public relations

      4. Formula Indonesia (@)
        26th August 2014, 10:04

        @tino852, @dragoll, @coldfly. Thanks a lot guys, in my opinion, PR is important, but for Merc, winning races and title more important

        1. @f1indofans The thing is, the board of directors at Daimler, who fund the team, probably disagree. If they can’t use the Mercedes F1 team to sell cars and get a positive brand image for Mercedes, they’re out (which they have threatened with several times already, mind you.)

    3. Those PR types can’t tighten a fuel line right…

  6. It was naive of Wolff to think his drivers wouldnt eventually collide.

    And I dont want to sound bad, but what was the last time a Massa article didnt involve the word “penalty”?

  7. I think I can lay the blame for that underwhelming footage of Sochi at the Infiniti’s door, which has had its sluggishness compounded by Vettel’s unfamiliarity with the track layout. Of course, this is me being sickeningly sanguine. To fall back into the more pessimistic groove Formula 1 has sculpted for me these past few years, I feel far more comfortable offering a less complimentary opinion—that the Sochi Autodrom looks mind-numbling boring, repetitive, unchallenging, and characterless. I could barely tell it apart from Valencia (and we all know how that ended up). There’s only one person I want to see barred from any future involvement in Formula 1 more than Bernie Ecclestone, and that individual is Hermann Tilke.

    1. I like the view of the petro-chemical plant at Turn 1 and the sanitary pumping station at Turn 3 . . . Gosh, it does look industrial grey, doesn’t it?
      I was looking forward to the super-long corner round the stadium, but that was boring too. It’s going to take a lot of effort to make this into a track that F1 will want to come back to.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      26th August 2014, 14:29

      The rules are why Hermann Tilke keeps churning out circuits with the same characteristics.

      But honestly, Valencia was a better circuit than Catalunya. It should have been the Spanish Grand Prix.

      1. I guess the rules which prohibit creativity are a candidate then?

      2. You think so? In terms of track layout and difficulty I much prefer Catalunya, even with the mickey-mouse chicane at the end. It certainly isn’t one of the most overtaking friendly tracks on the calendar, but anything is better than the Valencia Street Circuit.

  8. COTD is very true. The V8 supercars series even goes further by saying that if you make contact with a driver before the B-pillar, and that contact results in an incident/accident, you will get a penalty.

    Perhaps something like this is needed in F1, for example, your front wheel must be up to the drivers head.

    1. @crackers it’s so much different in formula racing anyway. But the world of racing should just follow BTCC’s policy IMO. Let the drivers race.

      1. Agree with that! Even though I actually watch every V8 race.
        I think that today’s F1 cars are too fragile.
        Small touch and you either loose your wing or tire. I don’t say that they should crash into each other on purpose but sometimes it’s a pity to see drivers going out of the race because of some small contact.

  9. The circuit actually looks great, it looks better than Valencia. And with more overtaking opportunities. The only thing I didn’t like was the last sector, looks like the Yas Hotel part in Yas Marina. Although I’m expecting a good inaugural race, can’t wait to see the cars flat out and the seconds round corner.

    1. I does look like Valencia but personally I like close proximity of the walls.
      Unfortunately it’s in Russia so no race weekend for me.
      No support from me to Mr. Putin.

      1. Won’t go as far as not watching the race, but a stupid idea by Infiniti to promote the Russian track on the same day some Russian troops invaded Ukraine (and got caught).

        1. 10 persons that got lost in private, not on duties, not in uniform. Great invasion.

          A month ago more than 400 Ukrainian troops invaded Russia. Few weeks before that there was a group of 20.
          Two months ago two APC invaded Russia 20 km beyond the border and were threating to shot border guards that stopped them.

      2. Can you please elaborate with regards to not supporting Putin? You agree with foreign policy of US and NATO allies towards states that do not share their version of democracy?

      3. How does your watching support Putin?

        1. Well, inversely, Putin is going to be very disappointed @toxic is not watching the race.

          1. This race happens only because of the Russian government and by having this race they pretend that they are a normal country and everything is great.
            If you chose to ignore what happens in Ukraine is your choice.
            I just won’t watch the race as a principle. It’s not the first race I missed for political reasons.
            You may find it ridiculous but everyone has it’s own conscience and not watching the race is probably the only thing I could do to support Ukrainians.
            And for the record I have many friends from the Ukraine and believe me they care if I watch this race or not.

  10. What a pity that all these racing drivers have spoken to the press before talking to ROS fans to get the facts, it must be very embarassing for them.

  11. It’s apparent that the Mercedes brass have laid the blame squarely on Rosberg’s shoulders for the easily avoidable 2nd lap incident. Aside from a new team order system (and how, btw, will they enforce it?), which is surely in the offing, I’m anxious to find out what sort of punishment, if any at all, will be handed out to Nico. What CAN they do that actually carries any weight? Take away his company car? Make him wash the motorhome? How about having him sit out the next race at Monza. Now THAT would get his attention, but it’s hardly likely.

    1. Well, I guess Hungary showed that they don’t have the means or will to enforce a team order @schooner, so then it really comes to the drivers fighting it out on track. I think its good that the FIA doesn’t interfere in every incident (how many penalties would we have had after Spa last lap?).

      One thing is certain, and while its presented in several of the articles in the roundup as something that is somehow very bad, I think its good that Hamilton cannot trust Rosberg to always give way anymore, it was Rosberg showing that he is not the second driver. Hamilton did the same early in his career, showing he has the determination to win.

      The more I read about what Hamilton is saying, the more it feels like trying to do more or less the same what worked about Alonso – get the FIA involved to punish his teammate so he can win. Rosberg on the other hand would probably like to get the team to employ team orders – and as he is the leading driver now, it should be in his favor, right?.

      I am pretty sure that they will both be more careful (just like Vettel and Webber got more careful not to hit each other after Turkey 2010), and I hope to see some more great racing this year.

      1. Hamilton didn’t narcistically risk compromising Alonso’s races to ‘make a point’ back then though (Alonso actually did btw when he prevented HAM from getting a qualy lap in by holding him up in the pits)

        1. Its not about narcism at all. Its about showing you are not going to be the one to always yield. Its about who is the “top dog” in the team. And that was exactly what Hamilton did to Alonso from the start in 2007

    2. Instead of fixating on handing out punishments, Mercedes management would do far better to sit down with both of the drivers and look at how they’ve arrived at this point. This isn’t the first incident between these two, and it seems there are underlying tensions between them which relate to team orders and drivers doing underhanded things to gain an advantage (both having turned up the engine when they shouldn’t have); this crash was simply the latest manifestation of this building situation, and it seems strange that they can’t see it that way. Rosberg’s comments about previous races demonstrate that even after a long break and a supposed ‘clear the air’ session, he’s still harbouring a bit of a grudge about some things which have happened in the past this season.

      The team management appear to have no authority, and their frustrated outbursts about Rosberg to the press are only going to further undermine them. A frustrated Rosberg clattered into Hamilton’s tyre, supposedly while trying to make a point about racing hard, and he’s immediately angrily condemned by his team to the public. What part of that reaction is going to make him in any way inclined to make amends?

      The problem at the moment is not Hamilton and Rosberg, it’s Wolff and Lauda, and their chronic mismanagement and lack of authority. They have made this situation far worse than it ever needed to be, and the way this has been dealt with is only going to make the rivalry even more bitter.

  12. Funny to see HAM going on about not being able to trust his teammate when he himself was insinuating ‘doing a Senna’ on ROS just a few weeks ago.
    Also he is wondering about ROS holding grudges? He seriously needs to look in the mirror from time to time. When prompted to compare it to Monaco on the BBC he obviously wasn’t over that one yet himself..
    He lost out this time and I understand he is angry but relating a very biased version of an internal meeting should be a worry for Mercedes PR.
    HAM is very good at playing the victim to the UK media and they are lapping it up.
    On the BBC pre-race podcast ROS was asked very leading questions about the previous race which he refused to answer.
    But he probably lost the goodwill with Mercedes PR earned during that interview with Sunday’s incident.
    Very messy for PR, especially with one side taking to the media at the drop of a hat.
    Looking forward to HAM leaking telemetry again :)

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      26th August 2014, 3:18

      Or Rosberg unfollowing him on Twitter

      1. Haven’t you caused enough social media chaos already ?

        unfriending Lewis,

  13. That Sochi circuit = boring as hell. If those corners were faster, it would be a better track. The only good thing about it? That long corner going around those flagpoles.

    1. Vettel has said he likes it (Even in the above video you can tell that by the look on his face as he drives round it) & that its a lot faster & a lot more flowing than it looks.

      Said he thinks there’s some very good overtaking opportunities.

      1. He also liked Korea… and Singapore… so….

        1. Actually the track reminds me a bit of Korea and Valencia – driving between walls with cranes and some industrial objects and/or buildings that have lost function. The boatload of 90 degree corners with ample runoff, another attempt at the 180 degree Turkey corner (how many of those do we now have?), etc, I really expect the track to be as exciting as Valencia with Korean attendance.

          Singapore as a track isn’t very interesting either, although being in the city and having little runoff combined with how long it is for a slower track, make it something of itself. Here those elements do not apply.

      2. Yeah. He’s smooth when it comes to PR work. If he had said he didn’t like it, there wouldn’t have been any point to the video and it would have been impossible for Red Bull to upload it.

  14. So how can Toto and Paddy realistically punish Rosberg? The only way I can think of is if he’s not allowed to look at Hamilton’s data anymore including setup, telemetry, etc but that’s very difficult with engineers passing on so much information already, also it would effectively divide the garage in two… if it isn’t divided already.

    1. @mantresx I think you are right, they can ask their drivers to stop overtaking each other on the track but it would not necessarily mean punishing Rosberg, particularly if he keeps qualifying ahead of Hamilton. I cannot imagine that they would artificially hamper their own driver, who is currently leading the championship.

      I’m sure Lowe and Lauda will do their best to keep the situation under control but, as Coulthard rightly points out in his Telegraph article, even men like Dennis and Williams have failed to do that in the past.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      26th August 2014, 11:24

      You’d imagine they had some way of fining him or something along those lines. At the very least they could take his Merc road cars from him and make him drive a Smart for the remainder of his time with the team.

      1. I guess nico can buy a bunch of Mercs with his pocket change. Try again @jackisthestig

      2. They will give away his parking slot to Adam the sandwich guy.

  15. Sochi looks to be the anti-Monaco: it’s bland, no color, very flat and has numerous places to pass. I’m anxious to see how it does.

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      26th August 2014, 10:25

      Well, Monaco has produced Poor races in last few years. i think Sochi worth a try

  16. Neil (@neilosjames)
    26th August 2014, 3:48

    One supposes Toto could go beyond a wrist-slap by referring the incident to the FIA…

    1. To what end though? From whats been reported its just hearsay and proof might be hard to come by. Plus Mercedes AMG Petronas is very much dependent on Daimler for support and this conundrum they are in reflects very poorly on their public perception. As long as they can placate Daimler’s board they will be ok, but if this turns worse and worse as the rounds go by there could be other people making the decisions.

  17. Neil (@neilosjames)
    26th August 2014, 3:52

    Oh, and the Vettel video… I love listening to wind. Couldn’t they have put the mic inside the car?

    1. I had to turn the sound down, that was horrible,

      but it seems like a “decent” track, I love the runoff down the straights (concrete walls) that should stop the boys touching and banging wheels,

      Its Russia, its concrete and grey everywhere is it not ?

      There was never going to be investment for a purpose built track in a nice mountain setting ,

      It looks smooth and fairly fast so lets see how the first race goes before we can it to hard,

      and the Ifiniti Q50 is hardly the car to showcase a race track,
      Seb was smiling coz the passenger was crapping themselves . :)

      1. To be honest, the track is about as imaginative as the design of that infiniti car @greg-c

        1. the infiniti is nearly as square as the pit complex :)

  18. I agree with DC’s conclusion – be thankful to Mercedes for letting their guys race, sit back and enjoy!

    1. and Karun’s tweet “oh come on let them fight ! It may make for a great movie in 25 years time….”

      1. Agreed! There’s so much truth in that tweet

  19. I don’t really understand the decision of the FIA. Why not investigate it? Mercedes certainly won’t tell on themselves, as no good can come out of it for the team, they have only to lose the points from 2nd place for constructors. I don’t think anyone submitted the Monaco incident to the FIA, I thought the investigation was done by default. Considering the backlash of this incident and the comments Rosberg (supposedly) and Hamilton made, I think it would be their duty to verify such things. To me it just seems lazy and indifferent from them.

    1. Because there is no reason to investigate it. The Stewards put it down as a racing incident, and unless a competitor now gives them reason to do so (Mercedes asking the FIA for an investigation), or new evidence comes to light (see the video material showing Hamilton getting past Trulli a couple of years back) they don’t just reopen such a case @gicu.

      Hamilton – the guy losing out in the incident – being unhappy is not enough.

  20. Toto and Lauda should get a PR lesson – to stir up that much dirt after such an incident is just as stupid as Marko blaming Webber in Turkey. Sometimes the best thing is to say nothing and sort it out behind closed doors – like RBR tried to do ever since Turkey or Ferrari did when they were dominant. Now the media has fodder for a long time and whenever things are slow controversy will be brought up and that’s just gonna bite them once their car can be challenged by others on merit.

  21. To everyone who in the slightest believe Rosberg did it on purpose; There is no way he could have predicted Hamilton was going to have a puncture. Alonso ran his front wing into the back of Vettel aswell and no troubles came from that. Hülkenberg planted his front wint in Perez in Hungary and no problems arrived. It is jut utter nonsense a driver of any kind fighting for a championship would do this on purpose.

    Claiming Nico deserves a race ban like the tweet above is just being ridiculous. This was a normal racing incident which if it didn’t happen between our precious golden boy Hamilton not one person would consider writing about. It has to be done with this blind talk and ignoring what people say just because you favour one driver.

    This weekend I’ve not only lost respect for Rosberg for trying the move, Hamilton for dealing with it so poorly and damaging ‘his friends’ reputation and behaving like a total child, but also the Mercedes team. They dealt with it very poorly.

    If I were to build a team, Lewis would be the last one I’d consider being on my line-up. In 2012 I really thought he had grown up after all the crashes in ’11. He took his reliability issues so good. Then tweeting the data was another idiotic act. Then he took it to another level in his first year at Mercedes. Mentally he is as strong as a carton box doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      26th August 2014, 11:55

      Totally agree that Rosberg was not trying to damage Lewis’ car. If you were trying to puncture someone’s tyre with your front wing end plate you would probably succeed what, once or twice every 10 attempts.

      To me it appears Rosberg left his car where it was while Lewis (legitimately) cut across him, frustrated at similar moves Hamilton has pulled throughout the season (last lap in Hungary, numerous times in Bahrain…). He allowed the contact to happen in order to put the spotlight on Hamilton and his ‘blocking’, trying to get Lewis in trouble with the team or perhaps a get drive-through.

      It’s a bit like football, rather than staying on his feet and trying to score, Rosberg ‘dangled his leg’ inviting contact to try to win a penalty. However all of this fuss is interpreted, it’s absolutely clear that Rosberg doesn’t fancy himself in a straight fight with Hamilton.

    2. Formula Indonesia (@)
      26th August 2014, 12:38

      Yeah, why only a accident then a driver have to get one ban, of course a lot of people backed Hamilton of Rosberg

    3. This was a not normal racing incident and it’s absurd to say that. A normal racing incident happens when you cannot avoid it so easily like this one. He SHOULD have avoid it, he destroyed someone else race and therefore should have been given a penalty. To say what happened on the past is COMPLETLY irrelevante to what happened on the Belgium Grand Prix. The dislike for someone are making people try to change the reality. Absolutely ludicrous

  22. Hm, looks like a high probability that VdGarde will get his F1 drive with Sauber next year (Dutch), maybe even this year if Sutil’s sponsors don’t come up with the cash soon.

  23. In regards to Vettels lap. Get used to seeing the stands that empty at Sochi. From what I have read it has turned into a bit of a ghost town

  24. I just find it ironic how two drivers who are standing up for Hamilton both have a history of making plenty of contact with him…

    1. Also, at worst Rosberg would get a 20s time penalty for the incident, which would move him from 2nd place to 2nd place.

      1. @craig-o Haha, I laughed so hard at this! I’m in favour just for the fun of it, give the man a DT!

      2. HAHA! Nice observation!

  25. Largely overlooked in this round-up (for understandable reasons), but Spa of all circuits averaging under 3 million viewers should be a wake-up call. Obviously many people still being on Holiday (I didn’t watch until sunday night) may have something to do with it, but it’s still far too few.

    F1 disappearing behind paywalls everywhere makes no sense for any party, apart for short term gains for F1’s owners. Less viewers, more worryingly no way to attract new, young viewers and very little exposure for sponsors.

    1. Especially considering that the BBC showed this race live…

      1. all the bitter hamilton fans turned off on lap 2 hence the terrible average viewing figure. now that f1 media has blown up with this merc stuff if the viewing figures dont increase in monza then that will be extremly worrying

    2. @bs I looked at that too, is it because it was the first race back after the break and people forgot it was on? I had a couple of people at work say that they didn’t realise it was back… I have always wondered why there is a summer break for F1 when they have a big break at the end of the year… And yes, yes, I know there is lots of activity post season, but a mid summer break, breaks up momentum for the audience.

      1. It’s so the guys at the teams get a break. The factories have a mandatory 2 week shutdown.

  26. Formula Indonesia (@)
    26th August 2014, 9:39

    Above all of Hamilton-Rosberg incidents, i really love f1fanatic because its not one-sided driver support website, like sky f1, when there is a vote : should Rosberg penalised, 83% yes 17% no (correct me if i’m wrong) while in f1fanatic, hamilton and Rosberg fans were really balanced. And some advices from neutral fans.

    1. You do realise the entire Sky Sports website is part of the British Sky media offering? Of course it’s partisan it’s for British fans who a significant (not all) portion of support Lewis.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        26th August 2014, 10:06

        I know it, That is why i really like this website

    2. @f1indofans & @ju88sy I also think the amount of ‘Rosberg-fans’ and people who ‘just like him’ together don’t even come close to a tenth of the amount of fans Hamilton has. Maybe a poll about whom you support, and you can only pick one driver, should be held on F1F. I think we’d be surprised by how much Alonso and Hamilton will lead this poll.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        26th August 2014, 10:14

        So (not everyone) Hamilton fans will backed him because they support him??? Such a shame

  27. So here are my thoughts for the dispute:
    1. Last year Malaysia. We all know what happened there and we heard Rosberg on the radio after the race:“Remember this one”. I think that this was the start of what are we witnessing this year, especially what we saw at Spa.
    2. Bahrain 2014. Rosberg seemed so euphoric after fantastic battle with Lewis, in which he lost, that is almost surreal to think that he had any negative thoughts about their battle. But in the end he did lost the duel in which he had more speed on fresher tires. Who knows what kind of scars left that race to Nico.
    3. In Hungary he felt betrayed by his team which basically misled him by telling him that Lewis would let him through, and with this clash in Spa one has to wonder if Nico just waited for Lewis to step aside (and back in that case) in order to check team’s loyalty and to maybe save his tires in the process as well. Who knows? Maybe he was just incapable to overtake his team mate.
    4. His nerves are now on the limit as he never forgot Hungary and by winning the pole and having Lewis by his side, the situation he escaped in the previous races, the scene for rumble was ready.
    5. After he lost two positions after the start he entered the panic mode and maybe thinking that after the seasons that he spend by Michaels side waiting for his chance to come, now having that chance to win his first WDC from all the driver came Lewis as his team college and beat him again on the circuit?!?
    6. The braking point was Les Combes in which everything started to tumble.
    7. He also carelessly flat spotted his tires without any need.
    8. He looked very blue on the rostrum which indicates his state of mind and the guilt that he felt at the time.
    Maybe it sound like a movie script but this is my opinion for this situation, as an true F1 Fanatic.

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      26th August 2014, 9:57

      And you dont mention Monaco, which in other hand you said that Nico is better than Lewis at every Side, which means not only raw pace

      1. @f1indofans I hate to think that Monaco was done on purpose. You see I don’t hate Nico. I just think that circumstances got him. I didn’t understand this “which in other hand you said that Nico is better than Lewis at every Side, which means not only raw pace”. Could you explain it to me, please?

        1. Formula Indonesia (@)
          26th August 2014, 10:18

          @nidzovskiHow Rosberg handle the media and the team, is much better than Hamilton, and you mentions some statement that Hamilton is quicker than Rosberg, well as nico fan i have to agree, but he’s very smart so he can balance Hamilon

          1. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 10:18


          2. @f1indofans Yeah I agree with you on both accounts. Intelligence is another thing. If he was smart, as everybody talks, he should waited for another couple of laps and atack Lewis when he really could without jeopardizing both of them and the team. Or that was all one calculated plan maybe?

          3. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 10:55

            No, Rosberg can overtake him, and look how many spaces on hamilton right hander, that’s a lot!

          4. @f1indofans if Nico can really overtake Lewis howcome this has never happened before?

          5. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 12:26

            @tino852 i don’t say that Nico is a good overtaker,and in Spa he knew that this time he had a really good chance, so he tried to overtake on attack racing line, and then Hamilton closed the line.

          6. @f1indofans Sorry but I, and 90% of F1 fans, can’t believe that Nico had a chance to overtake Lewis at that moment on that place. It’s one thing to close the line/shut the door and it’s another thing to push someone out of the track. I can’t see any of that in this case. Rosberg was simply coming too much too soon IMO. Maybe you are biased about Nico and can’t judge properly in this case.

    2. See, many of these points don’t portray Rosberg as calm, as many people seem to think. He seems to let things fester in his mind, like Bahrain and Hungary, and he can become quite desperate when something goes against him on track. A bit panicky, like you said. But this isn’t abnormal with all the pressure on both he and Hamilton. I just think people are wide of the mark in thinking Rosberg is a calm individual at the moment, where nothing fazes him.

      1. Formula Indonesia (@)
        26th August 2014, 13:10

        @nidzovski as a racing driver, he need to overtake car ahead of him, and as long there’s quite a room to overtake. There’s a lot of gap for Lewis to go right a little bit. And even if Lewis loses out, he can overtake Nico on the next corner. Why I am biased? Lewis
        gain a lot of sympathy in almost every media (including sky) and most people biased by Lewis

        1. @f1indofans Lewis was not blocking Nico and with that your whole theory drops in water. It’s one thing to be sympathetic and it’s another thing to be realistic. That’s it. Like I’ve said, I don’t hate no one in F1 and I’m always for the one who is better and most deserved driver to win.

          1. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 13:59

            I respect your view and I don’t think my view was 100% correct, well we should see FIA decision.

          2. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 14:00

            I respect your view and I don’t think my view was 100% correct. We will see FIA decision

          3. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 14:01

            @nidzovski I respect your view and I don’t think my view was 100% correct. We will see FIA decision

        2. @f1indofans I respect your view as well mate :). I can’t take the FIA decision for granted because the team should ask them to interfere which I highly doubt. There is a bigger chance that the team would like to settle the things internally than to call FIA for help. It’s just the way FIA works. If there is no complaint from any side than everything it’s cool. It’s wrong to say, as Nico did, that if FIA didn’t intervened then the move is OK. It’s like telling nobody saw me do it, can’t prove anything.

          1. Formula Indonesia (@)
            26th August 2014, 14:14

            @nidzovski sorry for my triple reply, my intrernet connection had a glitch

      2. @deej92 I agree with you 100%. Like I said. I don’t hate Nico. I admired his career until now as, he was capable of showing a decent pace from which ever car he was driving. But he is not coping very good with this circumstances.

  28. Imagine this scenario – Rosberg 30 points ahead going into Abu Dhabi, Hamilton catches him near the end of the race but can’t quite get the pass done. What happens next? :)

    Regardless of what the actual situation is or what everyone else thinks, Hamilton believes he was cheated off pole at Monaco and was cheated out of 25 points at Spa. If this gap in the WDC still exists in a couple race’s time, Hamilton will start pulling some really desperate moves!

  29. If the whole video was on-board, it’d be a lot easier to tell, but i’d say the circuit actually looks pretty darn fast.

    Many of the corners (up until the final sector) look surprisingly quick. A car with decent downforce will be lifting/dabbing the brakes on most of them.

    It actually seems like quite a different style circuit for Tilke (again, with the exception of the final sector, which is just Abu Dhabi). Even in this (comparitively) slow car, the corners come thick and fast and seem never ending, but they’re all pretty quick.

    Usually Tilke’s circuits include the mandatory long straight, and a mix of bends. This seems to be many quick flicks.

    I’m intrigued (forget the scenery, or lack there of, though!).

  30. It’s also worth noting the banked turn 1.. Was surprised to see that.

  31. And final addition to the Sochi circuit:

    Anyone else surprised by the lack of run-off for a modern day circuit? I know people are saying ‘it’s not a street circuit, look at the amount of run-off’, but as far as modern F1 goes, that’s not a lot of distance for run-offs, especially the neverending left at T3. Cars will be doing north of 140mph through that!

  32. I was hoping Vettel was doing this in an old F1 car. A 2012 Redbull. Quite disappointed that it wasn’t as that would give up a great indication of what the tracks like.

  33. Regarding COTD: No, please don’t :)

    1. Formula Indonesia (@)
      26th August 2014, 14:12

      Agree, i think it will be hard to judge because f1 could face a situation like 2011 Indian GP Massa-Hamilton

  34. Oh look! It’s Valencia-meets-Korea. Hooray!

  35. Manish Pandey @mpandey69

    Quote”Reflected on Belgian GP, overnight. @MercedesAMGF1 should drop @nico_rosberg for Italian GP. Best, simplest &, in a way, fairest sanction.”

    Best simplest fairest sanction ?

    for who? for you?

    You got to be kidding, get some sleep , your tweeting crap.

    it is what it is, Bad luck,

    Are you calling for Alonso’s race seat to be vacant because he hit Vettel ? why not?
    Are you calling for Magnussen to sit out next race because he more than once ran Alonso and Button out of track ? Why not?

    what rot!

    1. I don’t agree with Rosberg getting banned from the next race, but the word you’re looking for is ‘teammate’.

  36. In my opinion, It’s a cross between Valencia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Three typical dull, boring Tilkedromes. Hermann Tilke needs to be sacked by FIA. The only tracks I enjoy that were designed by him are COTA and Turkey. In that case, this track is s

    1. The problem, as with Korea and Valencia, is the walls everywhere. Every part of the track looks like any other. The race could be in the Mall of America parking lot. Usually, if you are on an urban track with all the walls, you are in an interesting urban area, like Long Beach, Monaco, Singapore. Here, through the fencing, you are just looking at a bunch of old stadiums never to be used again. Don’t know why they could not organize a Moscow street race. Plenty of big wide roads there, nice back drops.

  37. What exactly does F1 gain from yet another flat, purpose-built track winding through a repressive regime’s vanity mega-project? It’s sad state of affairs. And I think it’s becoming ever clearer that Bernie has in fact made an unholy pact with the undead so that he can outlive us all – purely out of spite.

    1. Tamara gets a new diamond, that’s what. Come on, it’s always about F1 this and F1 that with the so called ‘fans’… what about human beings such as Tamara, ever thought of what’s in it for them?!

      Those diamonds don’t pay for themselves you know.

      1. It’s true @john-h I’ve become blinded by my selfish desire for sustainable motorsport. Billionaires’ daughters are people too.

  38. Keith rolled up quite a lot of damaging testimony against Rosberg there. So be it. The remarkable thing about this incident is that front tire to rear wheel is a such an every day mistake that Nico could just own up to it and move on. Indeed, Alonso did the same thing in this very race and it was not a big deal. The fact that he even said he wanted to prove a point is just outrageous. If Hamilton clipped someone, as he has before, and then said, I wanted to show X driver that he better jump out the way the next time he sees me, people would be calling for race bans and talking about his Maturity. The other thing is that this is not McLaren; this is a factory team with lots of shareholders and stakelholders looking to see why the F1 money is not being spent on next x35i xDrive X9 Grant Tourismo Frozen Edition. People in Stuttgart have jobs on the line if this season goes pear-shaped. And with a couple more of these keystone cops races, RBR could be right back in this thing for the WDC.

    In the Sochi video I was looking to see a little clinic on driving a fast road car on a racing circuit by an F1 champ, but all I saw was a lot of drifting and one-handed driving LOL. I’m thinking this is not what they teach at the local HPDE. I’m sure the Renault director told him to make it look interesting. That Q50 makes a nice noise though and looks pretty handy on a track.

  39. A few comments:
    1. As at least a few people have mentioned (saw @bascb ‘s comment in particular) the Sochi circuit looks like some amalgam of Korea, Valencia, India. That is, boring circuits that are superwide, and framed by asphalt and concrete. The track could be better come race weekend, but it currently looks abysmal. I certainly hope that these countries, kingdoms, sultanates find other uses for these tracks (though that often seems to not be the case) because otherwise they are wastes of effort, time, and “design.” Ugh, this thing is horrific.

    2. So now Massa thinks someone should be penalized for “causing an accident?” That’s rich to say the least. He attempts do drive through MAG’s McLaren in Germany as if it isn’t there and then blames Kevin. But a far more marginal tap should be penalized. I’ve given Felipe benefit of the doubt for years but he should just shut up and collect his paycheck behind his more talented teammate (how many is that in a row now?).

    3. Regarding the CotD – I don’t think implementing this rule would help out much. You would still have to judge who is at fault (which is already the case) and I think it would simply add (back) more penalties rather than getting them right. And if the rule really would lead to a situation where “the onus is very much on the following driver to not initiate contact with a car in front – no matter what,” that is not an F1 that I want to watch. I don’t want to have a contact sport, but creating a situation where the attacking driver is responsible for all of the risk and the defender has none is unbalanced.

    4. As I have said in comments on the ROS/HAM on other articles here, I think the situation was not entirely one-sided, both could have avoided it but I assign slightly more blame to ROS as he had a better view. However, this thing where the leading driver can take the “driving line” regardless of whether or not someone is alongside is ridiculous, in my opinion.

    1. Please explain how a driver doing 240km/h would be able to see someone in the back and yet blind spot for that matter! Even when you drive on the highway its the duty of the driver behind to exercise caution! ? As the option to make a pass was not there NR should have been more patient! This is coming from NR fan he has better brains than LH, he is way overated

  40. Hate to add when I just left a super long comment, but one more thing. Part of the reason that I hate these Tilke-fests is that they are monotonous. And part of the reason for that monotony—aside from lack of creativity, severe cut and paste mentality, and the flat and boring locations—is that every single track seems to be an attempt to be fair to every car. By that I mean that it has a technical section and a speed section and is super wide. As if the issue with passing is simply the width of the track.

    If Tilke was building one track to add to F1 for his entire career, I could understand the impetus to design a “balanced” track. But given how many of these things he’s done, why not build some aero/technical circuits (like a Hungary or Monaco) and some that benefit engines more. Over the course of the season it will level out somewhat.

    Getting rid of Tilke may be a close second in the ‘Reasons I Want Bernie Gone’ list.

  41. Infiniti have recently released a well-reviewed M5 rival, but they give a Formula 1 driver one of the first filmed laps of a Formula 1 track in a hybrid version? That’s interesting advertising. By which I mean bad. That’s bad advertising, Infiniti.

  42. The clip of Seb driving the new track in Sochi was really interesting, very street feel to the circuit. Plenty of barriers for good measure. Political feelings aside, this new track could throw up some good racing. Like the Korean track, great track just in the wrong place on the face of the planet.

  43. Wolff suggested that Rosberg had not caused the accident deliberately, but said that “he could have avoided crashing but didn’t, in order to make a point”.

    Um…what? Seems like a distinction without a difference.

    1. Yup, +1

      It wasn’t deliberate, he just, er, arranged for the cars’ trajectories to intersect, Toto.

  44. I don’t like this track.

  45. What an ugly track. We have Austria, Silverstone, Spa, and now … this.

    Cage Racing, is all you can call it.

  46. I’m really struggling to remember an F1 circuit *so* bad. Maybe the original Phoenix Arizona layout? Nah, the triple apex bumpy final corner was awesome to watch Senna tackle (tho quite scary for Hakkinen’s first ever race when the steering wheel came off in his hands). So I reckon Sochi is the worst at least for the last 30 years. There are hardly any corners which connect meaningfully with any other, so there is no tradeoff to be made in compromising one to improve the other.

    Worst of all though, this circuit isn’t even safe. The 2nd half of the pitstraight is very narrow, especially if the overtaker finds that someone happens to be exiting the pits… It’s as if the circuit designer has never considered how incredibly dangerous it is when crashed cars are littering a narrowly walled in and very fast straight. Korea got away with it, and now we’re doing it all over again.

    There are many bridges only about 4m from the ground, possibly the riskiest may be at 1:10 in the video, just as drivers start to brake for the right hander immediately after the long looping left hander Turkey/COTA/Korea/. Tyre contact between drivers could possibly lead to a nasty bridge impact. Probably won’t happen tho.

    The right hander at the end of the back straight has a wall converging towards the exit, so it’ll be interesting to see if drivers still get squeezed out into this wall if they’re trying to overtake round the outside.

    Then there is the pit entry… Currently, drivers will brake for the pitlane entry on the far left – exactly the same line as those not entering the pitlane, but with the key difference that they will unexpectedly need to hit the brakes about 40 metres earlier than the car behind expects them to… So we have great potential for contact between the cars with a massive speed difference, resulting in catastrophe.
    Hopefully they will install bollards near the corner at the pitlane entry, forcing pitting driver to turn in to the corner from the right hand side. This would fix the problem, leaving little benefit to braking on the left hand side of the track. But with levels of imagination demonstrably at an all time low (judging on the basis of this circuit…), I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody spots this problem until first practice, and then relies on blind hope to make it through the weekend.

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