Vergne among Toro Rosso’s best drivers – Tost

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014In the round-up: Franz Tost says outgoing driver Jean-Eric Vergne is Toro Rosso’s best driver who did not make it to Red Bull, as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have done.


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Vergne the best to leave Toro Rosso – Tost (Crash)

“From the drivers so far I think he is the best, yes. Although Sebastien Buemi also did a good job and is also a highly-skilled driver, which he shows at Toyota.”

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“I have seen a very strong Bernie coming back from the shutdown, coming back after the court case has been settled. And this is good news.”

Belgian GP steward: “It took 10 seconds to decide there was no case to answer (James Allen on F1)

Belgian Grand prix driver streward Emanuele Pirro: “How can you say that a driver does something like this on purpose? Rosberg did not have a chance to pass and usually in such situations, it’s you who crashes and loses. But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”

Vettel gets new chassis for Monza (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “We need to check to see if anything has actually broken on the car. It was extremely unusual what we saw.”

Race Team Update 2015 (Red Bull)

“We are also pleased to confirm that Gianpiero Lambiase will be joining the team next season to work as Sebastian [Vettel’s] race engineer.”

Decoding the code of conduct (Sky)

“In Rosberg’s interpretation of racing etiquette, Hamilton transgressed in Bahrain, but not in Hungary. But we are talking here about individual drivers’ interpretation of what is acceptable – not of breaking any sporting rule.”

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2001, Magny-Cours, 2001The First Time – with Marussia’s Jules Bianchi (F1)

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Jules Bianchi: It was Michael Schumacher. When I was young my life revolved around motorsport. I started go-karting when I was three years old and then I watched Formula One and I liked Michael because he was winning at the time.”

Hellmund’s Revenge (The Austin Chronicle)

“While [Tavo] Hellmund’s name was rarely heard inside the fence on the weekend of the first race, [Bernie] Ecclestone actually paid for a sign saying ‘Get well Gustavo’ outside the gates of the circuit, when the elder Hellmund was ill.”

The quick-working Len Terry (MotorSport)

“His preference for picking and choosing also left him at the whim of others’ financial peccadilloes. One-offs provide little security. That’s why, once the farcical ‘Stanley Steamer’ BRM P207 of 1977 – “There were people there who didn’t want it to succeed” – had holed his reputation below the water line, he penned Merc SSK replicas and retro-look delivery vans.”

Red Bull Racing’s RB8 Tearing it Up in Infrared (FLIR via YouTube)


Comment of the day

@William-Brierty’s thoughts on how Mercedes might defuse the Hamilton-Rosberg row.

The options are limited and perhaps the best option is to merely allow the respected pace of Hamilton and Rosberg establish a pecking order between them. I say that because time is both the most passive and effective healer, what must stop though is the absurd suggestion that Rosberg’s move is anything more sinister than mere clumsiness.

Rosberg is clever, but he is not a genius, so to sacrifice his front wing in the remote hope of hitting the vulnerable inside shoulder of the tyre at a couple a hundred miles an hour would be like trying to swat a fly with a drinking straw. The contact cannot have been intentional, it was merely a clumsy half move that confirms that Nico just isn’t on the same level as Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in wheel-to-wheel combat.

Yes, Rosberg has now benefited from two “errors” (Spa and Monaco), and yes, the clever Rosberg realises that the psychological momentum of the 2014 drivers’ championship might be the key to the 2015 drivers’ championship too (with Mercedes likely to be able to retain their advantage over a winter with relative technical stability), so a Schuey-esque approach from Nico is feasible, but on both occasions Rosberg’s antics don’t appear remotely malicious.

That does not make his handling of the situation post-race any less abhorrent. I did not require CCTV evidence to tell PC Plod that the Mercedes saloon in the ditch was a fair cop, so why, when it must have been immediately apparent to Rosberg that he’d just ruined Mercedes’ Belgian Grand Prix, did he so stoically refuse to apologise?

Stoic to such an extent that he felt it necessary to insult the intelligence of the booing crowd of European fans (sorry Nico, but the German guy I sat next to was booing too), as mere patriotism on the part of the British; patriotism that is somehow misplaced due to the fact that most fans haven’t read the FIA’s Sporting Regulations cover to cover. There is no more guaranteed method of being greeted on the podium at Monza to sound of a booing Tifosi than to insult that acumen of the sport’s faithful; those on which the sport rely.

I have no doubt that either Nico is trying to mess with Lewis’ head by allegedly saying he was trying to “prove a point” in the post-race debrief or that Lewis is quite rightfully playing politics in the media, but I can guarantee you ladies and gentlemen that the undoubtedly clever Rosberg did not see an attractive offer in the shape of guaranteed front wing damage for the small chance of puncturing Lewis’ tyre but rather put his nose where it shouldn’t have been. That doesn’t mean Nico can be trusted in the future though.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonBenetton were the focus of more controversy in the Belgian Grand Prix 20 years ago today. Michael Schumacher was disqualified from victory after the plank underneath his car was found to have worn down too much. That handed victory to his championship rival Damon Hill.

An article on this race will appear here later today as part of F1 Fanatic’s retrospective on the 1994 F1 season.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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147 comments on Vergne among Toro Rosso’s best drivers – Tost

  1. Vergne may have shown the best of his potential during his time at STR (and he has been pretty good) but I always felt that Alguersuari, who was axed aged 21 always had a lot more to give…

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 28th August 2014, 0:29

      @craig-o Pretty much what I was going to say.

      For me, he was one of the best young drivers in 2011, and the way they got rid of him was despicable.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 28th August 2014, 0:31

      @craig-o Interestingly, Ricciardo was born in Jun-89, Alguersuari Mar-90, Vergne Apr-90. So arguably Alguersuari and Ricciardo were the wrong way around… and it showed, with the niggles the latter two both went through at times.

      • Strontium (@strontium) said on 28th August 2014, 0:35

        I wasn’t aware that Alguersuari was actually quite that young! I knew he was 19 when he started, yes, but seeing it written like this gives a different / better perspective, and shows that maybe there is a hint of hope for his future career in F1 / false optimism.

      • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 28th August 2014, 0:35

        Ricciardo is now at the stage Hamilton was at in late 2009/early 2010.. a very strong period for him, in the new rule set, and also the same age…. So can we compare Hamilton’s first 2.5 seasons with Ricciardo’s?

    • Yes (@come-on-kubica) said on 28th August 2014, 0:39

      I was going to say the same thing. The second half of the 2011 season was very strong for Alguersauri and I thought he was getting to grips with F1, in a poor Toro Rosso car. I still think he can do a job nowadays, but there are a few drivers wasting seats ie Massa and Maldonado.

      • JKorz said on 28th August 2014, 10:53

        I don’t agree about Massa being a waste of a seat in F1..
        How do we know how much off a difference he’s made at Williams, and where they’d be this season without him ? He has been very unlucky too, but from a fan/viewers perspective he is entertaining and liked by many.. and its widely reported that Ferrari regret not keeping him.

        Maldonado has played the F1 Evil villain role well but with Rosberg eclipsing him needs to go…(and isn’t..) No skilled pay drivers like Chilton and Sutil are on borrowed time.
        Raikkonen and Button won’t be here much longer and we might even lose one/both of them before next season.
        Also with new teams potentially joining the grid soon there will be extra opportunity’s in F1, assuming they don’t fill a void left by Caterham or Marussia departing.

        There is no shortage of other formula’s to prove yourself in either, when has a young aspiring racing driver ever has more choice?
        Maybe give the teams more opportunity to test with young drivers, otherwise I don’t think its as bad as some people make out.
        Final point..
        There’s a reason Ricciardo was favored over Vergne.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 28th August 2014, 11:47

          The difference Massa is making at Williams is more or less 35% of Bottas points. The sponsoring would be similar, thanks to Nasr.

          Btw, Ferrari regret not keeping him because Massa was for all intents and purposes the first FDA driver, they kept him at Sauber for those years before Barrichello left, it was a blow having to fire him after, well, a career. Also, Raikkonen is performing worse and being payed more.

    • @craig-o Wrong. Alguersuari’s age gave him more notoriety than he deserved Buemi was consistently slightly quicker even if a little more prone to bad luck.

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 28th August 2014, 2:28

      Well this was a bit worrying:

      Don’t forget the philosophy of Toro Rosso. It’s the team for the young drivers and after three years you are no longer a young driver.

      So if Max is still at Toro Rosso aged 20 he’s going to be old? haha.

      I do like Mr Tost, he seems like a real competitive, racing type guy but I bet deep inside he must feel like all the work he’s doing is a waste of time, the most he can hope for is that one of his drivers is poached by Red Bull… that’s it!

      That is how we should measure Franz’ success, not by how many wins or podiums his team has achieved but whether or not one of Helmut’s teenagers is ready for the big team when a seat is vacant.
      I seriously don’t know why he’s been there for so long.

  2. Breno (@austus) said on 28th August 2014, 0:28

    Vergne can be as good as he wants, but you cant stay in Toro Rosso forever, thats the idea of the team. Best of luck to him.

    Hopefully this time the chassis doesnt double Vettel’s problems.

    • skipgamer (@skipgamer) said on 28th August 2014, 2:28

      Let’s be frank, there’s no lack of places to go. Quite a few mid-field drivers are getting long in the tooth, and some big names/places in potentially top teams are showing their age too. Considering Vergne was close enough or near abouts to Ricciardo during their time together, there’s no conceivable reason why he shouldn’t get at least half a shot in a decent team.

      Imagine the talent he could have shown in Raikkonen’s Ferrari or Massa’s Williams this year and you kind of get where I’m headed.

      It will really make me sad to see him take a sidestep or a backwards step to another back-marker/mid-field team while Ricciardo goes on to glory considering how truly close the two were at Torro Rosso.

      • Aaron said on 28th August 2014, 3:49

        I think JEV has real race craft but I don’t think RIC and JEV were as close as most people think. RIC spanked JEV in qualy showing he had more raw speed however getting to q3 ment he had less tyres for the race and RICs achillies heel is his starts, it’s ok in the bull because it’s got the pace but in the Rosso he lost spots at the start and the car wasn’t good enough to get them back. I do however think that JEV needs another spot in F1, replace one of the sauber drivers maybe???

        • I’m so glad someone else agrees with me on this. Everyone always says that JEV was close to Dan but those “in the know” realize the only reason JEV was ever close in the race was because he had a tyre advantage over Dan. Often Dan would drag the car into the top 10 when it had no right to be there. This put him only 1 or two spots ahead of JEV but with less tyre to finish the race. The fact that Dan actually beat him so often under these circumstances explains why he was chosen. Dan’s consistency and speed are amazing considering the life he gets out of his tyres!

      • PeterG said on 28th August 2014, 13:23

        The problem is that unless Red Bull keep funding him he will have no funding at all beyond this year so will have a hard time getting into one of those open seats.

        It was the same reason Algersuari hasn’t raced anywhere the past few years, Red Bull took away all his funding & with teams needing funding he’s not found anything until Formula E came along.

        Its actually one of the issues with the Red Bull program for drivers who have been in it throughout there racing career. Red Bull secure all your backing, They handle all negotiations with teams etc…. So when they drop you you are left with no funding, No experience of getting funding yourself & no experience with negotiating with teams to get a race seat.

        If you go back the only Ex-STR driver who managed to get another F1 drive was Liuzzi because they brought him into there program fairly late on & he had some backing & stuff from before that.
        The rest spent a few years after been dropped trying to put something together & most never managed to get another regular F1 drive despite Algersuari, Buemi & Klien all showing good speed in F1.

        but you cant stay in Toro Rosso forever, thats the idea of the team

        Which i’ve always felt is wrong.
        A team should be in F1 to do the best for itself, It should be picking the best drivers to do the best for for that team to get the team.

        STR is the only team not run like that, Its not there to do the best for itself, Its there to find drivers for another team & its a complete joke.

        Finding the best young drivers should be left to the junior categories.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th August 2014, 8:04

      @austus that’s cold but that’s the truth.

  3. lockup (@lockup) said on 28th August 2014, 0:30

    So Emanuele Pirro thinks taking 10 seconds to decide makes it a quality decision? No replays?

    They only needed to do a frame-by-frame of the onboard to see Rosberg’s steering wheel turn into the corner, go straight, then go fully 90 degrees right as Lewis’ rear wheel goes past – far more steering input than the corner calls for. Slam dunk.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 28th August 2014, 0:33

      It was, in fairness, the back end stepping out, but nevertheless this does make it Nico’s fault.

      I agree, this is one of the most rash and rushed decisions the FIA have ever made, but it’s better that they do this than make the wrong decision.

      • Ryan (@ryanisjones) said on 28th August 2014, 1:47

        How do we know it’s the right decision. In 2011 Hamilton crashed into Maldanado in Monaco. He had much more of his car alongside when Maldanado turned in (on the racing line), and Hamilton went over the corner trying to avoid the incident. He got a 20 second penalty.

        Rosberg had only his wing alongside, (more responsibility to back out) and by his own admission did not try to avoid the contact. Stewards give no penalty in 10 second decision…

        Also the QOTD is nonsense. You cannot be purposefully clumsy. What is with the ridiculous attempts by people on this site to vindicate Rosberg despite his own admission of guilt.

        Also some should stop making the unsubstantiated claim that Rosberg is so clever. If everything he’s done so far is on purpose, then maybe they’re on to something. But hot headedness, rash decisions and clumsy mistakes are not the hallmarks of any intelligent people I know. Sounds like QOTD post knows him personally.

        • TribalTalker (@tribaltalker) said on 28th August 2014, 8:40

          @ryanisjones …”ridiculous attempts by people on this site to vindicate Rosberg despite his own admission of guilt”.

          See: Rosberg denies Hamilton’s account of Spa crash on this site.

          • Ryan (@ryanisjones) said on 28th August 2014, 9:51

            Have you read that article or listened to the Vlog. Rosberg does not deny Lewis’ version (implying Lewis is lying), he says he sees it differently (has a different opinion). That does not mean that Lewis lied about what Rosberg said, just that they have different conclusions.

            Also Rosberg does not deny the opinion of the team.
            – SSN reports that the Mercedes boss has confirmed Rosberg acknowledged “he could have avoided crashing but didn’t [in order to] make a point.”

            In other words Rosberg definitely said he could have avoided the incident and chose not to (to make a point). Which is an admission of guilt. Racing incidents are supposed to be incidents where it would be very hard to avoid the crash. Since half the grid and Rosberg himself have admitted that he could have avoided it, then how much more proof does someone need that there should have been a penalty. As said before, you cannot be purposefully clumsy.

        • Strontium (@strontium) said on 28th August 2014, 10:43

          @ryanisjones I’m not saying this is the right decision, what I meant was at least nobody got a penalty rather than Hamilton. You never know with the FIA’s decisions.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th August 2014, 13:21

          @ryanisjones – If you’d properly read my COTD post you’d notice that I am merely saying Rosberg was accidentally clumsy in the move and not remotely malicious, as I felt was the case in Monaco too.

          • Ryan (@ryanisjones) said on 28th August 2014, 14:28

            If you read my post, I said Rosberg admitted to purposely not avoiding the collision, which by definition, makes the collision neither accidental, nor clumsy. He also said he did this to ‘prove a point’ which is as close to the definition of malicious as you could get.

            I have not misread your comment, I am refuting the central point of your whole argument.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th August 2014, 15:23

            @ryanisjones – Do you have an official transcript of the meeting or audio recording? No, the words of an aggrieved Lewis Hamilton. And even if Rosberg portrayed the event as malicious in retrospect, there is no way he would have essentially surrendered a chance to win the grand prix in the remote hope of tagging the vulnerable 5cm wide inside shoulder of Hamilton’s tyre at a couple hundred miles an hour: Q.E.D. the move was not malicious.

          • Ryan (@ryanisjones) said on 28th August 2014, 15:36


            Do you have an official transcript of the meeting or audio recording?

            No, I have the admission from the Mercedes team boss. – SSN reports that the Mercedes boss has confirmed Rosberg acknowledged “he could have avoided crashing but didn’t [in order to] make a point.”

            And even if Rosberg portrayed the event as malicious in retrospect

            He did.

            there is no way he would have essentially surrendered a chance to win the grand prix in the remote hope of tagging the vulnerable 5cm wide inside shoulder of Hamilton’s tyre at a couple hundred miles an hour

            No way? Yet that is exactly what happened. Also please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying he was hoping to puncture Hamilton’s tyre. I am saying he chose not to avoid a crash that he could avoid (by his own admission) and was his responsibility to avoid.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th August 2014, 16:57

            @ryanisjones – Please sir, whilst Rosberg acted like a petulant child after the race, he categorically did not essentially chose to lose a race through guaranteed wing damage he could have won just to prove a point regarding Hamilton’s moves in Bahrain and Hungary; an invalid point at that. It is simply fanciful and sensationalist to cast the red veil of malice over a simple mistake, and an unverified and unlikely remark made behind closed doors, which if was confirmed would likely just an attempt to stir things up, is no evidence to the contrary.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 19:06

            @william-brierty It wasn’t a couple of hundred miles an hour. I expect it was less than 100.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 29th August 2014, 10:49

            @matt90 – I am of course aware of that, but to try and purposefully hit the very narrow inside shoulder over of an other F1 car’s tyre in a medium speed corner when the driver is submarined behind his steering wheel and cannot therein see his front wing or much of Lewis’ left rear would be like trying to thread the eye of an needle whilst on a water-slide in SeaWorld.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th August 2014, 12:03

            If you’re aware of that why on Earth did you say otherwise? If your argument needs such unnecessary hyperbole to distort the facts then it can’t be that strong. After all, the idea that a talented F1 driver couldn’t run into a slow moving (relative to them) and entirely predictable (the track only goes one way and it’s pretty clear where another driver will place his car) target, where really you only need to run into a fairly wide and fat-walled tyre from either behind or the side, seems very strange to me. I highly doubt he was aiming for a puncture actually, but I find the idea that trying to do so would be some feat of wizardry to be quite far off.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 29th August 2014, 17:48

            @matt90 – Trivial off-hand hyperbole in this instance didn’t appear to sufficiently damage my argument to make it unworthy of COTD! I can safely inform you that to successfully target the 5cm wide inside shoulder of a Pirelli tyre in a medium speed corner (Le Combes is by no means slow) with an implement the driver cannot see (an effect accentuated by the fact that Rosberg sits notably lower in the car than Lewis) would indeed be an act of wizardry, when normally it is skillful simply to avoid contact in such close combat.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th August 2014, 0:37

            COTD can be given because you said something divisive, or because a section of your comment was interesting. Although it’s nice to get one, it doesn’t make anything you say hold water any more than anything I say. And I simply still refute the idea that running against another car’s tyre (what is this 5cm patch?) is an act of exception skill rather than just reasonably good judgement. I doubt it would happen accidentally so frequently if that were the case.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 30th August 2014, 15:20

            @matt90 – I would suggest the fact that pundits like Martin Brundle, Allan McNish, Anthony Davidson and Ted Kravitz also think it would be an act of extraordinary skill to target the non-reinforced 5cm wide inside shoulder of the tyre (the majority of the sidewall and the entirety of the tread is protected by a Kevlar belt which sits between canvas and the nitrogen chamber) when the driver is so unsighted, as was also the opinion of Belgium’s FIA Driver Representative Emanuele Pirro [when asked by Brundle], bares my argument in quite a good light.

        • PeterG said on 28th August 2014, 13:28

          In 2011 Hamilton crashed into Maldanado in Monaco. He had much more of his car alongside when Maldanado turned in (on the racing line), and Hamilton went over the corner trying to avoid the incident. He got a 20 second penalty.

          You can’t really compare as at the time the stewards were been told to investigate every incident & penalize anything which damaged another drivers race.

          A few months ago the FIA (At the request of the teams, Drivers & fans) told the stewards to be more lenient, Not investigate everything & leave room for something to just be a racing incident.

          If you go back to 2011, After Monaco & later at Singapore many fans were complaining about how penalty’s were been handed out too often & that small misjudgements (Like Hamilton/Massa at Singapore that year which was fairly similar to Lewis/Nico at Spa) didn’t warrant a penalty.
          And it was the same through 2012/13 & earlier this year, Hence why the FIA have now took a more lenient stance.

      • lockup (@lockup) said on 28th August 2014, 8:04

        @strontium No the steering I am talking about was the opposite direction from correcting the back end.

        Your second sentence is weird too tbh. Because it was a rushed decision – entirely prejudged by the sound of it – it was the wrong decision.

        There is no reason any driver would have their steering wheel 90 degrees to the right in that corner. Well, no honest reason anyway. It’s damning, but the stewards didn’t even look at it.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 1:35

      He’s right though, you can’t judge intent very easily until it hits the fan after the race. And as Strontium says, he was correcting and just keeping his car straight. If Rosberg hit Hamilton intentionally, he only needed to let Hamilton run into him on entry to the upcoming corner rather than turn in and risk it being obvious.

    • @lockup Rosberg is the slam dunk champion.

    • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 28th August 2014, 1:59

      Watching the replays numerous times I also think Rosberg had to correct a moment of oversteer just a split-second before they touched. It is extremely likely he just hasn’t had time to react – braking in that situation would’ve just re-ignited that loose moment, and it should be a gut feeling for a driver not to do half a second after correcting such a moment. On the top of that, Hamilton was just ever so slightly deep into that complex, he obviously braked very late and just slight a bit wide on the exit of the left-hander.

      Now I don’t say it wasn’t Rosberg’s fault. If anything, getting the car loose a few moments before seemed to be an error in the first place. But it’s not at all that obvious that he deliberately left the front there, which makes his alleged post-race meeting comments all the more interesting.

    • It took me 10seconds to find this bit on wiki ;)
      “Despite scoring a point at Monaco Pirro was largely outpaced by team-mate JJ Lehto and still had a habit of getting involved in accidents (notably qualifying well in 7th at the Hungaroring only to collide immediately with Stefano Modena). He was unable to find another Formula One drive for 1992.”

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 13:02

        What’s your point?

        • No point, just sarcasm.
          The irony stemming from someone who didn’t understand they were crashing too often in F1 also saw the nico/lewis contact as not being a problem.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 14:53

            How do you know Pirro didn’t understand that he was crashing too often? Also, I couldn’t find anything besides wikipedia (un-sourced) which mentioned that Hungarian race. There was no contact in the first corner by the looks of things, and Pirro’s DNF was engine related. Also, in qualifying at least it doesn’t look like Pirro was outpaced by Lehto. I’d question the reliability of that quote.

            I’ve probably taken this far more seriously than you, but as Pirro is a 5 times Le Mans winner it would be nice not to see him done an injustice.

        • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th August 2014, 13:53

          @matt90 Pirro is OK with most crashes. No brainer mate.

        • I was just kidding; since Pirro took only 10seconds to form his opinion of the Spa race contact I took 10seconds to form an opinion about Pirro’s driving…that was the joke, I thought the ;) would make that clear.
          Sorry to all the Pirro fans, I in no way meant to deny his driving skill, driving achievements or his general good character.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th August 2014, 7:35

      «Pressed on his view that there was nothing intentional about it, given that Hamilton has said since that Rosberg did it ‘on purpose”, Pirro said, ” How can you say that a driver does something like this on purpose? Rosberg did not have a chance to pass and usually in such situations, it’s you who crashes and loses. But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”»

      Having motorsports experience is fundamental but those guys must read other books. The old method of cost-benefit analysis could be easily applied. Maybe FIA should have a behavioral economist there :I

      It’s very simple: if there’s a racing incident the starter gets punished if his costs are smaller than his benefits…

      In my book, loosing grip for a few laps and taking your main competitor out of the race qualifies for, at least, a drive through.

      Lewis must learn from Spa 2014. Nico must learn from Spa 2014. FIA must learn from Spa 2014.

      And Mr Pirro makes a joke of himself comparing Alonso/Vettel with Rosberg/Hamilton.

    • tgu (@thegrapeunwashed) said on 28th August 2014, 8:36

      I don’t understand what Emanuele Pirro is saying. He seems to think that it couldn’t have been on purpose because (1) there was no passing opportunity and (2) Rosberg was likely to come off worse. Is that right?

      On (1) he is correct, but is he saying that bad driving isn’t penalised if there was no attempt to pass? That’s not in the rule book.

      On (2) he thinks that putting your wing alongside a tyre will usually result in more damage to you than your opponent, but we know that these tyres are very easy to puncture even when just grazed by a wing endplate. It’s a lot quicker (and does a lot less damage to the car) to drive back to the pits without a front wing than with a flat – and Spa is the longest track of the season so the advantage is multiplied several times over. The Mercs were up to 2 seconds a lap quicker than the other cars, Rosberg could afford to waste time getting his nose changed (and indeed did) and still have a chance at victory; but a puncture at Les Combes was always going to damage the car’s aero as well as inflict a massive time penalty on Hamilton.

      I’m not saying that Rosberg planned to puncture Hamilton’s tyre, but he stuck his nose in knowing that Hamilton would come off much worse if they collided. I doubt Hamilton even looked in the mirror as he took the racing line, he had clearly won the corner and would have just assumed Rosberg would slot in behind. It was a cynical move be Rosberg, petulant and calculated, he shouldn’t have been allowed to get away with it.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th August 2014, 9:08

        @thegrapeunwashed that’s my point just above. If your benefits exceed your costs after a bad action, the compensation system should kick-in, i.e., a penalty should be handed.

        Nico’s costs: damaged front wing, lost of lap time and extra time needed in the pits to change his nose.

        Nico’s benefits: a shot at collecting 25 points while brutally diminishing the chances of your main opponent scoring any points.

        Do the math and come up with a decision. Easy.

        • tgu (@thegrapeunwashed) said on 29th August 2014, 8:42

          @jcost That would be a good solution. The stewards could have investigated the incident after the race and decided how much to punish Nico. I can understand them not awarding a penalty if they felt it was 50/50, but on this occasion he was entirely to blame – and benefited massively. There is no excuse for not penalising him.

      • JKorz said on 28th August 2014, 11:12

        Well if you won’t say i will..
        Rosberg was hoping for the outcome he got..
        Its been discussed many times over the past few seasons, they made the wings narrower in regulations to try and stop it happening so much.
        And its not the first time someone has benefitted from the same move.
        In my opinion Rosberg is cold and calculating and this wasn’t some rash reaction or clumsy mistake.

        • tgu (@thegrapeunwashed) said on 28th August 2014, 11:37

          Ant Davidson dissects the incident here –

          Even though ant gives Rosberg the benefit of the doubt (as to intention) he is convinced that he should have been penalised. A racing incident is when both parties are to blame, Rosberg was 100% at fault here, he should have been clobbered by the stewards.

          • MagicSpin said on 28th August 2014, 13:02

            Rosberg only got it a fraction wrong whilst his car was on the edge. It was somewhat extraordinary also in that Hamilton had braked so late and held his corner so well – enough to scare Vettel off the track the lap before. While it’s true that ROS needed to back off, even the best drivers get clumsy. What comes to my mind is Hamilton puncturing Massa at Singapore, 2011. Just clumsy; it would be a shame to penalise all such incidents which would be ignored without the puncture happening

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 28th August 2014, 10:33

      Why do you think they should have done frame-by-frame analysis? I think such analyses are often misleading and usually only show what the viewer wants to see. Those are split-second actions taken by the drivers on track in the heat of the moment, so the perception that you can actually understand them by meticulously analyzing every millisecond is in my opinion questionable at best.

    • I have read thru all the posts here about steering angle and correction of oversteer. One point I would like to make is that it was too soon to make such a high risk move at a corner where a pass wouldn’t have mattered.
      Lewis had to go defensive on the previous straight and the DRS would have been enabled on the next lap. It was lap 2 of a 44 lap race and they were both nearly two seconds ahead of the field.
      If Nico just wanted to pass and win the race he would have waited a few seconds for an easy DRS assisted pass in the middle of a straight.
      The only reason to be where Nico was … to make a point and make contact deliberately.

  4. Vergne is the “best of the rest” in Toro Rosso history. But give Kvyat a couple of years more, maybe 3 for MaxV, and they willl make Tost say “JEV who?”

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th August 2014, 1:15

    I seem to recall a few years ago Vettel getting a new chassis to cure a mystery complaint that was causing him to see too much of Webbers exhaust, it seemed to work but I think that later in the year after a wreck Webber ended up driving Vettels original chassis quite succesfully, placebo effect ?

    • Breno (@austus) said on 28th August 2014, 1:19

      Earlier this year Vettel asked to change chassis to the one he used during testing. That weekend his car was rotten.

      • Kartik said on 28th August 2014, 4:01

        After chassis change
        Spain – No FP running and Gearbox failure in Q3
        Monaco – Turbo Failure in R
        Austria – Engine issue
        Spa – Exhaust breakdown
        Good thing is his 5th engine is not damaged , but penalties is surely waiting for him at the next 7 races

  6. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 28th August 2014, 1:28

    10 seconds hahahaha. Ludicrous

  7. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th August 2014, 1:36

    I’m hoping that Bernie being let off (through a bribe no less, lol) will see the return of reason to the double points thing, and hopefully it’ll be scrapped.

    I got the impression that the double points was just an attempt to deflect attention from his court case to something else. I dunno.
    Hopefully common sense will prevail.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 28th August 2014, 10:51

      @tophercheese21 I think double points was a way for Bernie to get more money from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

      It is a real shame, as, with the way this season has unfolded, I am almost certain that whichever Mercedes driver does best will be the one to win the championship. It is completely artificial and if I were a driver who won like this I would be very clear and say that I am not happy and don’t deserve it.

  8. PaulT (@pault) said on 28th August 2014, 1:42

    @William-Brierty COTD – Well said, couldn’t agree more.

  9. MattyPF1 (@mattypf1) said on 28th August 2014, 1:47

    I can understand that Vergne has done a great job for Toro Rosso and despite his car problems this year, his performances in his F1 career have shown that he still deserves another chance at F1 next year. But while I do think that Buemi is a pretty good driver, it still annoys me that Alguersauri was overlooked and seen as a lesser talent against Buemi. Before Verstappen, he was the youngest driver in F1 and brought up quite quickly in 2009 during his FR3.5 campaign.

    Understandably, when he first started, he didn’t shine too much against Buemi considering Buemi race a full season that year. But after that, I’m not sure about Franz Tost, but I saw a rising star in Jaime Alguersauri and in my opinion, over his time in F1, he was a very quiet achiever, kind of like how Nico Hulkenberg has been most of his F1 career. But as soon as Daniel Ricciardo got signed for Toro Rosso in 2012, I instantly thought ‘bye bye Buemi’. But when I heard it was Alguersauri, I was destroyed cause I knew that he wouldn’t get signed to another team as they had either no interest in him or there was nowhere for Jaime to go.

    So in all reality, if 24 or even 22 is too young, then I can see why they didn’t take Da Costa and why they signed Kvyat and Verstappen.

  10. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 28th August 2014, 2:05

    I met and had a long chat with Gianpiero Lambiase once (in which he spent most of the time saying how fantastic a driver Perez is and how hard done he was by McLaren) – lovely guy and will no doubt do a fab job at Red Bull. Big step up for him – congrats!

  11. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 28th August 2014, 2:32

    I love that FLIR video, there’s much more detail than FOM’s cameras, for instance you can see a little bit the coanda effect and I think some of the internal structures underneath the bodywork.

    • I read the April 2014 press release FLIR did. Some of the dimensions on their equipment made me wonder if the cameras might be on car during practice?
      The promotional video was neat but I would love to see some underbody component views someday.

  12. John H (@john-h) said on 28th August 2014, 7:56

    I expect to see more tyre slicing in future races, seen as the precedent has been set.

    As has been mentioned before the Alonso-Vettel incident was different as the side wall was not struck, hence the chance of puncture was much less.

    I don’t understand the decision not to give a drive through, but at least there were no Ali G comments from Hamilton this time I guess.

    • salcrich said on 28th August 2014, 9:17

      @john-h I wouldn’t hold your breathe – it is my impression that these sorts of collisions usually result in far more damage to the front wing than the car in front. Yes punctures do occur but despite the hysterical allegations on this site – I suspect that the chances of successfully “kissing” a rear tyre in just the right spot to cause a puncture at speeds over 100mph would require sustained practice or superhuman skill.

      • JimG (@jimg) said on 28th August 2014, 10:17

        So you’re saying that in order to pull it off you’d have to be one of the best drivers in the world? Like maybe one of the top 22? Hmmm….

        • salcrich said on 28th August 2014, 14:09

          @jmg I actually said “would require sustained practice or superhuman skill” at no time did I imply any of the top 22 would have these.

      • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 28th August 2014, 10:46

        All it takes is Pirelli tyres :P

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 13:10

        When do you think he was over 100 mph? I might be wrong, but that seems high for that corner, particularly when he’s compromised by having another car nearby. Besides that, the idea that a driver who hits apexes all day couldn’t nudge a tyre seems ludicrous to me.

        • salcrich said on 28th August 2014, 13:56

          @matt90 yes but apexs aren’t moving! And we aren’t talking about “hitting” the rear tyre. If he really intended it we are talking supreme precision on a moving target – unless he really wanted to trash his own car.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 19:04

            We really aren’t. Of course there’s no way he went into the corner planning to puncture the tyre. But if he decided to intentionally kiss Hamilton’s tyre (not that I believe he did reall) after he’d already fallen back through the right-hander then I really don’t see the difficulty in it as his car was already in a position to do so. The target in this case is moving very similarly to Rosberg, so it being a moving target doesn’t really make that big a difference either.

          • salcrich said on 28th August 2014, 21:42

            @matt90 semantic maybe but the gap would have been changing and the target therefore moving. That aside – Martin Brundle points out that the “kissing” end plate is 6ft away and out of sight- that in my opinion makes the manoeuvre supremely difficult. Perhaps I have gone soft with parking sensors!

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 29th August 2014, 0:41

            I just think an F1 driver of all people can probably judge where their front wing is well enough to place it to force slight contact.

          • salcrich said on 29th August 2014, 8:07

            @matt90 and that is our point of difference. I am sceptical that in the circumstances they could do it with any certainty of the outcome they want.

  13. JCost (@jcost) said on 28th August 2014, 8:52


    «Apologists blame the economy, but their ‘facts’ simply don’t stack up: Porsche and Audi commit F1-level budgets to the World Endurance Championship; Volkswagen and Hyundai spend huge amounts on World Rally Championship campaigns. Yes, Honda returns in 2015 – marking the first return of a major marque in six years – but, crucially, as engine supplier only. None other is on the horizon»

    Reading Dieter Rencken’s column (Autosport) talking about audiences, commitment from car makers, more investment on marketing and co. some questions came to my mind:

    As far as I know, despite declining viewership F1 still leads WEC and WRC, so high audiences bring more marketing cash, why are constructors putting money in other series and not in F1?.

    How does series road relevance relates to car makers commitment? Does making F1 more road relevant bring constructors back? (Is Honda back because of F1 is again a lab for their road cars or because it’s a marketing platform?)

    • If you look at technology alone WEC is easily as advanced as F1. Relevance to road cars is therefore very present aswell. So that is a reason to be there in the first place I think.

      Above that WRC is doing a whole lot to improve the amount of viewers as they too realised they needed them. WEC can be seen on Eurosport and on their site for very reasonable prices. So I can only imagine viewing figures are improving for the two series.

      I also think these three will forever carry on as they are the only three world championships recognised by the FIA, as far as I know.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 28th August 2014, 13:17

        WTCC, Rallycross, several Karting classes are designated world championships.

      • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 28th August 2014, 13:26

        as for the WEC, i don’t know in other countrys, but as for Latin America – Argentina to be fair- the WEC isn’t broadcasted, and i don’t see any intention to do it, because, here.. no one really cares.. (it must be because of the lenghts of the races and the local time, it clashes with football and no one in his right mind would cancel football for WEC in Argentina!)

  14. Tom (@11mcgratht) said on 28th August 2014, 9:58

    Forgetting they are teammates, and all the politics and mind games between Hamilton and Rosberg for a second, what I still fail to understand is the lack of an immediate penalty for Rosberg. The fact is there was a needless collision, that he undoubtedly caused; warranting a penalty.

    The Stewards’ failure to act has left them looking weak and too scared to follow the rules if it means a significant impact on the championship.

  15. Pirro: “But if he wasn’t happy, it’s because of the little bit of sporting cunning.”

    cunning: “1.
    having or showing skill in achieving one’s ends by deceit or evasion.”

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