Ferrari not worried by Williams threat

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci is untroubled by the threat from Williams who are ten points behind them in the constructors’ championship.


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

The Ferrari challenge (F1)

“Q: After Belgium, Williams are just 10 points behind Ferrari in the standings. Will they deprive you of P3?
Marco Mattiacci: You have to ask them. We look at all the competitors and I am not really obsessed with what Williams is doing. We will make the best out of our car and then we fight on the track.”

Rob Smedley Q&A Part 2 (Crash)

“The drivers’ championship – let’s be honest, let’s be frank – the drivers’ championship, unless you’re going to get the top spot, what does it matter? You could be second, fifth or tenth, it makes absolutely no difference to me. What makes a difference is the constructors’ because that’s what we’re all aiming for as a group of people.”

Max Verstappen Formula 1 crash VKV City Racing 2014 (YouTube)

Mercedes no factor in Verstappen deal (Autosport)

Helmut Marko: “I never asked what Mercedes was offering. We did our negotiations, built up our relationship and he decided to go with us.”

Comment of the day

Thank you for another chucklesome selection of Caption Competition entries – particularly those from Nemo87, MichaelDobson13, Colossal Squid, Ryan Petersen, Osvaldas31 and, aprropriately, Verstappen.

However the winner is this from Henry Becquerel Ryuichi Nakano (@Ryuichi):

Jos Verstappen. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Luckily for you there’s no refuelling anymore!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris Sz and Meander!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher became the first F1 driver to win ten races in a season on this day in 2002, with victory in the Belgian Grand Prix:

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

Advert | Go Ad-free


63 comments on Ferrari not worried by Williams threat

  1. Strontium (@strontium) said on 1st September 2014, 0:08

    Hahaha oopsy Max! Still got some learning to do and a little embarrassing :/ But quite funny and refreshing to hear the old engine.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 1st September 2014, 7:25

      I think he was a bit confused with some buttons. He’ll be alright.

    • Really? Clearly not ready — a demo event doing doughnuts and then he makes some clumsy moves, gets a push, then on restarting, hits the barrier. Needs some GP2 time for sure… Half-baked drivers are a danger to themselves and others (just as the “stewards” who gave him a push — he starts going again before they ahve clered the track. Foolish fool of a fool.

      • lawrence said on 1st September 2014, 11:43

        Half-baked drivers are a danger to themselves and others (just as the “stewards” who gave him a push — he starts going again before they ahve clered the track. Foolish fool of a fool.

        I was thinking the same. You saw how that lady barely got out and got quite scared when he got going again before she was over the wall. But his ego was bruised and he it too much of a child to be able to deal with it in a mature and responsible manner.

        And all of that before we even get to the fact that he doesn’t use his head to realize that tires are cold after standing and waiting for a push.

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 1st September 2014, 11:56

          I was at Zandvoort when veteran dutch F1 drive Jan Lammers was giving a demo of some donuts on the main straight. He hit the wall and, after restarting, got within a hairs width of running over the cameraman who was filming the action.

          Of course he didn’t do GP2 either (since it didn’t exist), but he’s a quite experienced driver.

        • +100000000

          filthy rich kid only there cause of daddy’s persistence…get in line! there is a handful who are more ready for F1 then him.

  2. Custard said on 1st September 2014, 0:12

    Just realized Max Verstappen looks (almost) exactly like me!
    That ‘crash’ takes nothing away from his ability, he’ll prove himself next year.

    • Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 1st September 2014, 17:40

      He goes out, puts on a show for hundreds of people, which isn’t exactly a ‘turn up and do it’ job, then makes an error, and everyone laughs at him, and claps sarcastically. Bit pathetic really.

  3. Strontium (@strontium) said on 1st September 2014, 0:13

    Ferrari’s obsession is to be number one. And what down period? In the last couple of years Ferrari has always been at the top – not in wins, but always in key positions.

    A quote from the Marco M interview.

    This worries me, honestly.

  4. OMG that is embarassing dont even give him a license, i mean seriously.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 1st September 2014, 0:39

      Kobayashi did the same thing.

      In the end, it was a small space for an F1 car, and frankly, it’s a vastly different skill set to what he needs to race.

      • hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 1st September 2014, 0:55

        Kobayashi did that on a soaking wet road though, and not moving around so slowly.

        Yet I don’t want to blame Verstappen in this case, but rather the team – who thought that it was a good idea for a guy without any real testing experience in an F1 car (because his website said he barely drove up and down the straight in Rockingham earlier this week) to be put into a city center and do donuts and these kinds of stuff?

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st September 2014, 4:37

      Maldonado does the same every weekend and he’s a GP winner…

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 1st September 2014, 6:25

      Yeah it is pretty embarrassing, although considering this is the first time he’s driven an F1 car in confined spaces I’m not surprised, they are really quite big I think almost 6 metres long.

      • salcrich said on 1st September 2014, 9:15

        I don’t want to open up “the debate” again ….. But I rest my case how difficult it is to see the front wing with “precision” manoeuvres. Still he did have the advantage that the barrier wasn’t moving or braking in front of him!!

    • Jimbo Hull (@kartingjimbo) said on 1st September 2014, 12:51

      So unreal how many people are blurting comments like this out. Go watch him race in F3 for gods sake, he’s doing donuts in a car he’s never been in, in a confined space with the worlds motorsport press watching his every move never mind us lot… Personally I feel sorry for the lad being put in this position, he needs some real track time.

  5. Toxic (@toxic) said on 1st September 2014, 0:26

    Younger version of Crashdonado? ;)

  6. HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st September 2014, 0:56

    The caption competition should be re-run, the father-son advice/recrimminations possibillities will be so much richer after that video. @keithcollantine.

  7. Royal-Spark (@royal-spark) said on 1st September 2014, 1:46

    Ten years ago today I attended my first ever Grand Prix. Record breaking occasion or not the race itself was dull and being the stubborn die-hard Coulthard/McLaren I was back then I showed little to no respect or inetrest into Schumacher’s achievement that day.

  8. I really believe Williams is a serious threat for third. With Kimi and Massa not really optimizing the points haul it’s in their hands to shift the balance as Bottas and Alonso (as usual) have proved to be consistent points scorers.

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 1st September 2014, 7:00

    They’re not worried on the PR public side, but internally, I bet you they’re very worried.

    As long as Williams don’t make stupid mistakes, and squander the opportunity, they have the right drivers, and they have a better car than Ferrari, I don’t see why they shouldn’t claim 3rd.

    Critical component: Kimi Raikkonen.

    • I agree that Ferrari are probably a little more uncomfortable about their position in private than they can admit to in public.

      To a certain extent, it really depends on Massa and Kimi where the two teams will end up given that Alonso and Bottas are both scoring very consistently – and whilst Kimi was more competitive in Spa, given his recent admission that he is still struggling to fully adapt to the F14T, that does mean that a few good results for Massa could tip things in Williams’s favour.

  10. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 1st September 2014, 8:47

    The V8 still sounded awesome to me. Was something wrong with car or Max’s fault.

  11. Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 1st September 2014, 8:59

    Ferrari shouldn’t just be worried about losing constructors places. Salaries and status aside, Alonso must be looking at that Williams and thinking “I could win in that”.

  12. Tiomkin said on 1st September 2014, 9:13

    Dear Max,

    ‘Red Bull gives you wiings’ is just a slogan. Your car cannot fly over the barriers.

  13. lockup (@lockup) said on 1st September 2014, 9:18

    Well Max got tired didn’t he? Very stressful experience and after a few minutes he started making mistakes – got out of position; didn’t get the wheels spinning ;had to be pushed back; restarted while marshalls were still near him; then it all became too much by the look of it.

    I don’t know. It is a specific skillset as @Mike says but it is car control and coping with stress and mental endurance and keeping your head together and those are all things that improve with maturity.

    If he’d pulled it all off perfectly we’d be saying it was evidence he might be ready, wouldn’t we? So conversely…well I am a bit nervous for him.

    It looks like the people around him overestimated him, too.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st September 2014, 13:12

      Wow….who is really overestimating the significance of this? It sounds like you are analyzing a race performance. You can’t seriously think this is relatable to actually racing in F1, or that people were looking for evidence of his readiness from this event.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 1st September 2014, 16:04

        @robbie – At least we now know that Mercedes forced Red Bull’s hand with Verstappen, with Red Bull forced to stoop to the ridiculous to counter what presumably was an offer of a reserve role and fully backed FR3.5/GP2 campaign by Mercedes, with the proof being the fact that Marko is denying it. The contact in the demonstration run, no matter how minor or trivial, is of course an illustration that the extent of power is alien to him.

        The only remotely measured and insightful remark on this highly polarized issue (with there seemingly being no middle ground between Villeneuve’s “bad for F1″ throwaway and those that claim “if you’re good enough you’re old enough”) I found, of all places, on Sky Sports News’ midweek F1 round-up. Alex Brundle, who appears to share his dad’s knack for hitting the nail on the head, described junior talents as being “flavour of the month” from time to time, and much as Antonio Felix da Costa’s incredible 2012 season caught the attention of the F1 paddock (before having a poor 2013 FR3.5 campaign and promptly falling into DTM/test team anonymity), Verstappen’s F3 exploits have perhaps wrongly diverted attention away from the largely flawless jobs Sainz, Gasly and Lynn have been doing in their respected series. The danger is Verstappen, who is doubtlessly worthy of F1, is being promoted because he is “flavour of the month” rather than ready and able, and there is little more reliable a ruiner of young motorsporting careers than premature promotion.

        And that is the crux of my objection to Max’s F1 promotion: not that it’s “bad for F1″ or that he’s especially too young but simply the fact that is has the potential to damage a very promising career, and has certainly compromised the careers of Sainz, Gasly and Lynn; who are all F1 material. It would also be less worrying if the Red Bull Junior Programme hadn’t established a knack for falling for “flavours of month” by prematurely promoting one Jaime Alguersuari…

        • jeffreyj said on 1st September 2014, 19:30

          I agree with this whole heartedly.

          Max’s career would have probably been better served with a year or two in GP2/FR3.5.

          On the other hand, this case study itself is the reason why you can understand he took his chance when it was presented to him…. A guy like Lyn needed another year of seasoning and is currently leading the GP3 standings. So, the guy signed with RedBull, is gaining experience amd is winning races and championships… He litterally couldn’t have done better amd still he gets tossed aside by RedBull! So if you have a chance presented to you to race in F1, ready or not you have to take it really. It might never come again.

          It’s a tough subject and I really don’t know how you can make the feeder system better. There simply are only F1 22 seats in the entire world…

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st September 2014, 20:34

          @william-brierty I think what you describe as the situation surrounding MV, namely the potential to damage a very promising career, and the compromising of others’, is why JV calls it bad for F1.

          Call it flavour of the month if you will, or jumping on them younger and younger before someone else does, or plain old nepotism, I think the likes of JV consider that F1 should be harder than that, and it should be at a level such that one should have to ‘earn one’s wings’ moreso than currently seems to be the case in order to get a ride.

          It diminishes the aura of F1 when unproven drivers are on the track potentially compromising their careers in the pinnacle before they have even had a chance to show exactly why they belong there. With a buildup of credits prior to getting into F1 a driver’s career is less likely to be damaged from being on a non-top-3 team in F1 in the inevitable struggle for points much less wins.

          And it also diminishes F1 if such a promotion can result in instant success in F1. It will show that F1 is no longer as hard as it was or that the drivers are passengers monitoring systems. JV wants to see F1’s aura, prestige, and level of quality kept up. None of us know yet what Max will do, but it is the very idea and trend that is worrying. For the scouts to have seen this much in him with so little to go by and such a young age, it is intriguing to see if in fact he is that good, or if it was just a knee-jerk reaction to sign him. If too many youngsters get parachuted in and fail to deliver, the trend will stop. The surprising thing is this trend is going on when drivers barely get any real F1 car time anymore.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 2nd September 2014, 15:01

            @robbie – But you see that is not what I’m arguing. I am simply saying that substantively the detriment of a promising junior career is a bad thing whether that detriment is through premature promotion or being overlooked because of certain circumstances (as with Da Costa’s career following Arden’s diabolical 2013 campaign). Villeneuve is making a more specific structural point regarding what he deems to be a worrying trend in the age of rookies via all the points you make. However I would object to the essence of Villeneuve’s argument by saying a) the sub-20 super-teens are only really a trait of Marko’s input in the Red Bull Junior Programme and not a grid wide epidemic (Boullier for instance was recently quoted as saying McLaren would not “rule out” another GP2 campaign for Vandoorne ahead of his inevitable F1 promotion – as is certainly Ferrari’s plan with Marciello), and b) the nature of GP2, FR3.5 and impressively GP3 also, is producing racing drivers far more prepared for the challenge of F1 than F3000 or F3 ever could. And that is why Verstappen should be in a FR3.5 car next year: to allow his obvious talent to blossom and subsequently reap maximum rewards in F1.

  14. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 1st September 2014, 10:12

    While I admit that I had a bit of a chuckle and Max’s expense, I am completely shocked at all the people judging the kid after 1 demonstration event. I’d like to point out that the car is not of current spec, clearly from the noise. The car is setup far higher than it would be for any stage during a race weekend, as well as the springs softened as much as possible to deal with the bumpy streets.
    Those issues aside, the kid isn’t entering F1 tomorrow, so I think everyone just needs to back off a little, he still has to focus on getting his neck muscles up to scratch, as well as ramping up his fitness regime to that comparable of other F1 drivers, and before everyone says “thats exactly why he isn’t ready to join F1″, I’d say the same for any rookie driver, no matter what age, lets face it, RIC has beefed up a lot since entering F1, and I don’t think his neck muscles could be any beefier today.
    So I’d urge everyone to back off, let Max practice, train and prepare before his debut. I’d even suggest give him 1/2 a season before dubbing him the next Maldonado. I’ve been watching F1 for over 20 years and I can say in that time, that everyone is far too critical of rookie drivers on a whole, they all expect them to have flawless races and a full season coming out at the end looking like heroes, but, maybe with exception of HAM, I have seen every F1 driver, up and down the grid make mistakes in their rookie seasons, and even those that made good in the 1st season, stuff up part of their 2nd season… Lets support the youngsters and give them time to develop.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 1st September 2014, 10:41

      While I admit that I had a bit of a chuckle and Max’s expense, I am completely shocked at all the people judging the kid after 1 demonstration event. I’d like to point out that the car is not of current spec, clearly from the noise. The car is setup far higher than it would be for any stage during a race weekend, as well as the springs softened as much as possible to deal with the bumpy streets.


      Also, It looks like they’ve plastered the Toro Rosso livery on the Red Bull RB8.

      • JeffreyJ said on 2nd September 2014, 9:23

        Imagine Verstappen clipping someone’s wing like Rosberg next year.

        People would be quick to say it’s Max’s fault and complaign he isn’t ready…

  15. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 1st September 2014, 11:36

    Couldn’t Max have waited 2 or 3 years to get an F1 seat! Could have spent that time in WSR 3.5 or GP2 to gain experience. ”Maxdonado” as I am now calling him is too young for F1 and he will probably have his career wasted by STR like Speed, Bourdais, Buemi and especially Alguersuari. And this Max said he was the next ”Fernando Alonso”. Hahaha, nice joke stupid kid.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.