Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2015

Much more to be found from engines – Mercedes

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Mercedes do not believe they are close to reaching the limit of performance from the current power units.

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Comment of the day

Luca di Montezemolo attracted some criticism for his recent comments on Michael Schumacher’s condition:

I don’t know what Montezemolo’s intention is because it doesn’t make sense to tell such an unspecific information. Whatever his agenda, there is of course no entitlement for fans to know what his condition is. On the flip side there is also no entitlement for the Schumacher family not to be asked questions, and not to hear many speculations about his condition especially due to the lack of their information policy.

I think it is a give and take. A little more information would not hurt in my opinion, it definitely would shut up a lot of speculation, and there is no reason to believe that the media would ask and annoy more when there is at least some truthful information than none at all.

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Robert Kubica suffered his terrible rally crash on this day five years ago:

52 comments on “Much more to be found from engines – Mercedes”

  1. I’m tired of hating on Abiteboul, how is he still working in F1? He’s a spokesperson who can’t keep his own mouth shut and does not even like f1.

  2. The fans are also saying something similar, “much more to be heard from engines”.

    1. I disagree, I’d much rather the sound levels stayed at the level they had in 2015. There are people and animals that are close to the racetrack, and increasing the sound levels will only increase the pain they suffer. I haven’t seen a single decent argument to justify the enhanced sound levels.

      1. These engines sounds like trumps. That’s a good enough reason to change them.

      2. the argument: because its awesome?! ever heard the v8, v10, v12s?

        if we make an environmental statement, in any form, with regards to F1:
        then please stop F1 altogether, they are shipping all their stuff around the world in planes, they makes noise. oh please have mercy on the people and animals near the airports….

        1. Spot on man. And Seriouly who lives next to a race track? Aside from Monaco I’ve never seen a chimney smoking near “Eau Rouge” “There are people and animals that are close to the racetrack, and increasing the sound levels will only increase the pain they suffer…” man please.

      3. Engines need to be as loud as possible to scare animals away from the track.

        Also… Found the vegan!

      4. Anyone who is satisfied with current sound levels probably has never witnessed F1 in one of its heydays – the 2011 era with blown diffusers. I don’t know how anyone can possibly be satisfied with any sound after 2011.

        1. Really? They were distinctive but I’d hardly call it a heyday. In fact some were pretty awful and often sounded broken.

      5. I’d rather that sound levels are at whatever level they are to give the optimum engine solution. Any discussion about increasing noise is totally artificial and in my book ranks alongside DRS and tyre trickery as not fit for real F1.

        The old engine architectures from the history of F1 belong to their own era – at that time they were good engines, but frankly, by today’s PU standards, those engines are pathetic. The noise output was essentially a by-product of a poor engine and the fact that the technology has moved on to the fantastic pieces of 21st century hardware we now have is great.

  3. I don’t really know what Damon Hill is talking about. How come being runner-up twice consecutively (and in such a way) makes you a formidable challenger for the title next year?. Sure, Damon suffered the same, but he benefited from not being in the same team as Schumacher, and he had just moved to a struggling Ferrari by then. Ask Barrichello how things went while team mate of a twice-champion… or ask Coulthard.

    I suppose a better argument is the recent form by Rosberg but we could also say that Hamilton wasn’t trying, voluntarily or not, as hard as during the year when the championship was still at stake, just as Felipe says.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      6th February 2016, 4:58

      He’s just hyping up the coming season. Will Nico realistically be a formidable challenger to Lewis? Well that remains to be seen but if the past 3 years are anything to go by then no, he won’t be.

      The end of last season was incredibly boring, so a lot of the media made a huge deal out of Nico taking pole positions etc. to try and make it seem more exciting than it actually was.

      1. I agree. Obviously Lewis was not as competitive after winning the championship as the races before, and seemed in “celebration” mode, with some, er, interesting off racing moments well covered by the media.

        Rosberg is just too “nice”. Not questioning his talent and raw speed, but he lacks that extra “fire” and desire to be champion.

        As much as Rosberg improves and even gets one better this year to Lewis, unfortunately it will be hard to cut that shadow of “conspiracy theories”, of Lewis cutting his childhood friend a break to be world champion. There will always be this shadow of doubt of his worthiness, due to losing comprehensively two consecutive world championships on pace to his teammate. One just doesn’t suddenly surpasses on pace someone after this.

        Even though driving styles are different, since I regard them both as aggressive and not one “smooth” and the other aggressive, like Prost VS Senna, I do think Hamilton comprehensively beat Rosberg enough to prove his superiority. What comes next unfortunately doesn’t erase History. But if I’m proven wrong- and I hope I will!- it would make for one heck of a championship!

        1. @sergio-perez I hope you are wrong too. I think, given NR’s form in the last 6 races, there is at least a reason for an article and opinion such as DH’s, and I will always allow for a driver to learn more and more as his career advances, and that includes LH. I think if we take into account how dirty air would have negatively affected NR during the season just as it did LH once he wasn’t getting pole over NR, we find that the drivers are very very close in performance, so let’s just see if NR has an answer and not assume he doesn’t. Would you just hand the trophy to LH then, or does he actually have to go out there and fight for it with the scales zeroed again come race one. What if NR continues winning the pole race again like he did late last year and most of 2014, and there’s a Ferrari between NR and LH a handful of times? It’s not an impossible thing to imagine. NR has gotten many poles over LH. Ferrari is speculated to be on the rise.

          1. No problem, when he wins a title or three we can call it a Prost vs Senna like duel.

            But I have a feeling, if he won even one title, Lewis would implode.

    2. @fer-no65

      I suppose a better argument is the recent form by Rosberg but we could also say that Hamilton wasn’t trying, voluntarily or not, as hard as during the year when the championship was still at stake, just as Felipe says.

      Hamilton had already lost his pace advantage before Mexico. His wins in Russia and USA were incredibly circumstantial and lucky. Both of the safety cars played perfectly into his hands in USA while Rosberg was dominating the race (10 second gap). In Russia, I have little doubt that Nico would have won had his car remained reliable. Nico also outqualified Lewis in the last 6 races, a streak which began well before Lewis wrapped up the WDC.

      The latter stages of 2015, just like the second half of 2013, was just one of those periods where Rosberg was faster than Hamilton. No apparent explaination.

      1. @kingshark – Quite small changes to the chassis, electronics or tyres can shift the advantage between closely matched team mates. The very same thing happened to Damon Hill when tyre regulations changed and he found himself suddenly far less competitive. It’s quite reasonable to suppose that new regs or technical developments could force Hamilton onto the back foot for half a season while Rosberg makes hay – not that I expect it; however stranger things have happened.

        1. @kingshark – sorry, to clarify – this “small changes, big effect” could be what happened in the latter part of 2015, but I suspect that Hamilton relaxed and gained weight as soon as the championship was wound up. It will be interesting to see if Rosberg can maintain the apparent advantage this year.

          1. I don’t even follow F1 that much, but Lewis was pretty clear about how the ‘balance’ change Merc made after the ‘tire pressure’ issues following Spa is what really did him in. At least Nico benefited from Merc’s balance change. At least Lewis’s car wasn’t burning down in qualifying like last year ;)

    3. he’s a sky sports pundit, he’s simply hyping up the season for interest.

    4. As Hamilton himself said, Rosberg winning the last races was because the car had changed to suit Rosberg more so nothing to do with Rosberg beating him driving wise.

      The new car should suit Hamiton more as he should get preference being champion, but should Rosberg win the early races, it would of course only mean the new car is favoring Rosberg’s style more, and that can be changed. Lauda will probably see to it himself.

      1. @gelf Not so sure. Firstly, are you sure you want to accuse Merc of favouring one driver? I’d like to think we can take them at their word that they are here to race and love it, and have shown us through the rivalry that they are indeed letting unfold on the track, thank goodness. Or what would we have? Not just a near guarantee of a Merc winning, but particularly LH’s, by design, ala MS/Ferrari? I don’t think that is what we are seeing.

        Secondly, if Merc had a propensity to favour the Champion, how did the car get to being to NR’s preference? Or how would it start out for LH, but favour NR, such that they would then change it further to get it back to LH?

        I think the reality is that this team consists of racers who are building cars that both drivers have been able to do wonders with, and falter a bit, at respective times back and forth over the last two seasons, and that will thankfully continue for another year while they may still be predictably out in front a lot yet giving us a great show, with two really great racers.

  4. And thanks Renault for the class you showed with the Maldonando tweets.
    It marvels me the delight people have in putting others down. Maldonado may not have been the cleanest of all racers but he deserves his respect.

    1. Cannot agree more

    2. Yeah, I agree. While the money he brought would have been key in how he could be sure of the seat, the team seems to have genuinly been happy working with him.

      He did give all (probably too much, overdriving the car too often) on track.

      1. He’s still a race winner; almost 2/3 of current drivers can only dream about that!
        (and he’s one of a hand full who didn’t do it in a dominant car)

        1. yep, I do think that it’s a shame that Maldonado was not able to grow and overcome his weaknesses by learning from accidents. He had a chance, at least he won at Barcelona in an impressive way, leaving us wanting for more of that.
          Alesi also was an exciting driver to see race, also won one race, and I don’t see too many people saying they were happy to see him go @coldfly.

    3. I took no delight in his loosing his seat, but I am pleased that Kevin Magnussen has a seat. I think Maldonado had the ability to be a very good F1 driver, but sadly he didn’t see the need to display that ability when racing, and that was the problem. At this level you need to show you have the complete set of skills to beat the World Champion every time you go out onto the track.
      It is almost certain we won’t see Maldonado again in F1.

    4. He didn’t extend respect to other drivers on track and in return didn’t have theirs. What has he done to deserve my respect?

      He’s been in a fortunate position where a corrupt government used significant public funds to pay for the privilege of a racing seat in motorsports premier category.

      He demonstrated no contrition for his mistakes, no respect for the danger he placed other competitors in with his on track conduct and other than his one flash in the pan win, very little evidence he deserved to be in the sport.

      1. +1. He was a danger on the track. What he did to Perez in Monaco and to Hamilton at Spa was very dangerous.

        1. Don’t forget Gutierrez in Bahrain.

          The problem with Maldonado is that he lacks the fundamental ability to improve on his natural talent, because in order to improve, he has to admit to himself that he’s making mistakes– and Maldonado, to my knowledge, has never stood up and taken responsibility for an accident (at least not in F1).

          Hamilton, Vettel, Grosjean (to pick a group of three drivers that have had some… “eventful” incidents in their F1 career)– they all seemed to learn from their mistakes.

          Maldonado just keeps making the same mistakes.

  5. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    6th February 2016, 5:39

    For a more honest translation of Renault’s tweets substitute ‘you’ with ‘your cash’.

    1. Thank$$$ Pa$$$tor for your $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$uport!!! We will mi$$$$$$$$ you!!!

  6. Maldonado got the seat after a GP2 title in combination with his money. He was given the opportunity to show his skills, a chance others would have wanted but never got. He flunked into a win, a thing more talented drivers can only dream about. In the end he arguably didn’t fulfill his potential but I will not be sad he has to leave Formula One, especially not if we gain not just another pay driver but a driver whom I see as a top 5 young talent (ready for F1) at the moment.

  7. Michelín what really wants is to get open development for tyres, and they call pirelli tyres (fake), i stopped for a moment and thought about it, and my conclusion is that degradation is actually good, you see who engineered a kinder car, weather comes to play even more, in hot days kinder car get advantage and cold days is the other way around, but what is good is that you don’t know exactly how the temp will be each season, if we go back to the time of having iron solid tyres then refueling have to come back, the more variable come into play during a race the more unpredictable it becomes, having rock solid tyres without refueling means a worst procession.

    About the 17″ or 18″ rim, I’m against, simply it doesn’t look good, leave that for the formula E, if Michelin complain about the f1 actual rim size, that they claim is useless on road cars now day, why they don’t just focus on the rubber, if they find better technology for the rubber you can take that technology to road cars no matter what the rim size was used to develop it, in my opinion.

    1. I disagree. Firstly nobody is saying the only alternative to the tires Pirelli are asked to make is ‘rock solid tires’ and secondly processions come from heavy aero dependence which means dirty air is very negative to a cars performance. Just ask LH, who couldn’t get past NR, on the very tires you seem to like.

      As to Michelin and rims, they are just saying they are as relevant to road cars as hybrid technology is so they are inevitable. It is a political game that is going on now as F1 tries but fails to use tires and DRS to manipulate the game because they can’t get off the aero addiction.

      1. @robbie, so evidently all the effort that figures like Owens went to in the late 1950’s to secure testing time at the Transport and Road Research Laboratory’s wind tunnel, or Forghieri’s efforts with the University of Stuttgart’s wind tunnel in the early 1960’s, were worthless efforts? The sport has been an aero game for a long, long time.

        As for the argument about the rim size, the main relevance of an 18″ rim for the road market would be for Michelin’s profit margins (large diameter low profile tyres are far more profitable for Michelin, and they are trying to gain market share in the sports tyre market as they are losing their market share on conventional tyres). Added to that, being able to reuse the same tooling equipment between the WEC and F1 is cheaper and easier for them too, so there is a strong incentive for them to push the sport as hard as they can to use an 18″ rim instead.

        In many ways, the use of large diameter low profile tyres in the WEC is down to the fact that the regulations on brake discs effectively push teams towards that particular design choice. Fitting an 18″ rim allows the teams to use the maximum size brake disc permissible under the regulations, and given that braking stability and performance is a critical aspect of an LMP1 car, it therefore pushes the teams towards adopting 18″ rims.

        1. @anon Wow, quite a dramatic leap to make such a statement about the 50’s and 60’s. However, I’ve never claimed aero should be removed from F1, just reduced in terms of it’s relationship to mechanical grip such that we have less dirty air effect preventing close racing. We’ve seen processions when tires were actually ones they could push themselves and their cars to the limits on, and we’ve seen them up to and including the last race run, on poor excuses for tires. The enemy is too much emphasis on aero and not enough on mechanical grip. Mech grip for let’s say at least half a stint rather than just a few laps here and there if and only if one has managed to get them in the right temp range that is.

          So it seems silly to suggest that anyone would think ALL aero should be removed, just as it is silly to suggest Michelin is interested in profit margins any more or less than any other company (like that is evil or something) and that is their only motive and it somehow relates to some supposed loss of market share relative to road cars. I guess they can wait a bit on that and aren’t desperate since they can’t really influence F1 while on the outside, and won’t even have a chance until 2020 at the earliest.

          Anyway, I’m fine with the rim size now and would be fine if they changed it…I just want to see them on real tires and know that the drivers are actually taxed somewhat rather than be passengers monitoring systems, and closer racing would go a long way toward that, via a better mechanical to aero grip ratio that doesn’t handcuff the trailing driver such that even the sports integrity killing drs doesn’t ‘help’.

  8. Soooo :D Mercedes at 900 bhp, lots of more improvements incoming…

    Talk about throwing in the gauntlet. I can see Jaws droping at Red Bull while they eagerly anticipate their 800 bhp renault…. And McHonda with slightly larger compressor… for a full 750 GP2 engine…

    What will Ferrari do meanwhile? 1000bhp? I’d love to see that. If it was still Montezemolo there, we would have rummors how Ferrari are preparing aerodynamic package to benefit from smaller horsepower…

    1. Red Bulls 2017 engine supplier is currently running unlimited testing 24/7 on an LMP1 chassis.

      Expect Lamborghini’s 2017 F1 PU to out power the entire grid.

      When customers come begging for that PU, expect them to be treated exactly as they deserve – ZERO access or lowered spec versions.

      1. Mr. X, and on what basis are you making the claims that VW intend to launch a Lamborghini engine in F1 in 2017? VW has supposedly been “just around the corner” from announcing an F1 program for several years now, and yet there seems to have been very little evidence suggesting any such project.
        Furthermore, the only senior management figure who was known to be in favour of an F1 development program was Martin Winterkorn, a man who was forced to resign from the company in the wake of the “dieselgate” scandal in the US. Why would such a project go ahead now when the man most likely to have championed it is no longer at the helm?

        VW has already cut over €1 billion a year off its research and development budget and is under pressure to make larger cuts, whilst its motorsport division is under pressure to cut costs too (hence the decision to scale down their efforts at Le Mans). Where would the budget suddenly be coming from for VW to fund such an expensive project when the company faces the prospect of funding an expensive legal campaign in the US over the next few years?

        Equally, I severely doubt that VW would be running an LMP1 chassis around 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Given that the ACO has imposed extremely strict testing restrictions on teams competing in the WEC, news of any team running an LMP1 chassis in non stop testing – which would completely violate those restrictions – would almost certainly have sparked an investigation by the ACO and caused the story to break out in the world of sportscar racing.

        All in all, I find it extremely unlikely that VW have a secret project that will magically transform Red Bull into a crushingly dominant team in 2017- such suggestions sound like very wishful thinking to me.

        1. Lamborghini is run through Audi under VW, so in that sense I could see something there in terms of rebranding away from VW given their woes of late, and assuming said woes are not stopping them from still pursuing long-term plans already in place.

          However, I agree this is just wishful thinking, and there is so much now to the marriage of PU to chassis that there is far from any guarantee that Lamborghini/Audi would first of all dominate F1 off the bat…that would be epic and historical…let alone nail the marriage in conjunction with RBR minute one. It would mean that in about four months L/A/VW and RBR would be starting to conceive a chassis/PU concept. Wouldn’t there be some pretty strong rumours by now?

    2. @jureo

      Definitely thrown down the gauntlet there. They straight away curb Ferrari, Honda and Renault’s enthusiasm by implying that the no token (open) PU development formula is fine by them as there are plenty of gains to still be found from the Mercedes PU. Then they go ahead and say that their engine is going to 900hp+ for 2016. You have to admire their confidence, and mind games, when they say that Ferrari might beat them & Honda is a real threat.

      I think there’s no touching the Merc PU up until 2018.

  9. I disagree with cotd. I think LdM has been unspecific because he knows it is not the family’s wish for him to go into details. I’m guessing he has visited MS and his situation is as he has said…not good…and I think most people have already figured that out by now due to the lack of news.

    I’m not convinced there is a lot of damaging speculation out there and if there was and it was bad enough then perhaps the family would make a statement. Would a statement shut people up? I highly doubt it. There would no question at least be a flood of articles on what the family said, and then that would branch off into speculations about what they didn’t say amongst the body of words that they did say.

    The only right thing here is that the family do as they wish and if that means saying nothing then that is the exactly appropriate action.

    1. LdM never was that close to the Schumi family. I think the reality is that he just does not have any new information, and clearly no good news can really be expected.

  10. “…we enjoyed working with a bright, friendly, extremely funny guy who got on brilliantly with everyone in the team and pushed tirelessly to get the maximum out of his car.”

    …and yet you’re not keeping him. Say all the nice things you want, but your actions speak louder than words, Renault.

    1. Renault staff were happy working with him because his money paid their salaries. Once the money stopped it wasn’t really a lot of fun to have him around!

  11. Also… Deamon Hill, on Nico Rosberg.

    We all talked about this, Lewis underperformed in last fourth of a season… Is it permanent?

    Now on the cap throwing incident, I seriusly doubt that gave Nico determination to be better. They had two years of incidents, if those would lead to a more determined Nico… He would be champion by now.

    I think Nico coped with tyre pressure changes better.

    And secondly Lewis was not doing his 100%, I do not buy a sportsman can jetset around the world sleep all morning, party all night, crash zondas etc… Without loosing a percent or two. And they are so close, thst was enough.

  12. Hmmm, so Merc are making their turbo even bigger, for more and more mgu-h, but Honda are still trying to turn a little one faster. That doesn’t give me a good feeling about McLaren this year.

  13. I don’t like this. Again a very boring series?

  14. lol not the cap Damon. Not the caaaaap.

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