Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Hamilton and Vettel will never join same team – Horner

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Christian Horner doubts his former driver Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton will ever team up together.

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Esteban Ocon, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Ocon: GP3 and European F3 champion
Esteban Ocon has won two championships in as many seasons and has two F1 teams behind him, but how good are his chances of landing a seat in the near future?

Letting Nicholas Latifi run FP1s as well can only be described as a revenue exercise, which I might have expected from the old Lotus under Genii control, but not a factory team.

And on the subject of Ocon, I can’t see Mercedes standing in the way of him getting to F1 if Renault offered him a seat in the next couple of years, contract or none.

With Hamilton and Rosberg still relatively young, and Wehrlein the anointed successor, it’s hard to see Ocon having much of a shot at driving a Silver Arrow in the foreseeable future.
Tyler (@Tdog)

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87 comments on “Hamilton and Vettel will never join same team – Horner”

  1. Why didn’t Lauda ensure Mercedes blocked it then? Why didn’t anyone from any of the teams block it? It needed unanimous agreement from all teams just a few days ago, and they all agreed… To turn around now and say it’s stupid is just simply hypocritical.

    What a circus F1 is… The clowns and the ringleader always pouring water on each other. But at the end of the day they all get their pay-cheques.

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      15th March 2016, 0:56

      Lauda is so annoying.

    2. Well, Mercedes couldn’t exactly say no seeing as all these rules and changes are aimed at specifically reining them in. Otherwise you would hear an endless stream of criticism from Bernie and Horner blaming everything wrong with F1 on Mercedes. So its best to just nod and carry on.

    3. knoxploration
      15th March 2016, 1:31

      Exactly. Why did his team go along with this abomination if they knew it was idiotic? At least Bernie can accurately claim senility and a genuine belief that it was a good idea. Nobody will believe him, nor should they, but he could at least make the claim. Niki’s got another couple of decades ’til he can use that excuse, and apparently went along with something he knew to be a bad idea.

      1. To prevent Bernie and the FIA from steamrollering through something stupider than this qualifying proposal, as they have been threatening to do.

        1. knoxploration
          15th March 2016, 16:21

          This is a totally specious argument. If Bernie wanted to steamroller something through (and had the ability to do so without the teams’ agreement), he’d have done it whether or not the teams went along with something slightly less bad. Fact is if a few of the front-running teams had refused the change, it wouldn’t have been pushed through.

    4. IIRC they kinda forced to accept under pretext Bernie will make reverse-grid or time ballast to shake the order otherwise. Basically they choose the lesser of two evils I guess?

      1. Wouldn’t they be able to veto other ideas as well? Were they afraid they’d had to sit through another meeting? It is a damn circus.

        1. Not and avoid Bernie and the FIA imposing it against their wills. They gave themselves a mandate to change what they wanted, so now teams are being forced to send through the least damaging of those proposals, while highlighting exactly how stupid they are in an attempt to show FIA and Bernie how stupid they are being – and either get them to rein in their folly or set up the psuedopolitical background needed for a breakaway series.

    5. It has become rather typical for F1. First everyone agrees to some rule changes, which then turn out to be divisive or even hugely unpopular. Then no one wants to take responsibility for them anymore. The double points rule was an even better example of that behaviour.

    6. Let us see how it plays out @Tristan. It may be the Mercs do a first Q3 run early, sit on it while the others get tossed, then do a late run for pole with ONLY Mercs on TV ;) Pure airtime baby.

      Or maybe only Mercs and their buddies Ferrari.

      And perhaps Lauda doesn’t want to seem too thrilled. Cos it’s stupidly good for them :)

      1. That’s exactly what I expect Mercedes to do. But it doesn’t change that Mercedes has an agenda to restrict the amount of damage Bernie and the FIA are doing to F1 by their my-way-or-the-highway tactics.

        1. No I agree @alianora-la-canta, Merc have been reasonably good citizens (apart from the PU price chicanery I suppose). Still, they’re going to take a present that falls into their lap like this, even if Lauda can’t help pointing out the stupidity of it while hiding his glee.

          Quite likely he is amused that Bernie brought it about aiming to hinder Mercedes.

          1. @lockup I can see exactly where you are coming from, and agree.

    7. Exactly what I was going to post. All I have read for the last few days from teams and drivers has been about how rubbish the new qualifying format will be and yet they apparently voted for it unanimously!?

      1. Are you folks suggesting Lauda could have said no and his one opinion would have stopped this quali change? Somehow I don’t think so.

        1. @Robbie Teams must reach unanimous agreement to change the regulations for the upcoming season this late. So if Mercedes had voted against the elimination qualifying, then it would not happen in 2016. For sure, F1 is about compromise but I think Claire Williams has responded to the criticism better: “Let’s wait and see. It’s too early to judge.”

          1. @girts No I understand the unanimity but would suggest that the team decided for it and that Lauda is not necessarily a ‘hypocrite’ which is really what inspired my post. I think it is unfair to single out Lauda when for all we know he did everything he could within the team to express his dismay but ultimately it was not solely up to him. Obviously.

          2. @Robbie OK, I see your point. Lauda himself suggests that it was not the case though. His explanation rather sounds like “Bernie offered something completely ridiculous and then we all agreed to something less stupid just to calm him down”:

            For us at Mercedes it was not a compelling idea. So it was better to accept the other proposal.

        2. *This* change, at this point of the season, yes. Given that the FIA and Bernie gave themselves a mandate to change F1, it wouldn’t have helped anyone in the medium term, as the powers-that-be would simply have imposed the change on the fake pretext they gave themselves.

  2. Personally, I’d like to see, as someone suggested on the forum, Q1 and Q2 kept as they are with the final qualifying segment replaced with single-lap qualifying. I don’t think it would detract from the show, and it would create more surprises. For instance, we’ve seen Hamilton screw up his final quali lap multiple times over the past couple of years, but it’s not so dramatic when his first banker lap was already good enough for second place. I believe Formula E uses a similar system and it seems to do a good job of keeping man-to-beat Buemi off pole position. It obviously wouldn’t turn every race on its head, but it has the potential to create more unpredictability than the previous system, and the new system (which the teams will get on top of immediately).

    1. @jackysteeg, there were many good suggestions which could have worked for qualifying (all but reverse grid). The problem is that the existing format worked well, and nobody was complaining. There are many many other things in F1 which should have been changed, from tyres (hopefully next year); payment structure; making cars faster (unclear what we get); fair and affordable freedom to develop; etc.
      It seems that the circus (see above) focusses on the non-issues and does not tackle the real issues.

      1. Thats the thing in all the areas of F1 where fans are complaining I cannot remember a group of fans complaining in forums across the internet about the qualifying format, probably the only part of F1 they were not complaining about. Instead they have meddled with something that works fine to rectify an issue with another area, in this case the race, instead of tackling the core issues with the races. Painting over the cracks comes to mind or bodge job.

      2. @coldfly – It’s yet another sticking plaster to try and artificially make the sport more exciting.

        Mixing up the grid so that cars have to DRS their way back to the front isn’t exciting. All it will do it means that when mistakes happen, the Mercedes on pole will have a huge gap to the Mercedes in 2nd which will make the race less exciting!

        F1 last season was like watching paint dry. F1’s solution to this problem appears to be to change the colour of the paint…..

    2. single lap qually is the only non-artificial way that i can think of that can really mix up the grid from time to time. On it’s own it is too boring, but just Q3 that way may be the best option. Being fast will not be enough alone, as you need to be consistent with a single lap Q3 and even last year if it was in place we would have seen at least 5 races where a non Merc car was on pole i think.

      The only alteration i would make is that if the session is wet Q3 should be as it is, because it just won’t be fare for it to be single lap when the conditions are changeable.

  3. I for one think Ocon is way more talented than Pascal. I don’t see what Pascal has done that makes him seemingly such a shoe in for a future Merc seat other than his nationality.

  4. Only a few days away from the real start of the season now! That is what has me excited. I do like to see a great champ like Mario Andretti tweeting about it too.

    1. And how endearing to see him trying to use text shorthand, @bascb. Maybe in ten years he’ll try some emoticons and emoji’s towards the end of this century.

      1. :-) that would be amazing (having Mario around at the end of this century that is :-o ) @coldfly

        1. d==(‘_’)==b

          1. 2 thumbs up @xtwl.

  5. Yes Lauda, your comment re qualy is very hypocritical seeing how you berated Bernie for saying F1 is crap and now you are saying a similar thing.

    1. Because vettel is scared of hammer time

    2. @aliced Criticising one element of F1 is not the same thing as criticising the entire sport.

      1. Yeah but Lauda isn’t going to criticise the entire sport – it’s set up exactly how Mercedes want it to be!

        1. If it was set up differently and Mercedes was still winning you will stay it was set up like Mercedes wanted it to be.

  6. D:Reid (@unicron2002)
    15th March 2016, 8:29

    Yes, there are many things for us to whinge about in F1 (and don’t we!) but let’s be grateful for two things that we take for granted: 1)Melbourne. 2)Melbourne as season opener! It could SO not be the season opener as I’m sure Bernie could find any number of oil rich states to pay a premium for hosting the opening race (as Abu Dhabi does for hosting the final race). When Bahrain hosted the openers in 2006 and 2010 it just wasn’t the same. Melbourne, I love you and please don’t go anywhere.

  7. How is letting Nicholas Latifi run in FP1 a “revenue exercise”? Renault does not sell any cars in Canada… hasn’t in 30 years, so that’s not the revenue their generating. And his father isn’t a billionaire like Lance Stroll, the Canadian racer on his way to F1 (with Williams).

    Side note: The thought of TWO Canadians racing in Formula 1 against each other is nearly unbelievable.

    1. As I read in other comments, “Latifi is well funded by his family’s company Sofina”.
      Anyway, if it’s not a revenue exercise, then what is it according to you? Because it’s not based on his performances in the feeder series…

    2. When I read the story I assumed he was going to run in one FP1 but it is true that they mentioned “at least” so can be more. But they say that is the goal, they don’t say it will happen for sure.
      The COTD assumes he is doing FP1s, in the same way as Palmer did last year. Because the plan seems different it might not be a revenue exercise, but it actually may be if we see Sofina appearing as a team sponsor…

  8. That yellow Renault looks great.
    Not just the colour, but the idea of having a promo shoot with an F1 car on a surfboard. Nice link with Australian season opener for e (re)new(ed) team.

    1. @coldfly but the yellow car is not an F1 car. Seems like a FR 2.0.

      1. Pretty sure it IS an F1 car @bakano, just its one that might be about a decade old by now (the team still uses those as showcars / display cars), just like the car shown in mostly black at their presentation was not the newest model.

        1. I was corrected on Twitter as well, @bascb. It should be a simplified R26. I was looking into that car assuming was very similar to the black on Keith’s tweet that really seems to small for a F1 and made the mistake. I missed part of the rear wing side panel and assumed it was a small one hence jump into conclusion being a FR 2.0.

  9. Say what you want about Hamilton but were the situation reversed, I would not see him saying no to any potential teammate.

    And yes that’s exactly what Horner is saying Vettel did…

    1. That’s because Vettel knows what we all know would happen if the teamed up.

      1. that Hamilton would lose in a similar way Raikonnen is losing to Vettel?

    2. No he is not he is saying they would not be teammates not who would not want it.

      1. Read the article, he does say it, I think Vet is smart enough to want to be #1 whereas Hamilton wouldn’t want to do anything that looked “weak”, but the smart option is to be a #1 for sure..

        1. @alex w Horner does not say it – the article author seems to infer it from Horner’s actual words, which is something different entirely.

        2. Britisch Press back at it again..

          Show me where it quotes it quotes Horner saying
          ” Vettel would habe Blockes it”

          It doesn’t. That part was added by the Journalist. Ridiculous

    3. @offdutyrockstar how is he saying that? I’ve just read the part and I can’t see it. He says it would have been impossible to accomodate both Hamilton and Vettel at Red Bull at the time, but he’s not saying why. You translate that to Vettel saying no to a teammate? Bit far-fetched, no?

      1. His opinion is projecting what he wants the truth to be all though it is not, it is just his dearest wish. You cannot compare eras but these drivers are in the same era, one has more titles and is 3 or so years younger, in many eras Hamilton would be considered the best of his era unfortunately like Ronaldo with Messi Hamilton competes at the same time as Vettel. Still a very very good driver, of course this is my opinion.

      2. What I’m seeing is that Christian is saying that you couldn’t please both Hamilton and Vettel simultaneously (from the extract in the round-up). This is true, for they like quite different things in a car, and are both accustomed to being the prime mover in their team.

        Inferring from that, it is impossible for both to feel like prime mover in that situation; either development favours one driver over the other (thus displeasing whichever driver is left behind by the development path), or the development favours neither and the car ends up slow (pleasing neither driver, since both expect success and quality cars).

        Christian certainly didn’t say Hamilton and Vettel could not be team-mates. He implied it would be a rather bad idea. I can see where the headline came from – a misconstruing of a different remark from Christian, “it was impossible to accommodate both Vettel and Hamilton in the team”, which he clearly meant as a specific reference to the time Hamilton attempted to join Red Bull in 2011. Simply because it was impossible in 2011 at Red Bull (and I’d agree with Christian’s assessment) does not mean it is impossible for a hypothetical team to have Lewis and Sebastian as team-mates in 2017 or 2018. People and teams do change. (Otherwise, Fernando Alonso would not have touched McLaren with a 10-foot bargepole… …OK, maybe that wasn’t the best example).

      3. @MattDS

        Right here, verbatim, from the article;

        “Part of the reason Horner rebuffed Hamilton is that Vettel did not want to risk his pre-eminent position in the sport, and would have blocked the move.”

        1. I rate Vettel now and would consider myself a support but he is a different man to the petulant Red Bull brat he was previously, 2014 humbled him hugely. I have no doubt he would have blocked a Hamilton move before then.

          1. @offdutyrockstar as markp is stating, that is what the author adds – not Horner’s words. We all know the press, don’t we?

            Anyway, Vettel didn’t really change a lot during his career. It’s just that now he’s out of RBR, people seem to like him more. Basically he was very well liked before 2011 or something, and now he is again. People generally don’t like dominance and take it out on the driver that wins too much. But he was always the same guy.

          2. I disagree, I don’t think we would see Vettel pull a ‘Multi 21’ or gesticulate that his team mate was crazy after a crash these days. He seems happier to do his talking out on track and by ribbing the Merc boys in the press conference afterwards, like I said I believe 2014 was very humbling for him and his aura seems that of a true champion now, I never got that from him before.

        2. That’s not a quote from Horner it is the writers interpretation. Then again I could imagine this as it is easier to be defensive from a position of strength as Hamilton is now.

        3. It’s still not a quote from Horner, it’s the (british) Authors unsubstantiated projection.

    4. I am sure that Hamilton would say no to Vettel (or Alonso) coming into Mercedes too.

    5. The truth is, if Vettel had any say in who his teammate was to be, he’d have had Webber gone long before 2013..

      1. @MH

        So true lol. Not to mention the development path on the car in 2012 went away from what Vettel wanted (remember China running two different set ups – and Newey spending time on Webber’s car). Newey aways went for the best car within the regs, not a car that favored one of the drivers.

        One thing folks seem to miss is how LH responds when Nico has the upper hand. I’m sure if Vettel and Hamilton where on the same team, it would be even worse (Vettel would dominate him more often than Nico has – regardless of who you think would ultimately come out ahead between Vet/Ham.)

  10. Alonso / Raikkonen or Vettel / Raikkonen pairings also seemed unlikely for a long time. Unfortunately they happened too late when Raikkonen’s best times were already in the past (I still hope Kimi proves me wrong this year). Alonso & Button might still have a lot of potential but their efforts are to no avail at the current team. Moreover, exciting driver combinations often appear unexpectedly (Alonso / Hamilton, Vettel / Ricciardo, Hamilton / Button or even Hamilton / Rosberg). So maybe F1 does not even need Vettel and Hamilton at the same team to have a dream team. And maybe we will still see them wearing the same overalls one day… hopefully it will be at the right team and not too late.

    1. I’d bet a few quid @girts that Bernie is saying to Mercedes that he’ll leave them alone, in terms of his EcclesPower zillion bhp customer engine, if they put Alonso in alongside Hamilton.

      1. I’d be surprised if Merc was threatened by an Ecclunit since that will be something customers will be slapping in their cars and pretending they’re a works team that will never be able to compete fully vs the real works teams.

        But your underlying point is taken…who will be behind the wheel at Merc in 2017 beside LH? Just given their history I’d be surprised if it was FA.

        1. Red Bull is the big stick in that threat I reckon @robbie. But a completely new power unit could be a lot more powerful and lighter, so several teams could rise to the top with it, potentially.

          And yes FA + LH would be a highly volatile cocktail, all over again. Only a really seriously dire threat would make it happen!

          I dunno, it’s a bit weird Toto hasn’t renewed Rosberg, when he’s so perfect pace-wise. The delay can only destabilise him.

          1. @lockup As to a customer PU I’m a bit stuck on the notion that working a PU into a chassis and a chassis around a PU is what is needed these days, so I don’t envision a customer team slapping some unit in and making it work at WDC level. To me ‘customer PU’ equals affordable, which likely won’t therefore also be lighter and more powerful than what the 4 makers are doing now.

            As to renewing NR, I would think there is plenty of time, I don’t think TW would nor needs to let this get to the point of destabilizing him, so to suggest there is already delay going on is, I think, premature. If Merc wants to retain him there’s time, just as there is if they don’t want him back and will sign someone else. Either way I would not be surprised if NR’s people and Merc have already set up a time frame as to when discussions and negotiations if needed are to begin. For now this is probably the furthest thing on their minds.

            Let’s first see if it is another Merc year, then if it is LH or NR that are leading, then if a Ferrari or two are surprisingly in it or not, and then we’ll know more about whether Merc decides more continuity is prudent going forward or if it is time for a new teammate for LH.

          2. Just re-reading my post, by saying see if Ferrari is ‘surprisingly’ in it I mean more competitive than they already appear they may be this year. Eg. How does Merc react if SV is winning half the races and the two Merc drivers the other half? (Sorry Kimi)

          3. There’s plenty of time to sign Nico indeed @robbie, though Toto has said he won’t until the summer and he’s going to see how the season develops. There’s going to be a lot of speculation and questions. Of course it could just be Wehrlein and a senior/junior pairing Toto has in mind, and he’s waiting to see how Pascal goes.

            On the power unit, my starting point is that (a) it’s going to need more fuel and (b) there’s no point unless it’s cheaper and more potent than a Renault.

            Well a bigger fuel tank means mostly a new car afaik and that’s expensive. Also the Renault is going to catch up some during this year. So there’s no point in it for the midfield, they have decent motors already – unless there’s the lure of top horsepower and cost saving mid-term. For Red Bull it can only be for top tier performance.

            Bernie can deliver less weight with less battery and only one MGU, and more HP with more fuel flow, revs and boost. This is what Merc and Ferrari fear. So they have to deal, IMO.

            I admit the FA to Merc thing is 2+2=4.5 :) But it does tick a few boxes.

          4. Yes if Seb is winning half the races Merc are deep in it aren’t they, unless it’s at least say 2/3 to one of their drivers.

          5. Fair comments @lockup You have invested more time than I on this PU of BE’s but I still find it hard to envision Merc and Ferrari in ‘fear’ as any team taking on this PU will need time to gel with it and so much can change between now and an actual car racing in anger an actual BE unit, including what Ferrari can veto along the way.

            If you are saying BE is basically going to build RBR a PU, then of course that reeks of conflict of interest etc etc…nothing shocking for the F1 world really…but again, I’m struggling to see it. Maybe BE would be better off bolstering Renault since they’ve talked of adding staff.

          6. Yep, nobody would believe Bernie is really going to go and get an engine built @robbie, if it were anyone else. But he’s built his empire on not bluffing. And Merc and Ferrari know that the plan only works if the engine is if anything a bit better than theirs.

            I could believe Red Bull could build their new 2017 car around a new engine later this year – it’s supposed to be simpler after all. Toro Rosso did it pretty late.

            But with one thing and another, a mega intra-team shootout dramafest at Mercedes would do instead, perhaps. I’d pay to watch Lewis vs Fernando Part 2, anyway.

    2. I’d like to think we already have a few decent pairings wearing the same colours @girts and I would like to think that they could get rather tense in 2016. Kvyat was closer to Ricciardo in 2015 than I at least thought he would be, and with another season under his belt now the two could meet on track fairly often this year. The Force India pairing finished 1-1 across the two seasons they have been paired together. It’s a fairly big year for both I feel, and on their day, either are absolutely world class. We also mustn’t forget the two Toro Rosso guys. Both are young enough and talented enough to be in F1 for many years to come, and perhaps deliver titles. Should they end up at rival teams fighting for world championships, it would be pretty cool that we were able to see them duke it out in equal machinery (and hopefully more reliable machinery this year).

      And we never know what Magnussen/Palmer, Haryanto/Wehrlein and Grosjean/Gutierrez could spring up.

      1. @craig-o I absolutely agree with you. Of course the excitement is bigger if two equally great team mates fight for the world championship instead of 5th or 8th place but it does not mean that there are not intriguing battles taking place all over the grid.

  11. Putting 2 drivers of their calibre in the same team has never really worked out all that well.

    I’m really hoping though that this year that Vettel and Hamiltons cars are fairly close together in performance as Id love to see these two race on equal footing for a whole season.

    1. Never really worked out all that well for who? The paying audience deserves the best pairings and I admire any team that takes the high road and gives us their best rather than a manufactured setting of a designated 1 and 2 that robs the audience of two rivals competing with the same equipment.

      1. It works for the audience but rarely for either driver or the team involved. Williams in 1996 is the primary exception I can think of, and it helped there that Jacques Villenueve was a rookie who was simultaneously respected throughout the team. More usually, pairing two champions leads to one driver soundly defeating the other and the team not reaching its potential… …or neither driver getting a car good enough to be worthy of their talents.

        1. The main concern is the audience, or should be at least. Not sure how ‘usually’ one WDC has soundly beat the other, or not had a good enough car. Senna/Prost was an incredible saga. And if a team’s car is inferior then who better than to have two WDC’s pushing each other to get the car to the top. Although usually an inferior team doesn’t have two WDC’s on it.

          1. @robbie So you’re in a competition, competing, and you should care about the audience more than about winning?
            What are the organisers and rulemakers (apart from the strategy group, anyway) for, then?

            The paying audience deserves the best pairings

            No all we deserve is the right to stop watching if we think it sucks. And that’s exactly what we have.

  12. @keithcollantine, that yellow car looks like the 2003 Jordan EJ13 to me.

    1. @serg33, I think it is the real stuff (Renault). The image was snapped by some backpackers on an Australian beach yesterday.

    2. It would be amusing to have an EJ13 on the grid, just once, just to see how much faster the current crop of cars are than it…

      1. Off the line, I think a V10 with launch control will give a V6T a good run for its money tho!

  13. Put two like vettel and Hamilton together -both top rate, in their prime and neither willing to be back driver, and you’ve got a recipe for lots of smashed cars, lost tempers ,bad in team feelings – disaster for a team, even if it’s fun for us. No team is going to risk that.

    Hamilton and Alonso showed what happens.

    (Webber seems like a bit of a bitter no 2 these days.)

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