F1 Fanatic Live: World Endurance Championship

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813 comments on “F1 Fanatic Live: World Endurance Championship”

  1. The only thing missing fro Webber is a proper title celebration – it’s such a lame thing that no series has a championship podium except NASCAR. Even if you win by finishing 17th, you still get the championship celebration (aside from the separate victory lane, of course).

  2. Also heart-warming to see Wurz’s farewell with a podium finish.
    I’m only a little bit gutted that Wolff didn’t procedded much in ROC, but she was close nevertheless. A great day.

  3. It’s quite iconic – as Webber finally wins a major championship, Vettel, in about the exact same moment, perhaps literally, clinches his first Race of Champions title. Which he pursued for nearly a decade now. It’s a big fat happy ending for the ex team mates.

    1. Indeed. I was actually thinking the same thing. If this was a hollywood movie, the timing would’ve been perfect. Perhpaps it actually is.

      It doesn’t matter-both will go home happy now. A big achievement for Vettel, he finally wins ROC, but a massive, massive win for Webber. He can finally tell that he’s actually a World Champion :D Jesus… i’m so excited :D

    1. Yep :D Maybe F1 was too much for him, but this year both his team and driver pairing were stronger than Audi/Lot and co. and it showed.

      WORLD CHAMPIONs!!! WORLD CHAMPIONS!!

  4. Even if, say, Neel retied now, Lot would inherit 1st, but Web would been 4th. The Porsche boys have this in the bag now. Only a Interlagos 2008 can send the title to the Audi garage now.

  5. Irrelevant with WEC, but seeing the Aston Martin tweet reminded me of the possible F.I. buyout. And if that happens, i wouldn’t want a “rebrand”. Better have a full takeover, to make an Aston Martin works team. Simple rebranding an outfit seems..cheap.

  6. Webber is back on track again – no places lost, but blimey, that Porsche seems to be on its last legs. It was the engine actuator once again. Meanwhile, Mr Le Mans blitzes into the ROC semis in London… :D

  7. Popping back to catch up with things: the #17 Porsche is not able to hunt down any of the Toyotas after all (still 1 lap plus the better part of 30s down), so I guess it’ll come down to Porsche seeing how strategy pans out in the final half an hour – and then decide: if the #18 can win the race, they won’t interfere, but if it cannot, they’ll surely instruct it to stop with 4-6 laps to go.

  8. Also, the #17 is about 30s behind the 4th-place Toyota on-track – 2 laps down on the standings, but if they can claw a lap back (they are lapping 2s faster), they’ll be just 1 lap down. They can get that thing back until the checkered on their own as well.

  9. OK, it’s now #7 Audi v. #18 Porsche for the win as the #8 Audi also has a problem. If Porsche wins that particular battle – currently down to strategy – they’ve for the title for the other car.

  10. As things stand, the Audis have practically began their pit cycles early (about lap 25 vs the Porsche’s lap 30) and generally drive shorter stints (about 25-lap vs the Porsches’ 30-lap). Now I wonder if that will set them on a 7-stop race (28*7 plus a few laps for the expected 205, give or take a two). Vs. Porsche’s 6 stops (30*6 plus a few laps).

  11. Webber and co. are 14 points in front of Lotterer and co.

    Web and co. can clinch the title by finishing on 3rd place or higher in Bahrain, in 3 weeks time.

    1. Multi 17-18 all the way @adrianmorse. I won’t be as angry at it this time because it deosn’t change #18’s championship status (#18 will be out whether they finish 1st or 2nd wrt #17), even if team orders at Fuji did a hell of a lot for that.

  12. they really picked a bad time for the race start. had it been three hours earlier i’d have been able to watch the whole race, but since this race is over at 6 am for me i can’t watch it. can’t stay awake for this long.

    1. I’m not convinced I can stay up until 5 am given there’s a marathon running near my house tomorrow morning…. …but there’s a loud concert going on now that means I need the WEC to block out the racket! Can’t win.

  13. It’s not often that I watch three competitive racing sessions and the F1 is the least Noah’s Ark-esque… Still, some interesting racing is happening in the back half of the field.

    1. The fuel penalty system was introduced with the new regulation package, which places strict limits both on the fuel flow rate and the amount of fuel which can be used over an average of three laps. I do not think that anybody has fallen foul of it before, but the penalty system was in place at Le Mans.

          1. I’d day Marko and Mateschitz will certainly want to have Webbo and Brendon attending the Austrian GP, at least they will then have something to show off, yes. Not sure about Horner, although, you are right about him being able to suddenly be “hugely proud” of Mark and somehow claiming he had anything to do with it, maybe adding how LeMans is now better than F1 or something.

        1. Chill mate, he’s great. He was stellar that day, but made a rookie error. But that’s almost 3 years ago, and he has absolutely no reason to push as hard as a Force India driver trying do overtake a dominant McLaren.

  14. Interested to see how Radio Le Mans would handle Hulkenberg winning.

    Radio Le Mans gets a bit precious about endurance racing versus Formula 1. I think the idea that an F1 driver could come in and potentially win Le Mans at the first attempt after they spend so much time criticising modern Formula 1 doesn’t really suit their narrative that endurance racers are so much more admirable than F1 drivers.

      1. They do — but GT Am drivers still score points toward the overall GT championship in the WEC, so perhaps they could be on the podium? Either way, Pedro Lamy & co are going to score 50 points toward that championship — they’re going to be ahead of most of the pro teams!

    1. It does seem like that watching it.. no retirements of the top 8 etc. but I’m sure there is conservation of fuel and tyres to make the ‘quad stints’ or not run out of fuel on a 13km lap back to the pits etc.

      1. Every race has some sort of conservation as it’s in the DNA of competitors to find an advantage in any shape or form and Le Mans is no different. However, to say that it’s purely a race to last 24 hours isn’t correct. These guys go flat out for most of the and yet the gaps in some of these classes are just around 30-40 secs which might seem a lot but it’s nothing when you fight for 24 hours.

        Just look now at the GTE Pro class. They had a sprint for 22 hours and now the Ferrari #51 which was nearly 4 laps in front of Ferrari #71 is behind them.

        Same for LMP2 and LMP1.

        It indeed is a sprint as well as a marathon!

        1. Mainly because of fear one manufacturer might be way ahead, triggering a spending war on ERS. Agree open, but with a fixed price to customers, would be better aligned with goal of the PU.

          1. I agree with more open, especially leaving more room to increase the hybrid use – the MGH especially. Then again, just imagine Mercedes being even further ahead …

    1. True, I think the only race was Le Mans Bugatti in 1967, called a ‘mickey mouse track’ at the time, a bit like Tilkedromes now compared to the classics! No doubt they’d have rather run the classic course..

  15. Funnily, so many former Red Bull juniors are following their master Dr. Helmut Marko by racing in Le Mans and hardly racing in Formula 1.

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Brendon Hartley
    Neel Jani (that’s not me)
    Karun Chandhok
    Sebastian Buemi

    1. My question is, where would he go? It’s so rare for top LMP1 teams to unceremoniously dump one of their drivers, Lapierre being the exception. The only time you’ll see a vacancy open up is when a driver retires or a new team enters. And even then, most manufacturers tend to promote from within. I reckon Hulkenberg will carry on in F1 while driving the third Porsche for the next few years.

      1. It’s so rare for top LMP1 teams to unceremoniously dump one of their drivers

        But it doesn’t have to be unceremonious. Lieb could always take back the wheel of a 911 RSR, while Dumas is preeeetty much a loaner from Audi.

    2. Hulkenberg SHOULD make that move, to be honest, if someone offers him a full season contrct. It’s not “if he doesn’t get a top drive in F1”. He won’t. No way Ferrari or Red Bull or McLaren are going to pick him over Bottas or Verstappen or Magnussen or Vandoorne.

      Also, winning here with Porsche might just prove to be the perfect start of a very fruitful sportscar career. I don’t tip him for a 2016 move just yet, but I have no doubt he’ll end up in the WEC at some point soon.

      1. But Ferrari did have an option on him – and this was while they still had Bianchi waiting in the wings! It’s not impossible Ferrari will hire him, but now he’s up against Ricciardo and Bottas. If they get Bottas to replace Kimi that might steal him away from direct competitors however..

          1. Agree with both of your comments above. To be really honest, I rate Hulk more than Bottas, so I would love to see him drive a Ferrari…and he has got #27 also, iconic with Ferrari

  16. Seeing those pitstop replays, I would really hope that instead of horrible complicated things, F1 would just cut down on how many people can work on a car at a time. IF you want pitstops to be more interesting, this will help making it more of a moment. It will challenge the team too. A slight cost saving and improved safety on top = win IMO

    1. I’d prefer to keep the 2 point something second stops, I’m still gobsmacked by those. But yeah, if we had to have refuelling back in F1, make them complete the fuelling, then do the tyres. Or left tyres first, then right with the same people changing them.

  17. If it stays dry and if we don’t have a very long Safety Car period, we just might see an unbelievable 400 laps by the winner!

    It’s currently 397 laps in 2010 by Audi

    Also Bamber and Hulkenberg would be the first drivers since Laurent Aïello in 1998 to win Le Mans on their debut.

      1. Here’s hoping you’re not jinxing him with that kind of question. ;-)
        But yeah, he could be in for a massive reputation boost that might help his F1 career.

  18. I think Porsche are fortunate that the Audis with the fastest drivers have hit the most trouble. Lotterer has been banging in some very quick lap times, and I haven’t seen that kind of consistent speed from the #9.

      1. Well, the fastest team, but they had bad luck and some mistakes, so not sure about best. Also, Porche is a newer team, but with a car that is quite close to the Audi in race trim, otherwise it wouldn’t still be so close as it has been for most of the race.

    1. Yes, although they do have the option of Michelin’s grooveless intermediates, which are visually the same as slicks, but for some reason they cope very well in the damp, and are also useable in fully dry conditions.

    1. I see, the #19 Porsche has a 1 lap lead over the #17 Porsche and a gap of a bit over 4 minutes over the first Audi. Neat. Keeping my fingers crossed for them.

    2. Don’t think you missed much.

      – Nissan #21 retired
      – Porsche #17 is firmly in P2 after a great battle with Audi #9
      – Audi #7 chances blew even further after the car’s rear bodywork flew off by itself

    1. Why not? The class is ProAm, if a 60 year old Am driver wants to pay for a car to enter, it gives another two drivers with more talent/potential the chance to race, and if they’re living their dream, good luck to them.

    2. I agree with Mathers there. If he can afford it and is healthy enough/sharp enough to pass the minimum requirements, why not? Nothing wrong with age, either young or old, they are just one factor. The guy is still driving better than many of us will ever do

  19. Did any of the other broadcasts pick up that set of complex instructions they gave the Audi #9 car for recycling everything between the chicanes? That was NUTS! No power, no brakes, no steering…get it up to 200mph and start resetting everything….I’m sure it will be ok! LOL
    These guys are nuts!

  20. Wow the Porsches are actually getting quicker. Mark had no pace earlier and now he’s flying. Top 3 on the same lap though and that’s nothing. The problem is it’s the wrong Audi, the No.7 (and to a lesser extent 8) would probably have the pace later if they were making up ground on the same lap. Is this Porsche’s race providing they stay reliable?

  21. US coverage pointing out a cracked left rear fender on Audi #9. Discussing the impact to the structural and aerodynamic integrity at speed. Might come from an impact with a GTE Ferrari, that Albuquerque apparently reports.

  22. Just tried to see the race on Utube, not good, 24hrs.Live = talking heads, broad daylight, before 4am. Also lots of panning across celebrities labelled “the start” and other clickbait.

        1. Once upon a time, just two years ago, there was a team that raced red cars. They were looking for a new driver to challenge their #1 driver. Hülkenberg was young, Hülkenberg was cheap, Hülkenberg was delivering race after race, Hülkenberg was perfect.
          Then they hired that guy who they had dumped a couple of years ago, who then went on to be overshadowed by his second and now his third team mate at that very same team.
          This little story was the beginning of the story of why I am now an estranged ex-fan of that team.

          1. That part about the salary is a kind of urban myth. In fact, they just wanted to be rid of him. Sadly for them, he still had a valid contract, so they had to continue paying his salary. The only way out of that situation would’ve been Räikkönen signing a contract with a different F1 team. But the Finn made the maths and decided that he might as well take the 20 million squid and do something else, since there was no other team that would’ve offered him a similarly profitable contract.
            The fact that Ferrari continued to pay his salary although they definitely didn’t want him to drive their car anymore was then re-interpreted as a sort of gilded cage to prevent him from being competitive with a different team, when he was in fact a shelf warmer.

  23. Might be wishful thinking on my part, but with Ganassi running the Ford GT program, what chance is there of Ganassi bringing some of their Indy drivers over for Le Mans? Obviously they’d have to make sure it doesn’t clash with an IndyCar race…

      1. First time watching LeMans.

        Clearly a lesson learnt there. I dont know if he’s eating while talking (rude/unprofessional) or whether he has a problem with creating too much saliva.

        But where can i find radio lemans?

  24. Massive Webber fan (Aussie), have to say I’m pretty disappointed with his mistake, though I haven’t seen them show the replay of the incident yet. Feels like Korea 2010, though the race is still young and anything can happen.

  25. I’m a long time F1 nerd. Over the last 10 years I’ve been a little blinkered to anything else, because F1 was delivering the goods. Now that F1 is failing, for reasons we’ve all read about on this very forum, I find myself watching the 24 hour race at Le Mans with any degree of committed attention.

    I’ll be honest, I’m finding things pretty difficult to follow, but a fair level of finger pointing can be made in the direction of the UK TV coverage people for that. It’s not terrible, but far from poor also. I’m also struggling to follow some of the battles, but then again, I imagine it’s nearly impossible for the race camera director to cover such a large circuit with such a spread-out field to get all of the action in.

    On the positive side, I love the speed of the LMP1 cars. They are very impressive to watch. I’m also impressed with the level of work undertaken by the pit crews to get the cars serviced and back on track. Especially the lengths they go to make repairs after an accident!

    Broadcasts of the Race Director’s communications to the teams is a very good idea. As is the ‘Slow Zone’ idea. I’m am, however, concerned about the heavy braking in the yellow flagged zone prior to the slow zone. It looks a tad unsafe to me to unsettle cars of various braking capabilities stamping on the brakes so close to each other on the approach to the scene of an incident.

    All in all, I’m properly enjoying this. F1 has A LOT to learn and should probably lend an ear to the WEC and how it does things. Even in regards to the speed and reliability the LMP1 regulations seems to provide. F1 should take note, better that than the current rhetoric of total ignorance and aggressive competition with rival categories.

    Anyway, poor me another wine! There’s a race to watch!

    1. Le Mans gives me the same feeling of childlike wonder that I felt when I first started watching F1 as a 10-year-old. It doesn’t even need to be a close race. I wouldn’t even care if there was a 5 lap gap between 1st and 2nd. It’s just such a joy to watch this race.

    1. – #8 Audi came steaming into some GTs slowing for yellow flags and clouted the #51 AF Corse. Both still running but with delays. A Safety Car resulted.

      – #9 Audi and #17 Porsche have been duelling for the best strategy to win the race.

      – Hulkenberg’s done a pretty good debut so far and is currently 4th

      – The #36 Signatech Alpine hit the wall and caused the current Safety Car.

      1. Can’t wait too see them fight for the lead once the safety car pulls in!
        Just a thought: if Porsche are only triple stinting now, will they run out of tires near the end and have to refit used sets?

      1. I think it’s something to do with the Discovery Network buying into Eurosport, they also own Quest so they’re getting the race onto Freeview for a little while to get people interested

    1. I find it hard to keep track of all the pit stop strategies. Be great if the FIA could include the lap of a car’s last pit stop in the timing information. But that’s a minor complaint.
      It’s great to know that Porsche and Audi are effectively racing each other for the lead. What about Porsche possibly pitting a lap later from time to time? How’s that panning out?

      1. Well the reason Porsche laps later is because they carry around 67 kgs of fuel while Audi being a diesel, they carry around 54 kgs which allows Porsche to lap later than Audi but makes them heavier and hence slower while Audi are great with tires so they quadruple stint while Porsche does a triple.

        1. I see.
          What about the comparison between quadruple vs. triple stints and Porsche pitting later (thus eventually less frequently)? Which of the two strategic advantages is more important? Couldn’t it be that they’re cancelling each other out?

          1. Nope, they won’t necessarily cancel each other as other factors would play a part like no of SCs, avg lap time of every stint as well as pitstop turn around time (where Audi are massively efficient over Porsche). That’s the best part of Le Mans 24 hours. Different strategies collide in the final few hours!

    1. We understand, Keith, I skipped hour 6 for bedtime stories :-) How do you rate Hulkenberg’s team mates, btw? As it stands they’re still in the race for victory, and Nico is producing some impressive lap times.

      1. They’re obviously top GT talents and like Hulkenberg they’re not LMP1 regulars so I can understand why Porsche’s put them together. I don’t follow GT racing that closely but Ben who I commentate does and he really rates Tandy.

  26. Great race so far! 6 cars within a minute after more than 7 hours of racing – impossible to tell who will win. Let’s just hope the race won’t be decided by a Safety Car or something similarly random.

    1. Yeah, looks like he’s getting the hang of it. His opening stint wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring, but he’s leaving a much better impression right now.

  27. just got back from the movies (Jurassic World is great btw), looks like the audi #9 is in the lead… are the Audi’s just easier on the tires today? Have there been issues with the Porshes?

  28. trying to follow lemans for the first time after hearing bout it frm F1 drivers lately and im quite dissapointed in the coverage/broadcast team.

    i dont even know whos leading the race but i know porsche and audi are infront if im not mistaken. i know its a close race but i dont know how big the gap is. if its seconds, a lap or 50 laps apart. split times occasionally would come in handy im guessing.

    also when the accident broke the barrier and brought out safety car. they fixed it in a very impressive short time, what position did he rejoin the race in under safety car?

    again its my first time watching but i think there are ways to improve the viewing for new viewers. just my 2 cents, sorry if i sound ignorant.

    1. Not necessarily. Audi stated from the very beginning that they would focus exclusively on their race setup. At the same time, Porsche had to admit that their cars were using the tyres a bit too much.
      I’m guessing the Porsche drivers are trying to drive a bit more carefully to make the tyres last a bit longer (possibly also with a less aggressive engine setting to save fuel and the rear tyres), while the Audis are pretty much able to floor it just like in qualifying. It’s true that the Audis have already set faster laps than during qualifying, but that’s probably just the track getting faster and faster.

  29. Good move by Porsche no. 19. Hulk is inexperienced and hence it won’t be appropriate to send him in the darkness. So Nick Tandy would jump in and then Bamber would follow before the Hulk getting the car at dawn during the happy hour (provided all runs smoothly of course)

  30. Interesting point by Eurosport. Formula 1 makes an improvement of around a few tenths while these LMP1 monsters have improved by around 5-6 secs. Who knows that in a few years, these LMP1s might be faster than Formula 1 cars.

    1. Which is pretty amazing – especially as they run hybrid systems. It’s odd that F1 is all about cost cutting at the moment, but it hasn’t been mentioned at all on the commentary thus far.

    2. The LMP1s improved a lot, there’s no denying that. But comparing their time improvement here to F1 is a bit misleading. A lap around Le Mans takes more than three minutes to complete, a Formula one lap is typically one minute and a half long. Obviously you can make bigger time gains with a longer lap.

      1. Indeed but it cannot be denied that LMP1s have improved at least by 150% over Formula 1 hybrids. Formula 1 is seriously threatened by LMP1s when it comes to the ‘pinnacle of technology’ title.

          1. Well when it comes to engines, F1 is no different. Ferrari, Honda, Merc and Renault. Not only F1 engines are costly, they’re not even appealing in terms of technology to any new manufacturer to enter.

            F1 had only one new engine manufacturer in the last three years, LMP1 had three.

          2. yes, but its not really comparable is it. F1 is a sport where you have to bring money just to be part of it and THEN invest in the spotlight.
            In comparison, WEC you can turn up with a bang, start a new team and be in the top class, but still if you lose you can just say you tried, apart from the handfull of motorsport enthusiasts who like you just for trying not many people are going to notice.

          3. Well I am not comparing the two sports as a whole. I am genuinely confused about the engine aspect of the two.

            I see it simply as, F1 engine hybrids are extremely expensive while LMP1 engines are of varied technology innovations and yet are cost effective to F1 hybrids. So where is F1 going wrong with its engines when it calls itself the most technologically advanced?

          4. There is nothing that makes the LMP1s inherently less extremely expensive. Just you don’t hear the customer teams complaining because there are none. F1 is now pushing a bit extra with the exhaust heat recovery part, although they could give more scope for the whole hybrid IMO.
            A huge difference is that there is a promotor in F1 who hates these engines and does a lot to talk them down, where the ACO and the manufacturers in WEC do far more to show the positives of it. And in WEC you have competition of more varying configurations making it more interesting (imo and maybe also for manufacturers)

    3. Well, looking at the lap time gain over last year is pretty misleading for F1, due to the new nose regulations brought in for 2015. The new noses are less aerodynamic than 2014’s, and have effectively cancelled out a large part of the aerodynamic gains made over the winter, so most of the gains in 2015 have been exclusively from the PU.

  31. You’ve got to respect the Audi. It shows why they’ve had so much success in such a compressed time. Super downforce, fuel efficient, much better on tires than the rivals, super-efficient pitstops and turn-around time in the garage. Respect!

      1. In the 1st documentary (Truth in 24), they’ve shown Audi crew practicing pitstops, full service stops, simulation of all kinds of technical problems and being the only garage that was open nearly 2 weeks prior to the big race.

        This stat says it all,

        Audi avg pitstop (full service) is 105 secs while Porsche is 114 secs and Toyota at 118 secs. Incredible!

  32. Ridiculous, always pitting. Anyway this KW thing really doesn’t add up nothing to the racing, just retires and locking the performance of the leading lmp1. Why is the commentators discussing Audi vs Porsche, the only differences on the cars outlook are cosmetic, the same dimensions but small aero differences, Porsche hasn’t got the front holes and therefore is quicker on the straights but worse on downforce and tyres, in the end it’s just a little difference, anyway VW wins.

  33. Such a shame about the Toyota’s. I don’t remember them being this much off the pace in Silverstone or Spa. Has something changed in the regulations to make them slower or have Audi and Porsche just improved massively?

  34. It’s extremely sad to see the turn around of fortunes of Toyota. Huge pace deficit and I don’t understand why they don’t pitch 3 cars when Porsche, Audi and even Nissan has done it. It certainly reduces their chances as well as limits strategic moves.

    1. I don’t understand why they don’t pitch 3 cars when Porsche, Audi and even Nissan has done it.

      When you’re coming seven and eighth, what’s the value in coming ninth as well?

      Suspect the decision to change engine tech for next year was made a long time ago, so they wouldn’t be able to justify a third car for this year.

      1. That’s with the benefit of hindsight. No one expected Porsche to make such a step up and relatively, Audi has caught them up to an extent. However, the decision the run a third car is generally taken before the season begins.