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  • #298585
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    Nick
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    I think Ricciardo is leaving himself out of the equation, which is fair, but he himself might have been in F1 for a longer time, he himself only has one year of experience as a top team driver as well. I can’t imagine the rate of development at Toro Rosso being anywhere near as fast as at Red Bull and they probably utilize different methods, tools and strategies.

    I’d say the RB11’s development is not going as fast as it could because of the relative inexperience of the drivers, rather than ‘being held back’. In modern F1, the race drivers seem to have less influence on the development on the car too (as compared to cars being designed for drivers like Schumacher-Ferrari and others in the past), which I find some evidence in at McLaren this season.

    #296612
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    Nick
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    Right now, I’d say downsizing.

    Ultimately, we wants the circuit fees and the cost of running a team to go down. This cannot happen without also losing some income (from the circuits) and without sacrifice. You can’t however just cut on two or three places and keep running a company like nothing happened. I think it will boil down to taking less crew to races, having less crew, less windtunnel time, etc. This will also limit development, jobs, etc, but frankly that’s the only way I can see costs being cut without some unmanageable cost cap or giving the FOM less money (and in turn, them giving the teams less money) while expecting the teams to maintain their current budgets. A downsize like this is still largely unmanageable in a sport with this many constructors and other stakeholders, though.

    The only way I see F1 moving towards a more ‘grounded’ financial and commercial stance is to go NASCAR/Indycar and become a stand-alone series which manages its own rules, commercial rights and races. The thing is, the teams will never pry F1 from the FOM or FIA, not to mention there will always be teams who will want to continue with F1. So, frankly, F1 needs to fall entirely before it can walk, in my eyes.

    #296610
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    Nick
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    They don’t call him Niki ‘Illuminati’ Lauda for nothing.

    #296608
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    Nick
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    Maybe if we were talking about a season like 2003 or 2005, I’d agree. In seasons like that, the drama actively influenced the racing (notably both seasons had dealings with tyres that got blown up in the press). Not to mention even races with unexpected winners were often quite boring still.

    If we’re comparing drama, I’d go see the press conference in which Ross Brawn somehow successfully argues that the Michelin tyres have been illegal for 2.5 years over Rosberg throwing a hissy fit. Or even Montoya saying Schumacher is stupid for not seeing him at Imola. That was high impact drama.

    As for reporting on things that aren’t racing in between the races; no other major sport doesn’t have this. You want people to come back to your publication even on days when there isn’t any racing to report, so the daily motions of the sport are reported. Seeing as there are more days for the soap opera to develop than a race, it’s entirely possible ‘more’ happens off-track and some of it is exciting.

    #295636
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    Nick
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    Haven’t seen any myself, but MotorsTV seems to not be in on the joke, or perhaps think it’d be funny to be outraged as a joke.

    #295455
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    Nick
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    Maybe F1.com needs to follow up Ecclestone’s interview the other day with a Clarkson one.

    #294740
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    Nick
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    Not too keen on all the extra winglets, they look odd. Maybe seeing them in moving pictures will help, but so far the front looks especially weird.

    Also, Luca Filippi’s livery looks like a packaging for cheap tea, or something you would see in the 90s on a touring car. Odd livery, but I like it.

    #294669
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    Nick
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    Williams have ten days to find a driver if that even is the case. De La Rosa was found in less. Ricciardo was ready for his debut at HRT in such an amount of time. Williams have enough gravitas to pry a young driver out of a contract if Lynn is not up to it. What kind of strategy is it even for an unforseen circumstance that happened once to one team for one race, seventy-one events ago? And again, even in that case, the team found a solution in the nick of time.

    Again, you are overlooking Toro Rosso and Force India. What drivers do they have to jump into the car and why is your issue not with them as well?

    #294668
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    Nick
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    I wonder if people would complain if Valtterri Bottas’ driver’s license was taken from him and he would still be allowed to drive an F1 car. Maybe we need someone who has been struggling in GP2 for 5 seasons to take Max Verstappen’s seat.

    Also, we knew Vettel was going to finish 3rd the moment he passed Massa, Massa wasn’t going to be caught by Nasr, Nasr was too far ahead to be caught and Ericsson too far behind to catch anyone, so basically we watched 5 cars going around in circles, wasting fuel and destroying the ozone layer.

    I bet this kind of cynical attitude wins F1 tons of new fans. I hope you send this in to the most popular people on tumblr, youtube and vine so us F1 fans can make sure nobody new gets an interest in F1.

    #294569
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    Nick
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    Actually, Sebastian Buemi was in Miami for Formula E as well and is active in the WEC, which means that more often than not, he’s not available for Red Bull himself. Marciello will be competing in GP2, and has not turned a wheel in the Sauber. On top of that, Lotus brought Carmen Jorda to Melbourne as well, clearly not for her to jump in, should anything happen to Maldonado or Grosjean. Third drivers are far more symbolic than they were a decade ago.

    You are singling out Williams out of the blue (you yourself do not mention Force India and Toro Rosso in your post, but have no qualm with those teams), have shown to not be up to date on the contextual background (rules, availability of drivers, location of drivers) and seem to be less interested in why Williams has no explicit reserve driver, than in who it should be and why they are (in your eyes) wrong for doing so. I think that is the issue some of us are having with your argument.

    I would also like to point out the following: being a good race driver does not make you a good test driver, being a good test driver does not make you a good race driver. If a team wants to be ‘fully prepared strategically’, they could end up in a position with 2 race drivers, a reserve race driver that they do not benefit from unless he’s racing and a test driver they would not benefit from if he’s not testing. From any point of view this would be overkill and far too expensive in the modern era of F1. Looking at the past 5 seasons, the amount of times a driver got sick or injured in time to be replaced during the weekend is one. The 2011 Canadian GP (in which Sauber replaced Perez with McLaren tester Pedro de la Rosa). Other times, teams will have time to select a driver more rigorously, which any team will prefer, but simply cannot prepare for; test drivers have been negated in the past and some have even been cast aside after replacing a race driver after a few races (Badoer in 2009, Verstappen in 1994, Zonta in 2001, Gene in 2004, d’Ambrosio in 2012) due to poor results, often resulting in teams bringing in drivers from other teams or categories.

    The test/reserve driver is not a holy grail for teams in case one of their race drivers get sick; Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso thus have no driver contracted as such. Simply bringing a driver along to races does not mean they will replace a race driver, if so, I’d make a case for Jos Verstappen being Toro Rosso’s race driver since he was there in the pitbox as well.

    #294518
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    Nick
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    There was no rules that prevented Williams from putting Susie Wolff in the car for the race. She took part in the weekend session and had a coming together with Felipe Nasr l recall during one of the free practise sessions.

    You are mistaken a testing day in Barcelona for Free Practise in Melbourne.

    Even if Williams had signed 3 reserve drivers, they would still not have been allowed to use them, as Bottas and Bottas alone drove his car for the Friday sessions, as you can read on this very website.

    Friday sessions:
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/03/13/mercedes-fly-but-sauber-and-manor-sit-out-first-practice/
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/03/13/mercedes-leads-ferrari-in-second-practice/

    Wolff and Nasr incident:
    http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/02/19/maldonado-tops-test-as-wolff-and-nasr-tangle/

    Furthermore, most teams do not have or bring a driver that is race-ready to races, as recent times have shown it is unlikely for a driver to have to be replaced after FP1 in time for a replacement to be inside the regulations. De La Rosa was not signed with Sauber when he replaced Perez at Canada in 2011, for instance. You’ll find the position of test/reserve driver has been largely replaced with simulator driver, as that is a more productive position for both drivers and teams. Test/reserve drivers no longer exist in the same manner they did before the testing ban and putting a driver, no matter how closely aligned with the team, in the car with no preparation can stand to cost a lot more than a team could gain, especially from drivers who have no (recent) experience in racing F1 cars.

    Mind you, the ‘Williams of old’ you are referring to put DC in a car largely unprepared and look what that got them for 1994. Mansell had to come back in, go out again, their season was a mess, with unlimited testing. Williams will also remember the times they had to replace Ralf Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld which did not go too well in the middle of the season. Going by my interpretation of your argument, they were prepared then, but the result was still a disappointing one. With less preparation and less experience from the available drivers, would one expect a finish?

    Personally, I think you have done something I have seen many fans of teams who are not winning doing (even outside of F1); making up an argument that reasonably allows one to remain a fan, but also identifies why it isn’t going well. You’re entitled to do so, but I find it odd you’re ignoring a rule and arguments from other posters on here.

    #294496
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    Nick
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    With Bottas out due to a back problem, l would have thought this was an opportunity to give Susie Wolff a chance to race. I really do not understand why they would rather race with one car. This is an example of the defeatist mentality at Williams thay l am talking about.

    A team is not permitted to enter a driver that has not engaged in a session for them during that weekend for the race. Or would you call adhering to the rules a defeatist attitude?

    #293710
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    Nick
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    Grid:
    1. Hamilton – 2. Rosberg
    3. Ricciardo – 4. Vettel
    5. Bottas – 6. Raikkonen
    7. Kvyat – 8. Massa
    9. Grosjean – 10. Hulkenberg
    11. Maldonado – 12. Perez
    13. Magnussen – 14. Verstappen
    15. Sainz – 16. Button
    17. Nasr – 18. Stevens
    19. TBA – 20. Ericsson

    Race:
    1. Hamilton
    2. Rosberg
    3. Ricciardo
    4. Kvyat
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Grosjean
    7. Hulkenberg
    8. Button
    9. Magnussen
    10. Perez

    #293562
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    Nick
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    Not surprising, as it’s only been a few years he said ‘women should be dressed in white with other kitchen appliances’. Though, from a socio-cultural point of view, they might be logical in the old mind of Ecclestone (let’s not forget the man is 83, a product of another time), it is totally unacceptable from a man in his position. Sadly, still unlikely to have any consequences.

    Someone should send this to all the feminist groups on Tumblr, maybe that way F1 can reach the youth demographic. In an even less positive way than it is doing already, at that. Luckily they won’t be consuming F1 in a future near enough for Bernie to be alive, so why should he care? Someone else’s problem.

    #293561
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    Nick
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    To be honest I really don’t get all the recent ‘is this driver good at developing cars’ talk, when over 2010 through 2013 there was a lot of talk drivers were less influential, with the limitations of on-track testing and race drivers not always being good simulator drivers.

    Kimi I think wants to continue beyond 2015, if he feels like it. It might not even be up to him, considering how straight forward Ferrari has been slashing staff lately, but it could well be up to ‘feeling good’ more so than results. Kimi, to me, seems like a driver that’s actually pretty sensitive to his surroundings, hence his dip in performance at Lotus in 2013 when they were looking a little less certain in terms of funding (and not paying his salary). His time at Ferrari in 2009 was pretty much doomed, as Ferrari had been angling Alonso since 2005 or so and he was frustrated he couldn’t explore other series. I doubt we are going to see a similar scenario to 2009 either way.

    While I’m not a McLaren fan, I would count myself as a fan of Raikkonen the driver, I’d like to see him back at a stable McLaren team. But he’d be better off signing for Williams right now, than for McLaren, in my opinion.

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