Robert Kubica, Renault, Valencia, 2011

“Another step forward” for recovering Kubica

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Renault team principal Eric Boullier visits Robert Kubica.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Eric Boullier visits Robert (Renault)

“Robert has made another step forward in his rehabilitation process and doctors are pleasantly surprised by the way in which his condition is improving. Now, it is a matter of time and even if patience isn?t Robert?s first quality, he is fully aware that rehabilitation could be quite a long process.”

David Coulthard: Few smiles per hour for uncompetitive Michael Schumacher (The Telegraph)

“I found his drive on Sunday awkward to watch at times. The collision with Vitaly Petrov’s Renault on the second lap, which left him fighting a rearguard action for the rest of the race, was by his own admission his fault. He spent the rest of the race in skirmishes with mid-ranking cars; often the attacked rather than the attacker.”

Schumacher left behind by young drivers (The National)

Johnny Herbert: “I do not think he is any slower than he was when he was winning seven world titles; he is just struggling to cope with a situation he is not used to – he is no longer the best guy in the field and he does not have the best machinery at his disposal, as well as the fact that he has a team mate in [Nico] Rosberg who is consistently beating him.”

Schumacher has full Mercedes support (Autosport)

Norbert Haug: “An analysis of Michael’s lap times from practice and the race in Istanbul shows that he had good pace. Without the contact on lap two, and the time he subsequently lost having the front wing changed, he was quick enough to finish in sixth or seventh position.”

??D?Ambrosio?s Virgin seat under threat? (GP Update)

Jerome d’Ambrosio is under threat of losing his place at Marussia Virgin Racing, according to Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad. It is being reported that several sponsors of the driver are not submitting relevant payments to the Sheffield-based team, prompting a trip to Belgium for Gravity Sport Management CEO Eric Boullier.”

Martin Brundle on the Turkish Grand Prix (BBC)

“I’m struggling with the concept a little in terms of racing purity, but then [David Coulthard] pokes me in the ribs and reminds me of the turbo over-boost button I enjoyed in the cockpits of my cars in the 1980s. I’m thoroughly enjoying the racing. We asked for more overtaking, and finally we have it. However, I still believe each driver should be allowed a finite number of DRS activations per race so that there is more of a tactical and skill element involved.”

Angry Jenson Button lets rip at his F1 critics (Daily Mirror)

“What?s the point in saying, ??It?s slipped away?? We might as well ******* go home as say that. I mean, Jesus Christ guys, let?s not make it too negative.”

Max Mosley loses European privacy case (The Guardian)

“The court said on Tuesday that the actions of the News of the World were ‘open to severe criticism’ for publishing not only a print story, but also photographs and video footage obtained through covert recording, ‘which appears to have been included in the News of the World’s coverage merely to titillate the public and increase the embarrassment of the applicant’.”

Formula One?s Renault visits Imperial War Museum Duxford for test day

“Imperial War Museum Duxford is able to confirm that Renault will be visiting the Museum to conduct aero testing on Friday 13 May 2011.”

Adrian Sutil: ??You had to really attack and defend?? (Force India)

“[The Circuit de Catalunya is] a nice circuit, but I?ve driven there so many times, it gets a little bit boring!”

Board notice May 2011 (Institution of Mechanical Engineers)

“After due deliberation, the Board, found the charge against Dr [Pat] Symonds of improper conduct pursuant to By-law 33 and the Code of Conduct Regulations proven.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Reflections on the death of Giro d’Italia cyclist Wouter Weylandt and how it relates to F1 from The Dutch Bear:

I?m, besides a F1 Fanatic, also an avid watcher of cycling. Last year I decided when I was at school to be ??ill? and went off on my bike to see the third stage of the Giro d?Italia that passed on the island where I live in the south-west of the Netherlands. That stage finished in Middelburg and was eventually won by the same Wouter Weylandt that died yesterday.

I?ve heard that the Italian TV was criticised after the fatal accident of Ayrton Senna that the camera?s got too close. (I was less than a year old at the time, my eighteenth birthday is May 31.) I have to criticise the RAI (Italy?s public television) as well now. I was watching the Giro d?Italia together with my mother on Belgian television yesterday. Soon after the crash a camera was there that zoomed in on Weylandt for a couple of seconds. Those couple of seconds I will never forget. Weylandt lay motionless on the tarmac and was bleeding heavily through his nose. It looked extremely bad and gruesome. I have never seen a fatal accident live as it happened and hope that I will never see a fatal accident again. I know that in every sport people take risks and can suffer from the consequences when what they do goes wrong. But I think that if safety can be improved in a sport it should be improved. This applies for Formula One as well for all the other sports.
The Dutch Bear

From the forum

Are HRT ever going to get some sponsorship, asks Australian.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to 130r!

On this day in F1

On this day 25 years Alain Prost won the Monaco Grand Prix.

It’s was a one-two for McLaren as Keke Rosberg finished second ahead of Ayrton Senna.

66 comments on ““Another step forward” for recovering Kubica”

  1. Adrian Sutil: “You had to really attack and defend”

    Quite an apt headline given the current rumours floating around t’internet!

    Oh, and for any non British readers currently tut-tutting at Jenson Button and his rudeness, I think most British readers would agree that the Mirror is a tabloid rag predisposed to exaggerating things out of proportion. Make of it what you will, but I think it’s just mudraking

    1. Does Trulli have pictures?

      Brilliant! :D

      1. Can anyone explain the Trulli comment to me, please? :)

    2. I love all the fighting over how trashy twitter is in that thread, on the Autosport forums of all places.

      The Trulli comment is priceless though.

      1. Yeah, that was fun. Maybe we should as Trulli.
        Then again, it might get political with Trulli driving for Team Lotus and all :-D

    3. All this swearing makes me miss Hamilton’s foray into Twitter.


      1. Very interesting. For those who don’t read German, it says he cut Eric Lux on the throat with a glass, that he had stitches, and that he was still walking around at Instanbul with a bandage on his neck. I wonder if the FIA is investigating this at all. A superlicense suspension would mean Di Resta and Hülkenberg at Force India…

        1. I liked the Google translation

          Lux had to be sewn after the incident in a hospital in the neck

  2. Interesting to see what Herbert says about Schumacher and todays crop of drivers. I don’t completely agree that Michael is now exactly the same driver he always was- it seems obvious to me that something in his condition (whether it be physical or mental) is not quite there anymore.

    However, Herbert is not the first ex-driver to make such lauding comments about the current generation. Jackie Stewart in particular has been lavish in his praise. There seems to be the consensus amongst those in the know that this “new breed” of drivers are a bit special. Ok, so they’re not racing turbocharged monsters around tree-lined deathtraps, but they can only tackle what is thrown at them, and recently they have been doing so brilliantly. To have a grid with Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, Button, Kubica (hopefully to return), Kobayashi, as well as several others, gives us a pool with a depth of talent we have never seen the likes of before.

    And this is why i do agree with Herbert when he says that several of today’s drivers are simply better than Schumacher, and that had he raced his whole career with them he would probably not have enjoyed the same success. Schumacher was a mightily fine pilot, but when you compare the competition he faced and the conditions he raced under with the current Formula 1, you see two very different eras. Drivers today are honed and fine-tuned like never before, and whilst i’m not for one second implying that they rival our Sennas and Fangios and Clarkes- you can’t ever fairly compare- i do believe that certainly Hamilton and Alonso, and maybe Vettel, will be considered among the all-time greats of our sport. We just won’t see it for another 30 years or so, when we can put on our own rose-tinted spactacles and think how great this era was.

    1. Jake (@kraemerson88)
      11th May 2011, 5:54

      Well said ads.

      1. Seconded. Being around the same age as a few drivers, particularly Hamilton and Vettel, it’s going to be amazing watching them continue to grow in to and out of the sport.

    2. I guess that relates to Giorgio Ascanelli’s comments about Vettel being more naturally gifted than Schumacher.,21984.html

      1. Well if Vettel and Senna are/were more naturally gifted then doesn’t that make what Schumacher did even more impressive?

        As for that article, yes Schumacher wasn’t in Senna’s league. Because he was a league above, Senna was a racer, Michael was a better racer.

    3. He does make a good point, doesn’t he? I mean, when you think of the quality of drivers Schumacher raced against, Hill, Hakkinen, Villeneuve, Alonso, they all came at him one at a time and he enjoyed varying success against the. Now it’s like they’ve all come back and are in better cars than him.

      1. And um, Montoya and Raikkonen. Shows how much I miss them!

    4. Agree with you completely. Although I really liked drivers like Hill, JV, Hakinnen and Montoya, there was no phenomenal talent in a competitive car during most of the 94-2004 period. Hakinnen was good and capitalised in 98 and 99, Montoya was good too but he never had a reliable car, etc.

      Now we have drivers like Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Kubica, all of whom are phenomenally talented, and have got their deserving top drives. Schumacher was fortunate enough to never have to face this kind of talent earlier on in his career. Schumacher has made a lot of hay while the sun was shining, and he should realise that he is currently dealing with a field that will is just too good for him.

    5. I must be getting old. I see the current crop of drivers like lightbulbs — you screw one into the car, and if it doesn’t work, you go get another. I don’t think any of them are as good as the likes of Prost, Senna, Mansell and Piquet.

      1. There’s a joke in there, somewhere. How many F1 drivers does it take to change a lightbulb…

        1. All I know is that Alonso is faster than Massa at it.

        2. LOL, Button and Hamilton could do a video where they want to change it on the toilet but have to call Paffet and Pedro dlRosa (or just half the factory to find out how)

          Rosberg and Schumi would get in Mika, I suppose.

  3. Is Eric Boullier the agent/manager for D’Ambrosio or what?

    1. PortuGoose
      11th May 2011, 2:16

      He is Director of Gravity Sport Management, who manage D’Ambrosio, Grosjean, and Chris Vietoris, among others.

      1. Is this the same Boullier or are there two notable people by that name in the sport?

        1. Same guy that is at Renault.

  4. If Hamilton had said what button said, all hell would break loose. But it’s fine because button can do no harm..

    1. Haha right? You’d have scores of people here calling him a spoilt brat etc., etc….regardless of what he said in actuality.

      1. Well what makes it an unlikely is we all know that isn’t Jensons personality, whereas Hamilton even though he puts on the good guy act a lot would say that is definitely him.

        Lewis has proved when things aren’t going well he goes a bit bitchy.

        1. But so do Alonso and Vettel.

          1. I agree, i’m just saying it’s very Un-Jenson like.

          2. And Button does not, that’s why they made a fuss over it.

            I say good for Button, it was ridiculous for them to pester him like that.

            Despite the incredibly high level of competition, and the current RedBull dominance, the guy stays positive, and won’t let tabloid journalists try and bring him down.

            Easily one of the nicest and most genuine guys on the grid.

        2. @RIISE,
          Lewis is well mannered in his conversations. He might complain atimes, but you never hear him use foul language. So I can’t understand why you are assuming it is more likely Lewis to be talking when the headline says Button.
          Lets face it, Lewis comes out as being a bit brash, but he is qiute polite.

          1. so surely if its out of character for jenson, a bigger deal should have been made out of it.

    2. Yea well thats because Jenson is viewed as the nice friendly guy, Lewis as the stuck up ***** who has had everything served up to him on a platter.

      This is the day and age where image appears to be more important that fact, and in that perspective – Lewis is losing.

      I’m sure hes a real nice guy.

      1. I’m sure most of the field are pretty nice guys. I wish I understood Spanish because Alonso seems a right laugh when he’s on Spanish TV shows.

  5. I can’t stand Coulthard constantly going on about DRS being the same as 80s boost. makes me very angry hearing a person who’s meant to be knowledgable spouting nonsense.

    1. In all fairness, I always thought that he meant it in reference to KERS?

      1. Yeah he does refer to KERS, DRS and the Turbo boost button aren’t alike really.

    2. Yeah, its completely different in that DRS can only be used by the chasing guy.

      I agree with what Brundle writes (and Keith), making it a limited amount of uses/time used in the race if they want to keep it for years to come.

    3. I can’t tell whether Coulthard is playing the role of a pundit and purposefully saying something that’s obviously wrong to wind people up, or if he just doesn’t get it.

      1. Happy to be proven wrong but as I recall, Coulthard isn’t saying DRS is the same as boost – he has been saying that DRS and KERS are just tools for overtaking, much like boost was also a tool at the driver’s disposal back in the day.

  6. To be fair to Jenson i’d have responded in the same way if some clueless, sensationalist journalist asked me if my season was in freefall after just 4 races. Hes still in 4th place in the championship, 13 points behind Hamilton, in front of Alonso and its not as if hes massively struggling compared to anyone other then Vettel, but then everyones struggling to catch Vettel.

    1. Yeah, if Vettel does not finish once or twice, both McLaren drivers and Alonso can be really close. Far to early to say there is no chance.

    2. I’m shocked that people actually consider Jenson as a genuine championship contender.

      1. So do I. Jenson needs a car that will compete for wins on its own. If he had the RB6 last year I would have put money on him being world champion. He can’t hussle a car that’s 2 tenths down into contention. I know he did some impressive things in his BAR days against the mighty F2004 but you don’t close up that kind of a gap without the car being a factor.

  7. Jake (@kraemerson88)
    11th May 2011, 5:57

    Yea, no doubt I would be a bit cross if someone asked me what they asked Jenson. Just shows after all these years he’s still quite the competitor.

    1. I wish I could find the Youtube clip from when Jenson was on Top Gear. Clarkson and he had been joking about something, relaxed as ever, and then Clarkson asked him whether he’d swap all his money and his then-only race win for winning a world title: this is in the summer before Honda pulled out and Brawn came into existence.

      Button just looked Clarkson straight in the eye and said “One hundred percent.”

      He’s a fun guy, Jenson… but only a fool would mistake that for being amateur about his job. No-one wants to win more, and I think the fact that he had to wait for his chance has taught him how much it means.

  8. I completely agree with the COTD, TV broadcasters really do need to have some sense when it is blatantly obvious that a sportsman has been involved in an incident that is worse than normal. Yes we like to see what’s going on, but we don’t need to see it in ER detail. The one I always think of, because it is so fresh in my mind, is Shoya Tomizawa’s fatal crash. The broadcaster kept on running replays of the accident when it was clear what had happened, it was pretty sickening.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      11th May 2011, 7:12

      Agreed. There’s a fine line between ‘gritty reportage’ and obtrusive voyeurism.
      In part defence of the media though, the cameraman and director don’t always know how badly the accident victim has been hurt at the point at which the images go live to air. But we certainly do not need to see repeats of fatal accidents; Ratzenberger, Tomizawa, Weylandt or even to see the corpse of Bin Laden.
      Excellent COTD.

      1. I agree. Thanks Dutch Bear for writing that and Keith for picking it for COTD.

  9. HounslowBusGarage
    11th May 2011, 8:37

    Reading DC’s piece about MSC in the Daily Telegraph made me recall a far more worrying incident than the Petrov colision in Turkey.
    I think it was Free Pactice 2 when Michael was going relatively slowly into turn 9 I think, when he was completely mugged by a Force India passing on the inside. Schumacher reacted quickly as the FI came alongside and yanked the wheel over steering out of the corner. The two cars missed each other, but I was really worried that Schumacher had not seen the car behind and had been off full pace, on the racing line and apparently without a thought that there might be other cars around.
    It looked like inattentive carelessness to me; the sort of error you might expect from an FF debutant, not from a multiple WDC.
    Might be time to go, Michael.

    1. Actually, I saw that as the Force India overtaking in a dangerous area, things like that in FP2 isn’t needed, and had Schumacher not reacted, they’re may have been a big and avoidable accident, do credit to him for moving out of the way in time. The Petrov one was weird, I know Brundle harps on about divers not seeing the front or their own cars, and no-one really pays attention, but this time it seemed like Schumi thought Petrov was clear, and he tried to undercut him, only to find his front wing smack into Petrovs rear tyre.

      1. I saw that as the Force India overtaking in a dangerous area

        It’s a racing track, they can overtake wherever they like.

        If Schumacher was going so slowly he could have been overtaken there he should have been paying more attention in his mirrors. Also, the team should have alerted him that a car was coming up behind him (indeed they may have done so).

        it seemed like Schumi thought Petrov was clear

        The car was right in front of him, he cannot possibly have failed to see it.

      2. HounslowBusGarage
        11th May 2011, 12:45

        If I give him credit for reacting, then I must take credit away for not using his mirrors and for driving slowly on the racing line. Minus 1 Credit.
        This was FP2, when cars are preparing different aspects of their race performance at different times. There are going to be cars travelling at different speeds: look around you and keep off the racing line if you’re cruising.
        And to be honest, Schumacher just reacted in surprise at seeing a car there, it certainly wasn’t a planned move to get out of the way. I think he was just day-dreaming, however Keith’s point about the team possibly not warning him is well made.

        1. I remember Schumacher also held up Hamilton during qualifying – maybe Mercedes aren’t so hot on warning drivers about traffic.

          1. They did screw up in where they put their drivers in qualifying a lot of time last year as well. Maybe they are not good at spotting these kind of things?

  10. Haha!
    At 31 mins, check out the interview with a 12 year old Brundle! Still his sharp sense of humour…

    1. That little aside “at least we know what tyres he was running” reminded me of some of Vettel’s remarks.

      1. The comments on how Prost “made it look easy” also reminded its just history repeating itself with Vettel now doing the same.

    2. Nevermind the comments, is that a Mullet that Brundle is sporting there, certainly looks like one. I wouldn’t have had him down as the type!

  11. Watching that summary of the 86 GP, I wonder weather we will see a lot of passes like those Rosberg did.

  12. Article suggestion for tomorrow’s roundup – A possible return of the Williams-Renault partnership?

    1. Don’t see it happening somehow. I think both Cosworth and Williams need each other. Unless this engine deal involves some kind of works support, Williams won’t jump ship very easily.

      But I’ll admit, seeing the blue, white and yellow Williams-Renault again would be very cool :)

      1. The yellow was from the Camel sponsorship, not the Renault deal.

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