Zetsche expects Mercedes to fight for 2014 title

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes, Detroit Motor Show, 2013In the round-up: Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche expects Mercedes to be in contention for next year’s title but lowers expectations for this year.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Detroit motor show: ‘Mercedes must fight for F1 title in 2014’ (Autocar)

“The coming season will probably not allow us to show the full effect of the changes, but in 2014 we will have a good shot at the championship, especially with the new engine rules. Optimising the chassis and engine for that opportunity is key.”

Steve Nielsen to join Toro Rosso as Sporting Director (GrandPrix)

“Steve Nielsen, Sporting Director at the Caterham Formula One team, is to leave the Anglo/Malaysian outfit and take up the same position at Scuderia Toro Rosso starting on February 1.”

Domenicali: “Two drivers, one guarantee!” (Ferrari)

“I think the toughest part of Felipe [Massa’s] career is now behind him. After last summer, his approach turned about and as a result, his performance on track changed and he managed to show just how talented he is. I?m sure his problem was not linked to his contractual situation.”

How do Teams and the FIA Control KERS Energy Usage? (ScarsbF1)

“For 2012 a new homologated sensor [was] fitted to all cars running KERS (Marussia and HRT did not run KERS) as part of the FIA SECU Package. Isabellenh???tte?s IVT-F ‘integrated current sensor’ controls the quantity of power supplied by KERS and aims to ensure that teams will not use KERS to break the rules.”

Navigating F1 PR (MotorSport, registration required)

“I well remember asking Rubens Barrichello, in his Ferrari days, about the joys of being Michael Schumacher?s team-mate, and his briefly contorted facial expression said, ‘I can?t answer that with her (the PR) here…’ Fortunately, Rubens being Rubens, he later caught up with me in the paddock, apologised ?ǣ and gave me the answer to my question…”



Comment of the day

Thomas (@infi24r) on Hamilton and Alonso:

It’s very clear that Hamilton has more natural speed than Alonso, and probably than any other driver in the field. However its also clear to me that Alonso?s superior intelligence and cunning allows him to deliver better results from his speed, even if it may not match the peak of Hamilton?s.

For me, Alonso is the driver I would have every day of the week, however Lewis still has incredible potential which I feel was never managed or tapped into that well at Hamilton.

For all of Mercedes shortcomings in recent years, the genius of Ross Brawn and his ability to form genuine relationships with drivers may be the best thing that has ever happened to Lewis.
Thomas (@infi24r)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ads21, Bev, Gabal and Gerdoner!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Obscure 1950s racer Gino Bianco died on this day in 1983. Bianco was born in Milan but moved to Brazil at the age of 12. He returned to Europe and competed in four Grands Prix in 1952.

Even the Grand Prix Who’s Who, an authoritative source on most F1 drivers, admits that “little is known” about his subsequent life other than a spot of racing at national level in Brazil. If you can fill in any of the blanks in the comments, please do!

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

33 comments on “Zetsche expects Mercedes to fight for 2014 title”

  1. With all this hype over Mercedes’ 2014 season, it would be a big blow if they don’t live up to it.

    1. @alfie it’d not be much different to 2011 or 2012, to be honest.

      1. @fer-no65
        No one, including Mercedes themselves, really thought that they would win, or even challenge for the title in 2011 and 2012. However, for 2014 it seems that, from all I’ve heard, the championship is a must have for Merc.

        They are bluffing too much. That’s what makes the thought of a 2014 campaign being a failure all the more scary.

        1. i dont think they are bluffing. i think they are showing their cards to everybody, and saying how it is. thats why they have to deliver in 2014 because they’ve been using it as an excuse for a year now.

          you could almost see the board meeting. the team explaining the rule changes and the fact that they have lewis as an argument to the board members. if they dont deliver in 2014 i think Mercedes will run out of patience.

  2. Love the photo of the E21, even better than the McLaren photo from the other day.

    These little sneak peeks of this year’s cars are just whetting my appetite for the launches, to think there’s only another couple of weeks to see the first of the 2013 cars unveiled!

    1. if Red Bull release a photo like that, will another team protest it?

      1. Only if they spot something illegal, and as we all know it will most likely happen 2 or 3 times this year, and they will win 1 or 2 times, before they are forced by the FIA to take it of the cars. That is one way to get 10% of there win each year.

        1. @francuis – that is why they are triple world champions!

          1. I should also say that the teams are challenging the legality of the Red Bull, not spotting something “illegal”: Red Bull are yet to illegally run a competent on their car.

  3. I don’t think Mercedes should throw away 2013 in order to focus on 2014. In fact I think they have a very good chance to win the 2013 championship if they play their cards right. Firstly, and most importantly, the cars are all going to be similar to one another in terms of capabilities, at least at the beginning of the season, and I find it very unlikely that any team will be able to innovate to the extent where they gain a significant advantage within the current rules. Secondly Mercedes now have a very capable driver in Hamilton, a driver who seems to be at a very good point in his career in terms of maturity and pace. Thirdly Mercedes are more than capable of building a good car. Their 2012 car was not a dog, it had good qualifying pace at the beginning of the season and was probably better than a lot of other cars on the grid (I would personally rate it better than the Ferrari, for example). Finally everyone seems to be pessimistic that any team stands a chance of beating Red Bull. But Red Bull weren’t that strong at the beginning of 2012. For all of Adrian Newey’s ingenuity, they weren’t exactly unbeatable in 2012 and, in fact, until Vettel’s Asian run of victories it looked like the title might go to any one of the top-flight drivers.

    All of which is an incredibly long way of saying the following. Mercedes seem to be aiming for domination in 2014 ala Schumacher 2000-4. But 2014 is going to be unpredictable – anything could happen within the new rules. Mercedes have a realistic chance of doing well in 2013, I hope they don’t throw it away in the pursuit of future glories.

    1. Their 2012 car was not a dog, it had good qualifying pace at the beginning of the season and was probably better than a lot of other cars on the grid (I would personally rate it better than the Ferrari, for example)

      That’s debatable. It certainly didn’t live to expectations, and it was pretty much like the R31: innovative in a way, yet they got stuck with it and couldn’t make anything else work properly.

      I’ve read that the W03 was fundamentally flawed. It really seems like it was a nightmare to get right that car, with the unloading of the front wing, and the tyres going away quickly. They were stuck on a set up loop that only worked a couple of times during the year.

      Mercedes has not responded well in the development race in the 3 years they’ve been racing. That’s something that needs to change.

      In that sense, it’s rather obvious they are not going to try to turn the page just like that: not only because it’d really be more realistic to say they are gonna fight for the championship in 2014, but because they probably want everyone to wait a little longer to see the results coming (sponsors, team members, the factory, everyone).

      1. Forgot to mention you, @kibblesworth :) Cheers !

      2. Mercedes are in a similar situation that Lotus were this time last year. They had an interesting idea (forward facing exhausts – Lotus, and DDRS – Mercedes) that made them quick initially, but hampered them in the development race because the car was built around it. Lotus (and also Ferrari, even though they had a decent car the year prior) created a completely new car by learning from their mistakes. whereas the other teams had an evolution of their last years cars with a stepped nose.

        I think we can expect a similar thing from Mercedes this year. i doubt we will see an evolution of their 2012 car. they will create one from scratch which is built around the coanda exhausts. if this gamble doesnt work out i think we can expect them to switch focus on 2014 soon in the season.

    2. Well I think every team that has the “luxury” to not be fighting for the championship this year should really focus on getting the basics right for 2014, they may not start winning right from the beginning but neither did Red Bull in 2009 and look how they dominated afterwards.

    3. you are spot on ! they must not stop developing the car in 2013 as they did this year. A shot at top 3 position in the constructors ( I know I am a bit too ambitious ) would not hurt their chances in 2014 .

  4. Good article on KERS from Scarbs.

    I feel very much that all eyes will be on Mercedes for 2014. I know mine will be!

    1. Yes it was, more money being spent to ensure that the teams aren’t finding ways to improve their cars performance.

  5. Happy birthday to you @ads21 as well as @Bev and @Gabal and @Gerdoner

  6. When is Mercedes’s car gonna be lunched?

    1. @wackyracer They’ve just announced it’s going to be launched on February 4th, the day before the Jerez test starts:

      F1 Fanatic Calendar

    2. I think they will have lunch just after the launch!

  7. Interesting how Red Bull and Caterham exchanged personell there. Nielsen to STR to join Key – for me it seems RBR are working with STR not just becoming the driver training team but also Neweys long term succession – Webbers engineer to join Caterham and a Caterham guy to replace him for Webber’s car.

    They do use a RBR gearbox and utilize their KERS system with it, so it seems only logical to see this as being done in agreement to give people opportunities to grow for future use.

    1. @bascb, I hope Webbers new engineer is better at setting up the clutch than the old one.

      1. I bet Webber is hoping so even more @hohum :-)

    2. @bascb Pilbeam left RBR for Lotus, though, not for Caterham (and Simon Rennie of Lotus is replacing him at RBR). Just wanted to set the record straight… ;-)

      1. Ah, yes. The name shuffle got the better of me there! Still, its interesting to see this exchange going on between them.

  8. jimscreechy (@)
    17th January 2013, 10:12

    Nice choice on comment of the day. Not that I would neccerily agree in choosing Alonso over Hamilton 7 days a week, but definately good points well made.

  9. Thx for the birthday wishes :) And happy birthday to @ads21, @Bev and @Gabal :)

  10. Mark Webber engineer Ciaron Pilbeam has left Red Bull to join Lotus as head of race engineers, his role at Red Bull will be taken by Simon Rennie

    1. This is a very clever move by RBR, next year there will be no chance of Grosjean taking out Webber or Vettel at the first corner, but instead Grosjean and Kimi can play Webbers past role of being a slow moving chicane at the start.

  11. It must be very frustrating for Mercedes Benz, wasting all that money on a failed aero-package that has no relevance to their core business, when the same amount of money spent on engine development would probably have put them on a much more competitive footing and provided valuable research for future road car engines.

  12. I have the same opinion with Hamilton has more raw sped than Alonso but i don’t think he is the quickest i would say Vettel math or even quicker than him, Vettel got that very fast one lap speed.

  13. Abdurahman (@)
    18th January 2013, 6:04

    Dieter should cut that stache for good luck!!

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