Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013

Boullier defends Grosjean after Monaco crashes

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier defends the under-fire Romain Grosjean after his crash-strewn weekend in Monaco.


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

Lotus still backing Grosjean to come good (Reuters)

Eric Boullier: “He did a great job over the winter and fixed all the problems he had last year. But there is some frustration some time when he knows he can be fast. He just needs to build himself saying he is fast, and he can deliver some big results.”

Q&A with Force India?s Vijay Mallya (F1)

“If you only want three or four teams in Formula One running three cars each you should proceed in the way it is now. But I think Formula One also needs the smaller independent teams as well, so everybody must also look at the common interests – not only the individual interests.”

Mercedes secret tyre test: Lewis Hamilton more worried about his poor Monaco performance than his team’s potential punishment (The Independent)

“We were required to do some work, we did some work, it was good fun. Right now I’m not concerned about it, that’s for the team to worry about.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Analysis: How Pirelli Montreal change will handicap ??tyre-swapping? teams (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“In Monaco Mercedes used the swapping technique for the first time ?ǣ or at least it was the first time that it was spotted by keen-eyed observers. It would thus be very easy to speculate that Mercedes took the opportunity of the Barcelona test to try swapping the rears around.”

Test row is with Mercedes, not Pirelli – Horner (ESPN)

“When it enters the world championship it’s the team’s responsibility to comply with the regulations. Irrelevant of what the contracts say it’s the team that is there to comply. The issue isn’t so much with Pirelli, it’s more that a team has purposely tested a current car at a current circuit in our view in breach of the regulations.”

Jenson Button expects Mercedes to get ‘slapped wrist’ in tyre row (The Guardian)

“I don’t know what they can do, if anything at all. Maybe a slapped wrist. I think the teams that protested just wanted clarification because we’d all love to do 1,000km to understand [the tyres] a bit more because we’re all so limited on testing.”

How the International Tribunal works (Autosport)

“The IT’s punishments are limited to fines, bans or the alternative sanctions laid out in the International Sporting Code (ISC). The ISC says available sanctions are listed in the order of severity: reprimand, fines, obligation to accomplish some work of public interest, time penalty, exclusion, suspension or disqualification.”

Maximizing Monaco (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne: “I think Adrian Sutil did an excellent job in overtaking Button and Alonso at the hairpin and I think that was probably the only place I would have been able to try as well. But because Adrian had caught them out there, after that they were always shutting the door really quickly, so there was never a good opportunity.”

The wheels fall off (The Economist)

“The new wheels are a response to drivers’ complaints about the excess degradation, and were created after the FIA refused Pirelli’s offer of reverting to the tyre compound used the previous season. The problem is that the manufacturer appears to have given one team, Mercedes GP, an unfair look at the incoming tyres.”

2013 Monaco Grand Prix (Caught in my headlights)

Monaco Grand Prix cartoon (thanks to Mark Friesen for the tip!)



Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti, Paul Ricard, 2013

Sebastian Vettel in his role as director of performance for Infiniti at the Paul Ricard circuit in France yesterday.

Comment of the day

@Tmf42 on Kamui Kobayashi:

Kobayashi is one of the more prominent victims of the Toyota/BMW scorched earth. He always finished ahead of his team mates in the drivers’ championship with the exception of 2012 and even there he was just six points off Perez despite his two second places. He is probably not the fastest guy but drove very consistently.

Great loss for F1, but there could be a real chance for a seat at Lotus next year if Webber decides to retire and Raikkonen moves to Red Bull.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris, Hughes, Silverkeg and Danny11!

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

Alain Prost scored his third win in the first four races of 1988 in Mexico, with team mate Ayrton Senna seven seconds behind.

It was the usual 1988 McLaren rout, Gerhard Berger almost a minute behind in third for Ferrari, with everyone else lapped at least once.

Philippe Alliot was fortunate to survive this monumental accident during practice:

Images ?? Lotus/LAT, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Infiniti

86 comments on “Boullier defends Grosjean after Monaco crashes”

  1. Hopefully monaco was a one-off for grosjean. He just needs to work on awareness.

    1. Rumored sightings of Lotus engineers with telephoto lenses trying to get detailed photos of Perez’s new front wing! :-)

      1. They could just pick it off the circuit when it comes off his car ;)

        1. Ok, so Grosjean should just stop racing. He should just quit F1 now ’cause he’s not good. Not good at all. The sooner this inept driver leaves F1 the better will be for all of us.
          And stop comparing him to the legends like Senna and Schumi, he’s not even a 100th of their greatness… and he’ll never be.

    2. Yeah he has proved that he can drive fast and overtake in GP2
      Any way, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna are obviously 2 of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and they had some infamous crashes with other drivers (Japan 1990, Australia 1994 and Jerez 1997)

      1. It’s too early to compare him with the 2 “gods” of F1, but more than gods, they were greedy humans from time to time, and I understand why you mention them. To sum up, everybody makes mistakes to learn (or even when you now a lot!)

      2. They did have crashes but did they have so many on a regular basis (Grosjean had four last weekend)? His crash in the race reminded me of the one Schumacher had last year in Singapore with Vergne: people were quick to say he was “too old for F1”, so what should we think of Grosjean in this case then?
        Too bad for him as he clearly has a lot of pace, it just that he seems to lack of consistency.

      3. I understand what you say but I don’t think Grosjean makes the same kind of mistakes that Senna and Schumi made. Driving like madmen they did many times, but I think they had 1 – more skill and 2 – more judgement. By that I mean they knew better the limits of their cars and some times they just chose to push it because they had the eggs. For Grosjean maybe sometimes it’s deliberate, but most times I just think he has no idea.

    3. How many more one offs before he seriously injures someone ?
      I like him generally, he comes across as a nice enough guy, but there is something not quite right when he has so many accidents and incidents, personally I would be seeking to find someone to take his place…..but who ?

    4. @f1-98 Problem is, it’s wasn’t a one-off. It wasn’t a two-off or a three-off either. It was a four-off.

      1. DC said it all. Being fast is good, but if you can’t take your car home, sound and safe, from lights to flag, there’s something wrong with your driving. Roman is fast, but it’s about time to be more than “fast”.

      2. The old adage that someone who is fast can learn to stop crashing, but someone is slow cannot learn to be fast doesn’t seem to apply to Grosjean. Even after 18 months he is still either quick but then prone to crashes, or he is slower than this teammate.

  2. Vic (@hendrix666)
    29th May 2013, 0:49

    If Mercedes do get excluded from the championship they should, within the rules, use the rest of the 2013 races to learn as much about 2014 as they can! I know there are a huge amount of changes coming down next year, but there may be some areas where they can get a leg up for next year!

    1. @hendrix666 are you happy or excited? I can´t tell…

      I don´t think they will be excluded, but I do think they should get a strong punishement, based on the information that we have avalaible. Maybe banned for a number of races, but they won´t be excluded.

    2. IF this happens, however unlikely, the teams that protested will probably be very regretful

    3. Exclusion seems to be a bit extreme. This case is probably going to come down to which party approached the other. If Pirelli approached Mercedes, the burden of responsibility rests with them. It would be Pirelli, not Mercedes, who had the obligation to inform the other teams of the test. And Mercedes, having been lead to believe that the test was legal, would have no need or reason to ask if Pirelli had approached the other teams, or ask the other teams if they had been approached.

      So in this case, where the situation is of Pirelli’s making and Pirelli’s alone, why should Mercedes suffer any penalty at all, much less an outright exclusion from the championship?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys, I hope Mercedes get off lightly, but I do think there is a case to answer. First of all, there is the issue that Pirelli should have conducted the test rather than Mercedes. It is debatable to what degree they are guilty there (and it is unclear exactly what permission the FIA gave them), as they didn’t know which tyres they were running and Pirelli kept the tyre data, but it’s also not as if they handed over their car to Pirelli’s engineers and Jaime Alguersuari.

        Second there is Red Bull’s argument (I know you are a massive fan) that even if they were approached by Pirelli, they should have known it was against the sporting regulations, although in that case it does depend on Pirelli offering equal terms to all other teams, and I agree that burden rests with Pirelli.

        I worry, though, that the press statement issued by the FIA sounded thoroughly annoyed with Pirelli and Mercedes, suggesting they are not going to get off lightly.

        1. @adrianmorse I don´t think Mercedes should get off lightly. It is obvious that they knew that what they were doing was againts the rules, and it was clearly staded by FOTA and FIA.

          They gainned advantage that could play and change the championship result for this year, so I they should be punishesed in a way that eliminate that was gainned.

          I´m not hoping not do I want them banned, but I do want a punishement that teaches them not to try to Outsmart FIA and FOTA and that it will made any other team discard the idea of doing the same. That´s the reason spygate punishement was so strong, to serve as an example.

          1. @celeste, I’m hoping they get off lightly because I don’t want to have races from which my favourite driver is banned, or has his points taken away.

            I’m not sure they should get off lightly or not, though, but I find it unlikely that Mercedes (or any other team for that matter) would knowingly cheat – and in such an overt fashion: it’s a miracle nobody knew about it until one of the drivers (is that you, Lewis?), let something slip in the drivers’ meeting.

            So if Mercedes are indeed guilty, I think it’s through ignorance rather than guile. Right now people start digging up everything that has been said on in-season testing like the FOTA email (though I don’t know what kind of power that holds), so I will reserve judgement until more information is available.

          2. @adrianmorse maybe I´m being cynical, but you can´t argue you didn´t knew the law. And Brawn is a very Smart guy

            The letter the FIA send to media looks clear as water: you can only test if the team do not direct the test, and you have to have tell all the teams. And so far we have Sauber, Marussia, McLaren, Ferrari, Force India, Lotus and Red Bull saying they knew nothing of the test. If Pirelli told another team is about time they come out.

            Second the email that FOTA send in april 2012 is even more clear: Pirelli has the option to do a test in season but there will only be one if ALL the teams agree to it. And in no part of this saids it will be with a 2013 car.

            It seem to me that Mercedes try to too Smart here, and even when the drivers only followed orders, they learned from the time in the car in the test, probably not their fault but they gainned something not the other drivers have.

            Another point that was made is what happened now with Mercedes engines. They run a 3 races lenght so obviously that is in their engines would they ask for more engines at the end of the year?

          3. @celeste

            Another point that was made is what happened now with Mercedes engines. They run a 3 races lenght so obviously that is in their engines would they ask for more engines at the end of the year?

            They won’t have used units from their race weekend allocation, they’ll have used other engines.

          4. “I don´t think Mercedes should get off lightly. It is obvious that they knew that what they were doing was againts the rules,”

            Redbull knew flexi wings where against the rule, they just found a way to pass the test, then do the illegal part once the car was on track, where the rule makers could do nothing about it.

          5. @celeste,

            and you have to have tell all the teams

            actually the FIA said “provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.” It is not Mercedes’ duty to inform anyone. Pirelli should have offered the test to everybody, but I think (see my comment on the next page) that they didn’t do a good job of it, though actually Red Bull was contacted recently as well.

            You may be right they were trying to be too smart here, though I suspect in a sense of “if the FIA approves the test, we have nothing to worry”. Even if they remembered the FOTA email, what power does the FOTA have in this matter?

            As I said above, the test was not 100% conducted by Pirelli, but what if Pirelli determines the test program, and keeps the tyre data, is it then a Pirelli or a Mercedes test? As a mitigating circumstance, if Pirelli were handed a car they didn’t know, and put in a driver that didn’t know the car, they would hardly get good data. What better tyre testers than Rosberg and Hamilton?

            As for the clarity of the FIA, their letter on Sunday was certainly clear, but how clear were they when approving the test? Mercedes’ side of the story is that they contacted the FIA (I have heard Charlie Whiting’s name mentioned), they consulted their lawyers and came back with an Ok.

            As for the engines, they do have test engines, and even if they didn’t use them, I doubt they would have the cheek to ask for new engines at the end of the year. Would be funny, though. Also, I think 1000 kilometres is not that much; they can probably use their slightly older engines for Fridays.

          6. Redbull knew flexi wings where against the rule, they just found a way to pass the test, then do the illegal part once the car was on track, where the rule makers could do nothing about it.

            Not the first flawed analogy between the two I’ve read.

            The rules stated to what extent a wing must deflect when tested. Red Bull’s wings met that rule, therefore their car was legal.

            Whereas Mercedes conducted a test at a time in the calendar when the rules specifically prevent it.

            If the FIA are muddying the waters by apparently trying to grant dispensations to their own rules, that’s one thing. But a letter-of-the-law reading of both situations makes it pretty much indisputable that Mercedes broke a rule and Red Bull didn’t.

            In other words, I can point at the line in the rules Mercedes broke. You can’t do that for Red Bull.

          7. “Not the first flawed analogy between the two I’ve read.

            The rules stated to what extent a wing must deflect when tested. Red Bull’s wings met that rule, therefore their car was legal.”

            Wasnt really meant as an analogy as such, more that, teams ‘cheat’ (find ‘loop-holes’ if you want) all the time, no-one team in F1 can claim a moral high ground, if thats what some people are trying.

            We know what the rules tested for, we know Redbull met those tests, we know they officially didnt break the rule. They just found a clever way of breaking a rule without officially breaking it.

          8. (@keithcollantine)

            Could you link to that rule please, as I recall the rule stipulates how much (little) a wing can deflect at any time.
            Then mentions a way to test it that the wing must pass, its not the same.

            If I am speeding where there is no speed camera, am I then speeding?

          9. Hm, @tvm, maybe your prosed speeding analogy would work better if we adjust it a little bit:

            – when speeding the law states that the measured speed will be adjusted down by 5% of the speed measured to counter any inaccuracies. So then when you drive 105 km/hr in a zone where the limit is 100 kmh, you would not actually be speeding. If these limits would change, because of more accurate equipment, and would allow max 1 kmh of deviation, than you would have to slow down to 101 kmh to make sure you are not speeding.

            The same goes for Red Bull and their wing. They made sure that never did the wing bend by more than the test allowed when measured, and adjusted the wings when the test was changed (as the FIA was allowed to do).

          10. @tvm quoted from an Autosport article at the time

            a 1000N (approximately 102kg) load test was applied to an area of the front wing 790 mm forward of the front wheel centreline, and 790mm from the car centre line. The wings are allowed to deflect just 10mm.

            The front wings met the regulations at the time as they didn’t deflect more than 10mm under that load. The rule wasn’t broken.

            Besides, the rule of life is you’re not breaking the law if you don’t get caught. Even then, Red Bull didn’t actually break the law!

        2. @vettel1 It also says/said this:

          With the exception of the driver adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.18 (in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation) and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance :
          – Must comply with the rules relating to bodywork.
          – Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).
          – Must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.

          I think we can agree that the front wings did not remain immobile on the Red Bulls as compared to other teams.

          Anyway its water under the bridge, but just goes to show that you should assume that all teams will bend the rules if they can do it without getting caught, and that is exactly what RB did with their wings.

          1. @tvm it’s not though: that draws more comparisons with the Brabham movable skirts. The Red Bull flexi wings were obviously moving, but they passed the tests with no problems. As did the Brabham: it’s ride height was raised enough before it came to a stop to meet the 6mm gap required between the sidepod of the car and the road.

            That rule can only be policed through measurements, which is why they have these tests to enforce it. Otherwise teams could flex bodywork all they like and wouldn’t be able to get penalised for it!

      2. To be honest, I’m rather surprised about how lightly some people are taking this accusation against Mercedes. It’s true that we don’t know everything yet and we should wait for the evidence, but we’re talking about a team allegedly seeking a huge advantage over others by knowingly breaking a very clear rule and then trying to cover it up.

        I’ve been following F1 since 1997 and if this accusation turns out to be true, it will in my opinion be the worst and most arrogant offence during these 16 years bar the crash gate. Schumacher crashing into Villeneuve, lie gate and the spy gate were all bad, but those cases were about a couple of individuals. In this case, we’re talking about the whole team conspiring against the rules and then trying to cover it up. If this accusation is true, then exclusion from the championship is the minimum punishment that should be given.

        Who approached whom isn’t important. The important thing is whether Mercedes knew they were breaking the rules or not, that is, did they really believe Pirelli had FIA’s permission for the test and informed other teams. And I’m saying this both as an F1 fan and a 3rd year law student.

        I’m willing to wait for the evidence, but in my opinion it is highly suspicious that Mercedes (and Pirelli) didn’t announce or even mention the test anywhere. There might be an explanation for this, but I wan’t to hear it. Toto Wolff ironically saying “should we had announce it in Twitter” isn’t enough for me. Yes you should have Mr. Wolff (and probably would have) if you actually thought you were doing nothing wrong.

        1. Who approached whom isn’t important. The important thing is whether Mercedes knew they were breaking the rules or not, that is, did they really believe Pirelli had FIA’s permission for the test and informed other teams.

          – Well, if the FIA told them they actually could, provided it was a Pirelli run test to cover safety issues, than I fail to see whom else Mercedes should have been asking @hotbottoms

          1. @bascb
            FIA has stated the following:

            Pirelli and Mercedes AMG were advised by the FIA that such a development test could be possible if carried out by Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver, and that such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity.


            If this is true, then Mercedes must have known that every team should be given the same opportunity. In my opinion the fact that Mercedes kept the test in secret strongly suggest that they knew other teams weren’t approached and thus the conditions for the test weren’t fulfilled. However, as I said earlier, I’m willing to hear Mercedes’ side of the story and especially why they chose not to announce the test anywhere. There might be an acceptable reason for that, but it’s weird they haven’t told it yet.

          2. Well, I know what the FIA wrote, but again that message hides as much details as it uncovers, just like what Pirelli and Mercedes, and even the other teams have been telling us @hotbottoms.

            From that statement its not clear whether the FIA told both Mercedes and Pirelli exactly the same, its carefully worded in anticipation of not being cought lying later (not in law school as you are, but I have done enough contracts, and seen enough disputes develop to recognize it for what it is) when this gets into a FIA WMSC investigation.

            Sure enough, Pirelli must have known that they might formally uphold that they had given all teams the opportunity by mentioning possible tests and asking teams to provide cars last year, but it would not be easy to stay with that line. And its clear for me that Mercedes would have known that the test was something that was at least testing the boundaries of the rules, but again they had the FIA’s confirmation that they could, provided Pirelli did in fact inform everyone and give equal testing opportunity, so they though it was a risk worth taking.

            What I find strange, is why would one expect Mercedes to inform others. Did Ferrari inform everyone they tested tyres (even with a 2011 car) a couple of weeks earlier? No, they didn’t, and they only reluctantly admitted it when Pirelli mentioned it. And for good reason, because it would be seen much the same by everyone else as circumventing the testing regulations and gaining an advantage.
            If anything, the reference to the FOTA e-mail made by Horner would maybe hint at the fact that Mercedes should have mentioned it to the FOTA. But both Ferrari and Red Bull are no longer part of FOTA, they chose to quit because they did not want to be bound by the RRA and testing restrictions respectively.

          3. Let me add to that, that the “filming day” rules have been abused to test new parts for years now by just about everyone. The only reason Caterham showed a youtube video of it was to fulfill the requirement it was for PR reasons, because its clear that they were testing a completely overhauled car at Barcelona.
            How much different is that? To me the biggest difference is, that its not so common to do this, that no one can protest it anymore.

          4. @bascb
            I’m not saying that Mercedes should have informed other teams or that not informing other teams was an offence. What I’m saying is that Mercedes not announcing the test anywhere suggests they knew the test didn’t fulfil the conditions set by FIA and thus it was against the rules. I’m not saying they should’ve informed FOTA about the test. I’m wondering why they didn’t tell the public about it?

            According to Pirelli and Mercedes, they held a massive three day test in order to make F1 better and it was allowed by FIA. If that is the case, then why was there any reason to keep the test in secret?

            The biggest difference between Ferrari’s and Mercedes’ test is that everyone was supposed to know about the latter, because Pirelli should’ve informed everyone about it and offer them the same opportunity. Thus I can see why Ferrari was willing to cover their test, but Mercedes didn’t have the same kind of a reason, because other teams were supposed to know about the test anyway.

            Whether the initiative came from Pirelli or Mercedes isn’t relevant in my opinion. Breaking the rules isn’t allowed just because someone else gave you the idea and the opportunity.

          5. According to Pirelli and Mercedes, they held a massive three day test in order to make F1 better and it was allowed by FIA. If that is the case, then why was there any reason to keep the test in secret?

            – The answer is easy – Pirelli itself already mentioned that they had not wanted to announce anything before because of the current politics in F1 would have meant it would have ended up with a row about who would be able to do what when and where, postponing a test of the tyres they were supposed to be bringing for Canada more or less to ad-infinitum @hotbottoms

            The biggest difference between those test was not in who knew, or should have known. I am pretty sure that if this would have come out before Barcelona, with just Ferrari testing, the row would not have been much different, because Ferrari would have still got almost the same advantage Mercedes is seen to have gotten. And look who won Barcelona, eh.

            Whether the initiative came from Pirelli or Mercedes isn’t relevant in my opinion. Breaking the rules isn’t allowed just because someone else gave you the idea and the opportunity.

            you are stuck in your own thoughts here though.
            What is relevant indeed is not who wanted more badly to test (Ferrari wants to test badly as well) but about the FIA giving a conditioned dispensation to their own rules. In the end this unclear message gave us different interpretations of how these conditions were met, or weren’t met. And that is the row we have now.

    4. It will not happen, the world being the world and Mercedes being Mercedes, FIA will not punish them for that, it would take something more serius to get Stut boys punished by FIA.

      1. As I’ve said on other headings about this topic, I think ultimately Pirelli needed to do this test and need to come up with better tires for everyone’s benefit, teams and fans alike, and they are the ones that had it in their contract that they could grab a willing team and do so. Merc is well aware that in-season testing is banned, so I simply find it impossible that they could or would just go ahead a do a secret test and think they could get away with it. And even if this was Merc taking the initiative, which I think is extremely unlikely, then they would still have needed tires for said test.

        Ultimately I think Merc should be treated lightly here because I think everyone knows the tires need addressing since ‘racing’ to delta times is almost universally being poo-pooed, and everyone knows that had a current top-3 team done this test everyone would be going ballistic over scandalous Championship fixing, and at the same time I doubt anyone at this point actually believes that suddenly Merc has full understanding of tires, no longer will be eating up rear ones, and will be Championship contenders.

        Did Merc break a black and white rule? Sure one could argue that. Are there extenuating circumstances that brought this test about? Bigtime. And those have to be considered.

  3. I always think of this particular piece of video when I see the name Alliot, James Hunt was such a character:

    1. Come to think about it, he died 20 years ago not too far from now, right? We need a very nice article about him @keithcollantine , both his racing career and his commentary career!

  4. @keithcollantine
    The link to The Economist article takes me to a BBC article about Massa’s crash.

    1. @beneboy That’s fixed now, thanks.

  5. Michael Brown (@)
    29th May 2013, 1:17

    I hope we see Kobayashi racing again in 2014. He was a standout driver in 2010 and 2011. In 2012 he was outshone by Perez in the first half but his consistency allowed him to close in at the end.

    This was only Grosjean`s first DNF from a crash this year, so he`s improving on that part. Although compared to Raikkonen he`s been slower this year than last year.

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      29th May 2013, 3:56

      Maybe he’ll get in a lotus or a ferrari i don’t think felipe needs replacing but grosjean needs to get fast and consistant or he’s gone at the end of the year or before. Maybe mark goes back to sportscars maybe he just retires, maybe kimi goes to redbull or replaces massa or perez or maybe kk replaces one or all of the above drivers at the same time. Maybe kimi replaces grosjean and kk replaces kimi.

      Who knows i do feel better about his chances this year than i did towards the end of last year when it became appart he was going to be shafted.

      1. The best Kobayashi could hope for is to be placed at a Ferrari-powered team next year. There’s no way they’d take him over Massa, Hulkenberg or Bianchi.

    2. My thought is that Kobayashi needs to cuddle up to Honda now, as their backing may allow him to push back into the grid in a few years.

    3. His podium in Suzuka made me very happy. I have deep respect and love for the people of Japan and KOB being a talented driver just make it much easier to love him.

  6. That Karun pic looks perfect for a Caption Competition

    1. Abdurahman (@)
      29th May 2013, 7:03

      I concur. I don’t know what is so funny about that photo but I have chuckled every time I’ve scrolled past it!

    2. Shouldn’t a driver drive to a Drivers’ Commission meeting?

      1. Shouldn´t a driver driving in F1 be in a Commission meeting… I mean Why Karun?

        1. Why? It’s an FIA Drivers Commission, not an F1 Drivers Commission. Karun has driven in more different FIA sanctioned series in the last 3 or 4 years than most current F1 drivers.

          1. @ajokay Sorry not a fan of Karun in wich of the FIA categories is he driving this year?

          2. @celeste last year he drive for JRM in and LMP1 Honda in the WEC and at Le Mans. This year he’s driving a Mercedes SLS GT3 in the FIA GT Series

      2. Maybe it is a Train Drivers’ Commission meeting?

  7. I’m really tired of Grosjean, actually. I can’t understand people who defend him; he’s been nothing but misery on track – he hasn’t achieved much for all his starts with that great car he has. We’d be having a lot more fun if Webber, Massa and Grosjean made some room for other guys, who, if they are not better drivers, are at least more entertaining to watch (Sutil, Kobayashi, Vergne, even Di Resta, come to mind). Heck, I’d even prefer Bruno Senna driving that second Lotus and bringing home some points than this french crash dummy.

    1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      29th May 2013, 4:31

      I’d say that’s a bit strong webber and massa have both come painfully close to being worldchampion no sport no matter how few participants is played entirely by champions.

      By way of example i give you snooker in the 1920’s the “worldchampionship” basicly comprised of 2 players playing over who would get the next round in, joe davis who helped start it and his m8 bob. (I may have made that name up(no not joe davis he is real(really))) from 1927-1940 joe davis won the “worldchampionship” each year until a little scuffle known as world war II broke out and the snooker cue was tucked away under the bar for happier days.

      It doesn’t matter if there’s 2 24 or 2400 players there is always the best and the rest and if your ayrton senna or eddie the eagle untill you are the best you are the rest. For all we know mark could still be worldchampion before his time is over.

    2. Bit harsh on Webber and Massa don’t you think?

      1. I’ll concede that to put Webber and Massa at the same level as Grosjean is not fair, but it doesn’t change the fact that they seem a bit harmless even though they’re driving great machinery. Webber is the most decent of the three, scoring points consistently and avoiding embarassing moments, but I’d still prefer to see someone else drive that Red Bull.

        1. Beyond Webber, the only equal or better options for Red Bull would be one of the other 4 world champions, or one of the Nicos, with almost the same applying to Ferrari replacing Massa. Out of Sutil, Kobayashi, Vergne and Di Resta, the latter three at least are not good enough for a top seat.

          1. I wouldn’t take any of them: I’d have a young talent in the car such as Nico Hulkenberg. Everyone in your list has pretty much realised their potential as midfield drivers. Webber and Massa are good but they aren’t going to progress from solid rear-gunners to Alonso and Vettel.

  8. It’s pretty hard to tell weather someone is using the tyres on the wrong side, judging by the fact aramid belts aren’t handed what was all the fuss about HRT fastening their show car tyres on the wrong side?

    1. That photo of Lewis above shows the Mercedes using the tyres on “right” right side. So I’m confused.

    2. I would like to understand more what is meant by “tyre swapping”. Do they always use them swapped? Or do they swap the tyres after having used them once (e.g. use the tyres normally in qualifying, and then the same set swapped in the race)?

    3. I think you are free to designate the tyres as you please, but once designated you can only use them on the designated side.

  9. The car Vettel is driving is an e92 M3, not an Infiniti.

    1. Interesting – I guess Infiniti don’t mind people knowing what cars they’re using for reference!

      1. @keithcollantine
        I found an article (in German) that briefly describes that he was comparing various models of competitors, although it doesn’t say which ones:

  10. It’s just normal that team bosses defend their drivers in the public eye even if they know that they’re wrong. I’m sure that Boullier has had a serious talk with Grosjean behind closed doors and that Grosjean understands that he cannot continue like this if he wants to stay with the team in 2014. After all, Lotus is a Top 4 team and it’s not like there are no other good drivers available. The same goes for McLaren and Perez. Whitmarsh might pretend to be happy with Perez’s ‘spirit’ but it’s clear that that ‘spirit’ must bring much more than 0 points for the team.

  11. As for the secret tyre test, I think it was unfair to offer it exclusively to Mercedes, no matter if the test was legal or not. It is a top team fighting for wins and possibly the world championship. It would have been much fairer and better for the sport if Marussia and Caterham had performed the test. This way Pirelli would have reached their objective, there would be no impact on the battle at the front and the sport would have given a helping hand to its weakest members.

    1. @girts – I think you’ll find that Pirelli chose Mercedes because the F1 W04 has chewed through its tyres on mroe than one occasion. If they could understand the problem and adapt the compounds to address it, they would theoretically fix everyone’s problems.

      1. Agreed @prisoner-monkeys and I think the Marussias and Caterhams have many other issues that would have clouded the data, and I also don’t categorize Mercedes as anything but the distant 4th place team in the standings that they currently are. Other than at Monaco, they are not fighting for wins, they are fighting to not slide down their quali order and out of the points. ie. Compared to using a top 3 team, Merc was a far far less controversial, and I think actually a perfect choice for Pirelli to work with. Ultimately I expect everyone to benefit equally from better tires, the running order to stay pretty much status quo, and for the racing to improve for the fans and hopefully less running to delta times.

  12. As for this round-up I’d say Lotus should get Kobayashi and ditch Grosjean

  13. Re COTD: consistency = never going to progress much further IMO; he was pretty much going to be stuck in the midfield for the rest if his days, so I’m quite glad he was replaced by Hulkenberg at Sauber (who I think has huge potential).

  14. Very informative piece on the International Tribunal by Autosport. It worries me that we might have to wait until after the German Grand Prix for a verdict, so not only Rosberg’s win, but also anything else they achieve until then will be under the cloud of the testing row. Particularly if they perform well (and I wouldn’t necessarily attribute good results to the tyre test, as they were competitive in Malaysia and China too), we will have to put up with two months of debate, complaints, and politicking, all of which will certainly detract from my enjoyment of the racing.

    And then there is Pirelli’s role in the testing row. At best, Pirelli was not particularly thorough in inviting teams to a tyre test (their invitation seems to consist of an email sent a year ago or an informal word with an engineer in the paddock), so the most important complaint of the FIA, that all teams should have been given the opportunity to test, looks to be the responsibility of Pirelli. July is in some ways an awkward time to impose a penalty. They will either have recently signed a fresh contract for another couple of years, or by that time it will be clear that they are leaving the sport. Either way, I think it would be better to have a verdict before the contract negotiations are completed.

  15. Nick.UK (@)
    29th May 2013, 10:17

    So many cliffhangers to leave on. Grosjean having a job, the Mercedes test row outcome, the Webber/Vettel and Button/Perez revialrys. I’ll pick the story back up in September at Monza. I will now miss the next 6 races or so due to work taking me to all manner of distant wildernesses where internet and electrity don’t exist. See you all in a few months.

  16. Analysis: How Pirelli Montreal change will handicap ‘tyre-swapping’ teams (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog

    That analysis by Adam Cooper is interesting, I didn’t know that steel belted tyres had a handedness, whether it be setup for left or right. The fact that they’re going back to kevlar belt tyres will potentially mean that results to date are meaningless. Because the tyres will behave completely differently.

    Explains why RBR were gunning for this change…

    1. Except the fact that RBR’s issue has more to do with front tyres rather than rear ones, unlike Mercedes, and Pirelli made it clear there wouldn’t be any front tyre changes.

  17. Oh so that’s what it’s all about. All the fuss is about kicking Mercedes. Seems legit

  18. I get that message as well at times (using firefox on Win7), but then I type with all 10 and pretty fast, so I only though it is made to make me read my comment again to correct mistakes @hohum :-)

    Maybe it was introduced to prevent some bots from posting?

  19. Well I hope that the Monaco weekend was just a one-off for Grosjean. In fact this year he has been pretty consistent and didn’t crash at all (untill Monaco). In the beginning of the year he had some troubles with his chassis, but that is solved since Bahrain. Well let’s say. He has just been unlucky with Kimi Raikkonen as team mate. Against Heidfeld, Petrov or Senna who drove for Lotus in 2011 he would have made a good impression I think

    1. i think you’ve forgotten to add Kubica whom Romen would have definitely outshone. With his facial hair. It is an amazing fact all his accidents have no other explanation besides he is not a driver. It is clear as day if it were not for his boss we would not have a matter for discussion this season.

  20. Regarding the WEC tweet…

    I often wonder why the FIA doesn’t make an effort to encourage F1 drivers to enter the LM24. I can’t be the only one who thinks it would be fantastic to see Alonso, Massa and maybe Bianchi team up in a Ferrari 458, or perhaps Jenson and Checo racing in a McLaren sportscar.

    1. If nothing else, it might remind them what it’s like to be able to race flat out…

    2. Most teams don’t like their drivers competing in other events in case they get into an accident that keeps them out of F1.

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