Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2013

Delaying qualifying was the right call, argue drivers

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on Author Will Wood

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2013In the round-up: senior drivers back the FIA’s decision to delay the final qualifying session by 40 minutes due to heavy rain.


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Formula 1 drivers back qualifying rain delay (Autosport)

Jenson Button: ??I listen to a lot of commentators on TV saying ‘well that is not right, they should have sent them out earlier, look they are going onto intermediates immediately…’ But you are not making the decision. The guys that make the decision are in a very difficult position and I think they make the right call more often than not.??

Webber not anticipating an emotional farewell at the Brazilian GP (SkyF1)

Webber: ??The drivers’ briefing was interesting, just because the guys gave me a very good reception. I had a little chat with them and that was nice because obviously they’re the ones that you work so hard to compete against over 17 years and that means a lot to you.??

McLaren heading for worst F1 finish after qualifying failure in Brazil (Guardian)

??Button, who will become the most experienced British F1 driver on Sunday, with 247 starts, said: “It was very wet and we couldn’t find our feet. We were sliding all over the place. It was a tough qualy. But it may not be as wet tomorrow and we can still have a great race.”??

Perez attributes crash to pushing too hard (ESPN)

Sergio Perez: ??I think it looked bigger than it was, actually. I just hit a little bit of the wall and there was not really much I could do. As soon as I lost the car I went straight in to the grass and then I hit the wall, but the car is not really damaged so I am looking forward to tomorrow.??

Pirelli admits lack of rain testing hurting F1 in wet (Autosport)

Paul Hembery: ??We have made some changes for next year but at the end of the day wet tyres are developed doing wet track testing and we have had minimal ability to go developing wet tyres.??

FIA post-qualifying press conference ?ǣ Brazil (

Sebastian Vettel: ??When I was told I was very happy. I even mixed up Spanish and Portuguese. I was on the radio saying ??ole, ole?? but ole is Spanish so I don?t know the expression in Portuguese but maybe someone can tell me today and hopefully I?ll have another chance tomorrow.??

Brazilian Grand Prix ?ǣ day two (MotorSport)

??A wet morning practice session saw many of the top drivers do few laps as they saved wet and intermediate tyres for qualifying and the race. The rain eased off by the start of Q1, and in the opening minutes it looked like slicks might soon be a possibility ?ǣ only for the rain to return just as teams were thinking of making the switch.??

Emerson: Ayrton Senna, from the heart (McLaren)

??Anyway, one day that weekend, I walked Ayrton from one end of the Osterreichring pitlane to the other, introducing him to every single team boss. “This young man will be world champion; maybe he?ll be world champion many times,” I told them all.??


Comment of the day

After Martin Whitmarsh revealed yesterday that a rival team had originally reneged on a deal to hire Kevin Magnussen, kbdavies lacks faith in the abilities of McLaren’s leader.

McLaren ridicule themselves by the day. What Martin is saying here is that the Button/ Perez combo was a done deal until the other team decided to renege on the Magnussen deal, or they had another driver planned to partner Button, but decided to go with Magnussen as he was free ?ǣ Either way, it hints at a total lack of direction and making decisions on the hop. This is excatly the same attitude that saw them botch up Lewis?s contract negotiations and had them make a knee jerk reaction in signing Perez.
Whitmarsh is no Bernie; so yes he was being naive to think he could do a deal on the basis of a handshake.
Deals are done via contracts, which are signed by all involved ?ǣ unless you have the clout of a certain Mr E; then your word is bond. Whitmarsh really needs to go, or the decision making aspect at McLaren should be taken on by someone else.

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On this day in F1

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for his final race for McLaren on this day last year. Championship contenders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso lined up fourth and seventh.

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  • 48 comments on “Delaying qualifying was the right call, argue drivers”

    1. Amazing the 2 MBAMG drivers tweeted about 500 characters each, not only had the both felt the same they actually wrote exactly the same words letter for letter. I suppose they set identical times as well.
      I think there is something suspicious here, I thought tweets were limited to 140 characters.

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        24th November 2013, 1:15

        They’re facebook posts. Not limited to 140 characters.

        1. Oh! I feel like a right tweet.

      2. Social media director “driving error”, so to speak. Oops!

      3. I’ve been Facebook friends with Bottas for years. It was obvious he always did his posts himself, and interacted with people. He was funny, polite and seemed genuinely grateful for fans to be interested in him. After he was confirmed to drive for Williams he gave one more post, and then it was obviously taken over by some PR person. It’s sad in a way that a lot of these don’t come from the drivers, but I suppose they have other things to worry about.

    2. Maybe it was the right decision if you consider how unsafe the track is but it wasn’t definitely a safe hazard to wait as long as they did but that is very hard to judge.

    3. Amaizing ! Lewis and Nico said the same thing ! what are the chances !!

      Sad if Hulk signed for Force India… while they are a good team, I always think of them as somehow unconsistent. It’s not a step forward either… but well, this is how F1 works right now.

      1. @fer-no65 If Force India sign Hulkenberg and Pérez then it certainly wouldn’t be sad, it would be the second most interesting team battle (after Ferrari) of 2014 and the one that came out on top would truly deserve a drive with a top team in my opinion.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        24th November 2013, 7:01

        As a big (and rather lonely) Maldonado fan I do hope this Hulkenberg to Force India rumour turns out to be true. In a potentially front-running car, he will be an amazing spectacle.

      3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        24th November 2013, 11:54

        @fer-no65 – They are a good technically dynamic team, Force India, and with the Mercedes V6 set to be the class of the field in 2014, it might be a good move for Nico. It is also a bit nieve to think that Lotus who are a “top team” in 2013, will continue to be in 2014, when Ferrari fell from their standard front-running position to the midfield in 2014 after a comparably minor technical tweak. Saying that, I think Sauber is probably a better option than Force India. They have easily been the strongest team, in a technical regard, in the midfield since 2011, and have the kind of aggressive and innovative approach to design that might pay off in 2014. Also Nico won’t have to spend his winter packing his stuff into a cardboard box like he normally does…

        @jackisthestig – And Hulkenberg wouldn’t be an amazing spectacle? When you say Maldonado will be spectacular, do you mean that in the sense that Grosjean was spectacular in Belgium ’12? Or that an episode of Top Gear is spectacular when they blow up a million caravans? The rumour I expect you don’t want to turn out to be true is the ever strengthening link between “Money, Money, Money Maldonado” and Sauber.

    4. It must be annoying for Hulkenberg to be constantly moving back and forth around the midfield when it seems every year the press talk about him moving to a top team yet he’s constantly overlooked despite being rated by the media, teams and even fellow drivers. I still believe the Hulkenberg is the real deal and could easily give one of the top drivers a run for their money but it seems with every year that goes by, the chances of him getting into a top team diminish further. 2014 was the best chance to get to the top and show everyone his full potential but it still shocks me that Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren all had an available seat yet it seems he will end up at Force India.

      Of course there’s still plenty of time for him to get up the grid to a race winning team and challenge for championships but it really is sad to see such a talent struggling to reach the top through little fault of his own.

      1. The only thing worse than sideways for Hulkenberg would be out of F1 altogether. It looked like that would be possible for a while there. Now it seems like he has already signed with FI, Lotus, Sauber… depending on who, when and what could be believed.

        Guess we’ll have to wait until the dust settles and some team officially announces. While I would still like to see him at Lotus, I’m grateful nobody’s life depends on it. Supposedly the Quantum deal could still happen, but the waiting game has gone beyond ridiculous.

        Agree that Hulkenberg is the real deal and deserves to be with a top team. Maybe the good news is that in 2014 it will be a bit more difficult to predict who the top teams may be.

      2. How do you know he’s been ‘overlooked’? Hulkenburg has obviously been considered and passed over. There are obviously ‘issues’ with this guy that we don’t know about..

        And it COULD be just his size, which is a shame…

      3. @davef1
        Ferrari were seriously considering signing Hulkenberg they have a contract that was signed by Hulkenberg’s side and the only thing missing to validate it was Luca Di Montezemolo signature but when they saw the possibility of signing Kimi they went straight away to sign him because they want to win WCC ,Well in Ferrari case a team of Fernando/Kimi 2 cannibals in races could turn into one of their best drivers line up in their history, Lotus problems are financial problems so signing ROGRO who is bringing 10 million a year and Maldonano who is also bringing 30/35 million a year is their best solution to continue in the sport as a top team, but i strongly doubt that any of the Red Bull and Mclaren drivers is as good as Nico Hulkenberg

    5. FOX Sport LA are doing “the F1 show” right now. Nico Rosberg talking in spanish, and incredibly well ! how many languagues does he know?!

      1. When Lewis joined Mercedes over a year ago, he was talking about knowing ROS for a long time and how smart he is, etc, and one of the things he said was that ROS knows “something like 5 languages”.

      2. According to Wikipedia, “Rosberg speaks fluent German, English, Italian, Spanish and French but only a little Finnish, though he is learning the language.”

        1. Holy crap :-O

        2. His French is very good btw ^^

          1. And his Italian is amazing as well!

      3. Rosberg is not the only one that speaks Spanish, also Sutil, Vergne and also Kvyat I think (but not as good). Other than Antena 3 and Fox Sports LA, there’s not many networks that would interview them in Spanish so hats off to those drivers for making an effort.

      4. It’s amazing how a lot of them (except apparently the British drivers, which is a shame) can be fluent in so many languages. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an F1 driver unable to talk fluent English.

        1. @vettel1

          I don’t think I’ve ever seen an F1 driver unable to talk fluent English

          Mika Häkkinen? :)

    6. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      24th November 2013, 1:40

      I don’t get why they even bother with wet tyres.

    7. Jenson Button: “I listen to a lot of commentators on TV saying ‘well that is not right, they should have sent them out earlier, look they are going onto intermediates immediately…’ But you are not making the decision. The guys that make the decision are in a very difficult position and I think they make the right call more often than not.”

      I stand by all the arguments that supported the idea of not delaying qualifying. There is no point of wet tires if they get no use, and that’s what they’re built for. Sure, an F1 car can’t handle a lot of water but to argue that it was too wet? I think not. How can wet tires only be useful in conditions where the intermediates work just as well? Is that a poor tire design?
      It’s also worth noting that F1 revolves around viewers who want to be entertained (business too, doesn’t work without viewers). Just because it’s more challenging doesn’t mean everything has to be delayed. I’d love to see drivers using every bit of skill to go faster, regardless if the drivers dislike it. They’re paid to entertain.

      1. Second week in a row I’ve missed some (last week) or all of Q3 due to my recording ending, this morning it stopped as the light went green for Q3, but I can understand the delay for qualifying, it’s the interminable laps behind the safety car mid-race that I think need to be redressed.

      2. But if it can’t be driven? A Formula 1 car relies on it’s speed for grip – no speed no grip no drive. As was said “A Ford Fiesta could have been driven faster” and Pirelli admitted they had had no wet weather testing with their tyres. So, pretty pointless if the cars all aquaplane off at Turn 1.

      3. I think there would be less fuss about all this if Q3 had started after 30 minutes of delay instead of 40. At that point, it would have been more tricky to run the intermediates and some teams could have made the wrong call. Here obviously, the intermediates were the right call and it mzde it boring. It would have been far more intersting if some teams had chosen the wets for their fastest lap and others the intermediates.

    8. Hey everybody, did you enjoy the sight of F1 cars driven on the limits of adhesion, wiggling through the corners, squirming under acceleration, getting out of shape under braking ? I sure did, we all love the challenge a wet greasy track presents the drivers, but for some reason we don’t want really hard durable tyres which would allow drivers to explore the limits of adhesion during a dry race, yes lap-times would be slower but nothing like as slow as a wet lap, other advantages would be drivers able to battle one and other all race long without destroying the tyres and a cleaner track off the racing line. Give it some thought.

      1. @hohum – What, Bernie was right, wet the tracks rain or shine? ;)

        I hear you. Looking after the equipment has always been a factor in F1, but I would rather see the sport weighted towards driver skills as per adhesion, passing, different racing lines, etc.

      2. I’m with you here.
        More power than grip is the mantra I’m preaching.

      3. How about we just fix the inherent problem and reduce the turbulent air effect, then “turn up the boost”?

    9. According to those facebook post, a higher percentage of comments are made on Nico’s page than Lewis’s. I wonder why :D

    10. Fittipaldi’s blog on Senna is truly amazing – go read it now if you haven’t yet.

      1. Great read, thanks for the link. Didn’t notice it in main threat.

      2. @andae23 I’ve really enjoyed this series of blog posts, I don’t say that often! Such a gentleman!

    11. Good luck to Hulkenberg for next year. I think he did the smart thing to sign for Force India (if the rumours are true). Waiting for Lotus is dangerous in that he may be without a seat next year. And besides, they seem to be in worse financial trouble then Force India. If Mercedes deliver on rumours and have the best engine next year, Hulkenberg just might get a change to shine.

      As for the other seat at Force India… i really wish it won’t be Sutil or Di Resta driving next year. Let’s hope for Perez, Vandoorne, Frijns.. Someone exiting.

    12. Maldonado believe he would be world champion if he were driving for Red Bull. What a joker and what arrogance!!

      1. @prarag-chopra Can you blame him? If he said otherwise people would complain he has no place in Formula 1 because he feels he wouldn’t be good enough to compete in the WDC. Every racing driver thinks he can be world champion, and if he doesn’t, why compete in Formula 1?

        Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

        1. @maarten-f1: I agree that winning championship is the reason why drivers are in F1. However, he implies he has the talent to simply walk in to Red Bull and beat Vettel is a bit far-fetched, atleast according to me. Not to mention he is going to lose this season to a rookie team-mate and the sole factor which keeps Maldonado in F1 today is the 30 million USD from PDVSA.

        2. The way I read it, he’s saying he’s better than Mark Webber, at the very least. (NOW let’s see if people have a problem with it! ;-))

      2. imo only ALO, HAM and maybe RAI would have been able to get the job done in a similar fashion as VET did. To become WC you’ve to be talented, smart and a leader – MAL is like DIR – very good but not really up to the task, because both think that talent (and they have plenty of it) is enough.

    13. I don’t quite understand the complaints about the delay. they have been conservative with their decisions – yes – but just like in Australia there is absolutely no need to increase the risk in qualifying.
      During races their decisions are mainly down to visibility since the cars have way more wake since 2009 and I think people would understand it, if they’d see what a driver sees while in traffic.

    14. @keithcollantine – Thanks for my first COTD!

      1. Congrats. However Your opinion on Withmarsh being naive I’m sure the Team boss isn’t proud of the situation and when young Mag has shown his talent by mid-season next year he will be aggravated over his descision. That said I agree that their choice of Perez was premature – his results plummeted after he signed with McLaren.

      2. KBDavies: But NOW how do you feel after the race? None of us are in possession of all the actual facts, and thus your supposition is merely uninformed speculation. Entertaining but fictional.

        Both drivers had a storming race and didn’t put a wheel wrong. Great way to finish such a difficult season. Anyway, I believe the situation is more complex that the simple one offered in your Comment and has a 2 word answer.

        Carlos Slim. If you want to seek out a contract breaker, head in his direction.

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