F1 Fanatic Live: 2017 Italian Grand Prix

1,129 comments on “F1 Fanatic Live: 2017 Italian Grand Prix”

  1. I have to admit I’m already growing used to the halo. Pleased to see that you can still distinguish the drivers helmet both close up and at a distance and actually the halo kind of disappears in the long shots.

    1. But i still think it would be great if the Halo’s mirror the driver helmets (colouring) too – although not for Red Bulls all interchangeable helmet designs or the FI all pinks!

  2. It’s curious that so far Massa has only referred to his illness in Hungary as vertigo. This obviously the symptom, but what’s the underlying cause? And is there any chance it could be related to the crash he’s just had on his first push lap after getting back in the cockpit?

    1. Let’S hope he is just gradually ticking off his bucket list of issues during the friday and will than have a solid saturday and we can enjoy a great sunday from him :-)

  3. looks like Mercedes might be having a bit of a tricky time making their tires last for more than one lap, might make a different strategy from them than the likes of RBR and Ferrari too then.

  4. As mentioned on C4, I’m pro-third car. For the teams that can afford to field an extra car, young drivers could be provided opportunity not presently available to them. McL/Fer/Mer/Ren/Red +1 = 25 cars. Exciting new talent, bolstered grid. Excluded from constructors points, but eligible for drivers championship.

    1. it’s a terribly bad idea. It would enhance the divide between the “bit teams” and the rest even more, hollow out the means of existance for the smaller teams and be an open invite to abuse of drivers to hurt others in races. Please no.

          1. I think more collaboration between teams should be allowed. Top teams will always be top teams, but remember when Sauber looked like a last year Ferrari and was actually competitive, allowing the driver talent to shine? I see no harm in customer teams, this also helps with the budgets issue – top team gets some of the development money back, while the client team doesnt have to spend money developing every aspect of the car.

          2. The solution is taking some of the money that now goes to Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes just to show up and use it to guarantee a basic budget of about 80-100 million for everyone. That way a smaller team can count on having a budget for engines, chassis and drivers and some development, making it easier to build upon and get partners on board.

    2. I’m not a fan because it will massively increase the huge advantage the wealthy teams already have. I don’t want yet more complicated rules (e.g. defining what a ‘young driver’ is). And it would also allow them to skew the drivers’ championship by bringing in extra cars to hold up their rivals. It would be a step towards mimicking the DTM’s deeply flawed model.

      1. Not necessarily complicated. Designated third car = ineligible for constructors points. I don’t see what’s criminal about that, considering there are far worse candidate regulations deserving of the ‘convoluted’ tag.

        1. What would stop Ferrari putting Vettel, Kimi And Verstappen in? And Mercedes getting Lewis, Bottas and say Alonso as a third. Then Red Bull would have Ricciardo, Sainz and Kvyat? And the first runner up would probably be the only apart from them in the top 10 gaining points for the ‘drivers. Ferrari doesn’t care much about the constructors championship. And a driver is clearly only in it for the drivers’

  5. Looks very likely that Bottas will be 4th today. On all but 1 occation this year, he’s been 3rd or above. His average qualifying position is actually slightly better than Hamilton due to Hamilton’s slump in Monaco.

  6. Might as well do the intro before Keith comes on xP

    Welcome to F1 Fanatic’s (paraphrase my) (not-so) official coverage of the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, where Vettel wins, Alonso gets plaudits, and Crofty and Brundle make conspiracy theories about Ferrari’s plans to wreck Kimi’s race for Vettel!

    Peace lol

  7. Have to agree with DC on calling it bullocs, Honda not thinking like races on the Alonso’s honda being confused about where he was on track and not giving him the power he needed while in his ultimate quali lap (CH4)

      1. exactly. I still don’t know if Alonso should be a bit reasured about hardware not breaking down, or furious and losing lots of confidence in Honda for being so senseless as to let this happen.

  8. I apologise to Max Verstappen for including him in my predictions again. Each time I do that with a Red Bull driver this year, they seem to retire by no fault of their own.

      1. I doubt Mercedes would do that, because that will cause massive stress in the team, ham and ves together? Bottas delivers what they need for the championship and helps ham without saying a word….

      1. I would rather think that Kimi has got an extremely hardh penalty. This should have been 5 seconds or 10 seconds added to race time.

    1. Eh, what does his (or her if you want) gender have to do with racing?
      And telling the pitlane about others going off track is something ALL drivers do all the time, because it gives them a direct advantage on track if the other gets penalised.

        1. yeah, that is exactly what I meant. Ricciardo is also matching the top 2 now. Vettel cannot go faster because Hamilton is up ahead, getting close to him would ruin his DF and quickly wear his tyres too.

    1. Not sure if 2 stopper is faster or not. Ferrari can’t do a 2-stopper as clearing Bottas is not a certainty.

      If Hamilton does go for a 2-stopper, he will have the undercut and hence Vettel can’t win after stopping later.

      This is very much advantage Hamilton so far.

    1. Tell that to Max Verstappen – for all we know Max could have been 3rd now. And McLaren with a Honda could have had Alonso camping out there instead of Max.

    1. I have heard that 1) Red Bull has to be in the top 3 as a team (OK), 2) have a winning car (already done too) and 3.) the drivers in the top 5 (or at least one in the top 5 maybe) mean he is locked in.

    2. Doubt it. I read a Horner interview somewhere which said that Vettel got escape clauses in his contract only after winning the 2nd championship in 2011.

      1. Well, the thing is that it’s been going on for some time, and other drivers have also made this kind of move with no penalty. So it will keep increasing…

  9. You can make a reasonable argument that Ocon should have backed out. Doesn’t really take away from poor team management at Force India that is the main reason these incidents keep happening, they should have dealt with it after Baku and the team, by failing to do so, have reaped the expected rewards for not doing so

  10. He knows he has no chance now. Shame the safetycar wasn’t really needed. A VSC there would be fine. It was out of a slow corner and cleared up in seconds.

    1. Kimi is 5th, needs to first get past Ricciardo before he can get even close to Bottas. And Ricciardo also has new US tyres so that will not be as easy for him

      1. The delta time between different compounds isn’t that big like some of past years, so that’s why I had that feeling, with 2012-2013 tires vettel would easy pass Hamilton even with that amazing power from merc PU

  11. But I won’t count out HAM yet. Remember Bahrain 2014, he kept Rosberg behind while on a slower set. If someone can win this for Mercedes, it is Hamilton.

  12. Hard words from Jos Verstappen on Dutch tv They need to go around the table. Max’s motivation on the line. He’s clearly quicker than RIC but the car keeps failing.

  13. I don’t understand! Is this Mercedes or is this Hamilton? They are comfortably keeping Seb behind while on tyres 2 steps harder!!

    1. Mercedes works it’s tyres harder. And Vettel has the disadvantage of dirty air behind Lewis. He would have to be 2 seconds faster to have a chance to catch him and make an attempt at passing.

      1. I’d say that too, Hamilton nailed restart, then got temp into those softs. Remember, Merc. took out some wing after seeing Ferrari’s S1,S2 Friday speed to defend against overtakes, that might have helped them in the end.

  14. If you can’t overtake here on softer tyres with DRS in the sport then what chance is there elsewhere?
    Ferrari couldn’t pass Merc. Merc couldn’t pass Ferrari. Ferrari couldn’t pass RB.

        1. Indeed, it meant Bottas couldn’t take the inside of that corner because he still had Kimi there. you could see how even Hulk got right up to Bottas from how he lost momentum there.

  15. Imagine Raikkonen being concentrated during the early yellow for Verstappen and not having that stop-go, he’d have been on the podium, Ferrari would have made a good indentation in Merc’s WCC lead.

  16. Seen on Friday that the softs were more than a match for the Ultras. Combine that with the engine mode of Mercedes.

    That said, great drive from the top 2. Ricciardo should change his name from Honey badger to the Weasel. Almost every time Max retires, he ends up on the podium.

    Kimi should have at least got an attack on Ricciardo. But props to him for doing that move on Bottas.

    Happy that the next installment is only a week away.

    1. Just imagine where Max Verstappen could have been in there too, he might have mixed into the restart to make it even more interesting (although then Kimi would not have had his penalty to drop him down either)

  17. Considering that Ferrari seem to have more downforce in the car, I suppose they could go with a very lean wing and yet be able to get the car working on the corners.

    Hamilton is great on the brakes but the Ferrari is very comfortable as well. Should be a good race again hopefully.

  18. ok, bye for now everyone. That was quite a good race to kick back into the season, I can only hope that Monza shows us another tight fight between the top 2 (looks like Ferrari could be even closer there!)

  19. Hamilton now a second up on the best from last year.

    OK I’m calling it: I think if qualifying is dry we’ll see the 2004 track record fall. That’ll be a new all-time record for fastest ever F1 lap…

  20. Must confess I’m surprised they’ve green-lighted this. It doesn’t look massively improved. But perhaps the rain has eased and they’re betting the drainage will have improved the track conditions a lot in ten minutes time. This is an area where they’ve been very conservative in the recent past so perhaps they’ve decided to be a bit bolder.

  21. I don’t think Vettel is particularly good in the wet. It’s just, he’s good, so in the wet he can keep it up. With Verstappen, he does shine in the wet, and Hamilton has done so in the past too. Hulkenberg and Sainz too, seem to have something extra they can show in the wet as well.

  22. Go away rain! From all the possible seasons why did it have to hit the one that followed technical regulation changes aiming for a significant lap time improvement from circuit the circuit, LOL.

  23. Wet qualifying, and Hulkenberg has a 10-place grid penalty, so there’s no point taking advantage of his good wet ability… He’ll probably start a max of 15th either way (as 6 drivers have penalties, and he won’t get into the top 4 anyway)… Sigh…

  24. Sigh Brundle. Anything money is nonsense, giving the team a penalty instead of the driver/car means nothing for a team not going for the championship either. And what about “negative points” then? Honestly, I think that apart from the Sky team nobody cares as much about the penalties. In effect it just means they start at the back if they take a new engine. I can see how maybe they would want to halt the trend to even less engines when it already is problematic with the current amount. That is the only thing that does make sense to stop having too many penalties.

      1. It just means the team has to do a better job of making the car not break down, doesn’t it. In the end, if they build 4 engines that last the season, there will be no penalties, regardless of when they blow.

          1. On my timing HAM set that time before VET got his time in, so maybe that was HAM on 2nd lap then? That chicane BOT missed explains quite a bit of the 4s though, but indeed VET 2s slower.

    1. Given that the session was stopped immediately after, I’d say it was hardly driveable or not even that for most cars outside the top 4 cars. Especially with low DF setting for a dry Sunday

    2. when the car aquaplanes in a straight line like that there isn’t much driver skill involved. even the best drivers in the wet have had moments like that.

  25. It fells like Race Control are taking more chances with the conditions today than we’re used to seeing them do in wet conditions. I wonder if part of that is in the hope that the wet weather tyres are better than they were. Grosjean’s crash would suggest not. That wasn’t a driver error, that was aquaplaning in a straight line.

  26. Why aren’t there water vehicles to prep the surface? It’s 2017. Surely sweep the track clear of standing water with a rubber bladed truck is reasonable?

      1. Of course, but a sweep immediately before a session gives the cars a chance to clear a fair amount with their tyres. Don’t want it dry, just driveable

    1. problem is that if you stay off throttle down a straight with poor visibility you could get run over by the car behind. thats what ended didier pironis f1 career at hockenheim in 1982 when prost lifted on the straight & didier couldn’t see him so drive into him. same with brundle & senna at adelaide in 1989.

        1. all the drivers were complaining about aquaplaning on the straight, one car crashed on the straight because of that.

          the water isnt draining off the new tarmac on the straight, you cant send cars out under those conditions.

    1. Just look at Hamiltons lap right there and how many times the best car on the grid, with one of the best wet drivers still struggles over much of the lap, almost lost it on the straight too.

      1. WHo knows how they would even hold on with the high torque of the current hybrid engines. The power and acceleration is a LOT more than the V8 ever gave into its axles

          1. yes, but befor they got the homologated ECU all teams WERE using traction control, that covers the time of the tyre wars, doesn’t it? It IS a crucial difference between the cars then and now @rethla

          2. Well if you are talking about driving in the wet being hard without traction control then i agree and its a good thing, it should be hard.
            That has nothing with the torque of the hybrids or aquaplaining conditions to do however.

          3. It means that the cars used with those tyres we spoke about were a lot easier to drive in the wet @rethla. And tractioncontrol and more freedom in the ECU did help them too with damper settings / ride height.

        1. Maybe so but do you remember any postponed qualis or races due to rain in that time?
          Either those tyres were a lot better or the race control is more cautios nowadays.

          1. I do think the tyres were better. Afterall, both Bridgestone and Michelin had a LOT more testing laps to learn abuot the wet tyres. But also, the current engines and the chassis etc have changed a lot, I think it might well be that the way they are ran currently with very low fronts and high rake has an effect too. Also, traction control. And yes, race control certainly has become more wary too.

    1. track was clearly getting worse, it was starting to rain a lot harder as noted by the commentary team at the track & in the pits.

      also drivers were not going faster, sector times were all slower than those of the 1st few cars to finish laps. and the fact one car aquaplaned in a straght line shows conditions were worsening as does radio messages from a bunch of different drivers that have been played on pits channel.

    1. Look at the track outside of the pits, then you should understand the delay. There has just been more rain since they red flagged it, so it will be worse. But looks to only be very bad there.

      1. apart from the straight – the exact place where Grosjean aquaplaned off – that looks completely wet, the new tarmac seems not to have been solved too sensibly with regards to wet weather.

  27. I think those criticizing the red flag/delays would very quickly change there views if they were ever put in a car in these conditions.

    Its easy to say that conditions aren’t bad and/or that drivers should slow down. However when you have standing water, especially on a straight then there isn’t much drivers can do & slowing down can actually be far more dangerous not only because it raises the risk of a car behind running into you but also because by backing off you actually increase the chance of aquaplaning as your producing less downforce with a bit less loads in the tyres.

    1. Yeah, true. I mean, sure, at this moment, it looks pretty good on track, but, they have to get everything ready, definitely including the marshals for the cars running. I don’t know if there’s a better way.

  28. Sure the wets aren’t great but I think the frustration on the fans part is that EVERY time it rains either during the race or qualifying, the race is usually either stopped, or a session is delayed over and over again.

    1. The sport is under an intense microscope for safety right now which brought about the halo. It wants to be seen in a positive light in regards to driver safety after the Bianchi accident and pending lawsuit.

  29. people often look back & say ‘they used to race in these conditions’ which is true, however go back and watch those races and we used to get most the grid spinning/crashing out with races turning into battle of luck & survival rather than an actual race.

    races like adelaide in 1989 and 1991 were started but looking back really shouldnt have been, neither were that great to watch from a racing perspective and having cars spinning and running into each other blind on the straghts was really not that great to watch.

  30. Just got a text from somebody at the track who said the problem isn’t the conditions in terms of how much its raining.

    The problem is that the resurfaced track on the straight not only isn’t draining but also has a residue of oils or something coming through it that is creating additional problems.

    90% of the track is fine, Its not too wet & there aren’t many puddles….. However on some of the straights that have been resurfaced its just not raceable. Had there been no resurfacing it would be fine however the newly laid tarmac is causing problems that are preventing them going out.

    1. But that residue is an issue with all new surface, isn’t it? I mean, does that mean that Monza left it too late to resurface, wasn’t FIA alert enough to note that? And yes, it gets worse with water of course, but still, not unexpected is it?

      Anyway, thanks for giving that bit of info from the horse’s mouth @gt-racer.

    1. They’re completely incapable of reacting. Session started under questionable circumstances but between 14:15 and a few minutes ago it was fine. But because they check every 15 minutes rather than constantly they can’t respond to changes or windows.

  31. Remember when F1 fans used to talk about who is the best driver on a wet track? If they are going to stop racing every time it rains, that unique experience of F1 on standing water would be gone.

    Charlie, stop being paranoid and let the cars loose.

  32. I still think too many people don’t seem to respect the decision not to continue with qualifying. They will have their reasons. Grosjean crashed and that was a lucky escape. The track on the part he crashed has hardly improved and it is still raining. There is a possibility that something much worse could happen and the reason why it will have been red flagged will very likely to prevent this happening! If something terrible did happen, the drivers and many fans possibly will say they were mad to let them continue. I think there is far too much critisism towards these decisions.

  33. Prediction: The session will restart, drivers will quickly go onto intermediates, and everyone will assume this means the session was started too late, rather than being that the wet weather tyres aren’t up to the job.

    1. This full wet thing is a little crusade of yours but it’s just not proven by anything. Under Pirelli they have worked plenty. Aquaplaning is virtually impossible to engineer into a tire.

      1. I wouldn’t have brought it up if the complaints about the quality of the wet weather tyres didn’t come straight from the only people whose opinion about this matters – the drivers:

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/11/17/two-years-after-bianchis-crash-drivers-are-still-unhappy-with-pirellis-wet-tyres/

        It’s been a consistent source of complaint from them in the Pirelli era. And that’s despite F1 going to lengths to prevent them speaking publicly about the shortcomings of the tyres. Remember Spa 2015.

      1. In Keith’s defence the drivers in particular Vettel. Have voiced concerns about the wet tires for a few years now. However, Martin just said it best, throttle works both ways, drive to the conditions.

  34. Just on the tyres, The full wets aren’t as good as they could be (Neither are the intermediates really) but today I don’t believe that is the biggest problem.

    Yes its probably a factor but i’m not sure the best wet tyres would work all that well on the new tarmac thats causing the concerns.

  35. I won’t moan about the decision to keep the cars off the track… but I’m definitely not happy about the decisions being made in 15 minute intervals. Why can’t they just have the safety car circulating the track until the track appears to be suitable?

      1. Charlie doesn’t make these decisions alone, He takes advice from not only others in race control but also with feedback from teams, drivers, Track workers & the safety car drivers.

  36. On the 15 minute windows, How long they wait is usually taken based on circumstances at the time.

    If its a track that dries quickly with little standing water & no rain then they will look at things on a shorter interval. If there is a lot of standing water, A lot of continuous rain or something like with the new surface today they will look at things at longer intervals.

    They also can’t make a call to restart a session immediately as F1 engines need to be prepared, brought upto temperature etc…. before they can be run so teams need prep time before sending cars out.

  37. The closest I can think of to something like this (Track surface causing issues) would be the Indycar race at Sao Paulo in 2010 where whatever was used on the surface down the main straight was causing lots of problems with cars sliding around in the dry let alone the wet.

    Practice was stopped early, Qualifying canceled & a lot of work done overnight/early morning to make it drivable for race day.

      1. Its not a problem as such, Just that the freshly laid tarmac on the straight isn’t draining so water is just sitting on it. Also some of the oils that are used in the mix are coming up & not helping things.

        1. Yeh i understand that its draining poorly and its oily but i have heard nothing from FIA, teams or Charlie about it. Is it actually true that the new asphalt is worse than the old?

  38. I wonder if Red Bull and Ferrari would push for the restart. There’s little chance that they can outqualify the Mercs on a dry track, so if qualy gets moved to tomorrow, they (Ferrari) can kiss pole goodbye.

    I never get the popular belief that Ferrari makes the rule in F1. Most recent rules and verdicts have been neutral or against them.

    1. One of Helmut’s own drivers (Verstappen) was also on the radio saying conditions were too dangerous just prior to Romain going off & I gather that all drivers on track at that point were coming back with the same comments.

      1. And Grosjean was 3rd before he aquaplaned. I do think Marco has somewhat of a point about the missed opportunity of a period w/o rain before 15h, but he’s as self serving as Lauda saying it needs to go to tomorrow (bc. that’s when he has best chance of 1-2 on gird).

  39. Lauda saying he’d prefer to do it in the dry tomorrow because Mercedes have less downforce. I do like Niki, he always says it how it is. Very refreshing compared to half-answers we often get.

    1. Because he can’t drive in rain. Funny enough Robert Doornbos expected several drivers having problems and Haas were two of them.
      He should have lifted on the straight but he kept his foot down.

    1. no tomorrow, please! I presonally have already wasted 2 hours of my life on waiting for them to get to the track. I’d prefer them do that today, so that I don’t feel that this time was wasted completely and for no reason.

    1. If bits of the track had not been resurfaced the wets would have been fine as conditions on the older bits of tarmac were by all accounts perfectly drivable, It was only the new tarmac that was causing problems.