Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea, 2012

Raikkonen says 2007 shows title is still possible

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Korea, 2012In the round-up: Mercedes say they have not yet abandoned development of their 2012 car to prepare for 2013, when Lewis Hamilton when join the team.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

It Ain?t Over ?Til It?s Over ?ǣ Indian GP Preview with Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

“We have to keep working hard and keep a high level of motivation. Personally I feel my own motivation is very high – like it has always been. I’m keen to get the best results I can. Of course, in 2007 the championship wasn’t decided until the last race so anything is possible. Let’s see what happens.”

No plans to ease up, say Mercedes (The Telegraph)

Ross Brawn: “The aero changes on Friday morning (in Korea) with the rear wing are primarily for next year. So there is a mix. But, we don’t want to sacrifice the remainder of this year while working for next year.”

Frijns: Sauber test critical to career (Autosport)

“He is effectively guaranteed a fully-fledged run with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi as well, as a reward for being the highest-placed FR3.5 driver not contracted to a rival team.”

New Jersey race to be postponed – organisers (Reuters)

Bernie Ecclestone: “They’ve run out of time. There’s all sorts of things… and they didn’t quite think it all through. They’ve had a wake-up call but the wake-up call came too late.”

I have speed and deserve a better team: Narain Karthikeyan (The Indian Express)

“Asked if there is any possibility of him joining the Indian team, Karthikeyan said although he is good enough for Force India, as of now he wants to do well for his team in the remaining four races.”

‘Lose sprint race mentality’ (Sky)

Martin Donnelly on Romain Grosjean: “You could say that he has just been unlucky if it had been once or twice but to have seven in, I think it was nine* races at the time, it is more than just bad luck.”

*It was seven in the first 12:

Wild Ride: The Sordid Saga Of How Formula One Racing Came To Texas (Forbes)

“In the end Ecclestone agreed to issue the Circuit of the Americas its own ten-year contract?ǣat a price. He upped the annual sanction fee to $25 million instead of the previous $23 million. ‘Bernie is a master negotiator,’ says [race promoter Bobby] Epstein. ‘I?ve made a big effort to make sure this race happens,’ Ecclestone tells Forbes. ‘I never had any problems or doubts. The doubts were all on their side.'”

Ecclestone’s Asian gamble could be a winning hand for Formula One (Business Standard)

“Bas Leinders, a former F1 driver-turned-commentator… believes that the sport is ‘still a very healthy business with enough funding from partners and sponsors to continue to a high level. [Initially] F1 gets an interest and then it will drop slightly, which is very normal because there is not really a culture of motor racing in these countries,’ the Belgain explains, ‘F1 was not build over-night in Europe either. It has taken decades before F1 became a general interest for the big public in Europe.'”

Opinion: The Young Driver Test debacle (PaddockScout)

“The test has to be run on the same date after the end of the junior categories? seasons. If the calendar needs to be adjusted to make this easier, it should be. Then, stricter rules need to be put in place, by the teams, the FIA, FOM or whatever, to govern the drivers that can be run in the test. Make it illegal to run a driver with a CV like [Rodolfo] Gonzalez.”


Comment of the day

@TheJudge13 was among several commenters surprised by Ferrari’s latest missive on Felipe Massa which appeared in yesterday’s round-up:

Once again ??The Godfather? Luca stamps his authority over Fernando Alonso. Remember a couple of weeks ago at the Paris Motor Show, the Padrino when questioned about Alonso?s backing of Felipe Massa for 2013 stated, “But first Fernando should win the world title and then we will certainly not put anyone alongside him who would bother him”.

Why do Ferrari need to issue an explanation of why they retained Massa? ?ǣ it was obvious to the rest of us.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to DanThorn, shaggymike and F1Yankee!

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

This article from five years ago addressed one of the long-running debates of the 2007 season, which still gets dragged up today from time to time:

Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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  • 64 comments on “Raikkonen says 2007 shows title is still possible”

    1. No plans to ease up, say Mercedes (The Telegraph)

      What! Did I just hear the team of Brackley say they’ll be developing their car throughout the whole season? This world is coming to an end.

      1. They’re developing it at all? Had me fooled.

      2. As a current Mercedes fan (in the Schumacher era, but maybe not in the Lewis era), this seemingly positive news worries me. If they haven’t sacrificed the remainder of this year, it seems like they’re not really holding back a lot for next year. Otherwise, they would be on the car by now, which is painfully slow.

        1. Otherwise, they would be on the car by now, which is painfully slow.

          Yep, the fact that this lawnmower is the same machine as the rocketship they had in China makes me wonder what horrible things they have done to that poor machine. Either that, or they just flat-out suck at mid-season car development.

          1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
            20th October 2012, 1:42

            Lets not sit on the fence about this they just flat out suck. They have had one good year from 11 bad ones? due entirely to one device and have dragged the name of the most successful driver ever through the mud. Though i do still believe the history books will records msc’s come back as a success purely based on his pace compared to age and rosberg and by proxy hamilton rather than results.

            1. Depends what you class as a good year…

            2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
              20th October 2012, 4:33

              2009 and non of the others for a team with a reportedly 600 million dollar budget in the old days and 100 million+ a year in the mercedes era.

            3. 2004 was certainly not a bad year.

          2. NR did a great job on a great day, when the tires were more of a mystery, and multiple others drivers benefitted similarly and now it seems some teams have done better than others at developing their cars while at the same time making the tires less of a mystery. NR said it earlier on in the season once they learned how mysterious these tires were going to be…that it would be a race to see which team would get a handle on them first.

            I think Merc has shown great pace at times but hasn’t been able to sustain that, so they might as well be working with next year in mind. But unfortunately isn’t it a reality that just slapping on ‘next year’s rear wing’ doesn’t really give you the optimum picture, because once they redesign the front wing, the underbody, the sidepods etc, the air will be hitting said 2013 rear wing much more differently than it is now.

            And I guess if the F-duct is banned for next year, then does that mean they have been running that rear wing without air channels? Either way, I would think they must be a bit limited as to what they have with their new wing until it is on the new car, but they must be able to gleen something, and maybe more bits will come yet like a new front wing that will clear up the picture a bit more. And all the while I can see why their pace has been off if they have a rear wing on that will work better with redesigned components ahead of it.

            Perhaps all they need concern themselves with in terms of competitiveness at this stage is with staying the distant 5th in the WCC that they are.

          3. Well, Actually, the car has had problems, early in the season they were able to make it work, most likely because their rivals weren’t up to scratch. But the car has been difficult to develop. They are handicapped by a problem with read tyre wear. Which can only be countered by sacrificing front downforce to keep it balanced. Of course, that means the car isn’t very pointy. And I’m sure it’s much more complicated than I can fathom.

            So yes, wave de arms abouts and complain. But I’m quite sure they are working as hard as any other team.

        2. @journeyer As a current Mercedes fan, I don’t really read too much into this. Wait for few more days until they release a press statement that the remaining circuits will suit their car like peas and carrots starting with the Indian GP. They should be already started working on next year’s car which he didn’t want to accept.

        3. Well, in the last three years (or longer, Honda kept saying next years car would be better too didn’t they?) they went for abandoning the then current car halfway through the season and working on next seasons car.

          It never really worked out for the next season, though maybe to some extent it helped them get the China win.

          Given that, a change of tactic to trying to develop this car to the maximum possible might help them to get a better handle at developing during the season, and thus be actually a year long challenger. They seem to have a lot to learn about it, so best start now.

      3. The rules dont really change for next year, what a team learns now will be carried over.

        We didnt get teams stopping dev on their car in 2007 because the following year didnt change. So i dont know why theres this notion of stopping this year to focus on 2013. Mercedez better bloody get on with making their package better if they want to be competitve with Lewis next year.

    2. Good enough for Force India? Can I nominate Karthikeyan for Delusional Comment of the Year?

      1. Karthikeyan is Indian. Force India is Indian. The paper he gave an interview to is Indian. I suspect he was simply telling them what they wanted to hear – especially since his Tweets make is plain he is concentrating on staying with HRT in 2013, even though it is widely believed that Nico Hulkenberg’s seat at Force India is about to open up.

      2. I Love the Pope
        20th October 2012, 3:18

        Perhaps Force India may find themselves in trouble due to Vijay’s legal troubles?

        1. The arrest warrant has been revoked. Mallya produced a cheque that covered his debts, so the prosecutor saw no further need to take any kind of action.

          The only kind of trouble they will find themselves in is if Mallya loses control of the team because of his financial problems. And I very much doubt that whoever buys the team will see any pressing need to put Narain Karthikeyan in the seat, especially if the team’s identity changes to something other than Indian.

      3. Poor Narain, he’s not that bad.

        He’s clearly a level below the rest of the current field, but the current field is really elite. He’d have lived perfectly well within the mid-range of any other decade I feel.

        He’s not Michael Schumacher, but he’s not Yuji Ide or Jean-Denis Deletraz…

        1. Has anyone else in Australia been entertained by Fox Sports News’ hilarious prejudice against him?

          After Spa they said ‘Narain Karthikeyan: unsafe at any speed’ showing his crash, and even more brilliantly, their coverage of Singapore (referring to him bringing the safety car out) included ‘Narain Karthikeyan’s impersonation of a Grand Prix driver lasted only 30 laps.”

      4. A more appropriate title would be :
        I have spent and deserve a better team: Narain Karthikeyan
        Also his form guide :
        confirms he is clearly ahead of his team mate …..

      5. @tdog He is outrageously slow. Simple as really.

    3. Räikkönen is almost 50 points behind two drivers from two different teams and his car is now only the 4th best. With the impressive consistency Räikkönen has had, he could very well not lose any more points to Vettel and Alonso in the final four races. But I don’t think there is anyway he’s going to catch them both unless Lotus suddenly gains 0.7 seconds out of somewhere. I think Räikkönen would have trouble in collecting 49 points in the remaining races even if both Alonso and Vettel retired in every race.

      1. True, but that is ‘only’ two wins…but ya, of course, the odds slim. Oh, well…I think better we hear him say ‘you never know what can happen’, than ‘we’re done’… for now. He’ll probably have no choice but to say something different in a matter of a few weeks.

      2. Yeah, but at least he keeps pushing.

        1. For sure…he’d love a win before the season ends. Who wouldn’t.

      3. I hope he will be at least on 3 at the end of championship. Webber will cacth him up, with that car.

    4. Nurburgring ’09 was a truly dominating performance by Mark, fantastic drive. If only he could pull out more like that one.

      1. It was a solid drive. After he put one of his strongest contenders out. :]

      2. Still get tears in my eyes thinking about that night watching the GP. All Webber fans would I think. Glad he rates it as his favourite.

    5. Very Interesting to read how the USGP came to life, also a bit surprised that Tavo Hellmund is now working to bring back the Mexican GP, ironically that would be a huge blow for the Austin race.

      1. I think a Mexican GP, and the putative New Jersey GP would be a huge boost to the Austin race. 5 races in the Americas is almost enough to interest the mainstream media. I doubt it will happen, but Tavo has suprised in the past.

        1. I think you could well be right @scalextric, the Americas do like motorsport and having a good amount of races around to go to, and aired at times that can be watched, might well help garner an actual interest. We can hope :)

    6. So dissapointed about NJ. Now i just hope Engine regs are postponed too

      1. @kcampos12 – The engine regulations won’t be postponed. By this point, the engine suppliers will have spent millions of dollars developing them. There is simply no way they will abandon them or allow them to be postponed again.

      2. Well raikkonen at least have two win one or two races to be in fight.he just have to qualify good when he will get a chance to win
        but i dont think his gonna win two races one race yeah but two its difficult so he just have two come in podium and win

      3. Why not be excited about the engine change, the highly restricted forced induction format is not my favourite, but after so many years of the engines being virtually irrelevant I cant wait for the 1st. year of the new engines. At the moment the cars are virtually identical, the only difference affecting performance being tiny variations in the airflow due to small dimensional differences in the bodywork and exhaust location plus a bunch of stick on widgets.
        I am so fed-up I would gladly accept a single fixed aerodynamic package for all cars, if we could divert all the money spent on aerodynamics back into developing engines and drivetrains.

    7. “I would definitely like the possibility since I have clearly proved that I have the speed to deserve a shot higher up the grid

      Karthikeyan seems like a nice guy but he’s seriously delusional if he thinks he has any speed. He has been out qualified and out raced by one of the slowest and most out of form drivers on the grid. I would give Karthikeyan plus points for consistency though… as he has consistently been the worst driver on the grid in every season he has competed in f1.

      Honestly, I dont think HRT belongs in this sport and Karthikeyan isn’t even good enough to drive for HRT.

    8. Right I think we all need to stop slating Karthikeyan calling him dillusional and the worst driver ever. Show a little respect.

      1. He’s perhaps quick enough for GP3 but F1? No, I’d much rather that one of the Formula 3.5 hopefully gets a seat, even if it were with HRT.

        1. How do u know that? He’s driving that HRT for years, he never had chance to drive a faster car… Put Vettel in the HRT and see what’s up

          1. @wackyracer
            I doubt Vettel would be outqualified by Pedro, with an average margin of over 0.7 seconds… But Karthikeyan has been.

            1. Precisely, as @mads has said, there is no way Vettel would be out-qualified by De La Rosa, never mind by a margin so big. That is why he is driving the Red Bull and Karthikeyan and De La Rosa are driving the HRT. The best drivers always end up in the best cars…

          2. @wackyracer – because he is repeatedly out-performed by Pedro De La Rosa, a known entity (and he is much slower than Vettel). To claim he is quick enough for Force India is delusional, and I’m sure Force India would feel more inclined to sign Bianchi than Karthikeyan.

      2. I agree with that @Rob-wilson, all drivers currently in F1 deserve our respect for the job they are doing. Hurtling around an HRT with parts edging on being over-milage and with the bad handling it has, both Pedro dl Rosa and Karthikeyan deserve it for their efforts and enthusiasm to give it all they can.

        I think all the drivers deserve a better car than that, and we can only hope for HRT that they will be able to improve and actually be able to fight for results more than being happy to survive the races untill the end.

        1. I don’t disagree with you, Karthikeyan is a good driver (a downside better than most of us!) but I don’t think he’s that good a driver to be worthy of an F1 seat. I would rather see a genuine you talent get a chance with a decent team and possibly with the opportunity to join a championship-challenging team later in their career. Karthikeyan just isn’t good enough to do that.

    9. Then, stricter rules need to be put in place, by the teams, the FIA, FOM or whatever, to govern the drivers that can be run in the test. Make it illegal to run a driver with a CV like [Rodolfo] Gonzalez.

      I find this comment to be a bit disconcerting. Okay, Gonzalez has a snowflake’s chance in hell of making it into Formula 1, but the idea that you can ban drivers from taking part in the Young Driver’s Test based on their results is symptomatic of treating the symptoms rather than the underlying disease.

      Peter Allen’s comments ignore one of the fundamental problems with the YDT: cost. Gonzalez can take part in them because he has money. If it were as easy as running drivers based on talent and talent alone, the teams would do exactly that. But they don’t. It’s expensive to run a Formula 1 car, and the money to do it has to come from somewhere. But Allen ignores that, and instead attacks the teams for accepting money in the place of talent. He never once considers a scenario where running a driver like Gonzalez might be beneficial to a team.

      What if, for instance, Sauber decided to accept Gonzalez’s money and gave him a day and a half of running – and in doing so, they would be able to field a rookie driver with no sponsorship to his name? If not for Gonzalez buying a seat, that rookie would not get the chance to take part in the tests. But according to Allen, Gonzalez should not be allowed to take part in the tests – but by banning him, Allen effectively blocks a talented driver from being able to take part.

      Likewise, Allen attacks McLaren for putting Gary Paffet in the car, because Paffet is unlikely to race any time soon. But the team knows Paffet and Paffet knows the team. He’s their regular test driver, and so by getting him to run laps on one day of the test, McLaren establishes a baseline which they can then judge a rookie driver against. This puts much more context into the rookie driver’s performance, and allows McLaren to better target the areas or that driver to work on. Again, how is this a bad thing? But no, Paffet is too old for the job and unlikely to grace the cockpit of a Formula 1 car in a race any time soon, so therefore he shouldn’t be allowed to take part.

      All of this points to one solution: cutting costs. Somehow, teams need to find ways to cut costs. If it’s not so expensive to run a Formula 1 car, teams won’t need to resort to taking drivers like Gonzalez.

      1. Good job adding some perspective to that article @prisoner-monkeys, thanks.

        1. I don’t quite agree with you there, @prisoner-monkeys. Allen states he consciously chooses the side of the drivers and not the teams; it’s not like he doesn’t understand that there is money involved.

          I think Allen’s attack on McLaren is justified. McLaren easily have the money to test a young driver, but they simply ignore the intention of the test and use the Young Drivers Test to develop their car, and their test drivers. In particular a test with a fast team like McLaren can do wonders for a young driver’s career; just look at all the exposure Daniel Ricciardo got from setting fast times in the RB6 two years ago. Kudos to Red Bull for actually testing young drivers each year.

          I like the idea of awarding drives in the YDT based on results from the season; perhaps the FIA could coordinate something with the teams, such that a selection of good drivers get a chance each year. Isn’t James Calado ‘rookie of the year’ in GP2 this year? I would much rather see him get a day in the McLaren than watch Paffett ‘work through the program’ for a couple of days.

          1. Allen states he consciously chooses the side of the drivers and not the teams; it’s not like he doesn’t understand that there is money involved.

            Allen acknowledges that money is involved, but he seems to be under the impression that the teams can afford to run their cars over three days for the price of peanuts, and that’s just not possible.

            McLaren easily have the money to test a young driver, but they simply ignore the intention of the test and use the Young Drivers Test to develop their car, and their test drivers.

            I believe Kevin Magnussen will take part in this year’s YDT.

            I like the idea of awarding drives in the YDT based on results from the season; perhaps the FIA could coordinate something with the teams, such that a selection of good drivers get a chance each year.

            But that still doesn’t address the issue of it being so expensive to run the cars that the teams have to rely on paying drivers.

        2. YDT takes place after the Abu Dhabi GP. McLaren will have plenty of data to compare the young drivers to their racing duo. So what is the point of bringing Paffet?

      2. Well, @prisoner-monkeys, I appreciate your post offering a differing view, but actually I think Allen does adress the cost when he proposes to look at it from the perspective of what Renault do for their Renault 3.5 tests (where the organiser of the championship – Renault probably forks out a budget to make sure the series attracts drivers with a lot of talent and thereby improve the value of their series.)

      3. @prisoner-monkeys, I agree with everything you say except your conclusion. Surely it would be better for the teams to have a bigger share of the money they generate so as to be less dependent on sponsorship than it would be to turn F1 into Formula Renault 3.5 which is the inevitable result of continual cost-cutting regulations.

        1. @hohum – Don’t make me laugh. If the teams got a bigger cut of the television rights from FOM, do you honestly think the first thing they would do with it is use it to subsidise young drivers for the YDT?

          Of course they won’t. They’re just going to spent it on car development.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys, you were the one who said the problem with the YDT was “cost”. If your argument is that teams would rather spend money on car development, that is a different argument.

            1. Yes, the problem is the cost. But the solution is not to give the teams more money, because the YDT is probably the last thing that money will be spent on.

    10. Wishing you a fun and very exciting birthday @Dan-Thorn, @shaggymike and @F1Yankee!

      1. Indeed, make it a great day all of you!

    11. COTD
      If anyone is intelligent can easily understand the credibility of this site by reading the COTD.

    12. Ohh I remember Jenson in that kart on the cover of Karting magazine when he won EU Championship, in a quite spectacular race. Not a fan, but most of my respect for the guy is from that time.

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