Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

McLaren target Alonso and Vettel in driver market

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014In the round-up: Ron Dennis says McLaren intend “hire the best drivers” as the team are reported to be pursuing Sebastian Vettel and former driver Fernando Alonso.


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

Moving McLaren forward (F1)

Ron Dennis: “McLaren will always make efforts to hire the best drivers available. If such opportunities arise, we’ll appraise them; we always have and we always will.”

McLaren pushing to hire Vettel, Alonso (Autosport)

“It is understood that McLaren has been told it will get an answer from Vettel and Alonso very soon, and it wants to sort out its 2015 driver plans before the final flyaway races that begin with the Singapore Grand Prix next month.”

Marco Mattiacci Q&A (Sky)

“I don’t have to keep Fernando Alonso happy. We are not here to look for happiness; we are here to look for the fastest cars.”

Hamilton contract talks to wait (ESPN)

“At the moment we need to be concentrated on the championship and not get involved in contractual discussions or intense discussions, because it is something that is one and a half years away from us.”

Red Bull not pursuing its own power unit, Horner insists (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“Red Bull’s human resources department created a stir recently by advertising for personnel to work on ‘our Formula One power unit.'”

Mark Webber takes us inside the F1 war between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes (Herald Sun)

“At this point (moments before the contact) Nico knows he has no chance to get the move done. It’s strange that he tried to come in so tight behind Lewis.”

Accident at our building site (Toro Rosso)

“After receiving immediate attention at the site, both men were taken by ambulance to the Cesena Hospital, where neither men is in a serious condition.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2013Car interviews Hermann Tilke, the F1 architect (Car)

“Many people ask me why my tracks have long straights in them. First, it’s good for F1. But circuits need to be successful all-year-round and when clients pay for track days they want to feel high speed. The easiest way for them to achieve that is down a long straight; that’s also why we do it.”

Miles away from Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg (MotorSport)

John Miles: “Next morning when I came down to breakfast, Jochen [Rindt] was sitting there eating a boiled egg. I said to him, ‘For me, without wings this car is dangerous.’ He just said, ‘You’ll be all right, John.’”

Magicians and Machiavelli (Joe Saward)

“As I do once a week since the trial ended I have checked to see whether [Bernie Ecclestone] has been put back as a director on the boards of the various F1 companies. There is no sign that this has happened. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened because you don’t have to file such things immediately, but it is a suggestion, nonetheless that, despite the rah-rah and the cheerleaders, change is in the air, even if it is only in the planning stages.”

Hamilton ‘victim’ complex rivals that of Senna (The Telegraph)

“For a man paid north of £20 million a year to make 10 decisions through the compression of Eau Rouge, Hamilton makes some astoundingly cement-brained calls the moment he lifts the visor.”


Comment of the day

Sergio Perez’s race engineer Giampiero Lambiase will be the voice in Sebastian Vettel’s engineer next year:

I met and had a long chat with Gianpiero Lambiase once (in which he spent most of the time saying how fantastic a driver Perez is and how hard done he was by McLaren) – lovely guy and will no doubt do a fabulous job at Red Bull. Big step up for him – congratulations!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jelle Van Der Meer, Metrium, F199Player and Stefano!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Unusually for a race in 2004 Michael Schumacher did not win the Belgian Grand Prix ten years ago today. But he did finish second, securing his seventh and final world championship, and his fifth in a row.

Victory went to Kimi Raikkonen, while Jarno Trulli started what turned out to be his penultimate race for Renault from pole position.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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  • 107 comments on “McLaren target Alonso and Vettel in driver market”

    1. “Many people ask me why my tracks have long straights in them. First, it’s good for F1. But circuits need to be successful all-year-round and when clients pay for track days they want to feel high speed. The easiest way for them to achieve that is down a long straight; that’s also why we do it.”

      So… you’re telling me Mr Tilke that you design FORMULA ONE TRACKS with TRACK DAYS in mind???????

      Riiiiiight, that’s a recipe for sucess! I got to tell you, buddy, that the Nurburgring is probably the most attended trackday track, and straights are difficult to find.

      Trackday people want to feel like a racing driver, in the sense that they are driving in a wonderful, historic place, giving their all or close to it, in a safe, controlled manner. They don’t want just straights… you got the Autobahn for that…

      And by the way… who has ever wanted to go to Korea for a track day, man? no one! and it was designed to be a city ! and you still put 3 very, very long straights one after the other…

      Sorry but this is a ridiculous argument.

      1. What I find annoying about Tilke’s love of ultra long straights is the lack of skill they require. Take Spa, it’s fast so people (at track days if that really means something) get an immense sense of speed and yet the awesome corners actually require driver skill to produce the really quick lap times. Anyone can drive down a straight, meaning if you have a quick car you will just go faster than those who don’t. Not exactly a recipe for great racing!

      2. Though I too like to experience a long straight on a track day though Tilke his circuits have nothing else on the side to offer.

      3. Um, there’s Döttinger Höhe if I’m not mistaken.

        On the other hand, except for the example, I agree with you. Most people will feel the speed on a medium-length straight anyway and if you do the preceding corner sequence right, F1 cars can overtake at the end of medium-length straights as well (like they do on the end of the newly-incorporated Wellington Straight at Silverstone, perhaps not incidentally, NOT designed by Tilke). Having only medium-length straights has the knock-on effect of having more track length to fiddle with the layout of the turns, so it’s a win-win.

        The key is to create the corners predecing the straight right. I’ve said this many times before, I don’t know why, but a flat-out, or nearly flat-out kink seems to suck the following car up to the leader, like Eau Rouge does at Spa, T11 does at Istanbul, T5 does in Silverstone, the Esses do at Watkins Glen, or T3 does at the Hungaroring, all of which have decent overtaking opportunities at the end of the next straight almost regardless of the straights’ length.

        1. also note probably the best example, Subida dos Boxes (T14) at Interlagos

          1. Yes, exactly.

        2. @atticus-2 Döttinger Höhe isn’t a full straight on track days at the Nords. You star the lap at the middle of the straight, and you finish it before that point. And you got to respect speed limits off the track, so the lap normally starts on the bridge and ends once you enter the straight.

          1. @fer-no65 Ah, I see, thanks for the clarification.

      4. Awesome response @fer-no65, completely agree with your reasoning.

    2. It sounds unlikely, but I really do think there’s a reasonable chance Alonso might go back to McLaren. However, I reckon there’s no way for Vettel to leave RBR. No driver would want to leave a team that, regardless of what’s happening this season, has been and is constantly backing you.
      As for the Canal+ tweet, I can still see the onboards. If they dare block me, hide IP! Heh :)

      1. Ahh I forgot about routing through proxies, nice one!

        Yeah I think Vettel is safe and sound. I reckon it’s more likely for Hamilton to go back to Mclaren, I don’t know whether he has a contract for 2015 though

        1. F1 Magazine had a similar article, and after reading, I couldn’t help think Hamilton would return to Mclaren after his stint at Mercedes. Rosberg already signed a multi-year deal, and with the pot boiling over this year, it would surprise me if we continue to see a HAM / ROS lineup much longer.

      2. I dont know, that would be just trading bad cars. If Honda are that successful, Alonso should be able to pull some sort of “drive for free and bring Santander sponsoring”.

      3. When Alonso leaves Ferrari (either for retirement or to switch teams), I could see a potential Vettel / Bianchi lineup.

    3. You can’t take Canal+ onboard away from us! I’m getting that recurring powerless feeling when faced with an FOM decision

      What a silly, brash quote from Marco. Of course you need to keep your driver happy, if they aren’t happy, they leave. He must be forgetting cars require pilots, fortunately we aren’t quite there yet mate.

      1. And Alonso even brings Santander with him.

      2. Alonso recently said that he’d rather win than be respected/referred to as a great driver. I’d think that he will be very happy if the Scuderia team can deliver him a fast/fastest car.

        1. Rosbergs inspiration ? @masterluke.

        2. I agree, but the driver has to be happy to give such performances. Seems a bit shortsighted and off the cuff from Marco. There’s no reason why a fast car and a happy driver can coexist

          1. can’t*

      3. You can still see C+ videos with Hola chrome extension…

    4. The Telegraph article about Hamilton is so spot on. Great driver with some serious mind issues.

      1. paul sainsbury
        29th August 2014, 1:31

        I thought it one of the most ignorant, blinkered, narrow minded and incompetent pieces of ‘journalism’ I have read in several years.

        So did 90% of the people who commented on it too.

        1. It was very muddled. Generally awful actually. The incident which has sparked the piece was obviously his comments following the driver meeting in Belgium- after which his team actually confirmed that what Hamilton claimed Rosberg had said was accurate before trying to desperately throw a damp rag on it by calling it a misinterpretation (even if the words themselves were accurately reported). Using that incident to start an article about how Hamilton paints himself as a victim when he isn’t makes no sense even if some of the examples were entirely accurate. The whole way it deals with Belgium is bizarre though.

          However, the row would be nothing like so compelling without Hamilton’s strange persecutory delusion. “Nico hit me!” he cried over the in-car radio in Belgium, blame instantly ascribed

          I’m pretty sure that Hamilton accurately relaying to his team what had just happened is not at all inflammatory, nor ‘persecutory’. This is the only piece I’ve read which seems to suggest that Rosberg wasn’t completely at fault, whether they want to label it a racing incident or not.

          1. Completely agree.

            What I find most ironic about all of this is that when Hamilton first entered F1 in 2007, he was criticised by many for being dull, corporate and somewhat robotic (see, for example, this Guardian article). Now he’s criticised for being a driver who wears his heart on his sleeve.

            I completely agree with the points made above by paul Sainsbury and @matt90 . The article makes several unsupported assertions and omits lots of important information to try and fit the narrative Brown wants to tell. A few examples:

            Lewis Hamilton’s calculated aside that Nico Rosberg had “deliberately” clipped his Mercedes at Spa‑Francorchamps was extraordinary not so much for the allegation – he has quite a history of these bald, thinly substantiated claims – as for the fact that he had breached the strict confidences of a drivers’ briefing to make it.

            – What other “bald, thinly substantiated claims” has Hamilton made? Perhaps he means “liegate” from 2009…but I’m struggling to think what else he could mean? I certainly can’t think of there being “quite a history” of these assertions?
            – I’m not sure why he criticises Hamilton for “breach[ing] the strict confidences of a drivers’ briefing”? Surely, as a journalist, he wants more information – it certainly makes the sport more interesting for us fans? Would he rather that this leaked out through off-the-record briefings (like, for instance, the way it has leaked out (and then later been confirmed by the team) that the Mercedes drivers used prohibited engine settings) – or that we never leant of it at all? Is everything said by the team to the driver therefore confidential?

            He had predicted ahead of this season that he would, given the same Mercedes car, eclipse Rosberg easily

            – Serious question, but does anyone know where this quote comes from?

            Granted, certain incidents of late have suggested a certain misfortune: the engine failure in Australia, the fire in qualifying in Hungary, the puncture he sustained as a consequence of the coming-together with Rosberg at Les Combes.

            – Brown conveniently omits: Hamilton’s inability to complete a final flying lap in Q3 in Monaco due to yellow flags; Hamilton’s brake failure in the race in Canada; and Hamilton’s brake failure in qualifying for the German GP.

            But to accuse his adversary of an act of premeditated chicanery suggests that he is perpetually the one sinned against.

            – These are the exact words Hamilton said about the incident (taken from the Sky Sports transcript):
            We’ve just had a meeting and he basically said he did it on purpose. He said he did it on purpose. He said he could have avoided it. He said ‘I did it a prove a point’. He basically said ‘I did it to prove a point’. And you don’t have to just rely on me, go and ask Toto [Wolff] or Paddy [Lowe] or those guys, who are not happy with him as well.

            He said it was my fault and that he could have avoided it. But he didn’t want to”

            – Mercedes later confirmed that these quotes were broadly accurate – before drawing a distinction between deliberately hitting someone and deliberately not moving out of the way to avoid an incident. As such, Hamilton’s accusation is hardly some baseless (or “bald, thinly substantiated”) claim.

            However, the row would be nothing like so compelling without Hamilton’s strange persecutory delusion. “Nico hit me!” he cried over the in-car radio in Belgium, blame instantly ascribed, in contrast to Rosberg’s interpretation of a “racing incident”.

            – This is where the article really stretches credibility – as @matt90 points out above. “Nico hit me” does not ascribe blame. It’s a factual statement of what happened. In fact, given that his race had just been ruined by the very person who stood to benefit the most from hitting Hamilton, Hamilton comments on team radio afterwards were remarkably controlled. I certainly wouldn’t have been so calm had I been in that cockpit!

            At least when Hamilton intimated that Rosberg had intentionally triggered yellow flags in Monaco, Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, had the sense to demolish the argument as “b——t”.

            – This ignores the fact that: (a) Wolff is hardly likely to question his own driver’s integrity; (b) many in the paddock and in the press still are suspicious about the move.

            I’ll be the first to admit that Hamilton’s behaviour off the track has hardly been exemplary throughout his time in F1. He was certainly in the wrong for the lie-gate scandal in 2009 and tweeting telemetry in 2012 and some of his comments (e.g. the Ali G reference) have definitely been misjudged. However, in this instance, I think Hamilton has behaved with restraint and generally conducted himself well.

            1. @bpacman I am sorry, but the phrase “Nico hit me” certainly does imply blame. If you stood in a witness box and said in a criminal trial for assault that “Mr Smith hit me” you are making a fundamental accusation of blame. In the case of Hamilton/Rosberg if Hamilton wished to make a completely blameless statement, he would have said “we collided”.

          2. Its also nothing that Button, Vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, Webber, Pérez, Massa, and Raikkonen haven’t done before, many times, and with good reason

        2. +1
          Vacuous journalism.

          1. +1 it’s very lazy. More than happy to hate on the Telegraph

        3. You get the sense that after arguing with the writer for hours, going over every one of his claims and counter claims, tediously exposing the various lies and mistruths, you get to a point where he crosses his arms and says “Well, I just plain don’t like Lewis Hamilton”

      2. Tell you what, ‘articles’ such as that is the reason why Hamilton has a lot of dedicated followers and many other fans. It is obvious that no matter what happens, the guy is pulled through the mud. How suddenly, Hamilton is to blame after Spa shows the inexplicable dislike some persons have for the man. One then should not look further as to why stewards take the kind of decisions they take whenever the man is concerned.
        I usually do not have an affinity to any driver but the kind of diatribe and mudslinging that comes towards Lewis Hamilton, for whatever reason, made me pay attention to the man. His driving to me is secondary. I have not seen any driver as good as the man is that recieves such flak.
        Isn’t it interesting that the mental condition of Nico Rosberg who planted his car (as confirmed even by Mark Webber) in an if-you-do-not-move-aside-we-both-crash place is not questioned but that of the man who spoke to the press after his bosses had publicly rebuked Rosberg’s actions as ‘unacceptable’ is being questioned?
        Strangely though, he is the only F1 figure that looks different.
        On Hamilton’s helmet are written these words ‘Still I rise’. I sought out the poem and here are the first lines:

        You may write me down in history.
        With your butter twisted lies, you may tread me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

        Such drivel as the one written by a no-body who works at the Telegraph belongs in the toilet. Any wonder why Hamilton has fans who stand by him all the time.

        1. *With your bitter twisted lies, you may tread me in the very dirt.

        2. Like Button said, Hamilton’s luck is terrible. But Maya Angelou’s poem gives him extra boost.

          He’ll be alright at Monza. #fingerscrossed

        3. Excellent comment.

        4. +1000

      3. Biased and garbage journalism at best. Will you please just relay the facts and leave the amateur psychoanalysis from your articles. Oliver Brown is the epitome of the disease that is killing Journalism. The symptoms of the disease displayed by Oliver Brown, is called bias and a complete lack of honesty. This article is nothing more than an opinion piece, portrayed as fact.

        I have just quoted from one the reader of the article in Daily Telegraph. Just want to add that, really surprised DT published that article. I suppose they are desperate for journalist like Oliver Brown to stem their drop in circulation.

    5. I just re-watched Spa 2004 on dailymotion. Loved that race. I really wonder who would’ve won if Alonso’s engine did not explode. Kimi was on it that day, and it was quite strange but refreshing to see Ferrari struggle for once (it’s a normality nowadays).

      1. Oh wow – that was the first ever GP I attended! Great race and happy outcome as a one-eyed McLaren fan :P

    6. I don’t really appreciate the week-old mattiacci quote where it is. You’d have to be smoking something pretty special to be misinterpreting that video clip interview as meaning that Ferrari aren’t interested in keeping Alonso. Mattiacci is saying that no driver is more important than the team and obviously the no.1 objective is _building a fast car_. Alonso’s happiness I’m sure would spring from that.

      1. My thoughts as well. Marco seems like a very passionate man which is very good thing for Ferrari and F1. Usually the passionate people are also a straightforward talking people.

    7. James Allen did a nice piece on the driver market earlier which is worth a read too :D

      I have to say that unless there is a major fallout at Ferrari (and I mean worse than last year, which is well behind them now), I don’t see Alonso going anywhere until his contract is over, especially not McLaren. The man is so good he could easily go to any team other than Red Bull and Mercedes if he wants to (and if Vettel / Hamilton were to leave he could probably go there too).

      The real question mark lies over Hulkenberg. From what it seems like I fear that his big thing really has to come now or never.

      And I find that Senna twitter account quite disgraceful to be honest. The man died 20 years ago, leave him alone.

      1. @strontium

        1. In my mind: McLaren’s drivers short list includes: Alonso, Vettel, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Vandoorne (by this order). IMHO they will not get neither Alonso nor Vettel so they will be pushing hard for Bottas. If they fail to land the Finn, getting either Hulk or Grosjean will be easy.

        2. Senna twitter account is a ridiculous idea.

        1. 2. Senna twitter account is a ridiculous idea.

          Unless you are making a living off of Him.

    8. “I don’t have to keep Fernando Alonso happy.”

      Of course you don’t. Unless you want a happy driver performing to his best. Or unless you want to even retain what is pretty much the only good thing about Ferrari from the last 5 years.

      1. Pretty much, but this people that “born” inside Ferrari, can’t see beyond Ferrari is the best, Ferrari is always right and nobody is better than Ferrari.

      2. +1 Exactly

    9. Just reading through the Mercedes Twitter stuff, Seems most want Rosberg suspended for a race.

      Would that not amount to the team effectively taking sides in the championship battle & potentially fixing the championship result (Especially should Lewis win it by a point or 2)?

      What happened at Spa was just a racing incident in my humble opinion, Nico made an error of judgement & its unfortunate that Lewis had his race ruined by that but there will always be a risk of this happening in racing & I don’t think its fair or correct to go suspending drivers everytime they make an error of judgement.

      Sit everyone down, Give them a real stern talking to & let them both know that what happened at Spa should never happen again & then just let them go racing.
      IF there is further contact between them then look at taking further action, Although even then unless its the most dirty/blatant thing ever I don’t think a driver should be benched for a race.
      Fine him, Give him access to no data from the other side of the garage for a weekend, Take away his pick of strategy for a race or something.

      1. It’s pretty obvious MB can’t really restore the “fairness gap” by penalising or handicapping Rosberg without damaging themselves, I see their only option as a warning that any further avoidable interteam contact will be regarded as a breach of contract with immediate dismissal possible.

      2. If they want to penalise Rosberg in some way, why not do it constructively and let a Mercedes junior driver take his car in FP1?

      3. Sit everyone down, Give them a real stern talking to & let them both know that what happened at Spa should never happen again & then just let them go racing.

        While I am undecided as to what should be done, if anything, I don’t think this would have any effect. Both drivers have shown that they will disobey the team if they wish. Merc have lost control of their drivers. The only way I can see them regaining it is a swift sharp lesson, and the only one I can see available to them is to suspend Nico for a race.

        Thinking of the possibilities:
        – A stern talking to: Both drivers are committed to a battle for the WDC, and will continue to be. They have likely both had “stern talking to”s before, so even issuing threats of sanctions would have no teeth.
        – A financial penalty: No more than a slap on the wrist. Neither driver would care much about that. They want to win, and they have more than enough cash.
        – Impose team orders: Whether against one driver or implementing a “first corner wins” policy, or similar, I doubt either driver would follow the order.
        – Single race suspension: This would hit home hard, but could quite easily make matters worse between the two of them. If the suspended driver still felt they had done nothing wrong, they would feel persecuted by the team. Also as it would have a major effect on the WDC, if the driver who benefited won, people would be quick to say they didn’t deserve it.
        – Sacking a driver: Way over the top.

        So, I don’t think there are any good choices for Merc at this point. What ever they do, there is a good chance their drivers will continue to fight tooth and nail, and drive for themselves, not the team. They have completely lost control of their drivers, and I doubt anything they do will get it back.

        I have to admit, though, while I am a Hamilton fan, I think it is great. Barring the Spa incident, it has brought us some of the best racing I have seen in a long time.

        1. @drmouse,

          -Sacking a driver: Way over the top.

          Not necessarily, particularly for a second avoidable

          incident after being warned of the possible consequences. MB are currently in a good position to be forceful taking account of the superiority of their car and the virtually unassailable lead they have in the constructors title they would have no trouble finding a driver capable of regularly scoring points and podiums.

          1. Sorry meant to end bold must have

            clicked /quote instead.

    10. This Prost and Senna twitter thing got me thinking – do racing drivers have to alternately follow and unfollow one another on Twitter after every overtake or undercut?

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        29th August 2014, 2:15

        Don’t really know how it works but you it was clear from Twitter that the Mclaren PR of Lewis and Jenson being mates was nonsense as they didn’t even follow each other on the site.

        1. Why would you need to follow your own team mate on Twitter when you can simply turn round to him in the garage and chat with him there?

          1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
            29th August 2014, 12:46

            On that basis why follow friends at all.

        2. as they didn’t even follow each other on the site

          You do realise that, for celebs and companies, twitter has nothing to do with friends. It is purely a marketing mechanism.

          If they do use social media personally, they will have completely separate, disguised accounts.

          1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
            29th August 2014, 12:47

            Lewis and Nico followed each other before. A lot of other drivers followed each other.

      2. But is Senna following Lewis? Is he? Are they mates?

        If one of the drivers goes off limits and gains an advantage, he should let the other one unfollow him, and start following him – or thousands of geeky fanboys will start ranting at him.

    11. I think Ron would have more luck trying to bring Hamilton back. In light of recent events I wouldn’t be surprised if he did choose to leave Mercedes.

      1. @jackysteeg,@schooner, Lewis is having some bad luck this year but the team are giving him full support and the fastest car, I can’t see any positives for Lewis in leaving MB.

      2. If hamilton is wise, then he should go to McLaren: Mercedes will certeanly fall apart (as any team constructed by Ross Brawn after he left), and he will be blameless if he goes to a McLaren – Honda who will struggle until they get it right. I think that would realese him from pressure, and drive with more confidence

    12. I’m thinking Lewis could (should?) take another flier and return to McLaren. Even if his Mercedes contract runs through 2015, it’s hard to imagine that he would want to remain with the team with Nico as his “team mate” again, especially if he fails to win the WDC. Would Dennis want him back?

    13. When you think Mercedes can’t mess it up any more than they did already by mouthing off through Lauda and Wolff, they post that ridiculously stupid tweet poll(?).
      I pray to god they don’t make any decisions based on the twitter posts.

      1. Many of Nico Rosberg’s ‘supporters’ are quite vocal in their conviction that it was ‘a racing incident’. Some even went as far as blaming Hamilton for the incident. Apparently, they started believing their own lies thinking they are in the majority.
        As the majority of Formula1 fans showed immediately after the race by booing Nico Rosberg, the number of people who clearly believe that Rosberg is insincere and responsible for the incident are in the majority. Now, I am not quite sure all of them would like to see Nico punished.
        Polls after polls on who is responsible for the crash on news sites all around the world even in Australia overwhelmingly find Nico guilty. Why the stewards gave the accident a ’10 second’ thought is a no-brainer.
        Of course here at F1fanatic, we may even find Hamilton as the guilty party or the incident dismissed as a ‘racing incident’ if a pole is carried out, judging from how the discussion has panned out the past couple of days.
        I do doubt you would be saying the same thing about the twitter post from MercedesAmgF1 if the poll had been in favour of Nico.

      2. I can’t even imagine what the thinking was behind the Mercedes twitter poll, and who’s behind it I could hardly believe what I was seeing! It’s like they are making a feeble attempt at making light of the situation, and if the general public does wind up having any say at all with their driver management issues, they need new management. I doubt that Ross Brawn would have turned to the internet for advice.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          29th August 2014, 11:32

          @schooner, I agree and disagree.
          Agree that under strong management this wouldn’t have happened, or any of the previous mistakes (Hungary!).
          Disagree though on the twitter thing. Mercedes Twitter feed is probably one of the best and most active. Often cheeky, but sharing a lot of info as well. The marketing girls/guys are just doing their job, and milking the Spa incident to the max.

        2. If Ross Brawn was still there I doubt the incident would have happened.

    14. The paddock should be well and truly scared of Red Bull becoming a true works team. Their engineering/development teams are amazing. The only reason they are in the position they are this season is because of Lotus’ lack there-of, and they’re still the closest to Mercedes. Renault didn’t start making any half decent progress on their PU until Red Bull got their hands on it in Winter testing, imagine the leaps and bounds that would be possible over the next 6 months… Truly frightening.

      1. Oh and a very silly decision by Lotus. They should just drop their works status, hand the reigns to Red Bull and ride their coat-tails, leap-frogging Mercedes in the process.

        Instead they’ll be stuck with an underdeveloped car compared to the other Mercedes powered teams, with no hope in gaining an advantage against them.

        1. Except that Red Bull already is the nominated factory team for Renault, and has been their official factory outfit since 2011 (when they formally downgraded Lotus from works to customer status).

          In fact, Renault Sport have made it clear that their engine and energy recovery systems were designed in accordance with specifications outlined by Red Bull Racing itself. Lotus, by contrast, have had relatively little involvement with the design process – in fact, that lack of a means to input into the design is cited as one reason why they want to leave Renault.

      2. I would love to see Redbull become their own works team and I also hope Vettel stays put at Redbull. As much as I have warmed up to Daniel Ricciardo due to his stellar performance, I do want to see Seb bounce back.
        When he’s got a well planted and fast car under him, no one comes close.
        Redbull also needs to get back on top to show certain teams how to effectively run a racing team. They make it look easy.

        1. @James Devon
          I would love to see Red Bull become a works team as well, but I doubt it will happen. I certainly do not want to see Seb driving for McLaren… I like Seb but if he went to McLaren he would become on of my least liked drivers. I have been enjoying seeing McLaren’s decline these past couple of years and I don’t want that to change.

          1. What have you got against Mclaren??

        2. Well, I’d like to see Vettel going to Mclaren and rise from ashes with them. It would improve Vettel’s as driver’s status and justify his titles.

    15. Why on earth would Alonso or Vettel be motivated to move to McLaren for 2015? Whatever team they drive for will pay them well. They want to win. McLaren should be concentrating on making their car go faster so as to attract the top drivers in F1. I really do hope that McLaren can produce a better car in 2015 with Honda. My bet is on Button and Magnussen driving for McLaren in 2015.

      1. Button will probably scrape back in but my feeling is that Magnussen was a Whitmarsh promise (remember how whitmarsh, in his fuddy-duddy way, was disappointed that ‘another team’= force india, promised to take KMag and then mallaya renegged). I guess Whitmarsh felt obligated to take him, but now he’s gone and I really don’t think Kmag’s done enough to stay there. Dennis is desperate to get back to the top so he’ll take the best drivers he can. My guess is Bo77as will stick with Williams and bouncing driver The Hulk will be in at McLaren.

        1. @bazza-spock – Good point about the young Magnussen possibly being a leftover Whitmarsh decision. I think he has done OK for a rookie and has shown good speed at times, but is not a top shelf driver that Dennis is trying to attract.

          It would be nice to see Hulk in a McLaren even though that would be a rather sideways move for him right now. McLaren probably has a lot more upside potential given their history, budget and the fact Honda is coming in.

          But, until Dennis can deliver a faster car than the four teams currently way ahead of McLaren in points, it is hard to see the attraction to jump ship to go there. McLaren has the best power unit in F1 now and is barely 5th in points. I really wish for McLaren/Honda to show a resurgence, but right now it is only a wish. Ron Dennis making proclamations to attract top drivers seems a bit empty at this point.

          1. Considering Mclaren relationship with Honda am quite certain Mclaren gets the engine with the oldest software. They probably still run the same engine as the start of the season while others got a few software upgrades since then and i think most people in the paddock know it and look at Mclarens performance relative to that.

            Also Hulk will be out of his mind seeing that as a side move compare to Force India and the reason is simply because Force India can’t make a step any further that being a solid midfield because it doesn’t have the budget and facilities to do so.
            There is no way up for Force India from where it is unless it decides to invest millions on new facilities and enhance their workforce.
            But they don’t seem to have the budget to do so while Mclaren clearly has the potential for more. Even this last two season when things are going bad for them they still manage to win over Force India by the end of the season. When Mclaren’s bad is ahead of Force India doing good you know where the potential for bigger things is.

    16. McLaren should concentrate on making its car better, not on changing its 34 year old driver for one that is a year younger. Looking at Button’s output compared to the two rookie hotshots he had to compete with, I think Ron Dennis should kiss both hands that the Brit is even willing to stay and is not criticizing the team 24/7.

      1. @hogee well said. JB sets a good example of how to keep issues within the team – and he does have a twitter account!

    17. McLaren’s car isn’t good enough to attract top-notch drivers. Imo, they should continue with the current line-up and if they make a step forward in 2015 then they might be able to get one of the top stars.
      Hamilton might be an option if there is a fall-out at Mercedes this year, but still unlikely. And all the others might be slightly better than Button but none of the options has a bigger name recognition.

    18. Hamilton is not a corporate slave. And we all “cry” for an F1 driver with character?!?! There you have one. Plain and simple. He does not want to “keep it internal” as Nico does. And I’m wondering if it was Lewis’s mistake in the first place, would Nico still wanted to keep it internal? Anyway, Lewis had corporate lies experience in McLaren before, which is another reason he left them.

    19. I am surprised Vettel is still being considered as an option by other teams in spite of the drubbing he is receiving at the hands of Ricciardo.

      1. Because your disgust runs so deep you fail to look at what he actually achieved. Which is a lot whether you like him or not.

        1. @xtwl
          Vettel is a great driver and has achieved a lot, but under the current set of rules, Ricciardo is doing a better job. I think it’s completely reasonable for a team to choose Ricciardo over Vettel, at the current point in time.

          1. @jarnooo RIC is doing a better job. Helped by a trouble free season, unlike Vettel is having which makes it look like Vettel is having a terrrible season. If you keep his troubles in mind, he’s hanging on quite well. Ricciardo on the other hand, for me, has done a great job but also gets too much credit for what he has been doing. He is being praised like he’s the new Senna.

            Look at the two comments below. That’s what I mean. That are people who are completely blind to what a talent Vettel is. Button is one of the most overrated drivers ever. Better than average but in the end it took him three years before he was able to take a pole in a McLaren, I think that says a lot.

            1. Look at the two comments below. That’s what I mean. That are people who are completely blind to what a talent Vettel is.

              uh? You may read through my previous comments on this site and may show me wether I have ever rated anyone stronger than Vettel. Or am I underrating him when I say others are on the same level and some more are really close?

      2. In a Button vs Vettel situation, I am 100% convinced that JB would destroy SV. Vettel can call himself lucky that Red Bull are hanging on to him.

        1. While I don´t think “JB would destroy SV”, I am quite surprised by the underrating of Button both in the comments on this site and in the media lately. He is one of the top-drivers, maybe slightly short of Alonso´s abilities, but as he has proven absolutely on par with Hamilton. I´d not be surprised if he could keep up with Vettel even if the latter comes back to his true form. And no, by that I don´t mean to say Vettels true form is any weak.

        2. @dh1996

          Vettel can call himself lucky that Red Bull are hanging on to him.

          After providing them 4 championships, a win for their B team and winning the most ever consecutive races. LOL.

          1. Image what Ricciardo or any other above-average driver could’ve achieved ;)

            1. @dh1996 – They would have achieved less- Vettel’s achievements were near impossible to top. The main point is, it’s a bit foolish to suggest RB would sack a driver based on half a poor year, after delivering near unparalleled accomplishments for as long as he did.

    20. To the 92% in favour of free racing, what sanctions would you impose for breaking the ‘no contact’ rule?

      I would not create such a rule. The biggest incentive for a driver to avoid contact is to avoid contact, not courtesy or politeness. If the stewards decide that there was foul play, reckless driving, or anything like that, then let them deal with the driver. If not, then it’s just as risky for the contacter as for the contactee.

      1. I told them to let the driver pay for his damages if they want a penalty :-) Alternatively, maybe put in a young gun for the FP1 session (Although Mercedes doesn’t even have a reserve that could take the job, do they?)

    21. “Oh no FOM have finally cottoned on to @canalplus’ region free access to their onboard video footage :(”


      I’am never going to pay or watch anything that gives views or anything to FOM. Illegal only!
      How can they make the fans hate them more?!

    22. With Alonso and Vettel their contract both still running I find it odd McLaren is not ‘reporting’ trying to get Hamilton back. Or did I miss an article?

    23. That interview with Tilke starts of great:

      They encourage close racing and some observers reckon the stunning battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton at this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix could only have taken place at a Tilke track because the layout lends itself to overtaking and the vast run-off areas encourage the drivers to have a go.

      Ehm, yeah.

      Because it was Populous that actually did the current Silverstone layout, one of the few not touched by Tilke actually!

      1. @bascb It said Bahrain, not British.

        1. uh, reading comprehension fail on my side! Nevermind the remark then. I guess I must have been dozing after reading driver after driver comment on how good Tilke tracks are @davidcoulthard ;-)

    24. For once Hamilton did nothing wrong in his actions and interviews and the telegraph puts out a personal attack like that. I’m all for throwing the book at Hamilton when he’s in the wrong but come on.

    25. @keithcollantine Twitter was started, not really invented :)

    26. As a lifelong McLaren fan the prospect of both Alonso and Vettel there, two of the greatest drivers on the grid without question, is one that certainly wets my appetite but would that combination work? I’m not so certain.

      Both Alonso and Vettel are well aware of each other’s driving ability by now, they’ve been racing together since 2007, and have met each other on the same piece of tarmac on more than one occasion. We have also seen both publicly having falling outs with their respective team mates in the past. While they have arguably both grown up since then, there is nothing to say that something like this could not happen again. McLaren are also a team that needs rejuvenation, that is a given. Losing Hamilton has clearly been a big loss off and on the track and their current two drivers (plus Perez) have not delivered the amount of points that they arguably should have over the last year and a bit. I don’t see how both Alonso and Vettel would be both able to build the team around both of them, it simply wouldn’t work. I believe that with either one of these two, McLaren would be back towards the front within a short period of time, we have seen that from both drivers, albeit Alonso is arguably somewhat less of a team player than Vettel. As a McLaren fan who refuses to put aside the events of 2007, I would prefer the team to go with Vettel, and either a strong young driver (Bottas, Magnussen, Vandoorne) or one who definitely needs a step up to a big team (Grosjean, Hulkenberg). I feel that sort of combination would perhaps work best. Also in Vettel’s favour, he is incredibly hard working, and takes a huge interest in the technical side of things, both things that Big Ron likes in a driver.

    27. I don’t see any of them leaving their current team until 2016. At least not at McLaren. If it happens, then they must be a lot more unhappier with the current situation than they let us know.

    28. I didn’t care what Webber said when he was in F1. I care even less now.

      And most of the recent Tilke tracks are boring. The best part of the Sochi circuit is the walls.

    29. I cannot see Alonso leaving Ferrari for McLaren or anyone else fir that matter. Alonso’s nightmare would be a resurgent Kimi Raikkonen in a dramatically improved car winning a WDC for Ferrari whilst he (Alonso) languished in yet another poor car in another under performing team. No, I believe he will stick to Ferrari until he has won at least one WDC. A gamble? Certainly, but better that than the humiliation of being humbled by Raikkonen.

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