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Not bad for the number two driver

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Andrew Benson | 19:53 UK time, Sunday, 8 July 2012

There was a moment of levity in the news conference after the British Grand Prix when race-winner Mark Webber was asked if he would continue to fight for the championship or back off and support Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The journalist in question clearly does not know Webber very well. But the men on either side of him - Vettel and the world championship leader Fernando Alonso - certainly do. The two of them broke out into broad, knowing grins at the sheer unlikeliness of the suggestion.

Webber, as befits a man with class out of the cockpit to match his ability in it, treated his inquisitor with a delicacy that some of his rivals might have found more difficult to summon. But, before expanding on his answer, even he couldn’t resist drawing the humour out of the situation.

“Yeah,” he drawled, smothering a smile. “At Hockenheim (the next race), we will let Seb through.” Cue even bigger smiles from Alonso and Vettel, who are well aware he will be doing no such thing.

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel

Mark Webber (left) celebrates winning the British GP with team-mate Sebastian Vettel. Photo: Getty

There is no Formula 1 driver more rooted in the concept of fair but hard competition than Webber – as his battles for equal treatment at Red Bull, which boiled over at Silverstone in the previous two races, attest.

There was no repeat this year of the squabbles that took place in 2010 and 2011, when Red Bull’s apparent preference for Vettel – and the Australian’s absolute refusal to play a supporting role - were laid bare in different ways.

The internal dynamic at Red Bull is very different this year. The team and drivers seem more at peace with their respective positions, and the drivers are fighting it out on the track without the tensions of previous seasons. And Webber is proving every bit a match for the double champion.

Webber out-qualified Vettel in the wet on Saturday, lining up alongside pole position man Alonso on the front row, and then won a straight battle with the Ferrari driver in the sunshine of race day to move within 13 points of the world championship lead.

The internal qualifying score at Red Bull is now five-four in Webber’s favour, and the 35-year-old has two wins to the German’s one. After a difficult season watching Vettel romp to the title in 2011, Webber has bounced back in style this season. A serious title contender he certainly is.

For a long time, the British Grand Prix looked to be Alonso’s to lose. He converted pole position into a lead at the first corner, with the help of a take-no-prisoners sweep across the track to deter the faster-starting Webber, and he led through both rounds of pit stops.

But in the last 14 laps before the chequered flag, Alonso found his Ferrari a much less competitive proposition on the ‘soft’ tyres he had saved to the end of the race because he had not liked them when he tried them in the one dry practice session on Saturday morning.

Webber remorselessly closed him down and, with Alonso defenceless, swept by into the lead with four laps to go.

It would be easy to blame Ferrari for choosing a strategy that in hindsight turned out to lose them the race. Easy but wrong.

It made perfect sense to save the more fragile ‘soft’ tyres to the end of the race, when the track would have more rubber on it and the cars would be carrying less fuel. It just turned out, in hindsight, to be the incorrect choice.

Alonso, Webber and their respective teams have reason to leave Silverstone satisfied.

Ferrari confirmed their recent progress, and theirs is now clearly a seriously fast race car – as evidenced by the fact that Alonso has contended for victory in each of the last five races, as well as team-mate Felipe Massa’s upturn in form. It is a remarkable turnaround after starting the season 1.5 seconds off the pace.

But, as both Alonso and Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali admitted after the race, the car is not quite a match for the Red Bull, which is now clearly the fastest in the field.

Although Red Bull team boss Christian Horner denied it after the race, the championship seems to be distilling down to a straight fight between Alonso and the Red Bull drivers – Vettel is only 16 points behind Webber.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is being left behind in fourth place. He is 37 points behind Alonso in the standings after finishing eighth at Silverstone, but more worryingly McLaren have slipped from the pace.

Quite apart from the problems this will cause for them in the championship, it is particularly bad timing for a team whose driver is out of contract at the end of the season.

Hamilton is known to have had conversations with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. It is not clear how much interest there is in him by any of them but this is not the sort of performance that will encourage him to sign a new contract at McLaren.

The other defining issue of the British Grand Prix weekend was Silverstone’s apparent return to the bad old days of traffic jams and muddy car parks.

The fact that even Bernie Ecclestone – who has never needed an excuse to kick Silverstone – refused to blame them for the horrendous traffic jams of Friday that led to them asking 20,000 fans with tickets not to come on Saturday underlines the reality that the organisers can hardly be blamed for the wettest June on record.

Nevertheless, there were clear examples of organisational problems as well as bad luck, and the track’s contingency plans clearly did not work on Friday, even if Silverstone did subsequently manage to dig themselves out of the hole they found themselves in with some effectiveness. They also showed laudable honesty in admitting there were serious problems.

The situation is more complex than it seems. The size of the fees charged by Ecclestone make it hard for races to make any money out of hosting a grand prix and Silverstone simply does not have the funds to pour money into solving the problem.

But a problem there is, and it could easily recur – as every F1 driver pointed out at the weekend, the British summer is notorious for its poor weather.

Those involved in the post-mortem meetings planned for this coming week will have to be imaginative in trying to coming up with solutions, but solutions, whatever they are, do need to be found.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Oh it's a happy days again for my buddy mark! Congrats to the ex pat hey?

    Today was a jenson day for me, you know a day when at first you just can't "turn on" the tyres, and we all know that is what this year is about... turning on the pirellis and sitting in the "sweet" window.....funny how this year the smooth peeps like me & jenson just can't turn it n like last year, but the rough boys!!! well OK the ready boys like mark, nando & before today lewis are getting it, yeah baby!

    Anyways it's a not so bad, I can still turn on the ladies, no? .... hey lee? .... !!

  • Comment number 2.

    nothing about your hero Jenslow....anyway his run of poor performances has been the worst for a Mclaren driver in 30yrs......Championship think not, not from the most distinctly average driver on the grid who has never excelled when not in the absolutely fastest car on the grid.....his championship DREAMS have longggg been over

  • Comment number 3.

    Just out of interest..would anyone agree that Eddie Jordan is the worst drummer EVER?
    His band's rendition of The Chain was just dire. His drumming's even worse than his credibility as a so-called expert.The man's a plank....cue deletion...

  • Comment number 4.

    Mclaren have lost the title I fear, really let down by pit stop mistakes that lost Lewis and Jenson vital points in the title battle and this has put them behind whilst the car is also lacking.

    At the start of the year I thought it would be an Alonso title with a Mclaren WCC but that's looking less likely as Red Bull and Ferrari pull away from Mclaren.

    Could this lead to Hamilton not renewing his Mclaren contract? Ordinarily I would say so, but unless Vettel leaves for Ferrari I can't see Hamilton leaving this year as Alonso, whatever he says, would not partner Hamilton again.

    Of course, Hamilton could do a Prost and stay out for a year so that if Vettel leaves for Ferrari in 2014 he could take his seat, but I don't see what benefit could be gained for anyone out of that, so he'll probably renew for a year.

  • Comment number 5.

    What sort of muppet would ask a man who's just won his second race of the season entirely on merit whether he'll back off and adopt the supporting role? The same sort that would headline an article about it with a reference to a heated comment made 2 seasons ago, eh Andrew? Thankfully Webber has a bit of class, and didn't tell the idiot where to stick his stupid question.

  • Comment number 6.

    Mclaren have gone backward's since Ron stepped down, heads should be rolling in that team. Totally agree with Andrew that as unpredictable as the season is going the best drivers are rising to the top. I expect Alonso to take the drivers crown and Red Bull constructors champions. Hamilton's going nowhere because he's got nowhere to go, and Jenson ? Oh dear........

  • Comment number 7.

    Ferrari had the right strategy. Use the hards at the first to cover off the possibility of rain. Also, being on the hard would hold up Webber on the soft for at least the first 3 laps until DRS is enabled. It would also mean using the softer tyre for the final stint, when the track has rubbered in more. You could assume the track was totally green after all the rain, so having 23 cars do 40 laps would help.

    Except the soft tyre wasn't quicker, and it didn't hold up any better at the end of the race when compared to the start. And it didn't rain.

    I was very surprised to see Ferrari hang on, and actually pull away a bit. Considering there was no dry running for setup changes, they all did pretty well. I was expecting the RedBulls to just overtake and disappear like in Valencia. For Alonso to come 2nd is a great result.

    In a strange twist, it could be Vettel helping Alonso to the title if it goes down to Alonso v Webber.

  • Comment number 8.

    Great race from the RedBull boys on all counts. Ditto Ferrari, especially Massa who might yet hang on to his seat if he continues on like that. Mclaren are in real trouble, pity- slow on both fast and slow circuits. Mercedes are at least competitive on the slow ones.
    What is Maldonado? The guy is a menace to himself and others- typical rich spoilt brat pay driver. He needs to be given a grid penalty. The fines he is given is chump change and won't change his behaviour.

  • Comment number 9.

    Good article again Andrew I have really liked the upturn the past couple of blogs. Mclaren have to be seriously concerned now. The point situation isn't too bad. 37 points isn't too much of an issue with this scoring system if you look at how far behind Alonso was in 2010 a few race wins and he was right back in the fight. What has to be seriously concerning them is the fact that their car is now 4th fastest at best. RedBull quickest closely followed by Ferrari and Lotus Renault. They are only matching the Mercedes at the minute. They have to hope their upgrade for Germany turns it around and gets them back in the top 3.

    On the race I'm a big Ferrari fan and I think they can be proud of themselves. Hindsight is a fabulous thing but they win as a team and lose as one. Alonso and Webber drove great races, but I think Ferrari need just another couple of tenths. Here is hoping that Webber and Vettel keep taking points out of each other and Alonso keeps driving brilliantly well.

  • Comment number 10.

    well great article andrew!! :)

    nice race lewis did his best but it wasnt his day... it happens...

    i still think lewis will renew his contract at mclaren but im worrying for whitmarsh he first said that sam michael then ron dennis wanted his job... curious statement from the guy... well i think hes the one who is threatened imo... what dyou think andrew ?
    it will be lewis or martin in the end.

    but if lewis leaves i think he will go to mercedes. a good team with a proper boss

    on another hand we can safely say today that jensen hope of a second wdc are well and truly gone (forever?)... as he will have to fight with the likes of perez maldonado and diresta to save his 8th place... putting an end to the beeb great white hope project... :)

  • Comment number 11.

    For once im pleased to read a benson headline.
    The race was great and the tyres played thier part but great drive by webber and alonso the 2 most consistent drivers are now battling it out at the top of the championship.
    Wish maldanado would get a 1 race ban he's got away with a lot this season and got a lot less publicity than hamilton did last year 4 it.
    Glad that schumacher beat rosberg thats 2 race finishes ahead of them mercedes let their drivers down with 2 poor pit stops though.
    The playing field looks levelled now top ten: Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes, Mclaren and Williams.
    Mercedes and Mclaren seriously need to improve their cars' quickly.
    Can't wait for hockenheim :)

  • Comment number 12.

    Another class showing from GA in the pitline. Beeb team knock Sky out the park

  • Comment number 13.

    First to say I am a massive Webber fan, but please don't discount the comments. Qualifying was everything this weekend - Alonso and Webber were outstanding, no one else came close. The race was only ever between those two, then it came down to which car (red bull or Ferrari) used its tyres best. Ferrari haven't been good on the soft tyre this year, so as long as Webber was close in the last 10 laps Alonso was going to struggle to keep the lead. Well done Mark, I am enjoying a bottle of Veuve Clicquot in
    Versailles celebrating your victory

  • Comment number 14.

    Who decided to have the British GP on the same day as the Wimbledon final?

  • Comment number 15.

    I was really hoping Webber would say "not bad for a number 2 driver" on the radio after Horner said his congrats. He seem to set him up to say it.

    Highlight of the race for me was the Perez out burst.

    It was spot on. Maldonado is a crazy man.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well done to Mark Webber.

    Looks like the WDC is now between Vettel, Alonso & Webber.

    The Lotus Renaults of Grosjean & Raikonnen are a bigger threat to these 3 than either of the McLaren duo. Even Massa, Schumacher, Rosberg, Kobayashi, Perez, Di Resta & Hulkenberg are likely to take points off of McLaren, allowing the top three to pull further away.

    As for Hamilton, managing to finish less than 8 seconds in front of the widely reported, under performing, Button (& with a slower fastest lap time to boot), it looks like the games up. Much like Button, there'll be no second WDC for Hamilton this season, either.

    McLaren need to wake up & improve, fast.

  • Comment number 17.

    Really pleased for Webber and Alonso, both drove superbly.
    Its clear Mclaren are going backwards and its affecting both drivers now, its just button's started before hamilton's. If this continues the championship will be between ferrari and red bull. Still it will be good as long as its tight. Now people stop moaning at button he is capable (look at 2009 and 2011 for example) but as its said before different drivers have different 'sweet spots' where they feel comfortable and can be extremely quick, its just button isn't in his sweet spot.

    Was at silverstone live and it was amazing, especially the bbc on the stage for forum after the race :). So BBC please continue your excellent coverage and be much better than sky.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    I'm so pleased I have access to Sky - Andrew Benson & Eddie Jordan are so frustrating...Why start this article with the title "Not bad for the number two driver" which is a reference to an incident that happened in a *previous season* just to be provocative?

    Next Benson will be calling for Schumacher to be axed based on his speed against Rosberg in this race and say Hamilton had a faster race lap than Button lol!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    What a day for sport. I was flicking between the tennis, Le Tour and F1!
    Excellent pit stops for Mclaren today but that was probably because none of the cars were in a challenging position, the pressure was off. I wonder what Whitmarsh is thinking now as both Lewis and JB came out and said the car was essentially rubbish. All that history and money and we can't beat the Lotus. We are probably the 4th best team out there.

  • Comment number 21.

    Another Pirelli lucky race - I think its similar with Valencia. Webber and Alonso made a fantastic perormance. McLaren need more race package and better car tuning for every circuit. Any it was boring race in the 2012 Formula 1.

    I have watched funny video that - McLaren launched animation series

  • Comment number 22.

    Come on Benson you're so desperate to rule Lewis out of the championship with statements like "McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is being left behind in fourth place. He is 37 points behind Alonso in the standings".

    So how come Vettel is still in the championship and he's only 8 points ahead of Lewis??? bit of a contradiction bearing in mind you also say "Vettel is only 16 points behind Webber".

    You're doing better toning down the anti Hamilton bias but you clearly still have some work to do.

  • Comment number 23.

    firstly ahhhgggh eddie jordan is so annoying, he babbles too much doesnt let anyone get a word in, why do the fans love eddie? i find him a bit full on and that guy loves button, he praises button like hell.

    And what the hell were maclaren doing with lewis, what the hell kind of strategy was that, first stint 22 laps 2nd stint 8 laps and the last stint was the rest, maclaren looks slow, ferrari are now the 2nd best team dont be fooled by demoncail and his modest views on where ferrari are.

  • Comment number 24.

    #22. f1fan01

    Where does the article "rule" Hamilton out of the WDC?

    More conspiracy?, as it clearly doesn't.

    Hamilton is being left behind in 4th place, much as Button has been considered "left behind" after earlier races.

    Both, much like the others, are still in the championship until mathematically ruled out.

    Though both McLaren drivers are currently heading in the wrong direction, it simply affected Button that bit earlier.

    They need to turn it around & fast or that mathematical tipping point won't be long in coming.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm no Alonso fan but he deserved the win today and he only lost out because of the tyre lottery. He and his team did nothing wrong and only lost out because of the completely random nature of tyre degradation this year.

    F1 is turning into a farce.

  • Comment number 26.

    As for Hamilton, managing to finish less than 8 seconds in front of the widely reported, under performing, Button (& with a slower fastest lap time to boot), it looks like the games up. Much like Button, there'll be no second WDC for Hamilton this season, either.

    haha !! now this is one bitter jenson fan !

    one thing i agree with you is for lewis to finish only 8 seconds ahead of the below average button is some terrible performance by his standard... still finished ahead though thats the only thing that counts as button fans told us last year :)

  • Comment number 27.

    @24 read my post again.

    And what is this rubbish about "Though both McLaren drivers are currently heading in the wrong direction, it simply affected Button that bit earlier."

    Have you forgotten that Hamilton was on for a possible podium in the last race until he got rammed off the road and he won the previous race.

    Hamiltons problems have mostly been down to dodgy pitstops rather than the car.

    Why don't you just admit that because Jenson is doing terribly you want to talk Hamilton down with him so he doesn't look so bad.

  • Comment number 28.

    @26 LOL well at least we don't have to hear the old "car was built around Lewis" rubbish anymore.

  • Comment number 29.

    @27 then what was the problems today with Mclaren. Fine pit stops but they had a slow car. Where do you think the Mclaren car rates right now? It is the 4th fastest car and you can say oh Mclaren messed up pit stop strategy but they didn't. That Mclaren couldn't go any further than 8laps on the softs. The same as Ferrari being so slow on the softs. Hopefully updates at Germany will turn things around for Mclaren but they need to update their car. Ferrari, Red Bull and Lotus are all quicker.

  • Comment number 30.

    If Mclaren want to get competitive again then Ron Dennis needs to stop playing around with the road cars and take back the helm from Mr Whitmarsh. The man seems lost and the team lack direction and purpose.

  • Comment number 31.

    Firstly, well done to Mark. I think there's no need to mention the 'number 2' episode again, it simply isn't relevant any more. Also, in such an unpredictable season so far, it is no small fact that Alonso is leading with the consistent Webber behind. The cars are continually developed and the tyres are doing whatever they are doing at the moment, but when the lights go out, the one cosistent component is the driver. I'd say the top 3 driver's stock is currently very high. Regarding McLaren, despite there fantastic heritage, it has been 12 years since they have produced something near to the quickest car over a whole season. If they start the season fast, they struggle to maintain such speed and when they are quicker in latter parts of the season, they failed to perform at the start. In defence of both of the drivers, they are probably doing as good a job as anyone out there. When you look at respective fastest laps, Jenson and Lewis are behind the Toro Rosso's. It's their racing talent that has allowed McLaren the faint hope of providing a title challenge, as it was last year and many prior to that. If I was Ron Dennis, I'd be making some tentative phone calls to check the solidity of Adrian Newey's contract. What would it take to get him back on board?

  • Comment number 32.

    28 haha wooow in my memory the very first of a veeeeery long range of excuses from button himself and his fanboys lol

  • Comment number 33.

    #26. roomurrhamil

    "one thing i agree with you is for lewis to finish only 8 seconds ahead of the below average button is some terrible performance by his standard... still finished ahead though thats the only thing that counts as button fans told us last year :)"

    A childish comment from a deluded Hamilton fan.

    You've clearly missed my point, that being both McLaren drivers are on the slide, Button has been castigated for his performances, correctly in part, but the McLaren clearly isn't up to it. Hamilton is also starting to feel the effects, 8th place, 8 seconds ahead of an under performing team mate that started 8 places behind on the grid, slower laps will get him little closer to the WDC than Button.

    It's on a par with those that on one hand complain about the tyres when their favourite doesn't benefit, but fails to acknowledge that others (including Button) have similar issues, or that their favourite has benefitted from the same random nature of finding that "window" for their own success, to the detriment of their rivals.

    Of course Button needs to get his act together, but so does Hamilton & most importantly McLaren.

    There's none so blind.

  • Comment number 34.

    The McLaren just doesn't seem to have any go at the moment. You can't tell me that Grosjean is a better driver than Hamilton, nor Senna than Button. They were outpaced by 5 or 6 teams today.

    Also: what place did Ken Clarke finish in?

  • Comment number 35.

    30. At 23:23 8th Jul 2012, gary wrote:
    If Mclaren want to get competitive again then Ron Dennis needs to stop playing around with the road cars and take back the helm from Mr Whitmarsh.............


    I think you will find Ron is busy with the McLaren animation at the moment, priorities and all that.

  • Comment number 36.

    As a Ferrari fan I am a little bit gutted to use the words of another fan during the post race forum. I don't think you could describe Webber's win as hardly fought. Alonso was absolutely defenceless again due to the nature of these Pirelli tyres falling away. After the race, Webber admitted as much saying that he sensed that Alonso was struggling with the balance of the car and I got the impression that he looked a little underwhelmed by his win.

    I have to say I am also beginning to feel a little underwhelmed by this season in spite of the fact we had exciting races, 8 different winners and plenty of overtaking. I can't help feel that all of this is artificially created and stage managed largely due to the tyres. Keep KERS and DRS but let's have more durable tyres so we can see the best drivers battle it out from start to finish rather then see them hold back for large parts of the race. Like I mentioned in a post a couple of races ago, there is not much skill involved passing another F1 car with tyres 'falling off a cliff'.

  • Comment number 37.

    #27. f1fan01

    Read it the first time.

    Hamilton's tyres were going off in Valencia, possible but unlikely podium.

    Both McLaren drivers are currently heading in the wrong direction.

    As for "Hamiltons problems have mostly been down to dodgy pitstops rather than the car.", you'd better pray that you are right. Even with your rose tinted specs, that certainly wasn't the case today.

    "Why don't you just admit that because Jenson is doing terribly you want to talk Hamilton down with him so he doesn't look so bad.", no problem at all, Button is doing badly.......he needs to step it up, unfortunately Hamilton isn't doing that great either. He should have taken the points in Valencia, followed his own "consistancy" code. Performances like today, won't help him.

    Button can't work the tyres, the McLaren doesn't have the speed, its now affecting Hamilton too.

    Neither can blame the tyres, nor can you. They all have to work with them.

  • Comment number 38.

    Indeed! Well done Mark. Nice to see Benson dedicate his journalistic dissertations to someone other than Michael Schumacher, who incidentally has not been doing too badly himself given the equipment. I just cant resist saying: Not bad for the Honorable Nick Fry's "mediocre" driver !

  • Comment number 39.

    McLaren need to do something, and quick. Hamilton may revert to him 'act first thin later' strategy of last season if his woes continue. Schumacher breezed past him, surely they should be at least on pace with Mercedes.

    Button seems to be in an abyss at the moment also, just nothing but negatives coming from him. I hope they can re-egage soon as a three team battle will be better than Red Bull vs Alonso. Be interesting if Webber can maintain his advantage over Vettel, who will Horner favour when it comes down to choosing a man to chase Alonso.

    A month or so ago Schumacher was given a lot of grief for criticising the tyres but surely he has to be viewed as correct now? It is a lottery at times, DRS doesn't help but the tyre situation is making it worse. I want to see skill being the ultimate decider not who can drive less slowly than the others.

  • Comment number 40.


    dont really think lewis is suffering that much tbh.
    in valencia he would have ended in the podium but his team ruined his good work so he had to overdrive when button on contrary was his usual slow

    today the changeable conditions made it very difficult for the drivers to find the right setup and balance. in germany im sure lewis will fare better

    we cant really compare both drivers situations.. lewis is still well on the course despite his team costing him many points on the way. button who is 80 pts !! behind alonso and 42 !! behind his teammate who is using the same material in midseason is too far now

  • Comment number 41.

    @36 I'm a huge Ferrari fan too. But I can't feel too disappointed about today after Alonso's victory in Valencia. Backing that up with a 2nd place. As Alonso Sao himself of at the start of the weekend you told him he would be 2nd he would have snapped your hand off.
    I suppose the disappointing aspect was that he had lead for so long that it was more frustrating as you could see one of the best drivers in the world had no defence. His bit of bad luck today but still a 2nd place, and goo luck in Valencia meant first. I would have preferred him just being in 2n the whole race though rather than losin it with 4 laps to go.
    Totally agree regards the tyres and I don't blame Pirelli. They are doing what the FIA told them to do. I just wish they were that little bit more durable.
    And to clarify I'm not saying this as a Ferrari fan. There have been other race this year, like Kimi in I believe China where he lost 10 places in 2 laps. That isn't F1 and a driver of his quality shouldn't lose that many spots.
    At the end of the day the championship is heating up nicely, but I would hate for it to go to the last race and someone lose the title as the tyres fall of the proverbial cliff.

  • Comment number 42.

    No way would Hamilton have ended with a podium in Valencia, he was all over the shop prior to Maldonado doing his usual race wrecking manoeuvre and surely would have been caught and passed by Schumacher and Webber regardless.

  • Comment number 43.

    #41 This is exactly what I am afraid of. The championship being decided on that basis. I cannot help feel that the FIA is now doing far too much tinkering with the sport forcing teams to use both sets of tyres and instructing Pirelli to make them wear quickly. I'm all for more excitement in F1 but I'd rather it happened naturally through genuinely competitive drivers and race cars. It's a shame really because that is what we have now so we don't really need all this tinkering.

  • Comment number 44.

    Mind boggling display from McLaren today. I couldn't understand the strategy for Lewis after going so long on the first set to only do 8 laps and stop again before anybody else you knew he was going nowhere.

    Jenson was 12th from 16th after the 1st lap and only made 10th through retirements and Hulkenberg going off. Could it be that McLaren gambled on a wet race and had the car set up too much in that direction or are they really back in the midfield on pure pace?

    When Lewis was still out on his 1st set of tyres why did he bother scraping with Alonso? He was not in the same race, he must have lost significant time doing that and would definitely have been ahead of Schumacher and Raikkonen after his first stop. It might make him a great racer but it is shortsighted when it clearly disadvantages his chances of better points. Although by then I thought he should already have pitted.

  • Comment number 45.

    @43 I think if Alonso won the title because Webbers tyres fell off the cliff at the last race, at first in the moment as a Ferrari fan I would be ecstatic. But then as an F1 fan I would be disappointed. Because I would want to see a guy who had worke hard lose a title like that. But I really think it may come down to that this year,and whoever wins it could end up being called lucky, which would be unfair for all of their effort throughout the year.
    I remember in 2010 how downcast I was because Alonso lost the title due to not being able to overtake in them cars on them tyres. So he was stuck. But this year overtaking has become for the most part so simple it has gone too much the other way. At times we have seen good moves not based on tyres but then other times good drivers have just been left defenceless. I hope the FIA listen to what Michael was saying earlier in the year and maybe make the tyres just a little more robust for 2013. I'm not suggesting that a set should last the whole race, just maybe longer than 8 laps like hamiltons today.

  • Comment number 46.

    #40. roomurrhamil

    "dont really think lewis is suffering that much tbh."......If that's the case he should be far closer considering his team mates pretty dire run of form, he's not, he clearly feels the car isn't fast enough.

    "in valencia he would have ended in the podium but his team ruined his good work so he had to overdrive when button on contrary was his usual slow".........addressed this above in post 37, he wouldn't have got that podium, his tyres were going, he should have stuck to his consistenct pledge & taken the points, not mixing it with Maldonado.

    "today the changeable conditions made it very difficult for the drivers to find the right setup and balance. in germany im sure lewis will fare better" .......They ALL had the same problems due to the weather in practice & qualifying. Very interesting selective memory from you to mention problems finding the right set-up, whilst neglecting to mention Button missing most of Friday practice at Valencia, choosing instead to cover it with "button on contrary was his usual slow"

    "we cant really compare both drivers situations.. lewis is still well on the course despite his team costing him many points on the way. button who is 80 pts !! behind alonso and 42 !! behind his teammate who is using the same material in midseason is too far now".........It's not about comparing Hamilton & Button, the WDC isn't between them (although reading some of the postings on here, you'd sometimes wonder). Anyway, it's already generally accepted that Button is underperforming. Many suggested he was out of when the gap was far less than the 79 points it is now. Hamilton isn't happy with the car, if the car isn't working the gap to the leader will increase. Eventually it'll become insurmountable. People who mocked Button's second in the WDC last year as worthless, will no doubt feel the same should Hamilton, Button, Webber, Alonso or whoever achieve the same this year. Get off the fixation with Hamilton & Button, the McLaren is not performing, they are both in danger of unsuccessful seasons.

  • Comment number 47.

    Just to clarify in my post #45 I would NOT want to see a driver win the title like that. I missed the not lol

  • Comment number 48.

    #45. Rach1985 :

    @43 I think if Alonso won the title because Webbers tyres fell off the cliff at the last race, at first in the moment as a Ferrari fan I would be ecstatic. But then as an F1 fan I would be disappointed. Because I would want to see a guy who had worke hard lose a title like that.


    However, surely that would overlook the fact that over the course of the season both that driver & his rivals would have benefitted & lost out due the ups & downs of this as one of the MANY variables that happen over the course of a season? More so, in a sport so mechanically dependant?

  • Comment number 49.

    @48 I understand your point completely and that at the end of the day the person with the most points wins the championship. Which is right and fair. But I suppose my point is, imagine of today's race was for the world title Alonso vs Webber. Alonso leads the whole race, but with 4 laps left he has absolutely no defence and the title goes without him even being able to put up a fight. Wouldn't you feel a little sad for F1 that a world title showdown ended that way? No matter who won or lost.

  • Comment number 50.

    With regards to the Hamilton & Button arguments... This McLaren is seriously off the pace. If Hamilton can't get anything out of it on a single lap, and Button can't get a smooth control in the race, they are off the spectrum. It just happens that Hamilton is able to do more with an under performing car than Button.

    McLaren are in serious trouble. I think their fight is now between Lotus and Mercedes. If at the end of the season, McLaren's car is behind the Lotus and/or Mercedes, there is nothing to keep Hamilton there.

  • Comment number 51.

    Benson, you are so clever and in the know! I despise your condescending remarks.
    Mclaren should fire Whitmarsh and Sam Micheal before they can go forward.

  • Comment number 52.

    #49 Totally agree. I think having tyres with such large variations in grip and condition at different stages of the race is one variable too far. Whoever wins and loses, a championship should be sorted out fair and square.

  • Comment number 53.

    #49. Rach1985 wrote:

    I understand your point however in that scenario, whichever tyres were on the car, surely they become just another variable which one or other driver & car package can use better than the other. You could argue that Ferrari/Alonso benefitted fror the bulk of the race from being better on the harder tyre than the Red Bull?

    Tyres have always been a variable, different manufacturers, when to change them, how quickly the machinery or driving styles wore them out.

    Mansell lost the WDC to Prost after his tyre blew in Adelaide.......bad luck or just another variable? Then again you have to bear in mind the rest of the season.

    Even now there is little sympathy for Button's woes with his tyres (never mind the car) this season. There was little for Webber, last season, as Vettel scampered away from him.

    My point is, they all have the same tyres, have to make them work the best they can, strategise etc.

    As they say in sport, over the course of the season they should work themselves out. Ultimately someone is successful, the rest not........even if the final tipping point comes in the last race, last's the nature of sport.

    Some end up happy, unfortunately the rest end up sad.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think Hamilton's and Button's chances are over, and McLaren have lost the plot. Sadly their car seems lethargic in terms of race pace, and starting performance. Couple that with the Mickey Mouse tyres and the future looks bleak. These tyres can promote slower cars and demote quick cars at the drop of a hat. - The operating band width is far too narrow for proper racing which makes the whole affair a bit of a lottery. That said it now appears that the championship will be between Red Bull and Ferrari. I have a lot of respect for Alonso as a driver, but I would like to see Webber win it this year if our own guy's don't get a look in.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hamilton should replace Raikkonen at Lotus, they are the coming team. Hamilton and Grosjean would make a great double act.

  • Comment number 56.

    @53 I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. To me these tyres just aren't F1. I agree with what Schumacher said at the start of the season, I want to seen an F1 car going fast. Not driver tip toeing around hoping their tyres don't go off the cliff. An I believe in variables for example an engine failure or a puncture or rain. But these tyres to me are ridiculous. Their performance is so random at times that teams just don't know what to do. I want to see a driver come in put on a fresh set of boots and drive fast, not like they are driving round tescos car park. Some of the overtakes this year have been so simple it's untrue. One of the greatest seasons 2008 ended with LH winning on the last corner because of the rain. To me that was real drama, or Nigel with the blow out. But these tyres are just adding fakeness to the sport in my opinion

  • Comment number 57.

    Benson your post is a bit pathetic in places, i mean come are your trying to tell me the other 21 drivers on the grid wouldnt like to be in Webbers place right now. If you dont like particualr driver just come out and say it. People may have more respect for your posts.

  • Comment number 58.

    What was up with the flag thing on the podium? Novelty for novelty's sake? Seriously kills off the national pride when your flag is just a solid piece of plastic/whatever rather than a cloth, waving proudly in the air.

    The interviews on stage were a good idea though. As was drenching the pit girls with champagne. :)

  • Comment number 59.

    I thought it was a great touch letting the fans on the track and being interactive with the presenters and some of the drivers. Sky got shown up today and need a rethink.

  • Comment number 60.

    46_oh come on people mocked him because he was some 150 points behind vettel and a couple of points ahead of alonsos terrible ferrari then he along with benson and his others fans went gloating and celebrating as if it was some kind of unbelievable performance loll

  • Comment number 61.

    # 56. Rach1985

    Fair enough, we'll agree to disagree.

    I just think that too many, & I'm not aiming this at you, criticise the tyres, which is their perogative, but it usually occurs when their favourite has fallen foul of them. However, many of those same contributors are happy to make comments along the lines of "Button (I choose him, as he has been the subject of most criticism on the subject, but you could insert a.n.other) needs to learn how to drive around these tyres like the others have" or "the tyres are the same for all, so he needs to work them better"

    Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree that Button does need to learn how to use them & work them better, he as everyone else has those same parameters. I just find there is a certain level of hypocracy in crying foul, when those same people then moan about those same tyres when their own favourites have an issue with them.

    Tyres (they all have the same number of sets) or more particularly their use, is arguably as much a controllable varaible or perhaps more so, than for example, a faulty alternator that Vettel & Grosjean fell foul of in Valencia, to Alonso's benefit.

  • Comment number 62.

    #60. roomurrhamil

    122 points behind Vettel & 43 ahead of Hamilton, so what?

    Ultimately 1 or 100 points, Vettel still won it.

    My point is, as the Hammy fans particularly kept saying, "first is first, second is nowhere" & if McLaren don't improve (& this includes Hamilton), fast, it'll be more of the same.

    The way they are going, that second will indeed seem like some achievement!

  • Comment number 63.

    Excellent racing and laptimes from Webber and Alonso, both of them with amazing Q3 qually laps, proper rainmeisters. Nice work by Massa, good attacking and defending, Vettel had a good strategy to jump to third, good to see Webber faster again tho'.

    Surprised the Ferrari eventually lost so much time per lap with the soft tyres at the end of the race, especially with how well Massa did on them at the start. He would have been closer as well if he'd passed Schumacher. Just shows how Ferrari need to keep trying close the gap to Red Bull though. Alonso deserves the championship so far but it's looking like Red Bull end-of-2010 speed domination could still be an issue. Maybe the Ferrari is not as good as the Bulls on low fuel, kind of fits the qually picture as well? Lotus look mighty on low fuel, shame Grosjean can't stop hitting people in the first few laps. Enjoying Kimis racing but not convinced he's back to his best yet.

    Merc and Mac, oh dear. Plus whats with the babysitting of Lewis over the radio by his engineers, he's getting more like Smedley/Massa race by race! Though he still ignored them and lost a fair bit of time messing with Alonso when on old vs new tyres. Man up Lewis, sort out your own strategies during the race if the tyres go off, drive smarter to avoid losing time and chewing tyres, and for heavens sake stop whinging on radio about how slow your car is compared to X/Y/Z while you are racing. We know, just as Alonso knew at the start of the season, but still did the job.

    Jackie's interviews were cool at the end, but bad camera shots! Webber responding on mic to a tartan bunnet at the bottom of the screen ?!? ;)

    Cool moving camera out on track, really liked its shots. Why no Lewis head cam, could have at least seen everyone passing him...

    Mr Tilke, did you watch the race, that is a proper fast track is Silverstone.

  • Comment number 64.

    Average finishing pos from the worst six results from all McLaren drivers since 2005.

    afp= avg finishing pos

    JB- afp 13th
    LH- afp 10th
    HK- afp 15th
    FA- afp 6th
    PDR- afp 10th
    JM- afp 14th

    I included dnf's in the workings out, as all drivers have them in their worst runs, particularly Heikki in 09.

    Only drivers who had worst form than JB looked for work elsewhere the nxt year. And did you know that in 2007 McLaren only had 2 retirements all season. One for Alonso in Japan and one for Hamilton in China. In other words, since Ron left reliability has got worst and the pace has got slower.

    What do I win?

  • Comment number 65.

    Just goes to show why teams should grab points when they can. Back when McLaren had the fastest car this season and Lewis was putting it on or around pole position race after race, McLaren threw away several in-the-bag victories with atrocious pit stops for both their drivers. Now, the other teams gave bolted on some amazing packages, and Whitmarsh will have felt the pain as Grosjean left Lewis for dead on pure pace yesterday.
    The other teams are clearly moving forward - but McLaren are resolutely matching backwards.
    Ferrari don't seem to have the pace to beat Red Bull consistently, so this might be another Red Bull year. Would be great if Webber won it.

  • Comment number 66.

    Good race, do like the Silverstone track.

    Not much joy for the Brit partisans though, as this season continues to lay bare just how badly sLowis gets found out when he doesn't have the quickest car.

    Alonso, Vettel, and Webber could still be a good 3-way fight though, bring it on.

  • Comment number 67.

    @63 so you didnt notice Alonso getting instructions in Italian?? pretty sure if it wasnt strategy they would have spoken in English. Alonso is the best driver on the grid in my opinion

  • Comment number 68.

    @66 My boy Button isnt fairing much better either, 79 points off the lead its already looking bleak.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hero to zero -- Mal-as-a-dodo

  • Comment number 70.

    @63- nothing about Alonso or Webber being rain masters. If you check the times you will se they timed their fast lap perfectly. SV missed out in Sector 3 just as it was starting to come down again in "buckets" around that part of the track- luck, not skill just like the rest of qualifying unfortunately..

  • Comment number 71.

    Congrats to Webber first of all. But a number two driver he is NOT. Please try to keep up Mr Benson, as it was some time ago. Good read apart from the title though.

    Alonso and Webber clearly were the pick of the drivers yesterday. Vettel wasn't bad too but his start let him down. But RedBull always seems to come up with a clever strategy if things aren't going as planned (I don't think Vettel was planning to pit that early if he had a better start). Nice to see Massa in the mix as well.

    McLaren not taking advantage when they had the/one of the fastest cars, is looking worse now as they now seem to be on par with Mercedes, behind RebBull, Ferrari and Lotus. Finally when they got their act together in pit-stops (worth a mention as 2.8 is just brilliant), they just didn't have the pace. Let's hope they will do a 'Ferrari' and improve quickly.

    On Maldonado incident, I don't think there was any malice in that. He just lost control at an unfortunate moment. But, now that his reputation precedes him, it would be wise to control his aggression a bit in the coming races.

    Finally, for a British GP, it wasn't as exciting as I expected it to be. Where was the rain when we needed it.

  • Comment number 72.

    Couple of things, firstly Silverstone, they dont own the fields around the track,the farmers allow them to be used for camping etc, even if the track could afford to buy the fields there is no way you,d get permission to tarmac them as its greenbelt land, this is the only event where this fields are used for parking etc. Silverstone only breaks even for the grand prix weekend as stated due to the amount of money Bernie charges to host the event, i was there Friday and yesterday and no one was complaining about the mud, just got on with it.fantastic display of british spirit.

    As for Lewis, if i was him id sign a new contract but only on these tersm

    Whitmarsh is sacked
    No more of this no number 1 driver malarky, he is the number one thats it.
    Bit less emphasis on media/promoting the sponsors or making cartoons and a bit more effort making the car better!!

    Button, ive always had the impression of him that he,s great when everythings going well,when its not, hes not interested

  • Comment number 73.


    Plus whats with the babysitting of Lewis over the radio by his engineers,

    This is getting more and more comical, everything is sugar coated and delicately proposed to the great one.

    "Hi Lewis, your the best! You're doing a great job! If you're feeling upto it now, could you perhaps try and overtake somebody............your doing a great job, your the best!"

  • Comment number 74.

    I still think Webber is seen as the number 2 driver at Red Bull. Lets see what happens if Alonso keeps piling up the points, Red Bull will have to back one or the other and I don't think Mark can expect to be the main man when that happens.

  • Comment number 75.

    Has anyone read Gary Anderson piece re: yesterdays race?

    It's not an article you can comment on directly so I've done it here. It contains the following statement:

    "The alarm bells should be ringing in the situation McLaren are in.

    I think Button's problems are revealing an issue with the car, but because he is better than Hamilton at driving around problems and adapting his style, it is not as obvious with him."

    I'm sorry...?

    I have massive respect for Gary's technical 'nouse' but surely this HAS to be a typo!

  • Comment number 76.

    @25.At 23:03 8th Jul 2012, f1fan01 wrote:
    I'm no Alonso fan but he deserved the win today and he only lost out because of the tyre lottery. He and his team did nothing wrong and only lost out because of the completely random nature of tyre degradation this year.

    F1 is turning into a farce

    Unfortunately, Alonso did make the mistake of not running the right tyres at the right time. Whilst most teams run the softer tyre in the second stint, Alonso decided to leave the soft tyre to the last stint. This is not the first time that Alonso has made the wrong tyre choice and I am sure it won't be the last.

    As for your comment that F1 is turning into a farce - rubbish. Quite the opposite actually. I rather see more than one winner rather than one person dominating!!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    well done to mark webber on beating alonso makes a change from vettel. how dissapointing for the mc claren guys was hoping for a british win. was there 3 years ago and lucky with the weather.

  • Comment number 78.

    Maybe the question should have been: would Vettel now hold off and support Webber for the championship! Answer would have been subject to the same derision ofcourse but as the championship nears the sharp end at some point Redbull may find themselves making a decision to give priority to one of their drivers to attempt to win the champioship. At the mo that perhaps looks more likely to be Webber.

  • Comment number 79.

    sirHellsBells @ 74

    I believe it really depends on how you would define a number 2 driver. Whilst I agree that RedBull (at least Christian Horner and Helmut Marko) would prefer Vettel to win races/the championship, I believe that they wouldn't clearly back one driver over the other if both of them are close on points (at least this season). If Webber was a clear number 2, I don't think he would have been allowed to overtake Vettel on the last lap in China (for instance Massa would never be allowed to do that).

    But that said, yes it would be interesting to see what happens if Red Bull will have to back one or the other as you mentioned.

  • Comment number 80.

    By this season's standards I found the race very dull, and the championship is now looking like a 3-horse race between Alonso and the Red Bulls. Without the Q2 fiasco, it might be a different story. The FIA needs to change the rules on red-flagging qualifying sessions: if a session is red-flagged due to track conditions it should be assumed that no driver would have improved on their times in the remainder of the session had it not been red-flagged, so the positions at the time of the red flag should be carried forward to the next qualifying session (or the race if no more qualifying sessions); if a session is red-flagged to remove a stranded car or debris from the track, then it is right to resume the session because there is a strong possibility that there would have been position changes had it not been red-flagged. Please, FIA, apply some common sense to your rules!

    Maldonado's punishment for taking out Perez was laughable. Usually the punishment is a grid drop in the next race, but all he got was his pocket money taken away this week. His seat is paid for, and I sincerely hope money isn't influencing his punishments.

  • Comment number 81.

    Martin Whitmarsh should be wrong in feeling confident that Lewis Hamilton will sign a new deal, and stating that "He's got to want to stay in this team" smacks of arrogance from a man who has done nothing since taking over as boss of McLaren.

    The team is falling further behind Ferrari and Red Bull, and the likes of Lotus and Mercedes are now putting in better and more consistent races. To watch Grosjean and Schumacher easily overtake Hamilton during that race was pitiful to see, as was viewing Button battle Senna and Hulkenberg for the ninth and tenth positions.

    There is absolutely no consistency in McLaren in 2012, and what was supposedly the fastest car at the beginning of the GP season is now relegated to keeping up with teams in the middle of the pack.

    Whitmarsh needs to go - now.

  • Comment number 82.

    I loathe the term number 2 driver in Formula 1 especially as a certain driver had preferential treatment for his 7 F1 crowns and surrely another German shouldn't be given the same bias!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    49. At 00:31 9th Jul 2012, Rach1985

    Shades of 1986 and Nigel Mansell with his exploding rear tyre at the Australian GP at Adelaide denying him the title.

  • Comment number 84.

    Takes more than 'preferential treatment' to win 7 WDC I'm afraid.

    I still think that when it comes to the crunch Red Bull will favour Vettel, who without his retirement in the last GP would be ahead of Webber. I think it will be a problem in the future for the team if they don't have one driver pulling well clear of the other. Webber might need to keep his nose in front long enough to force Horner's hand, but with the Ferrari pre-contract rumours refusing to go away I can't see them wanting to upset Sebastian any time soon, he is the long-term bet in comparison to Mark.

    I may be proved wrong but I don't see Vettel fighting for his teammate if he is asked to.

  • Comment number 85.

    Alun Rees @ 82

    a certain driver had preferential treatment for his 7 F1 crowns and surrely another German shouldn't be given the same bias!!!
    Yet a certain Spaniard, widely regarded as the best of the current lot, should ?

  • Comment number 86.

    59. At 01:15 9th Jul 2012, Funky

    And I thought the F1 Forum this week was particularly lightweight, shabby and self-indulgent, with Jake Humphrey (no S in my name!) under the illusion that he was some kind of rock star, rather than an ex-CBBC presenter!

  • Comment number 87.

    it was justice that alonso didnt win qualifying was clearly fixed to help ferrari however i do feel alonso will win the title at a canter red bull showed in 2010 that they cant deal with tight competition in the team and will do anything to help vettel mcclaren are off the pace lotus continually make the mistake of dragging out stints too long which sacrifices track position while mercedes spent all winter perfecting a fake qualifying device rather than designing a quick race car-its fernandos to lose

    btw ben edwards is an awful commentator

  • Comment number 88.

    @84 This is where the FIA was wrong to remove the policy on giving drivers preferential treatment or team orders. McLaren do not use team orders for LH and JB, so why should SV be giving that treatment? Oh I get it because he is double World Champion!!! Sarcasm aside, SV needs to earn his third World title like everyone else. MW has out performed Webber in every race bar one, but alas an alternator burn out prevented SV from winning that race.

  • Comment number 89.

    Has anyone read Gary Anderson piece re: yesterdays race?

    It's not an article you can comment on directly so I've done it here. It contains the following statement:

    "The alarm bells should be ringing in the situation McLaren are in.

    I think Button's problems are revealing an issue with the car, but because he is better than Hamilton at driving around problems and adapting his style, it is not as obvious with him

    well it looks like i was right... hamilton setup was for rain weather button more for a dry track... thats the reason why button was faster than lewis in the race...
    this is getting very worrying for button that he cant even beat lewis with a better balanced car

  • Comment number 90.

    Good to see Mark Webber win his 'home' GP - he lives just up the road. Has done for many many years.

    Hamilton and Button live far, far away.

    Taxing race, can't wait for Germany.

  • Comment number 91.

    "He's got to want to stay in this team" smacks of arrogance from a man who has done nothing since taking over as boss of McLaren.

    all f1 bosses are arrogant hes not impressing anyone out there with his smug face...

  • Comment number 92.

    @85 Did I mention a certain spaniard getting preferential treatment? Um no!!!!!!

    As far as I am aware, Massa has not performed in his car since his unfortunate accident. It is well documanted that Mssa was told to improve and so far he has, but is still lacking behind Alonso.

  • Comment number 93.

    Great race by webber ... Hope he wins the WDC.

    What about Kobayashis "banzai" pit, errr, stop .... Blimey. You'd need serious danger money to work in that crew ... Did he forget where the brake pedal was?

  • Comment number 94.

    Has Gary been on the booze? I can't get my head around Gary making the statement "I think Button's problems are revealing an issue with the car, but because he is better than Hamilton at driving around problems and adapting his style, it is not as obvious with him"

    Tell me this is a just typo or has Gary been spending too much time with Benson and EJ.

    And a message to Jake, we all know Jenson won in Australia and there's no need to constantly work a mention of it into every time you talk about McLaren as if that's going to change anyone's opinion of how hes currently driving.

  • Comment number 95.

    @83 Yeah Mansell's tyre blowing was pure drama. If this title is decided on someone's tyres going off to me that isn't drama. I don't like the fact that this season is becoming so unpredictable that its predictable. You know that in each race someone's tyres are going to go off you just don't know who's. I just wish the tyres were a little more durable so that drivers can push and drive fast, not after 1 lap go into tyre conservation mode.

  • Comment number 96.

    61. 01:28 9th Jul 2012, Ragnarokkr

    I understand completely what you're saying and the points you made in 53 and 61. Factors beyond a driver's control (or any other sportperson for that matter) will always be part and parcel of F1 and every other sport, gearbox failure, punctures, etc. They're always going to happen. In terms of the current tyre situation, I am equally critical of the tyres if any driver (outside my favourites) falls foul of them. And fair enough, as it stands the tyres are the same for every driver so they need to learn to cope with them. But I still think they need to be more durable because there are so many talented F1 drivers on the grid now (including 6 word champions) and would love to see them push it each other harder during races.

  • Comment number 97.

    @95 I agree, I don't understand why the pundits find it exciting (or fair) that races are being decided due to random unpredictable factors rather than pure driving skill alone.

    I would have expected the ex-drivers and pundits to hate this and the fans to love it but it seems to be largely the other way around.

    The proof that something is wrong with F1 for me is when I read comments talking about it being unwise for Lewis to race too hard against Alonso.

    IMHO we need rules that encourage the drivers to put on a show and push and race as hard as possible for every lap.

  • Comment number 98.

    Sorry meant, 6 world champions!

  • Comment number 99.

    The proof that something is wrong with F1 for me is when I read comments talking about it being unwise for Lewis to race too hard against Alonso.

    It would be fine to race against Alonso if it benefitted his race. He was a full pit stop behind and on 20 lap old tyres. He was racing against Schu, Raik and others and sliding around for a lap pointlessly keeping Alonso at bay cost him track position and possibly world championship points.

    If Lewis had lost a couple of seconds at a pit stop you would highlight this as destroying his race. When Lewis similarly impairs his own chances you don't see it but want the regulations re written. Open your eyes

  • Comment number 100.

    @97 yeah I agree totally and it doesn't surprise me that Michael is the only driver that has come out against them. I think every driver hates them, but a lot of drivers are scared of the fact that if they say something slightly bad the sponsors won't be happy. And you can't go annoying sponsors. Whereas Michael has that much pull he can say pretty much what he pleases. I wish we could have some more honest opinions from the drivers about these tyres. And again I am not blaming Pirelli they are doing what was asked of them.
    Also I think Martin Brundle did say after Spain tht he agreed with Michael and that sometimes unpredictable becomes predicatable.
    Drama is when something happens unexpectedly, this is just like oh Alonso's or Hamiltons or Webbers tyres have gone, it's a matter of when not if.


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