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Ted Kravitz - the German GP from the pit lane

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F1 Mole | 12:24 UK time, Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Brawn

Rubens Barrichello caused a bit of a storm when he blamed his team for messing up his race, but I've been through the race lap times and done the numbers on this, and the Brazilian has his good friend and countryman Felipe Massa to blame for missing out on second place.

Barrichello came out of his first stop behind Massa, whose soft tyres had gone. In the 10 laps Rubens was stuck there, he never bettered a one minute 37.2 seconds lap. His target time was a 1.34.7 - Barrichello was losing two and a half seconds per lap!

In total, 25 seconds were lost in the second stint. After his third stop, Rubens was 15 seconds behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and 10 behind Massa. So even allowing for some time lost through tyre graining Barrichello would have finished second behind Webber, if only he'd been able to get past the Ferrari in those 10 laps.

Barrichello's outburst aside, the most startling message coming out of Brawn was their acknowledged fear of now potentially losing both championships.

Ross Brawn's statement that they now have to respond "or we'll throw the championship away" will have focused minds at the factory.

The big question is: can they respond? One rival technical director I spoke to played down the potential effect of the recent departure of chief designer Jorg Zander - if he had been crucial to the team's future, my man said, Brawn would have made sure he stayed.

Apparently, the real talent behind the BGP 001 is a guy lower down the seniority ladder in the aerodynamic department. This chap has been identified by the other teams as one to keep an eye on, so I'm told, but you can be sure Ross Brawn will be protecting his assets.

So Brawn have good people and it would be foolish to write them off just yet. They started the year with the most developed car of them all, and they have a Mk III version of the double diffuser coming for Hungary, together with a new rear wing and new bodywork, so they should still be in the hunt.

How they respond now will in many ways define their future potential: Are the Brawn team a consistent championship contending team to be reckoned with going forward, or just a single-season one-off?


Red Bull

Red Bull might be dominating F1 since they introduced their upgrade package at the British Grand Prix, but their car has an interesting Achilles Heel. It seems to be a problem with the electronics shutting the car down when there is an impact from a bump or a kerb.

When Mark Webber's lap times fell off the pace once his lead in Germany was secure, it was because he had received an instruction from the team not to bang the car over the kerbs, thus minimising the risk of this problem recurring. Vettel received a similar instruction when in the lead at Silverstone.

We saw this in action in Friday practice: Vettel hit the bump in the braking zone for Turn One, and the engine cut out. When the car was recovered to the garage, the engineers focused attention on the connectors housed at the bottom of the right hand sidepod.

Mechanics took a photo of whatever part had gone wrong or become disconnected and sent it back to the factory to show people responsible what happened. It was a quick fix to sort it out and Vettel was able to rejoin the session.

It is something to be fixed before Hungary, where a lot of lap time comes from effective use of the kerbs.

After the race in Germany, team principal Christian Horner was keen to talk about just how much Webber's broken leg had threatened his whole F1 career (having said all season that it was fine, wasn't a problem, etc).

Mark Webber relaxes after his win in Germany

The right leg might only operate the accelerator, but what Webber was really worried about over the winter was whether his leg, foot and ankle would still have the feel and sensitivity required to make miniscule adjustments to the pedal.

There's still a titanium rod in Mark's leg, as happens with a compound fracture, but the victory proved beyond doubt that the Australian is getting back to his best.

One more thing: Have you noticed how Mark Webber really builds up a thirst after a long drive? In the drivers press conference after the race he got through nearly a whole jug of that orange isotonic drink they leave out. Vettel had half a glass and Massa didn't touch the stuff. Watch out for it at the next race - Mark loves that stuff!


Ferrari

Incredibly, Germany saw Felipe Massa's first podium of the season, which promoted him into the 'best non-Brawn or Red Bull driver' spot in the championship.

Amongst the usual race-specific set-up work, Ferrari spent Friday practice testing a nosecone for their 2010 car.

It looks identical to the Red Bull nose concept, with scalloped mid-section and high edges, but I was amazed that they had already designed and made next year's nose section and were testing it mid-way through the 2009 season.

Since there is no in-season testing, Fridays are the teams' only chance to track test this kind of stuff. Ferrari are clearly looking to "do a Honda", and spend all their present energies designing and wind-tunnel testing next year's car - a decision that led to the early dominance of Brawn this season.

In the era of teams' cost saving and redundancies, Ferrari have managed to employ two more people to take part in a pit stop.

They are slot-gap cleaners - mechanics who run a thin cleaning strip between the front wing flap and the main plane to make sure there isn't any debris in the gap.

Ferrari wouldn't be doing this just for fun, so they must have had an incident earlier in the season when a piece of rubber or rubbish became lodged in the front wing gap and ruined the car's front aero. Another illustration of just how sensitive this year's cars are to dirty air.

McLaren

The paddock jungle drums had it that McLaren felt bad that they had failed so spectacularly to provide both their drivers with a decent car this season, that they would offer Heikki Kovalainen a new contract for next year by way of apology.

I asked team boss Martin Whitmarsh if this was true on Saturday evening, and he said no, the car had nothing to do with it.

Indeed, while acknowledging Kovalainen's strengths as a fast driver and a thoroughly good bloke, Whitmarsh did point out that Heikki hadn't enjoyed the results that either he or McLaren would have liked recently (although a point in Germany was a good result).

Kovalainen's management are currently in discussion with Whitmarsh over what happens next year.

Comments

  • 1. At 1:34pm on 15 Jul 2009, Pasinho wrote:

    Give Kovalainen the same car and the same qualifying set up (amount of fuel) as Hamilton, and he'll get the same results, barring any bad luck, as he is equally good - if not more reliable - driver as last year's lucky champion. Just keep an eye on qualifying times AND fuel amounts and you'll all have to agree.

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  • 2. At 2:16pm on 15 Jul 2009, JD wrote:

    With the Barrichello issue I think it was the fuel rig problem which put him behind Massa? Which could be down to the team or the rig itself. Did they offer any explaination of why the rig failed to engage?

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  • 3. At 2:28pm on 15 Jul 2009, ant_davids_son1 wrote:

    ppl752
    Yes Heikki was just as quick as hamilton last year hence why he finished 7th in the drivers championship with the same car as lewis.
    neither did heikki match him nor was he able to act as a rear gunner for lewis and doesnt deserve a top drive for next year!!!!

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  • 4. At 3:02pm on 15 Jul 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    ppl752 I have to laugh at the comment you made!

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  • 5. At 3:14pm on 15 Jul 2009, willygffc wrote:

    What complete tosh to even suggest that Hokky Kokky Lainen is in the same driving category at Lewis Hamilton or any of the top drivers for that matter. He has consistently proven that he doesn't deserve to be in a top set, in fact maybe not in the Formula at all! He badly let Lewis down last season and spent most of this moaning.

    Adrian Suttil will get the second McLaren seat next year, mark my words.

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  • 6. At 3:15pm on 15 Jul 2009, Road_of_Bones wrote:

    jeffdavis - I think the fuel rig problem was at RB's second stop, when the damage had already been done behind Massa (suprised you missed the fuel rig problem during the race Ted!)

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  • 7. At 3:22pm on 15 Jul 2009, mosque6 wrote:

    Brawn GP should explain why they put RB in for the 3rd stop before JB. RB was in front, and should have the advantage of the "better" strategy. Was it due to the fuel rig problem? Or have they just decided to maximize JB's point tally?

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  • 8. At 4:10pm on 15 Jul 2009, Canadacharles wrote:

    Simple mosque6. Button was much faster that Barrichello at that moment and it made sense to get Ruebens on better tyres and let Button capitilise on his extra speed. Don't forget they had Alonso to worry about, and couldn't afford, as the finish showed, to give him any more chance to catch up.

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  • 9. At 4:36pm on 15 Jul 2009, Blythy wrote:

    ted.... were you reading sniff petrol? re the SQUASH HOG

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  • 10. At 4:48pm on 15 Jul 2009, ulrichtheknight wrote:

    A couple of people have commented that the fuel rig caused an issue for RB, but this was explored during the race coverage and all the experienced F1 analysts said it had no bearing on the result.

    As an aside, ppl752 only wrote what he did to get you all fuming and is now sitting back admiring his handywork. Everyone likes to play the bad boy once in a while.

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  • 11. At 5:12pm on 15 Jul 2009, fastlane99 wrote:

    Barrichello he may be upset about finished behind the Button even thought he was on pole position. I think he knew he can't win that race and they cant match Red Bull. Red Bull's Mark car has almost twice fuel load then his car and faster than Brawn car. The only reasons he can win the race if there have been accident on the lap 8 or 10 but not 100%. So Brawn car will pit as schedule pit stop during under the yellow flag. Brawn knows better his cars pace and he relies on race strategy rather than relies on car and driver. Brwan is very fair guy and he will do his best for both of his drivers. Brawn's car is very slow and can't win in Germany. He can understand why he can't on podium if he watches the race start from finished.

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  • 12. At 6:42pm on 15 Jul 2009, JC_122 wrote:

    In support of Heikki (and ppl752), last year he was clearly there to back up the McLaren star that was Hamilton, and he did his job! You can't look at the results of races where Hamilton was leading because if Heikki had passed then the powers that be at McLaren would probably not have been best pleased. I'm not saying that he's as good as Hamilton, but he does what he has to and he clearly shines when he gets the chance which would fully justify keeping him on!

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  • 13. At 7:17pm on 15 Jul 2009, danny369 wrote:

    That is very true JC_122,

    but i don't think that he's been getting the results that were expected of him when he signed for mclaren. McLaren's aim each year is to obviously win the drivers championship for one of their drivers, but they also want to score as many points as possible in the constructors championship, i think that they'll take a look at how heikki has performed for them and make the decision to keep him and (no offence to heikki here) maybe lose out on valuble constructors points or get a new driver in such as adrian sutil (who's the firm favourite to get the drive as im sure your aware) and therefore give the team a bit more than they got from heikki. I know that heikki is extremely reliable to Mclaren and he gets on very well with the team, but i just think that mclaren will think about the business side to formula 1 and think about the money from the constructors championship to build a better car next year.

    But, if heikki does get the seat next year, i wish all the luck i have for him and lewis to do well with each race next year!

    feel free to argue with me anyone! i'm happy to listen :)

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  • 14. At 7:23pm on 15 Jul 2009, DerryColmcille wrote:

    I have read that the German GP is under threat due to spiralling costs, Ecclestone needs to compromise with the circuit owners over the cost of staging a gp. Otherwise all the traditional circuits and the annual gp's held at them are going to be lost. The removal of these circuits will not benefit the sport, where Bernie Ecclestone is concerned it is a case of who has the deepest pockets/biggest bank balance, no odds about formula 1,the teams or the fans.
    Max Mosley has finally stated he will not stand for re-election, but he has contacted the various organisations touting for support for Jean Todt as the next president of the FIA. He is noninating who he wants to suceed him in order to ensure the changes he wants in place are carried out in his absence.
    Jean Todt as president of the FIA would be a mistake, as he would be carrying on Mosleys policies and ensuring the dispute concerning formula 1 and other areas of motorsport would continue, thus damaging motorsport in general as well as the world govering authority.

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  • 15. At 7:36pm on 15 Jul 2009, Hedge wrote:


    Nice report Ted.
    Rubens has another reason for 'disappointment' if you ask me, and that's his performance.
    After out qualifying and getting a better start than his team mate for the second race in a row, he then just seems to lose pace and urgency after the first few laps.
    Remember Barcelona? Rubens just couldn't understand how he lost the race!
    And the last race at Silverstone, after being about half a minute behind him, Jenson had virtually caught him by the end of the race. Also, several other drivers were complaining about 'being stuck behind Rubens' at some point.
    I think that Rubens should look at his own performance as much as the teams.

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  • 16. At 7:37pm on 15 Jul 2009, 808 wrote:

    I think Brawn had the tyres all wrong this weekend, it was much hotter at the beginning of the race, and they could have maybe got equally good pace on the harder tyres with less graining. By the time they made the switch of compounds the track temperatures had fallen, and the right call would have been for the softer. It was Alonso who clocked fastest lap on the harder tyres at this time. Just makes me think Barrichello knew the strategy was wrong. I was really hoping they would have switched to harder tyres and higher fuel for the 1st stop.

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  • 17. At 7:44pm on 15 Jul 2009, seisteve wrote:

    Ted, cool review as always...

    Unfortunately however I cannot say the same about the ourburst by Barrichello after the race... his comments they are not exactly supportive of the team. Consider the year Lewis as had and you may well see a frustrated driver but a proffessional one that didn't blamed the team just the car and their current situation.

    If something does happen to the Brawn Brazilian next race then maybe it is the team responding... to the insults he laid on them this weekend.

    The guy currently has an awesome car and should show some respect to the boys that gave it to him.

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  • 18. At 8:21pm on 15 Jul 2009, The Imperative Voice wrote:

    Given that many of the races this year (save the rainy ones) have been processions with little passing, I back Barichello on this one. He started second and Webber even got the drive-through penalty. It's the team's job to keep him up top at that point. After all, what generally happens is that people in the pack will combine slow laps in traffic with fast laps out of traffic. Had the race been handled right, he wouldn't have even been in the traffic.

    That is to say, if people are having trouble passing this year, isn't focus on lap times a little misleading? What tends to happen is you go fast until you get stuck behind a heavier or slower car and then the times go back down while you wait for them to either pit or mess up.

    They had to pass him somehow, and the stops strategy provided the chance. Otherwise the only people who could pass him are wild-eyed drivers like Alonso.

    Plus, Button and Barrichello finished right next to each other overall. It's hard to blame the driver when the team finishes together.

    It also bears noting that there was that race earlier in the year where he was basically instructed not to pass a slower Button for Button's purposes. Which set off the first Barrichello fit this year. And then when he is ahead they botch the pitstops. Even if it's not perfectly rational you can see why a decent driver would be upset, and specifically with how the team is supporting him.

    Some of this may basically amount to an advertisement for his services next year, a neon sign that he is discontented and believes he can be an elite driver with the right team. Cause I believe he is on a one-year deal, right?

    Additionally, his complaint was that they tossed away points -- not that they should have won the race -- and I think he said he should have finished third. Brawn has focused on the lap times to get their own venting done, but I think it's not quite fair when he could have been all alone up front in faster air.

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  • 19. At 9:48pm on 15 Jul 2009, CanuckF1Fan wrote:

    I don't think Rubens can complain too much about the team's handling of the race when it was his poor start that put him back in the pack to begin with. When you start 2nd and finish 6th, either you had a really bad pit stop, got caught in some incident, or you didn't drive as fast as at least 4 other cars behind you.
    As for bringing him in early for the last stop, maybe the fuel rig problem meant he didn't get as much fuel as he needed to go the extra 2 laps to come in after Jenson. Maybe 3-stopping wasn't the correct strategy, but it was the one that he agreed to before the race, so don't blame the team. And also don't blame the team for not switching strategies mid-race because it was the fuel rig problem that probably prevented that. And why is it that Rubens always want to switch strategies mid-race?
    We already have enough whingers in F1 **cough** Bourdais **cough** so keep your gob shut Rubens or you will REALLY have a reason to complain next year!!!

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  • 20. At 08:50am on 16 Jul 2009, youshallnotpass wrote:

    I think Rubens has Ferrari Syndrome, that inexplicable feeling that the other driver is getting more support from the team than you are. Naturally no team is going to do that this early into a season, and many, (such as Williams) claim not to do that at all, (although I accept there must have been instances.) I just get the impression with Rubens that he feels as though he is running out of time and that this car is his best chance of clinching a world title before he retires. As such he is putting more pressure on himself this year than perhaps he has ever done before. I think he still has the skill to perform well, the problem he has is that Jenson is a slightly better driver and has the same good car. As the season progresses if Rubens can stay in the mix I wouldn't mind betting that there will be more incidences with Rubinho than this. I expect Ross Brawn will continue to monitor the situation very closely.

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  • 21. At 08:53am on 16 Jul 2009, swrcsky wrote:

    I would generally agree with you danny369.
    Even though I am not a fan of him, I think Heikki should keep his McLaren seat. Sure he has been underwhelming at times this year but then again you could say that for quite a few of the 'supposed' top drivers in F1. If anything he's a good number 2 in that he does't pose a major threat to Hamilton...

    Would Sutil be a better number 2 for Hamilton? If he was consistenly beating Fisichella race in race out I would have said yes

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  • 22. At 1:25pm on 16 Jul 2009, Pasinho wrote:

    3 - ant_davids_son1 - Yes, Heikki was as fast as Hamilton. Do the maths on weight adjusted qualifying times. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. Hamilton was always - except once, if my memory is correct - on a lower fuel load in qualifying last year. It's pretty easy to beat your team mate in qualifying on a lighter car. And if you are in front of your team mate in qualifying, chances are that you'll beat him in the race too. Also, Hamilton gets new parts to the car first, which gives him an unfair advantage (not that Heikki is moaning, despite someone so claiming). Finally, Hamilton had much more luck than Heikki in terms of car reliabilty and race accidents that were not his fault.

    Remind me, why did Alonso leave McLaren? Kovalainen would do well to look for another team too, lest he wants to become like the wasted talent that is Barrichello.

    Hamilton = a good, but over rated Rooney of a F1 driver.

    10 - ulrichtheknight - you are partly right, but I stand by my comments.

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  • 23. At 1:26pm on 16 Jul 2009, brgf1nutter wrote:

    When will Force India get their first points? I expected them to do it on Sunday, but I hadn't counted on another coming together with Kimi 'The Ice Cream Man' Raikkonen. I don't think that Kimi has any motivation these days, Felipe is getting the job done, the Ferrari is showing some improvement, but Kimi's just not with it any more in F1. Perhaps he'll find World Rally Championship more to his taste, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that he's bottling it.

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  • 24. At 08:03am on 17 Jul 2009, gabilau wrote:

    So many people harp on about how great Hamilton is but I think he's a liability. He ploughed in to the first corner in Germany so fast he had absolutely no chance of keeping it on the track (and it's not the first time) and he just relies on everyone else getting out of his way. I think he was very lucky not to have affected Mark Webber when he touched him on Sunday and he deserved to finish at the back. He might be fast but he's an idiot.

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  • 25. At 10:02am on 17 Jul 2009, Dawsonsalwaysright wrote:

    Dear Mr Brawn - Note to self - 3 stop strategy - NO, NO, NO.....NO!
    This only works if there are no other cars on the track!

    P.S. Hope you gave Rubens a good dressing down after his disgraceful comments.

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  • 26. At 10:10am on 17 Jul 2009, emmanueljanuary wrote:

    gabilau if you are well informed about F1 you should be knowing that Mark Webber has written and email to Mclaren apologising for bumping into hamilton. Check yourself before you start labelling people as idiots.
    ukeurosportyahoocom16072009/13/webber-apologised-hamilton-bumphtml

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  • 27. At 1:30pm on 17 Jul 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Rubens Barrichello caused a bit of a storm when he blamed his team for messing up his race, but I've been through the race lap times and done the numbers on this, and the Brazilian has his good friend and countryman Felipe Massa to blame for missing out on second place.

    Barrichello came out of his first stop behind Massa, whose soft tyres had gone. In the 10 laps Rubens was stuck there, he never bettered a one minute 37.2 seconds lap. His target time was a 1.34.7 - Barrichello was losing two and a half seconds per lap!
    -
    -----------
    WRONG!

    Rubens has only himself to blame for not beign fast enough to get out ahead of Massa in the frist place, which was the original plan I presume.

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  • 28. At 1:37pm on 17 Jul 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Give Kovalainen the same car and the same qualifying set up (amount of fuel) as Hamilton, and he'll get the same results, barring any bad luck, as he is equally good - if not more reliable - driver as last year's lucky champion. Just keep an eye on qualifying times AND fuel amounts and you'll all have to agree.

    --------

    Qualifying maybe, But in the race Hamilton is streets ahead.

    Give Heikki the same car as Hamilton and see how he does in the next 4-6 races, my bet is 20 seconds a race slower than Hamilton and if that is the case then he needs to be shipped out and the seat given to someone else like Vettel (Ideal but unlikely) or Rosberg.

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  • 29. At 1:40pm on 17 Jul 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Brawn GP should explain why they put RB in for the 3rd stop before JB. RB was in front, and should have the advantage of the "better" strategy. Was it due to the fuel rig problem? Or have they just decided to maximize JB's point tally?

    -------

    Simply put, he was out of fuel!!! The fuel rig problem at the second stop clearly negated the tactic but they did fuel him shorter to try and gain track position at that point.

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  • 30. At 2:49pm on 17 Jul 2009, JC_122 wrote:

    I have to question if McLaren wants someone who is going to race at the same pace as Hamilton... it's always easier to have one driver who is the clear number 1 and one driver that is the clear number 2! Especially as I have no doubt that Hamilton's current contract has been written with a "Schumacher clause" which essentially clearly identifies him as the number 1 driver and the team should behave as such.

    As to the Barrichello issue, he had every right to be upset, he clearly could have ended up in front of Button. Fair enough he might have gone to far in saying the team cost him first place, but the team might have cost him one or two places for sure!

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  • 31. At 3:15pm on 17 Jul 2009, isleofmanironman wrote:

    Heikki isnt in the same league as lewis. Anyone who thinks he is clearly must have something against the "lucky world champion" or maybe bad eyesight. The weight (fuel) each driver takes into Q3 is decided by the driver and his engineer, and heikki does seem to take more (when he actaully makes it into Q3) but that is because he feels it will give him a better chance in the race. The amount of times heikki has legitimately beaten lewis are very rare. As for next year i would like to see mclaren sign vettel and ferrari sign alonso.

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  • 32. At 4:39pm on 17 Jul 2009, gabilau wrote:

    emanueljanuary, you mention Webber apologising for 'bumping' Hamilton - note there was no penalty, unlike the Rubens incident - this would have to be because it wouldn't have happened if Hamilton hadn't been completely off course in the first place due to his unmanageable entry to the corner. He's a liabilty.

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  • 33. At 9:03pm on 18 Jul 2009, LegendaryDaggers wrote:

    Personally, we need to put ourselves in Rubens' shoes. During his career, he has the most race starts so is clearly successful and to play second fiddle for years and years to Michael at Ferrari no less, is no mean achievement. This clearly demonstrates his ability. Then not only at the Nuburgring, but Barcelona also, it appears that he is moved over to let Jenson through at the pit stop, whether true in reality or not. Taking this into acount if I was Rubens I'd be sniffing that lightning has struck twice, trigger visions of the A1 Ring 2002, and I would have made a very similar comment. Maybe in hindsight it is something he should have implied to rather than straight saying and then taken it up with the team, but he came out of the race angry and it all exploded out of his mouth.
    I wouldn't think he'd be too bothered to be shown the door, and with his career coming to a close, he is in grave danger of being one of the most successful drivers to never win the crown he, in my opinion, deserves.

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  • 34. At 1:50pm on 19 Jul 2009, Red Andy wrote:

    hackerjack - "Simply put, he was out of fuel!!! The fuel rig problem at the second stop clearly negated the tactic but they did fuel him shorter to try and gain track position at that point."

    This is false. Rubens' final stop was some 0.5s shorter than Button's - assuming Button pitted when he couldn't have gone any further on his current fuel load, this means that Rubens could have gone two or three laps longer. Brawn brought him in early because they wanted Button to come out ahead.

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  • 35. At 11:39pm on 19 Jul 2009, danny369 wrote:

    This is a very random question but.....

    Does anyone know the name of the song that was used in the intro for the German grand prix qualifying session? (right at the start)

    (by the way its not the Chain by fleetwood Mac!)

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  • 36. At 10:07am on 20 Jul 2009, ant_davids_son1 wrote:

    gabilau

    Hamilton might be an idot in your opinion but at least he gives you some excitement and something to talk about. lets face it people really love him or love to hate him i would argue that that is good for a sport with not alot else going on in it except for politics!!!! which lets face it is pointless

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  • 37. At 10:10am on 20 Jul 2009, ant_davids_son1 wrote:

    ppl752

    yes heikki might be quicker on saturday quali, but last time i checked the race wasn't on saturday and heikki aint a match for lewis then. look at trulli always qualifies well and does nothing on a sunday!!!!

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  • 38. At 11:34am on 20 Jul 2009, Ginger wrote:

    Great blog Ted keep up the good work.

    I am hoping for a good race this w/e from McLaren and both should have the full package for this race. It was a shame that Lewis was tagged but I suppose that he knew that he had to do all that he could at the start and was a little unlucky. At first it seemed that he had done a Fuji again.

    I hope that Brawn pick up the pace and maybe have 4 team after serious points.

    Thanks.

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  • 39. At 1:02pm on 20 Jul 2009, JC_122 wrote:

    Hey Ted - forgot to ask this earlier - but does the fact that the cars are so much more sensitive to dirty air (with regards to the Ferrari front wing) mean that the new rules are doing more harm than good? It takes longer for teams to close the gap, the cars seem to find it hard to overtake, and young drivers can only get experience by firing current drivers, the need to hire a larger crew to deal with keeping the new aero clean, etc - are the benefits worth it?

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  • 40. At 5:36pm on 20 Jul 2009, Pwhen-23 wrote:

    In defence of the 1st corner incident:

    When Hamilton came up to pass Webber, the Red Bull was going to the right, as there is a rule regarding changes of direction, Hamilton may have expected Webber to continue on this course and not change direction and move to the left, touching his right rear and causing a deflation.
    Without the deflation there is no reason to expect that Hamilton would not have made the 1st corner.

    Not Webber's intention of course he was busy recovering from a collision with Barrichello's Brawn at the time.

    Hamilton was not exhibiting any particular brilliance, he made a good start and hit the KERS button to leap frog the non-KERS cars ahead of him.
    In the incident that put him out of the race Hamilton was the innocent party, a notion reflected by Webber's contrition afterwards.

    He was certainly not an idiot on this occasion and it is difficult to see how the current World champion can be seen as a liability.

    I wondered if Barrichello's anger started during the race, when he exited the pits after his prolonged pitstop to find Button's car just in front of him. He had the remaining laps to fume in the car and perhaps thought that the team had orchestrated this outcome.
    He does seem a little sensitive to the "team orders" issue for some "unknown" reason.

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  • 41. At 9:21pm on 20 Jul 2009, danny369 wrote:

    Very good description of the first corner there Pwhen-23!

    I personally believe that hamilton really would have made that first corner and then gone on to take at least 3rd place. I also think that Barrichello's anger probably started after his second stop when he was in the pits for i think it was 11 seconds and went onto the radio to fin dout if he was fueled to the end, it was then that he found out tht he stayed in the pits for longer for no advantage! if the startegy change had worked he wouldve been guaranteed 3rd (as they said in the commentry)
    but this didn't happen and he came just infront of Button. So the team had to giv button the advantage due to his position in the championship and with the red bulls just running away with the grand prix, When Barrichello came out from the pits behind button i wonder if he just felt as if he was starting to become the back up for Button and that it is ferrari all over again! (Pwhen-23), I'm sure you knwo that every single driver who races wants to win a race every single time they're in their car, and when they hav a good car and are enjoying it and winnng probably, they hav to giv up tht place without any say in it themsleves would just make the person just feel down and maybe isolated because the other driver in the team has been given all the luxuries of winning races. (for instance in barcelona when barrichello was clearly quickest out of him and button, he still lost the race somehow!) I might be wrong with what ive just said coz im in a hurry! :P

    Just another thing on the Hamilton situation, this weekend we really will see who is the "quickest" out of the two drivers because they both have the aero package. I can't wait for this weekend!!

    HAMILTON FOR PODIUM!!

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  • 42. At 11:04pm on 21 Jul 2009, Nadaliator wrote:

    Ted.

    So, there were only 8 cars racing last Sunday week?

    I want the intricate details of Alonso's 7th place, the poor (and final) race of Bourdais, the fading hopes of Toyota................

    Renault made huge steps towards a podium finish, why can't we hear about that?

    Please please Mr K, let's have some info on all the teams after Hungary.

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  • 43. At 09:48am on 23 Jul 2009, smifffies wrote:

    @danny369 unfortunately you are wrong Button was a lot quicker than Barichello in the second stint that was how he managed to come out in front of Rubens after he had his third stop, rubens as usual was not as quick as he seems to think he is. I thinks in the past he has been a very competitive driver and if he had not had to play second fiddle to Michael Schumacher then he would possibly in a competitive car have already won a Championship. Unfortunately i do not think he has the speed to consistently win races now in what is likely his last season in Formula 1.
    He may get a seat in one of the new teams but it will be Damon Hill in an Arrows scenario all over again.

    With both Mclaren & Renault making improvements unless he gets his finger out and stops moaning and starts concentrating on winning he will struggle to win another race this year!

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  • 44. At 3:47pm on 23 Jul 2009, David wrote:

    I don't think Rubens can complain too much about the team's handling of the race when it was his poor start that put him back in the pack to begin with.

    ------

    Poor start? The guy beat the pole sitter to the first corner and was leading the race!

    -----
    emanueljanuary, you mention Webber apologising for 'bumping' Hamilton - note there was no penalty, unlike the Rubens incident - this would have to be because it wouldn't have happened if Hamilton hadn't been completely off course in the first place due to his unmanageable entry to the corner. He's a liabilty.
    -----

    I don't think any F1 driver, least of all an Australian F1 driver, would admit liability for something that wasn't their fault.

    Hamilton was faster because of his KERS and he was clearly going to be able to stop for the first corner. The fact that he got round the first corner with a puncture proves that.

    But then I forget that so many people seem to want Hamilton to fail. I don't understand why at all. He's British and he's fast, what's with the hatred?

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  • 45. At 7:55pm on 23 Jul 2009, FastBBBB wrote:

    I haven't read any of the comments apart from the one above (kermitbantam)and too my understanding we've all been saying bad things about Hamilton. We all had a chance at some point to do it so why didn't we. Stop being jealous and report the positives. Kovy=good driver Hamilton=good driver every other driver=good driver. My father said that even if you don't win, you're still in the top 20 'drivers' (I'm slightly changing the analogy), which means you are the best of the best of the best of the best of best etc. and if you win, you're the best at everything. If anyone here won a karting race then that means they are the best of the best as you needed to have been entered into it which means you have to be good.

    wake up...

    Barrichello is very fast, same as Button the problem is that that is there average. Barrichello copes better with a bad car than Button and Barrichello is extremely fast when he has the right car in his sweet spot (like Button)

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