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Your questions answered - week 12

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Murray Walker | 12:49 UK time, Friday, 2 October 2009

Were the "crashgate" penalties too harsh? Why are the fuel hoses always causing problems at Singapore? Will McLaren and Ferrari dominate next season with no new regulations? Would F1 be stronger with the reintroduction of in-season testing? And should certain circuits be used that allow more overtaking? Watch my answers to these questions below...

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  • Comment number 1.

    Great feature as ever, Murray! On overtaking, I was wondering whether you thought it was more important to make the cars as good as possible within safety limits, or make them as competitive and driver-oriented as possible without turning F1 into a specification series?

  • Comment number 2.

    In this video Murray you talk about overtaking and I know that there has never been an awful lot but I think there is less now that their used to be. Surely we have to put the driver back in charge in order to increase over taking? Do you think that they should go back to manual gear boxes? We used to see a lot of overtaking when drivers missed a gear etc. and driving the car required a lot of skill when manual gear changes were around?

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Murray,
    Your views on the renault-gate saga were spot on, and Piquet Jnr should have been punished. However, I do believe he'll be forever damned in that no-one in Formula 1 will ever give him a race seat again.
    Having watched the many classic GP on the website, it's intriguing to be reminded that before the days of re-fuelling, there seemed to be more overtaking as tyre issues and the balance of car v. fuel came into play during the race. I know you're a supporter of the strategies on refuelling but it'll be interesting to see how this generation of drivers have to deal with full tanks.

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Murray, thanks for another great video!
    I think that the budget cut might be a bad will bring the cars closer together in performance, but surely that will make it harder to overtake? What do you think?

  • Comment number 5.

    You hear a lot of fans complaining about the lack of overtaking in F1 but I think you're right Murray, also thanks to the lack of overtaking it's even more impressive when you see a great move.

    If you want to see overtaking you can always watch Nascar or BTCC or lower formulas of single seaters, I think the reason these tend to get more overtaking apart from the aero is that the drivers aren't so good, so there's more scope for one driver to be better than another in a particular sector, whereas F1 drivers are so rediculously consistant unless they make a mistake the guy behind cant get close enough.

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks for answering my Question, Murray, it means a lot :P

  • Comment number 7.

    Gotta love Murray!!! You are still missed on the race commentary- what a legend!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Can someone explain a differential that appears to have occurred?
    Last week Hamilton after Friday practice had a problem allegedly with the KERS system and changed the vehicle chassis, no comments or explanation were given. (He went on to win-with a new chassis after 'testing')(?).
    This week Webber and Glock have been penalised to start from the pit lane ,
    "after swapping chassis". Why the difference and what is it??
    Thanks. Stilmore.

  • Comment number 9.

    Quick question, on the top of the Brawn helmets there are three zaged stripes accross the top. Is this purely design or something else? Its just i noticed a few other motorsport personalities have the same and wondered if it was a sponsor or something. Much appreciated.

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi everyone. I'm Roy Calley, the editor who films Murray's pieces with him. We'd really like you to send in questions for Murray about the Japanese Grand Prix - and there's lots to talk about: Vettel's win, Button edging towards the title, a host of crashes, the Suzuka track, plenty of penalties or any number of other talking points...

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Murray,

    Did you expect Lewis to do so well at Suzuka?


  • Comment number 12.

    DO you think Button can rap it up?

    He only has to finish in fifth if Barrichello is 2nd and Vettel's 1st.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Murray,

    Do you think Lewis Hamilton could of won the world championship this season, as he has made several mistakes over the course of the season (Monaco qualifying, German GP 1st lap, Monza and the DQ in Australia) and with those points would of been alot closer to the Brawn's by the end of the season? Personally I beleive (very much like Senna) he needs more time to reach his full potential and maximise his talent, but is certainly the most talented driver Britian has produced since Jim Clark.

    Thanks (for so many memories)


  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Murray,

    Can you give me your thoughts on why Toyota/ Trulli did so much better this weekend in Japan than other circuits, is it that the circuit suits the car or is it because they are in Japan and everybody is that much more focussed within the Toyota team ?

    Hope all is well with you,

    With kind regards,

    Positive climb

  • Comment number 15.

    Do you think that next year the ferrari mclaren dominence will resume ?

  • Comment number 16.

    I think perhaps to improve overtaking F1 should look back over some of the races from the past, where there was a lot of overtaking and understand why this was possible on these occasions.

    The most outstanding example of this I can think of is Mansell's win in Hungary in 1989, where he started well down the field and came through to win on one of the most notoriously hard tracks to overtake on.

    Aerodynamics were quite minimal in those days compared to now. Manual gear shifts with no paddles, so it was common to make mistakes changing gear during the race. I'm sure there are other factors as well.

    What are other people's thoughts on this?

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Murray,

    My question is, why wasn't even anybody concerned about the incident between Adrian Sutil and Heikki Kovalainen, coz i felt that Adrian was on a perfect line and Hekki did not seem to have any intention of turning at that corner, this might be called a racing incident, but, the stewards have been very stern about these incidents, for eg., Mark Webber and Alonoso at Singapore. I know they are very different, but, at the core of both was driver intention to make a move and if Webber was penalised than I feel some action should be even taken against Heikki. I really felt that the Adrian and Heikki incident should have been taken into consideration by the stewards. What are your comments on the incidents and what do you feel about the scrutiny process of stewards?

    Thank you.


  • Comment number 18.

    Was it really right to penalise 5 people for "ignoring" the yellow flags, if otherwise they wouldn't have set a lap time at all?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Murray,

    Are there too many low quality drivers in F1, with the likes of Nakajima and all the rookies who are just slow and crash a lot, disrupting the title contenders during qualifying like we saw this weekend.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Murray,

    Are we likely to see Nakajima at Toyota next year, if he is only at Williams because of Toyota, why don't Toyota make him one of their drivers?


  • Comment number 21.

    Do you think Jenson Button will clinch the title in Brazil or do you think it will go right down to the final race?

    And also.. Do you think it is right for Ross Brawn to let Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello fight it out for the title or should he order Rubens to hand over any position in the last 2 races to Jenson Button because of Jenson's points advantage?

  • Comment number 22.

    who is your money on now for the championship, remembering Rubens home gp is next?

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Murray,

    How important is it for drivers to observe safety car speeds these days, especially on circuits such as Singapore and Monaco?

    Love the coverage, keep it up!

  • Comment number 24.

    hi Murray
    why do you think button has been struggling recently in qualifying and do you think vettels drive to victory was one of the best drives of the season
    kind regards

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Murray,
    Does Suzuka need to improve its safety after a series of big accidents this weekend? Or is it just a case of a "green" track surface and drivers getting over-confident because they're used to massive run off areas?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi Murray,

    It is true that, so far, every driver that has won the first six races of a season has gone on to win the world championship


  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Murray,

    Have you ever seen such a disrupted qualifying hour as Suzuka this year before and what effect would this have had on the drivers?

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi Murray

    I have a question regarding the 'crashgate' saga. I have read several articles which suggest Massa would have been world champion last year if it were not for Nelson Piquet's crash in the Singapore race. The articles never seem to explain what this claim is based upon. My memory of the race was that Massa lost out because he left his pit too early, dragging the fuel hose with him down the length of the pit lane. What has this got to do with Nelson Piquet?

  • Comment number 29.

    Do you think that ultimately the five place grid-penalties was carried out is completely farcicial? Not only does it create a precedent which says that getting through to Q3 by ignoring waved yellows in Q2 could lead to a situation that is advantageous (Brawns would have qualified between 11 and 13 whereas Kubica appears to have adhered to the rules and was KO'ed), we've also got the situation where a one driver could commit an offence first, and as long as enough people following behind commit it as well a five-place penalty could move you up the grid?

  • Comment number 30.

    after the ending of last years championship whereby massa actaully won the race but lewis won the championship, the fia changed the rules to be the driver with the most wins to actually get the crown of f1 champ. since jenson has still the highest total of actual wins, why hasnt he been given the crown?

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Murray,

    If Button wins the title, do you think his championship will be devalued due to the way the season is ending?

  • Comment number 32.

    After Rosberg was deemed to have returned to the pits too fast under safety car conditions, he was let off on the grounds that he returned to the pits at a "safe speed". Does that mean the rules are only a guideline under some circumstances and that they are cast in stone at others (eg. with the yellow flag situation in Q2) or are the rules only enforced if it will keep the championship open for longer?

  • Comment number 33.

    Wow, have only just found this on the F1 site, didn't even realise Murray walker was doing this sort of thing. Excellent insights into the mind of a man that clearly understands the sport he loves.

    My question to Murray would be,

    Was it the right decision to put a 19 year old into the Torro Rosso Formula One car, considering the events of today's race?

    Ironically Jaime Alguersuari's crash did make those last 4 laps incredibly tense and exciting, I was on the edge of my seat with the fight between Barrichello, Button and Kubica.

  • Comment number 34.

    Another Renault "crashgate" Question. Why has Alonso been allowed to keep the race? His win was purely down to his team cheating, So surely he must be disqualified? I have heard some points of view saying "The race should be void" (Mainly from Massa supporters) but while i think that would not be the right thing to do, I do find it strange that someone who has gained from cheating should not be punished.

  • Comment number 35.

    How can Nico Rosberg be found to be speeding under the safety car conditions and get away with not being punished? Surely this is just another sign of the stewards (and by association the FIA and Bernie) jiggling the results to their favour.

  • Comment number 36.

    Looking to next year, do you think that Donington will get their act together in time and be in a position to host the British GP or do you think Silverstone will be the venue in 2010? I understand a decision would be made this weekend but I can't find any information!

  • Comment number 37.

    Safety Cars...previously the snake used to fall in behind the safety car, "in order", this seems to have changed and is causing some upsets in the finishing orders. Whay and when was it changed?

    The FIA ssues race licences, I had one, and it always needed to progress through, Club, National, Restricted. International and on to the F1 super licence, whay do we get so many rookies now, with little or no F1 experince to screw up the tracks and cars, its not really fair to those more experienced on the tracks to have to cater fo these guys as well. there should be some sort of probationary scene for them prior to entering F1, GP2 is not really enough.
    thanks. Stilmore.

  • Comment number 38.

    In wake of the rumours linking Rosberg to either Maclaren or Brawn GP, and Nakajima seemingly surplus to requirement now that Williams will no longer use Toyota engines next season, my question is...

    Why do engine suppliers own and/or have so much power over teams to dictate driver line-ups?

  • Comment number 39.


    Yeah I was wondering why Grosjean and Webber didn't unlap themselves under the safety car. I assume this is one of the changes, putting really slow (lapped) cars into the middle of fights for position and points is surely a recipe for more accidents.

    As for rookies, I think its the testing ban that is aggravating the situation. Why not give rookie drivers a 'learning day' where they have to do a certain number of laps, practice starts, pit stops?

  • Comment number 40.

    Dear Murray
    Do you have any idea why, when the safety car is about to come in, so many drivers seem to hold back, allowing the leader a free sprint as soon as he crosses the line. I would have thought the second place man would sit about a metre behind the front wheel of the leader - alongside him but just not passing him[or at least say 1 metre behind the leader]so that he could have a pretty good chance of overtaking. Everyone seems surprised when the leader dashes off!
    Don't they concentrate - it certainly doesn't look like it!

  • Comment number 41.

    Hi Murray,
    Do you think there are too many/too few races in the F1 calender,and what would be your ideal number?

  • Comment number 42.

    Hello Murray
    I was wondering when you think we will have another Grand Prix in Africa? If so, which country do you think would put on the best show?

    Also, I think we have had some very tactically interesting races this year and qualifying has been better than ever. However, I can't help thinking that we've been lacking some truly great races like we had last year, why do you think this is?

    Thanks Murray!

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi Murray

    Thinking about 2010 and beyond, is it unrealistic to consider Fernando Alonso 'emulating' Michael Schumacher or will his move to the Scuderia be fruitless?

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear Murray,

    Do you think Alonso's move to Ferrari will re-ignite the great racing rivalries in Formula 1?

  • Comment number 45.

    Dear Murray,

    Kovalainen and Sutil have blamed each other for their tangle on lap 13. What is your view on who was to blame?

  • Comment number 46.


    Is it right for the Stewards to strike a positive note for safety by issuing 5 penalties for ignoring the yellow-flag during quali, and yet ignore a seemingly blatant issue during the race?

  • Comment number 47.

    Years ago the drivers had several races on the same day, with different formulae and sports cars, nowadays they just have the one race and are so psyched up for that, added to the fact that they travel the world on varying time zones that can play havoc with the body clocks and mental stresses, having said that they are professionals, but many more races would screw them up completely.
    Another aspect is that Bernie Ecclestone controls the whole thing and whilst the BBC (at present) pays big money the timing is all important to get the programmes to our screens at convenient times, albeit with computer generated openers instead of nice shots of the locality. At least we don't have adverts that wipe out several laps at a crucial period in the race, although it did give a break to make a cuppa!

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Murray Walker my name is peter jarai
    I wood just like to ask if you have seen the new hungarian race track
    at balaton ring in sávoly near balaton airport.
    This is going to be for motogp racing and mybe f1 well that is a other story.
    just visit google and put in balatonring
    from peter jarai

  • Comment number 49.

    Great Vid Murray.

    Do you think this seasons Brawn GP car will be remembered as a classic in years to come?

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Murray
    I am a bit confused over the Nico Roseberg decision.
    Aparently Nico drove too fast to get to the pits under the Safety car.
    The Stewards said that his SC Delta was overidden by a Low Fuel Warning and he gained no advantage.
    Surely where Safety rules are involved those facts are irelevent?
    Using similar logic you could say that no-one was injured when button and the other four drivers drove around the STR front wing on Saturday and therefore they shouldn't have been penalised.
    I have no problem with the penalties that were awarded after qualifying but I am confused about the Roseberg decision. I have no particular desire to see Roseberg penalised but am not satisfied with the reasons that were published. Were there other reasons given?

  • Comment number 51.

    What do you make of the rumors the McLaren are splitting with Mercedes, and are buying up the BMW engines to make their own?

  • Comment number 52.

    Hi Murray,
    Will Brawn GP rue not implementing team orders if they were to lose the driver's championship?
    ...and how crucial is Mark Webber's role for Red Bull in helping Vettel win the driver's championship?

    Many thanks

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Murray

    I see a lot of criticism about Jenson Button and his current performance, How he "Appears to be (choking)" I would like to ask..

    Do you think that most of these "comments" come from a need to develop news stories from the media, "Bad news is always more interesting than good news" and that the constant negative media attention on him could become a contributing factor towards his on-track performance as it places more and more pressure on him?

  • Comment number 54.

    Murray what with the incidents that occured at Suzuka, do you think that:

    A) The gravel traps at Suzuka should have done better and their effectiveness needs to be looked at?

    B) Should a new driver (except the GP2 champ) have to do a year of test/reserve duties before taking up a race seat and spend a year testing in a third car during the official test sessions alongside the main drivers?

  • Comment number 55.

    Who was at fault in the Sutil and Kovalainen incident in Suzuka?

  • Comment number 56.

    Is it possible to change the aerodynamics of a car to prevent "dirty air" out the back and so increase the possibilities of overtaking. So many times cars that are very quick in clean air come up behind another and are unable to pass as they lose grip in the dirty air coming off the car in front. If an aerodynamic change is possible should it be added to the construction rules?

  • Comment number 57.

    Here's one for you Murray.

    If Raikkonen joins Hamilton at McLaren in 2010, can they work well together (unlike 2007 with Hamilton and Alonso) and if not who will crack first?

    Many thanks.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi Murray
    With the former BMW team trying to become the 14th car on the grid do you think we could ever see 28 cars competing for 26 places on the grid like we did in the old days?

  • Comment number 59.


    Can you advise what a Constructor's point is worth in terms of $$. We always see the Constructor's Point Standings however; it is not know what that translates into in terms of funds for the various teams.

  • Comment number 60.

    "crashgate" penalties too harsh??
    I think Renault got 'let off' and should have been penalised more, similar to those that Mclaren got when Alonso was swapping emails with a Ferrari employee. What a joke the FIA are.They should be more consistant with their penalties. Alonso got 'immunity' and was not given a hard time.
    Piquet made his mistakes, probably down to maturity. These young drivers rely on their superiors for guidanceand support(a father-figure approach)and not with threats and ill-fated demands.

  • Comment number 61.

    I would also like to see more testing for next year. There are too many mistakes(just like in your video).
    Why wait until qualifying or the race day to find bits falling off, when these should be forund and tested earlier before putting other drivers/spectators at risk. re Massa incident ect...
    p.s. would love to see Massa back before the end on this year.

  • Comment number 62.

    Has Raikkonen got any reason to go to McLaren? He has all his crediatbility to lose.
    If Kimi can't beat his current team mate (Massa), he certainly has his work cut out against a world champion like Lewis Hamilton.
    I think Kimi would be more useful at somewhere like Force India, where his experience could excel the team to possible victory, especially as Force India now seem competitive.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Murray
    Do you think the stewarts decision on Nico Rosberg was correct?

    As Nico claimed his lap delta was obscured, yet the pitwall, the techs in the back of the garage and the team HQ with it's massive super-computer all had the same info where they can tell where any car is on the track at any time and how long it will take to get to a certain point. All this info and yet not one member of that multi-million pound company manage to radio Nico to slow down by x amount of seconds so he would not be speeding under the safety car, gain three places in the race and possibly give BrawnGP some major grief should they not score any points in the next two races. Along with the rumours he may be going to Brawn in 2010 could this cause problems?

  • Comment number 64.


    Do you feel that the crashes at Suzuka during qualifying were caused by the drivers being too used to running off onto tarmac without penalty if they push too hard at other circuits?

  • Comment number 65.

    Hasn't Jenson already won the drivers championship?

    Didn't the rules get changed at the beginning of the year because Hamilton won the championship with less race victories than Massa? So that who ever wins the most victories wins the drivers championship. Since he has 6 victories and no other driver match his number of victories with only 2 races left, let me be the first to declare Jenson Button Champion.

  • Comment number 66.

    Kimi will give stiff competition to Hamilton if he goes to McLaren next year. Hamilton's not a rookie anymore.
    Alonso would NEVER agree to deliberately crash a car like Piquet Jnr - Piquet is old enough and man enough to say no to such decisions.And the whole team should not be punished for 3 people trying to rig a race.
    ...and I would like to see Massa back in a car again this should have won it last year.

  • Comment number 67.

    Murray, being a bit greedy because I have posted a couple already @ #54 but this one has come to me that I think demands an answer..

    Why is there no recognition of the WDC at the race where it is clinched. I think there should be a further presentation of the WDC with a replica WDC trophy on the podium after the normal podium. All results are provisional anyway so why are we robbed of seeing the driver we have followed all season being presented a trophy especially if he does not get on the podium for the race?

    I would love to know the answer and also what you think.

  • Comment number 68.

    dear murray
    do you think drivers have it to easy nowadays? they turn up take the car round a couple of times and computers do the rest they change variouse settings from the cockpit and from the pitwall and as they qualify for the race cars go to parc ferme because of the dials on the wheel arnt realy the same come race day
    wouldnt it be good for racing to get rid of all these dials and switches go back to the original quali format and let the drivers and machanics do what should be done then we will see great racing drivers and teams instead of who has the best i,t ??????

  • Comment number 69.

    The wins situation only applies if two drivers finish with equal points. then the 'countback' starts, number of 1st, number of 2nd, number of 3rd etc. Maybe celebrations at this stage might be premature, but Brawn look set for the Constructors in Brazil, Jenson will have to wait awhile unless something special happens @ Sao Paolo.Hope this helps.


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