Paddy Lowe, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2014

Lowe confident Mercedes’s Montreal issue solved

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Paddy Lowe, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2014In the round-up: Mercedes’s Paddy Lowe says that the team has ensured that the engine issue that struck both cars in Canada will not happen again.


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

Mercedes confident it has solved Canada issue (ESPN)

Paddy Lowe: “Of course, we are doing our utmost to give both drivers the opportunity to compete for the championship on equal term. We put a significant amount of effort into understanding the problem that occurred in Canada and ensuring that there will be no repeat in Austria.”

Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo calls for meeting over F1’s direction (Autosport)

“Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has asked Bernie Ecclestone to call Formula 1’s key figures together to discuss its future, amid concerns the sport has lost its way.”

Williams to grow road car business with F1 know-how and tech (Autocar)

“Williams is plotting a significant expansion of its road car and engineering consultancy business by targeting electric/hybrid powertrains, carbonfibre body structures and advanced chassis work.”

American F1 team to create 250 jobs in the UK (Telegraph)

“Mr Haas said: “I think initially we are going to be hiring around 200, maybe a little bit more than that at 250.” He added that he was planning to locate the team in the UK because eight of the 11 outfits are here, in a cluster in central England known as Motorsport Valley.”

Gastaldi confident Austria will suit Lotus (NBC)

“Monaco and Montréal were both races which didn’t play to our strengths and additionally we had reliability problems at both of them. Austria looks to be more positive in terms of its potential for us, as well as the next few races too. We’re making improvements all the time so we can tackle all the aspects which cause us a challenge.”

Audi’s André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler win at Le Mans (Guardian)

“Mark Webber himself climbed in for the final two and a half hours and, with the chasing No2 car set to catch him within the final hour, a battle to the finish was on the cards for the 263,300 spectators thronging the circuit. But then, of course, there was one final heartbreaking twist for Porsche, as on lap 345 the 919 slowed and was forced to pit with a powertrain problem that ultimately ended their race.”


Comment of the day

With Luca di Montezemolo reigniting debate over the current state of Formula 1, Max Jacobsen questions how powerful the Ferrari name is this modern era of the sport.

I seriously question sometimes whether Ferrari’s involvemnt in F1 is as great a benefit as it is widely regarded to be, or a hindrance.

They are an engine manufacturer, which surely has to be one of their major contributions, but have they – by means of their veto power – discouraged involvement from other potential engine manufacturers? Has their recent lack of success reduced the allure of the marque? Has their over-politicising, torid management and outdated principle tarnished their image? In a time of economic hardship, is their historic financial incentive just and above all merited? Has their previous reluctance to relinquish an underperforming Massa reduced their public appeal? And – perhaps most importantly – is F1 still primarily associated with Ferrari?

The last is perhaps the most interesting point. If someone were to mention F1 to me in 2004, my primary reaction would be a visualisation of the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. It was very evocative.

Now however, they are rather distant on the line on which my train of thought chugs along. To me personally, F1 is Vettel and Red Bull. To many others, F1 is Mercedes and the Hamilton/Rosberg rivalry. To others still, F1 is Fernando Alonso. But I am skeptical that is the case with Ferrari – at least directly.

So would F1 miss Ferrari? Of course, but I believe the show would continue with only a small bump on the seismic trace.

A mass walkout due to financial unsustainability? Now that would be a San Francisco, 1906.
Max Jacobsen

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Reigning champion Nelson Piquet took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix 30 years ago today.

Team mate Corrado Fabi, who shared the seat that year with brother Teo, could only manage 16th, over four seconds slower than Piquet, who was joined on the front row by Alain Prost.

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  • 62 comments on “Lowe confident Mercedes’s Montreal issue solved”

    1. 2 years ago HE SAID EXACTLY THE SAME THING ! “We need to discuss where F1 is going”.

      Get a GPS, Luca Cordero… you’re always missing in F1 it seems. Aren’t you part of the decision makers, and the team with the biggest influence in the sport, as Ferrari’s royalties say?

      You either shut up and swallow it, or you move on and enter Le Mans or whatever you feel is better.

      1. Ferrari has an EGO problem it seems…

      2. Although really, going to Le Mans would make sense, as Ferrari aren’t really getting anywhere with F1. Two old drivers, a sick engine, recent team principal change. I don’t know really…

      3. I guess now that it doesn’t look all that likely that he could be the “Saviour of Italy” by going into politics, Monti has gone back to wanting to be seen as one who moves the world in F1. But honestly the best he could do is give up on stupid things like third cars, customer cars and just make work from evening competition by helping dismantle the rewards system so hugely being scaled towards the haves (with up front payments to themselves as well as now to Mercedes, Red Bull and a few others) and improve decision making by bringing back in all teams.

        The simple fact that everyone lately keeps calling for a meeting with ALL parties involved shows that even those sitting on it have realised that the “strategical working group” thing is not going to work because it ignores the interests of a big chunk of the teams.

      4. It definitely is really embarrassing to be a Ferrari fan right now (like I am). Not only do they have a car that, despite 5 years of promises, is not worthy of a podium, they also have all these FIA complaints while bragging about how they can veto something. The whole quitting thing is blown out of proportion by fans, but the rest of this is ridiculous on Ferrari’s (and LDM’s) part.

        Domenicali left, and that was one complainer / promise maker gone, but it just doesn’t make any difference.

        I have respect for all of these guys, I think they are good, and don’t hold anything against them, but instances like these are simply ridiculous. They really do need to get their act together and do something.

        Luca – Mercedes are faster than you.

    2. Great choice for COTD.

      At this point, if the choice is a Ferrari bribed to be there and a F1 without Ferrari, the sport would be better off handing the bribe to Caterham and Marussia and watching that horse gallop off.

      There were only two eras over the last quarter century of my following the sport in which Ferrari did not annoy me more than I respected their involvement as fans: The Berger-Alesi years and the Raikkonen-Massa years. Why’s that? Genuinely likeable drivers in cars that were capable and pleasing to the eye (but not dominant) overshadowing the political baggage. Every other year I just wanted to see someone else’s branding on the podium at the end of the day.

      Grow up or move on, LdM.

      1. Ferrari is always seen as crooks. There’s very bit of good sense in their words but when you put a Mussolini cap over everything nothing looks like good sense. On a side note as an engine supplier Ferrari give their powerunit at the same spec as their own and with all the ancillarys so Ferrari always plays dirty, that last bit is for the cotd. anyway I think Ferrari should be rewarded for being part of the F1 brand and I’m proud that Ferrari don’t overpower the sport by using their veto. They love and that’s how they show how much they do love racing, that’s ironically by not winning championships. F1 does need to sort the global impact and the cable tv issue apart from that I think costs should be reviewed because as a fan of F1, F1 is putting too many eggs on the brands basket rather than the teams and heritage side, coincidently the same people that are saying Ferrari is ruining the sport/show.

    3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      16th June 2014, 3:02

      So Stephane Samson was Lotus’s Twitter Guy, huh? Looks like they (Lotus) are going to be a lot less interesting now. I remember when it was posted that someone brought up the possible issues with Lotus’s newly acquired (at the time) technical partner, Yota Devices.. It looks like the backlash hammer has finally fallen as result of that tweet.

      1. @braketurnaccelerate Even on getting sacked, he manages to turn heads with his tweets…give this guy a job, someone!

      2. Lotus have just lost all the brownie points that he earned them.

        1. Why exactly? He can’t even spell Director. At a time when Lotus is itself in dire need of money and Formula 1 is entering the Russian marketplace, which I’m sure is full of sponsorship money to be had, I would think it’s fairly understandable that what are in essence anti-Russian marketing collateral would cost a Brand Manager his job. I doubt Lotus are anti gay, rather pro new money.

          1. And if you’re willing to throw people who are LGBTQ under the bus in order to court the money, then absolutely you lose any goodwill you’ve generated, and rightly so!

      3. I had already somewhat become less interested in Lotus since they lost Kimi and acquired Maldonado and then their poor show this year. It’s hard to ‘strike a blow’ against them but the best I can do is to ‘unlike’ their Facebook page and hopefully several thousand others will do the same for a meaningful result.

        I still like Grosjean, hopefully he can get himself into a better seat soon.

      4. The picture seems to have disappeared from Twitter.
        Does that mean it never happened?

      5. I actually agree with Lotus on this a little. I don’t think this has anything to do with being ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ gay; I doubt the organisation has ever had a discussion about an official stance. This has much more to do with what it says about Russia and Putin and getting Lotus involved in such a serious matter. Lotus is a business, and this man has taken a personal opinion and made Lotus a voice for it. I’m sure many of the executives agreed with it, but such a tweet belongs on a personal account and not one representing a business and hundreds of people surely?

        1. Yes, I agree with you.

          Also, maybe hes was fried also as a ruselt of not being able to spell wrods such as driector?

      6. Not wanting to play the devil’s advocate, but I sincerely doubt Lotus would ever tell him “You are being fired because of the pro-gay tweet”, since that ought to generate some backlash against the company.. I’m inclined to believe (maybe wrongly) that this is a case of an former employee rationalizing the fact that he was fired for whatever reason…

    4. Looks like the change of category wasn’t enough to cleanse Webber’s bad luck :(
      The poor bloke must have done some absolutely horrid things in a past life.

      So close to so many epic feats so many times, but lady luck just pulls it away from his grasp again and again. Really cant help but feel bad for him, yet he keeps on giving it his all.

      A true Aussie battler through and through. Despite the lack of results on paper, gotta be one of the all-time greats of motorsports in my mind.

      1. Ramming in the back of Hamilton in Australia, spinning himself into wall in Korea, catapulting himself over Caterham in Valencia… While he also had a lot of good luck too. All of his 2010 rivals made numerous blunders and had technical misfortunes as well. Yet, he failed to deliver.
        You just need to look at today’s Red Bull lineup, to see just how horribly slow Webber was. He couldn’t learn how to drive that car in 4 years. Serves him right. We’ll see how long does it take for Vettel to adapt to a different kind of car.

      2. What bad luck? First year back at Lemans and they had given themselves every chance to beat the Audi’s. It was a brilliant come back for Porsche, and they took the fight right to audi, they will come back bigger better and faster next year. There should be no feeling bad here for Webber, or Porsche, they did a brilliant job.

    5. 250 jobs in the UK?
      I think the way Haas wants to operate is to have all the designers in England where all the experienced people are, and the Americans would only manufacture and test the cars in their factory and wind tunnel.
      If that is the case then I don’t see anything wrong with it, teams already send updated front wings and pieces by plane all over the world so that wouldn’t be much different.

      1. Except it’s hugely impractical and unproductive.

        1. How? Thousands of companies design products in one country and manufacture them in another.

          1. They don’t do it on the timescales and small volumes that an F1 team does. The typical multinational uses one country to produce 100 million cheap parts, spend 2 months shipping them, and another 2 months assembling them elsewhere. Efficiencies of scale make that viable.

            An F1 team is a prototype shop: design, build, test, redesign, build, test. That doesn’t work if the people who have to interact with each other are oceans apart.

            1. If only there was some sort of international network of computers to help communications…

    6. I do enjoy LDMs biannual threat of leaving. At this rate I’ll reserve my alarm for when he says everything’s fine and he’s staying.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        16th June 2014, 6:39

        I think at the moment it’s almost bi-weekly.
        The guy is quickly becoming the laughing stock of Formula One.

        Ferrari hasn’t got a good car (yet again) and Luca isn’t exactly helping their cause. It just stinks of “They did a better job, so we want the rules changed.”

        Say what you will about Red Bull’s campaigning for tyres, or down force or whatever, but they’ve never come across as shallow as this. This is just pathetic.

        1. Don’t worry, he’ll shut up once Ferrari starts winning races.. oh wait.

      2. yeah, its that time of year again, eh @elbasque

      3. Clearly none of you actually read the article!

        Ferrari re-confirmed it’s commitment to F1 and everything else LDM said seems to make perfect sense to me.

        But hell, hop on the bandwagon!

    7. Gideon Hadi (@)
      16th June 2014, 5:26

      Ferrari is one of the most legendary f1 teams around the world, yet I still question why they keep complaining and failing. I think they should work really hard, because if they keep doing like this, they will lost name, sponsorships, and even more

      1. Think: 1980-1995

        1. Yes, Ferrari can survive decades without winning titles and still be a legend. However, during most of that time Ferrari´s main representative still came across as classy, if not (until ´88) as a legend himself. Having LdM as their boss is a threat to Ferrari´s status as a legend that wasn´t there in the past.

      2. Well now the The Ferrari is out of the way they can finally concentrate on F1 again.

    8. I’d rather LDM himself leave/retire, with Ferrari remaining in F1 without his constant politicizing. I feel as though LDM’s endless feed of drama will eventually undermine Marco Matiacci’s efforts to get the team towards the front of the field.

    9. A fish stinks from the head. LDM represents the old paradigm of old school leadership. Autocratic, huge ego, power games and rigid hierarchical structures. James Allison’s comments a couple of weeks ago about Ferrari designers not being given the freedom to fail in order to be more creative in their solutions, for me points the root of the problems at the prancing horse. They are fast becoming the model incumbent in F1, resisting change and blaming everything else so that they can avoid facing the harsh truth. Ferrari IMO need LDM to go, amid a massive shake up. Whilst not the single factor for success it is interesting to see how Mercedes organisational structure is working with Lauda, Wolff and Lowe all seemingly on an equal level of authority. Are Ferrari the Kodak of F1?

      1. James Allison’s comments a couple of weeks ago about Ferrari designers not being given the freedom to fail in order to be more creative in their solutions, for me points the root of the problems at the prancing horse.

        That is what I see as the core issue at the team too @mccosmic

      2. Are Ferrari the Kodak of F1?

        If that reference carries a bit of Digital Camera reference:

        Team Lotus with monocoque chassis and (I think) sponsorship and to a degree Ground Effects, Cooper with the 1st ever MR F1-WC-winning car, Alfa Romeo as 1st-ever F1-WC dominators…….

        And other notable teams like Brabham, Tyrrell, BRM, etc.

        1. Oh, and McLaren isn’t going anywhere too fast either at the moment.

    10. Such a dissapointment with the early retirement of Nissan’s ZEOD racing car on LeMans. Audi consistent as always: it’s what gave them the victory. Tight fights on LMP2 category. And a lot of action on the GTE am category. F1 could learn something from it.

    11. If Ferrari would be genuinely interested in getting F1 back on track then there are 2 easy steps to take – they should just give up the special agreement they have and lobby for a fairer profit distribution that also helps private teams – they have enough political weight to do this.

      Then you they can ease on the cost cutting measurements in certain areas and make regs more open again – which in turn should give F1 a boost because the openness of WEC regs is imo the reason the big guns go there instead of F1.

      But since we all know LDM and Maranello – that’s never gonna happen.

    12. Before I begin this comment it should be made clear that I am neither anti-LGBT or pro-Putin, in fact, quite the opposite.

      Lotus’ Twitter guy posted a picture which was essentially anti-Russian. Lotus have much needed sponsors who are Russian and said tweet may have upset certain sponsors. Also, not only are you not allowed to use F1 as a form of getting a political statement across, you shouldn’t be using your employer’s social media to get your political views across in general. It is becoming more and more common for people to get the sack due to misuse of social media. Remember this was a highly controversial subject still back in February.

      It’s not the first time Lotus had a tweet which was arguably over the top either. We had the ‘Kimi leaving for Ferrari’ tweet and we also had the ones pretty much saying that Caterham were useless.

      1. Ironically, him using Twitter to moan about it all is arguably doing him more harm than good.

      2. You can argue over who the tweet offended or what political statement it supposedly made but ultimately Lotus made it this guy’s job to push the boundaries of corporate decorum with edgy and controversial tweets. The team has made a lot of social capital on the image of being unafraid to make mischief where others would rather be bland and generic than risk rubbing an investor the wrong way.

        This was no different – it wasn’t a direct attack at an investor, but obviously the targets had overlapping interests with investors. What I think Samson realised, which his employers sadly did not, was that the fan base are much more emotionally invested in the stance he endorsed with the tweet than those investors are (or should be) in opposing that stance.

        With the tweet, it was up to the beholder to interpret how much it reflected an official corporate stance. With the sacking, it is abundantly clear where the team’s priorities lie between appeasing its investors and resonating with its fans. If anything, what they’ve done is a more political statement than the tweet itself.

      3. Can you tell us what was exactly anti-Russian in that tweet please, @craig-o?

        1. Anti-theocratic would be more accurate.

          I find it incredible that people hold not offending despots and their clique as a higher priority, than human life, human rights, and common sense.

          One should also not assume that all RU companies and investors support the dictatorial regime.

    13. Regarding Le Mans this was the first real year I’ve paid too much attention to it and I have to say I was captivated! I’ve always had an interest in sports cars but not to the level of F1 which I’ve grown up with (first live race was the European GP at Brans Hatch, I was 7).

      I’ve always had the belief that endurance racing is a little boring, I know this years event was very good, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! The mix of classes and the Pro v’s Am element was superb, one moment I was cheering for Webber and co, the next I was rooting for a guy I buy some software from (!

      However the most impressive thing for me was how inclusive it was for the fans, it was being broadcast via multiple outlets (Eurosport, YouTube, Autosport) and the free app gave you a handful of live camera feeds throughout. This changed the event for me, we all have busy lives and the idea of sitting on the sofa for 24 hours is ridiculous, however I felt in the loop for the whole event. Ultimately this level of access meant I watched more of it, way more than the average F1 race.

      The state of F1 is really quite worrying at the moment, its my sport, and I love it, but WEC has a new fan and next year I’ll see it live rather than go to an F1 event.

    14. “This changed the event for me, we all have busy lives and the idea of sitting on the sofa for 24 hours is ridiculous, however I felt in the loop for the whole event. Ultimately this level of access meant I watched more of it, way more than the average F1 race.”

      Couldn’t agree more with this. Sunday is a working day where I live so I miss most races and have to rely on timing screens and delayed broadcasts to watch most F1 races, but yesterday I was happily working away with commentary in my ear and could take a sneaky look at the live feed from time to time. Granted you can get live race commentary on the F1 app (which I have), but the 24 service was free and not lacking in quality. Kudos to the FIA, WEC and the ACO.

      1. The ACO has hit upon the genius idea that in order to make a sport more successful, you should make it as easy as possible for people to see it and enjoy it. Y’know, rather than the conventional wisdom that success is caused by hiding the sport, constantly talking it down, and charging huge sums of money to see it. And taking down any media shared by anyone, making it difficult for fans to even interact and discuss the sport they love.

        It’s a radical new concept, yet despite intuition suggesting otherwise, it appears to be working..

    15. That’s corporate account, not his personal account for promoting his views. While I’m 100% in support of any gay person to go ahead and search their own love life and happiness, I think that photo looks pretty much like a porno screenshot and it has no place on a company twitter, be it gay, straight or any kind. I’m pretty sure you’d be fired if you posted a still from a straight porn too. It’s a company, not his personal twitter for talking about his personal views and social issues he feels should be improved. Company has its own ideas about how it wants to present itself.
      He should know that much, and if he doesn’t, he had no business being in the position from which he was fired in the first place.

    16. Let’s clear up the two most ridiculous responses to that Lotus Tweet right away. It is not “anti-Russian” nor is it “pornography”.

      At worst you call it impolitic. But I have no problem with anyone mocking the politics of Putin’s rabble-rousing homophobia.

      1. Do you know when he was fired?

        Lotus’ twitter account had been quiet for a very long time, the last thing I remember was a picture of a crash between Grosjean and Maldonado in GP2 when Maldonado was hired.

        1. Lotus was the only official account that was worth following. Not any longer.

      2. @KeithCollantine I agree with that. You would not call someone anti-British just because he is a republican or opposes Cameron’s policies. I personally love a lot of things about Russia, it is just that Putin and institutionalized homophobia are not among them.

        It is also not like Lotus have stopped posting cheeky tweets after that “incident”, they just do not involve sensitive topics anymore. The form of the tweet was not controversial, the substance (message) was: Russia should not discriminate LGBT people.

        I know that F1 fans and sponsors come from very different places of the world and have very different views so I can understand why the powers that be at Lotus wanted to “remain neutral” and requested the responsible employee to delete the tweet that had addressed a sensitive topic.

        But firing an employee because of a tweet like that is simply outrageous.

        1. Being fired for misusing company property isn’t outrageous in the slightest. Regardless of what you think of the tweet itself, it wasn’t his account to use to make a political statement.

          To be clear, I’m not at all saying the LGBT issues in Russia should be ignored; on the contrary, the issues need to be kept in the spotlight. What I am saying is don’t use something that isn’t yours to do so.

          1. @raceprouk Well, in that case the management of Lotus should approve every single tweet before it gets posted to ensure that no one is offended by mating rabbits, a “popemobile” ( or whatever else. The tweet that we are talking about was neither rude, nor offensive. If Mr. Samson had repeatedly ignored the management, then it would be another story but I believe that one “incorrect” tweet is not enough to fire an employee. After all, I do not think that anyone at the team suggested firing Raikkonen after he swore on the podium in Abu Dhabi (2012).

            1. The mating rabbits and ‘Popemobile’ tweets weren’t making a sociopolitical statement attached to a company’s name.

    17. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      16th June 2014, 13:47

      Luca is right that the sport has lost its way but he’s focusing on the wrong things. Formula One should be about the best drivers driving the fastest cars on the best racing circuits in the world. At the moment a rather sizeable portion of the grid is made up of pay drivers who don’t deserve to be in the top level of world motorsport, we have fast cars but they are ruined by designed to degrade tyres (thankfully this year they have not been so bad) and gimmicks like DRS and too much of a reliance on aerodynamics. We visit many average circuits in areas of the world where people don’t care about F1 at all and the tracks offer no punishment for drivers who make mistakes.
      Perhaps they should address these issues rather engines which people largely stopped caring about 3 months ago.

    18. A bit of a comment about Le Mans 24 hours: Is anybody else here a bit annoyed by the unavailability of an HTML5 (well, Libre-software-compatible) video feed?

      As somebody who stays away from Flash it annoys me a bit.

    19. Disgusting from Lotus. Absolutely disgusting. Not that I make any sort of difference but I have emailed the customer relations department of every one of their sponsors asking for their views on this and whether like the team they sponsor, they are also anti-gay.

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