Posted on February 24, 2012
Darren Heath

Bernie Ecclestone was in a jocular mood this morning when a few of us caught up with him after the Tata Communications announcement for a chat on the issues of the moment.

With most of the “Fleet Street” UK national newspaper representatives present, Ecclestone knew that they would need some eye catching news lines to get space in the papers for the story of the day and he didn’t disappoint.

The highlight for me was after he had made numerous reassurances that Bahrain’s GP would go ahead in April, that there would be no protests, that the teams were all behind it, and the sponsors and that we would have no problems in the country, everything would be fine, he then said, “It’s just a shame I can’t be there with you!”

This met with predicable horror struck faces. He waited a beat then said, “Only kidding, I’ll be there.”

Time will tell whether he or any of us will actually be there on April 22. The Financial Times is reporting today that a number of international banks are pulling out of the country, citing the instability of the situation and only last week there were more clashes between protesters and riot police in Manama.

Ecclestone also had some throwaway lines about Michael Schumacher and particularly Lewis Hamilton, “I spoke to him the other day. I think he’s got a bit more focused,” said the 81 year old.

The most pointed assessment on Hamilton was that “If he doesn’t perform this year he’d be looking maybe to move on and the team may be also looking for him to move on.”

This has been interpreted by some as Bernie tipping Hamilton to move on. I’m not sure that’s what he was really saying. There really is only one place he could go and that’s Mercedes. The doors to Red Bull seem to have closed last year.

Ecclestone has made no secret of his dislike of the 19 Management team which took over Hamilton’s affairs after he split with his father. He welcomed the recent signing of the highly experienced F1 manager Didier Coton to Hamilton’s team.

Ecclestone also made some quips about how good it would be to see Michael Schumacher in a Red Bull alongside Sebastian Vettel. Because then at least we would know for sure whether the reason he wasn’t winning was because he is past it or whether it’s the car.

“It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if he did. I’d like to see him in a good car. I’d like to see him in the second Red Bull. I don’t think Sebastian would mind.

“It would be nice to see him in the car, where you know that if he doesn’t win, it’s his fault and not the car’s.”

He added that his own view is that Schumacher still has it in him to win races. Mercedes boss Ross Brawn said this week that one of his few remaining ambitions in the sport is to see Schumacher win another Grand Prix.

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Ecclestone quips on Bahrain, Hamilton and Schumacher
170 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Sebee
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:27 am 

    I can’t wait for the season to start and for this Bahrain race to be in the bag. We won’t have to count on Bernie for filler. Although I must say, filler is better than nothing while days get longer and longer the closer we get to race 1.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: JB
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:29 am 

    “He (Bernie) added that his own view is that Schumacher still has it in him to win races. ”

    Agreed +1, I share the same optimistic opinion.

    [Reply]

    AuraF1 Reply:

    I tend to agree. I don’t think someone who has won so much would just lose it. I am not a Schumacher fanboy at all, but from some comments you’d think some people see drivers past 40 just instantly falling apart.

    I think it’s probably more a case of very gradual decline – but whatever anyone thinks of Schumacher denying he was one of the greatest drivers of all time is just silly. If he’s at 70-80% of his peak, that’s still about 300% the capacity of half the rotating drivers of F1′s lower leagues…

    Clearly he’s up against a good 6 (maybe as many as 8) drivers who are at their peak and no longer in awe of him, so winning another WDC is pretty unlikely, but winning some races, definitely see that if the car holds up and gets developed.

    [Reply]

    For sure Reply:

    As much as I want to see him win, I am a bit more pessimistically.
    There is a reason why we have junior, senior, master and veteran class in karting. Its because the younger drivers have better reflexes.

    So I don’t think he can destroy people at qualifying. But with racing intelligent he might be able to capitalize certain opportunities.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Tornillo Amarillo
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:29 am 

    From Bernie’s words can we understand that Hamilton thinks that if he cannot win (because the McLaren is beaten again by the Red Bull and Vettel wins many times) he should move on?

    In such a case I don’t think Mercedes is a better option, maybe NASCAR does…

    [Reply]

    Kevin Green Reply:

    That’s where i see him in the future if/when the relationship with Mclaren dies out, Needs to buck up this season on and off race day in every way.

    otherwise i see him in Indy or NasCar really don’t see him being a desirable option at RBR Merc or Ferrari ever.

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    Lewis is too much “I” am “We” in inteviews. If you listen to most drivers they say “We won” or “We lost”, where Lewis seems to say “I won” and “We Lost”

    I think if I was a team boss I would question someone’s loyal if statements like that are made.

    Ralf Schumacher used to do the same.

    Maybe it is just a pet annoyance on my part.

    [Reply]

    Matt Reply:

    This is a total fabrication or at the very least an askew perception of reality. One of the few things that has always annoyed me about Lewis is his constant mentioning of the team / we etc etc.

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Louis
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:53 am 

    I agree with bernie. For me,if the new Mclaren isnt good enough,lewis has,in my opinion,no other option than to move on. Mercedes Benz would be the most logical step too. I cant see Redbull offering Michael a seat though. It wouldnt be a long term contract,thats for sure. No,if Seb had bigger cohoonas,he’d welcome Lewis into the other Redbull seat for next year! I believe that Vettel and Hamilton should be in the same standard car. It would be good for the fans,the media and the circus master’s bank balance. This is the obvious pairing for me. It should be something all parties could get around a table and thrash out. Unless…Sebastian has a”Prost at Williams”like contract. Insisting whilst he was driving the Williams,Aryton Senna wouldnt be a team-mate. That i understand. They did have form,as we all know,whilst team-mates at Mclaren. Hamilton and Vettel have no such history al-a Senna,Prost. So im my opinion,that for the good of Formula1,there is no excuse for this not happening!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    The new McLaren looks fine. He will be able to compete this year with Red Bull, It’s a long season.

    [Reply]

    CurlyPutz Reply:

    Music to my ears James – I don’t want another Red Bull white-wash this year!

    [Reply]

    BBob Reply:

    Hamilton a better bet at RB than Schumi? Dream on. If you read all of what Bernie said (the part about McLaren would want LH to move on?) it would imply that Hamilton ain’t all that. Which he isn’t. Schumi has won more than Hamilton ever will. Do you really think it’s down to Seb having “cohones” in allowing LH into the other RB? Did you ever think it’s just that RB don’t rate him that highly? Button beat him last year pretty handily. So why would Seb need “cohones?” (here’s where the “true racer” nonsense usually comes in) Lol.

    [Reply]

    Tom Johnson Reply:

    Hamilton is clearly the better bet at RB if for no other reason than age. Button didn’t beat him ‘pretty handily’ either: he was demolished in qualy 13/6 and scored an equal number of race wins. Everybody that counts rates Hamilton’s driving skills as second to none, so deal with it. Hamilton as a personality leaves a lot to be desired, he’s immature, cosseted, star struck, mentally fragile and has no hinterland, that’s just for starters. If you want a drinking buddy then Button’s your man, thrills spills and exciting racing it’s Hamilton everytime.

    [Reply]

    Paul F Reply:

    Couldn’t agree with this more. It often surprises me how many F1 fans rate their favoured F1 drivers by, as you say, their value as a drinking buddy – for me it’s totally about driving style/ability. What their personality is like has very little value to me.

    If someone is only interested in the personality then perhaps Eastenders would be a more entertaining option.

    BBob Reply:

    There we go. More tripe about “thrills, spills, and exciting racing” and “driving style” etc.” I’ll tell you what matters in F1 – WINNING. Thats the only statistic that matters in the end. The drivers are paid to WIN. Button handled Hamilton where it mattered. He finished ahead of him in the driver’s championship. The other statistics (qualy etc) are all secondary to where a driver finishes in the WDC standings. Hamilton is not clearly the better bet at RB or anywhere else for that matter. Driving skills second to none? My god son, he crashed out of more races this year than most any other driver. Deal with that.

    Andy Reply:

    “To finish 1st, first you have to finish”

    You don’t finish races if you spend you race bouncing off other cars on the track.

    Yes Lewis is a very fast driver, but will he bring the car home every time?


  5.   5. Posted By: R3D
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 3:00 am 

    LOL at Bernie leaving F1 teams high and dry in Bahrain joke

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: MehluliNdebele
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 3:32 am 

    Hopefully Hamilton can return to the form he showed in his first two years in F1.
    I also hope Schumacher can win a race or two this season, i will be huge for F1 if schumacher wins again

    [Reply]

    mcdo Reply:

    It really bugs me when people don’t include 2009. That was his most impressive season to date. Forget the WDC, 2009 was when he proved he is at the top level in F1.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: S. Butts
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 5:41 am 

    I’m with Ross Brawn – I’d love to see Schumi win another race!

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Persi
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 5:44 am 

    Hmm I’m not always keen on how Schumacher ‘wins’.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: daphne
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:09 am 

    Interesting coverage James. Of course there is a sense of “rose tinted spectacles” in Bernie’s talk re Schumacher; but could you really see him in a Red Bull? Daimler will never let him go if that is the “official” proposition – imagine the Germanic shame!

    Re Hamilton, what do you sense – was he suggesting he move on to another team, of just Move On, altogether? What’s your take on that kind of talk?

    [Reply]

    markdartj Reply:

    Something everyone seems to forget when dealing with Bernie is that even in a casual situation, telling jokes, etc, he never says anything that he didn’t intend to say, and there is always a reason for him saying it. Also good to remember that when he is talking about a certain subject, it’s good to take a look at what he isn’t talking about. You’ve got to watch his “off hand”.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    That is an excellent and very true observation. There’s always a reason

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:10 am 

    Hahahahahahahaha oh Bernie, he caught me out too there & all kinds of wicked thoughts had begun running through my head on how Bernie loves himself & whatnot.

    Anyway I agree with Bernie in that Bahrain will go ahead 100% for even though it means the teams & jurnos get military style protection, it will be done for there’s a lot of money riding on this event pushing through.

    Now, Now, Now… One thing Bernie & the suits at Mercedes should wake up too already is the fact that Michael Schumacher is way past it.

    I mean, this has got to the point of embarrassment for how can such grown men that have been in the sport forever still think Schumi has still got it?

    Remember this was the same Schumi who used to qualifying on pole in most cases with significant more fuel than those around him & now, can hardly make it through Q2.

    So no, not even a Red Bull can win Schumi another title (though he could win races) with Sebi right next to him.

    As for the Lewis question, well I can take comfort in the numerous digs Bernie throws his way in that Bernie never liked Senna too so it’s all good.

    In my view, the only way Lewis can leave Mclaren is if the car isn’t on the pace for make no mistake, if the car is good, Lewis will perform, last year he was just got frustrated with having a car that couldn’t challenge for the title – 3 seasons on the trot.

    P.s.

    I don’t think the Red Bull doors are closed to Hammy at all, he had a chat with Horner in Canada to provide a seat for him if it all goes to hell at Mclaren & with Webber being on a one year contract = Could happen.

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    I wish people would stop saying that McLaren gave Lewis a car that couldn’t compete for the championship 3 years in a row. In 2010 he had a great shot at the championship. If he’d been a little calmer at the beginning of the season he’d have had it in the bag, probably before the final race.

    [Reply]

    James Clayton Reply:

    This, incidentally, I believe was one of the things playing on his mind throughout 2011 – the wasted opportunity the year before…

    [Reply]

    Justin Bieber Reply:

    Indeed, Hamilton was leading the WDC in 2010 up until Monza/singapore where he crashed with Massa/Webber. If he had kept his cool, he would have won the WDC in Korea.

    Hamilton remind me so much of Montoya. Great talent but a crash magnet.

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    Hamilton is way faster than Montoya, who wasn’t WDC material at all and was humiliated by Kimi, who in return is not on the same level like Alonso/Vettel.

    KRB Reply:

    Calmer at the beginning? Australia it didn’t help that his team brought him in for tires, and then Webber ran into the back of him.

    I think he was calm at the start and took his chances when they came (Turkey, Canada). He had bad luck in Spain and Hungary (2nd in Spain and he wins the DWC).

    He had a brilliant race in Belgium, and then his season went to pot. Instead of accepting that the RB6 was faster and that he just had to score the maximum points possible and hope for slip-up’s from RBR, he tried for the coup de grace at Monza (in the leadup to that race, much was made of the fact that this would be the last track in a while where the RB6 wouldn’t be at the front). 15 or 12 pts there would’ve seriously put him in the mix at Abu Dhabi. Same with Singapore, bank the points, wait for the mistake (Webber in Korea) or misfortune (Vettel in Korea), as that was the only way the McLaren was going to beat the RB6 that year.

    One could say that he went for the coup de grace in China ’07 as well, instead of just getting enough points there to eliminate Kimi from the reckoning, and it cost him the title then too.

    Still, it’s correct to say that McLaren haven’t provided a car capable of reasonably challenging at the front to LH since 2008. When I say reasonably challenging, I mean a car that is better at some tracks than all other cars, and that’s always within a half-second to other cars when the tracks suit them.

    [Reply]

    Thompson Reply:

    Lewis won the 07 WDC ……

    2 Saubers ahead of him, the last race of the season, were illegally fuelled, any other day they would have been disqualified…but not that day.

    History shows Kimi as WDC

    KRB Reply:

    Ah, that would’ve been a horrible thing for the sport if that had happened.

    I’m sure there is a whole lotta stuff that we’ll never hear about, about ’07. Like the gremlins in his ECU at Brazil? Has that ever happened to anyone since? But China was the big moment, where he just had to be a bit calmer, and let things come to him rather than lunging to grab at them.

    A conservative strategy then would’ve netted him at least 4th in that race, and with 5 pts he’d be on 112 with Alonso on 103 having to win in Brazil and Hamilton scoring at most 1 pt. He wanted to win the DWC in style in China, instead of just grabbing the points needed. A little more Prost, and less Senna, was needed at that point.

    James Allen Reply:

    It was the team’s fault. They should have played percentage game

    Tealeaf Reply:

    Yeah thanks for reminding me of China 2007 where Hamilton’s own team boss said: “basically we were racing Fernando” now if that wasn’t driver favouritism I don’t know what is.
    The fact is history proves if a driver was destined for greatness and not a gravel trap in china, so far history has proven Vettel as the dominant driver of his generation and it also proved Alonso is a better all rounder than Hamilton.
    I’m willing to net Seb will wipe the floor with Hamilton this season, let’s see the excuses cone end of the season.


  11.   11. Posted By: Kay
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:43 am 

    Sch + Vet in RBR would be interesting.

    One had his 1st career tainted for reasons we all know why, the other damaged his own image for what happened in Turkey 2010.

    Just to add RBR’s biased management style do no good for them at all.

    Nice.

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    Like someone already mentioned, Mercedes will never let Schumi go. They are not Ferrari, who make crazy decisions (like letting Lauda/Schumi/Kimi go).

    [Reply]

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Lovers lol :)

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: martin g
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:50 am 

    “It would be nice to see him in the car, where you know that if he doesn’t win, it’s his fault and not the car’s.”

    I would have thought Nico exposed michael’s lesser ability many times last year in the same car?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Did he?

    [Reply]

    Mitchel Reply:

    Based on qualifying pace and points, surely yes?

    Am I the only person who thinks that if Nick Heidfeld got the Merc drive in 2010, the results would have been much the same for ’10 and ’11?

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    Perhaps, but remember Quick Nick is a quality driver as well. The fact how Renault went downhill after they fired him is the best evidence. Regarding Schumacher, I think he just needs time to catch up after three years out of business. He might be stronger this year.

    Jez Reply:

    Renault were unable to develop the car due to inherent problems [forward exhausts etc] and lack of cash.

    Racecar Reply:

    Touché, James

    [Reply]

    Jez Reply:

    I think Nico has out performed Schuey in almost every outing in the past two seasons.

    I would like to see him in a top car though I don’t think it will happen unless Mercedes are able to provide it this season.

    Who knows what is in Vettels contract? A no Hamilton clause? Ha ha ha. Owners get to decide these things not drivers.

    I would love to see Lewis in Ferrari. Wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen…

    Benn Reply:

    Im with you James, I think. Schumacher took a while to adapt to the spot again as the whole dynamics had changed since he ‘retired’. Out of the 2 drivers Nico may have been more consistant but Michael clearly demonstrated he is a superio driver.

    [Reply]

    jonnyd Reply:

    schumacher had some stand out race performances in 2011. Nico had none, and simply delivered what the car could do.
    canada, belgium, japan, monza. Schumacher showed all his talent in those races.
    the signs are all there, ross brawn has acknowledged that he just needs to give both drivers a fighting chance with a better car.

    james Reply:

    maybe it cos rosberg is that good

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    Rosberg only went for glory on Saturday quali runs (yeah heaps of championship points on grab there), & he was almost ALWAYS slower on race day than Schumacher.

    Barring reliability issues for MS (monaco etc) & MS & petrov running into each other every 2nd race, MS easily outperformed Rosberg last season….& in a poor car that didn’t suit his driving too….

    Gee he’s really lost it hasn’t he, a mature driver looking at the bigger picture of improving Mercedes performance to have a car to actually fight with the front runners rather than trying to make a name for himself in EVERY practice session merely by focusing on being in front of his teammate at any cost ala ROSBERG style…???

    [Reply]

    Thompson Reply:

    Thats just wrong – Rosberg is totally under valued at Merc. Seriously, the man was a contender untill they started trying to adapt the car for Micheal.

    People want to see Schumi do well, but without Ross Brawns ( a man of dubious character ) slight of hand and rule bending he’s going nowhere fast.

    But you may have seen me predict this several times now…what you’ve never read me?….well, Hamilton in the Merc, soon.

    Manish Reply:

    +1 mate…

    Dev3 Reply:

    “Thats just wrong – Rosberg is totally under valued at Merc. Seriously, the man was a contender untill they started trying to adapt the car for Micheal.”
    That is a serious accusation, do you any prove? or just your imagination trying to degrading Schumacher getting better and better since his comeback in 2010.

    Michael Schumacher gaining his name as one of the graetest not just by bending rule, i think you never watch his drive when he was prime, surely that was pure raw pace and not to mention fast when in raining condition(rainmaster) that is one advance skill of doing that

    Thompson Reply:

    Dev3 –

    Upto the point of the ’10′ season before they introduced the ‘long wheel base car’ and “other tweeks” Rosberg was a contender. check out those early races.

    Its so obvious Merc are doing everything to get Micheal up amongst the leaders, while the team just keeps moving backwards. without No1 status though he is being found out I think and Rosberg is paying the price.

    Personally a Rosberg/Hamilton team would be cool.

    To a degree though, Micheal had a good run in F1 with no other outstanding drivers, Hill, Hakkinon had gone. only when Alonso appeared did things change. The field has more talent now.

    Dev3 Reply:

    @Thompson
    No, i have to totally disagree with that, Rosberg in his interview said that he got the similar driving style as Michael so if they changed the car etc it wouldn’t affect Rosberg as for the “long wheel base” or “tweak” etc to suit only Michael driving style i found your post nonesense, Brawn stated that both driver treated equally and you are not hearing Rosberg saying anything bad about it instead he praises Schumacher work ethic and said he learn from that. I think they changed it probably to find the way to improve the car performance or something else not to suit once driving style. The fact was 2010 Schumacher was far from his prime as in 2011 he closer to that or showing the glimses of his oldself as many said. Comparing 2011 and 2010 he certainly improved but imo still not 100%. Maybe in 2012 when Schumacher match Rosberg etc you would said FIA or Mercedes designing the step nose to suit Michael driving style.

    No other outstanding driver?? so Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Alonso, Button, Patrese, mansell is just midfield drivers? you gotta be kidding and he beat the first 4 of them remember. Probably Schumacher and dream team was that good that make the other drivers hard to beat him as you can see after Schumacher temporaly left F1 new Champion been crowned such as Button etc and since his comeback i havn’t seen the real/prime/younger Schumacher or Michael of his oldself yet.


  13.   13. Posted By: SJM
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 8:13 am 

    Bernie is quite the politician. I think he trying to get Lewis and McLaren fired up for the season. He did say he does not want Red Bull to dominate this year. Who better to take the fight to Red Bull than the most popular driver on the grid

    I also have feeling McLaren have delivered a fast championship winning car this year

    James, BTW which engine manufacturer is guilty of the “misfire” loophole?

    [Reply]

    NRM Reply:

    The article stated that no one was guilty, the loophole has been closed prior to anyone taking advantage!

    [Reply]

    Kevin Green Reply:

    But on that how many teams maybe had clicked onto it but did not want to bring it to the track for the obvious head start point of view until last day testing or race day?? might just have tripped a number of teams plans up that we don’t know about!

    [Reply]

    NRM Reply:

    I presume we’ll never know for certain! I’m just hoping that McLaren haven’t dropped the ball going with the more traditional nose…

    SJM Reply:

    Hmm.. So is it a coincidence that right after the FIA announced the new clampdown, RBR announce a change in their test schedule?…

    [Reply]

    NRM Reply:

    Yes, probably a coincidence. They’ve not long finished four days testing which may have thrown up an issue with some aspect of the car. RBR now have an extra day to get it sorted. Nothing to see here…

    f1 newboy Reply:

    James,just wanted to say ,off the subject,i find your articles on f1 quite enlighting,and refreshingly debatetable.I find your topics very unbais to all involved in f1 and you encourage good solide debate and if it goes off course you seems to bring it back to solide grounding with simple honest,factual comments.I have looked at a few sites, well more than a few and yours seems to always have a more balance approach.Keep up the good coverage James.On the subject,Bernie should keep his mouth shut.( Sorry had to say it.)

    James Allen Reply:

    Thanks. That’s what we are striving for

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Most popular driver on the grid? [mod] hat’s clearly Alonso closely followed by Vettel lol

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    And how about Schumacher?

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    I think the OP meant in terms of fans. I have no idea of any figures that would indicate fan followings, but I would assume that LH is the most popular F1 driver on that score.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Mon Pen
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 8:48 am 

    Bernie’s attempts to be “funny” are becoming ever more pathetic. I’ve always taken any of his coments with a pinch of salt, but even more so now as he slips into senility. He should just keep his mouth shut, [mod]

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Wu
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:06 am 

    It’s easy to agree with Bernie about Schumacher… he’s had a few races in which he was capable of winning. Montreal was definitly his best race, in which he was fastest at one point, despite that car being a whole second slower than the Red Bull.

    It was probably one of the cruelest moments in the sport, when the track dried up, and the stupidly unfair DRS destroyed Schumi’s race; from fighting for the lead after the restart to 4th as Merc’s shortcomings became more visible for all to see.
    What was even more incredible was Schumacher’s use of the wet kerbs when he knew he had to gain every thousandth on the chasing faster cars.

    That day Schumacher gave his team the best finishing position of the year, but if it started raining again after the last restart, that finishing position would have been much better.

    [Reply]

    Gareth Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    +2

    [Reply]

    F1racer Reply:

    +11

    [Reply]

    ism Reply:

    +111

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Lee Hilton
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:35 am 

    See Bernie’s at it again. Cant see Hamilton leaving Mclaren for Mercedes and why would he go to Red Bull as a No2 driver? There’s no way he would get equal treatment, Vettel has won two WDC’s for them and they love him. Riccardio will get the second seat, if he performs this year. I would also love to see Schumacher in a Red Bull but im sure he will win races this year and extend his contract.

    [Reply]

    Tealeaf Reply:

    The thing is Vettel would beat him if he went to Redbull and Sham knows it deep down, and there’s pressure for this year also, if Button beats him again the argument for Lewis as a top F1 driver would be in tatters.

    [Reply]


  17.   17. Posted By: Andrew Kirk
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:45 am 

    Hi James interesting comments but I can’t really see Red Bull hiring Schumacher somehow. What do you think about Lewis? Make or break season for him and his relationship with Mclaren?

    Clearly he is not happy seeing Vettel win two championships and become the new big thing. Add to under performing Mclaren’s he has been driving for 3 years and you have one unhappy driver. But likewise I cannot imagine Mclaren must have been too impressed with his crashes and run ins last year and a possible loss of focus.

    [Reply]

    Jez Reply:

    Lewis should be more concerned that Button is driving better than him; than that Vettel is achieving more than anyone on the track [during the past two seasons].

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    If lewis is as good as he rates himself, then he should just quit blaming others or his machinery, or whatever, shutup, get on with it & get the best he can out of what he has.

    If he did that consistently instead of always demanding the fastest car to begin with, & having a hissy fit if even one team looks like its car might be better at even 1 track than the Mclaren, people would probably have alot more respect for his ‘speed’ in f1.

    The fastest drivers often have the fastest cars…..but their true skill & depths of talent is shown in how they handle the situation when they AREN’T driving the best car on the grid…

    [Reply]

    Jez Reply:

    Well said.


  18.   18. Posted By: radi
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:46 am 

    James, I just bought the official F1 Live Timing Application for my tablet.

    I was delighted to just find out a post from 2010 claiming you are providing the live commentary for it.

    Is that still the case? If you are still involved please share some thoughts on how to make best use of this app to complement what you are seeing(not seeing) on the TV screen?

    Apologies for the off topic.

    Regards

    Radi

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No. I am not involved any more. I do BBC Radio 5 commentary

    [Reply]

    Rich Reply:

    Hi James , you write some of the best articles on f1 at the moment so thank you very much. I’m happy to here hear you will be doing the radio 5 commentary. I personally agree with Bernie that the pressure is on Hamilton as Jenson has beat him again and again even with wheels falling off after pits stops. Do you think he will bounce back this year or is raw pace just not enough anymore to win races it’s more a strategy game nowadays?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I think he’ll do much better this year, He’s a fantastic racing driver, one of the very best

    KRB Reply:

    Again and again? He beat him over one season, big deal. LH had 3 DNFs to Button’s 2, though they were 7-7 in race results where they both finished. And both finished with 3 wins, in what’s largely been considered Jenson’s best season and Lewis’ worst.

    If Jenson beat him over a season and they ended up 1-2, that would be significant.

    elie Reply:

    +1 to KRB/ JAMES.Absolutely spot on. Wake up people you dont have to like him, but he is Bloody Quick!


  19.   19. Posted By: Kevin Green
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 10:19 am 

    Amazing clear thinking for his age (Bernie) even the added humour! pretty much said my thoughts on Hamilton/Mclaren in previous feeds,
    As for Schumi I think he would take fear at such a clear indication on his skills alongside Vettel in that car (and im not sure how much I rate Vettel) and also as I said previously I really cant see Hamilton at Ferrari RBR or Mercedes in the future even despite believing without something super strong this season and without negative politics he will be out of Mclaren anyway.

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    Why? He competes & beats him in Race of Champions each year? really, wow put them all in the same cars & I think a few people’s stars would burst quite quickley, + a few of the “too old” comments would start to mysteriously disappear.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Thats a very varied amount of racing diciplines though! with michael being much older and experienced through time to fit into them all if you like. But on that talking about greatest drivers etc you will notice the most succesful for amount of times entered/event wins yet alone titles is Sebastian loeb by a long shot £ titles +1st and as i said more individual stage wins than anyone and michael has entered far far more times. You will also not as individuals Neither Michael or Sebastian Vettel have ever Won the Event As individuals which is the cream of the event. Says quite a lot!!

    [Reply]

    Dev3 Reply:

    Yet F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Depends on the angle your looking from tech and fitness defo yeah but would very much question the skill factor against top end rally drivers for sure.


  20.   20. Posted By: ACx
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 10:37 am 

    I know how inappropriately childish this is for such a serious issues, but does any one else have the same reaction to the word “Manama” that I do?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N_tupPBtWQ

    [Reply]

    Rob Newman Reply:

    Nice one. I can’t get it off my head now. I go mana mana every time … :) .

    mana mana …

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: Richard
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 10:47 am 

    I expect McLaren know exactly why Lewis did not perform well last year, but if anyone is to blame then it is them because they have blunted his ego with a succession of under performing cars. Lewis is a man who wants to win in a hurry, but of course last year personal problems, tyres, etc., were other additional factors. Lewis will not leav McLaren for a worse team so I expect it’s Red Bull or nothing. If he performs well this year, they will renew his contract.
    There’s no doubt that Schumacher is still a talented driver, but he has been beaten by Rosberg, and so one can only conclude he has lost some of his speed.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: Donald
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 10:48 am 

    I really get annoyed by the continued implication that the McLaren’s of the past few years weren’t befitting of Hamilton.

    They weren’t as consistent as the RBR (for example they were off the pace in Valencia & Brazil), but Lewis wasn’t consistently getting more out of the car than Jenson.

    Michael Schumacher fought tooth and nail from 1996-1999 in the 2nd best car (often not even that). He got on with it.

    [Reply]

    clifford Jones Reply:

    Try not get annoyed then!Problem solved?

    [Reply]

    David A Reply:

    +1. Alonso also got on with it last year instead of making silly errors.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Hmm, I’d say the Ferrari was the best car in 1999, but MS was injured. How else to explain Irvine’s near DWC?

    But no doubt about ’96 or ’97, Williams were clearly faster, although with what he pulled at Jerez ’97, does it matter what went before?

    LH has only ever been in the “best car on the grid” in his debut season, and then alongside a 2DWC as teammate.

    The last two seasons he was in the best car with a lesser teammate he won GP2 in his first season, and won 15 of 20 races (a 16th win taken away by DSQ) in F3.

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    Solid comment +1 alot of drivers would kill to get a seat in the Mclarens that Lewis is always complaining about.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    No doubt other drivers would. But for Lewis being in a fast car that is always second-best, and good for 3 or so wins a year, is not the end game that he’s after in F1. He’s very Ricky Bobby in that respect.

    He needs a car that is good for at least six wins (would be his most ever in a season), and is capable of truly fighting at the front, and for every pole. It’s the difference between wanting to be among the best, and wanting to be the best, period.

    [Reply]

    pear-shaped pete Reply:

    Well the cae was good for at least six wins, but button got three of them!

    pear-shaped pete

    KRB Reply:

    Touche! Let me rephrase then … he needs a car that is good for at least six wins for him. That’s assuming a fairly competitive field … six wins is nice, but no good if Vettel’s bagging eleven again! In a 20-race season, six wins might not even be enough even in a tight championship. For 2005 and 2006 Alonso scored 7 wins (and so did Kimi and Schumi), and Kimi had 6 wins in 2007, a 17-race season.

    So make it seven, for him.


  23.   23. Posted By: Andy C
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 10:51 am 

    As much as a dont like to say it, I’m of the same mind as Bernie on Lewis (even as a McLaren fan).

    If Lewis did not feel at his best, both in terms of himself and with the car/team this year, I think it is very realistic to think he may move team.

    For the record I hope both of our guys do well this season.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    You only move if you have something better to go to. Leaving McLaren would take a lot of nerve

    [Reply]

    Serrated_Edge Reply:

    Has Hamilton been at McLaren too long and gone stale?

    You see it in football when a player has been at a club at a long time- they move to another club and become revitalised.

    [Reply]

    John M Reply:

    But, you also see the opposite. Not sure if anyone here is a hockey fan, but 41-year old Nicklas Lidstrom has played for the Detroit Red Wings for 20 years. He’s won numerous team and individual awards over that time, including the league’s best defenseman (his 7th Norris trophy) last year at age 40.

    Sometimes recognizing a good thing and staying with it is the best option. I can’t see Hamilton having a good reason to go to another team. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, particularly in F1.

    KRB Reply:

    Lidstrom is a hockey god. Not flashy, but a true leader. Read the story about what happened to him in the playoffs last year or the year before. For the guys out there, it makes for excruciating reading, but just demonstrates how committed he is to his craft.

    F1 Reply:

    Exactly, especially when McLaren seems to have a car that can fight Red Bull (unlike Ferrari and Mercedes, who seem to be some way behind the two top teams).

    [Reply]

    Andyc_f1 Reply:

    Agreed. I just get the feeling (and it’s not from knowledge of the situation as such) that of it didn’t work both sides would consider it.

    Absolutely agree on the move philosophy.

    I’ve always thought merc might be the option but I’d love to see him at Ferrari. About as likely as a snowballs chance :-)

    [Reply]

    Jez Reply:

    Nerve like Button showed when he joined Macca?

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Do you remember the second half of the 2009 season for both Brawn and McLaren? Plus Button was also looking to cash in on his DWC with a bigger pay packet, which he could get at McLaren over Brawn/Mercedes. Hmm, a better bet on a decent car, plus a lot more money to drive for them? Yeah, that took a lot of nerve.

    Jeff Reply:

    Agreed. He stepped into the lion’s den at McLaren, and shut up a lot of people who considered him to be a lucky journeyman by beating Lewis over the season and picking up 3 race wins last year. It took a lot of nerve.

    Regarding the money, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the pay on offer at McLaren was at most equal to, and probably lower than his pay packet if he’d stayed on with Brawn / Merc.

    I hope that the McLaren is competitive this year, and don’t really care which of their drivers wins the championship. It may be jingoistic, but I want to see a British winner in a British car. My ideal result would be a 1 point victory for one of the two McLaren drivers over the other at the final round.

    AuraF1 Reply:

    Can’t see him going personally unless the relationship deteriorates so massively Lewis is willing to take a lesser car. Last year the McLaren was the only car really capable of beating the RBR in Vettel’s hands. I think even if RBR let Lewis into their team, he wouldn’t automatically get the car built to his specs. Vettel is of the qualify fast and then stay ahead school of winning. The RBR is built to that philosophy. Lewis is a lot more aggressive. I just don’t think any other team would build to Lewis like McLaren.

    [Reply]

    Jez Reply:

    Lewis could be described as more aggressive [than who - his team mate, other drivers from leading teams, everyone]?

    Its also quite possible to describe him as unlucky. Or impetuous. Perhaps accident prone?

    He was brilliant in the first two seasons, and since that his success rate has plummeted.

    I hope he regains his concentration and returns to the top of the podium, but I am not betting on him being ahead of his main rivals.

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Rob Newman
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 11:43 am 

    I really like Schumi. He used to be my hero. But I can’t see him suffer in a slower car. Now age has caught up with him and his reflexes are slow. His eye sight is also not that great. Remember he was running into so many cars, especially Barrichello since he returned. RBR is not an option for him. But I like to see him win races and do well this year.

    As for Lewis, there were lot of animosity between him and the team last year. For Lewis all were self inflicted wounds and I am sure even some people from McLaren were secretly wishing he would leave. Again RBR is not the team for him but Ferrari is a better option for him. Personally I think he will leave.

    I am looking forward to Bahrain. I am sure it will go ahead.

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    Lewis to partner Alonso at Ferrari? Expect fireworks again.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Simply will not happen the partnership again or a switch to Ferrari at any point i dont think!

    [Reply]

    Ash.P Reply:

    He’s only 40 years old I think its safe to say he still has his eye sight

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Grayzee (Australia)
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 1:47 pm 

    Old racers never die, they just slow down! It is a known scientific fact that as human beings get older, into the late thirties and forties, the body and brains reaction time gets slower.
    That is why NO elite sportsman can keep with the highest leagues, no matter what the sport. Do you think old premier league footballers “forget” how to play the game? Of course not, they just can’t react as fast as the young ones.
    The same for Formula One drivers, where reaction speed is crucial. A hundredth of a second here and there adds up to a tenth or two.
    Schumacher still “remembers’ how to drive, which kerbs to hit, which lines to take. It’s just the human fallability of old age!
    So, let’s stop the argument.
    And if a team still thinks that a Schumacher at 95% speed, is worth employing, then good on them!

    [Reply]

    Wes Reply:

    Have you ever heard about Kelly Slater? He is forty, he still improving, no one can get close to him and his performances depend solely on his talent…

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    The only problem with this argument is that MS is as fast as Vettel at Race of Champions each year, & then they are mysteriously about the performance difference of the Redbull v Mercedes when they are on the f1 track together.

    Suggest to me that there is no slowing down of MS, but rather the ‘Adrian Newey’ effect mixed in with a great media headline i.e “Too old” etc etc..

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    Jim Richards winning Carrera cup (pretty physical cars) races at 60+ probably backs up the whole “You don’t really lose your reaction times as much as people like to make out” argument too when it comes to motor racing. All the f1′s even have comforts like power steering etc nowdays too so the physical endurance side wouldn’t factor into it as much as say the f1 cars of the 90′s…..

    [Reply]

    Grayzee (Australia) Reply:

    Interesting point. Jimmy does has kept winning races…..into his 60′s!
    Must be just me that is slowing down…. :-)

    Kevin Green Reply:

    Thinks it simply down to the horrible overruling Bias of factor of fitness over skill that should not be there to the extent it is in F1.


  26.   26. Posted By: Crom
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:25 pm 

    “I don’t think Sebastian would mind.”

    Maybe he would if it was F1 where everything’s at stake, and considering Michael was his hero, but he’s already been Michael’s team mate several times before – in Race of Champions, in the German national team, and they get on really well.

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    They’d get on fine, Vettel has said many times that MS is his idol & they have a great respect for each other. Can’t see it happening though, & I’d really like to see MS bring Merc rather than Red Bull results anyway…

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: franed
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:33 pm 

    Well Bernie has successfully diverted you all from the Tata Communications deal. Which I am pretty sure was his intent, this ultimately threatens to end F1 for a great number of us. Their (Tata Comms) logo already appears on the Formula1.com pages so Bernie wasted no time there.

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: Steve
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 2:55 pm 

    James, I love your posts and visit the site everyday to get my fix, however I have to say I’m getting seriously bored with the senseless drivel propagated by blinkered Hammy fans, yes he won a WDC (by an act of extreme generousity by his friend Glock on the last bend of the last race)Whilst it’s fair to say He’s a good make that very good driver, and undoubtably extremely fast under the right conditions he has some way to go before anyone can refer to him as one of the “greats”. To my mind he had a golden opportunity to learn from a master with Alonso, but his ego got in the way. I genuinely don’t have a problem with Hamilton in fact as a British driver I wish him well, but lets not over rate him like this, we do the very same thing with the England football team and always end up with egg on our faces.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I’m sorry we try to keep the standard as high as possible. People have to be allowed their opinions, but we try to cut out the mindless pro and mindless negative.

    We’ll try harder…

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    I really hope that was said tongue in cheek JA, after Steve threw in the “by an act of extreme generousity by his friend Glock on the last bend of the last race” quip, right after talking about blinkered fans!!!

    As I’ve said before, anyone who buys the ‘Glock handed it to Hamilton’ conspiracy, must also think that the CIA masterminded 9/11, and that Fuhrman planted the gloves. Glock and Trulli had the same times on that last lap … was Trulli in on it too?!? If he wanted Lewis to win, why would he stay out on slicks and take away the position that his buddy Lewis needed? And buddy? Just YouTube Hamilton and Glock in GP2, to see how great “buddies” they are.

    Finally, where’s the payoff? Every one of the conspiracy theorists was sure that Glock would pick up a McLaren seat in short order. Surely the payoff is not to be racing for Marussia!!!

    The 2008 DWC was the last one won by a driver not in the best car, and the last in two decades where the DWC’s teammate didn’t finish in the top 5 (Heikki finished 7th!). That was a true feat of driving skill.

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    To the best of my knowledge Lewis and Timo are still good friends not that it makes any difference. I used that “quip” to illustrate 2 things; 1. that Lewis didn’t dominate the championship (IE. he wasn’t head and shoulders over the opposition) 2. That the response to it would show exactly what I meant by “blinkered”, so thank you my friend for helping me out on that one.

    [Reply]

    dzolve Reply:

    “…he had a golden opportunity to learn from a master with Alonso but his ego got in the way”

    Isn’t that precisely “the senseless blinkered drivel” you’re complaining about?!!

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 5:31 pm 

    @ James Clayton

    In 2010 he had a great shot at the
    championship. If he’d been a little calmer
    ————————————————-

    Oh but you mistaken my friend.

    Yes Lewis lost some points through red mist incidents like Monza 2010 but the rest were definitely not his fault.

    Barcelona – His tyre let go 2 laps from the finish because Mclaren hadn’t secured his tyre

    Singapore – Webber took his out (from behind) & even apologized after the race

    Japan – He had a technical issue making him loose 3rd place to Jenson

    Hungary – He retired from the race due to a technical issue while running in 3rd place

    But the most important thing is the Mclaren was off the pace that season but the thing is in the first half of the season he out performing the car (e.g. Turkey, Australia, Malaysia, China & Canada) so much so that he even he was leading the championship by the half way stage.

    Now Mclaren were to bring upgrades at Silverstone that were to make the team more competitive but alas the bloody components didn’t work whereas the Ferrari upgrades that were introduced in Valencia worked on the red cars & you had a situation where the Ferraris became the 2nd fastest car in the second half of the season.

    So no, Lewis didn’t loose the title for he wasn’t really in it to begin with

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    That was Australia where Webber took him out from behind. Singapore was a racing incident, though Webber definitely wasn’t planning on making that turn w/o help from LH’s car.

    Agreed that, despite all the talk about Mac being the best at developing their car, McLaren lost the development race that year, to both RBR and Ferrari, and it was always going to be a longshot for Hamilton to win, even though he was leading midway thru when he had no real right to be anywhere close.

    He could’ve won the DWC, but he had to take the mindset that he just had to score the maximum points on offer to him, control what he could control and don’t worry about the rest, but b/c he’s known as a driver who can transcend the car, he acted as though he could do it again. There are limits to how far you can out-drive a car, and that’s what Hamilton banged up against in both 2010 and 2011.

    If the RB8 and MP4-27 are equally matched this year, we’ll be in for a stellar season.

    [Reply]

    adi Reply:

    He was in it until he

    1/crashed into webber in singapore. You cant be serious when you say webber hit him and apologised…as in “sorry lewis that was my fault’. Racing incident where maybe lewis could have left a bit more room for himself on the outside of a corner with big run off. I think sutil showed lewis a few laps later how its done at that corner if memory serves…..

    2/crashed into massa at monza. Pure stuff up

    3/lost a place to Alonso in Korea when outbraked himself at turn 1. Theres 7 points right there

    4/ Pitted to many times in Australia. Complained his tyres were gone then blamed his engineer for making him do to many stops!!! This might be the incident where webber apologised cos he did misjudge an overtake and turfed lewis

    Mate dont make excuses for him. The order was webber, alonso, lewis and vettle. They were all within 10 -15 points of each other coming into Korea. If he played his cards better and had some luck maybe he could have pinched it but to say he was never in the hunt is pretty lame

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: John M
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:37 pm 

    I think Mr. E makes a good point about Schumacher and by extension all of F1. The 500-lb gorilla in the room is always the car. Everybody tends to jump on the bandwagon for whoever is in the best car being the best driver. Is it the car or is it the driver? Obviously, it’s a bit of both, but I would argue that the car is the biggest factor.

    One example…was Button less of driver before he won the WDC in the best car that year? or, was he just stuck in poor cars that didn’t allow him to show what he was capable of? How many other drivers out there are the right drive away from being a WDC?

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    Of course we know the answer to that. F1 is 80% car, AT LEAST. Yer right, Button was as good a driver in the Honda’s as he was in the Brawn. Throw Rosberg in the RB the last few years, and he’d be picking up that medal from the German President.

    There are only a few drivers who have won the DWC while not in the best car (Hamilton, Prost, Rosberg, Hunt), and in many of those cases they’ve needed luck or for misfortune to befall their opponents (e.g. Mansell’s blowout in Australia ’86, Pironi missing out on the last 5 races, or Lauda almost burning up) in order to win. Rosberg’s Williams team finished 4th in the Constructors’ in 1982!

    I don’t care how good a driver you are, you won’t be able to make up a persistent 0.5 sec gap to a rival team. Even if you’re a quarter-second back, consistently, then it will take a big effort to overcome that at enough races through the season to have a chance. It’s one thing to overcome it at one or two Grand Prix, but to do it over a 20-race schedule? Not likely.

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    “Throw ROS in the RB & he’d be getting the medal???”

    Ummmmm small technical point, Mark Webber beat ROS when they were teammates…….

    Now, whom was the teammate that Vettel just beat 2 years running? Oh yeah, MW..

    So if SV > MW but NR > SV (in your opinion)then I must be missing some part of the equation surely….

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    If you think F1 comparisons can be made linearly, then sure. But let’s add some context, shall we? 2006 was Rosberg’s first year in F1, and Webber’s 5th. And we’re talking about 7 pts to 4!!

    Do you think Di Resta will grow into an overall better driver than Adrian Sutil is/was? I do, but Sutil beat him on pts last year, in Di Resta’s first season.

    And I never said that NR > SV. I think Vettel is a better driver than Rosberg, but I think Rosberg is a good enough driver that he could drive a dominant car to a DWC. And I think that were you throw NR and MW together as teammates now, that NR would win out over the season. But we’ll never know on that score.

    Nathan Reply:

    So James what is it better to have a great driver or a great car designer everyone is saying if shumi was in the red bull or if seb didn’t have that car he wouldn’t be wdc I’m really curious to hear your opinion on this for example would seb have won the wdc driving a mclaren or would rosberg won the wdc driving the red bull because most people are of the opinion it’s the all about the car and if that’s the case why aren’t the top teams bidding for Adrian’s services

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It’s always a combination. You need 1. A great car and 2. A great driver.

    It’s much harder than you imagine to put a championship together and everything has to be maximised on car, team and driver sides to win out. Look at Alonso and Ferrari the last two years – brilliant driver, no championship

    KRB Reply:

    Ah, but they are bidding on Newey’s services! Ferrari would love to snatch him from RBR, but Newey feels at home at RBR, that he has a big stake in the results of the outfit, and that he has the technical control that he desires.

    I don’t think anyone could’ve driven the McLaren to a DWC last year, unless you had Maldonado and Karthikeyan in the RB7. If a halfway-decent driver was in the RB7, they’d win. Remember that the gap was 5 race wins!


  31.   31. Posted By: Tornillo Amarillo
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 6:51 pm 

    Right, but LH won a WDC by an act of Glock really? Generousity on track?

    Extremes are dangerous.

    [Reply]

    veeru Reply:

    I wouldn’t say or thinnk Glock helped him or anything about generousity…

    i believe it has nothing to do with Glock but it had something to do with luck

    that doesn’t make a championship any less worth though…

    the point is will you call him as one of the greatest for that??

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Richard
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 8:01 pm 

    With regard to McLaren it is a fact they have not built a championship winning car for three years. The 2009 car was absolutely awful, but since then they have got progressively better, but still nowhere near good or consistent enough. Is it so surprising that Lewis had become demoralised? Anyway I have a sneaky feeling that this years McLaren is going to be rather better, and I think Lewis is going to be more focussed. That being the case we should be in for a cracking season with Lewis taking the fight to Seb in away only he can do.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    First impressions look good, but I won’t believe McLaren are there with RBR until they show it at Melbourne in Q3. If by some miracle the McLaren is the dominant car this season, at least the inter-team battle will be more interesting than Vettel-Webber was last year.

    I’m really looking forward to see how the Di Resta-Hulkenburg battle goes.

    [Reply]

    Richard Reply:

    Well as they say seeing is believing, but the thing to remember nobody stays at the top forever so have McLaren done enough? They say there is a big update for the next test so it sounds as though they have a direction to develop. – Let’s hope it’s the right one! RBR have been a formidable team last season primarily because of being design led by Newey, but also the organisation which I expect is Horner’s doing. Yes if the McLaren car is good the inter team battle will be intersting to say the least, but I’m expecting Lewis back on top.

    Force India are a team I would like to do well this year, but those two drivers are likely to push each other all the way.

    I would also like to see Caterham move decisively into the mid field. I expect Heikki to out perform Vitali, but we’ll see.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Dev3
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm 

    +1 a true rainmaster he is

    [Reply]

    Dev3 Reply:

    Replying to @Wu

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Louis
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:10 pm 

    Schumacher is a legend,and thus should of been rememberd as such. He chose to return,and put that status at risk. Great courage doing that,but subsequently has shown us he isnt a patch on the old Schummi. Age gets us all eventually,even those who seemed”Superhuman”in years gone. Therefore,having Michael as Vettel’s team-mate is a pointless exercise in my view. Does anyone truly believe he would be genuine contender for another”World Championship”in the course of a season. Redbull or not he’s over-cooked now,and all us romantics should recognise that! Including Michael himself. On the other-hand a straight race in the same car in a straight team,and allowing them to battle isnt. Not with a Hamilton,Vettel pairing. Nobody can tell me this scenario wouldnt excite,entertain and WOW all f1 fans? There are questions unanswered even now,in regard Sebs true talent. The same could be said of Hamilton,although statistics do show the last three Mclaren cars will not live long in memory. As i said,eccelestone would bene

    [Reply]

    Aussie Fan Reply:

    Yeah look at how Vettel completley dominated MS at the Race of Champions where they were teammates….OH WAIT, HE DIDN’T…

    MS must have forgotten how to drive hey…. it just couldn’t be that the Red Bull is the best f1 car & the Merc was a dog last year & the year before could it??? Nah…..

    [Reply]

    Louis Reply:

    Yes we’re aware of the qualities,or lack of(mercedes)last years cars. I would hardly call one race at the”Race of Champions”a true comparison and then reflect that to a whole”World Championship”season. You say the”merc was a dog”last year. Thats fine,i agree in part.On the other hand,when looking back to last season its evident that Nico Rosberg had the better of Schumachers abilities…And that within a Mercedes team completely focused on Michael,and michaels wants and michaels needs. Fact. So unless you recognise Rosberg is a better driver,and the statistics show that self-evidently,how can you believe michael would stand any chance as Vettel’s team-mate? Unless of course you think Nico Rosberg is a better driver than Seb?? If thats the case,maybe a Vettel,Rosberg lineup would have us all licking our lips…Nah,dont think so! Haha

    [Reply]

    Dev3 Reply:

    Evident that Rosberg often faster than Schumacher but in race Schumacher often can produce faster race pace than Rosberg, maybe his age cause Schumacher couple of tenths and maybe he could still gaining couple of tenths more comapring to his 2011, 2010 is far from prime Schumacher so personally i wouldn’t consider Rosberg really triumph over Schumacher and in 2011 he showed glimpsed of his old self and to me pulling out the DNF(which wasn’t his fault) Rosberg already been outscored by Schu, one thing for sure in his 40s can still beat the teammate almost twice his age showing how great he is, imo 2012 we are going to see the real fight between both(hopefully). As for your “Mercedesteam completely focused on Michael…” for sure just your conspiracy theories without any strong evidence. Brawn himself stated that both driver are treated equally and you don’t hear Rosberg saying or complaining about that instead he praises Schumacher work ethic. how could you believe not? hahah

    Dev3 Reply:

    correction: “Evident that Rosberg often faster than Schumacher in qualifying but in race Schumacher often can produce faster race pace than Rosberg”


  35.   35. Posted By: Michael
        Date: February 24th, 2012 @ 9:25 pm 

    Does Bernie ever just speak his mind or is everything he says just pulling people’s strings? The Schumacher bit and the Hamilton bit were obviously intended to get F1 back on the back pages of the weekend papers in Germany and the UK respectively, ahead of the new season. You gotta hand it to him, it seems to be working.

    As for his Bahrain stuff, how late before last year’s race was he saying the race would definitely go ahead?

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: adi
        Date: February 25th, 2012 @ 4:37 am 

    Firstly i must stress schumi was ahead of his time in terms of finding little things that made the difference. i.e attacking pit entry and exit like his 1993 victory at estoril with benetton. However i believe he recieved more presents than any driver in the history of F1 when it came to favourable or evening up rule changes like mid season 2006 (renault mass damper) or near end of year 2003 (FIA declare michelin tyre to good or illegal with 3 races to go). Also knowing he was protected from being investigated added to ruthlessness when being passed. Im talking about changing direction in the braking zone and plain forcing others off the road. When he was punished it either didnt matter like in 1997 jerez or it was so disgusting it had to be done …eventually! Monaco 2006. Honestly I think he deserved 1994 (sorry damon) cos FIA took an interfering role to help williams and 100% 1995 with benetton. With ferrari 2000, 2002, 2004 fair enough.

    [Reply]

    Dev3 Reply:

    You forget that 2005 FIA changed the regulation to stop Ferrari domination. The point was he got punished just like any other drivers that breaching the rule and not all his you so called ruthlessness was breaching the rule sometimes it’s on the line i call it racing hard but fair. Imo it wasn’t the protected case just sometimes the FIA wasn’t consistent as you can see how they applied the rule to other drivers as well not only Schumacher that’s why F1 rule changing through years.

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 25th, 2012 @ 5:28 pm 

    @ adi

    They were all within 10 -15 points of each other coming into Korea. If he played his cards better and had some luck maybe he could have pinched it but to say he was never in the hunt is pretty lame
    ————————————————-

    Aah nice try.

    After Korea, I seem to remember that’s the exact moment the Red Bull started to get reliable and begun winning races from lights to flag.

    So how was Lewis exactly in the hunt when he was getting out qualified by close to a second & by the second lap, the race was already won.

    The points were close at that stage because Vettel’s car kept going bang + he too was involved in all kinds of shunts.

    But if it makes you feel better thinking Hammy lost the 2010 title due to his own fault, go ahead, I say!

    [Reply]

    adi Reply:

    GOFERET…What do you mean ‘nice try’? There is no try, just facts and logic. Lewis was in the hunt the same way alonso was……bring the car home and hope. Thats my point. You should read my post again. We know red bull had the best car BUT they made mistakes and had reliability issues (which you keep reminding me) WHICH gave others like ALONSO and even LEWIS a chance to win. How is that not computing with you? Alonso was also getting out qualified but had a good run of results and nearly won the championship. He can look back to his practice crash in monaco and say he lost points there that eventually could have given him the title. All i said was if Lewis had some luck and didnt make 2 or 3 costly errors he too could have done the same. Coming into the korean gp there was 4 drivers within around 15 points of each other (like 6 points in the old system). How is Lewis out of the title race if hes a race win away from the points leader with 3 races to go???
    You contradict yourself by admitting in your post “the points were close at that stage cos vettles car kept going bang….’ Finally, without realising it, you understand my argument!!!!! Lewis and fernando were ‘close’ in an inferior car. With luck, red bull choking and their own skills they could have pinched it. ……………’and the truth shall set you free’

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    He means without Monza and Singapore mistakes he would win the title, and he is right.

    [Reply]

    adi Reply:

    Thank you F1

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: val from montreal
        Date: February 25th, 2012 @ 9:05 pm 

    James Allen , I got only 2 books on Schumacher , one is written by you ” Edge of Greatness ” , the other by Derick Allsop ” Formula for success published in 1996 …

    How can people STILL underestimate Schumacher ? This guys has been at the TOP for more than a decade …. In Allsop’s book , his opinion was that he was already more complete than Senna was at the ripe age of 25 …Bernie maybe old but hes not senilm … Schumacher may be 43 , but he still Schumacher – NO MATTER WHAT ….

    Ecclostone is right , put Schumacher in a Red Bull and then lets see … but this year , Michael Schumacher is going to win at least 1 race becuase Mercedes have got their shit together ….. For me , M.Bell and company will have it from Helbourne …

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: NRM
        Date: February 26th, 2012 @ 1:05 am 

    Regarding Schumacher, he’s struggled to compete with Nico so far. Does this mean that Schumi’s nowhere near his best, or that Nico is a vastly underrated driver and probable future world champion given a decent car?

    I was a massive Schumi fan back in the day. My personal view is that he’s not quite as sharp now, which is understandable, plus there’s much stronger competition now in SV, LH, FA, JB (new and improved) and his team mate.

    [Reply]

    val from montreal Reply:

    BS …. Why are Vet , Alo and Hamy stronger than :

    Hakkinen, Villeneuve , Montoya , Raikkonen ,
    Button etc …

    where is the scientific evidence to prove that Vettel is actually better than Mika Hakkinen ?

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    Vettel won more races and scored more poles than Häkkinen. And he did that with 80 races less than Häkkinen. And at a younger age too. Proof enough.

    [Reply]

    KRB Reply:

    And far more dominant cars! That’s pretty much all it comes down to.

    NRM Reply:

    Did I suggest there was any scientific evidence? If you read my previous post properly you’ll see the words ‘my personal view’.

    Hakkinen was a great driver, definitely in the same class as SV IMHO (that’s humble opinion) but SV is only at the begiinning of his career, thers’s probably much more to come.

    FA beat Schumi twice to be double world champion. If you use that as a bench mark then LH is just as strong as FA based on his rookie season. I also think that JB is much stronger than he was based on last seaon’s results. His Canadian GP win was stunning, the only driver quicker on that day was LH and we all know what happened there.

    Hopefully Raikonnen has got more to come but JV and J-PM certainly didn’t set the world alight as far as I remember.

    Of course, unless you get all the above mentioned drivers in the same car at the top of their game any comparison is pure conjecture.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 26th, 2012 @ 3:06 am 

    @ adi

    How is Lewis out of the title race if hes a race win away from the points leader with 3 races to go???
    ————————————————-

    Well mate, I guess you too didn’t read my earlier post where I said the Mclaren upgrades weren’t really upgrades matter of fact they were downgrades

    So from Silverstone (when they were introduced) Mclaren were infact the 3rd fastest car & it was Lewis out performing the machinery which made the Mclaren look better than it was.

    Now tell me, where & when (in normal conditions) do you have the 3rd fastest car capable of winning a race especially on a grid with a dominant car.

    Now the driver, that was able to push the Red Bulls in the second half of the season was Alonso for to the point that he could even beat them to pole(e.g. Singapore) but due to mistakes Alonso made in the first half of the season e.g. Monaco crash, China jump start, blew his engine in Malaysia trying to get past Jenson on worn tyres, getting spun in Australia & not being on it in Turkey & Barcelona, he ended up losing the title by a couple of points & yet if you cancel out those incidents, he would have won it much earlier.

    And that’s why I said nice try for you’re trying to twist the past to make it look like Lewis threw away a championship that he had no hope of winning in the first place because of the slowness of the car.

    @ F1 and @ adi

    I now see you include Singapore as one of Lewis’ costly mistakes, the same incident you called a racing incident earlier

    Nice try once again!

    [Reply]

    Nathan Reply:

    Everyone needs to calm down 3 weeks till we’re talking about racing 2012

    [Reply]

    F1 Reply:

    2010 was a year when even a driver not in the best car could win the title because of unreliability problems for the fastest car (Bahrain, Melbourne, Korea). Without those problems for Red Bull 2010 might have been similar to 2011.

    [Reply]

    adi Reply:

    For the final time GOFERET…..At no stage did i say he threw away a championship. You said he never had a chance to win it (even though as u put it ‘he was leading the championship at half season!!!???). I said he did if things went his way. If you cant see that then fair enough. Actually Ill break that down for you…Would Lewis, after leading at the half way mark have won the title if the second half of the season matched the first half?. If he kept his nose clean he could have pulled it off, even though he didnt have the fastest car, that he was only leading cos of red bull unreliability, and because alonsos mistakes in the first half of the year. SO THE WHOLE POINT IS IT WASNT A PERFECT YEAR FOR ANY DRIVER. Thats why 5 guys VETTLE, ALONSO, LEWIS, WEBBER AND BUTTON had their photo taken on the pit wall in Korea and appeared in F1 magazines around the globe with with the heading ‘WHO WILL BE CHAMP?
    I hope thats ‘nice’ enough for you

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Andy
        Date: February 26th, 2012 @ 10:25 am 

    James,

    do you think that Mercedes failure to produce a good car so far is because they have done what Jaguar did which was to try and create there corperate structure to the team? or is it because the team was (through necessity) run into the ground in 2009 and they are still rebuilding?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No. I think the team in Brackley has always been up and down in its car designs. Some good some bad.

    Ross Brawn knows exactly what it takes, which Jaguar never did

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: Roger W
        Date: February 29th, 2012 @ 1:07 pm 

    It might well be that the only driver Lewis fears is Jenson this year, if the car is good and suits him he will up the ante and I think inside pressure may well be higher than external pressure, especially with 2011 still fresh in mind.

    [Reply]

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