Sometimes it’s so hard to be a Ferrari fan!
Sometimes it’s so hard to be a Ferrari fan!
F1 teams will get a ten-place grid penalty from now on if a car is released from a pit stop with a loose wheel.
The new measures have been brought in after Formula One Management (FOM) cameraman Paul Allen was hit by a wheel that came off the Red Bull of Mark Webber in the German Grand Prix earlier this month. Allen was bowled over by the wheel and suffered a broken collarbone and broken ribs.
The punishment for failing to secure all four wheels properly will apply to all sessions – not just the race – and it is believed it will come into force in Hungary this weekend, although the FIA, motorsports governing body, has still to officially confirm the decision.
Previously teams had just been fined for failing to secure all four wheels properly, with the incident at the Nurburgring, for example, resulting in Red Bull getting slapped with a €30,000 penalty.
There were also suggestions of a imposing a minimum pit time, however, that idea was unanimously rejected.
“I think there still needs to be a competition in the pit lane,” Mark Webber told BBC Sport. “Motorsport is dangerous. We know that.
“In GP2 they have not many guys on each corner [of the car]. Maybe there are ways to keep the competition but have less technology. I’m sure they’ll find a way so there is still competition but maybe make it a bit safer.”
“I don’t think the problem came because of the speed. The problem came because somebody couldn’t fix the tyres on the car,” added Felipe Massa.
“That’s definitely dangerous.”
Fernando Alonso’s manager has rubbished speculation the Spaniard might soon tire of Ferrari’s failure to win a title.
Former F1 driver David Coulthard suggested recently that Alonso, regarded by many as the most complete driver in F1 at present, might leave the famous Italian team if it fails to deliver him a championship-winning car in the near future.
“That’s nonsense,” Alonso’s manager Luis Garcia Abad is quoted by DPA news agency.
“I would not advise a change of team for not winning (a title since joining Ferrari),” he insisted.
“Alonso is fourth of the drivers who have won the most grands prix (ever),” Abad continued. “And he has won two world championships.
“Some drivers have retired from formula one without ever winning a single race,” he added.
At the same time, Alonso believes the Maranello outfit is now getting its 2013 campaign back on track, having suffered a development dip in recent races.
“The car was good, more or less, in Germany,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace.
“We went back a bit to the settings and aerodynamic parts from the earlier races and the car went back to behaving more competitively, more normally,” added Alonso.
He lamented, however, that in the end “basically nothing has changed” in terms of the progression of the car since he won the Spanish grand prix in May.
“We had a competitive car,” said Alonso, “but then introduced some pieces that did not give the expected result.
“The others have moved forwards, so we have suffered since Monaco.
“It’s good news that we went back to normal after Silverstone, but we have to improve now,” he added.
Sebastian Vettel has taken a lot of impressive grand prix victories in his time and the one in Germany on Sunday was right up there among them.
It was a win that owed a lot to track position, which he earned by qualifying second to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and making a good start.
There’s no question that, had one of the Lotus cars got past him, Vettel would have found it difficult to win. But he controlled the race extremely well and fully deserved it.
People forget it because of the amount of success he has had, but a lot of Vettel’s victories have been by small margins, although not many by as small as on Sunday.
He tends to manage his races, pushing the car only as far as he needs to do. This was a bit different. He was managing the race, certainly, but the pressure he was under was greater than it usually is.
The first time Red Bull would have known for sure that Vettel was going to win that race was when he exited the last corner. It was that close.
You could see in his eyes after the race how much it meant to Vettel, and how much he had enjoyed the close, tough battle.
I continue to be impressed by Vettel, and that’s not because I have a historical relationship with him through Red Bull Racing. I continue to be impressed by Fernando Alonso, too, for example.
Vettel is doing a fantastic job this year and if he carries on like this it’s hard to see how anyone will prevent him winning a fourth world title.
This is a tough time for Lewis Hamilton. It’s very hard for us as broadcasters to explain why Mercedes are the kings of qualifying but just can’t seem to get it together in the race, with one or two exceptions.
The team themselves admit they don’t understand it – so there’s no way we can say what’s going on.
Hamilton was obviously frustrated after the race, and it’s good that he doesn’t hide it. He clearly doesn’t like the way these tyres work, and he’s not afraid to say it.
It doesn’t make things easy for his PR handlers, but it’s right that he is open and honest about his feelings on that subject.
It was very clear from the start of the race that Hamilton was in trouble – he only just managed to hold off the two Lotus cars in the first few laps and it was no surprise when Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean emerged as Vettel’s main contenders for victory.
The hotter it is, the better it seems to be for Lotus, and Grosjean finally produced the race weekend he desperately needed to.
I have been critical of him in the past, and rightly so, but we have always known the speed is there. His problem has been harnessing it on a consistent basis and not bouncing off things.
Grosjean seemed to have himself more under control in Germany, and yet the speed was there, too. It’s combining those things he has struggled with so often.
There was an illuminating moment in the interview we did with him on the BBC after qualifying. Suzi Perry asked him how he was going to get it together to have a strong weekend and he said it was just a question of believing in himself.
Yeah I nearly forgot to do this oops lol
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Fernando Alonso does not think Ferrari will experience a repeat of its Silverstone woes at the German Grand Prix this weekend after seeing some promising signs during a curtailed Friday of practice.
Alonso struggled to ninth on the grid at the British Grand Prix but managed to fight his way to third after a number of his rivals had issues. Ferrari was not happy with its performance following last weekend’s race, but Alonso was more confident after second practice at the Nurburgring.
“Today went better than last Friday and even if there is still a long way to go, in general we seem to have made a step forward and returned to the level of competitiveness which we had prior to Silverstone,” he said. “One of the positives was the behaviour of the tyres which worked well today and did not create any problems.”
Alonso pulled out of the morning practice after a problem with his car’s ECU but he is confident he can mount a fightback over the course of the weekend.
“Unfortunately, we lost the morning session because of a programming problem on the electronic control unit, which we then changed,” he said. “That halved our work programme and this evening we will have to do all we can to make up for it, but we already have an idea of where and how to make changes, because Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus are ahead of us and we want something better than being the third or fourth team in the classification.”
Fernando Alonso FP1: 22nd, FP2: 6th
“Today went better than last Friday and even if there is still a long way to go, in general we seem to have made a step forward and returned to the level of competitiveness which we had prior to Silverstone. One of the positives was the behaviour of the tyres which worked well today and did not create any problems. Unfortunately, we lost the morning session because of a programming problem on the electronic control unit, which we then changed. That halved our work programme and this evening we will have to do all we can to make up for it, but we already have an idea of where and how to make changes, because Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus are ahead of us and we want something better than being the third or fourth team in the classification.”
Felipe Massa FP1: 6th, FP2: 7th
“It was a particularly busy day, because we had a lot of things to test and we did as many laps as possible in order to complete the programme. We split the time between assessing the Pirelli tyres and a long run test. There is a big difference between the two compounds, caused by the high degradation of the Softs compared to the Mediums and it will be interesting to see how much influence this will have in the race. As usual, choosing the right strategy will be very important. Qualifying remains our weak point, because usually we are less competitive than in the race and that’s why we will do our utmost to try and start from as far up the grid as possible. Over a long run, the car behaved well and this makes me very confident for Sunday”.
Pat Fry, technical director
“After a series of rain affected Fridays, today we hoped for conditions that would allow us to evaluate various solutions and to put together the best possible package for the weekend. Unfortunately, the problems with the electrical system on Fernando’s car affected part of the work which we had planned and the major part of the data that our engineers now have was aquired in the afternoon session. Felipe and Fernando completed the usual tyre comparision and the first impressions are that the new kevlar construction has not affected the balance of the car. Certainly, we will have to do a lot more work to get the tyres working as well as possible: it will be very important to succeed in finding a set-up that allows us to manage the degradation as well as the phenomenon of graining, which is much more accentuated her than at other circuits we have been to so far”.
Sky Sports F1 understands Pirelli have been called by the FIA to attend a meeting of the Sporting Committee ahead of next week’s German GP at the Nurburgring in wake of the alarming tyre failures that overshadowed Sunday’s British GP.
Following the sight of four left-rear tyres failing at high speed in the race at Silverstone, it is understood that FIA President Jean Todt has summoned F1′s tyre manufacturer to appear at a meeting with team bosses and other relevant parties at the Nurburgring on Wednesday.
“It’s in front of what used to be called the Sporting Working Group, actually now called the Sporting Committee,” Sky Sports F1′s Ted Kravitz reported.
“It will be at the Nurburgring in the paddock and it usually consists of the team managers and anybody else who wants to come from every team. As we understand it, Jean Todt wants Pirelli’s attendance at that.
Fernando Alonso urged his Ferrari team to improve their performance after taking a “lucky” third place at the British Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who qualified only 10th, reduced his deficit to championship rival Sebastian Vettel to 21 points after the German retired from the lead.
“We need to raise our game for [the next race] the Nurburgring. We have not been good enough here,” he said.
“The podium finish was down to luck; we were not fast enough.”
Alonso struggled for pace all weekend and made an uncharacteristically poor start, but fought his way up to finish on the podium despite suffering a tyre failure immediately before his first pit stop, and being only eighth with just seven laps to go after an unluckily timed final pit stop just before a safety car period.
“It was a fantastic result,” Alonso said. “It’s not easy to recover 15 points to Sebastian on any weekend, especially when you have a difficult one like this.”
He added that he had “mixed feelings” about the situation Ferrari found themselves in at the end of the race.
1 – Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes)
2 – Mark WEBBER (Red Bull Racing)
3 – Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari)
PODIUM INTERVIEW (Conducted by Damon Hill)
Q: Nico, you’ve kept your cool when all around you were losing theirs. There were tyres going off, there were cars breaking down. Tell me, how do you feel to have won the British Grand Prix?
Nico ROSBERG: Fantastic! It’s a very, very special day and I think what makes it more special is that our factory is so close, and our team has done such a fantastic job to come through during the season. We have such momentum going at the moment, progressing all the time. Really, really massively quick in qualifying, also getting faster and faster in the race. I think today we had equally the fastest race car as well. So, it’s a very special day for me. And this goes out… this is for all of my team colleagues working in the factory. I hope many of them have been in the grandstands watching. This one is for all of you out there. Thank you very much.
Q: It was a dramatic race. You had two guys in the front who you had to beat. We lost Lewis Hamilton early in the race, that was a big disappointment to the British fans and then you were charging, you were chasing after Sebastian and then the leader of the World Championship, his car failed right here. What did you feel when that happened?
NR: With Lewis, definitely I feel sorry for all the British fans. It would have been a great race for Lewis here in front of his home crowd – that’s always a massive disappointment, but that’s racing sometimes. When Sebastian stopped, to be honest, I won’t lie, I wasn’t disappointed by that one. And then from then it was a great race to win.
Q: Mark, what a storming drive. You must have thought it was all over, the start didn’t go so well, tell us about it.
Mark WEBBER: I didn’t have a clue what happened off the line. We’ve had two or three good starts in the last few races and then the lights went out and we’re back to our normal tactics. So, I’m not sure. We need to have a look at why they pop up every now and again. That was frustrating. Then I had, I think it was Grosjean, take the front wing in the first corner, so the first stint was compromised by that. The boys did a great job to put a fresh front wing on at the stop and then we started to get the race underway from there. Obviously there was a lot of people with issues with the tyres which helped a bit but we were lucky not to have any issues. It was a clean race, good strategy. I think that, yeah I would have liked a few more laps at Nico but he deserved the win. He was quick all day, obviously. Little bit of fortune but anyway you’ve got to be there to capitalise. I’m very happy with second, team have done a good job and thanks – last time here in Formula One in front of the British fans – thank you very much.
Fernando, you again drove a storming race. You really got caught out by the second safety car – you were down and had to charge back up through the field. Fantastic drive back into the podium.
Fernando ALONSO: Yeah, it was a good race for us. With the last safety car we lost six positions because of the safety car. But overall I think it has been a very lucky race for us. Looking at the problems with the tyres of some of the drivers, we fact we didn’t any problem we have to consider lucky. And then with Sebastian’s problem, as Nico touched on before, we’ve been also lucky to recover some points. At the end it was a very good Sunday and hopefully we put on a good show for the great, great fans. They’ve been here from Thursday to today, supporting all the teams, respecting all the teams. Thank you very much.
Q: The championship, is it blown open now? Here you have a points gain on Sebastian.
FA: Mixed feelings to be honest. Happy for the points, we’ve reduced the gap a little bit in this race but the pace we saw this weekend is not good enough. There were some other Sundays that we lost some points and maybe I was more optimistic. Today we recovered some points but we know there is a lot of work to do. But I trust the team, we are united, we have a difficult weekend, we put the cross and now we think of the next one.
Q: What did you think before Sergio Pérez when his tyre blew? What was going through your mind there?
FA: I’ve had two moments, that one with Sergio I was so scared and so lucky because I missed the contact by one centimetre. And also at the start into turn one. I locked the tyres and nearly lost the front wheel. As I said, some risky moments. All of them were fine for me today, so I just need to enjoy the result but from tomorrow working in Germany race because we need to raise our game.
Q: Nico, now you’re heading to Germany. Second grand prix victory this season and you have a German manufacturer in Mercedes. It’s going to be a fantastic event in Germany isn’t it, next week?
NR: Yeah, for sure. Going from the team’s home grand prix here to my second home grand prix – I already had one – fortunately for me I have two home grands prix, I managed to win that in Monaco. Second one coming up at Nürburgring. And it’s very special. I’m very proud to be German, driving a Silver Arrow, going to the Nürburgring, the history there, and having that great car that I have at the moment, really looking forward to that.
Q: The tide’s going to change a little bit, isn’t it? You seem to have a car that’s competitive during the race. The tyre degradation wasn’t nearly as bad. Is there any chance, do you think, that this championship could be turning a tide here against Red Bull?
NR: Well, I wouldn’t talk about that just yet but definitely the team has done such a good job during the season. Already in the winter, to come up with such a quick car, which we’ve had all year in qualifying, and now also progressing with tyre management and getting that better and better to allow us to win races now, that’s fantastic to see and really gives me… yeah, just very exciting.
Q: Where you happy to continue racing when you were told about the tyre issue?
NR: It’s definitely something that needs to be looked into, yeah? Because too much of that today, that’s for sure. I had one too – but got a bit lucky there with the safety car so that worked out great.