The F1 Times.com - News http://www.f1times.co.uk Catch up on all F1 news, here at TheF1Times.com's RSS Feed! 1 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09172http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09172Some of the best tweets from the Hungarian GPMon, 28 Jul 2014 15:52:22 GMTWe present a selection of some of the best tweets over the course of the Hungarian Grand Prix. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09171http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09171Horner says Ricciardo 'riding a confidence wave'Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:14:18 GMTDaniel Ricciardo remains the only man to have beaten a Mercedes this season - something he has managed to do twice - and as a result he is "riding the crest of a confidence wave" according to Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "It was an incredible performance," said the Briton after the race. He praised the Australian's drive from fourth to take his second victory of the season. "Daniel was intelligent enough in not burning up his tyres in the pack. He then had enough rubber when those guys [ahead] pitted for their stops to use his pace and put in a long stint," explained Horner. "The guy is riding the crest of a confidence wave at the moment. You probably heard it in his radio message after he passed two world champions... "He's driving the car with such ease at the moment - and things are just falling right for him as well. Being able to get in at the right time for that first stop was a critical element of the race. "We then had a problem on one of the cylinders in his engine in that penultimate stint. Again, the Renault guys were able to find a way around it, to disable the sensor, and then his passing moves in the last five laps just topped a fantastic race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09170http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09170Mercedes will allow its drivers to race freelyMon, 28 Jul 2014 12:57:21 GMTMercedes will no longer employ team orders during a race following the Hungarian Grand Prix debacle which saw Lewis Hamilton refuse to let Nico Rosberg past despite being ordered to do so. The situation created further tension between the pair, but with Niki Lauda backing Hamilton's choice not to follow instruction, the team will change how it handles such situations in the future considering its points advantage in the constructors' championship. "This is one of the thoughts we are having," Wolff said when asked if Mercedes would let them race freely in future. "At the moment, we have a 170-point advantage in the constructors' championship and maybe it is a moment of loosening it a bit, in agreement with both of them." Wolff is due to hold talks with the pair over the summer break and, with the battle between the pair heating up, reckons the only approach Mercedes can take is to let them fight it out on track. "The longer the season goes, the more intense it gets, and the more difficult it is to beat your team-mate," he added. "Maybe we have come to a point where what we had at the beginning of the season doesn't function anymore, because we cannot ask either driver to give up positions or jeopardise their own campaign and championship chances for the benefit of the team."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09169http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09169Caterham faces legal action from axed employeesMon, 28 Jul 2014 12:48:14 GMTThe Caterham Formula 1 team faces legal action from a group of former employees following the recent buyout by Swiss and Middle Eastern investors. In a bid to reduce costs and to become more efficient, the new owners led by Colin Kolles and Christijan Albers, axed 40 members of staff. These included senior figures such as team manager Graham Watson, head of track operations Gerry Hughes and deputy technical director Jody Eggington. A statement released by the group suing the team have not only taken legal action, but have asked the FIA to look into the matter. "The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation and will result in significant compensation claims against the team. "Caterham has also reneged on promises that the employees would at least be paid in July. Lawyers for the group will take immediate action. "It is understood that the employees, many of whom have supported the F1 team during its four years in the championship, will be requesting the FIA - as a responsible regulator - to fully investigate the F1 team's conduct and the circumstances in relation to its recent change of ownership."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09168http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09168Lauda would have done the same as HamiltonSun, 27 Jul 2014 19:22:35 GMTNiki Lauda has backed Lewis Hamilton's decision to ignore team orders during the Hungarian Grand Prix, insisting he would have done the same. Hamilton said he would only move over if Nico Rosberg got close enough, but the German never closed the gap to less than a second, which meant the Briton would have had to slow and lose time to Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso ahead. Lauda says Mercedes panicked under the "stressful conditions". "Mercedes has been used to being in the lead and racing against each other, but this race, with the safety car at the beginning and the wet conditions, was a completely different race," Lauda said. "So every minute you had to decide something different and in this stress the team told Lewis he should let Nico by because he was on softer tyres and has to come in anyway. "But in Lewis's position he was clear that if he had been in the DRS position - Nico one second behind - for sure he would have let him by. But Nico never got that close. Therefore I do understand that Lewis said 'Why should I stop now in the middle of the circuit to let my team colleague by?' He is fighting for the championship anyway. "So from my point of view Lewis was right. And why the call came, this happened out of the panic and we had to make up for what we were losing." When he was asked what he'd do in the same situation, he said: "I would have not even answered."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09167http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09167Alonso: 'Second place tastes like a victory'Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:11:24 GMTFernando Alonso says coming second after a difficult season in which he's secured just one podium prior to Hungary "tastes like victory". The Spaniard led at one point, but couldn't keep the lead after a faster Daniel Ricciardo, on newer tyres, flew past first Lewis Hamilton and then Alonso. "It means a lot, obviously," Alonso said. "We've had some tough races recently and to see a Ferrari again on the podium is the best news. "We chose the right thing, to stay out and defend the position the best we could and secure this second place which tastes like a victory for us at the moment." Team principal Marco Mattiacci said the team had "balls" to keep Alonso out when it looked as though his tyres would fade much quicker. Alonso too believes they made the right call. "Ten laps from the end we were discussing if we should stop to secure fourth place but we really needed those points so you try to defend the position as much as you can and maybe finish in fourth - again it's the same result but at least you've had a chance to fight for the podium position."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09166http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09166Button says McLaren threw away a good resultSun, 27 Jul 2014 17:12:52 GMTJenson Button has laid the blame squarely on his team for making the wrong tyre call during his first stop during the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Briton reckons the decision to keep the intermediate tyre, whilst those around him changed to slicks, cost McLaren a good result. "We obviously use a different radar to everyone else as the team thought it was going to rain," he said. Button was running fifth at the time and emerged from the pits behind eventual race winner Daniel Ricciardo who was running slicks. However with no rain in sight, Button was forced to pit on the next lap to change to dry tyres. "I did everything right in the race and it's tough. Fifth at the start, [I] put the car in a good place and we threw it all away." Team-mate Kevin Magnussen ran the same strategy, but believes the team were right to take a gamble with him because of his pitlane start. "I know we took a risk to wait for more rain, but I think we had to take that risk. "I don't think things would've been much different if we'd made a different strategy call, but we now need to sit down with the engineers and strategists to discuss it."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09165http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09165Hamilton says he was right to ignore team ordersSun, 27 Jul 2014 16:54:02 GMTLewis Hamilton insists he made the right call in ignoring team orders asking him to let team-mate Nico Rosberg through during the Hungarian Grand Prix The Briton was repeatedly told to "move over" by his race engineer as Rosberg continued to question why he wasn't doing so over the radio. In response, Hamilton said: "I'm not slowing down for Nico. If he gets close enough to overtake, he can overtake". Hamilton eventually finished third, just half a second ahead of Rosberg. He later admitted he was shocked by the team orders. "If I'd let him past he would have beaten me," Hamilton said. "Also, I would have lost points to Nico. Obviously I was in the same race as him, just because he had one more stop than me doesn't mean I wasn't in the same race. He would have had the opportunity to pull away and then I thought he would come back and overtake me. "I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that. He didn't get close enough to overtake, I was not going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando [Alonso] or Daniel [Ricciardo], so it was a bit strange." He says ultimately he made the right call in choosing to ignore the request and said the matter will be taken up with the team during the post-race debrief.  "I'm not quite sure what the situation was there. I'll go and talk to everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure it was perhaps for the right reasons. Ultimately I would have lost points today so it definitely feels strange, but I think it was the right decision for myself."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09164http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09164Ricciardo wins sensational Hungarian GP in styleSun, 27 Jul 2014 15:11:49 GMTDaniel Ricciardo was crowned the winner of the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix in sensational style in what has to be considered one of the best races of the season. Fernando Alonso managed to hold onto second despite worn tyres and a charging Lewis Hamilton chasing him down for the last ten laps of the race. The Mercedes driver, who started from the pitlane, managed to make the best of the wet conditions at the start to close down on the leaders before racing his way to third. Hamilton finished just half a second ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg who, despite starting on pole, could only manage fourth. The race saw a pre-start downpour which soaked the circuit. Hamilton was the major casualty, spinning on his first lap, damaging his front-wing. A safety car period for Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean bunched the pack up with several cars changing strategy as a result. Once the track dried and the various strategies played out, intense battles broke out throughout the field. Race Result - 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. D. Ricciardo Red Bull 25 02. F. Alonso Ferrari +5.2 18 03. L. Hamilton Mercedes +5.8 15 04. N. Rosberg Mercedes +6.3 12 05. F. Massa Williams +29.7 10 06. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +31.3 8 07. S. Vettel Red Bull + 6 08. V. Bottas Williams + 4 09. J. Vergne Toro Rosso + 2 10. J. Button McLaren + 1 11. A. Sutil Sauber + 12. K. Magnussen McLaren + 13. P. Maldonado Lotus + 14. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap 15. J. Bianchi Marussia +2 laps 16. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 17. E. Gutierrez Sauber Retired 18. K. Kobayashi Caterham Retired 19. S. Perez Force India Retired 20. N. Hulkenberg Force India Retired 21. R. Grosjean Lotus Retired 22. M. Ericsson Caterham Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09163http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09163Honda wants points in every race and expects winsSun, 27 Jul 2014 10:18:37 GMTHonda has big expectations for the 2015 season when it returns to Formula 1 as an exclusive engine supplier to the McLaren F1 team. The Japanese company is to focus its efforts solely on the Woking outfit, unlike Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault, which all have several customers each. Honda F1 chief Yasuhisa Arai says they're not currently considering supplying more teams, instead choosing to pour their efforts into McLaren. "We are not thinking about that [other customers]," he told Speedweek. "At the moment we want to concentrate only on our return for the 2015 season." The manufacturer is targeting wins and nothing less when it returns according to Arai, despite its rivals having a years worth of on-track data to improve on over the winter period. "To win grands prix with McLaren," he said when asked what their aim for 2015 is. "It is for this reason we decided to partner with McLaren. We want to make history. "We expect points in every race; we expect victories." Honda's last foray into the sport was as a works team. They pulled out after scoring just 14 points and finishing 9th in the championship. Arai insists that season can't be used as a reference for their return. "You cannot compare," he said. "We are approaching very differently in 2015, starting with the fact that we will no longer make the car ourselves." http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09162http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09162Briatore to head up F1's popularity working groupSat, 26 Jul 2014 20:29:10 GMTFormula 1 has turned to ex-team boss Flavio Briatore in a bid to reverse declining television audiences. The Italian, who was thrown out of the sport for his hand in fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash - will sit on the board of F1's new popularity working group. The group aims to come up with ideas to increase the sport's popularity, particularly amongst the younger generation of fans which it has failed to appeal to. Along with Briatore, a select number of teams will be involved. Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Force India are believed to have been chosen. Speaking in Hungary after a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, Toto Wolff said the media would also be involved to canvas the fans opinion after some recent unpopular decisions. "A couple of guys will sit together, because it's difficult to do when you invite everybody and come up with priorities and solutions," said the Mercedes boss. "We'll probably get you guys [the media] involved to avoid the situation last time when you found our ideas really shit! So that's the procedure," he said, referring to double points and the like. "Bernie expressed a wish to discuss with teams about how we can improve the show of Formula 1. So we're going to come together and come up with ideas." A meeting will be held within the next few weeks to discuss ways of improving the show and appealing better to fans. One idea raised on Saturday was to add 'success ballast' to successful cars in order to level the playing field [read more here]. It's likely the move to online broadcasting, mobile apps and social media will be on the agenda, with Ecclestone avoiding such media because it's difficult to monetise.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09161http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09161Hamilton and Magnussen to start from pitlaneSat, 26 Jul 2014 18:39:14 GMTLewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen will start from the pits after both encountered trouble during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Mercedes confirmed Hamilton will have to race with a new chassis, engine and gearbox following an engine fire as a result of a fuel leak. Magnussen meanwhile will also require a new chassis due to a Q3 crash which damaged the carbon-fibre tub beyond repair. The Danish driver was caught out by the sudden shower, sliding off track at turn one and into the tyre barrier. "It was completely dry at the last corner until the straight, so I braked a little bit early - like 20 metres - and it was just wet. I locked up and didn't stop really. Unfortunate," he said. He had qualified 9th in his McLaren whilst Hamilton qualified 21st.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09160http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09160Raikkonen: 'I questioned their decision a few times'Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:31:00 GMTKimi Raikkonen says he questioned Ferrari's decision to leave him in the garage during the closing minutes of Q1, believing his time was quick enough to make it through to Q2. It turned out however that it wasn't, and he was knocked out by Marussia's Jules Bianchi who managed to improve his time by enough to jump up to P16, putting Raikkonen P17. Despite his repeated questioning of their strategy, Raikkonen says he trusted the team to make the right call. "You can, but I trust in the team, believe in the people. The plan was to go out, but the team said 'no, you are fine, you do not need to go out'. I questioned it a few times, but they said no need and we can see the end result," he said. "I cannot always go against advice. We are here as a team, we make decision as a team, and today the outcome was this. As a team in Formula One, as Ferrari, we should not be doing these kind of things. None of us are in our first year. It's not good for me or the team." The Finn refused to get angry over the call and insisted he would move past it and focus on Sunday's race. "A mistake has been made. It's already been a difficult year, so I don't see the point to shout. The mistake is done. I've made mistakes in the past, I will make them in the future. People make mistakes, but there are things we have to change to improve. These are not easy times."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09159http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09159F1 considering success ballast to level playing fieldSat, 26 Jul 2014 16:08:39 GMTFormula 1 bosses met on Saturday morning in Hungary to discuss more ideas to increase the sporting spectacle and draw more fans to the sport. It comes after crowds at the German Grand Prix last weekend were relatively sparse compared to previous seasons, whilst TV audiences have also tumbled in several key markets. Team principals met with Bernie Ecclestone to suggest and discuss ideas which could reverse the decline. One idea which gained support was the idea of 'success ballast'. It is something that is used in Touring Car racing such as DTM, BTCC and the WTCC. The proposal is to add a certain amount of ballast to the winners car, say around 20kg, reducing that to 18kg for second, 15kg for third and so on. Whilst the details have yet to be discussed and at this stage it is simply a proposal, it's believed the top ten would carry some form of ballast, leaving the remaining cars ballast-free. It would penalise a winner at the next event and, it's believed, level the playing field to increase the amount of on-track action as a dominant car would be at a weight disadvantage compared to its rivals. It isn't clear if the idea will get the go-ahead or how fans will react.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09158http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09158Rosberg takes pole as Hamilton hits trouble againSat, 26 Jul 2014 14:17:56 GMTNico Rosberg will start the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position, continuing his great Saturday form to give him his sixth pole of 2014. The German looked as though he might have some competition from Red Bull and Williams and both Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas held the top spot, before Rosberg's last lap put him well ahead. Rosberg wasn't however challenged by team-mate Lewis Hamilton who's bad luck and reliability woes continued. An engine fire during Q1 ended his hopes of a Hungary pole and he looks set to start last. When Q3 ended and the dust had settled, Vettel finished second quickest and Bottas third. The session saw a red flag when rain began to fall and Kevin Magnussen slid off at turn one - as did Rosberg and Jenson Button but both avoided the barriers - Magnussen didn't though and his session ended. Q1's surprise was Jules Bianchi knocking Kimi Raikkonen out. Qualifying - 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.227 1:23.310 1:22.715 02 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:25.662 1:23.606 1:23.201 03 V. Bottas Williams 1:25.690 1:23.776 1:23.354 04 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.495 1:23.676 1:23.391 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:26.087 1:24.249 1:23.909 06 F. Massa Williams 1:26.592 1:24.030 1:24.223 07 J. Button McLaren 1:26.612 1:24.502 1:24.294 08 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:24.941 1:24.637 1:24.720 09 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.149 1:24.585 1:24.775 10 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:26.578 1:24.585 No Time 11 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.361 1:24.706   12 A. Sutil Sauber 1:26.027 1:25.136   13 S. Perez Force India 1:25.910 1:25.211   14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:25.709 1:25.260   15 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:26.138 1:25.337   16 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:26.728 1:27.419   17 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.792     18 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.139     19 M. Chilton Marussia 1:27.819     20 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:28.643     21 L. Hamilton Mercedes No Time     22 P. Maldonado Lotus No Time     http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09157http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09157Hamilton says top ten finish probably out of reachSat, 26 Jul 2014 13:44:05 GMTLewis Hamilton believes a top ten finish on Sunday will be difficult despite the pace advantage the Mercedes has over its rivals. The Briton looks likely to start from the pitlane after an engine fire during the first part of qualifying ended his session before he could even set a timed lap. Despite finishing second in Germany last weekend after starting from a similar position, he doesn't believe a similar feat can be achieved in Hungary where overtaking is much harder. "I think it is getting to the point where it is beyond bad luck," he said. "I bailed out of that timed lap I was doing. Something happened to my brakes, something on the brake system failed, I had to engage some settings to try and correct it and then the engine just died. "I thought, I'm right next to the pit entry, I'll roll back and try and get them to fix it. Then I looked in my mirrors and I was on fire. "It was on fire, but I was still trying to get it to the garage, I thought maybe they could do something, but they said stop, stop, stop. "I don't know what I can do tomorrow. It's a track you can't overtake on. I'll struggle to get into the top ten tomorrow, definitely the top five." Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda called Hamilton's constant reliability troubles unfair and said pole and a race win was almost certain at a track where the 29-year-old usually excels. "It's completely unfair, especially here where it is so hard to overtake," he said. "Two races in a row. "He would have been fastest today and won the race no question."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09156http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09156Button unfazed by McLaren seat speculationSat, 26 Jul 2014 12:25:40 GMTJenson Button isn't concerned by rumours which have linked both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to his seat at McLaren. The Briton's contract expires at the end of the season and it's believed 2015 power unit supplier and partner Honda, are keen for a 'superstar' driver to join McLaren's line-up. That has led to speculation linking Red Bull's Vettel with a move, or possibly Fernando Alonso who is increasingly growing tired of Ferrari's lack of pace compared to some of its rivals. Button believes both rumours are non-starters though. "I don't understand why Sebastian should want to leave Red Bull – and Fernando has a long-term contract with Ferrari so I don't see that," he told the official F1 website. When asked how confident he was of retaining his seat, especially in light of comments from McLaren chairman Ron Dennis who urged him to "try harder", Button said: "I would give myself 10 out of 10," he laughed. "You have to have confidence in your ability, so in terms of working with the team and developing the car and finding a direction, I am very happy with what I've done."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09155http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09155FP3: Hamilton pips Rosberg as pack closes inSat, 26 Jul 2014 11:55:02 GMTLewis Hamilton completed a practice clean sweep as he headed the final session for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday morning. The Mercedes driver was only just ahead of his team-mate though, as Nico Rosberg's 1:24.095 was just four-hundredths back. The chasing pack closed in, with Sebastian Vettel getting the gap down to four-tenths from six during second practice, as Red Bull asserted itself as the second quickest team with Daniel Ricciardo fourth. Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen was seventh as he closed on Alonso, edging out the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen. FP3 Full Times - 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 44 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.048   21 02 6 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.095 0.047 24 03 1 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:24.455 0.407 16 04 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.678 0.630 15 05 77 V. Bottas Williams 1:24.685 0.637 21 06 14 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:24.769 0.721 11 07 7 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:24.818 0.770 19 08 20 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:24.867 0.819 21 09 25 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:25.162 1.114 17 10 26 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:25.170 1.122 19 11 19 F. Massa Williams 1:25.231 1.183 18 12 22 J. Button McLaren 1:25.468 1.420 14 13 13 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:25.829 1.781 22 14 8 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:25.859 1.811 19 15 99 A. Sutil Sauber 1:25.934 1.886 21 16 21 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:26.023 1.975 23 17 27 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.035 1.987 19 18 11 S. Perez Force India 1:26.142 2.094 17 19 10 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:27.560 3.512 23 20 4 M. Chilton Marussia 1:28.083 4.035 17 21 9 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:28.605 4.557 22 22 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:28.821 4.773 14 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09154http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09154FP2: Hamilton and Rosberg dominate practiceFri, 25 Jul 2014 21:05:41 GMTLewis Hamilton was fastest during second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix to go just over two-tenths quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Mercedes pairing dominated the session. FP2 Full Times - 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix: #No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 44 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.482   38 02 6 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.720 0.238 38 03 1 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:25.111 0.629 33 04 14 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:25.437 0.955 26 05 20 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:25.580 1.098 34 06 7 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:25.730 1.248 30 07 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.983 1.501 29 08 77 V. Bottas Williams 1:25.999 1.517 37 09 22 J. Button McLaren 1:26.234 1.752 33 10 19 F. Massa Williams 1:26.402 1.920 18 11 26 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:26.689 2.207 42 12 25 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:26.703 2.221 37 13 27 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.789 2.307 39 14 99 A. Sutil Sauber 1:26.919 2.437 41 15 11 S. Perez Force India 1:27.013 2.531 39 16 13 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:27.019 2.537 40 17 8 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:27.021 2.539 14 18 21 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:27.480 2.998 32 19 10 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:28.370 3.888 35 20 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:28.469 3.987 26 21 4 M. Chilton Marussia 1:28.586 4.104 35 22 9 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:29.036 4.554 34 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09153http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09153Competition: Win a McLaren technical team t-shirtThu, 24 Jul 2014 19:54:02 GMTIf you fancy winning a McLaren Technical Team T-shirt worth £39.95, enter our competition below. Simply fill out your details and predict who you think will win the Hungarian Grand Prix. COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED - GOOD LUCK! Please note: Your details may be shared with McLaren only.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09152http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09152Massa blasts FIA stewards over Magnussen rulingThu, 24 Jul 2014 19:20:40 GMTFelipe Massa has continued his claim that he wasn't to blame for an opening lap incident at the German Grand Prix which resulted in his car flipping over, ending his race. The Brazilian insists McLaren's Kevin Magnussen was '100 per cent' to blame, despite the stewards choosing not to investigate the Danish driver, but to instead focus their attention on the Williams car. He called for better stewards as a result: "You see, there is a lot to improve even in the FIA," he said. "If the stewards are thinking like that, I don't know who they are taking to be stewards." McLaren racing director Eric Boullier put the blame squarely on the Brazilian and said his driver wasn't at fault in any way. "The stewards report related to Felipe's driving and nothing else," he said recently. "The report makes it clear that Kevin was 100% blameless, certainly." Massa disagrees and says the 21-year-old needs to calm down. "I think he was a little bit too aggressive," he added. "How many races has he caused problems on the first lap? Anyway..." The Williams driver doesn't have much in the way of support from his rivals though, with both Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez backing Magnussen. "For me it is difficult to anticipate from Felipe what he is going to do. It looked like he suddenly dived into the corner. Magnussen is keeping his line," said the Caterham driver. Perez added: "I think Kevin did everything he could to avoid Felipe, in the end they touch and it was a bad accident for Felipe."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09151http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09151Rossi takes Marussia reserve role after Caterham axeThu, 24 Jul 2014 19:01:57 GMTAmerican Alexander Rossi has joined the Marussia F1 team in a reserve role after leaving Caterham earlier this month when the team was bought out and restructured. He previously raced for the Caterham GP2 outfit but will now take up a full-time reserve role with Caterham's closest rival, Marussia. "Since my initial discussions with the Marussia F1 team management, I've felt right at home," he said. "I'm looking forward to working with the team in Hungary and building for the rest of the season "The timing of my affiliation with the team is perfect, especially beginning before the summer break." He is expected to take part in at least one free practice session for the team, likely his home race, the United States Grand Prix. "He is a proven talent whom we have observed in GP2 and we have also been impressed by his performances during Friday morning free practice sessions over the past two seasons," added team principal John Booth. "The US is an exciting market for the sport and Alexander has a great deal of support there, so it is nice to develop new links to that audience. "Alexander will be an integral part of the team, immersing himself in our engineering activity so that he is fully prepared should he ever be required to deputise for one of the race drivers."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09150http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09150Hamilton not worried by Vettel/Mercedes rumourThu, 24 Jul 2014 18:40:57 GMTLewis Hamilton isn't concerned by reports that Mercedes are considering replacing him with Sebastian Vettel in 2016. The German outfit has reportedly been in contact with Vettel according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, with discussions centering around a seat in 2016, once Hamilton's contract has expired. It's not something that worries Hamilton though as he insists the team are looking to extend his contract - something he too is happy to do. "My representatives haven't [sat down with Mercedes yet], but we've both shown interest in sitting down and talking," he said on Thursday. "We haven't sat down yet but the team know that I would like to push to continue and they have made it clear that they would like to do the same." When asked about the Vettel speculation, he said: "I'm not worried about it. "Another German driver, I don't know if that’s something Mercedes would like, but at the moment I'm here until the end of next year. So it's not going to be any time soon. But that's normal – Mercedes is the best and so everyone's going to want to drive a Mercedes."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09149http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09149Alonso says Ferrari are going backwardsThu, 24 Jul 2014 18:32:39 GMTFernando Alonso is worried that Ferrari aren't making gains this season and are instead falling further back after Williams recently took over third in the constructors' championship, pushing the Italian team down to fourth. Ferrari currently have 116 points to Williams' 121 and have failed to score a podium finish since the Chinese Grand Prix, six races ago. That's cause for concern according to Alonso who doesn't expect a step forward in Hungary where he expects a similar showing to the German GP where he finished fifth. "At the moment we are not super happy with the performance and we try to keep improving to score more points because, especially with the constructors' championship, we are going backwards a little bit. We need to put both cars in the points as many times as possible," he said on Thursday. "Obviously the car is identical with only four days between races and the circuit layout is not particularly good with a traction demanding circuit," he said. "On the other hand every race has been a little bit a surprise and at some circuits we thought we'd be more competitive and we were less and vice-a-versa. "We need to go into the weekend with some positive mood and see what is the final result, but the picture should not change compared to the last couple of races." He reckons Red Bull could make a step forward, pushing Ferrari down to the fourth or fifth quickest car. "Probably Red Bull will be more competitive with less engine demand here and we see Williams at a circuit that requires good traction and aerodynamics and we will see if they keep their form. It will be more or less similar."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09148http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09148Mexico signs five-year contract to host F1 raceWed, 23 Jul 2014 22:08:57 GMTWe reported earlier this week that the Mexican Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2015, and it has now been confirmed during a press conference at the Banamex Centre in Mexico City. The race is due to take place at a soon-to-be revamped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, which organisers say will feature renovated pit buildings, spectator stands and minor track alterations to meet the FIA's Grade 1 safety standard. A return to Mexico had been mooted for some time, with it even making it onto the provisional 2014 calendar before it was dropped. That won't happen this time though according to organising president Alejandro Soberon. "Start your engines, F1 will return to Mexico next year. This is Mexico's time," he said during the conference. Bernie Ecclestone wasn't present at the official announcement on Wednesday, but sent the following statement. "I am pleased to confirm that F1 will be back in Mexico City in 2015. "I feel it is the right for F1 for and Mexico and I'm sure it will be to the benefit of both for many years. I look forward to welcoming you all to this global event next year." The event has the backing of Carlos Slim Domit, son of one of the world's richest men, and Tavo Hellmund who masterminded the United States GP in Austin. "Ever since Bernie and I began working on a race at Austin, it's been a dream of mine to help Formula One return to Mexico," added Hellmund. "This announcement has therefore been years in the making, but we've gradually been able to assemble all the right pieces. I'm absolutely delighted." The race will likely see the calendar expand to 20 or more events in 2015 as a street race in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, is expected to join to the roster too. If the calendar exceeds 20 events, it must be signed off by all 11 teams, each of which will likely receive a financial incentive.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09147http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09147Lotus already well into design of 2015 carWed, 23 Jul 2014 19:00:36 GMTLotus's 2015 car already looks "quite promising" according to technical director Nick Chester. Whilst he says development of next year's car is progressing well, he insists they won't be giving up on the E22 just yet and more upgrades are planned for coming races. "We will obviously have a good go at getting points in Hungary and then after the summer break the development of this car will still continue," he said. "There will probably be one more sizeable package of new parts and then a series of smaller, simpler upgrades to bring fairly easy performance towards the end of the season. "Looking further ahead, we are already well into the design of next year's car," he added. "It looks quite promising with some very distinctly different features from this year's car."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09146http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09146Ricciardo has no desire to race for FerrariWed, 23 Jul 2014 17:13:34 GMTDaniel Ricciardo, despite his Italian roots, has no 'great dream' to race for Ferrari in the future and insists he is more than happy at Red Bull. The Australian has Italian family but doesn't hold a burning passion to race for the Scuderia, unlike many on the grid who often describe it as "the dream". "To be honest I think this is just a cliche," Ricciardo told Gazzeta dello Sport. "For sure some drivers have this dream, but I think it's related to the fact that their parents loved Ferrari for its great history and cultural heritage. "My Italian DNA definitely comes out in my eating [though]," he joked. The 25-year-old is happy with his first year at Red Bull and has no plans to leave. "I was hoping for a year like this," he added. "I knew that if I did everything right, it was possible to fight on equal terms with Sebastian. "I think I've started the year very well, so the goal is just to keep doing what I'm doing."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09145http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09145Wolff injured in Mercedes team building bike crashWed, 23 Jul 2014 14:08:58 GMTMercedes motorsport bosses Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe have both suffered injuries during a team building exercise on Tuesday. The pair were involved in a cycling crash in the Austrian capital, Vienna. Whilst technical chief Lowe escaped with cuts and bruises, Wolff was admitted to hospital overnight for treatment to a broken wrist, elbow, shoulder and collarbone. "We've decided to leave it to the pros now," Wolff said. "Lewis and Nico are better wheel to wheel at 300 km/h than we are at 30 km/h!" The Mercedes team reports they're both in "good spirits" and aren't expected to miss this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. My husband the hero! 😊 As we know, boys will be boys... Looks like I am on nurse duty for the next few weeks! pic.twitter.com/ngbA6kix9J — Susie Wolff (@Susie_Wolff) July 23, 2014 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09144http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09144German GP organiser blames Vettel for poor turnoutTue, 22 Jul 2014 23:03:28 GMTSebastian Vettel must take some of the blame for the lack of fans at the German Grand Prix, not because of his recent dominance - which now seems to be a thing of the past - but because of his negative comments. Following sell-out crowds at the last three races in Canada, Austria and Briton, the German race saw just 52,000 people turn up on Sunday, down 30 per cent on 2012 according to circuit adviser Katja Heim. His recent negative comments about the sport, particularly one in which he labelled the sound of the new engines "shit" has turned German fans away, reckons Heim. "It certainly didn't really help that Sebastian in his frustration about the new F1 and his car gave loads of interviews about how bad it is now and that it's not worth going there," she told Reuters. "As a four-time world champion from Germany, people believe him more than they would the sales people. So if he says there's nothing any more for the fans, it's not F1 like it used to be, that was 100% quite damaging." The Red Bull driver can't shoulder the entire blame though as Heim joked that had Germany done as badly as England at the World Cup, then maybe people would have attended the race. "For F1, it would maybe have been better if Germany had done an England and gone out in the first round. I really believe that."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09143http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09143Mexico will return in 2015 confirms EcclestoneTue, 22 Jul 2014 21:18:00 GMTBernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the 2015 calendar will feature the Mexican Grand Prix for the first time since it was dropped in 1992. The race will take place in Mexico City at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. An official press conference is due to take place on Wednesday. Ecclestone has been keen to bring the race back, it even featured on a provisional 2014 calendar, before it was dropped when organisers confirmed they wouldn't be ready in time. "We have got Mexico past the post," the 83-year-old told Forbes. Tavo Hellmund, the man behind the Austin race, has been working with the event's organisers to help bring F1 back, whilst several high profile Mexican businessman are keen to see Mexico back on the motorsport map. They include Alejandro Soberon, chief executive of Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE), Carlos Slim Domit, son of one of the world's richest men, George Gonzalez chief executive of CIE subsidiary Ocesa and Federico Alaman, president of motorsports for Ocesa. It's likely the calendar will expand to 20 events in 2015, as none of the current races are expected to be dropped.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09142http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09142Magnussen '100% blameless' in Massa crash - BoullierTue, 22 Jul 2014 20:55:23 GMTKevin Magnussen was the innocent victim in the first corner crash during the German Grand Prix which took Felipe Massa out, according to McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier. After the clash, Massa blasted the young Danish driver, putting the blame on him despite the stewards taking no action over the incident. He was "too aggressive” according to Massa, who claimed "these young drivers they want to win the race at the first corner". Boullier though disagreed and said the stewards report backed Magnussen as the innocent driver. "The stewards report related to Felipe's driving and nothing else, Boullier said during a McLaren phone-in. "There was a driving conduct investigation and they decided to impose no penalty on Felipe, which is their prerogative. But the report makes it clear that Kevin was 100% blameless, certainly." The Frenchman expressed his happiness in how both Magnussen and team-mate Jenson Button are driving this season. "So far I am 100% happy with both drivers. Jenson is clearly part of the family, he is fast and helps the team to drive where we want to go. With Kevin, as part of the learning process, he has respected all the tests we needed him to do and he is starting to clearly deliver in terms of his performance and in terms of result. So far I am 100% happy."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09141http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09141Ecclestone has no concerns over Russian GPTue, 22 Jul 2014 09:56:56 GMTBernie Ecclestone has no concerns over the Russian Grand Prix taking place later this year, despite what is happening in the news. Many have called for the race to be cancelled amid the ongoing political situation between Ukraine and Russia, whilst the recent downing of a Malaysian Airliner, reportedly by Russian-backed separatists, has hightened tensions. UK prime minister David Cameron is calling for tough sanctions against the country, whilst the US is pressing ahead with similar actions. That doesn't concern 83-year-old Ecclestone though. "I don't see any problems with that," he told journalist Adam Cooper. "Were they [Russia] in the World Cup or not? You would have thought people would have tried to stop it, wouldn't you? Like I've said, we don't get involved in politics. We have a contract with them, which we know they will respect. And we will do the same." When asked if Putin's close involvement with the Sochi facility would harm F1's image, he replied: "Not as far as I'm concerned, personally. We shouldn't speculate as to what could happen. We will honour our contract. Mr Putin personally has been very supportive and very helpful, and we will do the same."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09140http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09140Mercedes negotiating new contract with Hamilton Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:45:10 GMTMercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is keen to extend Lewis Hamilton's contract with the team for the long-term. Hamilton is contracted until the end of 2015, but with Nico Rosberg signing a new contract through to 2016 with options for 2017, Wolff is hopeful of retaining both for much longer. "We are already sitting together and negotiating with Lewis about a multi-year contract," he told the Kronen Zeitung newspaper. "Lewis is a fixed part of the team, and I would hope for a long time to come." The Austrian praised his drive from 20th to 3rd at the German Grand Prix despite some incidents which may have cost Hamilton a potential second place. "It feels like a 1-2 because considering where Lewis was coming from in P20, it was a magical drive," he added. "He had a misunderstanding with Jenson [Button] that could have cost us the race. Personally I know he is a very competitive guy and he will never be satisfied with third but it felt like a very good performance from our side, with so much going on out on track and the need to convert his pit strategy."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09139http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09139Tech Talk: McLaren's radical wavy rear-wingTue, 22 Jul 2014 08:30:55 GMTMcLaren managed to rush its Hungarian Grand Prix developments through earlier and get them on the car for the German GP weekend which helped Kevin Magnussen to qualify fourth on the grid. The rear-wing is the most noticeable change and looks rather radical when compared to rival cars. The wing features small turning vanes on the endplate (see arrow 1) to help airflow travel upwards to the wing tip, reducing the vortices that are created as the air spirals off edge and therefore reduces drag. The more unusual development though is to the main plane and flap (see arrow 2). The trailling edge of the main plane and the leading edge of the flap are serrated. This isn't a new concept and was used back in 2004 by BMW and is often seen in Le Mans. The idea is to create lots of small vortices - these come off the top of the waves - and travel up the rear-wing flap when it's closed, reducing the risk of airflow separation. They're also important when DRS is in use, or more importantly when the driver has just pressed the brake and the flap has returned to the closed position. It can often take a couple of seconds for the airflow to re-attach itself to the flap - by that time the driver has entered a corner and is depending on the rear-wing to provide downforce. It won't do so effectively if the airflow is scattered. The vortices coming off the wavy edge should help to re-attach the airflow far quicker and more efficiently than a straight trailing edge would do, therefore providing rear-end stability through the corner following use of DRS.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09138http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09138Act in haste, repent at leisure unsafe releases in F1Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:39:57 GMTWe’re now pretty much exactly one year on from last season’s German Grand Prix, that time at the Nurburgring. And perhaps by far one incident from that particular race most sticks in the memory. Not for positive reasons either. Mark Webber pitted for the first time, and upon being released by his crew back into the action one of his rear wheels was not attached, and even at the low, artificially-limited, speed the torque upon his leaving the box was sufficient to fire the wheel down the crowded pit lane like a bouncing bomb, and it hit the back of the head of a FOM cameraman by the name of Paul Allen. All this too took place under the merciless gaze of the live TV international feed, beaming it into living rooms all around the world at that moment. Allen’s injuries were thankfully light. It seemed nothing other than sheer fortune that worse, much worse, did not occur.  A series of safety-minded changes to the personnel allowed in a ‘live’ pit lane, as well as the mandatory wearing of helmets of those working on the cars and a reduction to the pit lane speed limit were announced in short order by the FIA. And by the year’s end an automatic 10-place grid drop for an unsafe release was sanctioned, with additional punishments on top of it for the same offence permitted too, such as a drive-through or a 10-second penalty during that race. All very good it seems? Hmm, maybe. Some of the more discerning suspected a few ulterior motives, which the wording of the FIA’s initial press release on the matter seemed to give away. ‘In order to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future, the FIA, on the initiative of its President, Jean Todt, will be seeking to make changes to the Formula One Sporting Regulations.’ ‘On the initiative of its President, Jean Todt’. The same Jean Todt who just happened to be seeking re-election that year. You do the maths. It is admittedly rather easy to start bashing the FIA at such moments. And we shouldn’t forget the pressure that was on the governing body from the rest of us too at the time after the Nurburgring case, with rather a lot of us shouting for draconian retribution for unsafe release offenders – understandable given the sickening nature of what had just happened. Yet whatever the motives for it all had amid the grandstanding a fitting and effective solution been settled upon no one would have minded. But it wasn’t. Instead what we got has revealed itself in practice to be a mosaic of the pointless and the brutalist – especially so in the retribution to drivers that was framed. Probably it underlines the risks in a general sense when one feels obliged to do something, and to do something quickly, firmly and noticeably, in response to a single extreme occurrence. Hard cases make bad law, or whatever the apposite phrase is. Unsafe releases with wheels attached have continued to occur on occasion since, and in practice in addition to the automated 10-place grid drop the drivers involved (I refuse to say ‘guilty’ drivers but more of that later) have indeed been getting the additional whammy of a 10 second stop-go (not a drive-through note). This has applied both to Daniel Ricciardo in Malaysia and Esteban Gutierrez in Austria. And in both cases the incident itself had utterly ruined their races even before the stewards poked their noses in. Make it a triple-whammy then. As something of a portent Christian Horner noted back in Malaysia that Ricciardo’s sanction seemed ‘harsh’. It hasn’t got easier since. Sebastian Vettel in Hockenheim mused at it all that it's ‘like going to prison for stealing a chocolate bar’, while Gutierrez lamented after his own sanction ‘You're already losing time by coming back for a five second stop-and go (it was actually ten seconds that Gutierrez got), and then you're ten places behind for the following race. It's way too much…it's something that should be revised because from a driver point of view, it was not really my mistake.’ Of course, it can be argued that all of this is appropriate, as the safety stakes are high – as was so horribly flirted with at the Nurburgring. But perhaps we should question whether all of this splurge upon splurge of driver sanction is actually effective. Presumably it’s intended as a deterrent to pushing the envelope in stops, and if we work on this premise then you have to doubt that it’s fit for purpose. I’m certainly not aware of any teams being more cautious as a result of the new penalties, or putting new, safer, procedures in place.  And upon scrutiny we perhaps can see why. As an unsafe release with not all wheels attached is in itself a major deterrent, as the time lost from it alone will almost certainly ruin that driver’s race all by itself. Even in the case of Ricciardo who was sat pretty in P4 when he pitted in Malaysia he found himself after his release with a wheel loose, and his subsequent wheeling back down the pit lane to have it put right, languishing in P14 having lost roughly a lap. Not even the FIA tends to punish that harshly. Certainly any further penalties within that same race such as the apparently standard 10 second stop-go are useless; you can only ruin a race once after all. Ruining it further seems at best rather pointless and at worst kicking someone when they’re down. The pendulum swung after the Nurburgring last year; now there are signs that it’ll swing back at least to some extent. There are reports that the teams are gathering around a move to row back; make it all less harsh. Perhaps according to an FIA source it’ll all be in place as early as in Spa, after the summer break. F1 it seems has acted in haste and is now repenting at leisure. If F1 cars leaving the pits with wheels detached seem more frequent than was the case years ago that’s probably because they are – as the passing of refuelling has not only far reduced the time available for the tyre change, the time taken to change the wheels has become the key – and virtually only – discriminator in the length of the halt, thus the car leaves at the very split second that all four wheels are supposed to be on. Therefore there is no longer any time ‘buffer’.  What’s more, there has since about a year after refuelling was ditched been something of an arms race in squeezing more and more time out of the pit halt. The successive shaving of stop times from around four seconds per pop in 2010 to 1.9 achieved by Red Bull in Austin last year (to the point that now a four second halt is considered almost race-destroying) is testament to it all. When I asked a few drivers over the Hockenheim weekend about the matter there tended to be the same spontaneous initial point made, and one that there was apparent unanimity among them on, that whatever is the case, however much a driver is part of the team, that such lead-laden punishment for an unsafe release should fall squarely, pretty much exclusively, on the driver is way unfair. After all the driver’s personal culpability is zero; all the driver does is see a green light and go. Their chances of seeing that a wheel is not on at that point are precisely zilch. Bianchi, Perez, Guiterrez and Magnussen all said pretty much the same. The chat is that the revised system to be brought in will indeed seek to punish the team more than the driver. All laudable, though a perennial problem in this sport is how to punish a team meaningfully without tangling up a perhaps innocent pilot (see Ricciardo and fuel flow meters in Melbourne for one case in point)? It’s easier said than done. Docking constructors’ championship points seems the most obvious way but how to make that equitable? After all, a 25 point penalty right now would cause the most minor of ripples at Mercedes but would knock the stuffing out of, say, Toro Rosso. Perhaps it could be done as a percentage of current points, but what about teams that haven’t scored points like Sauber, or never do like Caterham? What about Marussia, for whom being off zero is far and away the main thing, meaning likely only a 100% deduction would worry them? Team fines meanwhile – with the grand outlying exception of McLaren’s post ‘spygate’ – almost always seem powder puff.  It’ll be fascinating to see what is come up with this time. But as previously intimated the deterrence approach doesn’t seem to be working in any case. As Jules Bianchi noted in Hockenheim teams will still push the boundaries; threat of sanction enters into heads barely it seems: ‘You cannot do anything because you’re trying to do the pit stop as quick as possible and it’s part of everything, it’s a mistake you know and a mistake can happen to everybody and you cannot do anything to change that. I don’t think there is something really to improve (the system).’ Nico Rosberg meanwhile was more reflective, noting that whatever is the case the inherent dangers shouldn’t be forgotten: ‘Obviously it is one of the most dangerous situations for all of the people working in the pit lane you know. So definitely it should be harsh to try to avoid people doing that or things like that happening. We need to find the best way, what sort of penalties to do.’ But if deterrence isn’t going to work then what can be done? Before we go further I’d like to bust (or at least seek to bust) a couple of proposed solutions. After the Nurburging incident last year a few argued for a reduction in the number of personnel permitted to undertake the pit stop itself; perhaps even have a minimum pit stop time. I thought then and I still think that I’d really not welcome any of this. Partly it’s out of sheer prejudice.  I’ll admit that I adore the modern F1 pit stop, seeing it as poetry in motion, and the never-ending efforts to make tiny time savings exactly in keeping with the sport’s dearest principles.  As well as this I thoroughly detest on a visual level pit stops in categories wherein they do place such restrictions – all apparently disparate individuals scuttling around the car doing one job then shuffling along to the next. I sometimes too wonder what the uninitiated make of them – ‘can’t they afford enough people or something?’ Same would go for a minimum pit stop time – do we really want in this game an entire pit crew after their work is done standing around awkwardly like friends of friends at a wedding while the car is held, for what will likely seem to the eye an interminable stretch? But also I’m not convinced that in the case of restricting the personnel numbers it would make things much safer anyway. It doesn’t really matter how many (or how few) are involved in a stop, as so long as the last link in the chain goes too early there will be cars realised with wheels not attached. And while some may be shouting at this point, yeah but in Indycar and Le Mans where they have restrictions of this ilk you virtually never see cars released without wheels on, while that may be so therein they do have refuelling, which brings us back to the previous point. So the comparison isn’t a perfect one. But I wonder more broadly why F1 doesn’t box clever on this one (pun not intended). I’m not the most technologically savvy person on earth (you could probably tell), and while saying ‘if they can put a man on the moon then why can’t they…’ often sounds to me like an unhelpful spouting of a cliché, still I find it hard to believe that it’s beyond the wit of clever people to come up with something that would make it impossible for a car to leave a pit box without all four wheels attached. Prevention is better than cure, as they say. At the time of the initial swathe of post-Nurburgring changes mentioned at the outset, Will Buxton in an excellent article on the matter titled appropriately ‘Dealing with consequence, ignoring the cause’ concluded that such a technological solution offered the best way out of this, saying: ‘The best suggestion I’ve seen thus far was to reintroduce clips in the wheel nuts, which we used to have in the days of refuelling. These clips had to be secured before a car was allowed to leave the pits.’ To my knowledge that one was never pursued. Perhaps it, or something like it, should be pursued now.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09137http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09137Alonso praises 'unbelievable' RicciardoMon, 21 Jul 2014 12:24:29 GMTFernando Alonso has heaped praise on rival Daniel Ricciardo after the pair enjoyed a fair fight in the closing laps of the German Grand Prix which saw them finish just hundredths apart. "Daniel is a surprise from Australia. I think he's doing unbelievable," said Alonso after the race. "I think he's seven-three in the first ten races with Sebastian [Vettel], so it's something we probably didn't suspect [to see]." The pair tussled for several laps with each making daring but fair moves without once making contact. "He's driving fantastically and today he was battling very smart, always taking the slipstream off me after I pass him and braking very late, attacking very late and never missing a corner. "He was very, very smart, very respectful with the rules and it was a great fight."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09136http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09136No safety car to guarantee Rosberg win - HamiltonMon, 21 Jul 2014 11:28:49 GMTLewis Hamilton has questioned the decision by race control not to bring out the safety car for Adrian Sutil's Sauber during the German Grand Prix. The German span on the start/finish straight, leaving his car in a precarious position which left many expecting a safety car period - including Mercedes who decided to pit Hamilton in anticipation. It never came and instead marshals risked their lives to run onto the circuit to push the car back, something Hamilton believes was done to ensure a Nico Rosberg victory. "There should have been a safety car," said the Briton. "How on earth a car can be sitting in the middle of the road for a couple of laps and [the safety car] not come out… "But I think you know why," he added. The Briton reckons the decision put marshals at unnecessary risk. "I was really concerned for the marshals, really concerned," he said. "You know, we come around that corner at serious speed, and then there's marshals standing not far from where you're driving past. For me, that's the closest it's been for a long, long time."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09135http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09135Ferrari, Red Bull considered Mercedes protestMon, 21 Jul 2014 00:01:20 GMTBoth Ferrari and Red Bull considered launching a protest against the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the German Grand Prix. The two teams believe that Hamilton's change of brake discs should have warranted a pitlane start, but the FIA deemed the change necessary on safety grounds and therefore allowed the Briton to start from the 20th position on the grid. Christian Horner of Red Bull admitted his team considered a protest and believes it has set "an interesting precedent" for the future. "It is a change of car specification," he said. "If you change it like for like that is one thing, but if you change it for something that is made by a different manufacturer [Brembo to Carbon Industrie in Hamilton's case] that has a different characteristic, as described by the driver himself as something different, then it is an interesting precedent. "Obviously if you can do that, then what else can you change? It will be interesting to see what the justification of that allowance was." Ferrari also toyed with the idea of a protest according to team boss Marco Mattiacci. "We discussed it internally...we decided not to move forward with it." Hamilton started last but one on the grid after taking a gearbox penalty as Marcus Ericsson was forced by the FIA to start from the pitlane. The Briton eventually finished third.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09134http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09134Button retracts Hamilton criticism after seeing incidentSun, 20 Jul 2014 21:21:39 GMTMcLaren driver Jenson Button has retracted comments he made after the race toward Lewis Hamilton after the pair clashed on circuit. Hamilton later explained that he thought Button was letting him past, to which Button responded: "Why would we let anyone through? I don't know if you've noticed but a lot of drivers do that line to get a good exit from the corner," he explained. "I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past." Later on Twitter though, the 34-year-old took the comments back once he had reviewed the footage. "After watching the race back think I overreacted with my feelings about Lewis's move," he wrote. "I can understand why he thought I was giving him room. "Amazed we both got around the corner! F1 put on a great show today and long may it continue!" Related: Button criticises Hamilton after pair make contacthttp://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09133http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09133Button criticises Hamilton after pair make contactSun, 20 Jul 2014 21:09:28 GMTJenson Button has criticised his former team-mate Lewis Hamilton for an incident during the German Grand Prix which saw the pair make contact. The Mercedes driver accepted blame for the clash which lost him part of his front wing, potentially costing him second place, explaining that he thought Button was letting him through. "It was unfortunate with Jenson at the end," said Hamilton. "He's been great over the past few races, not really giving me a hard time when I've gone to overtake, he's kind of given me space. "I went to go on the inside but didn't think I was going to make it, then it looked like he went wide so I was going to take the corner but he was cutting back through and we collided. I just hope I didn't hurt his race." Button wasn't happy with how Hamilton drove on Sunday as the Briton made contact with other drivers as well as he charged through from 20th on the grid to 3rd. "Why would we let anyone through? I don't know if you've noticed but a lot of drivers do that line to get a good exit from the corner," he said. "I think the problem with Lewis is he expected me to let him past. "I don't think I'm the only person he drove into today. It's strange, when the car's so much quicker you'd think he wouldn't get into so [many] fights but there you go. "He drove into my rear wheel, that's all I've got to say and I don't know much else about it," he added. "I'm out there doing my race. It would make it boring if we all let him past when he was coming through the field."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09132http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09132Rosberg wins in Germany from Bottas and HamiltonSun, 20 Jul 2014 14:52:39 GMTNico Rosberg won a sensational home victory at the German Grand Prix to further extend his championship lead to team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The German took a lights to flag victory, unchallenged even after a safety car period at the start of the race after Felipe Massa and Kevin Magnussen made contact, flipping the Williams over. The second Williams of Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a better race, taking second behind Rosberg to score the team's 300th podium. Bottas was pressured by Hamilton throughout though as the Britain came through from 20th on the grid to finish just two seconds behind the Finn. An intense battle broke out for fourth, with Sebastian Vettel the eventual winner. The Red Bull driver fought frantically for the position with Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo. Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh with the two McLarens completing the top ten. Race Result - 2014 German Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. N. Rosberg Mercedes 25 02. V. Bottas Wiliams +20.7 18 03. L. Hamilton Mercedes +22.4 15 04. S. Vettel Red Bull +43.8 12 05. F. Alonso Ferrari +52.2 10 06. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +52.2 8 07. N. Hulkenberg Force India +63.8 6 08. J. Button McLaren +84.3 4 09. K. Magnussen McLaren +1 lap 2 10. S. Perez Force India +1 lap 1 11. K. Raikkonen Ferrari +1 lap 12. P. Maldonado Lotus +1 lap 13. J. Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap 14. E. Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap 15. J. Bianchi Marussia +2 laps 16. K. Kobayashi Caterham +2 laps 17. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 18. M. Ericsson Caterham +2 laps 19. A. Sutil Sauber Retired 20. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso Retired 21. R. Grosjean Lotus Retired 22. F. Massa Williams Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09131http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09131Ericsson hit with stop/go penalty for German GPSun, 20 Jul 2014 12:37:18 GMTCaterham's Marcus Ericsson will have to serve a ten-second stop/go penalty within the first three laps of the German Grand Prix. The Swedish driver will also start from the pitlane after the team failed to "cover and seal" his car after qualifying during parc ferme conditions. Article 34.4 of the Sporting Regulations states that all cars have to be covered and sealed within three and a half hours of qualifying ending. Caterham failed to do so and the FIA chose to make an example of the failure according to a statement. "The reason for the dual penalties is to serve as a disincentive to a breach of Parc Ferme resulting in unsupervised access and significant extra time to work on a car between Qualifying and the Race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09130http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09130Lotus confirm Maldonado staying for 2015 seasonSun, 20 Jul 2014 10:42:58 GMTPastor Maldonado will remain at Lotus next season, team boss Gerard Lopez has confirmed. The Venezualen joined the team at the beginning of the year after moving from Williams. He is yet to score a single point for the team. Lopez didn't confirm whether Romain Grosjean - who has hinted that he wishes to leave the team - will line-up alongside Maldonado. "I don't want to give too much away, but as it's half way through the season, I can confirm 50% of our driver line-up for 2015 as Pastor is with us for next year," confirmed Lopez. "Despite the difficulties we've had so far this season, he recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver. We will achieve great things together." Lopez is confident of a better season in 2015 when the team is expected to switch to Mercedes power and build on the lessons that have been learnt this year. "We do have some great things to come, but it's important that the team is not stopping developing this year's car as there is still a lot we can learn; we are going to fight hard for every point we can achieve this year. Looking forward, we have been able to take steps to ensure that 2014's lessons have been learnt and we get back to where we want to be in 2015 - fighting for podiums. "When we look at the team's recent history we can see what is possible. In 2011 our car followed a unique development path with the forward facing exhausts. This concept didn't give us the results we wanted but look how we bounced back in 2012 and 2013! Our 2014 car hasn't given us the results we've wanted, so watch this space in 2015 and beyond!"http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09129http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09129Hamilton to start 20th after gearbox penaltySun, 20 Jul 2014 10:22:08 GMTLewis Hamilton will start the German Grand Prix from 20th after taking a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox. The Briton suffered a brake disc failure during qualifying which span him into the barriers, ending his session and putting him 15th on the grid once Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez had served his penalty for causing a collision at the British GP. Mercedes were unsure of the extent of the damage, but after rebuilding his car on Saturday evening, found damage to his gearbox and were therefore forced to replace it for a new unit. The Briton had looked likely to start from the pitlane after Mercedes opted to change his brake discs from Brembo to Carbon Industrie which would require a car to be taken out of parc ferme conditions. The FIA however agreed with Mercedes opinion that it was being done on the grounds of safety, despite rival teams objecting, and therefore avoid dropping to last.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09128http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09128Magnussen pleased but says podium out of reachSat, 19 Jul 2014 17:12:53 GMTMcLaren's Kevin Magnussen doesn't believe a podium is possible from fourth on the grid, despite the upgraded MP4-29 delivering additional performance on Saturday. The team introduced upgrades earlier than it had previously planned, including a radical new rear-wing on Friday, which helped the Dane to qualify fourth behind the sole Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and the Williams duo. He believes the car over-delivered with fourth and he's not sure what will happen on Sunday. "I don't think we came into this weekend thinking that P4 was our position, but there you go" he said. "We had a new rear wing which was delivered early, so a fantastic job from the guys at the factory for pushing that through. Also well done to the guys in the garage for getting the most out of these new bits, a really good day. "A podium is pretty much out of reach, I think. It will need a lot of luck for us to be on the podium but we will go for that! It's a race, it's a lot heavier, the car, and the weather could be a lot different and that may change a lot of things. But P4 is a very good starting position."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09127http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09127Hamilton says failure 'another gift' for RosbergSat, 19 Jul 2014 17:00:03 GMTLewis Hamilton says he can't believe he's suffered another reliability issue which "basically gifted" pole position to team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Briton was fastest in Q1 until his front-right brake disc failed, spinning him into the barriers as he braked for Turn 13. The session was then red flagged. Hamilton would eventually qualify 16th as he progressed through to Q2, but couldn't set a time due to the damage to his car. A penalty for Esteban Gutierrez promotes Hamilton to 15th for the race - though he may be forced to start from the pitlane if further damage is found. "Nico has basically got another gift, but we'll do what we can tomorrow," a dejected Hamilton said. "We'll figure something out, there's still a decent amount of races to go. "I can't believe it obviously, but things like this happen are sent to try us. We had done such a great job with the set-up, it felt fantastic out there and I didn't even get to do five laps! "I'm in a little bit of pain but that's what usually happens when you have a crash like that. I think they said I pulled 30Gs or something like that. Even if something was broken I would still race though." Executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe explained why Mercedes didn't fear a repeat on Rosberg's car as they're running different brakes. "It was a structural failure of the carbon material," he said. "There has been a history of that this year on the Brembo material, not just with our car but with other cars on the grid. Nico's running Carbon Industrie material. Lewis' brakes were new for qualifying but that's normal at circuits where there's going to be any duty on the brakes at all. "There's a lot of work to do on the car. We will be busy tonight and hopefully get Lewis out in great shape for the race tomorrow and see if we can recover him to the front of the pack."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09126http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09126Rosberg takes pole as Hamilton crashes outSat, 19 Jul 2014 14:22:49 GMTNico Rosberg was unchallenged in his fight for pole position as his team-mate crashed out in Q1, leaving it up to the Williams duo to mount an unsuccessful challenge. The German's 1:16.540 was just too quick for Valtteri Bottas who, on his second attempt, managed to get within two tenths and starts second ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa. Fourth went to McLaren's Kevin Magnussen. The Dane starts seven places ahead of Jenson Button who failed to exit Q2. The Red Bulls line up fifth and sixth with Daniel Ricciardo once again beating four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by three tenths. The big news of the session was that of Hamilton who qualified 16th, but will start a place higher once Esteban Gutierrez has served his grid penalty. It's only the second time Hamilton has failed to reach Q3 in the last four and a half years - the last time being Italy, 2013. Qualifying - 2014 German Grand Prix #Driver Team Q1Q2Q3 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.631 1:17.109 1:16.540 02 V. Bottas Williams 1:18.215 1:17.353 1:16.759 03 F. Massa Williams 1:18.381 1:17.370 1:17.078 04 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:18.260 1:17.788 1:17.214 05 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:18.117 1:17.855 1:17.273 06 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:18.194 1:17.646 1:17.577 07 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:18.389 1:17.866 1:17.649 08 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:18.530 1:18.103 1:17.965 09 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:18.927 1:18.017 1:18.014 10 S. Perez Force India 1:18.916 1:18.161 1:18.045 11 J. Button McLaren 1:18.425 1:18.193   12 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:18.534 1:18.273   13 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:18.496 1:18.285   14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:18.739 1:18.787   15 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:18.894 1:18.983   16 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.683 No Time   17 A. Sutil Sauber 1:19.142     18 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:19.676     19 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:20.195     20 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:20.408     21 M. Chilton Marussia 1:20.489     22 M. Ericsson Caterham       http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09125http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09125FP3: Rosberg pulls clear of Hamilton in GermanySat, 19 Jul 2014 11:29:03 GMTNico Rosberg opened up a gap to team-mate Lewis Hamilton during final practice for the German Grand Prix on Saturday morning. The Mercedes driver ended up six tenths quicker as he posted a best of 1:17.779 during a qualifying simulation at the end of the session. Hamilton couldn't match the pace set by his German counterpart and ended up just a few thousandths ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in third. The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were fourth and fifth, whilst McLaren's Kevin Magnussen continued to put the MP4-29's upgrades through their paces to secure the sixth quickest time. Red Bull struggled for pace in the session, split by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in eighth, whilst Nico Hulkenberb completed the top ten. FP3 Full Times - 2014 German Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.779   24 02 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.380 0.601 20 03 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:18.384 0.605 11 04 F. Massa Williams 1:18.575 0.796 18 05 V. Bottas Williams 1:18.611 0.832 19 06 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:18.756 0.977 16 07 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:18.769 0.990 13 08 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.842 1.063 8 09 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:18.890 1.111 17 10 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:19.127 1.348 19 11 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:19.131 1.352 19 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:19.470 1.691 20 13 J. Button McLaren 1:19.489 1.710 15 14 S. Perez Force India 1:19.505 1.726 21 15 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:19.601 1.822 23 16 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:20.078 2.299 23 17 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:20.198 2.419 21 18 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:20.466 2.687 19 19 A. Sutil Sauber 1:20.844 3.065 6 20 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:21.018 3.239 21 21 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:23.077 5.298 14 22 M. Chilton Marussia 1:23.449 5.670 7 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09124http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09124Vettel hoping race day rain will help Red Bull winFri, 18 Jul 2014 19:21:03 GMTSebastian Vettel has his fingers crossed for rain on Sunday as he believes it offers the only chance for Red Bull to beat Mercedes. Despite better pace during practice, which saw Vettel's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo just a tenth off Lewis Hamilton's best, the German reckons catching up in the dry won't be possible, but it could be a different story if it rains - which it's forcecast to do. "Hockenheim is certainly one I want to tick off the list," said Vettel. "Maybe it rains on Sunday, that could help us. In dry conditions it could still be difficult to catch the Mercedes." Vettel thinks the midfield is now closer, partly thanks to the higher temperatures, but he reckons Red Bull will be battling with both Williams and Ferrari too in Germany. "It looks like [we're second quickest]. Daniel had a better run on the new tyre, on the new supersoft, so I think we are a bit closer than previous weekends, but I think it will be close between us, Williams and Ferrari as well. "It's not so easy to manage the tyres on the long run. I still think we have more to improve for tomorrow.""http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09123http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09123Mercedes duo unsure if FRIC loss has closed gapFri, 18 Jul 2014 16:34:48 GMTMercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton topped the opening practice sessions on Friday, but the gap to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari seems to have closed up. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was just over two-tenths behind the pair in FP1, whilst Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was only a tenth behind come second practice. The loss of FRIC suspension - which is widely believed to have hit Mercedes hardest - could explain the smaller than normal advantage, according to Rosberg and Hamilton, but they can't be sure until qualifying. "I hope so," he replied when asked Mercedes still has the edge. "But for sure it will shuffle things around a little bit without this FRIC system and there are some new challenges to rebalance the car and figure my way out to get happy in the car. "Today we made good progress, I was very unhappy this morning and we tried some different things and it worked out. [Red Bull] looks a bit closer out there but you never know what people are doing and things like that. We'll see tomorrow and Sunday." Hamilton is certain the car has changed as a result of the loss of the system, but he too is unsure whether their rivals are now closer. "It was a little difficult to find a balance today. The car is a little bit different now, obviously because we and everyone has made changes to set-up in a different direction to what we've had in the past but it's still fun to drive. Finding the sweet spot of the car is just in a different place now. We have to improve our target and get that right. "I guess we'll find out tomorrow, I couldn't tell you," he said when pushed on the closer gap and whether it's a result of FRIC.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09122http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09122FP2: Hamilton quickest as Ricciardo closes inFri, 18 Jul 2014 14:56:46 GMTLewis Hamilton took the top spot from team-mate Nico Rosberg during second practice for the German Grand Prix on Friday. The Mercedes duo came under pressure from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo though, with the Australian just a tenth slower than Hamilton's best, a 1:18.341. Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a difficult morning session to go fourth quickest as Kevin Magnussen was fifth, six tenths back. The top ten were covered by just over a second as the usual suspects filled the spaces, whilst Sauber looks to have made a step forward with Adrian Sutil 11th. FP2 Full Times - 2014 German Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.341   38 02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:18.365 0.024 39 03 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:18.443 0.102 35 04 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.887 0.546 38 05 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:18.960 0.619 40 06 F. Massa Williams 1:19.024 0.683 36 07 J. Button McLaren 1:19.221 0.880 40 08 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:19.248 0.907   09 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:19.329 0.988   10 V. Bottas Williams 1:19.385 1.044   11 A. Sutil Sauber 1:19.417 1.076   12 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:19.452 1.111   13 S. Perez Force India 1:19.581 1.240   14 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:19.593 1.252   15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:19.760 1.419   16 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:20.158 1.817   17 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:20.358 2.017   18 E. Gutierrez Sauber 1:20.504 2.163   19 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:21.328 2.987   20 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:21.870 3.529   21 M. Chilton Marussia 1:21.898 3.557   22 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:23.728 5.387   http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09121http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09121FP1: Rosberg pips Hamilton to top first practiceFri, 18 Jul 2014 12:37:08 GMTNico Rosberg pipped team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in opening practice for the German Grand Prix on Friday morning. The Mercedes pair were split by just 0.065 of a second to go three-tenths ahead of third placed Fernando Alonso who was the only driver to get within half a second of the duo. The Spaniard posted a 1:19.423 in his Ferrari, whilst those outside the top five were all in the 1:20s or higher. The ban on FRIC suspension doesn't seem to have hurt the W05 as once again it looked to be the dominant car. The Red Bulls were split by Jenson Button's McLaren in fifth, with Daniel Ricciardo the quickest of the pair. Susie Wolff climbed back into the Williams after a shortened practice in Britain, to post the 15th quickest lap, albeit a few tenths off Felipe Massa. FP1 Full Times - 2014 German Grand Prix: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:19.131   29 02 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.196 0.065 25 03 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:19.423 0.292 21 04 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:19.697 0.566 27 05 J. Button McLaren 1:19.833 0.702 24 06 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:20.097 0.966 28 07 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:20.105 0.974 32 08 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:20.210 1.079 21 09 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:20.337 1.206 28 10 A. Sutil Sauber 1:20.505 1.374 18 11 F. Massa Williams 1:20.542 1.411 19 12 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:20.586 1.455 23 13 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:20.592 1.461 22 14 S. Perez Force India 1:20.598 1.467 24 15 S. Wolff Williams 1:20.769 1.638 22 16 G. van der Garde Sauber 1:20.782 1.651 23 17 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:21.603 2.472 20 18 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:21.854 2.723 30 19 K. Kobayashi Caterham 1:22.572 3.441 31 20 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:22.982 3.851 24 21 M. Ericsson Caterham 1:23.256 4.125 35 22 M. Chilton Marussia 1:23.299 4.168 22 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09120http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09120Stats: Power unit component usage after nine racesThu, 17 Jul 2014 21:21:16 GMTWith the increased focus on reliability and durability in 2014, keeping an eye on the number of power unit components throughout the season could prove key to any championship hopes. Should a driver exceed the allocation of any of the components below - of which they get five per season - then they will be hit with a grid penalty. Should a driver use a sixth component for the first time, they will be hit with a ten-place grid penalty. A five-place penalty will be applied to any sixth component after that and so on. Both Red Bull drivers have changed their ICE, TC, MGU-K and MGU-H, whilst Sebastian Vettel is now on his fourth Control Electronics, as is Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi. Here are the latest statistics concerning use ahead of the German Grand Prix. ICE - Internal Combustion EngineTC - Turbo ChargerMGU-K - Motor Generator Energy-KineticMGU-H - Motor Generator Energy-HeatES - Energy StoreCE - Control Electronics #DriverTeamICETCMGU-KMGU-HESCE 01 S. Vettel Red Bull 4 4 4 4 2 4 02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 3 3 3 3 2 2 03 L. Hamilton Mercedes 3 3 3 3 3 3 04 N. Rosberg Mercedes 3 3 3 3 2 3 05 F. Alonso Ferrari 3 3 3 3 3 4 06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 3 3 3 4 3 3 07 R. Grosjean Lotus 3 4 3 3 2 3 08 P. Maldonado Lotus 4 4 4 4 2 3 09 J. Button McLaren 3 3 3 3 2 2 10 K. Magnussen McLaren 3 3 3 3 2 2 11 N. Hulkenberg Force India 3 3 3 3 2 2 12 S. Perez Force India 3 3 3 3 2 2 13 A. Sutil Sauber 3 3 3 3 3 3 14 E. Gutierrez Sauber 3 3 3 3 3 3 15 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 4 4 4 3 3 3 16 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 5 4 5 3 2 2 17 F. Massa Williams 3 3 3 3 2 3 18 V. Bottas Williams 3 3 3 3 2 2 19 J. Bianchi Marussia 4 4 3 4 2 4 20 M. Chilton Marussia 4 4 4 4 3 4 21 K. Kobayashi Caterham 3 3 3 3 3 4 22 M. Ericsson Caterham 3 3 3 3 2 3 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09119http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09119FIA confirms all teams have removed FRIC systemsThu, 17 Jul 2014 21:04:29 GMTThe FIA has confirmed that all 11 teams have chosen to remove FRIC (front and rear inter-connected) suspension systems from their cars for the German Grand Prix. In a technical document issued on Thursday, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer confirmed the news having inspected all 22 cars. "I can confirm that no car is fitted with a front to rear linked suspension systems of any sort," he said. It comes as the teams failed to find unanimous agreement on a decision to delay a ban on FRIC until 2015, therefore leaving the door open to protests should a team opt to run it. With the removal of such systems from all the cars, the threat of a protest has been removed. It isn't clear what effect the change will have on the competitive order, with well-developed systems bringing around half a second per lap, whilst some bring just two-tenths. Mercedes is widely expected to lose out the most as it has worked hard to perfect its version of FRIC suspension, but with an average gap of over a second per lap, they're still expected to remain ahead.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09118http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09118Sauber hints at keeping FRIC for German GPThu, 17 Jul 2014 18:21:24 GMTSauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has hinted that her outfit will continue to run with FRIC (front and rear inter-connected) suspension at the German Grand Prix. Whilst not as advanced as some, the Swiss outfit is known to run a FRIC system on its C33, therefore it would likely contravene the regulations should Charlie Whiting's assessment that the system is illegal under 'moveable aerodyanmic devices' be correct. It is yet to be seen whether the stewards will agree with his decision, but most teams have opted to remove the system as a precaution. Kaltenborn however, speaking to reporters on Thursday, insists the Sauber system complies with the rules and will therefore be on the car, regardless of what others are doing. "We’ve not changed anything on that [the suspension side]," she said. "We were fine before [the directive] we'll be fine now." The Indian welcomed rivals to protest their car if they believe it to contravene the rules. "If some people feel they need to protest they should go ahead." The team's decision isn't motivated by gaining performance compared to rivals who may choose not to run FRIC, she insisted. "I would not take such an unnecessary risk to think that just with this I can get now miraculously how many tenths of a second; that would be a bit foolish to do, or short-sighted."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09117http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09117Alonso hasn't spoken to rival teams over futureThu, 17 Jul 2014 18:03:35 GMTFernando Alonso insists he hasn't approached a rival team about joining them in the future as speculation mounts that he is keen to leave Ferrari. The Spaniard has failed to win a title with the team since he joined in 2010 and looks unlikely to do so this season, as the Italian marque is once again lagging behind its main rivals. That doesn't bother Alonso too much though and he says he is simply concentrating on scoring "good points" whilst his future, which is contractually committed to Ferrari until 2016, isn't much of a priority. "Every year now I get asked this question in July, maybe since I started in 2003," he said when asked if he'd contacted rivals. "I haven't talked with any other team and it's not my priority. We have to score some good points this weekend and get some good results this year." Looking ahead to the German Grand Prix, he is hoping to gain some performance from their latest upgrades in order to close in on second in the constructors' championship. "We have some new parts that will hopefully bring some performance, but we know that it is going to be tough. Our target is to beat some of our main competitors in the constructors' championship. Between second and fifth or sixth in the constructors' championship it is getting very tight and it will be very tight until the end of the season. "Here is our next opportunity to decrease the gap to Red Bull and increase the gap with Williams and McLaren, but they are coming very strong. That is the target and I think it is going to be interesting."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09116http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09116FIFA orders Rosberg to remove trophy from helmetThu, 17 Jul 2014 17:31:53 GMTNico Rosberg has been forced to amend his special German Grand Prix helmet in celebration of Germany's latest World Cup win. The Mercedes driver had shown off his one-off helmet on Twitter, where an image of the World Cup trophy could be seen on the top, but it has now been replaced with a star after football's governing body contacted Rosberg and asked that he remove it. "A shame, I would have loved to carry the trophy as a tribute to the guys. But of course I respect the legal situation," he later said. "The world cup as a trademark - these are the kind of things you have to think of. It's amazing. "I've replaced it now with a big star and no one can take that away. The star is ours," he exclaimed. Whilst FIFA has confirmed it was behind the change, it's believed Mercedes rival Hyundai actually initiated the complaint as they hold the rights to use the image as the World Cup's official sponsor.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09115http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09115Caterham axes 40 employees in team restructureThu, 17 Jul 2014 10:23:08 GMTCaterham has laid off more than 40 members of staff in a bid to reduce costs and increase efficiency as it looks to regain some ground in the 2014 championship. The Leafield team was recently bought out by unnamed Swiss and Middle Eastern investors after previous owner Tony Fernandes cut its funding, putting it at risk of collapsing. The team already has one of the smallest work forces along with Marussia, but it believes it can be more streamlined in the way it works and says it's "a necessary step taken by the new owners whose priority is the future of the team." In the restructure, team manager Graham Watson, head of track operations Gerry Hughes and deputy technical director Jody Eggington have left amongst many more. New team principal Christijan Albers will be supported by Manfredi Ravetto, with Simon Shinkins joining as chief operating officer. Ferrari's former head of logistics, Miodrag Kotur, replaces Watson with Gianlunca Pisanello taking over as head of track engineering. John Iley has been promoted to technical director and will lead the new 2014 developments as well as working on the 2015 car. Colin Kolles remains as advisor, but is expected to focus his efforts on a new hopeful entrant, Forza Rossa.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09114http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09114Ricciardo makes fewer mistakes than I do - VettelWed, 16 Jul 2014 22:20:54 GMTSebastian Vettel has admitted team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is doing a better job than he is this season, regardless of reliability troubles. Whilst Vettel sits sixth in the standings with 70 points, Ricciardo is third with 98, a 28 point advantage which would have been 46 had he not been excluded from second place in Australia. The German has suffered from "bad luck" with more than half of the reliability troubles happening on his side of the garage, but despite this, Vettel concedes that Ricciardo is "doing a better job". "He makes fewer mistakes than I do and so I have to pay him the necessary respect," he added. Championship leader Nico Rosberg sympathised with his fellow German ahead of their home race and said it must be difficult to go from such dominance to the midfield in the space of a year. Vettel though wouldn't trade his RB10 for the dominant W05 though. "I'd rather be in my car," he told Bunte. "The fact that things are not going so well is clear, but I think that is just for the moment. "Red Bull is very special to me, not only because of the past years in F1, but also because of the support they gave in the very early years in my career."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09113http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09113FIA to look at changing unsafe release penaltyWed, 16 Jul 2014 20:07:15 GMTThe FIA is to look at changing the way it issues a penalty for an unsafe release after drivers expressed concern and campaigned Charlie Whiting for change. At present, they believe they are harshly treated as not only do they incur a five-second stop/go penalty which hurts their race, but they are also dropped ten places at the next event which essentially ruins any chance of a decent points haul for something, they claim, is out of their control. "I think it's too harsh," said Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez who was penalised at the British Grand Prix when his team failed to properly secure his wheel. "You're already losing time by coming back for a five second stop-and go, and then you're ten places behind for the following race. It's way too much," he added. Other drivers have been hit with the same penalty, whilst the team is hit with a fine for their part. The issue was raised at the drivers' briefing recently and the FIA has promised to look at other ways of punishing the team, rather than the driver as long as they were innocent. It could include larger fines for the team and the idea of deducting a constructors' championship point has even been suggested, but a formal announcement is expected within the next few weeks. Should the teams unanimously agree to a change, the proposal will go before the World Motor Sport Council. If signed off, it could be implemented ahead of the Belgium GP.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09112http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09112Rosberg and Mercedes agree 'multi-year' extensionWed, 16 Jul 2014 11:04:17 GMTNico Rosberg has agreed a "multi-year contract extension" to remain with the Mercedes Formula 1 team until at least 2016 with further options, the team confirmed on Wednesday. The German currently leads the world championship standings by four points to team-mate Lewis Hamilton. It had been rumoured that Mercedes would look to replace Rosberg, in an effort to retain Hamilton as the pair's relationship has soured recently this year, but the agreement will see them together for at least another season as the Briton is under contract for 2015. Speaking about the deal, Rosberg said: "I am very proud to drive the Formula One Silver Arrow of the modern era. As a German, the heritage of Mercedes-Benz is very special for me, and I am proud to be able to represent the best car brand around the world. "It has been a difficult road to get to where we are now - but everybody kept believing and, thanks to the fantastic support from Mercedes-Benz, we are now leading the way in F1. "There has been big progress during the past year, building up our structure, management and capability for the future. We have an awesome team and I am confident that we have the right people in place at every level. I'm looking forward to the next years together, when we will keep pushing to win even more races - and, hopefully, championships." Head of Mercedes motorsport Toto Wolff welcomed the deal and believes it will bring stability to the team. "With his performances in 2014, Nico has demonstrated to the outside world what we knew already in the team: that he is one of the very top drivers in Formula One. This new contract brings us important stability and continuity for the future and I am delighted to be able to make the announcement in time for the home race of Mercedes-Benz and Nico in Hockenheim."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09111http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09111F1 teams fail to agree on delaying FRIC banTue, 15 Jul 2014 17:20:40 GMTFormula 1's 11 teams have failed to unanimously agree on delaying FRIC (front to rear inter-connected) suspension systems until 2015, meaning the system will be classed as 'illegal' during the German Grand Prix weekend onwards. The FIA issued a technical directive last week making clear that it believed the system, which reduces roll and pitch to ensure the car is aerodynamically efficient at all times, is illegal under 'moveable aerodynamic devices'. Despite FRIC having failed to attract much attention from the governing body since it was introduced by Lotus many years ago, intense development in the area has seen the systems become ever more complex and expensive. The FIA therefore is keen to see it banned, but was willing to wait until next season if all the teams could reach a unanimous agreement to do so. Anyone who follows the sport will know that getting all 11 teams to agree on something sensible is nigh on impossible. And it seems this is once again the case. Despite a group - consisting mainly of the larger teams - agreeing not to protest each other for running FRIC this season, they have failed to persuade some smaller teams, notably Caterham, Force India and Sauber, to do the same. The system will therefore have to be removed ahead of the German GP - something McLaren have confirmed they had already intended to do - to ensure their cars remain legal. Should they continue to run FRIC suspension, they run the risk of coming under protest from a rival outfit, which would likely see the results of the race invalidated and the culprit excluded. Removing the system isn't an easy task for some teams, particularly those that have designed their cars around it. Whilst it isn't expected to change the pecking order hugely, Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer put the advantage of running a complex version at around half a second. "It can make a significant difference, it can be half a second a lap if not more depending on if you've developed the entire car around it over the winter and in the wind tunnel," he said. "If that's the case it can make a significant difference."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09110http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09110Mercedes fix cause of Rosberg's gearbox issueTue, 15 Jul 2014 13:16:23 GMTMercedes have discovered exactly what went wrong with Nico Rosberg's gearbox during lap 29 of the British Grand Prix, causing the German to retire from the lead. Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe is confident the problem has been solved and shouldn't resurface again this season. "The main priority of the days since [the British GP] has been to understand the gearbox problem we saw with Nico's car and to make sure there is no recurrence moving forwards," Lowe said. "As with any such scenario, a lot of work has been put into rectifying the issue and we head to Hockenheim with a remedy in place." The team will also bring upgrades to the German GP which it hopes will see it take another step forward. "We will also be bringing a number of other upgrades evaluated during the Silverstone test last week, so we look forward to the next race in the hopes of both improved performance and a more robust package from a reliability perspective."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09109http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09109Caterham's ugly nose to go amid development pushTue, 15 Jul 2014 13:09:03 GMTWhat has been voted the ugliest nose on the grid by our readers, could soon be a thing of the past as Caterham is set to debut a revised version later this year. The team has been given the go-ahead to push on with a new development programme after its new Swiss and Middle Eastern owners signed off on the required funding. It's reported that the team are preparing to analyse the developments at Toyota's Cologne-based wind tunnel over the next couple of weeks. Several upgrades will be trialled, with a more efficient and 'standard' looking nose amongst the largest change. However it will also require a mandatory FIA crash test, therefore any developments won't actually be seen on the car until the Belgian Grand Prix in August. New team principal Christijan Albers is aware of the task ahead to ensure Caterham don't finish last in the standings behind Sauber and Marussia as it could mean losing out on upwards of £15 million in prize money. "We obviously have a lot of work to do," said Albers, "but we’re prepared for the challenges ahead."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09108http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09108McLaren confirms it won't run FRIC at German GPTue, 15 Jul 2014 09:38:53 GMTMcLaren has confirmed that it will remove its FRIC (front to rear inter-connected) suspension system for the German Grand Prix. The outfit is the first to confirm that it is taking the step and it's likely all other teams will follow suit to ensure they comply with the regulations, after the FIA revealed that it deemed the systems illegal. "McLaren does not currently intend to run a FRIC suspension system at the German Grand Prix," a McLaren spokesman told Autosport. "McLaren will comply with the FIA's rulings on the matter." The governing body had offered to delay the ban until 2015, but it requires a unanimous vote which looks unlikely to happen according to Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer. "I think the likelyhood of unanimous agreement is zero," he stated. Should a team choose to keep running FRIC, then it runs the risk of a rival outfit lodging a protest, which could invalidate the results of the race - therefore it's likely all 11 teams will opt to remove it.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09107http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09107Raikkonen unwise to hint at retirement - HakkinenMon, 14 Jul 2014 13:26:46 GMTKimi Räikkönen's talk of retirement isn't a wise move, according to fellow Finn Mika Häkkinen, who believes Ferrari will switch its focus to Fernando Alonso as a result. Räikkönen recently said he would "probably stop" once his contract has expired. At present, that is due to happen next year, suggesting the struggling 2008 champion is on his way out. Häkkinen reckons Ferrari will begin to shift its attention to Alonso because of the comments. "I don't think that it's particularly smart of him," Häkkinen wrote in his Hermes column. "When the mechanics and all the other people in the team know that a driver has plans to retire in a year and a half, their focus will shift more towards the other driver, who in this case is Fernando Alonso." However Alonso's future at Ferrari isn't certain, with rumours he may be looking to move to McLaren for 2015, but the Spaniard hasn't said anything publicly. Meanwhile Häkkinen isn't expecting much of an improvement from Räikkönen as the 34-year-old's motivation will suffer as a result of his impending retirement. "When someone thinks about stopping, it will have a negative effect on their motivation," he added. "Then that person won't be able to concentrate anymore on the many things you need to think about in Formula 1."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09106http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09106Vettel refuses to rule himself out of '14 title fightMon, 14 Jul 2014 11:32:10 GMTSebastian Vettel is refusing to give up the belief that he can retain his championship crown this season, despite having failed to win a race this season so far. The German is 95 points adrift of leader Nico Rosberg after just nine races, but with a maximum of 275 points still up for grabs this year, Vettel says it'd be "stupid" to rule him out. "If you look at points and mathematics we can still fight for the world championship, so it would be stupid to say we're out," said the Red Bull driver. However he concedes it will be very difficult to beat the dominant Mercedes duo. "Being realistic, Mercedes is in a position where it can win every race and get a one-two, without having people bother them too much unless things are going wrong. "Our target is to catch up and beat them sooner rather than later, but the gap is very big so therefore it's difficult to close it in a short amount of time." His comments come after Fernando Alonso, who is 17 points ahead of Vettel, admitted that the title fight is over for anyone but Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. "I think if anyone apart from Rosberg and Hamilton is telling you they believe they can be world champion this year they will [be] lying," he told The F1 Times during the British Grand Prix.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09105http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09105Whiting: 'Drivers are going to love Sochi circuit'Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:45:14 GMTFIA official Charlie Whiting insists that the new Russian Grand Prix circuit in Sochi will deliver a great race and the drivers will enjoy driving the circuit later this year. Whiting visited the venue, which is nearing completion ready to host its inaugural race in mid-October, in order to carry out an official FIA inspection, with another due in the next few months. During his track walk, he assessed the possible locations for overtaking and DRS and generally gave a positive review of the new track. "It looks so much better," he told the track's official website. "The last time I was here, it was a big building site. It's been a year since I've been here and it looks really beautiful now. "The track itself is going to be really fast and the drivers will love it. I'm sure of that. "It's a high quality track. It's clear that everything has been done really nicely. It will be a fast track, and I think it will be a really competitive track as there will be at least two or three places where drivers can overtake properly. I think that will be a very interesting track and a very spectacular race." The circuit has many close walls as it is essentially a street circuit which winds around the Winter Olympic facilities, but Whiting insist that safety won't be an issue with the organisers meeting all of the FIA's demands. "We're happy about the safety here," he added. "It's absolutely first class, I could not describe it any better than that. "We've done lots of simulations on the track and how we've arranged the track itself, the run-off area and the energy absorbing barriers. It's all been simulated, and we are entirely confident that Sochi Autodrom is absolutely first-class when it comes to safety. It's going to be a spectacular race and I'm really looking forward to it."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09104http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09104McLaren will be back at the top insists ButtonSat, 12 Jul 2014 14:20:29 GMTJenson Button says it's only a matter of time until McLaren is winning races and battling with the front-running teams again. The Woking outfit is currently in a performance dip which saw it suffer one of its worst ever seasons last year as neither driver made it onto the podium. 2014 has started better, with a double podium finish at the season opener, but since then the team has been scraping the points barrel and currently lies sixth in the standings - the lowest ranked Mercedes-powered outfit. Button though is confident things will turn around soon and reckons the British Grand Prix - where he finished fourth - is proof of that. "It's been a tough year to be fair, very tough year," the McLaren driver told Talksport. "We're not where we're used to being near the front. "McLaren is used to fighting at the front with the other top teams, but this year hasn’t been the case, but we are getting stronger, and the British Grand Prix showed that. "We've got the best engine, we've got a Mercedes engine so we don't have that excuse. We just haven't built a good enough car to win races this year. We're working hard, there's been a lot of improvements this year already, personnel changes and what have you, adding to the strong team we already have, so we will win races, it is a matter of time. "It is very frustrating because when you've won races before and a world championship nothing else is good enough, but we're on the right track and that's the important thing." When asked for his opinion on the drivers' title and who he thinks will clinch it between former team-mate Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Nico Rosberg, he said it was a hard choice but he doesn't doubt Hamilton has the speed to beat Rosberg. "It's a tricky one, people say Lewis is quicker but Nico is more intelligent, but I don't know," he said. "I know how quick Lewis is, and if his head is in the right place, he will be unbeatable."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09103http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09103FRIC benefit over half a second per lap - Force IndiaFri, 11 Jul 2014 20:36:48 GMTForce India dont believe unanimous agreement will be found in order to delay the impeding ban on FRIC (front to rear inter-connected) suspension. Otmar Szafnauer, Force India's chief operating officer, believes a fully-developed system - like that being run by Mercedes - could give an advantage of over half a second per lap. He therefore believes that smallers teams which aren't running it or have a simplified version will back the immediate ban as it could see them take a step closer to their rivals. "It can make a significant difference, it can be half a second a lap if not more depending on if you've developed the entire car around it over the winter and in the wind tunnel," he said. "If that's the case it can make a significant difference. "It varies from team to team, it varies on how quickly you've developed it and how integral it is. For some teams it might mean more if they take it off than others." Speaking about Force India's approach to the ban, he said the team would support a majority vote but doesn't believe agreement will be found to delay the ban until 2015. "We'll do what the majority want," he said. "But it's not about majority, it's about unanimity. I think the likelyhood of unanimous agreement is zero. "There will be people out there that will say if the FIA think it should be banned then let's do that." When asked if Force India will protest a team running it, he responded: "It depends if we're running it or not."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09102http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09102Caterham owners approve funding for upgradesFri, 11 Jul 2014 18:35:21 GMTCaterham's new owners have approved funding for a new development programme which it hopes will provide a major boost to the team. The outfit hasn't added any major developments to its CT05 since the Spanish Grand Prix amid a lack of funding, but new owners - a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors - have approved the required budget to develop the car further. Speaking to Autosport, newly-appointed team principal Christijan Albers said they are working on the upgrades which are expected to be ready for the Belgian Grand Prix in late-August. "I want some upgrades, yes, and as soon as possible," said the former driver. "It won't be easy because they always cost a lot of money, but we are working on it now." The team is hoping to score its first ever points and overtake rival Marussia in the championship to regain at least tenth in the standings otherwise it risks losing out on over £20 million ($34m) in prize money.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09101http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09101London GP a step closer as government lifts banFri, 11 Jul 2014 18:02:26 GMTA Grand Prix on the streets of London could be a step closer after the UK government overturned a ban on racing on British roads today. Bernie Ecclestone has long held the dream of holding a race on the streets of the British capital, but a ban on motor racing on public roads has been one of the major hurdles to overcome. That will now change as prime minister David Cameron confirmed on Friday during a visit to the Williams F1 facility that local councils will be granted the power to close public highways for motor racing events. "We have a great tradition of motorsport in this country and today we are bringing British motor racing back to British roads, to benefit local communities," he said. "As part of our long-term economic plan, we are backing our world-leading motorsport industry to support jobs, enhance skills and help us to build a more resilient economy. "Following the huge success of the first three stages of this year's Tour de France being staged in the UK, which saw an estimated 3.5 million spectators line the streets, todays move will allow local communities across the country to reap the benefits from staging elite motor sports events." Whilst a race in London still remains unlikely due to the logistics involved, it is now a step closer and legally possible should Ecclestone push for it once again. The 83-year-old has even offered to finance the race should it happen.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09100http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09100Standing restart idea came from McLaren - WhitingFri, 11 Jul 2014 17:46:18 GMTCharlie Whiting has revealed that the idea for standing restarts came from himself and McLaren after the two discussed ideas to spice up the sport. The rule change will come into effect next year and will see cars lining up on the grid after a safety car period to restart the race. It's a controversial decisions with fans and drivers mainly against the proposal, but Whiting is confident it will improve races. "Standing restart is something that I was involved in personally," he said in an interview for the Russian Grand Prix. "I was talking to someone at McLaren and we came up with this idea how to make this show a bit better. "When you watch a race, what is the most exciting part of the race? The start. So, why not have a second one? It makes sense." Addressing the issue of safety and being too artificial, Whiting recognised that the majority are against it, but said he personally couldn't see a downside. "Of course, it offends some people because it's not pure racing. It's been done for the show. Some people were even silly enough to say it's dangerous. Well, if it's dangerous, you wouldn't even have the start of the race, would you? "I understand why some people might think it's too false as it's not what normally happens. But why not? I can't see any downside to it. "It will provide more excitement; you seldom get any changes of position at a rolling restart, so this might provide an opportunity for changes. Some drivers may be worried of losing their lead, but then again other drivers might get a chance to gain something from it. I think it's an interesting idea. "It's been approved. Now we've got to work on making it work." If you fancy winning a McLaren Technical Team T-shirt worth £39.95, enter our competition below. Simply fill out your details and predict who you think will win the Hungarian Grand Prix. http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09099http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09099Smaller teams stand in the way of delaying FRIC banFri, 11 Jul 2014 13:04:32 GMTA number of the smaller teams are ready to protest any car running the soon-to-be banned FRIC (front and rear inter-connected) suspension system. It's believed the leading outfits of Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams have all agreed not to pursue a protest. They are however having difficulty persuading some of the smaller teams - which have less complex FRIC systems and therefore more to gain from a ban - to do the same. Should unanimous agreement not be reached, the FIA will impose an immediate ban on the system which could see the results of the German Grand Prix voided if just one team continues to run FRIC. If they all agree - something which is deemed unlikely - then the ban will be delayed until the start of 2015. A number of teams are already preparing for the ban to come in to force next weekend and, as a result, ran without it during the second day of the in-season Silverstone test earlier this week. It's unlikely a ban will see a change in competitive order, but it could bring the pack closer together, particularly cutting Mercedes' advantage as they're believed to be running the most complex and beneficial version. Sebastian Vettel reckons that could be the case: "Obviously we know what we are running," he told the official F1 website. "We don't know what they are running, but it is pretty clear what the FIA have said, so some teams will probably be more affected, others less."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09098http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09098Mercedes demand clarification over FRIC banThu, 10 Jul 2014 21:39:35 GMTMercedes have asked for clarification over a decision by the FIA to ban FRIC (front and rear inter-connected) suspension systems from the German Grand Prix. Chairman Niki Lauda has questioned why, when the system has been on the Mercedes since 2012 and other cars for much longer, that a decision to ban it has come about so suddenly. "The system has been used for two and a half years and all technical inspections have occurred without objection," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "So it is difficult to understand why suddenly the perspective has changed. "We don't want to invest any more in something that is against the rules," he added. "We want to know whether it is legal or illegal." Lauda says that Mercedes will comply with any rule changes and are therefore likely to remove the system completely, particularly as it's believed some teams are willing to protest the German race as a result of the FIA's technical directive.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09097http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09097German GP organisers rue World Cup discountThu, 10 Jul 2014 09:46:09 GMTOrganisers of the German Grand Prix are regretting a marketing decision which has seen hundreds of fans taking advantage of a €77 (£61) discount on some last-minute tickets. The race organisers at Hockenheim promised to apply an €11 (£8.70) discount for every goal scored by the German football team against Brazil on Tuesday. The team went on to score a record breaking seven goals, resulting in a massive discount of €77 on selected tickets for the race in just over a week.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09096http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09096Photo shows how close Chilton came to injuryWed, 09 Jul 2014 20:00:48 GMTMax Chilton says he was "inches' away from a serious injury or even possibly death at the British Grand Prix when a loose tyre from Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari flew past him. The grainy photo, taken from a fan video of the opening lap crash, shows a tyre carcass narrowly avoiding Chilton's helmet as he raced down the Wellington Straight. "I was saved by a matter of inches. I'm lucky to be here, to be honest, it was quite frightening," said the Marussia driver. Explaining what happened, he revealed that the tyre struck the nose and left-hand brake duct of his Marussia, which caused it to bounce away from his head. "It all started with Raikkonen's incident. He kind of rejoined, had a moment, like a tank-slapper, it looked like he'd regained control and then it shot off again. "It was unfortunate the Armco [barrier] is at 45-degrees so it was like an explosion and everything shot across to the left-hand side of the track and I saw this alloy fly across and I ducked and luckily it hit the front nose and went to the left and broke my front wheel duct."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09095http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09095McLaren taken by surprise over sudden FRIC banWed, 09 Jul 2014 19:45:06 GMTWith the news that front and rear inter-connected (FRIC) suspension systems will be banned from the German Grand Prix unless unanimous support can be sought, McLaren's Eric Boullier admits it came as a surprise. The FIA has taken the decision that FRIC systems are illegal and has therefore told the teams that they must be removed for the next event in less than a fortnight. However, should all 11 teams agree to delay the ban, the FIA will do so until 2015 - however it isn't often the teams agree on something unanimously. Boullier admitted they were aware of the FIA's interest in the systems, but weren't aware that they might be banned as almost all of the teams use it to some degree. "It came as a surprise," he said on Wednesday. "It's obviously not come from any team action it is an FIA action. We had been warned over the weekend that something could come out of this. Obviously we got this technical directive from Charlie Whiting. "I think all of the teams on the grid have this kind of suspension system which is connecting a little bit the different [ends] to better use the dynamics of the vehicle. I think some teams might have been extreme, which is maybe why the FIA is questioning the legality of this system." It's reckoned that a handful of teams have very complex versions, particularly Mercedes, and there is talk that the ban could seriously harm the performance advantage the W05 holds. McLaren however don't believe it will hurt the MP4-29's performance to the same level. "I don't know the secrets of designs of the other teams; I think in most of the teams it would not be a game-changer. There is maybe a couple of teams who have been extreme and who could potentially be in trouble to switch back to a non-connected system. "In the case of McLaren we are quite relaxed to be honest," he said. "So we don't see any issue with that for us. I don't think there will be too many disturbances for the rest of the season. Even if we don't like any technical or sporting changes during the season but there is maybe some reason behind why the FIA wants to do it."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09094http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09094Bianchi ends Silverstone test quickest for FerrariWed, 09 Jul 2014 19:16:42 GMTJules Bianchi was the fastest man on Wednesday during the second and final day of pre-season testing at the Silverstone circuit. The Frenchman replaced Kimi Raikkonen for the day as the Finn takes some rest following a heavy accident during the British Grand Prix. Bianchi posted a 1:35.262 to go just two-tenths slower than Felipe Massa's best from Tuesday. The session ended 20 or so minutes early as a safety barrier needed replacing, but it gave Daniil Kvyat enough time to go second fastest, with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen third. Lewis Hamilton was fifth and enjoyed a spin at Stowe which brought out the red flags. Charles Pic meanwhile conducted running for Lotus and Pirelli to trial new 18-inch wheels for potential use in future seasons. Test Times - Day Two: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 J. Bianchi Ferrari 1:35.262   02 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:35.544 0.282 03 K. Magnussen McLaren 1:35.593 0.331 04 G. van der Garde Sauber 1:36.327 1.065 05 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.680 1.418 06 V. Bottas Williams 1:37.193 1.931 07 M. Chilton Marussia 1:37.359 2.097 08 D. Juncadella Force India 1:37.449 2.187 09 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.410 4.148 10 C. Pic Lotus 1:41.906 6.644 11 J. Leal Caterham 1:42.635 7.373 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09093http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09093Lotus debuts 18-inch tyres at Silverstone testWed, 09 Jul 2014 12:24:59 GMTLotus is the first team to test new 18-inch wheel rims during the second day of the Silverstone in-season test. Whilst they're not yet part of the regulations, Pirelli hopes by showing off what they look like, it might persuade F1 bosses to implement the change for 2017. "It's not in the regulations, it's not going to happen for two or three years, so it's part of enabling people to understand what it would do for the look of the car," said Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery. "We will have to make some minor changes to the car to enable us to do it, but we thought it would be a worthwhile exercise, because everybody has talked about it but it's not something anyone has seen." http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09092http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09092Whiting: 'Lauda knows nothing about safety'Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:32:22 GMTNiki Lauda's comments over the decision to red flag the British Grand Prix to replace a damaged safety barrier were "ridiculous" and "unhelpful" according to the FIA's Charlie Whiting. The Austrian champion, who himself knows the dangers of F1, said the decision to replace the Armco hit by Kimi Raikkonen goes to show how "over-regulated" the sport has become. He added: "They are never going to hit [that barrier] again. They take care of every little detail and a lot of people will switch the television off." Whiting completely disagrees with Lauda's view and stressed the need to ensure safety comes before anything. "Absolutely not," he said when asked if he thought Lauda had a valid point. "Niki's comment was not very helpful, because he has shown that he knows nothing about safety. "It is ridiculous to say that an accident at the same spot will not occur," he told Auto Motor und Sport "If we had said after Felipe Massa’s accident in 2009 that a spring will never again hit a driver’s head, then there would not have been the campaign for stronger visors. "It should also be mentioned that Kimi emerged basically unhurt from this massive accident, which is proof of how much has been done for the safety of the cars in recent years." Whiting didn't completely disagree with Lauda's comments however, as he too agreed that Raikkonen shouldn't have kept his foot on the power as he rejoined. "It would have been better, if Kimi was a little more cautious in cutting back onto the track. "The drivers should be advised that, in future, they should return to the track at a reasonable speed,"http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09091http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09091Massa fastest on opening day of Silverstone testTue, 08 Jul 2014 20:30:32 GMTFelipe Massa posted the fastest time on the opening day of the two-day Silverstone in-season test session on Tuesday. The Brazilian bounced back from a disappointing British Grand Prix to post a 1:35.242 to go six-thousandths quicker than Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. Pole man Nico Rosberg, who also retired from the race, was third quickest having completed 90 laps in his Mercedes. Marussia covered the most mileage with Jules Biancho behind the wheel at 108 laps. He will be replaced by Max Chilton on Wednesday, but will still be in action after being called up by Ferrari to replace Kimi Raikkonen. Jean-Eric Vergne had a testing day with three stoppages, whilst Caterham's Will Stevens posted the slowest lap, over five seconds off the pace, but completed 95 laps. Test Times - Day One: #DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 01 F. Massa Williams 1:35.242   42 02 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.248 0.006 72 03 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.573 0.331 90 04 A. Sutil Sauber 1:35.674 0.432 74 05 J. Bianchi Marussia 1:36.148 0.906 108 06 S. Vandoorne McLaren 1:36.462 1.220 71 07 S. Perez Force India 1:36.583 1.341 79 08 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:36.688 1.446 28 09 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:37.131 1.889 97 10 P. de la Rosa Ferrari 1:37.988 2.746 49 11 W. Stevens Caterham 1:40.627 5.385 95 http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09090http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09090FIA to ban FRIC suspension system from German GPTue, 08 Jul 2014 20:04:47 GMTThe FIA is set to ban FRIC (front and rear inter-connected) suspension systems from the German Grand Prix onwards which could rule almost all the cars on the grid illegal. The governing body has studied all the different systems in use and believes it may contravene the regulations, and has therefore advised the teams that they must remove the system from their cars ahead of the German GP in less than a fortnight. "Having now seen and studied nearly every current design of front to rear linked suspension system we, the FIA, are formally of the view that the legality of all such systems could be called into question," read a note issued to the teams on Tuesday. The system is used to control the pitch and roll of the car as it accelerates and decelerates, allowing them to run lower ride heights, but technical delegate Charlie Whiting believes it might breach Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulations. The regulation covers moveable aerodynamic devices. It states that anything that is not "rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom)," would be classed as 'moveable' and therefore illegal. It isn't clear which team will be hit hardest by the move, but Mercedes are believed to be running the most complex system and therefore they are likely to suffer most. Whilst the FIA has advised for the systems to be removed, it is willing to delay the move until 2015 as it understands that it isn't a small undertaking. This would however require the agreement of all 11 teams on the grid. This could prove difficult as they don't all use the same FRIC system, with some far more complex and beneficial than others and therefore it could be favourable to a team which doesn't, to vote in favour of the ban in the hope it levels the playing field a little more. If all 11 teams do however agree to delay the ban, it could still cause an issue with the right to protest remaining applicable now that the FIA has expressed a view that deems FRIC illegal.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09089http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09089Mercedes concerned with persistent reliability issuesTue, 08 Jul 2014 14:42:45 GMTMercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has admitted Nico Rosberg's gearbox failure has raised some concerns over the W05's reliability, as for a third race in a row they've encountered a problem on one of their cars. In Canada and Austria it was cooling, but they believe they are now on top of that issue, but were surprised to be hit with a gearbox fault which will be fully investigated. "[We have] lots of concerns," said Wolff. "The pace was really good and we understand much better what happened with our cooling issues, but then having a gearbox failure is a bit of a hit. "You wouldn't expect in 2014 having a DNF because of a gearbox breaking down. You have to look at the quality aspect of the way we look at things. You can have such a DNF once but not twice." The failure handed Lewis Hamilton a much needed home win and moved him closer to Nico Rosberg in the champoionship, but Wolff says he never doubted Hamilton's focus despite errors in qualifying. "He is mentally very strong," he said. "One of the examples is that he had another pit stop that was not perfect on the left rear and the first thing he did was come on the radio and said 'Don't worry, we can make the next one better'. "Winning at home always gives you a good boost, but I can tell you in the briefing in the morning he came in in good spirits and was very focused and very concentrated in a way that was really aggressive."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09088http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09088Pirelli reveal render of 18-inch wheel rimsTue, 08 Jul 2014 12:47:48 GMTPirelli has released some renderings of what 18-inch wheel rims would look like on a Formula 1 car ahead of their debut tomorrow. The tyre supplier will run the lower-profile tyres on a Lotus E22 tomorrow during the second day of the Silverstone in-season test. It's hoped it will convince the sport's bosses to agree to a change in 2017, but Pirelli's Paul Hembery is hoping they will agree to an ever larger tyre in the future. "We said many years ago that the larger diameter rims were something we would always go along with," he said. "We thought it would be worthwhile to create for the F1 Commission and the Strategy Group, some images of a current F1 car with some 18-inch tyres. "The 18-inch tyre is one solution - but going forward I think 19-inch or 20-inch tyres are the direction you want to go." http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09087http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09087Renault hope to be closer with 'interesting tweaks'Tue, 08 Jul 2014 08:53:24 GMTRenault will try some "interesting tweaks" at the Silverstone two-day test session in the hope of moving a little closer to the front. The power unit supplier is attempting to catch up with Ferrari and Renault, but recently admitted it would be difficult to do until the engine freeze is lifted over the winter. However Remi Taffin is hopeful of making a step forward this week and says if all things go to plan, the updates will be used at the forthcoming German Grand Prix. Our attention now turns to the test at Silverstone," he said. "We have some interesting tweaks to trial, including the latest wave of software upgrades. "If they behave as expected we could use them from Germany onwards, which should put us a bit closer to the front." Revieweing their British GP performance which saw Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd, Sebastian Vettel 5th and the two Toro Rosso cars in 9th and 10th, Taffin called it an "acceptable result". "After the problems we had in Austria and a difficult start to this weekend, a podium and four of the ten points' scoring positions is a more acceptable result for us. "We can clearly see that the fastest cars are still some way ahead but the competition behind is extremely hard-fought and getting to the podium is not an easy task," he added. "Today we were able to work with Red Bull to optimize our current configuration and give them the power to fight and overtake. Naturally we need to achieve more than third each race, but in the current configuration and on such a ‘power track’ as here, a podium is as much as we could have hoped for."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09086http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09086Games of chance - does lady luck play a role?Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:31:04 GMTI’d imagine that, even if you are not one who cares a great deal about football, you will still have noticed the World Cup that’s been going on just lately. You could hardly not. A World Cup as you’re probably also aware is attributed with considerable importance. It has the status of football’s ultimate prize, and also in many quarters its ultimate indicator of quality. Its winner almost always is considered worthy; often as the best side in the world. Sometimes even the victorious country is thought to offer a model more generally for others to imitate. Given these assumptions I therefore was intrigued to read an article by football writer Jonathan Wilson, which – citing the unlikely source of British ‘long ball’ merchant Charles Reep – outlined that the World Cup’s barometer status is a little absurd, or at least is not necessarily reliable. This is because it reckons without a crucial part of what decides who comes out on top – that intangible yet ubiquitous matter of random chance.  The concentrated World Cup tournament containing no more the seven games –and as England found out perhaps as few as two before you’re mathematically goners – simply isn't long enough for the distribution of that mysterious thing called luck to work itself out; to fall equitably. ‘The rub of the green’ therefore plays a major role in who triumphs. Furthermore, while one alternative assumption in football is that instead performance over a whole season is a robust indicator of quality even there is not enough time, or even nearly enough, to claim this. Wilson noted further that James Walmsley, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, hypothesises that a football season would have to be seven years long before the luck on offer has had an opportunity to level itself. And to bring this all to F1 (which is why we’re here presumably), perhaps in this game things are even more vulnerable to fortune, even more volatile, than is the case in football. Random chance has even more of a say in who gets the big prizes. Just like a football season we often view whoever tops the points pile at the end of an F1 season as irrefutable. ‘You can’t luck into championships’ we are often heard to say. Those who miss out, even if it is narrowly, often get scrutinised as to what ‘went wrong’, sometimes unsympathetically.  And of course often it is the case that the champion is indeed worthy – certainly looking back through history there are very few Formula One World Champions that can be considered undeserving. So we should be wary of stretching this thread of thinking too far. But even so, it doesn’t preclude that a mere card or two falling the other way has the potential to tilt a title into someone else’s hands. Moreover while a football season has between 30 and 40 games – or ‘events’ – in which the luck can shake out the F1 calendar even in its bloated state has but about half, with 19. And as any scientist would tell you the lower the base size is the greater the potential is for volatile, unusual, perhaps inequitable, outcomes.   Further an F1 weekend likely has much more scope for volatile outcomes than does a football game. Even if something goes against you in a football game you’ll only lose a single goal at most (or perhaps more traumatically have a player sent off) and still have the rest of the game in which you can make up for it. In F1 a single instance of ill-fortune or error can ruin your entire weekend at that very moment. Not necessarily even in the race either; how often have we heard an F1 driver talk of the importance of a ‘clean weekend’? How often has unreliability or a mistake in qualifying and even in free practice never fully been recovered from by the time that the chequered flag drops? And thoughts on these sorts of matters maybe were nagging at Lewis Hamilton in the weeks prior to the British Grand Prix. In this 2014 campaign it is hard to cite too many occasions on which he has not been the raw pace-setter, on which his stable mate Nico Rosberg has had the legs of him all else being equal. But somehow – and again thanks in large part to that entity called random chance – before the British round things then all totalled up to a 29 point advantage for Nico in the drivers' table. A major part is that at that point Lewis had two mechanical retirements on his record to Nico’s zero. And the modern points system is one that really punishes a DNF (that’s a matter that could fill an article on its own). To illustrate, assuming the Mercs will lead the way everywhere this year and both finish it takes an uninterrupted run of four victories to make up for just one instance of nil points. What's more, while some may state at this point that part of what was going on was Nico being metronomic and avoiding error – attributes sometimes held in contrast to Lewis who of course twice goofed up in Austrian qualifying – in the Monaco-Canada-Austria trio of rounds wherein there was a 32 point swing to Nico if anything the German erred the more frequently. If you don’t believe me think of his disappearing down an escape road in Monaco quali, missing the final chicane in the Montreal race, and running off the road at turn one on Austria's race day also. Yet thanks in large part to chance (and generous tarmac run-off areas) in none of those cases has Nico had a glove landed on him as a result. Indeed in the first of the three it proved to be to his benefit… Plenty hammered Lewis for ceding the ground in the table to his team-mate, but the role in it all of dumb luck wasn’t given as much of an airing. It was fairly common too to hear comments to the effect that such matters – whether it be in car breakdowns or in driving errors being punished – had to level itself out and thus work back in Lewis’s favour over the remainder of the season. When a broken gearbox took Nico out of the recent Silverstone race no doubt those espousing the view will have felt vindicated to a large extent.   But while such levelling out can (and to an extent, did) happen, there is no reason that it has to. Unrelated events cannot be related. Assuming that they can is a fallacy. And Lewis it appeared knew as much, judging by his words on this very matter upon being asked before Silverstone whether his team-mate was ‘due’ a retirement or two: ‘I’m not convinced that’s the case’ he said. ‘I cannot rely on that. I just have to focus on doing better than him.’ Lewis’s experiences of this year, up until the British round at the very least, put me a little in mind of those of his compatriot Nigel Mansell 27 years earlier, in the 1987 campaign. ‘Our Nige’ a lot like Lewis was well known for his speed and bravery. Like Lewis he often wore his heart on his sleeve. Like Lewis he that campaign was the quickest pretty much everywhere. Like Lewis he had markedly the best car, and his main title opposition came from across the garage (in his case, from Nelson Piquet). Like Lewis he always had a strange and seemingly perpetual capacity to attract drama, but unfortunately for him that drama on occasion manifested itself in the form of extreme foul luck. And so it was for Mansell in that season that the foul luck arrived early and then never fully lifted.  Round one in Brazil he punctured meaning he finished only sixth; round two at Imola he won; round three at Spa he retired after tangling with Senna, trying the wrest the lead from him on lap one (rarely a good idea); round four in Monaco he led by a mile only for his exhaust to fail; round five in Detroit he disappeared into the distance again only for a dud pit stop, fading brakes and cramp in his leg to conspire to sink him to fifth by the end. It all meant that he was but in fifth place in the table at this point, with only half the total of the leader. After that fifth round Mansell, perhaps displaying some fallacious thinking of the sort outlined above, commented: ‘I’m confident I’ve had my problems for the year.’ And indeed it looked that way as he followed it up immediately with two fine wins. But then fate cruelly struck again. In Germany in an occurrence almost unheard of at the time his Honda engine failed; in Hungary, somehow, a wheel nut fell off in the closing laps after he again had the place to himself; in Portugal his car failed again and then, as if his ill luck was building up to a grand, show-stopping, crescendo, he missed the final two rounds of the campaign injured after a smash in Suzuka practice.  And while all this was going on Piquet although almost never on Mansell’s pace was finishing pretty much everywhere, with no mechanical retirements since round three and he wrapped up the title at the point that Mansell hurt his back in Japan. And almost underlining that the fates were possessed with a wicked sense of irony there then was a final strike as Piquet finally experienced two mechanical retirements in those two season-ending races that Mansell sat out while convalescing. One hopes for Lewis’s sake that the parallels with Mansell’s 1987 year are not absolute. But whatever is the case it should all act as a general reminder that we should not necessarily scathe those that are behind, or even necessarily laud those at the top as having got the job done. Random chance is a big player, and we shouldn’t forget as much. Perhaps it’s understandable that we develop a certain blindness to the influence of random chance in this game, given F1 defines itself frequently as the most precise of sports, one wherein everything imaginable and some things unimaginable are sought to be controlled and accounted for. In this spirit too any audible laments of bad luck often are given short shrift. But even within F1 there is still plenty of space for some things simply just to happen. And it often does. And no it's not always fair either. It’s just luck.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09085http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09085Massa calls for Mercedes duo to be penalisedMon, 07 Jul 2014 18:07:01 GMTFelipe Massa has called on the FIA to penalise Mercedes driver's Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg if they continue to force a slow formation lap. Prior to the start of the race, a single formation lap is completed to ensure all systems are okay for the race start. The pole position driver dictates the pace of the lap and at present nothing in the regulations stipulates how fast or slow it must be. Massa however admitted he was unhappy with the speed in which Rosberg completed the formation lap at the British Grand Prix as it caused him to stop twice which overheated his clutch. "They [Mercedes] go slow for a reason, sometimes it's not good for the other teams," he said. "I'm sure if you check, our formation lap in the last race [Austria] when we were in front, it was much quicker than the normal races [where Mercedes have been on pole]." The Brazilian revealed that Charlie Whiting has addressed the issue in the drivers briefing, but has failed to penalise anyone because of it. "The FIA are saying we can't go so slow, but they are not penalising anybody," he explained. "We always complain, there has been a lot already in drivers briefing. Charlie said he was going to look at that but he's not given any penalties."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09084http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09084Horner glad stewards didn't act over radio callsMon, 07 Jul 2014 16:16:39 GMTRed Bull team principal Christian Horner is thankful that the British Grand Prix race stewards chose not to act on the complaints of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. The pair made repeated radio calls to their respective teams complaining about the way in which one another was driving during the closing laps of the race. Horner admitted the calls were an attempt to get the rival driver penalised and he believes it's more frequent now because of the strict track limit rules which penalise a driver for running all four wheels over the white line. "The two guys were going at it hammer and tongs, and it was great racing," Horner said. "The problem is that they have introduced all these rules about circuit limits. "They are both professionals, so they are both going to be pointing out the errors of the other," he added. "They were both on the limit. It was six of one, and half a dozen of the other." It would have been wrong to penalise either driver according to the Britain who praised the stewards' decision to ignore the bickering. "I think it would be wrong to penalise them. Fernando was benefiting at Turns 9 [Copse] and 18 [Club] constantly, which Sebastian was quick to point out, and Sebastian was doing whatever he could to try to pass him. "We raised it to Charlie, and I am sure Ferrari were raising it about Sebastian. So hats off to the FIA and the stewards for allowing the drivers to get on and race."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09083http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09083Bianchi to replace resting Raikkonen at testMon, 07 Jul 2014 15:51:53 GMTJules Bianchi has been called up for testing duties for Ferrari on Wednesday after the team decided it best to rest Kimi Raikkonen following his huge British Grand Prix crash. The Finn hit the safety barriers after spinning in an impact which registered at 47G. Whilst he was unharmed and fit for the next race in Germany, the team have advised him to rest for a few days. Marussia driver and Ferrari junior Bianchi, will therefore drive on Wednesday, with Pedro de la Rosa opening the test at Silverstone on Tuesday. Fernando Alonso meanwhile will drive on the simulator at the same time to help correlate the data.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09082http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09082Lauda unhappy with time it took to repair guardrailMon, 07 Jul 2014 11:51:51 GMTNiki Lauda believes it took too long to fix a damaged guardrail at the British Grand Prix following Kimi Raikkonen's first lap crash. The Austrian says a quick fix should have taken place and blamed Formula 1's "over-cautious" approach to safety as one of the reasons it took almost an hour to get the race going again. "Why did we stop for one hour to fix one bottom guardrail? There should have been a quicker fix, and a quicker fix could mean put some tyres in front," he said. "This over nursing of F1, being over-cautious, over-controlling, drives me mad. And this little guardrail issue is another example. "There are too many people involved in making F1 as safe as the roads, which is wrong." The time it took to repair the barrier is just one of many issues which he believes needs changing about the sport and he admitted he's consulted Bernie Ecclestone on the matter. "There is no way that another car would hit in the same place that guardrail," he added. "The delays we have now, nursing the guys, not crossing the white line here, being four seconds back, it is all wrong and this should be stopped. "I have talked to Bernie about it and he fully agrees. We have to go back to normal racing."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09081http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09081Vettel: Alonso was unfairly defensive during tussleSun, 06 Jul 2014 19:51:37 GMTSebastian Vettel has claimed that Fernando Alonso didn't fight fairly during their British Grand Prix tussle which lasted some ten laps. The Red Bull driver found himself behind the Spaniard in the closing stages of the race and fought hard to pass, but the pair bickered repeatedly over the radio complaining about 'leaving room' and 'running wide'. Vettel was particularly vocal about how hard Alonso fought him. "Twice I thought it was too much in to Turn 6 after the Wellington Straight," he explained. "I tried obviously to make a move around the outside and I was slightly in front. I knew that he would try everything to stay ahead but obviously my nose was in front so in that regard I dictate the corner radius and he has to adapt but twice he didn't. "When you race Fernando you know it's tough, you know he doesn't give you much room but in the end obviously I made it through. So that was good, but it was very close." During the race, Alonso claimed Vettel had used his DRS outside of the designated zones, but Vettel rejected the claim. "About the DRS that doesn't make any sense because you can only use the DRS from a systems point of view and a software point of view in the DRS zones. "If the Ferrari can use it in other places that might explain some things! But honestly he must have seen something else."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09080http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09080Winning at home is just the best feeling - HamiltonSun, 06 Jul 2014 19:25:45 GMTLewis Hamilton has hailed winning at home in front of his loyal fans "the best feeling" following a difficult day on Saturday. The Briton came through from sixth on the grid to claim a stunning victory after team-mate Nico Rosberg retired from the lead. "Winning in front of your home crowd is just the best feeling," he said. "We really do have the greatest fans here and thank you so much to everyone for your patience after yesterday. To see the support all around the track is just amazing. "I said before that I'd never give up but it was a tough qualifying and I really needed to dig deep and come back positive this morning. "A huge thank you to my family and all of the fans for pushing me on - I couldn't have done it without them." Hamilton, who sits just four points behind leader Rosberg, admitted he wasn't pleased to see his team-mate exit through reliability and would have preferred to pass him on track. "Nico had a pretty big gap at the beginning of the race but I kept pushing and was happy with my pace. After extending my first stint, we switched to the prime tyres and I honestly couldn't believe the pace that I had and was closing up to Nico," he explained. "Of course, he then had a problem and I saw him pull over. It's a shame for the team and I never want to see a team-mate fall behind - I always want to battle it out - but I'm sure we will get to do it again in the future. "It's been a rollercoaster weekend and to come away with the win after a day like yesterday is fantastic, so thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work. I'm proud to have done it for them here - so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09079http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09079Gutierrez penalised for contact with MaldonadoSun, 06 Jul 2014 18:03:52 GMTEsteban Gutierrez has been handed a three-place grid drop for the German Grand Prix for causing a collision with Pastor Maldonado. The Sauber driver attempted a pass at turn 16 but collided with the Lotus, damaging Maldonado's front-wing and his own front-tyre which caused him to retire from the race. The stewards deemed Gutierrez to have: "caused an avoidable collision," resulting in a penalty of three-places. Maldonado finished the race in 17th, but failed to complete the final lap due to a technical problem.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09078http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09078Rosberg: 'I had the lead under control until issue'Sun, 06 Jul 2014 17:13:09 GMTNico Rosberg believes he had the measure of team-mate and eventual race winner Lewis Hamilton until his gearbox gave up on him on lap 29 of the British Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver held a five-second lead over Hamilton on lap 27, but that was reduced to just 2.5s by the following lap, suggesting the pair were set for an intense battle before Rosberg pulled over. The German however believes he was in control at that point and reckons the victory was his. "It is always a good battle, but I was very much in control up until then which is why I was all the more disappointed," he said after. "The first problem started around lap 20 after the pit-stop and then it just got worse from there," he explained. "I was trying to think if there was some safe setting we could put it in or just drive in a completely different way just to get to the end of the race - okay I would let Lewis go, but it would still be valuable points if I could get to the end. But there was nothing that I could do or that they could suggest to save the gearbox."http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09077http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09077Raikkonen gets all clear for Germany after 47G crashSun, 06 Jul 2014 16:44:08 GMTKimi Raikkonen has been given the all clear following his scary opening lap crash at the 2014 British Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver ran wide at turn five and attempted to rejoin the circuit without lifting, but the bumpy ground caught the Finn out and span him into the right-hand barrier before he skidded across the track and made contact with the left-hand barrier. According to his team, the onboard impact sensor registered 47G's, which would explain the need for a visit to the medical centre where his ankle was x-rayed after he was seen limping. Ferrari confirmed he's fine but bruised and whilst he will be fine for the German Grand Prix in two weeks time, he won't take part in the post-British GP test on Tuesday and Wednesday. Team-mate Fernando Alonso tweeted: "First of all, good news, it seems that Kimi is ok!! Wishing him to be 100% in the next days!"http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09076http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09076Hamilton wins dramatic Brit GP as Rosberg retiresSun, 06 Jul 2014 15:34:40 GMTLewis Hamilton claimed a stunning victory at his home race to rapturous applause from the 120,000 British fans at the Silverstone circuit. The Mercedes driver went from sixth to fourth at the start, but a red flag caused by Kimi Raikkonen stopped his progress through the field as repairs were carried out to the circuit. Once an hour had passed, the race restarted and it took just a handful of laps for Hamilton to close up on team-mate Nico Rosberg who led from pole position. The Briton closed in on his team-mate and looked set to mount a challenge for the lead, but gearbox reliability hit Rosberg and for the first time this season he retired from the race, handing victory to Hamilton which sent the sell-out crowd into overdrive. Valtteri Bottas climbed from 14th to second to take his second podium finish in what was a stunning drive through the field as he utilised Williams straight-line speed advantage. Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium, eventually finishing just 0.8 seconds ahead of Jenson Button who dropped down from third on the grid to fourth. An intense battle played out behind the Briton though, with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso duelling for some ten laps at the end, each complaining about the other running wide and using DRS illegally. Alonso will certainly rue a start error which saw him too far forward in his grid slot which brought about a five-second penalty. The race was a dramatic one, particulary the opening lap. Raikkonen retired after crashing out, with his car registering 47G's on impact. He walked away from the incident with a small limp as Ferrari reported bruising to his ankle. Felipe Massa was also taken out as he tried to avoid the crash, but ended up with race-ending damage to his Williams. Race Result - 2014 British Grand Prix: #DriverTeamGapPts 01. L. Hamilton Mercedes 25 02. V. Bottas Wiliams +30.1 18 03. D. Ricciardo Red Bull +46.4 15 04. J. Button McLaren +47.3 12 05. S. Vettel Red Bull +53.8 10 06. F. Alonso Ferrari +59.6 8 07. K. Magnussen McLaren +1 lap 6 08. N. Hulkenberg Force India +1 lap 4 09. D. Kvyat Toro Rosso +1 lap 2 10. J. Vergne Toro Rosso +1 lap 1 11. S. Perez Force India +1 lap 12. R. Grosjean Lotus +1 lap 13. A. Sutil Sauber +1 lap 14. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 15. K. Kobayashi Caterham +2 laps 16. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 17. P. Maldonado Lotus +3 laps 18. N. Rosberg Mercedes Retired 19. M. Ericsson Caterham Retired 20. E. Gutierrez Sauber Retired 21. F. Massa Williams Retired 22. K. Raikkonen Ferrari Retired http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09075http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09075British GP red flagged after first lap incidentSun, 06 Jul 2014 13:32:30 GMTThe British Grand Prix was red flagged after a first lap incident involving Kimi Raikkonen resulted in damage to the safety guardrail. The Finn ran wide at Aintree and attempted to rejoin the track, but as he did so, lost the rear and span into the right-hand barrier before skidding across the track and hitting the left-hand barrier. The Caterham of Kamui Kobayashi and the Williams of Felipe Massa narrowly avoided hitting Raikkonen, but both sustained damage as they made contact with his loose wheels. Massa retired due to the damage to his car, whilst damage to the safety fence forced the FIA to red flag the session whilst it was repaired. Raikkonen limped away from his F14T, but was visibly in pain and was assisted by the FIA doctor. A Ferrari spokesman confirmed he was taken to the medical centre with a minor ankle injury.http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09074http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09074Revised British GP grid after multiple penaltiesSun, 06 Jul 2014 10:15:47 GMTNico Rosberg will start on pole position for the British Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but a few drivers have changed places since qualifying following a handful of penalties. Esteban Gutierrez was handed a 10-place penalty for his unsafe release in Austria, but due to Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi's failure to meet the 107% time, he only drops to 20th, but actually starts 19th after Pastor Maldonado was excluded. The Venezuelan qualified 15th, but a fuel irregularity saw him excluded and he would have started last, but again the Caterham cars technically didn't qualify to race and therefore start 21st and 22nd regardless of penalties. Max Chilton was also given a five-place penalty for changing his gearbox and drops from 13th to 17th. The big winners are Fernando Alonso and the Williams' cars which jump forward three places each, whilst Kimi Raikkonen moves up two. Provisional Grid - 2014 British Grand Prix #Driver Team 01 N. Rosberg Mercedes 02 S. Vettel Red Bull 03 J. Button McLaren 04 N. Hulkenberg Force India 05 K. Magnussen McLaren 06 L. Hamilton Mercedes 07 S. Perez Force India 08 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 09 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 10 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 11 R. Grosjean Lotus 12 J. Bianchi Marussia 13 A. Sutil Sauber 14 V. Bottas Williams 15 F. Massa Williams 16 F. Alonso Ferrari 17 M. Chilton (p) Marussia 18 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 19 E. Gutierrez (p) Sauber 20 P. Maldonado (p) Lotus 21 M. Ericsson Caterham 22 K. Kobayashi Caterham http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09073http://www.f1times.co.uk/news/display/09073Hugo Boss to switch from McLaren to MercedesSun, 06 Jul 2014 09:32:46 GMTLong-term McLaren sponsor Hugo Boss has dealt the team a blow following confirmation that it will switch to rival Mercedes next season. The fashion brand has been linked with McLaren since 1981, making it the longest ever sports sponsorship partnership. But it will come to an end this year. "The McLaren-Hugo Boss association has been an outstandingly successful F1 partnership for more than 30 years," a team spokesperson told journalist Adam Cooper.  "However, Hugo Boss has recently decided to co-operate with Mercedes-Benz on a number of international marketing projects unrelated to F1. "That being the case, it would be inappropriate for Hugo Boss to continue in partnership with an F1 competitor to Mercedes-Benz, however successful that partnership has been in the past and remains now." Whilst not a major sponsor, the news comes as McLaren has failed to attract a new title sponsor following the loss of Vodafone last year. However racing director Eric Boullier told reporters including The F1 Times on Saturday that the failure to sign a title sponsor won't harm their 2015 budget, which he says will increase on 2014.