Toyota TS030 hybrid, Le Mans, 2012

Davidson breaks vertebrae in horror Le Mans crash

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Toyota TS030 hybrid, Le Mans, 2012In the round-up: Sky F1 commentator Anthony Davidson suffers two broken vertebrae after a horrific Le Mans accident.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Davidson breaks back at Le Mans (Sky)

??Toyota’s Anthony Davidson has broken his back after a horrific crash at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in France.The British driver was in the opening stages of his first stint and was hunting down the leaders when he was hit by Piergiuseppe Perazzini, whilst lapping the Ferrari driver. The contact sent the Sky Sports F1 commentator into the air, and his car spectacularly somersaulted. Fortunately, he landed on his wheels before slamming into the barriers at high speed.??

Q+A With TOYOTA Racing Driver Anthony Davidson (Toyota)

Anthony Davidson: ??Basically I have two broken vertebrae; T11 and T12. The doctors say the average recovery time is three months, but that?s an average person not a professional sportsman or athlete. That estimate is to get back to an absolutely healed bone; as strong as it was before. It?s more like three weeks until the pain subsides and I get my mobility back fully.??

Romain Grosjean – “The gap to the win is not that big??” Q&A (Lotus)

Romain Grosjean: ??The gap to the win is not that big. We need to qualify better, that is not our strength this season but we are working on it. I think Friday and Saturday were quite difficult for us in Canada but we have been learning a lot about the car so it?s good that we now have that in our pocket for the next races.??

F1 team help design Army’s vehicle (Sun)

??The first of 300 Foxhound trucks, together worth ??270m, turned up last week. Troops are already training with the vehicle ? designed with the help of Lewis?s McLaren team and boffins from BMW and the World Rally Championship. It has a top speed of 70mph and boasts a V-shaped bottom which deflects bomb blasts.??

‘I’m no moaner!’ Jenson Button says radio whining is aimed at improving the car (Mirror)

Jenson Button: ??It?s not moaning. People say, ??He ??always whinges?. You are not whinging. It is about developing a car through the race. It is what drivers do. If you drove round and didn?t say anything for the whole race, you are doing something wrong.??

Businesses race to F1 Expo (KXAN Austin)

??The excitement is building as Austin’s first Formula 1 race is only months away. Thousands of fans headed over to Austin Convention Center to get an up close and personal look. With 600 million race car fans worldwide, local businesses are looking to cash in.?? (with video)

Pit-lane boffins and fresh flesh making F1 season a lottery (Irish Independent)

??Formula One has never thrown up more permutations than it has this season and the sport is richer for that diversity. But as the season progresses a more stable pattern should emerge. Or will it? Have all seven winners revealed themselves? Is Schumacher or Raikkonen waiting to add to the quota???

Audi #1 crew claims first hybrid Le Mans 24 Hours win (Autosport)

??Audi claimed the first Le Mans 24 Hours victory for a hybrid car as #1 crew Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler repeated their 2011 triumph in the 80th running of the famous event. The trio led a one-two for the new e-tron and topped an all-Audi podium. But while that result might have been widely predicted given the rival Toyota TS030’s lack of preparation mileage and Audi’s enthusiasm for proving the effectiveness of its e-tron concept, the winners certainly did not have it easy.??

Silverstone UK via Twitter

??Our #F1 auction is now live! You have 1 wk to get your bids in! There are some amazing ‘Money Can’t Buy’ auction items! Link??

Paul Hembery via Twitter

“Le Mans, soooo boring. Audi racing.. Audi,, racing Audi, Zzzzz”

Comment of the day

Should the Interlagos pitlane be moved? AlonsoWDC believes this is one track modification that is long overdue.

This is a track that has seen several nasty incidents and several fatalities in recent years. I have seen over fifteen GPs held at Sao Paulo, and my eyes are always startled at each opening practice when I see someone storm back into the pits or, more likely, someone uses the pit entrance as the flat-out racing line.

It?s a much needed safety improvement. The changes at Silverstone to move the pit complex to a different part of the circuit changed the lap of course, but failed to take away from the raciness it produces. Moving the pits three corners away to the ??back? straight at Sao Paulo, IMO, will do even less to take away from its lap. It?s just long overdue.

From the forum

Who could become the 2012 season’s eighth different race winner?

Best of luck to all competing in the first round of season two of the F1F XBOX360 World Championship this evening!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Chris P!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Emerson Fittipaldi won the non-championship Gran Premio Republica Italiana at the Vallelunga circuit 40 years ago today.

The Lotus driver won from pole position ahead of Andrea de Adamich (Surtees) and Nanni Galli (Tecno).

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  • 135 comments on “Davidson breaks vertebrae in horror Le Mans crash”

    1. Get well soon Ant! :)

    2. What is most curious about the crash is that the shark-fin on the car is aimed at impeding the cars from taking off, which definitely happened there. Wondering what ACO wil do about this.

      1. The fin only affects yaw movement to prevent a roll (it worked for McNish last year). What happened here was that the car hit the kerb and the floor was exposed, with the giant flat panel creating a field of high/low pressure (forget which), catching the air and throwing the car skyward. There’s holes in the fenders to try and prevent this, and I imagine he could have flown even higher if they weren’t there.

        1. I know the holes on the fenders are mandatory now but yeah, now that you explained it , I understood it. In essence, it’s the same that happened to Mark Webber in Valencia: once the car’s floor catches too much air, it will launch the car into the air.

          1. @joao-pedro-cq @pjtierney It’s impressive Mark Webber didn’t flip at China this year. Because once they catch aire on the floor, it’s job done and they flip. But Mark held it, somehow…

            Wonder why he didn’t flip.

            1. I think, webber said, all you have to do is let off the throttle and it lands back. :P
              A perfect example of how cars are designed to be aerodynamic only forwards and not sideways.
              Hope he recovers soon.

              Question: Isn’t anthony davidson speculated to be the stig? Damn!

        2. “field of high/low pressure (forget which)”

          High, once the air gets a look at the bottom of a car it’s like a loose door in a gale.

          “Wonder why he didn’t flip.”

          He was coming off a slowish corner (q=0.5*rho*v^2) and there’s less area under the nose of an open wheeler for that to act upon. That’s badly worded but meh, it’s late.

          1. He said in an interview afterwards that he lifted off slightly when he felt it going up. I guess it was his experience of Valencia 2010 and those Le Mans crashes he had at some point that helped…

          2. Exactly, the floor works thanks to ground-effect. If you lose that, you loose a lot of downforce, and then then it easily becomes a sail.

          3. I was going to reply one comment up concerning Webber’s adventures.

            Yeah, basically in a Formula One car the floor starts quite far back from the front nose and the floor in its full width starts only almost in the middle of the car so an F1 car traveling forwards has to reach quite an extreme angle to launch at which point the force acting upon the car will be more slowing it down then lifting it up, whereas in an LMP car (full square-floored-car) the point where the car launches is at a much, much smaller angle and at that point the force is more lifting the car than slowing it down. That is why we saw the Mercs a few years back(Webber again) flying only when the front is slightly lifted and air gets underneath. This is something that has been improved aerodynamically trough upper body aero, holes and what not.

            To people who are not the best friends with physics – slide an A4 piece of paper on a table really quickly, then tape a pencil to it , so that the edge of the paper is where the middle of the pencil is or so and repeat the experiment. The pencil roughly represents how an F1 cars areo and weight distribution works. (in a launch into the air situation)

      2. Sideways at 200+mph will almost always = airborne nomatter what aerodynamic devices are on a car.

        Plus it seems like the contact broke one of the wheels which means that even if it did just spin like a top it likely would’ve rolled/flipped because of the weight/grip/support unbalance.

    3. Ant: Hope he makes a swift and full recovery, glad his crash wasn’t even more damaging.

      Army: I reckon McLaren helped develop the ECU or whatever kind of control centre that new vehicle has.

      Paul: While I agree, would he have said if if the Audis weren’t on Michelins? ;)

      1. I don’t think Paul Hembery’s mood was helped by there being only one Pirelli-shod car in the race. Either that or he thinks Le Mans should use tyres which wear out after 3 laps in a gamble it’ll improve the show (hint: it won’t)!

        1. I think that’s a fake Paul Hembery twitter account Will quoted there. Is it just me?

          1. No, it’s the real one. He was very grumpy about Le Mans.

            1. Why? The first 22 hours were really good I thought. Yes, it was only Audi going to win by the evening, but nobody knew which, and the top two Audi’s gave it their all. If Hamilton and Button had a huge scrap it would be considered fantastic- unless you were really anti-McLaren. Why not the same at Le Mans?

            2. Ok. He’s talking absolute trash with no particular purpose whatsoever then and he deserves a proper bashing from the specialised media for it.

              Endurance racing is boring by some sprint racing standards. And it should be. Le Mans is the last place for artificial racing as it’s still all about pushing limits and providing an environment for those willing to do so, not about looking good on TV in order to attract millions of pay-per-view subscribers and boost the value of a brand. I thought Hembery would know this much…

            3. I for one would take the vibe and tension of a boring Le Mans over the best, closest, unpredictable F1 race of 2012 everyday…

            4. FlyingLobster27
              18th June 2012, 8:58

              I agree with @matt90, up until the 22nd hour in which McNish put the number 2 in the wall, it was unclear which car was going to win, and there were clearly no team orders. Perhaps having four cars in the top four for most of the morning helped that, but well done to Dr Ullrich for letting his guys fight for the win.
              One can compare Audi’s spell of dominance at Le Mans to Citroën’s in the WRC – true in terms of time span, but they’re nothing alike when it comes to their attitude towards their drivers and setting themselves technical challenges!

              Also, LM is not just the prototypes – GTE-Am saw a battle that was only decided by a puncture with two laps to go!

            5. You’d think the Le Mans racers would stay out of wheel-to-wheel battles, like an F1 driver waiting for the pitstops and conserving his tyres, but at times they really went for it. It was a real shame Davidson’s accident happened when it did – Nakajima in the other Toyota was really getting stuck into the leading Audis. And he would have again after the restart, if he hadn’t damaged his car by running the Delta Wing off the road.

              Talking of GTs, the leading pros had a proper race for the lead for several hours, different cars with different strengths, until the Aston Martin fell back and the wheels came off, literally, for the Corvette.

          2. It doesn’t look like it.

          3. @tony031r It’s not. This is exactly why F1 Fanatic maintains a list of legitimate Twitter accounts, so we don’t waste time on the sad acts who set up fake ones to mislead people:

            F1 Twitter directory

            1. talking about legitimate Twitter accounts, today we saw the appearance of a @grillorampante – Aka “TheHorseWhisperer”

              Sure enough this would fit in with Ferrari taking on twitter, and its followed by some paddock journalists (Ian Parkes, Kate Walker), Jon Williams, Michael Cox as well as @lcolajani and the official Ferrari tweet stream, could you check it please @keithcollantine?

        2. Le Mans should use tyres which wear out after 3 laps in a gamble it’ll improve the show (hint: it won’t)!

          F1 is a very different beast to Le Mans, so I’d just mention that in F1, is has improved the racing.

      2. After reading that tweet, it also occured to me that he might have talked differently had there been more Pirelli shod cars in the race @PJ_tierney,

        As for LeMans and its exitement, its quite a different thing from endurance racing to F1. For me a lot of the exitement went away with that SC period for Ant’s crash (recover soon Ant!) when Nakajima punted off the Deltawing and then got the 2nd Toyota into the box never to be a force on the track again. I must say Audi did a good job of using the opportunity to let their guys race it out on track, but that ended after McNish crashing and dropping too far back.
        That said, we did see some amazing efforts (Dumas tearing off the bodywork, the DW driver trying to repair the differential, some excellent pit work to get those Audi’s back on track in an unbelievably short time, etc.) as well as an enticing battle for the lead in the GT classes, so it was far from boring for those who enjoy endurance racing.

        1. thatscienceguy
          18th June 2012, 17:56

          I was sittingmore or less opposite the Audi garages, it was amazing how quickly they turned those cars around. They are just so well drilled and organised, on the Friday every other team was still rebuilding their cars and Audi were out in pitlane doing pitstop practice.
          A lot of that (and as a result their success) comes from experience, their guys work so well on such a well designed and engineered car, compare that to Peugeot in their first years and Toyota this year, the pit guys didn’t have that calm efficiancy and their cars were too fiddly to repair quickly. Toyota will learn very quickly, and Porsche will need that year or two too, but in a year or two expect some real ding dongs at Le Mans.

          1. I remember Audi changing out an entire rear end—transmission, half-shafts, suspension, everything—on an R-10 in like 8 minutes one year. Toyota looked totally lost when they had their drivetrain issues. I’m now looking forward to them getting that car back again. It was very quick.

            I had really stopped following sports cars because of 1. constant Audi domination and 2. lack of the visceral raw power of the older sports cars. But hearing that Toyota go out of the box, with a sci-fi electrical whine to give Ridley Scott shivers, and then the engine bursting to life was hair-raising. The cars are once again truly cutting edge and amazing.

            Any one else also notice the irony of Toyota bringing a very complicated car right onto the pace in less than a year while their F1 efforts just sort of stumbled along for years and years? Maybe F1 is a bigger challenge.

            1. I loved how well the Toyotas were doing this year (up until the accidents happened), partly because it was their first season (since the GT-ONE in the 90s) but also because they were poineering new technologies like their Hybrid powertrain.

              Le Mans 2012 may not go down in history as an exciting race (to be fair, it’s near impossible to top what 2011 had) but will be noted for the emergence and development of technologies that will ultimately trickle down to road cars and make alternative power a more desirable and cost effective solution.

            2. Not that I necessarily agree with Hembery, as ‘boring’ is in the eye of the beholder, but let’s face it…it wasn’t just Audi racing Audi this year…it has been that way with only a few exceptions for over a decade. And then when you contrast that with F1 this year, F1 that has had it’s times of same old same old in the MS/Ferrari era, and Hembery having to defend his tires in the sense of the opposite end of the spectrum, the lottery effect, I think one can at least understand where Hembery’s comment comes from even if one disagrees with it. But yes for sure if the Audi’s were on Pirellis the last thing he would be calling it is boring.

    4. Sorry Jenson, it’s moaning and you’ve done it before at Brawn when things weren’t going too well. The fact is that it does nothing to help the team, because any meaningful observation or suggestion can be made after the race, and if it’s all going pear shaped to the point where you have to moan, moaning probably won’t help you!

      1. Can’t help but agree. I don’t think Jenson is a whiner, I just think there’s a time and a place for his observations about developing the car, and that’s not when he’s in the car on the radio with an exasperated and frustrated tone. If he really wants to help, he can come back to the pits, look over the data, and try to work it out with his engineers. Constantly complaining about how he can’t get the car to work while he’s in the car doesn’t help anyone, and only furthers to help support the image of him not being able to cope with a car that’s not perfectly in his small performance window.

        1. This comment thread is hilarious.

          He’s an F1 driver and he’s paid to go fast, yet people would rather see him stop caring about the car’s set up? Good for you! :-D Fact is, all drivers would do it. FOM choose which team radio they show.

          Sometimes I’m really glad I’m not an F1 driver… There are some pretty mean people around. Yes, they’re in the spotlight, they have to do well. But they’re still human beings so they’re not immune to anyone’s no-holds-barred criticism. Especially when it’s about the driver doing his job. But hey, whatever makes you happy!

          1. +1 @damonsmedley someone’s got to tell them! Feedback is so vital in developing a car and just because they choose to broadcast Jensons radio, I feel his is being victimized.

      2. Exactly, if it’s setup work or general feedback, surely that’s done either with your engineer with the data in front of you to refer to, or during an formal debrief. Muttering over the radio when I imagine it would be better to use the track time to concentrate wholly on information gathering seems counter-productive.

        1. Meh, give the guy a break, like a said a few comments below, he was most likely asked a question about this by a reporter and gave his answer explaining why he does it.

          Besides that’s just the way some people operate. I do it a bit myself, when something goes wrong that is out of my control I have a lil whinge about it, get it out of my system and then deal with it. If it helps him them it’s a good thing, even if it is a bit annoying for us to hear all the time.

          And as a fan of F1, if a driver is struggling I’d prefer to hear what they are struggling with rather than not hearing about it at all an just watching them post crap times lap after lap not knowing why its happening. Makes the experience a bit more personal I guess. (for me at least)

          1. And as a fan of F1, if a driver is struggling I’d prefer to hear what they are struggling with rather than not hearing about it at all

            I guess some fan’s of the sport are different from others. I would like the driver to just get on with his job of driving the car instead of crying on the radio about how he cannot do the job his teammate is currently doing.

        2. I’m sure they do go over it all in detail in the debrief after the race but you’re making it sound like this kind of information is useless during the race, which it clearly isn’t. If it’s before a pit stop then saying something like the car is understeering or the rears are going off quickly will give the team the chance to make changes at the stop. They could adjust the front flap angle, the tyre pressures or suggest a change to the diff settings etc to improve the car for the next stint. I’m sure the team like getting the feedback so they can try to make a difference.

          Out of the two McLaren drivers I think Lewis is more of a moaner because he complains about things the team can’t fix during the race, like if they make a strategy mistake and he ends up behind someone or if he has a slow pit stop. These are the sort of things they should be talking about after the race.

          1. I agree @Dave.

            The team can also instruct the driver to make a change to the engine map or the brake bias or a number of other things. The crew have the data in front of them, with driver feedback they can use it to suggest these types of changes, even after all the stops have been completed.

          2. Exactly @davea86, and it really is not as if Button is the only one, it just seems that they put him on air most often (maybe less swearwords in it, and being relatively clearly articulated in english helps too).

            1. “(maybe less swearwords in it, and being relatively clearly articulated in english helps too).”

              Quite a salient point actually. For all we know every other driver is effing and blinding down the radio, but Jenson does seem to be rather well spoken.

      3. @lin1876 – So what, exactly, is Button supposed to do? Suffer in silence?

        If he tells the team there is a problem, they can tell him the best way to fix it.

        1. I think the problem is that Button has been moaning about having no grip as well as other things for years, and it never seems to do anything. Also, the fact that Button can never seem to perform unless the car is perfect, doesn’t help.

          1. and it never seems to do anything

            Well he’s won a world championship and earned another 5 wins in the 2 years since, so I’m inclined to think that he’s doing something right.

        2. I’m not saying he shouldn’t tell them, because if he didn’t, nothing would be done. But telling them at the point where nothing can be done is at best pointless and at worse, if done persistently, leads to accusations of moaning.

      4. The fact is that it does nothing to help the team, because any meaningful observation or suggestion can be made after the race…

        So them using the information to alter parts of the car from the pitwall to counter the drivers problem is not considered ‘valuable’? If Jenson has no grip due to say, wheelspin, then the engineers can surely either advise on engine modes or discuss changing strategy to counter it?

        We only hear ~5% of a drivers comms with his engineers, most of it cherry picked to create discussion and drama (case in point – Vettel @ BRazil last year – “I feel like Senna…”) – for all we know every other driver also cries foul when not monstering the rest of the grid but it goes un-noticed.
        There’s also the fact that the teams don’t like confidential strategy info being broadcast – maybe McLaren consider FOM broadcasting Jenson’s issues a potential bonus as it can lul opponents into a false sense of security.

      5. Button isn’t moaning – the whingers are the ones complaining about him doing his job.

        1. @keithcollantine

          Button isn’t moaning – the whingers are the ones complaining about him doing his job.

          Couldn’t have put it any better.

        2. Exactly that!

          Maybe those complaining should lobby the FIA to stop playing the radio messages to stop us hearing drivers saying their car has oversteer, understeer, a non functional dashboard, is losing front grip, tyres are coming to their end, their teammate is in the way etc.

        3. “Button isn’t moaning”

          But one might say that he’s now whingeing about the whingers who are moaning about his (non)moaning.

          I can predict the comments for the next race – “there goes Button giving feedback again…”

          FWIW, I’m quite pleased to be told by a driver why he’s having problems.

          1. Kenneth Ntulume
            18th June 2012, 18:48

            JB might not be Moaning….
            …but am afraid his tone delivers that emotion of moaning..i.e like how my 5 year old talks when he needs more sugar in his oats…..
            JB! should just work on his tone while delivering “improvement feedback” i.e like pilots as they relay flight info……

        4. Agree entirely @Keith. And others who have spoken along the same vein. My goodness, even if the team can’t do anything about JB’s issues at the moment, they might be able to do something at the next pit, as JB points out. Or they might not be able to do a thing, but to ‘suffer in silence’ as PM said, assuming they can’t help him, would be folly. As JB says, if he didn’t say anything, then at the end of the race when he states his issues the team might end up saying ‘why didn’t you tell us, we might have been able to help’.

          Further to that, even if the team can do nothing in spite of constant communication (even if you call it complaining which it is not) then at a minimum they can analyse the data lap after lap post-race and coordinate it with JB’s comments and perhaps get to the bottom of JB’s issues in general with the car and make some strides for the next race(s).

          I think one of the main things that bothers me about criticisms like this toward a F1 driver is that it lowers F1 to make it sound like a bunch of teenagers at a go-kart track…there are reasons that go beyond being able to driver fast that these professional drivers got sponsors and teams to hire them and put them in the pinnacle of racing. Attitude, maturity, professionalism, calm even in storms, information feedback, motivation to improve and help the team and it’s sponsors, motivation for themselves to do better and win. Without all this and more a bloke doesn’t last long in racing, so to boil him down to being a whiner seems ridiculous. Why watch F1 then if that is the quality of the drivers and you just want clones to shut up and drive? Why not just take the drivers right out of it and operate the cars via computer programming and remote control?

    5. My first CotD!

      1. Well done @AlonsoWDC It’s a good one and you’re right.

      2. I read it yesterday, and it really was a well informed and funded opinion @alonsowdc, so a well deserved COTD for you!

    6. Toyotas were impressive while they lasted. Considering they began this project in earnest last Fall, amazing to be right on the pace. (Audi is probably now going to revisit their front-mounted KERS design.) Audi were lucky to escape a fair number of spins and collisions in the race. Fassler spun in the Porsche corners and hit nothing. Typically you recover the car with a vacuum cleaner after one of those. Hope to see Toyota back next year with four cars, a strong slate of drivers to support Wurz, and give Audi a proper run.

      1. Yeah Toyota were impressive until the crash, then the other car started falling apart too. Up ’til then they’d been competing with Audi pretty evenly (running 2 + 3 and catching the lead Audi iirc).

        Still mad at them for knocking the deltawing out though :(

    7. I have mixed feelings about the Interlagos start change. Sure, the pits was ridiculously long and a long overdue. But watching the cars at the start charge down to the Senna S has became a bit of an iconic image in modern-day F1 imo.

      1. The corner that will become T1 invites overtaking as well.

        1. And the Senna S will become a genuine overtaking opportunity on the first lap, rather than the traditional lunge for position at the start.

          1. Always look at the positives in track changes!

    8. Button moaning about people calling him a moaner. What a surprise.

      1. Technically he was responding to criticism from people about him being a moaner, which would have come from a question asked to him by a reporter. He gave his view on the question, reporter gets a nice headline, more people complain and the vicious cycle continues.
        What else could he do?

        1. which would have come from a question asked to him by a reporter.

          But did it? Did some reporter have the audaciousness to ask: “Jenson, why are you such a moaner?” Seriously, though, it is likely to have been in response to a slightly differently worded question.

          I personally don’t mind Jenson’s radio communications, and he certainly has a point that they may often be useful for the engineers, though at the same time I feel that a certain number of messages are not that useful for the engineers, and can be classified as moaning.

          1. Often all you hear is, “I am struggling in that corner or struggling with these tyres”, “The car feels horrible”, “I’ve got no grip”, etc. When he discribes oversteer or understeer, he adds “Massive”.
            I feel during a race if you can give good feed back to your engineers, they can work on the problem and come up with a solution that helps.

          2. The ‘question’ came from a British red top. It probably was worded as such (or at least twisted).

        2. Moan again. It’s one thing he’s pretty good at to be fair.

      2. @davidwhite make that: people moaning about Button moaning about being called a moaner

        Just don’t forget Hamilton and Alonso (when we actually heard his pit radio on the FOM feed) have often been called out for the same moaning before, and I think Couthard and many others as well. Might it just be that this is about the things being said to the teams and the choices made by the FOM on what messages to play rather than driver behaviour?

        1. @bascb It’s not just FOM edits. Try watching any of the post qualifying/post race interviews of Button when he’s not performed well. No grip, no balance. Really? Take Monaco as an example, after FP3 in the morning Button was all smiles and high fives – no doubt looking at Hamilton and other’s times and thinking he’s up there with them. Hamilton though got blocked on his fast lap so his time wasn’t representative. Surprise, surprise, qualifying takes place, Button drives the same as FP3, only Hamilton gets a clean lap and Alonso et al start to push. Cue Button misses out on Q3, and of course cue “no balance, don’t know what happened to the car’s feel between FP3 and qualifying – yadiya”.
          The point is that when Hamilton for example hasn’t performed well in qualifying, he will say he gave it his all and that was his best. Button, on the other hand, can’t accept that it could possibly be due to his own performance and speed – it must be the balance, set up etc. It’s like a broken record. One that moans a lot.

          1. @davidwhite, in that comparison of Hamilton you seem to have forgotten most of last year when he complained about handing and not having the right grip many times. Or Alonso the year before during the races when he complained about a lot of things on track (Massa holding him up in Melbourne)

            Fact is, these drivers are being asked “what happened” and answer truthfully that they didn’t find enough grip when it was needed. Only way to get different answers, is when we (journalists) ask different questions (but most of those would be irrelevant). If you don’t want to hear it, don’t listen!

            1. @bascb Don’t agree. Button’s excuse at the end of every qualify and race is the same. No grip/balance. In contrast Hamilton has many times said he wasn’t fast enough (whether it was the car, or him, or both). Button lives in a deluded world where he thinks he is the fastest/best driver in the world – and therefore f he doesn’t win it or qualify ahead of his team mate it must be because he hasn’t got the car set up exactly right. That’s what grates on me. The head is bigger than the talent.

            2. @davidwhite
              Maybe you can read minds, but Im not convinced:)
              Just because Button doesn’t say that he gave his all, it doesn’t mean he did not gave his all, but he cant say it if he manages to get P8-P10. What would his sponsors do if he starts saying things like that?
              The other thing is, you might not remember, but Hamilton can whigne a lot too, if you want to call it whinging. I wont start a list about drivers complaints, but every driver complains, and I think it is unfair to bash only Button if he does it.

            3. what @bag0 writes. And it does seem you missed the times where Button said he messed up something (remember last year in China for a perfect example) @davidwhite

              But I really mean it. If you don’t want to hear it, don’t listen and save yourself the trouble of being annoyed!

            4. @bascb “But I really mean it. If you don’t want to hear it, don’t listen and save yourself the trouble of being annoyed!
              Sorry buddy – i’m not annoyed at all. It’s merely an observation – Button whinges about lack of grip in any interview he gives where he’s under-performed – hence the tag he gets as a whinger. I’m guessing you’re a Button fan so the bad news for you is that when he copies Hamilton’s set up to stop the tyres getting eaten, he won’t be able to drive the car as quickly as him – because he hasn’t got the talent of an Alnso, Hamilton or Schumacher to adapt and drive differently. And of course it won’t be his fault – it will be “lack of grip”. On the contrary, long may the Button whinging continue.

            5. @davidwhite, hey don’t apologize, I really do not care much whether you are annoyed or just disinformed.
              I find it astonishing you suddenly “accuse” me of being a Button fan, as if that is the only reason why one would disagree with you about your misinformed but staunch opinion.

              Look at the drivers I support, to me its the whole of the sport that I like. And that includes drivers giving interviews.

            6. @bascb Hey, there’s nothing to be ashamed about being a Button fan and it is somewhat freudian that you use the word “accuse” – stand tall and proud for what you believe in. As much as i enjoy being told i’m “dis”informed, the TV interviews and articles speak for themselves. I think F1F should scrap the caption competition and instead run one to see how often Button says the words “balance” or “grip” i.e. the lack of in his interviews for the rest of the season. My money is on quite a few…As with life, it’s always the underpeformers that moan and complain about factors outside of their control as to why they aren’t successful. I see it time and time again in my business. I get why, from his perspective, he has to point to the balance or grip of the car as to why he isn’t winning or ahead of his team mate because the alternative answer is that he isn’t quick enough and admiting that to yourself would be a massive psychological blow. I remember Alonso coming out a few years ago and saying he wasn’t necessarily the fastest driver on the grid but where he really excelled was performing to his maximum capacity race after race, whereas others weren’t able to sustain as long as a period of sustained performance. I was mightily impressed with this self-analysis. Sadly, if Button were to do the same thing, he’d realise he’s not one of the top 3 drivers in the world – something he’s not prepared to do – and hence we hear the moaning about “balance” and “grip”. Always has done, and always will do.

      3. This is the most boring thread I have ever read on F1Fanatic.

    9. This years LeMans was ripe with prerace interest. The Toyota project ended up being very cool, the cars themselves are gorgeous and it was a same to see Davidsons Toyota die such a horrible death. Hope he gets back soon. The Deltawing was also a great prerace story. That car was simply outrageous. Also a shame that it was impacted as it was and we didn’t get to actually see much of it. The potential for the future is great with these two programs and ofcourse next years rule changes will ultimately affect both programs as they stand.
      What can be said about the Audis this year…Absoluetly amazing and what superb looking cars. In fact they are fantastic looking…Oh My God…These prototypes are amongst the coolist looking racecars I have ever seen. Congratulations to their program, they did their homework and kicked some serious butt over the weekend.

      As for Paul Hemroids His comments via twitter were as bad as his Pirelli tires. Stick to Formula One because if your tires were used at LeMans this year there would have been the need for snowplows to keep the track free of Pirelli Clagg. Please just ruin one class of racing at a time….

      1. As for Paul Hemroids His comments via twitter were as bad as his Pirelli tires. Stick to Formula One because if your tires were used at LeMans this year there would have been the need for snowplows to keep the track free of Pirelli Clagg. Please just ruin one class of racing at a time….

        You do understand that Pirelli were asked to make their tyres like this right?

        If they were asked to make a tyre that lasted 1000 km and meant teams never needed to consider the impact of tyres on racing other than ensure they’re bolted on correctly then they would do that too.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          18th June 2012, 8:39

          They were asked to, yes, but they had some pretty good experience at making tyres that don’t last well (dramatic loss of grip after 35 minutes in some 45-minute Superbike races) or don’t perform well (everyone had dumped Pirelli just before they were named sole supplier of the WRC a few years ago).

        2. @nefor He never seems to get that point. Trust me, I’ve tried ;)

          1. I tried as well, just gave up after a few posts. Some people tend to not want to see anything that counters their point of view.

          2. Andrew I completely understand the point and I too have tried to convince you that regardless of the performance directive of the tires this generation of Pirelli Tires is keeping the ultimate performance of the cars checked. F1 isn’t what it could be and the tires are and will be the problem…

            And you then like seeing F1 dumbed down ???

            Why not rise to the challenge instead of lowering the expectation??

            1. Ted Bell, if you understand the point, then why do you say Pirellis tyres are no good? As @alianora-la-canta writes below, actually the car with Pirelli tyres did remarkebly well at LeMans (agree with her that its a shame he does not give them a thumbs up for it)
              Pirelli is fully able tol make different tyre specifications for F1 if the FIA and the teams agree to ask them to do so. Its not as if the Pirelli tyres in WRC or wherever are ruining those, is it.

            2. If you want to take about dumbing-down the potential of an F1 car perhaps you should look into how the engines are limited to 18,000rpm?

              Since when was F1 about speed anyway?

      2. I thoroughly enjoyed Le Mans, though I will acknowledge it didn’t have the frenetic duelling at the front of the primary categories that last year boasted. I can see why the very F1-orientated Paul Hembrey might not have found Le Mans his cup of tea and spoken accordingly. However, I am disappointed he could not also find the time to praise the Pirelli-shod entry (the #55 JWA in GTE-Am) that fought hard and overcame several technical issues to finish the race in its first year in that configuration of team.

    10. Is that Pastor Maldonado driving the Ferrari in the clip?

    11. What the Ferrari driver did is just unbelievable.

      1. Yes, shame on a racing driver for following the racing line.

        Davidson was clearly in his blind spot when they made contact. If anything, he is the one at fault for trying to make the pass there.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys
          Well, a driver shouldn’t really follow his racing line if that means sideswiping someone else who is lapping you. That would be both stupid and dangerous.
          Maybe he was in his blind spot, but when a car comes up and is much faster, and you know that it is going to overtake you, and suddenly it moves to the right and leaves your rear view mirror you can’t see it.. Where could it have gone? Evaporated? Or maybe sunk though the tarmac?
          Or maybe gone alongside to overtake?
          The Ferrari driver would have had loads of warnings, flashing lights, big blue scary prototype in his rear view mirror for quite some time, getting bigger and bigger.
          The cars have mirrors, and he has eyes and a brain to think.
          He should have known that the car was there, it wasn’t that unpredictable. He leaves a mountain of space on the inside of the track, if the Toyota is going to overtake, surely that is a perfect invitation to just sneak through.
          I get that he simply misjudged the distance and all that, but Davidson made a move up the inside, in a perfectly legitimate place with loads of space. It was the Ferrari driver who didn’t see him, and ran straight into him.

          1. @mads – Given the closing speeds, Pierguiseppe Perazzini – the Ferrari driver – had about a moment to react. Davidson was behind Perazzini, and then he was alongside the Ferrari and the two made contact. Maybe Perazzini made a mistake, but Davidson is experienced enough that he should have known better than to try a pass there. Why not wait until the approach to Indianapolis? By then Perazzini would be perfectly aware of Davidson’s presence, and he would have moved over accordingly. It was the end of the fifth hour of the race when the two cars touched – if Davidson had waited, an extra twenty seconds behind Perazzini that early in the race wasn’t going to make or break Toyota’s challenge to Audi in the twenty-fourth hour (assuming the car would have made it that far).

            I’m not saying that Perazzini wasn’t at fault at all, and that the burden of responsibility was on Davidson. But nor am I saying that Davidson was blameless the way Satoshi Motoyama was when Kazuki Nakajima sideswiped him. It was a racing incident, with both drivers at equal fault. Perazzini should have been more aware of the Toyota closing in behind him. Davidson should have waited and attempted to make a pass at a time when Perazzini was not about to turn in to make the apex of the corner.

            He leaves a mountain of space on the inside of the track

            He was on the racing line through that corner. The driver sticks to the left, turns in late to kiss the apex of that right-hand kink, and then makes for the outside of the circuit to be in the best position for the second, tighter half of the Mulsanne. Just watch the two cars in the background as the crash takes place – they follow Perazzini’s line, not Davidson’s. Davidson’s was actually the worse line to take, because it would mean he would go through the kink at too shallow and angle, and would wind up at the outer edge of the circuit too soon, forcing him to take the second half of the Mulsanne much slower than if he had been on the proper racing line.

            1. Every commentator on Eurosport said that was a typical overtaking spot and that the Ferrari driver messed up. He left space for a significantly faster car into a typical passing spot- what does he expect to happen when he suddenly takes the apex? I bet if you watched just the camera for that corer, you would see hundreds of passes there where the slower driver didn’t take out the faster one.

            2. To add- when in doubt in endurance racing, you leave the faster driver room or risk a huge accident. Even into very slow corners like Arnage I saw other cars doing this when they knew an LMP1 car was around them.

            3. @prisoner-monkeys
              But how should Davidson know that the Ferrari wasn’t aware of him?
              The closing speeds on the straights are big, but its not like he is flying past him, the straights are so long and the lights on those LMP1 cars are so bright the Ferrari driver would have been able to see him from the exit of the 2nd chicane all the way down to that kink.
              I know its the racing line, but the racing line invites overtaking. Its isn’t an abnormality to overtake through that corner and before the Ferrari driver made a mess of it, it looked perfectly safe.
              By your logic the overtaking driver will always be at fault simply because he makes an attempt to overtake. I just can’t follow that.
              What if the Ferrari driver had made a mess of it on the run towards Indianapolis as well? If he didn’t see Davidson there, why would he anywhere else?

            4. I agree with PM. The accidnet reminded me of what Mcnish attempted last year. It is not the responsibility of the slower driver to appreciate the closing speed, it is the sole respomsibility of the driver attempting the overtake.
              It is a good overtaking spot, but that also depends on relative position.
              It was a racing incident, but Davidson was just a bit too optimistic.

            5. Oh, and about the Deltawing crash, some ex-drivers on the commentary team later said, that had Satoshi Motoyama NOT moved aside to give room where it was a relatively tight track the accident would probably not have happened.

              Now he moved aside and Nakajima went for a gap he saw opening (a gap that evidently was not big enough to fit in his car!), and hit the DW.
              Does that make Nakajima less at fault?

            6. when we are talking about this on track behaviour, I think Buxton’s latest foray into driving standards is pretty fitting.

              Davidson mentioned counting on certain behaviour bcause of expecting a Pro to be driving that Ferrari. And maybe the Deltawing would not have crashed had it not been doing everything it could to keep out of the way (thereby moving around a lot to do so).

              Compare that with what Hinchcliffe says in the interview with Buxton:

              it can actually be more dangerous because you become unpredictable. As a driver, you expect all the other drivers to behave in a way that is pushing every scenario to the limit and so you know what they are likely to do in a given situation. When they stop doing that and back out of something unexpectedly, it can actually create a bad situation on track

        2. @prisoner-monkeys, you write

          Davidson was clearly in his blind spot when they made contact. If anything, he is the one at fault for trying to make the pass there.

          but that is something that you written based on only a look at it by you.

          In fact the driver in question in an interview said that he had seen the LMP1 closing in on him but did not believe it would get to him before the corner, so he turned in on the racing line, instead of giving room as its his obligation to do under the rules.
          Davidson from his side said he had been passing GT pro cars before that on the straight and thought the car was part of that group, only noticing at the last moment it was an Amateur car. Indicating that the LMP1 guys don’t trust the amateurs not to make this stupid mistake (they did it 2x last year, now again).

          1. Flying Lobster 27
            18th June 2012, 12:51

            Look at last year again, @bascb, both Ferraris involved in the Audi incidents were GTE-Pro cars! And the first was more down to McNish being rather optimistic, pushing for the lead not thinking that his team-mate ahead was held up by the GT car he eventually ran into.
            Still, it all allows Romain Dumas, who never misses a chance to criticise the Am class, to do so… in spite of the fact that “gentlemen” drivers are always present at Le Mans – it’s just that now, it’s written on their cars.

            1. Flying lobster – I stand corrected on the Am/pro issue. However, that does not mean that the driver in this case was less at fault (my argument towards what PM writes).

              And I agree with you that McNish was too trusting, that is why I found it interesting to see what Ant said about his thinking this was a Pro car and how it influenced his driving (trusting them to stay to the side and let the LMP1 through).
              Not sure about Dumas, but I think that given the sheer amount of AM entries and the relative lack of incidents, it would be far to easy to say they do not belong in the race.
              But if a driver clearly does not do what he should (as was the case with the Ferrari driver hitting the Toyota), I think its bad to see people starting to say that Davidson was just as responsible here.

        3. Do you enjoy being a polemic?

        4. If you look at where contact was made, the Ferrari contacted the rear quarter panel of the Toyota. So, at the moment of contact the Toyota was already in front, that’s hardly a blind spot.

      2. Perazzini did nothing wrong. There were no blue flags waved, Davidson was not blinking his lights, the Ferrari driver had no idea that he could be lapped at that corner, so he followed the racing line, did not look in his mirrors and didn’t saw Davidson.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          18th June 2012, 9:31

          But Davidson’s lights were on (they have to be by the rules), and that is enough for Perazzini to know that a prototype is behind him – prototype lights are white, GT lights are yellow. A quick check before the Mulsanne crest and he should have seen the Toyota approaching – unfortunately the replays don’t show that far back for me to confirm that.

          1. On Eurosport they said he would have certainly heard Davidson too.

          2. I heard the commentary referring to him being interviewed and confirming he had indeed seen Davidson approaching, but did not believe he would get to him that fast! Clearly his mistake then

        2. @bag0

          did not look in his mirrors and didn’t saw Davidson

          Isn’t it his fault if he doesn’t look in his mirrors? It surely is if I run over a cyclist in a turn because I don’t use my mirrors.

          1. In a road car, on the street, yes, because you have to check at every turn, but on a race track you look ahead not behind.

            1. @bag0
              Soo.. because you are on a race track you don’t need to use your mirrors and if that means you crash into someone its not your fault?
              How does that even make sense?
              Every driver has a responsibility to use his mirrors, and make sure he knows what is going on around him. If he doesn’t accidents will happen, and people will get hurt.

            2. Flying Lobster 27
              18th June 2012, 13:00

              @bag0: no. This very accident proves you wrong. In a field with such differences in top speed, when you’re driving one of the slowest cars, not looking behind leads to exactly this sort of accident.

            3. @mads & @flying_lobster
              What I meant was on a race track you should check your mirrors only if you have a car behind, and if he knew that Davidson was coming, it is his fault, but as I said earlier, I dont think he saw him. And you cant blame him for not looking in his mirrors at every turn.
              The other thing is, the driver who comes from behind, has the ability to lift off, back out from an overtake, or wait till it is safe to overtake, and when these kind of incidents happen usually the car behind is at fault.
              I know that lapped cars should give way, but the base of my argument is that he did not know that he was being lapped.

            4. @bag0
              He did know he was being lapped. He said in an interview that he had seen him behind, but he didn’t expect him to overtake.
              And the Toyota would definitely not have time to back out of it.
              And anyway, if he doesn’t look in his mirrors how should he know whether or not there is a car behind him?
              presumably when a big blue car is flying in the air over him and he is taking an uncontrolled detour straight to the barrier, but at that point its a little late to do anything about it.
              It was safe to overtake, until the Ferrari driver made a mess of it.
              Davidson could have waited, but on what basis?
              He couldn’t have known that the Ferrari was going to crash into him. Its a common place to overtake, there was loads of space, so why shouldn’t he make the move?
              In the end, it was unsafe because the Ferrari driver misjudged the whole thing, not because Davidson did anything wrong.

          2. Martin Brundle has often said in commentary that you shouldn’t have to actively look in your mirrors. A race car driver is proficient enough to use their peripheral vision of the mirrors to see things behind them.

            1. Was that in relation to F1 or Le Mans though? In any race with multiple classes, if you aren’t in the fastest class you should treat your mirrors very differently to in single-class races.

            2. It was during an F1 race, but he was saying that it always unnerved him to see people doing it on the road, because even in a road car you shouldn’t have to if you set your mirrors up right.

    12. Totally agree…also if he makes a comment on the car’s handling at that specific point in the race, then his engineer can make a note of it and they can then look at the telemetry for that exact time…rather than after the race him saying that he had oversteer around lap 15-20ish…

      …what I’m fed up with is the directors choosing to only ever play Button making these comments when I’m sure that other drivers do so as well.

      1. Oh, that was supposed to be a reply to Prisoner Monkey’s post earlier in the page…oh well….

      2. I think the entire thing is Bernies way of painting pictures using FIA’s tight control over the voice comms.

        So while all the drivers probably say the exact same things as Button, the FOM will not broadcast those communications.

        It is really unfortunate because it means the FOM have too much power over public perception. On the flip side, if they opened the channels up, the people with all that power would be the TV stations. Considering how pro-british anti-ferrari the British stations are, it would allow for some really one sided or misrepresented stories.

      3. Yes, reading that piece, it sounds like JB knows what he’s trying to achieve over the radio. If he doesn’t want the world to know about it, well…Alonso uses his many languages, and Mercedes sometimes talk in code (the Magic Paddle is my favourite). Maybe he should make the messages unbroadcastable – “the ******* car’s understeering, you *****!”

        1. Maybe some drivers do that and we never know because it isn’t broadcast.

          1. They do it, and sometimes FOM slips them through, in the 2010 Hungary raceedit Vettel says: “How the f**k Mark is past now? How is that possible?” (He passed him while Vettel had a drivethrough for his fault at the restart behind the safetycar)

            1. I’m surprised he even needed to ask that, since it was glaringly obvious to anybody who understands the concept of racing.

    13. I’ve had a lot of respect for Pirelli coming into F1 and contributing to (aargh…) the show.

      But that comment about Le Mans really does make him sound like a prize buffoon.

      1. No I think he was right, it was boring, although McNish spinning out spiced it up, however looking at his twitter account these endurance racing fans go a bit overboard in defending their sport…

        1. McNish spinning out ruined the fight for the lead, which was close until that point.

    14. Horror smash? Really?

      It was a bad crash, yes. But no worse than is witnessed every 3 months or so in Motorsport.

      “Horror crash” sounds like overblown Daily Mail reporting, and is a bit out of place on this site!

    15. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
      18th June 2012, 12:13

      This was my first time watching Le Mans and it really was amazing.. I must have watched about 17 hours or so of the race and I stayed up until 5 in the morning! Funny enough, I never got tired of watching those beautiful cars just go flat out for so long even though there was hardly any overtaking. I think in a way it was better than an F1 race, mainly because of no DRS and no pirelli tyres.. it was real racing.. just like in Moto GP and touring cars..
      I think this race made me realise that DRS is really ruining Formula one even though there is more overtaking.. I mean the 2008 and 2010 season was an example of breathtaking championships that were so exciting without DRS or Kers..
      Before the race I didnt know anything about the start procedure or the different classes but I learned this through observation.. I was watching german eurosport so I had to rely on F1 fanatic live for some sort of commentary.
      I choose to go for the Toyotas of course as they were the one’s who stood any chance of beating the Audi’s. So I was very dissapointed in seeing them both retire, one to a horrific crash and the other by hitting a backmarker which was Deltawing, my other favourite car.
      Even with the toyotas out of the equation I still was enjoying the battle between the Audi’s. There were some great moments in that race.. I mean what Dumas did after he crashed was simply breathtaking. The courage and commitment he showed and just the passion and adrenaline to tear off the front bodywork of his car after he hit the barrier was amazing to watch. His slow in-lap must have been painful for him..

      Even though Audi won comfortably, it didnt take away my enjoyment of what was a great expierience.. I have no regrets of staying up that late, even though I am still wrecked!

      Before I discovered this website all I watched was F1, but now thanks to F1 fanatic and Keith I have an interest in Touring cars, Moto GP, Indycars etc. Thanks for making me discover these other forms of motorsport and keep up the good work on this site.

      1. Have a look here.
        It’s Motoyama trying to fix the DeltaWing after the crash with the Toyota. Apparently, he spent about 90 minutes working on it with the team mechanics advising him from the other side of the circuite fence (because the team would have been disqualified if they had touched the car outside the pits). He managed to get one drive shaft working it seems, but the steering was apparently jammed and he couldn’t free it.
        Eventually he had to admit defeat and came through the fence. He still had his helmet on, but I hope he heard the applause from everyone around him in recognition of his attempts.

        1. Fantastic, thanks for sharing @timkatz

        2. Oh that was horrible to watch :(, commendable that he spent that long to try and start it up.

    16. Ron Dennis better start putting his hands in his pocket, “Lewis’s McLaren Team” that’s right “Lewis’s team” just helped develop a vehicle for the army. At nearly the cost of a Mclaren road car they’ve already sold 300! And Ron thinks Lewis should take a paycut? Thing again Ron, Lewis is your business.

      1. Just like Senna, Hakkinen, Lauda etc have all been McLaren’s ‘business’ at their respective times. Drivers, talent and money are transient.

        Calling it ‘Hamilton’s team’ is the gutter press giving celebrity context to an otherwise sterile, dry and uninteresting story. Of course, the second someone is killed in one of these things, the McLaren link will be dragged up along with stupid drivel as ‘why is an F1 car company making our boys tanks?’…

    17. Obviously the Ferrari’s fault BUT Martin Brundle has told Autosport that when at Le Mans he assumes everybody is going to run into him unless they prove they have seen him. Seems a healthy attitude to me.

      Ant emphatically did not do that. He left the decision up to the Ferrari.

    18. I think it’s a shame television coverage of motorsport is so in love with slow motion. Here is a clip of the crash at normal speed, which isn’t (unless I missed it) in the video posted above. In my opinion this gives a much clearer picture of how fast and brutal such an impact actually is.

      Hope he recovers well.

      1. I think the same, and was actually trying to find this earlier, having seen it during the race and realising it was much more brutal, so thanks for posting that @bs.

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