Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2013

Domenicali expects tight fight for runners-up spot

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Suzuka, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says the Scuderia’s second place in the Constructors’ Championship is under threat.


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Ferrari admits its second place in F1 2013 standings is in jeopardy (Autosport)

Stefano Domenicali: ??If we want to keep fighting, it is important that we try to improve the car. There are some things that we can bring for the next couple of races, and we need to try to improve the qualifying.??

Sauber: Giving up on 2013 was never an option ?ǣ Q&A (F1.com)

Monisha Kaltenborn: ??Giving up was never an option, because we wanted to make progress with the current car, in order to improve in the constructors? championship. In addition the insight we are getting now will help with the development of the new car.??

Chilton: I deserve 2014 seat (Sky)

??I feel I’m showing not just the team, but everyone on the whole, I deserve a seat for next year. Everyone gets judged, so you have to prove yourself, which is hard for rookies because there’s so little testing, which means it’s going to take part of the season to get up to speed.??

Caterham: We need luck to beat Marussia (Racer)

Van der Garde: ??We need to have luck. Of course, we can try different strategies or have rain in a bit of the race, which will help us a lot because those conditions suit the car, but other than that it is pure luck.??

I s*** myself when I first tested an F1 car ?ǣ Vettel (ESPN)

??The first time I tested the car, Mark drove in the morning and I drove in the afternoon,” he said. “I shat myself for the first couple of laps and I thought, alright, that’s for real men, not for me. Then I got used to it and obviously wanted to do more.??

Cars and girls: Remembering Maria de Villota (The Economist)

??The FIA, the sport’s governing body, has also set up the Women & Motor Sport Commission, to encourage more female participation. Yet, the paddock retains the feel of a men’s club, even down to the short-skirted “grid girls”, employed to hang around the start line prettying things up.??

Formula 1 chargers have arrived (Times of India)

??F1 cargo involves a high level of coordination with multiple agencies on a very time-bound deadline. More than the volume, it is the time factor that is key in making the logistics support successful. Post this race, the entire equipment will have to be shifted to the next race, and hence it is extremely time critical.??


Comment of the day

After yesterday’s look at F1’s Top Ten track masters, @roodda suggests another honourable mention:

Fisichella did pretty well at Montreal back in the day. 1998 and 1999 he finished 2nd and 2000 he finished 3rd by perfectly timing the switch to wets. All of this was done in the Benetton Playlife, which was a pretty average car. He came 5th in his crummy 2002 Jordan and 4th in his Sauber in 2004. But when he raced there with Renault in 2005-07, he was nowhere! I think he came 4th in one of those years, but no higher.

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  • 78 comments on “Domenicali expects tight fight for runners-up spot”

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      17th October 2013, 0:21

      A shame to listen members of an F1 team (Catherham) talking all about “pure luck” and nothing has really improved for them in all these years. They both, alongside Marussia haven’t scored a single point. F1 is tough, but I think it’s not all down to money when results matter. I don’t know what’s going on with Catherham. I Hope a better 2014 for these 2 teams.

      1. Catherham vs motherussia

    2. Is Webber having a special livery in Brazil like DC did in 2008?

      1. Yes, and that went well from memory.

        1. Yes, I was gutted to see DC caught in the mayhem at turn 1.

          1. Turn 2* :-)

            1. Indeed. (To quote the man himself)

        2. Lol, that was one of the few times one of my F1 predictions came true :P

      2. If they do choose a special one off livery it sure will boost Webber’s luck he may actually survive 1st corner and beat Coulthard.

      3. I needed to jog my memory, so I googled some images and guess what, the first hit was from this very site (http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/gepa_full_6115_gepa-3010084412.jpg). I found it amusing looking at the drivers with the knowledge of what was to come. Button in his Honda T-shirt, Renault’s Alonso looking rather unhappy as the sole representative of the ING squad, Webber looking pleased at the prospect of becoming the “elder statesman” at Red Bull etc.

        1. This picture has reminded me that things really do change in F1, after what seems like 3 or 4 years of the same old same old. There are 19 drivers in that picture, of which 10 have since left and 7 have moved teams, leaving only Mark Webber to be still in F1 and driving for the same team (and not for very much longer…)!

          1. Don’t forget Massa, though this will be the final few races for atleast him being on the same team & maybe even in F1.

          2. Note that some of the 19 drivers in the picture were the test drivers, I think I can spot Klien, Liuzzi and De La Rosa.

            The missing racing drivers seem to be Vettel, Bourdais, Trulli and Piquet Jr. Doesn’t add any that are still at the same team though!

            Other than Webber, there are however Massa (as mentioned by @fisha695) but also Sutil still driving for the same team. And Räikkönen again soon.


        2. Webber looking pleased at the prospect of becoming the “elder statesman” at Red Bull etc.

          That pleasure didn’t last long!


        3. @pH

          And Barrichello looking smug that he’s got the Brawn next year :D

    3. Caterham want a lucky break to bear Marussia. Max Chilton wants a drive for next year. So all Caterham have to do is sign Chilton up so that he can give a position to one of the Caterhams at the last moment, enabling them to pass Marussia in the Constructors’ Championship.

      After all, it worked last year …

    4. I love the way Lotus’ Tweet suggests Grosjean just showed up one day because he was passing through the neighbourhood and not because he works there.

      1. To be fair, he doesn’t work in Enstone, he works in the “field”. Having just left Japan and getting ready to go to India I’d assume he’s a little busy, so they were probably excited to see him. Was Kimi there in his office working away?

    5. “Domenicali expects tight fight for runners-up spot”

      is that a fact eh…

      1. If I remember rightly, 2 races ago he expected to still be fighting for the championship win :P

      2. Good news for Ferrari then @mpmark, it means they think they are capable of holding on to that spot!

    6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      17th October 2013, 0:45

      I disagree with Chilton, I don’t think he deserves a seat for next year. Yes he’s been consistent by finishing every race, but he hasn’t shown that he’s got the raw speed, as he’s been consistently 0.8-0.3 tenths slower than Jules, sometimes more!

      I don’t know how much money he (his father) brings to the team, but I suspect it’s quite a lot considering Marussia chose him over Timo Glock. And obviously that will go in his favour, but on a talent based analysis, I don’t think he’s done enough to earn that seat.

      That’s no knock against him as a person, I think he seems like a really nice guy. And I know it’s tough as a rookie at the back of the grid but there haven’t been any huge outstanding performances so far (except maybe Suzuka qualy).

      1. couldn’t agree more

      2. Exactly. When looking who has been booted to the sidelines in recent years its a no brainer.

        I’m sure peoples sentiments would be different if he was anything but British.

        1. I don’t personally know any Brits who care at all about Chilton. I heard friends complain when he was hired, and a lot of people seen to have forgotten he’s even on the grid.

          1. Funny you say that…I made a post recently here about my 4 1/2 year old nephew who has become hooked on F1 ….(my fault) and actually corrected me when I said there were only three british drivers on the grid…he replied “what about max chilton”…

      3. I’ve heard it said that it’s a £10 million sponsorship from Aon that comes with Chilton.

        Maybe we can surmise that we mere mortals, given the right training and preparation, could do as well as Chilton, after 10+ years of perseverance in Motorsport (For anyone with a knowledge of simracing, I can back my claim up with a -65 GPLrank and -350 odd monster rank ;D).

        Apart from that, we Brits generally do have a sense of sporting fair play, and that sense of fair play tells us that Calado and even Bird deserve the chance first. If Chilton dominated GP2 this year, then we would say give him a shot.

        1. Where does one start…..

        2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          17th October 2013, 15:21

          Does Chilton’s backing definitely come from Aon? I’ve not spotted their logo on the car all season.

          1. Could’ve sworn it was a small display by the helmet, on the side of the impact protection area. I think I saw it in an F1 2013 screenshot just recently. Hardly worth £10m on a usual rate card!

      4. Actually, Chilton was not chosen over Glock. Chilton was chosen alongside Glock, who was then replaced by Razia.

    7. I’ve always wondered why Fisichella had such a poor stint at Renault. He had such a knack for dragging poor cars well into the points positions as well as podiums on challenging circuits such as Montreal and Spa earlier on in his career. His speed just seemed to vanish altogether and only really came back at Spa 2009.

      1. Probably because he was playing second fiddle to a certain F. Alonso.

        1. Well you would expect that Briatore and Alonso would team up very well but remember that Fisi did won his first race for Renault after Alonso had a poor qualifying, and in 2006 Fisi won from pole in Malaysia.

      2. Maybe he just didn’t gel with that Renault. Or maybe he didn’t gel with being in a team with Alonso- Massa might have it bad now, but Fisichella had Briatore as a boss. I’m sure he’s been quoted saying about later drivers that they only existed because of the two-car rule, so you can make your own conclusions about how much Alonso’s team mates were regarded.

        1. To be honest, if I was Flavio (oh if only!), I would actually do exactly the same thing. Looking at Alonso’s karting record, it’s not surprising that he can now legitimately claim to be the best driver in the world after Schumacher’s retirement, a crown that may be inherited by Vettel once Alonso retires.

          1. Entirely legitimate, as evidenced up by his having won exactly 0 world championships in the 7 seasons since Schumacher first retired. I expect Vettel can’t wait ’till Alonso retires so he can finally stop living in his shadow and can feel like he is number 1.

          2. I’m hoping that’s a sarcastic comment.

      3. IMO there are many, many F1 drivers who rely on the confidence of their surroundings, and a certain team dynamic, to really perform at the highest level. Confidence, support and momentum is so important for these guys to extract the last few tenths, or hundredths of a second that make the difference between good and great.

        For me the classic example is Frentzen, who simply didn’t perform at Williams in 97 & 98, most likely due to the team dynamic and the pressure and performance of Villeneuve. The very next year at Jordan he was outstanding, with two wins and even challenging for the championship until the last few rounds. Confidence is an amazing thing, particularly in a sport like F1.

        Fisichella is a good examples, Grosjean is another. IMO Grosjean started very impressively last year, then made a few mistakes and increasingly found himself under pressure from his team, the media and even the other drivers. His performances dropped. Now Raikkonen is leaving and the team dynamic in particular has shifted back in his favour. He clearly has the confidence and the environment he needs to perform and is doing so.

        Is confidence all you need then to succeed in F1 then? Maybe in the short term it helps a lot yes… but the truly great drivers have the confidence no matter what. They have the will to win and to drive their team towards them and their needs.

        Look at Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel. These guys aren’t simply more talented, or ‘faster’ than the other guys. They have an incredible level of self belief, confidence and the will to win that transcends their environment or their team. They don’t need external factors in their favour to perform. That is why they are the champions they are.

        1. I definitely agree with this, in such a sport as F1, where it comes down to the fractions of a second in every aspect, this can totally change a driver, as exemplified by Grosjean’s yo-yo dip in form to now looking like the only challenger to the Red Bulls.

          To add Hamilton to this mix, he never looked stronger than when he had the momentum rolling in his favour in 2007 – to put Alonso on the ropes really takes something. Since then, and from achieving his goal in 2008, he has looked less like the legend he always aspired to be. In this case, too much self-confidence has led to him taking his eye off the ball – it appears to slowly be coming back though in the middle of this year. If the car is great in 2014, it could be Lewis’ time once again…

        2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          17th October 2013, 15:39

          I do feel sorry for Frentzen, pretty much neck-and-neck with Schumacher during their junior careers then at the 2002 French GP Schumacher, married to HHF’s ex girlfriend, wins his 5th World Championship while Frentzen, with just a couple wins to his name, has to deliberately fail to qualify his Arrows while the team tries to stave off bankruptcy.

    8. It’s interesting that the people who had pushed the most now have the luxury of being able to relax more such is their lead, unlike Ferrari who are in the thick of the fight. Everything seems to be going Red Bull’s way right now.

      1. I don’t know what makes you think that Red Bull team had pushed more than the other teams during this year apart from that arrogant statement made by Sebastian Vettel, If Red Bull & Vettel are world champions that means that they have done a better job than the others but that doesn’t mean that they have pushed more or that the others are sleeping in their factories, quality over quantity

        Everything seems to be going Red Bull’s way right now.

        I don’t think so, with Peter Prodromo moving to Mclaren and Mark Webber replaced with Ricciardo and the power units will have the edge over aerodynamics in the next year’s cars, i know that anything can happen but all these variables are not playing in favor of Red Bull

        1. your nick says it all really.

        2. @tifoso1989 I shall rephrase “pushed the most” with “put the most resource into 2013”, which is essentially the same thing in this context.

    9. Another secret Pirelli test? Why wouldn’t they just be open about these: why you’d need to keep it secret beggars belief. I do wish the teams had agreed officially that they were allowed, should they chose, to undertake an official tyre test with a 2011 car on a non-championship circuit or after a Grand Prix has been staged, so we could avoid the debacles that have enraged this season.

      1. It was a Williams “Partner Day” event.

        1. and they’d look silly in front of all the Partners without any tyres.

          Haven’t seen anything about them running current F1 cars, only pictures of a Keke Rosberg car and Bottas doing laps in a Renault Twizy. I bet he’s looking forward to the Mercedes engines…

      2. That would make sense, but I’m still maintaining my rant over Pirelli tests ;)

      3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        17th October 2013, 3:05

        @vettel1 Maldonado + Pirelli = crash test

      4. @vettel1 – Pirelli are under no obligation to publicise their tests. All they need is approval from the FIA.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys they aren’t and I understand that. All it leads to though is the other teams crying the jealous child – “if they have one I want one too”. So they would have been much better to organise a meeting with all the teams and the FIA and agree to terms that allow all the teams to test should they choose, with no outward performance benefit from doing so, so that those who cannot afford the financial penalty aren’t losing out too much.

          It’d make make sense than private arrangements.

          1. The young drivers test was made into a Pirelli tire test to cover off what you are complaining about. There is nothing to suggest that the tweeted picture means a secret tire test with Williams. Also, when you do your rant about Pirelli hope you are including a rant about FOM and it’s desire for gadgety tires and extremely minimal testing that forced Pirelli’s hand to begin with.

      5. Pirelli arrived part way through the day to setup for this weekends British Superbikes round….

      6. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        17th October 2013, 15:29

        As it’s in the UK during October they can’t have been planning to test slick tyres.

    10. Fisico wasn’t nowhere in his Renault stint.

      He q’ed 4th in 2005, and jumped to the lead, leaded the whole race before the car gave up. He was in for a win.

      In 2007, he was having a great race battling in 4th place in that woeful R27 until he (alongside Massa) ignored a red light in the pitlane and was DQ’ed.

      He’s always been strong in Canada. He scored his first podium there in 1997, abeilt after Panis crashed his Prost and the race was red flagged.

      1. (I was a Fisichella fan, so I remember the stats, yeah :P)

        1. Fisichella was even better in Indianapolis, he scored 2 points with a terrible Jordan in 2003, out-performed Alonso there in both 2005 and 2006, and had a stellar comeback drive in 2007.

    11. I can’t believe Kimi is already 34. Man I feel old :-(

      1. But happy Birthday to him anyway :-)

      2. Happy b’day to him.

      3. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
        17th October 2013, 7:26

        Leave him alone guys.

      4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        17th October 2013, 16:22

        I have the feeling Kimi is rolling on the floor by now….

    12. I’m very glad that Sauber managed to turn around their fortunes, yes having a bad car shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but the fact that they managed to correct it and make it faster than the Mclaren with a fraction of their resources, means they have very talented people back in Switzerland.

      Who knows maybe they should aim for fifth in the WCC, both drivers are a lot more consistent than Pérez and Kobayashi at this time last year (at least they don’t crash every other race).

      1. Well, obviously, they didn’t correct anything, that’s why they are doing so good all of a sudden, as soon as Pirelli brought 2012 tires.

    13. A lot of equipment and materials, such as fuel, tyres, cars and communications equipment, need to be transported, said RS Subramanian, country manager, India, DHL Express. “Each has to be packed differently. On top of that, each team ships its cars differently—some we roll right onto the plane, others are shipped in parts. And all this has to happen fast.”

      This seems very hard to believe! The teams leave the cars completely assembled and then a cargo company is allowed to roll them around?

      1. I know what you mean but they are only cars at the end of the day, not pieces of glass, plus they will packed in such a way and protected against damage. And I think by rolled he means on a special trolley.

        Plus don’t forget they have been doing this a long time now so all have their own processes that clearly work. The cars probably suffer more on track than any shipping damage could inflict!

      2. Does seem hard to believe, but I would be surprised if the wings are on the cars that are rolled on. Might even have narrower ‘dummy’ tires on it too. And rolling it on means they don’t need it to be on or in something that then has to be hoisted and positioned with a machine.

    14. I remember Seb being so slow during his first F1 test in a Williams 2005 car – like 3 sec. off the pace of Mark and 2 sec. of Nicko :)

      1. Look how that’s turned out… :D

        1. I’m curious what Mark was thinking about Seb on that day. Maybe: “The kid is too slow, get him out of my car, mate” :P

          Seb did only 20 laps though.

      2. Ironic how his benchmark has seemingly always been Webber.

        He must have developed fast in 2006 then, when his focus was not on dominating F3 anymore (allowing di Resta an eternal excuse), and early 2007 – by Indianapolis he was right there on pace at the youngest age we’ve seen, just under 20. He himself said this was close to the limit.

      3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        17th October 2013, 15:25

        Bear in mind that Williams wasn’t designed by Adrian Newey.

      4. I remember a young lad called Ayrton Senna being a few seconds off the pace of Nelson Piquet at his first test, earning him the nickname “taxidriver of brasil”. Look how that turned out.

    15. Not that surprising really that Vettel found it a bit of a shock. The gap between f3 and F1 is enormous, especially at a time when F1 engines were revving past 20krpm and pushing out close to 900bhp.

      1. What is more impressive, he tested an F1 car only year after leaving BMW ADAC formula so he still had those weak BMW cars in mind for sure.

    16. Ferrari need to improve Massa, who is underperforming race by race. He trashes Alonso in qualifying, but can’t do anything well in a race. I hope they lose 2nd place and give it to Lotus/Renault.

    17. I would love to see Lotus beating Ferrari and Mercedes to the second spot in the constructors.. the reasons I could think of are ..well..surmised below>>

      1. They are struggling with the budget, a second in constructors would provide more money and secure their future. Ferrari already gets more than other teams and Mercedes is ..well.. Mercede$$ .

      2. The team has overcome it’s past black marks (The Schumacher-Benetton era of controversies, The Singapore crashgate etc.) and although their car is now black, their activities are more in line now.. credit goes to Eric Boullier for this I think.

      3. They are the only team showing full throttled competitiveness.. next only to red bull.. with their developments and improving the car.. even though the season is about to end , their star driver is leaving them due to money problems and the uncertainties of 2014 are staring them as they are the only front running team who is not going to have a better experienced driver next year.. unless Massa joins them.

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