Toto Wolff, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Wolff rubbishes Jordan’s claims on McLaren and Petronas

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff rejects Eddie Jordan’s claims the team has agreed to supply McLaren with engines next year and that it will lose title sponsor Petronas at the end of next season.

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Helio Castroneves, IndyCar, Penske, Road America, 2017
Helio Castroneves, IndyCar, Penske, Road America, 2017

If you thought Mercedes were dominant in qualifying yesterday, how about Penske’s performance in IndyCar. Their four cars locked out the front two rows and were 1.6 seconds faster than their closest rival. Helio Castroneves took his 50th career pole position.

We’ll be following the race at the spectacular Road America course from 5:30pm on F1 Fanatic Live. Here’s the full grid:

Comment of the day

After a difficult start Lance Stroll seems to be turning his season around:

I’m really pleased for Stroll, to my mind that qualifying session trumps the points in Canada. I didn’t think he that level of performance in him, I’m very happy to be proven wrong.

Fair play to Williams for nurturing him through a tough period as well. Looks like they’ll reap the rewards of good man management going forward. A lesson for some of the more cutthroat teams.
Roth Man (@Rdotquestionmark)

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  • 47 comments on “Wolff rubbishes Jordan’s claims on McLaren and Petronas”

    1. There’s no an absolutely massive bump through turn 8 (which Kvyat’s picture shows really well) that was less obvious before with the kerbs, and it looks like the drivers are attacking the bump more now.

      I wish they’d name the corners. Being a street circuit it should not be difficult to name them after the roads and buildings, rather than having to keep saying “through turn eight and up through the castle section”.

      1. Turns get named when they become legendary.

        Baku is now in its second year. I am sure in 20 years most of its corners will have names.

        1. Well, sometimes there’re some exceptions, like Faux Rouge 😀

        2. @jureo Like all the corners at the TI Aida

          1. Offcorse there is no guarantee race will be around for 20 years…

            SPA corners earned their names.

        3. With any luck in 20 years we will have forgotten this track existed.

          1. Not if today there is a great race there. Hoe is monza any better?

      2. Azerbaijan street names should be very easy to pronounce.

        1. I suggested some names, but a killjoy took them down.
          @peartree
          I guess we’re not allowed to use foreign language names anymore. Please from now on in refer to ‘Red Water’ at Spa, and “Satellite Dish’ ay Monza ;)

          1. @f1-liners Jesus, political correctness is the same as intolerance.

      3. Very good point about the corner names. It’s a street car unit after all – just name the corners and straights after the road names that they appear on. Maybe we should refer to 8 as Qosha Gate. Even though the gate is just further up the hill.

        Geeking out now but I’d love to look into the etymology of corner names. Some are nicknames (Bus Stop Chicane), and some are chosen by design. Some of the ones that are chosen stick, many don’t – I’d be impressed if you knew the official corner names at Sepang, for example

        1. As Spa was originally a much larger (longer) course, much of it on public roads, I believe there actually was a bus stop there and the name stuck.

          1. @baron the Chicane itself didn’t exist until the 1980s,and it was different to the one there today. It was a left-right, off the original circuit, then immediately a right-left back onto it. Bit like a bus stop…

    2. As a big fan of Dan Ricciardo, it saddens me that he’s being smashed by Max. He’s been off ‘it’ lately, been beaten in qualy regularly.

      I hope is just a blip. I really wonder what’s going on.

      Come on mate!

      1. I think it’s the new tyre dynamics. At some races, they’ve gone with the softest and lowest psi they have ever gone, but lately Pirelli is choosing not to drop pressures and sometimes pick a strangely hard 3 compounds, perhaps some lobbying. Only the drivers that push the tyres the hardest are going to get them in the zone, everyone below that zone is way slower.

      2. The Red Bull reliability has not helped either, I was looking forward to the battle between the two this year, race wise I think RB have only three, two car finishes.

    3. I think the fact that Lance is testing with the old car between races shows just how much preparation he lacked before he entered F1. Surely, a good season in F2 would’ve worked wonders for him. He’s taking the hardest path, tho I’m sure, if I were in his position, I’d have done the same: jump into F1 as soon as possible.

      But I don’t like that. F1 shouldn’t be a proving ground. It should be only available to those ready to take the challenge. Stroll has money to give to Williams so they can afford to send a test team to Austin, and even schedule future tests to compare setups and stuff. It seems like waaaay too much help for a driver that’s very young and could easily develop properly into a seriously quick guy, with experience supporting the cause, and plenty of time to accomodate in F1.

      With the support he has, his F1 seat would’ve never been in danger. Sooner or later, he’d have been at Williams…

      1. I am curious, how good is Massa at car set-up and feedback?

        1. Have to ask massa or team williams.

    4. Lance situation is interesting. They are essentially conducting inseason tests, albeit old machinery.

      1. A limited number of such tests are allowed per year to every team, and beyond a certain age cars can be used freely (the 2009 cars were particularly popular for a while as they were the last year of car that could have unlimited running).

    5. Isn’t Indy car a one spec series? Aren’t all cars essentially identical? So how come one team can dominate qualy?

      1. @sato113 It’s the prepwork involved, and the setup. The amount of data to be gathered from 4 top drivers, and top cars, you know and everything before the actual race. The car is the same, but it could be configured in many different ways.

        1. Thanks! Wow must be embarrassing for all the other teams when the gap is so big!

        2. The teams are allowed to customize their dampers, and guess who owns a racing shocks company? It does also help having 4 top drivers to gather data as Fer mentions.

          http://www.penskeshocks.com/

    6. Well then, wonder what McLaren is going to do for an engine next season.

      Of course, Toto Wolff says only there is not a board decision to supply engines. Does not say there is no contact, talks or negotiations.

      1. There might even be an agreement and signed contract!
        You do not normally need a board decision to sell your products :p
        (they’re already selling them to other ”competitors’)

      2. I heard the Final Practice commentators say that if you want to change engines then you have to notify the FIA by some date like the 22th of May. McLaren never did that, which means they will be racing with Honda engines next year.

        1. I’m pretty sure they’ll make an exception for McLaren. No one wants to see a McLaren Honda on the grid next year… no one more than McLaren itself.

    7. Can we please not ignore the extraordinary incongruity of Stroll improving as COTD states and the article mentioned in this lineup about his private tests? Everyone is suddenly falling over themselves to retract their Stroll opinions after one average race and a good quali. But look at him and his advantages, his privilege. Even if he is improving, he’s improving because he’s getting time in the car that nobody’s getting. And he’s getting that time because he’s the ultimate paydriver. People are so happy to be contrarian any sign of progress by Stroll is immediately hailed as proof he’s actually deserving of praise and recognition. He’s not.

      1. While I do find Stroll’s recent form encouraging, I do wonder if Williams would have accorded the same treatment to a second driver, had they two very young rookies in the team, with the second from a different kind of back ground.
        I guess we just don’t need to get worked up over these things. Those with the means will always find a way to get on top, unless they are Honda, when it will take them much longer.

        1. That fictional second driver would never make it to F1.

      2. It bothers me too. I’ve seen so many ppl state that the kid “has definitely found his mojo since Canada”. Canada was only 1 race ago?! And he wasn’t performing well there at all, considering the Williams was faster (or at least on-par) with the Force India’s. Which were fighting for podium.

        Now, for the first time he has beaten an underperforming Massa (maybe he got paid to get beaten by Stroll, who knows lol), and all of a sudden he’s got what it takes to be in F1? I’ve seen many drivers not succeed in F1 who had far more talent, yet not Stroll’s bank account.. Kobayashi to name one. Frijns to name another (didn’t even get a chance). Stroll is the best example of how unfair F1 is. I will never root for such ppl.

        1. As the old F1 saying goes, you are as good as your last race. Or rather, you are as good as your last session in this case. It’s so easy to draw conclusions based on just a few sessions instead of waiting for a few weekends to see how things actually stand.

      3. The contrarians are those who did not believe he should ever be in F1 because daddy is rich, and he decided to train very hard before he entered F1.
        Let’s just open our eyes: he’s an 18yo who has won all the series he raced in (on 1st or 2nd try), works extremely hard, and is improving in F1.
        I bet you that 99.9% of wannabe’s could not do that even if they invested more.
        And as much as I hate to admit it, Stroll is showing currently more progress than the highly rated Vandoorne.

        1. and is improving in F1.

          That’s the key thing for me. Even if he’s not an amazing driver yet, he’s certainly come leaps and bounds since Barcelona test and Melbourne where he couldn’t keep the car out of the wall. He’s improving at a good rate.

        2. One quali and one race does not make a trend. If by the end of summer his form continue to improve then yes surely there will be something to say. At this stage this is too little too soon, Sainz/Verst/Ocon showed MUCH more than him on their debut. Wait and See.

          1. Sainz/Verst/Ocon showed MUCH more

            Nobody is arguing with that, @pyon.
            But many people tore him down as if he killed the guy who invented sliced bread ;)
            He deserves better that that.

            1. @f1-liners I agree with that, I like the guy and there is nothing wrong with him from my pov. If he can manage to equal/outperform Hulk then surely this is someone I could support! But the performance since last year have done nothing to impress me, so I’d rather see some fresh blood on the grid at the moment.

            2. Are we still talking about Stroll, @pyon?
              Your reference to the Hulk, last year, and fresh blood sound much more like Palmer ;)

            3. @f1-liners My first post was indeed about Stroll, but looks like I got confused and indeed the second one was about Palmer… I apologise for the confusion!

              That said, it seems both Stroll and Palmer respective issues are continuing :)

      4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        25th June 2017, 11:10

        My point was that you cannot qualify so well on such a difficult circuit by fluke, he has been consistent all weekend. What he has shown is something I didn’t think he was capable of at all. Yes it’s only one session and it by no means means he’s going to be a success but what a turn around from the amateur that was sawing at the steering wheel like an amateur. It’s great to see he has got that speed/ability in him somewhere and fair play to Williams for finding it. Let’s see if he progresses.

        1. Great to see Stroll progress. Now let’s get off his back and give him the season to show whether or not he can continue this trend. If we want F1 to be hard this should be the way it is. When almost all drivers have struggled on this track so far this weekend, particularly due to the tires, would a slightly more qualified rookie do any better in that non-win-capable car? Only to the pure speculator. The Stroll’s have said they will let his results speak for themselves. So far those results haven’t said much, but now there are encouraging signs. Let’s see. We have no choice anyway. Complaining that theoretically someone else in the seat would be doing better is moot. He’s under contract at Williams.

    8. Just a heads up. The new ” McLaren” movie/documentary about Bruce Mclaren is out on limited release.
      We went to watch it last night. An excellent film with alot of interesting stuff and hustorical footage. Thise CanAm cars were just fantastic.
      I think he was way underrated as a driver. His engineering skills were stunning.
      Amazing that he help the record for youngest driver to win an F1 race for 44 years. Taken too soon.

      1. My typing on these phones is rubbish!

    9. Another depressing and negative commentary from Norris MacDonald this time on the Montreal GP. Talks about the costs and not a mention of the money it injects into the economy. The contract goes to 2029 and he throws in an ‘if F1 still exists by then’. Sad.

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