Felipe Massa, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Massa points finger at team over penalty

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In the round-up: Felipe Massa says he was given incorrect information before the incident in which he earned a five-place grid penalty.

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Can we expect more qualifying tactics this weekend?

Mercedes always seem to shy away from having their drivers provide each other with a tow at power circuits, which given the animosity between Rosberg and Hamilton isn’t surprising. I do wonder if with the fairly fresh relationship between Bottas and Hamilton, and the good chance of Ferrari being a real threat at Monza (Ferrari will almost certainly be using the tactic) if this will mean Mercedes give it a go this year.
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  • 54 comments on “Massa points finger at team over penalty”

    1. That video looks very confusing. It doesn’t really look like he hit the mechanic. It looks like the mechanic accidentally tried to unscrew the front wheel while the car was still in motion, instead of waiting for this rear wheel.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        30th August 2017, 0:18

        It looks like Haryanto comes in to wide and the mechanic has to avoid him, does a little backwards move and that makes his wheelgun point out in front which hits the wheel of Haryanto.

      2. He clips the mechanic’s left knee with the edge of the front wing. It doesn’t look as bad as it is because it happens so fast but that must hurt like hell when you hit your knee on it. And carbon doesn’t flex so it is like hitting the knee with hammer. With all the weight of the mechanic on his knees it could easily rip a ligament or at least hit the knee painfully. I think the mechanics usually wear knee pads but the front wing comes from the side which means the kneepads probably do not help at all.

        1. Yes, you are right. Now that I’ve watched it again, paying attention to the knee, you can actually see the mechanic grab his knee in pain after being hit. Thanks for the clarification.

      3. About Haryanto’s video. Somebody need to tell the uploader that Vimeo is restricted in Indonesia and he losing lots of view and feedback.

        1. It’s on YouTube as well. The uploader has some threads on this in reddit/f1

    2. I am willing to bet that the Brazilian GP is replaced with the Argentine GP by 2020; the Brazilian GP will still exist by then but it will definitely not be at Interlagos anymore. Apparently the stalled Deodoro Autodrome project in Rio has started up again, so who knows.

      1. *might still exist by then

      2. Hopefuly don’t. I want the bazilian gp, and i would love an Argentina GP ONLY if it’s funded by the private sector. Because as an argentinian, i don’t want to see that our goverment, spend a penny in that gp. If theresn’t money for science, education or public health, then most certainly less for something so unnecesary right now for the country as the f1.

      3. I think you might be correct. I gather from Massa’s comments that, he’s definitely not staying at the team. I don’t think the Alonso rumours are that ridiculous. I think the rumours might also explain why the Williams seems to have stopped development. With someone as such as Paddy Lowe and also the right engine and good pedigree, add that to Alonso and you can have a good partnership. I think the other solution might be Alonso back at Renault, though I’m not seeing Alonso picking anything but a strong engine and keeping Hulk in the team.
        With Alonso out, we will probably see Button back in at McLaren or maybe Williams, long shot Renault, worst case scenario McLaren is left with Sainz jr. Perez is another one waiting on Alonso, I’m seeing Perez eyeing out Renault though completely reliant on Alonso’s choice, I can see him pick whatever Alonso leaves open, if all fall through, he stays with SFI as always.

        1. @peartree Strong rumours today on Autosport that McLaren will manage to switch to Renault with Honda going to Toro Rosso (that rumour again) decision by this weekend. Seems there is alot of momentum to make this engine switch happen. View is the McLaren chassis is good enough to compete with Red Bull this season.

          1. @ju88sy So it’s seems to be like “you can get the man to Renault or the Renault to the man”

    3. I’m going to respectfully disagree with Bottas that now is exactly the time to back Hamilton, and pragmatically speaking they should have done at Hungary if the driver’s championship is more important to them than sportsmanship.

      Let’s say they come out of Monza on equal points (Hamilton 1st, Vettel 2nd). The smart money is on Vettel for Singapore, and there’s a very real chance Hamilton is only getting 10 points from there if previous years form is anything to go by. From then on if we have a situation where Hamilton and Vettel are both coming either 1st or 2nd, Hamilton can only afford to let Vettel win one of those races (Japan looks a good bet).

      Unless there are some power unit penalties or DNF’s to hit Ferrari, Hamilton can’t afford to lose points to his team mate when you know Ferrari will be prioritising Vettel.

      I wouldn’t like to see that though, I’d sooner Hamilton took the points fair and square and only come 2nd than win with points gifted from his team mate.

      1. Wolf was caught off guard again in Hungary, Toto was livid at Hamilton’s attitude. Obviously Toto rolled with it in front of the press but it was not what the team needed, a bit like the look of relief in Ferrari’s face when Vettel jumped Raikkonen on an unlikely strategy. Lewis attitude was honourable but also absurd considering how hard Bottas has worked for the team already. I reckon you can explain Bottas cheer drop in pace as a result of the team focusing on Hamilton, whether this has been the case before the summer break we won’t know but Toto himself has come out in SPA saying that it’s time to fully focus on Lewis, they said they wouldn’t be asking Bottas to yield a victory but we never know.

        1. On your 2nd paragraph, I can’t add anything to that apart that Mercedes have been abusing team orders far more than Ferrari who have only ask Kimi to yield on hapless Kimi races. I’m more pessimistic. I don’t think Ferrari is going to get away without penalties, either that, or on race failures. Ferrari should do the hard thing and give up on their home track, do not stress the engine, Ferrari already do 50 km less per weekend but Lewis teasing Vettel must hurt Ferrari’s reliability. I can’t see Vettel getting another 2nd in Monza. Honestly after Silverstone, I think it’s 75% certain that Lewis is going to win the war.

        2. “Toto was livid with Hamilton’s attitude”…..

          Care to tell us what was wrong with his attitude? He asked to be let by to attack and if he couldn’t, he’d give the position back, which he did.

        3. So what was the reasons for Bottas’ drop in pace in Canada, Baku, Silverstone and even Hungary?

        4. @peartree

          I’m not sure what your source is for Toto being livid. I know there was the footage of him having a heated exchange with Lauda as they crossed the line, but my interpretation of that reaction was one of relief. Toto initially yells “Yes!” then turns to Lauda like he’s making a point. I’d guess Lauda was saying switching back was a bad idea because they’d lose a position to Verstappen, and Toto basically rubbing it in his face that he was wrong. Everyone seemed satisfied with how the race played out.

          Hamilton did the honourable thing, Toto maintained the team’s principles, and even Hamiltons dad looked proud of his integrity.

          1. @philipgb You read a lot from that clip. I saw a man bumping the same table he was does when things go awry and a very upset expression on his face looking back at his right man. I did see a proud papa Hamilton, it was a great moment.

      2. I think VB is already toast, unless he dominates Monza and the next few races, which I think he has just shown at Spa (which he needed to dominate) is unlikely. One never knows I suppose, and at least VB has acknowledged that it is in his hands. But realistically…SV is going to be too strong for Mercedes to have LH and VB split points anymore. It’s not just VB’s gap to LH it’s the gap to SV too. The question is simply what are the odds VB is going to dominate SV and LH over the next few races to maintain a chance at the WDC, for if he doesn’t do it now, there will be no math on his side. SV will be finishing ahead of KR from now on, barring dnfs or what have you.

        This is not to slag VB. He’s very likeable and is doing great but did anyone truly expect him to come in as a newbie at Mercedes and best LH? No, not many.

    4. So Red Bull are looking to dump STR.

      If that is the case, anybody who is looking to snap up an F1 team should be on the alert no? I quite like the idea as mentioned by Joe, that Ferrari may look to make it into Alfa Romeo, but it will be tough push, even Marchionne to get the funding. Red Bull will not want to let the team go for cheap.

      If FCM are looking to boost Alfa numbers, perhaps FE will be the cheap and cheerful option? It’s the flavour of the month after all.

      I doubt FCM will want to commit this much of cash unless it’s a sure fire win, which is why I think a private entity, such as Stefan GP may come into play, via partnership with Ferrari of course.

      It’s either all that or Honda may be forced to buy them because if Mclaren decides to dump them at the end of the year, as highly unlikely as that may be, Honda won’t have a choice but to buy their own team.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        30th August 2017, 6:16

        I doubt FCM would move into FE unless and until they bring out a production electric car. All of their properties are in tatters ATM, and Marchionne is in damage control. Also, the rumoured plans to spin-off Alfa and Maserati might also result in an outright sale to another manufacturer (or subsumption under Ferrari, which is a great option). I also don’t see Stefan GP materializing, at least under the wing of Ferrari, given the renewed Sauber deal and tests in Haas. This also means that for the promotion of Alfa, they can “convince” Sauber or Haas to rebadge the engine. A Honda buyout is another likely, but not if McLaren parts ways with them, as they would have zilch in terms of a benchmark. I think most potential entrants would bide their time until the new engine regulation comes to force.

      2. @jaymenon10, Red Bull have been offering the team for sale for years now, but it’s not been the sale price that has been the biggest problem.

        Because Red Bull merged the design team at Minardi into Red Bull Technologies, which designs both the Toro Rosso and Red Bull cars, Toro Rosso has very few production facilities (when Joe Saward mentions that a third of Toro Rosso’s workforce is in the UK, that is why). It’s the cost of building new facilities which has put people off in the past, rather than the sale price per se for Toro Rosso.

        1. Red Bull didn’t merge anything. Part of TR desing team is in Bicester and it’s totally independent from RB facilities in Milton Keynes.

    5. I had a feeling that Mercedes had some tweaks (at least on Hamilton’s car) for Sunday, after the FPs on Friday. Even though they were on soft tyres, and Ferrari was supposed to be theoretically fast on the ultrasoft. The tweaks helped Mercedes.
      The Motorsports magazine article points out these aspects:
      First: Mercedes indeed had a settings tweak from which they derived a benefit in Spa
      Mercedes had worked away all weekend at a little tweak to the ers-K mapping. On a normal lap, the electrical energy boost cuts out some way short of the end of Kemmel straight. Keeping it deployed for the last 10 per cent or so of that straight yields hardly any lap time. As it is limited, it’s far better to save it for use where it will deliver greater lap time gain – like the exit of Pouhon, for example. That’s the conventional way of setting up such a system at Spa, and that’s why Vettel’s engine de-rated towards the end of the straight. But Mercedes had a setting that allowed its drivers to override that cut-out at the crucial moment such as this – and that’s why Hamilton’s extra grunt kept coming as Vettel’s ran out. On such details can races be won.

      Second: Hamilton’s own words on his error from which he could ultimately benefit
      “I didn’t have the right power mode. I pulled away initially, but between the chicane and turn one he was catching me. Although it was a mistake in actual fact it worked really well because if I had come out of [La Source] with that gap, he would have had the momentum, being three or four car lengths behind, to really propel and really get a good tow [towards Eau Rouge], and come and slip past me.
      “I had very cold tyres, so I had a small lock-up. He was on the gas before me – I could hear him – and then as we were going down the hill I didn’t keep it full lit the whole way, I was at 90 per cent throttle, just to keep him as close as possible. I knew he wasn’t going to come by, because he knows I would overtake him then at the top part with the tow. As we were going up Eau Rouge, that’s where I really gave it maximum power. Got to the top and he had no space to really propel himself.”
      Vettel was thus forced into coming out the slipstream very early on the straight, going for the outside as Hamilton left no room on the right. The Ferrari edged slightly ahead, but on the outside, and then its power unit de-rated at its usual place – while the Merc’s kept delivering. So Hamilton stayed ahead.

    6. Good video on how DRS ruins racing. It’s about time it’s removed.

      1. @eljueta ”It’s about time it’s removed.” – That’s easier said than done. It has to stay at least as long as the way the cars are designed aerodynamically makes following another car closely very difficult. Fix that problem first, and then we can talk about getting rid of it entirely, LOL.

        1. @jerejj no one said the DRS needs to go tomorrow. Aerodynamic issues are not new, but there are ways of solving them, look at Indycar. I’m not even opposed to moveable aero parts, leave the DRS on, let everybody use it on the straights. The unfair advantage is the problem. It discourages passing like the move by Fuoco on the video, because on the next straight he is defenseless. Under these rules, it would arguably be better for him to stay behind and have DRS on the next zone. It’s artificial racing. But nothing of what I’m saying is new or hasn’t been said before. People just stopped complaining about it because FIA gave us the ugly noses and now the Halo to complain about and people seem to care more about their F1 cars looking pretty than their races being better.

          1. @eljueta “The unfair advantage is the problem [with DRS]”

            The unfair advantage is the whole point of DRS! Yes it’s artificial and I’m no fan, but until the cars are able to follow more closely it’s better than not being able to overtake at all.

            1. I take heart that Brawn has never been a fan of DRS and has talked about it’s removal, but talked sensibly about it in that they have to plan a strategy to have the cars able to race more closely to the point where DRS can go. I have faith that a lot of good changes will occur over the next handful of years.

            2. @jimg the true problem is the aerodynamic design which doesn’t allow cars to closely follow one another, because of F1’s fear of the devil (ground effects). DRS is no solution, it’s as you said artificial racing.

              @robbie I too am hopeful actually.

          2. @eljueta

            look at Indycar

            They haven’t raced their new ground effects cars yet though. If it works next year then I expect the FIA to be paying attention.

          3. It probably would have helped if he hadn’t ballsed his entry to and subsequent exit from the La Source hairpin.

    7. This whole oil burn issue stinks and I would really appreciate Keith doing a special column on this. This is a bizarrely unique situation, and is quite absurd, in my opinion. The directive was supposed to level the engines a bit, but in reality it did the exact opposite. Now we have the team that already had the best engine having another advantage over others. How da hell? Ok, Mercs were very smart here, you just have to give them credit for that, but the issue is bigger then that. We have been having an amazing season so far, and if this 1.2/0.9L rule is not dropped and Mercedes win the championship, it is going to stink. Regardless of whether it’s legal or not, it is an exploit that gives them more advantage. It’s to the letter of the law but so much against the spirit of it. Do Mercedes themselves want to hear after they take the championship that it happened mainly because they could burn more oil than others? Because this is what’s going to happen. FIA need to drop this rule NOW, or enforce it on EVERY engine, regardless of whether it was introduced before or after Monza.

      1. @njoydesign Absolutely, what a rubbish call by FIA. Seems like we’re still in the Mosely era. Either oil burn is Ok or it isn’t.

        1. @balue
          If we were still in the Mosley area then they would have decided everything in favor of Ferrari still. In fact they still get $100 million just for being Ferrari. Rubbish FIA/FOM indeed.

          This seems like a perfectly normal decision. They design the engine with certain tolerances for oil burn. They cannot simply change that on an existing ICE.

          If this is indeed a loophole then Ferrari should have taken advantage of it themselves.

          In fact it was Ferrari who were caught out most when the original clampdown on oil burning began. So in effect this whole affair sort of sorts out the “illegal” benefit which Ferrari had at the beginning of the season.

          1. I see the point you’re trying to make. However, pay attention that every other Mercedes-engined team will get the same last spec engine, BUT will have to comply with the 0.9L rule. And frankly, I don’t think you need to redesign the whole engine to reduce the amount of extra fuel you can use for the “turbo” mode, especially when we talk about such low quantities.

            “the “illegal” benefit which Ferrari had at the beginning of the season” – that illegal benefit is one of the reasons Mercs been dominating last three years. So it’s a bit disingenuous now to point fingers at Ferrari, who cracked the technology too, but have not yet mastered it as well as Mercedes, which is why theoretically it would hurt them more when it was restricted during the season.

            1. Doesn’t matter if it’s the “whole engine” or not. They will need to make “some” changes to the ICE and that opens up a whole new level of discussion.

              Now you are just speculating on what would be the reason for Merc dominating. The only thing that was crystal clear was the sudden drop in performance for Ferrari right from the moment when the oil consumption monitored more strictly.

      2. Yeah. It’s the biggest exploit ever in hybrid era but it never be the main media focus. It’s all come down to merc lead driver talent not because having 30% more oil to burn at last stint in Q3 or while being chased in the race.
        Mercedes just got FIA boost.

      3. It is more about attempting to change rules mid season. Mercedes has done a great job, very good on them. And they did smart out every one at the start of the season, making believe it was mostly Ferrari doing it, but the rush to introduce a new spec at Spa shows they are as dependent as any other.
        The intervention of FIA mid season should have brought teams on equal level, like they did with FRIC system for example. Instead they are, unwillingly perhaps, giving advantage to one team only (I doubt Merc gonna give the option to the customers). And the most ridiculous thing, is that in the rules it is specified that ICE must only burn fuel, not other chemicals, insane :).

    8. I don’t really understand Massa’s comment. Yellow flags are always waved before the accident, so that drivers are able to react to it. If Massa saw that there was indeed a double yellow flag, he should have had the time to react accordingly (meaning, to slow down more than expected). Otherwise the flags were waved too late. Since Massa makes no comment about the flags being waved too late, I don’t understand why he didn’t slow down properly.

      1. Massa just likes to blame-shift. It’s never his own fault.

        I’m surprised he didn’t add that he could have ended up on the podium if it wasn’t for this team mistake.

    9. I’m very surprised the FIA have taken that route with the oil burn decision. It effectively means that there are cars running out there that are subject to two ever so slightly different sets of technical rules

      I’m not an F1 engine engineer, but if Mercedes think there is a benefit to be had by burning 0.3l p/h more oil, I am pretty sure there is. This is a story which will run and run, and will surely lead to controversy if someone (i.e. Ferrari) feels they are being hard done by.

      1. But both were aware so why didn’t Ferrari push forward an unscheduled upgrade like Mercedes did?

        1. @offdutyrockstar
          1) Rumours say there was a ‘gentleman agreement’ between Mercedes and Ferrari not to introduce new ICU before Monza that Mercedes decided to renege on. When asked about it, Toto said that Ferrari did not reach out to them on the issue. However, the way he worded it still leaves enough room for a spin, as it was rather ambiguous whether he meant the agreement itself or them introducing the new engine…
          2) Piola writes this on Motorsport: “Ferrari, having had the same option of introducing its last free ICE in Spa and taking advantage of the 1.2L/100km ruling, opted not to do so, with suggestions that the manufacturer has plans to introduce a new specification at Monza, or even later, that takes advantage of a new 3D printed piston design.” It is possible that Ferrari decided to sacrifice the oil burn opportunity in favour of the new piston design development that is not yet in its final form. If that’s the case I guess they believe there is more benefit to be had going that route.

          1. @njoydesign good point. On sky they said that the ‘gentlemans agreement’ was initially discussed but never agreed to in the end and yes, Pat Simmons gave a good explanation of the 3D printed piston and how it will be significantly lighter and stronger so Ferrari may well have decided it would be worth more than a few ml of oil burn. Either way, either side is giving no quarter and it’s great.

          2. @njoydesign

            Also worth noting that despite Ferrari and Mercedes having been on the same number of ICE component usage, Ferrari are already on 4 turbo’s.

            So their option is either new ICE with an old turbo, or a grid penalty.

      2. They would have to change the design of the engine to prevent the extra oil burn. So FIA cannot just change the rules on an existing engine. The alternative would be to allow the teams to change the ICE to prevent that extra oil burn. Imagine the mess that will ensue when that can of worms is opened up.

    10. Lance Stroll tested on one day, Paul di Resta on the next day.

    11. I think that DRS in F2 was & still is completely unnecessary as the racing in that category was perfectly fine without it with overtaking perfectly possible before any of the gimmicks.

      The bizarre thing with DRS in F2 however is that its hurt the racing in 2 ways.

      Firstly as seen in Keith’s tweet in situations it has made passing too easy in situations where you have 2-3 cars fighting for position. However in other situations its actually made overtaking harder as with F2 cars able to follow one another pretty closely you often end up with DRS-trains where you have 4-5-6 cars all using DRS, All bouncing off the rev-limiter with nobody really able to do anything.

      Bringing it back to F1, I think the argument that there would be no overtaking without DRS is a false one because if you look back at the laps at Spa at the start/after the SC before DRS was activated we saw quite a bit of good slip-streaming, close racing & overtaking (Alonso/Hulkenberg/Ocon on lap 2 for instance) which were far better & far more exciting than anything that happened once DRS was turned on.

      1. Bringing it back to F1, I think the argument that there would be no overtaking without DRS is a false one because if you look back at the laps at Spa at the start/after the SC before DRS was activated we saw quite a bit of good slip-streaming, close racing & overtaking (Alonso/Hulkenberg/Ocon on lap 2 for instance) which were far better & far more exciting than anything that happened once DRS was turned on.

        Can’t see how the closeness of racing at a start and a restart has anything to do with the ‘there’d be no overtaking without DRS’ argument. It’s the racing between those periods that we need to pay attention to.

        1. @neilosjames I said that because the racing seen without DRS during those periods (And not just as Spa either) showed that these cars produce a really good slipstream & that this would be enough to generate some good racing & overtaking opportunities without DRS.

          The criticism of the cars in previous years was that they didn’t produce as good a slipstream as was necessary to really promote overtaking possibilities. It was said since the inception of the 2017 regulations that the wider cars/tyres & lower/wider rear wings would generate a lot more drag which would help create a much more effective slipstream & the periods of racing seen before DRS is enabled on lap 3 seems to support that.

    12. Massa is always pointing fingers, has he admitted fault for once in his life?

    13. It seems Massa is quite polemic towards Williams lately. Perhaps he’s been told he will be dumped one year after being pleaded to return, having so far dominated his team mate, having lost a potential win in Baku, in favour of Alonso whom, despite always being polite and nice to him in public, he probably does not love too much considering he effectively destroyed his post-accident career in Germany 2010.

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