Roberto Merhi, Manor, Monza, 2015

Mercedes engines possible for Manor but not Red Bull

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Roberto Merhi, Manor, Monza, 2015In the round-up: Manor could replace their Ferrari power units with Mercedes next year, while Red Bull have indicated their will not use the Brixworth engines.


Comment of the day

Mark Webber, Porsche, World Endurance Championship, 2014Several of you took issue with Mark Webber’s claim the Formula One field is weak at the moment:

The drivers now are all very talented – most of them better than Webber was.

Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikonnen, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Button, Grosjean, Bottas, Sainz, Jnr and maybe Massa, Nasr, Kvyat and Verstappen are all very talented drivers. In fact, I don’t think we have seen so many very good drivers since the ’80s- back in the days of Prost, Senna, Piquet, Mansell, Lauda, Warwick, Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Alboreto, Bellof, Pironi, Villeneuve, Arnoux, Laffite and maybe Brundle and Patrick Tambay. And even in the ’70s there was Stewart, Lauda, Fittipaldi, Hunt, Peterson, Scheckter, Andretti, Reutemann, Cevert, Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, Chris Amon and also Tom Pryce.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mark Hitchcock and Prashanth Bhat!

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna won the 1990 Italian Grand Prix for McLaren ahead of Ferrari’s Alain Prost, and increased his championship lead over his closest rival to 16 points.

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  • 119 comments on “Mercedes engines possible for Manor but not Red Bull”

    1. Business as usual,
      ” It’s the rich wot gets the gravy,
      It’s the poor wot gets the blame.”

      1. interesting, one minute RBR is threatening to pull out,
        the now he is threatening Mercedes,
        who on earth would give these cry baby’s a engine and then stand back and take the abuse RBR throw at them if they cant win???? and no recognition if they do win..

    2. Yes Christian, its the stuff of nightmares! How some people thought a fully upgraded Merc engine wasn’t the reason why Lewis beat the Ferarris to pole is beyond me.
      25secs was the gap after the race, and remember it was probably detuned and Lewis was probably cruising at some point.

      1. So @mim5 your next car will have to be a Mercedes, right? Can’t ignore technical superiority.

        1. @hohum, no not really, they all look fugly to me, unless its a Maybach or the W06.

          1. @mim5 so it will be the Fiat 500 then?

            1. @hohum you make way too many assumptions and your taste in cars isn’t that great either, I wonder what kind of car you drive now.

            2. @hohum – laughed at this. You do it well.

          2. @mim5 unless it’s a Maybach!? Crikey, I know its a matter of taste, but very odd indeed.

            But hey, if you feel you need to drive your living room, complete with stone fireplace, drinks cabinet & butler that’s your prerogative!

          3. Maybach looks ugly to me… like they say in Spain “para gustos hay colores”…

            I wouldn’t mind an SL or G class. By now, I’m happy with my Mercedes powered Smart :)

      2. And a upgraded Ferrari engine wasn’t the reason Vettel & Kimi got closer to Lewis?

        1. @woodyd91 Nope, I don’t think they even got close to Lewis but they beat Nico who had the old spec engine

          1. Vettel was really close into turn one and he had some minor slip at the exit or else he would have challanged him again on the next straight. If Kimi had a start like Vettel there would be a red car in the lead at lap one.

          2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
            9th September 2015, 10:56

            They beat Nico because he had an engine with excessive mileage, not because it was down on power to the upgraded unit. They have stated there was little if any power increase with this revision but instead new internals which will lend themselves to future power upgrades.

    3. So I guess we’re seeing the last of RBR in F1. Suddenly the price may be better than lotus for Renault. How much is a team with without an engine worth?

      1. I think they’re in real trouble here!

        They’ve burnt their bridges with Renault and Mercedes have said no. That leaves Ferrari or Honda! I would be very surprised if Ferrari agreed to a deal – specially after RBR already tried and failed to get a Mercedes.

      2. I would love to see a great Renault PU in 2016. I think their best motive to do their best job is to prove RBR they still got it.

        1. If Renault have still “got it”, then why in the world don’t they use it? If they weren’t doing their best job already, then RBR is right to sever ties.

    4. Interesting, that’s the second photographer in as many weeks who has complained about Lewis using their photos without permission or proper attribution.

      It seems that Hamilton mind need a primer in basic copyright law. Not to mention basic courtesy.

      1. @tdog, I think LH has a far greater right to his image than any photographer who happens to take his picture and try to make money out of it.
        @beneboy below has it right, if they want to sell LHs image for profit they need to enter into an agreement with him, that said Sutton would be entirely justified if LH or anyone else used an image of his unrelated to themselves without paying for it.

        1. @hohum that’s simply not the law, Sutton is the author of an original work and owns the copyright in it.

          1. And, in many jurisdictions (including most European countries) moral rights [in the technical, legal sense] to be identified as the author of the work.

            1. Moral rights [in the technical, legal sense]

              What on earth are technically legal moral rights?

              Are there other flavors?

          2. It’s slightly more complicated because Sutton’s business is photography. I could take pictures all day long, and assuming one of them is good enough, I could sell them to the media, legally with no issue.

            The question becomes one of profiting off of Hamilton’s likeness, and it’s murky enough that the advice for commercial photographers is “get a release”– not necessarily because it’s required, but because it eliminates any confusion.

            Now– granted, that’s in the land of the jury and the home of the lawsuit, aka, the United States of Litigation. I don’t know what the equivalent rules are in the EU or UK.

          3. @tdog what about the “model property release”?

        2. Hohum you are out of step with very well established reality, no-one owns the light that reflects off their person.

          1. @tdog, Lewis Hamilton is ,or should be, a brand in its own right, sponsors pay money to be associated with LH, he should have control or be paid for any use of his likeness, but as we all know “the law is an ass”.

            1. do you just type the first thing that comes in your head? Do some research.

            2. @hohum, there are three different issues here.
              The photographer owns the rights to the photograph.
              The subject of the photograph can’t be used, without their agreement, to promote a business or cause.
              One of Hamilton’s little helpers is clearly unaware that the Internet isn’t full of free stuff, even if it may look that way – particularly media, including photographs.

              However, in Formula 1, if anyone is going to be demanding money it’ll be Bernie. I wonder what he’d make of this?

            3. Sorry, I see @optimaximal has already included links to cover this. I must learn to read further down before commenting.

          2. No, it’s a thing…



            Do you think EA just pluck third-party images of footballers and hockey players to slap on the FIFA/NHL game boxes? No, they pay the sportsman to appear on the box.

          3. ColdFly F1 (@)
            9th September 2015, 9:09

            no-one owns the light that reflects off their person.

            great one!

        3. I would assume that in a highly orchestrated industry such as F1, in which thousands of people earn a living in a circus that revolves around 10 teams and 20 drivers, there are very clear rules as to who is allowed take ownership of what.

          I am pretty sure it is in every contract that whatever the drivers do on those 4 days on the circuit (from Thursday to Sunday) is all part of the “F1 show”. I would also guess Mark Sutton has to pay a lot of money every year to even be allowed to take pictures of the show, so if that is the case it is only fair that he should be rewarded for the pictures he has taken.

          If these were pictures of Hamilton sitting in his own backyard in his private time I would be inclined to agree with you @hohum. But they are clearly not.

      2. Sutton is correct, but does sound like a whinging parasite when he talks of the “cheek and nerve” of Lewis. Lewis was celebrating his win, entertaining the fans who would have got a better view without all the photographers in the way.

      3. Very surprised by Sutton here as it really doesn’t look good on him!

        If Lewis had taken the image and was putting in on merch to sell or was using it in any way to profit off it, it’s absolutely wrong.

        As it stands, he posted a picture someone took of himself on his own personal social media account. If Sutton wants credit, he should have watermarked the pictures in the corner like most people do.

        1. On top of this, couldn’t Lewis now respond and say he revokes any allowances or permission for Mark Sutton to take pictures of him? There can only really be one loser in this situation….

          1. couldn’t Lewis now respond and say he revokes any allowances or permission for Mark Sutton to take pictures of him?

            I think the answer is likely to be “no”*. It is very likely that it is the contract of every F1 driver that FOM have the rights to all images during the weekend, and FOM then sell licenses to photographers.

            * Well, as near to “no” as makes no difference. He could say no, terminate the contracts involved and stop racing in F1, while being sued by Merc (and probably his sponsors and a long list of others) for breach of contract.

            1. Yeah probably right. It just seems amazingly petty from someone fairly reputable. Surely the solution would be to speak to Lewis and say “do you mind putting ‘copyright Sutton Images'” if you post one of my pics” rather than moaning online?

            2. ‘it is very likely…’

              But do you know that or are you just making a guess?

    5. So Mark Sutton takes a picture of Lewis, then posts it on his business FB page, then gets upset when Lewis’s PR team post it on his social media.
      Why am I supposed to feel sorry for him ?
      If he’d paid Lewis for a photo shoot, or paid image rights fees before publishing the photo I could understand, but if he’s just getting a picture of him in public then it’s not a professional arrangement, he’s just a professional photographer who was in the right place at the right time.

      1. Agree.

        I’m working in a school, and that is the typical quarrel pupils argue for.

      2. The copyright belongs to the creator of the work, unless the copyright owner has explicitly granted permission otherwise. It doesn’t have to be a professional arrangement.

        Under normal circumstances I’m fairly sure the photographer wouldn’t mind too much that his photo had been shared, provided correct attribution (although it is still a breach of copyright), but I think what’s really annoyed him is that his own images / creation have been circulated explicitly stating that they are the copyright of Lewis Hamilton.

        The picture was taken in public, so no model release form is required. Hamilton has no more rights to the image than the manufacturer of the motorbike does.

        1. Any material posted to Facebook or Twitter becomes the intellectual property of the website in question unless copyright has already been formally established. It’s written very plainly into the user agreement that no one bothers to read.

          Sutton can fight it, but they will lose. They won’t legally battle it because they’re aware of that. Any unprotected content posted to a major website by a user ceases to be theirs. The photohraphers are being blatantly stupid for failing to learn from past mistakes.

          1. I am pretty sure that is NOT how it works, as Sutton marks all his images as his copyright before publishing them, and I have seen many a blogger apologizing and adding copyright info after they forgot to include reference to this when using a picture.

            The picture is still of the professional making it. And lets also not forget that there are specific rights and obligations tied to being allowed as an official photographer into the F1 paddock too.

          2. @bforth

            Any material posted to Facebook or Twitter becomes the intellectual property of the website in question

            No, it doesn’t. There are typically rights given to the website for its own use (a sublicence) but the ownership remains with the artist. Anyone taking it from the social network and using it has broken the law in the same was as they have taking it and using it without permission by any other means from the artist.

        2. @gregkingston
          I think you may find that most people don’t really care about copyright laws, at least when it comes to social media.
          If Lewis was using the image in a book, or some other commercial activity then I can appreciate the need to abide by the relevant laws, but when it comes to sharing a picture on Facebook, Twitter etc then I really couldn’t care less.

          1. Most people don’t care about the copyright laws indeed, apart from the few people who are owners of the copyright material. Photographers care about copyright, and there are still so many misconceptions about it – many of which have been posted in this thread already, with regards to model release / consent, waiving of copyright by posting to Facebook, no copyright existing unless the image is watermarked. That’s all nonsense.

            I think the photographer in this case wouldn’t have minded so much if the pictures were then subsequently reproduced by a number of media outlets (Daily Mail included) who credited copyright to Lewis Hamilton. That’s completely wrong.

            I take the point about the book – commercial activity – as that’s measurable but there should be no difference to using someone else’s property to help build brand Lewis. It might not be easily measurable but it is still not his property and right to do so.

            1. I agree. In all likelihood, an attribution would have saved any of this, even though it would still technically be infringement.

              Most people don’t care about copyright until it affects them. If someone ripped off one of my works (a piece of original computer code or one of my musical compositions, or even a particularly nice photo I had taken), I would be annoyed. If they gave me credit for it and they weren’t selling it, I would probably let them off.

            2. How about common courtesy when building brand Sutton? rubs both ways.

        3. But I’m sure it could be easily argued Sutton is using Hamilton’s image to promote his company (Sutton Images). So what if that’s via Facebook, it’s still marketing and intended to sell his company and its products using someone else’s image without permission. The way he went about complaining suggests he wants to generate publicity too. Why not a polite private message to Hamilton or his representatives, or the Daily Mail, pointing out the error? I also have real problems with photographers planting themselves in front of other people to take their photos uninvited and then complaining about other people’s ‘nerve.’ There’s a fine line between a photographer capturing a moment with spontaneity and intruding. Pity he went about complaining like this, he’s clearly a good photographer. Just needs to calm down.

      3. Maybe so, but would it have hurt Lewis to ask before using someone’s intellectual property? Common courtesy and all that…

        1. @jules-winfield – If someone took a picture of you at a F1 race in the crowd, would you write to Mark Sutton to ask permission before posting it on your Facebook? I certainly wouldn’t.

          If you take a picture of me without my permission, the least I can do is post it on my Facebook if I think it looks alright.

          1. My thoughts exactly, and somehow I doubt the photographer would be complaining in this way if it had been Joe Public that had done this, he’s only complaining publicly in order to generate some free publicity for his work.

      4. How much does Sutton have to pay to have the rights to take the pictures in the first place? Is there a fee to get credentials and be a photographer? Kind of wondering if Sutton hasn’t already paid for the rights through the FIA? And Lewis is part of the FIA Circus of F1?
        Anyone know for sure how this works?

    6. It’d be interesting if Manor get a Mercedes engine how that would impact their performance relative to McLaren and Sauber.

      1. Depends how much Honda can do with the MGU-K over the winter. If they can nail down the power harvesting and deployment, McLaren will be fighting in the top 10. If they can’t, they’ll be fighting with Manor, who’ll have the 2016 spec Mercedes and new chassis. Sauber bobs up and down season to season, while Haas is the true unknown.

    7. So Manor to be the Merc B-Team then? I’m rooting for that because it will be a great help for Manor. They should be able to perform better if they’ve got a few more quid.

      On another note, looking more like Red Bull Ferrari next year…and maybe Torro Rosso Honda? Providing The RB-Ferrari deal goes through, and Manor signs with Merc, Ferrari will need to provide, themselves, RB, Sauber and Haas, supplying a 5th team would be massive step for them considering they only supply 3 teams just now.

      Wildly speculating, but Honda can only benefit from having a couple more engines doing laps over a race weekend. If the rumours about Mclaren trying get Arai sacked are true, things are very shaky at the top of Honda Motorsport and a significant shift such as supplying customer engines could be a solution to make progress.

    8. EPIC news for Manor ! I’d love watching them with a better engine than half the grid ! That’d be like DFV days, a superb engine for the backmakers !

      1. @fer-no65 Given it’s the cheapest of the 3 current engines, I think it’s just Mercedes production capacity and current rules that limit the number of engines supplied by a manufacturer that means everyone doesn’t have Merc units!

    9. There goes Callan O’Keeffe chance of ever getting a F1 drive. What engine manufacture is going to supply a team who employs a driver who thinks that the product they have spent hundreds of millions on isn’t part of real racing car. Something tells me his management, of which I assume he has will be removing that pretty quickly.

      1. @woodyd91 At least he can fall back on his career as a cameraman.

        Oh wait, no. Turn the phone around!

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        9th September 2015, 9:34

        must say I didn’t know who Callan O’Keeffe was. But seems I do not have to bother then.

        Furthermore, I wonder what the current hybrid would sound like at 18,000-19,000 RPM!

      3. @woodyd91
        I had never heard of young Mr. O’Keeffe before, but I already dislike him. If it was his intention to grab some attention, then that was a move well executed. But if he wanted some positive attention, he might want to improve his P.R. skills.

      4. I don’t know who Callan O’Keefe is, but all I can say is I feel exactly the same way he does, and hearing a real racing car again was great!

        1. Furthermore, great that someone actually said what most racing drivers actually think…..Vettel was honest about it, but most others are very ‘diplomatic’…..

        2. @paulguitar

          I think it is refreshing to see a young driver having the spine to say what he means. Bernie totally agrees with him anyway.

          Bernie may well agree with him, but Bernie doesn’t pay the drivers salaries or the development costs of these PU’s, his job is to sell the sport around the world that’s all. Do you think if he walked into either Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault or Honda and said we need to change these engines they would do anything other than laugh him out of the door, Bernie can use what power he has at meeting with his number of votes as commercial rights holder. He also understands that without Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault or Honda he has no business, unless the “F” in F1 stands for Flintstones he needs engines and he needs them more than they actually need him as without those guys F1 collapses, yet without F1 none of the above would collapse.

          great that someone actually said what most racing drivers actually think

          That’s because he isn’t in F1 and doesn’t have to think about the professional repercussions of making such a statement not to mention the legal mess he could find himself getting into by bringing the sport into disrupt by making comments. Vettle a 4 time world champion was given a dressing down for his comments.

          Vettel was honest about it, but most others are very ‘diplomatic’

          Honest at the time maybe, but I’m betting he wouldn’t say that now he is with Ferrari. My guess would be Vettel’s comments were made when he knew that he was leaving and didn’t have to keep Renault happy anymore.

          Also, it is always lovely to hear that noise again……….:)

          The noise wont be back to how it was simply because these engines are different, noise is wasted energy and what engine manufacture in this era of F1 will willing allow additional performance to exit the back of the car just so the cars will be louder? My guess would be none. So the only way around that is by saying cars need to reach X decibel in the rules and i cant see that happening.

          I re-watch older F1 races weekly and find myself coming away with a buzzing headache if I don’t turn the volume down, Then again I never thought the V8’s made a particular nice sound, rather just a screaming one.

          1. @woodyd91

            Well I reluctantly accept that you are probably right about just of all of that, although I can’t agree about re-watching old races. For me, when I do that it just makes me depressed at what we have listen to now, although I agree it is rather less tiring having so little noise!

            I understand the concept of ‘noise is wasted’ energy, but F1 is also supposed to be entertaining, and I can tell you that I STILL get goosebumps remembering the sound of Mika Hakkinen’s V10 going down through the gears into the bus stop chicane in 2001. the sound on the overrun was like WARFARE! There is nothing in F1 now to offer even a hint of that kind of visceral thrill, it has just completely gone and now seems kind of like a PlayStation version, especially when you are there at the circuit. I am astonished at how tame it is now.

            I suppose we are all fans in different ways really. I know some people enjoy the races sitting at home looking at sector times on an iPad. That is just not for me, I want to be there at the circuit and blown away by the spectacle, and for now, for me, that has almost completely gone.

      5. @woodyd91

        I think it is refreshing to see a young driver having the spine to say what he means. Bernie totally agrees with him anyway.

        Also, it is always lovely to hear that noise again……….:)

    10. Webber’s comments are being misread. I agree with Webber but I don’t think much is changed. Nasr Ericsson, Mehri, Stevens, JB, Raikkonen, Maldonado, Massa, are not up to par, but things change in F1 really quickly. MArk used to be mega from 2002-2008 but the cars changed, especially after Pirelli.

      1. MArk used to be mega from 2002-2008

        Even though he only got half the podiums of his then teammates (which included Yoong, Klien, Pizzonia, Heidfeld, rookie Rosberg, and Sr Coulthard)

        1. @coldfly The tally was 4-2, but he was on par with Heidfeld who took 3 podiums to his 1, and outperformed Coulthard who took 1 podium as Webber did.

        2. @nase @coldfly The stats don’t make justice, Webber wasn’t the luckiest of drivers. Above I evaluated pace, for instances Massa hasn’t put a foot wrong since 2010 yet his raw pace is non-existent, there’s no promise.
          @jules-winfield Nasr didn’t deliver in GP2 he had lots of time and drove as Ericsson for the most successful teams in GP2, namely DAMS and Carlin. Nasr’s poor showing against Ericsson should be enough to say, he isn’t a shining star. Button is driving like Massa, solid but slow. Had not Alonso had a PU fault Alonso would’ve finished in front again. It’s hard to judge the McLaren teammates performances but I wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren finally ditch Button, I know he’s likeable British and handsome but he and Massa are just hogging the promising seats.

          1. @peartree

            Above I evaluated pace, for instances Massa hasn’t put a foot wrong since 2010 yet his raw pace is non-existent, there’s no promise.

            That’s pretty much the opposite of what is observable.

            1. @nase I don’t see Massa crashing and I don’t see Massa the fastest Williams driver, so how can I have said the opposite to reality.
              @pcxmerc What’s linking Bottas to Alonso? Bottas is making small mistakes and Williams is also making big mistakes, in the end Bottas is not that much quicker on race pace than Massa, that’s why with even one race down and the SPA horror show Massa is just leading Bottas. Alonso missed the first race as Bottas did but apart from that and being slower than Button in Malaysia Alonso has been consistently above Button, that said the Honda’s are hard to judge.

            2. @peartree
              I don’t understand why you’re not seeing it.

              Points scored:
              Massa is leading 97 to 91.
              Bottas missed the first GP, losing 12 points to Massa (not going to speculate if Bottas could’ve finished ahead, just writing down what can be stated objectively ), and lost a further 6 points in Spa due to a team error. So that’s 18 points lost.
              Massa lost points in Bahrain, when an engine problem meant he had to start from the pits, later had his car damaged by Maldonado, and lost places due to a final stint that turned out to be too long for his tyres. Bottas scored 15 points, Massa 1 = 14 points lost.
              Massa’s engine struck again in Canada, as his turbocharger went on strike in Q1 and left him hanging in P15. Bottas scored 15 points, Massa 8 = 7 points lost, a total of 21 so far.
              => When taking bad luck into account, Massa’s lead could even be slightly larger, i.e. 9 vs. the current difference of 6.
              Massa – Bottas 1:0

              Qualifying (result):
              Massa is currently leading 6:5.
              “But wait! Bottas’s back was aching in Australia.” That’s correct. So one might argue that this result shouldn’t be considered. Okay then, but the same holds true for Massa’s P15 in Canada (see above), where there can be no doubt about the fact that lacking a working turbocharger is an insurmountable handicap. So their actual qualy comparison should rather be 5:4, still a small advantage for Massa.
              Massa-Bottas 1.5:0

              Qualifying (gaps):
              Currently, their average gap is minuscule, Bottas is ahead with a lead of just over 0.08 seconds. But again, one has to consider the qualifyings where one of them was in trouble through no fault of his own. In Bottas’s case, the Australian result must be disregarded (even though it was only his third largest gap so far with 0.37 seconds – so not even a statistical outlier), as well as Massa’s Canadian disaster (1.33 seconds). As it turns out, counting only those results where driver performance was the only (known) factor is again beneficial for Massa, who would be ahead by the very small margin of 0.04 seconds. It is also noteworthy that Massa lost 1.06 seconds in Spain with an obvious driving error, which somewhat tarnishes his qualifying record.
              Massa-Bottas: 2:0.

              Race (laps spent ahead):
              Currently Bottas-Massa 342:327. Unfortunately, that too is a flawed statistic, one that’s very difficult to tidy up. The same races that have been mentioned in the first comparison (points scored) are relevant: Bottas missed the Aussie GP (ironically, this is detrimental for Massa’s statistic, as he couldn’t spend a single lap ahead of Bottas despite having qualified ahead of him) and was penalised with a drive-through penalty in Belgium, so that he had to spend the rest of the race behind Massa.
              Massa, on the other hand was heavily disadvantaged in Bahrain and Canada, where technical failures before the start delayed him so much that he never had a chance of spending a lap ahead, so that his stats got worse with every single lap. It is by no means a stretch to argue that Bottas would’ve spent most of the Belgian GP ahead of Massa, had there not been the team’s error with his tyres, so it wouldn’t be wrong to adjust the standings to 371:299 (assuming that Massa would’ve only spent 1 lap ahead every time Bottas pitted first). But then there’s the problem that Massa had a pretty strong Australian GP, but not a single lap of his race-long battle with Vettel after starting from a healthy P3 was counted towards the statistic, due to Bottas’s withdrawal. The Bahrain and Chanadian GPs, which account for 127 laps, are really problematic for this statistic. Had Massa’s engine failed shortly after the start instead of causing him trouble before the lights went out, he would be confortably ahead of Bottas. Yes, it’s that quirky. So how does one tidy up these data? By excluding those races from the comparison? Hardly fair, because Bottas qualified ahead of Massa in Bahrain, so the chances were there for him to lead most of the race even with a trouble-free race for Massa. It is also impossible to tell where Massa could’ve qualified in Canada. His race pace was very good (more of that later), but Bottas was faster in 2 out of 3 Free Practice sessions. We simply cannot know what would’ve been.
              Additionally, there’s the Monaco GP, where Massa was involved in a first-lap accident and rejoined the track over a lap behind the leaders, staying a lap behind Bottas during the entire race, despite having qualified higher than his team mate. That’s another 78 laps
              Long story short: The raw data say that Bottas spent more laps ahead of Massa than the other way around. Still, these data are clearly flawed, in a way that makes it almost impossible to extract meaningful information. Disregarding races in which one car was in trouble would completely overturn the current standing, so it’s impossible to reach a correct interpretation.
              Massa-Bottas 2:0.5 (with reservations)

              Race (pace):
              That’s a tough one. It’s clearly a decisive criterium for the assessment of a driver’s performance, but also the one where the most distorting factors come into play, and interpretation of the data is almost inevitably subject to confirmation bias. But let’s have a look, I promise to be as balanced as possible:
              Australia: No comparison.
              Malaysia: Tricky one. Massa faster in the first two stints after an early safety car, building a gap of up to 6 seconds, Bottas quicker in the final stint, managing to overtake Massa with 3 laps to go. Small advantage for Bottas.
              China: Not much difference in lap times, but Massa constantly a little bit faster, building a gap of almost 10 seconds before a late Safety Car neutralises the race. Advantage: Massa.
              Bahrain: No meaningful data for comparison. Massa started from the pits, spent most of the race stuck in traffic, his car was damaged early on, and he was on a different tyre strategy.
              Spain: Both Williams spent most of their respective races in clear air, and Bottas was clearly faster overall. Massa pitted 3 times, Bottas only twice, which explains why Massa was episodically faster than his team mate, but in the end, Bottas was 20 seconds ahead. Clear advantage: Bottas.
              Monaco: A first-lap accident means that Massa is lapped right from the start, having to yield to any other car on the track, while Bottas’s race wasn’t trouble-free, either. No comparison possible.
              Canada: Interesting one. Massa had to make his way up the grid, adopting a rather extreme strategy, starting on primes, then switching them for options with 33 laps to go, resulting in the longest stint on options. Bottas was inevitably faster in the opening stint, driving in clean air, while Massa was stuck in traffic. The second stint turned out to be very different. Bottas still had clean air, while Massa had to overtake Maldonado. Interestingly, Massa managed to gain more than 17 seconds. Meanwhile, Verstappen, who was on a very similar strategy, only managed to take 6 seconds out of his team mate Sainz, suggesting that Massa’s pace was indeed quite strong.
              Advantage: Massa (with some reservations)
              Austria: Massa was faster in almost every single lap of the race. The Williamses had a gap of 8 seconds between them at the beginning of the final stint, but over the last 35 laps, it grew to over 36 seconds, meaning that Massa lapped 8 tenths faster on average. Clear advantage: Massa.
              Great Britain: That’s a bit of a controversial one. Bottas famously complained about being held up behind Massa, who was leading the race, but was initially told to hold positions, and felt that the opportunity was gone when the team finally allowed him to try his luck. It is however not clear how much faster Bottas could’ve been. The in-lap for his first pit stop was over a second faster than Massa’s, which points to a significant pace advantage, but on the other hand, there was another interesting development going on in laps 5 and 6, when Bottas briefly fell out of the DRS window. He did manage to lap quicker than Massa, but without DRS assistance, he only gained 3 tenths, crossing the line 7 tenths behind Massa, which shows that he wasn’t yet being held up (as he was usually able to cross the line with a much smaller gap). After the pit stops, the image was reversed. Massa slowly drove away from Bottas, and as soon as the first drops of rain hit the track, the gap exploded. From 2 seconds on lap 37, it went to 8 seconds on lap 44, and finally, 8 laps later, it had reached 36 seconds. So while it is true that Bottas was quicker during the first circa 20 laps, Massa dominated the rest of the race.
              Advantage: Massa (with mild reservations, but I did award Bottas with the advantage in Malaysia, where the competition was a lot closer.)
              Hungary: What a mess … The race was so full of incidents (including Massa getting a penalty for starting out of position and Bottas getting a puncture under circumstances that mirrored the Rosberg-Ricciardo incident) that it is hard to draw a comparison. Massa spent almost all of his race stuck in traffic after a bad qualifying and mediocre start (and of course a penalty), while Bottas spent most of the race in clean air after a good qualifying and a very good start. The overall impression that Bottas made over the weekend was pretty good, but the problem is that there is virtually no data to make a meaningful comparison between the Williams drivers. If anything, Massa was a tad faster during the final stint, until he got stuck in traffic once more. No verdict on this race.
              Belgium: Another difficult one. Bottas with a better getaway, Massa stuck in traffic. After the penalty and the final pit stops, Massa and Bottas were separated by 11 seconds. 12 laps later, both lapping in clean air, the gap had grown to 14 seconds. Then, Massa caught Pérez, but couldn’t pass him, and the gap shrunk to less than 6 seconds over the last 12 laps.
              I’ll call this a draw. The comparison itself isn’t invalid, as both Williams were pitted on the same lap, and changed to the same compound of tyres, but half a stint is hardly enough data for a meaningful comparison, and the 12-lap sample contains two contradictory developments. During the first 9 laps, Massa pulls a larger gap of up to 14.5 seconds. Then, in the three laps before Massa caught Pérez, Bottas begins to lap slightly faster. So: Draw.
              Italy: A race with a finish that almost mirrored the Malaysian GP, but this time, Massa managed to defend his position agains Botass’s onslaught. In the first stint, Massa was faster, driving out of the DRS window on lap 5 and building a gap of circa 2 seconds, give or take. Then, Williams split the strategies, trying to cover Rosbergs undercut with an early pit stop by Massa, while Bottas continued for 3 more laps. After Bottas’s stop, the gap was 6 seconds, and didn’t change for the next 12 laps. On lap 45 (7 laps later), it stood at 4 seconds, and it collapsed to just 0.5 seconds on lap 50, and didn’t change after that. It is possible that the different tyre strategies were at the base of this development, but speculation aside, the second half of the race (or rather: the final 60%) belonged to Bottas.
              Minuscule advantage: Bottas. Or a draw. In any case, it was extremely close.
              What does that mean for the comparison? We have 4 races without a verdict (Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Hungary), a draw (Belgium), two races in which Bottas was a little bit faster (Malaysia, Italy; 0,1 points each), two races in which Massa was faster (China, Canada; 0.2 points each), one race in which Bottas was much faster (Spain; 0.3 points), and two races in which Massa was much faster (Austria, Great Britain; 0.3 each). I swear I didn’t plan the scores ahead, but the result consists of conveniently round numbers: Massa-Bottas 1:0.5

              The final standing would thus be:
              Massa-Bottas 3:1

              This looks like a clear result and might be misinterpreted as crushing, but I’d like to stress that this is just the result of a comparison between two extremely closely matched team mates. Its purpose was to determine whether one of them can be considered to have the edge over his colleague, caused by the inclusion of Massa in a list of sub-par drivers, while Bottas was spared of such criticism.
              The answer should be obvious now: So far, Massa has slightly, but undoubtedly had the edge in qualifyings and races. Thus, it is in my opinion untenable to spare Bottas from criticism that is aimed at Massa, or to deny Massa praise that is aimed at Bottas.
              I rest my case.

            3. @nase I don’t know how you bother to write something so long and forget that Massa unlucky breaks happened whilst behind Bottas. Not to mention that Massa finished ahead at Monza but, as I pointed out, Bottas had more pace but Massa delivered, I said nothing wrong. 2 facts and you get an universal truth, I didn’t need to hand pick 3000 characters to support my theory.

            4. @peartree
              C’mon mate, your rebuttal doesn’t change anything. I’ve analysed the season as a whole, but you pick two “facts”, and that turns it all araound? No, it doesn’t.

              Fact 1:
              “Massa unlucky breaks happened whilst behind Bottas.”
              That’s definitely not true, except for one of the three races in which something went wrong for Massa: Bahrain, where had had qualified behind Bottas. But I hadn’t forgotten that, as evident from my post:

              So how does one tidy up these data? By excluding those races from the comparison? Hardly fair, because Bottas qualified ahead of Massa in Bahrain, so the chances were there for him to lead most of the race even with a trouble-free race for Massa.

              See? It was all there. The same goes for the points scored: Bottas qualified 3 places behind Massa in Australia, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and counted the 12 points he lost. Same treatment for Massa in Bahrain: He qualified a place behind Bottas, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and counted the 14* points he lost.
              The other two races?
              Monaco: Massa qualified and started ahead, going into the first corner in P12, while Bottas was in P16. Then, Massa and Hülkenberg had a seemingly small coming together, which caused a puncture and bodywork damage and destroyed Massa’s race. In this case your assertion simply isn’t true.
              Massa’s turbocharger didn’t work for a single lap during qualifying. So he didn’t even have a chance of being behind Bottas.
              So what does that mean for your rebuttal? It’s wrong on 2 of 3 accounts, and the one account for which it is true, I had acknowledged right away.

              Fact 2:

              Massa finished ahead at Monza but, as I pointed out, Bottas had more pace but Massa delivered

              Well, duh. That’s exactly what I analysed. I also analysed that Massa had been somewhat quicker in the first stint, before Bottas turned the tables in the last 15 laps, and went on to tailgate Massa for the last 3 laps. I acknowledged that, and, taking into account that without Massa, Bottas could’ve finished 1 or 2 seconds ahead, I counted that as Bottas being slightly faster.

              I must’ve missed the universal truth in what you said. Your initial statement came down to Massa being sub-par (which already contradicts the fact that he “delivered”), while Bottas is not. That’s a division that bewildered me, and as I showed, careful analysis of the season so far has shown that Massa is indeed performing slightly better than Bottas, scoring more points than his team mate (even if one takes bad luck into account), qualifying ahead more often than not, generall being slightly faster in qualifying, and also having better pace in more races than Bottas.

              *That should’ve been 11. My bad. I counted Bottas’s score as 15 points, but he finished 4th, scoring 12 points. The “adjusted” points would thus come down to a gap of 6 points, which is exactly the same as the current standings.

            5. @nase Please stop spamming me. Just don’t say you have facts to back your opinion because saying “qualifying more often than not… and being faster… and having more pace” because of your bias review isn’t a fact. driver ratings which analyse mathematical data from each F1 driver, proves that Bottas is ahead of Massa even though he’s behind on the simplistic stats.

            6. @peartree
              Oh, come on! These are facts, ok? I went great lengths to back up my analysis that doesn’t even use any obscure data, in fact almost exclusively those published on this very site.
              If you’d like to share your insights from with me, please do so. In fact I’d love to see how they calculate their ratings. Mathematical data alone don’t necessarily provide better insight, obviously. I doubt that they’ve found a way of eliminating distortions caused by technical issues, different strategies, traffic and whatnot. That’s why I labeled the purely mathematical data “raw data” in my analysis, before having a look at certain races in which driver-unrelated factors played a major role.
              So if you have a link to these stats, please share it with me.
              If they’re hidden behind a pay wall, please quote them for me.
              Just don’t tell me I’m spamming you when I’m trying to explain something, or that I have to stop saying that I have facts when I’m explaining at length how and why I come to my conclusions. If you think my reasoning is faulty at one point or the other, please correct me. If you think that my approach is inaccurate, please tell me where and why. Please don’t handwave it, because that actually conveys the impression that the major problem with my analysis is not whether or not it is accurate, but rather you not liking its conclusion.

      2. @peartree
        I agree with you on that point. Initially, when I read that Webber was talking badly about the grid, it annoyed me enormously, and I thought that he was yet another ex-F1 driver who plunges into some kind of self-righteous delusion, feeling entitled to speak “unconfortable truths” and whatnot.
        But he indeed had a point, even though his initial statement was so provocatively worded that it hurt his credibility. F1 does have a pay-driver problem in the second half of the grid.

        What I don’t agree with is the assertion that Webber was “mega” from 2003-2008. He was indeed a very promising driver during his Jaguar years, especially in the single-lap qualifyings. But after that, he was never too impressive. In 2005, he was solidly outperformed by Heidfeld (until the German had to abandon the season due to injury), who virtually always finished ahead of the Aussie. And in 2007, he was outscored by David Coulthard, whose career was already heading downwards.
        He did outscore young Antonio Pizzonia, Justin Wilson, Christian Klien, and Nico Rosberg in their respective rookie seasons, as well as an extremely crash-prone David Coulthard in 2008, but I think that sums it up perfectly: He was able to outperform rookie drivers, but he had far less luck with experienced team mates. Nick Heidfeld and David Coulthard’s names may have a certain ring to them, but I doubt that they can really be considered the cream of the crop.
        Ironically, Webber’s best years seemed to be the first years with Vettel as his team mate. The difference between them was pretty small in 2009 and 2010, and Webber looked like a challenger again in 2012, but dropped back after the first half of the season.

        1. @peartree
          Oh wait, where was my mind?
          Nasr, Jenson Button and Massa not on par? (Not going to argue against the others)
          That’s just nonsense. Especially mentioning Massa, but not Bottas, when the former is outperforming the latter in both qualifyings and races … No, mate. Just no.

      3. Nasr is in his first season. Seems a bit unfair to judge him as a failure already.
        Button is hobbled by a crappy car and an even worse engine.
        Massa just got a podium! He’s hardly past it.

      4. So where does that place Alonso and Bottas? Sometimes you really have to wonder where some people are coming from….

    11. Ferrari is doing Merc a favour by chasing RBR. This keeps RB in F1 and also keeps the Merc team relaxed over the fear that RB could outpace them with a costumer engine and pretty much force Daimler to save to quid and pull from F1 leaving Mercedes with RB. Maybe merc can help Monza…

    12. Red Bull should wait Manor finish the deal with Mercedes and then buys the team and gets their engines.

      Just like Briatore did 20 years ago getting the Renault engines Williams once was so proud of.

      1. I really think that owning three formula one outfits is a bit much, even for Red Bull.

        1. @jerseyf1
          Pulling the strings in 3 different teams (Benetton, Ligier, Minardi) is just what Briatore did back then.

    13. We have teams either failing or teetering close to the brink, historic races at risk of disappearing from the calendar and Renault (reportedly) prepared to walk away from F1 over not receiving the same bonus payments the other biggies get…

      So what do the bloodsuckers do? Ignore all that irrelevant ‘future’ and ‘racing’ stuff, bung themselves an extra billion dollars and saddle the sport with even more debt.

      Nice to know they’ve got their priorities sorted.

    14. I can see why Mark Sutton is upset over the photos. Celebrities use artists’ work fairly often without proper credit. The part I can’t understand though is claiming that he’s trying to claim copyright over the image. The copyright watermark in the image says “Instagram/Lewis Hamilton”, and literally only appears in the Daily Mail article. That seems to me like a slip up on the part of a magazine that’s not particularly well known for researching their content. He should calm down and remember that he could probably receive proper attribution and an apology if he contacted Hamilton’s PR team instead of having a fit over what was likely an honest mistake. I honestly don’t think he could have made it this far if he reacts to many things with sort of immediate rage.

      1. kittenflakes, photographers are a touchy lot in these modern times. It’s very hard to maintain image attribution when many people have access to semi-pro image processing tools. Chasing websites hosting copied images and sending takedown notices will eventually eat up all your creative time and passion.
        Some of my colleagues are ex-professional photographers who now teach, as they cannot make a living out of the subject they love. ‘Tis a difficult time.

    15. Callan O’Keefe isn’t too sharp is he?

      Bernie wants to revert back. It’s the FIA that mandated the new engines at the request of the engine suppliers.

      1. Bernie appears (from the linked Crash article) to want to revert to something that the sport has never had. They said he wants 1000bhp V8’s to return, trouble is, as far as I can remember, no F1 V8 has ever put out that much power. And any notion that the old, rev limited, development frozen, sewing machine engines we got rid of in 2014 put out that much is laughable. They stuck out 750 bhp, maybe a bit more. Even with KERS they were miles of 1000bhp. The venerable old DFV never stuck out 1000 bhp. The old V10’s however, yeah they did. The original V6 turbos? Yup, they did (in the right trim of course). But V8s? Nope, nope nope.

        1. @geemac

          Bernie appears (from the linked Crash article) to want to revert to something that the sport has never had.

          That seems to be the problem with conservative old men, doesn’t it? Forgetting all about the past, then re-inventing some sort of fairytale version of it …

    16. Great videos @Girts! Right place at the right time for Kimi’s start.

      1. Thanks :) I am happy to be able to share some of my memories & impressions with other F1 Fanatics. I plan to post more stuff in the forum later (“where to stay” etc.).

    17. Regarding Manor F1 possibly taking Mercedes engines, this would be an excellent move for both parties. Mercedes will get to place Wehline and possibly Ocon too in later seasons if he does well enough, Manor get a competitive engine and at least 1 driver who is there on merit and not money (a la Jules Bianchi and Max Chilto) so they will be able to make the most of a more competitive package. I hold a lot of respect for John Booth and Graham Lowdon. I just hope McLaren/Honda get their act together as they could end up fighting with Haas for the last couple of places.

      1. @thebullwhipper Indeed, perfect place for Wehrlein next year, although it’s not been mentioned just yet. Ocon in a few years would be great.

      2. That’ll be a very popular underdog team if they can punch above their weight, after all the nasty things they’ve been through. But the Ferrari engines didn’t make them any more competitive, even if it gave them a great little driver who we’ll always remember.

        I hope they can attract drivers placed by other teams, like Kevin Magnussen or perhaps Alex Lynn. Even Romain Grosjean was mentioned (in Joe Saward’s notes the other day, if Lotus turn to Perez and his wealthy Mexican friends). That would raise the standard of the F1 field, it would be almost as good as when Webber was around…

        1. Last year they were more competitive actually and let’s not forget that last year the Ferrari engines weren’t considered good. This year is a non point. They are driving with last years not so good engines and last years car and with lost data. What could anyone expect?

    18. So Dr Marko is going elsewhere is he? Well, now we know. Maranello is elsewhere. Fairytale stuff.

    19. ColdFly F1 (@)
      9th September 2015, 9:18

      Not sure if I’m more worried about Hamilton using an image without mentioning copyright to build his own image,
      FOM paying themselves $1B whilst the hardworking people in the sport lose their jobs and racers risk their lives.

    20. Aren’t we forgetting something important about the proposed ground effect changes?

      Wet/Rainy races is what bothers me.

      When the cars had the Ground Effect, the water is forced out of the car from the sidepods, not from the wheels. And this becomes very dangerous when one car is following another, as it is almost impossible to see the one in front.

      Just look at Didier Pironi’s accident. 1982 German GP:

      Wouldn’t this be an issue if ground effect returns?

      1. Maybe in the past, these days anything more than a light drizzle results in the Safety Car being deployed, so it’s probably not that big a deal.

      2. The sort of ground effects been proposed for 2017 are the same as whats used in Indycar, GP2, GP3 etc.. rather than what was used in F1 back in 1982 (Fully shaped floors, Deep venturi tunnels & sliding skirts).

        As such what your describing shouldn’t be a problem, Its certainly not in the other categories I mentioned.

    21. It seems to me like Red Bull has really backed itself into a corner. If it is forcing termination of its deal with Renault, the door at Mercedes is closed and, let’s be honest, a move to Honda is hardly the solution they are looking for regardless of whether McLaren would let them or not. In other words it’s either Ferrari engines or out of F1 for its teams. Assuming Ferrari continues to supply its existing teams less Manor (2) plus Haas this makes 3 teams for 2016. Dispensation for 4 teams is probably a given since Mercedes already have dispensation to supply 4 teams. But surely it’s unlikely that the dispensation will be stretched to 5 teams (even if Ferrari could physically do that). This would be supplying almost (or actually if Lotus don’t make it) half the grid. And for what reason, because Red Bull deliberately cancelled a valid engine contract early – hardly grounds for getting a special dispensation from the FIA.

      Not only that, given that Red Bull’s only choice is Ferrari, the commercial terms are likely to be heavily in Ferrari’s favour. Why would you supply engines on the cheap to a rival (and one known to publicly point the finger of blame at suppliers for performance failures) when they have no choice but to pay whatever you’re asking. Not only is Red Bull at risk of being treated as a ‘customer’ but the engine cost could significantly reduce their remaining budget for the chassis. It’s easy for Ferrari to say ‘of course we will supply them’ but at what price!

      I still expect to see at least one Red Bull team running with Renault engines next year.

      1. Kinda reminds me of the situation McLaren faced back in 1993..

        1. Yep, McLaren seem to be almost as bad at managing and timing their changes of engine supplier. So do Williams – they timed their Mercedes switch to perfection, but their history prior to that is littered with transition years, fallings out and pay-drivers as well as glorious success…

    22. I would absolutely love to see those refinancing documents CVC entered into because allowing for such a massive dividend payment to shareholders while lenders debt is outstanding is massively off market in my experience.

      The shareholders of a borrower are usually the last people who get paid, and even when they do there are significant restrictions placed on when and why dividends can be paid to them. They must have incredibly sympathetic bankers…or just ones who don’t particularly car about ever being repaid or the strength of their underlying asset.

    23. Photography/copyright news always bring out an astounding amount of ignorance in people.

      It doesn’t matter if you’re Lewis Hamilton or the Queen of England*: If a photographer takes a photo of you and you want to use it, then you’ll have to obtain a license. It doesn’t matter if you’re in said picture or if the photographer shared it on social media. It’s the photographers’ creation and you have to respect that. And if you do license that photo, you’re most likely still required to credit the original author and NOT slap on any instagram filters or edit the photo in any way.

      1. * this applies to a person of public interest. There are country-specific laws regarding the photography of “regular” people.

      2. @dh1996 : Very well said

    24. Lovely account of “why a racing driver” from Kanaan.

    25. I believe that it doesn’t speak well of this site that Mr. Collantine is unable to line up all the F1 drivers, all the main engineers and team bosses, and particularly all the umbrella girls to sign autographs of all on catalog and all calendars for free… I can’t see what can be so difficult about that.
      I’m disappointed.

    26. Like Manor can afford Merc engines. I doubt they are even on the grid next season.

      1. From what I remember Mercedes has the cheapest PU package on the grid, with Renault currently the most expensive, so in theory switching would save them money over sticking with Ferrari
        Also there is the cost reduction they can negotiate for giving Pascal Wehrlein a race seat for 2016.

      2. they will stay on the grid if they can make money. Just like all the rest of the customer teams.

        F1 is show business, it’s not real racing, competition is not what F1 is about, the way the FIA write the rules and the way people get paid in F1 should illustrate this fairly clearly. The manufacturers are the producers, there might be more than one ‘director’, the producers figure out who they want in the lime light while the rest of the cast and extras pick up what ever they can. This is exceptionally true in MotoGP, where almost the whole grid is just there as filler for Dorna to pump up the sun worshipers and ant man.

    27. So Autosport is talking about Red Bull only getting YEAR OLD Ferrari engines! I can hardly believe they’d go for that.

      But I can hardly believe Ferrari would let a customer team beat them, either. Newey switched to Renault partly for that reason.

      1. @lockup Does seem a bit strange in terms of RB accepting that, not so strange in terms of Ferrari wanting to do that. Is it possible they actually could agree that RB gets this years engine, as in ICE, with next year’s everything else, ie KERS and ERS etc? Just wondering if perhaps there is little that will be changing with the actual engine portion of the PU from this year to next.

        1. Yeah I see what you mean @robbie, some fudge maybe. Though the latest move from Merc is apparently ICE – pistons and combustion chamber to go with a new fuel.

          Still it seems to me such a conflict is built into the whole idea, and these two teams have history: one not supplying equal engines, and the other slagging off its engine supplier for any deficiency. I don’t see a winner.

          I’m getting the impression that fundamentally in this era you have to be an engine manufacturer to be in contention. Supplying Red Bull with your own engine is the cliche turkey voting for Christmas isn’t it? At best Ferrari and RBR might share some wins, while Merc cleans up the rest.

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