Cyril Abiteboul, Jolyon Palmer, Monaco, 2017

Palmer: Abiteboul ‘made it clear he wanted Sainz’

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In the round-up: Jolyon Palmer explains how his sudden departure from Renault came about.

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F1’s dumbest rule isn’t grid penalties for power unit or forcing half the grid to start the race on Q2 tyres, it’s reprimanding drivers for missing the national anthem:

This is an absolutely ridiculous rule. The anthem has no sporting relevance, it’s a commercial matter. As it’s a commercial matter rather than sporting, the penalty should be commercial in nature, not something that can affect an actual result.

Give them a fine or some other kind of sanction that doesn’t have an impact on any sporting results by all means. But this is a silly punishment.
Philip (@Philipgb)

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  • 44 comments on “Palmer: Abiteboul ‘made it clear he wanted Sainz’”

    1. Agree with COTD. Missing the national anthem cannot fall in the same bag as some other offences.

      1. You have to show some respect for the country you are in.

        1. Respecting a country is more then just standing for an anthem

          1. They didn’t do the simplest one: standing there for the anthem.
            It’s like you asked someone out, he didn’t bother to look at you during when you hang out or even didn’t show up at the beginning, and he said he respected you. Isn’t it sound a little bit ridiculous?

        2. As it’s part of the ceremony, and the hosts are having the good grace to put on the weekend to allow the drivers to compete I agree they are obligated to attend. And a sanction that doesn’t interfere with results is also reasonable for an infraction.

          But the championship is about deciding which team and driver deliver the best race packages, allowing a none sporting activity such as attending the anthem to potentially have an impact on sporting results is silly.

          If this wound up being part of the reason Vettel finishes 3rd rather than 2nd in the championship, would you honestly with a straight face concede Bottas was a better driver rather than seeing the stupidity of allowing something unrelated to the sporting contest to interfere with a result?

          1. @philipgb well said.

          2. @philipgb to be fair people don’t really care about MSC being stripped of a 2nd in the WDC tables anyway, so not sure about a demotion from 2nd to 3rd.

      2. I totally agree with the sporting vs. commercial distinction made in the COTD, and that is an excellent point.

        However, teams and drivers – what do they have more of, money or points? Which would they be more willing to throw away? The “stick” of enforcement eventually comes down to hitting people where it hurts – not just the track but also in the real world.

        That said, similar to jokers for the curfew, maybe drivers have to be given 1-2 jokers in a rolling 12-month period for missing either the national anthem or post-race press conference. There might be genuine circumstances that might make a driver want to skip such an item (e.g. I think of Perez’s illness at Malaysia). I’m not sure if such a policy is already in force in an unofficial manner (i.e. Charlie waives off investigating an absence when he knows extenuating circumstances); but if not, it would be good to do so.

      3. There is still a sensible point in the rule regarding the reprimand. It’s that a driver needs at least 2 of driving nature and 3 in total to receive a penalty.
        At least they should have driving ones before receiving a grid penalty.

        In another hand, once you get 1 off track reprimand, you can get plenty.

      4. F1 (Bernie, Liberty & the teams) have only themselves to blame here. Most of these events are held (lets be honest) in countries that use f1 as vanity projects. If you take the money, well you have to walk toe to toe when in their country. You can’t have it both ways. Ferrari of all teams should know that. (The little matter of $100 million just for showing up) Cough…Cough….

    2. Did anyone else find it funny that Toto referenced Nico’s 2014 Singapore problems as an example of being able to relate to Ferrari’s reliability issues & blow to title aspirations instead of Lewis & his myriad of problems last year? I bet if Rosberg wasn’t on the broadcast team he wouldn’t have had to reach back that far into the memory banks for an example. Perfectly understandable of course, but I just found it amusing. Just Toto being Toto.

      1. +1 – smooth one. LOL!

      2. lol! very true indeed

      3. Well spotted Aldoid, Toto playing the statesman.

        1. The whole ROS on the broadcasting team and “brown nosing” that went on over the weekend was very hard to watch. ROS watching HAM do what he does best just reinsures himself that he made the right decision at the end of last year.

          1. I disagree. Whilst it was irritating to see Rosberg keep harping on about how he beat Lewis (his car blew up, yours didn’t Nico, end of.) he did add a lot of interesting insight and even took the mick out of his own “for sure” phrase.

            I was disappointed they didn’t get an interview with Lewis while Nico was there though.

            1. I would’ve been more inclined to think more positively of his involvement if he covered more races this season, rather than just one. But the Sky crew were quite suggestive with their questions almost goading ROS at times which obviously isn’t his fault. Still the insights of the track we normally get from anyone of the other presenters operating the sky pad, especially Di Resta, i find pretty good.

          2. @icarby, Rosberg has always been annoying with his overly fake cheerfulness and PR speech , but this “performance” was indeed super awkward. Especially how he kept on trying to be funny while all you could hear was crickets.

            I’m assuming he was just there trying to peddle Kubica to the teams (or Williams) at least, but I sincerely hope he does not come back as a presenter. There are plenty of ex-F1 drivers who actually have something to say.

            1. The most annoying trait (for me) of ROS was his inability to admit when he’s in the wrong, pretty similar to VET in some respects; not to mention some of things he did on track, but won’t go there. But have to agree would be quite happy to see other EX-F1 drivers give there 2 pence/cents/etc.

    3. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      9th October 2017, 3:20

      You have to feel for the way the Palmer thing was handled. He’s been very professional about the situation. Hopefully he lands on his feet in some other division of motorsports. Unfortunately he just hasn’t lived up to the expectation that a driver for a constructors team would have. So while I agree his time was due, I only wished Cyril would’ve handled it better. If he was at Sauber, HAAS, Williams or another backmarker team, I could understand him staying aboard. But with Renault making huge strides this season and likely poised to go head-to-head with McLaren, FI and maybe RB next year, it makes sense.

      1. It’s going to very bad for Palmer’s confidence.

      2. @braketurnaccelerate

        He had unrealistic expectations of his own talent, unfortunately. I’m not going to derive any pleasure from Palmer’s personal misfortune, but I’m glad to see him go and space be made hopefully for a driver there on merit.

    4. This kid Gasly is not very bright.
      You have a chance to win an Championship half point difference and to say that he wants to be in Us gp is not very smart. I don’t think he has the quality to ever go to the first RedBull team.
      Try to win Super Formula then he will have 2 years at Toro Roso then probably FE

      1. @prelvu – I was initially of a similar opinion, that going for the Super Formula championship should be Gasly’s priority.

        But then during the Japanese FP sessions, Karun Chandok (on Channel 4) gave his opinion that Super Formula and similar feeder series are all – at their very core – paths leading to F1. Now that Gasly has arrived at F1 he should grab the opportunity with both hands, and not let go. That made a lot of sense, particularly coming from a driver in various series.

        I’m sure Gasly has his own private opinions in the matter – and I’d wager a guess that he’d like to clinch a championship if it didn’t risk his F1 future. However, its not just his voice at the table to make that decision – we’ve got Cyril on the one-hand pushing for Sainz to join Renault as quickly as possible, and we’ve got Toro Rosso’s future engine partner Honda pushing for the Gasly championship.

        While he might be the driver at the pointy end come race day, it is a seat being offered to him by a team, so they are more likely to call the shots.

        1. A (flippant) solution might be to put one of the Ferrari drivers in the Toro Rosso and let Gasly get on with his championship hunt. Given the frequency with which the Ferraris have been breaking down recently, there is a real likelihood that one of the prancing horse’s drivers will be cooling his heels at the US GP.

          1. Raikkonen I guess, look at today, not even able to close the gap to the other front runners in the slightest, ok, he overtook the series b teams, but he was so slow we can’t even know if ferrari was faster than red bull, or mercedes, or none of them, cause the driver just isn’t there.

        2. I think Toro Roso will call Palmer for Usgp since they run Renault engines.
          And palmer knows the drill.

          1. Palmer, Rossi might be an option, even Di Resta could be. I doubt either Marko or Ferrari would like to have a Leclerc or Giovanazzi drive.

        3. @phylyp, as you say, what purpose does it serve to Gasly to win the Super Formula series at this point in his career if he’s already got a seat at Toro Rosso? Similarly, it is almost certainly the case that Marko would prefer him to race in F1 given that their primary interest lies there and, with fairly small points differences between themselves, Haas, Renault and Williams, they want the strongest driver pairing they can get.

          As for whom might replace him if he does have to race in the Super Formula race, I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned Buemi yet given he still works for Red Bull.

          1. Because *whispers quietly* there’s more to racing than just Formula 1.

            If a racing driver finds themselves in a position to win a championship, they should go for it. His Toro Rosso drive looks pretty assured anyway. Why disrespect his Super Formula team, series and his rival by saying it’s not a title worth fighting for?

            1. @bookoi, because he is not the only driver who has also skipped races in the Japanese Super Formula to race in other series which are considered to be more prestigious.

              André Lotterer, for example, has skipped races in multiple years when it clashed with the WEC, and gave up at least one title in the Super Formula series in doing so (Loïc Duval is another driver who also skipped races in the Super Formula series to race in the WEC).

              Frankly, I don’t think that most other participants in the Super Formula series would see it as being disrespectful if he raced in F1 – nobody seemed to think it was a snub when Lotterer did the same thing (and he skipped even more races than Gasly would), so why should it be any different when Gasly does it?

      2. What would not be very bright, is to skip the US GP and finish 2nd (or even 3rd, 4th, or 5th) in the Super Formula.

        PS How stupid by that Pickering guy to expect Twitter to ban F1 race results until he has watched the race.

      3. I doubt Gasley is going to have any say in the matter. Torro Rosso & Honda will decide that. He will race where best suits their interests.

    5. I couldn’t agree more with COTD.

    6. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      9th October 2017, 8:42

      Anyone get the feeling Lewis might be winding down on his time in F1? He has had a different demeanour this year, he’s been grateful of everything, philosophical about his records and time in F1, mentions his age a lot as well. I just get a strange feeling he might have done all he wants to do, he seems reflective on what he’s achieved. Even Brundle said yesterday ‘I hope we see Lewis battling with these (Ricciardo & Max) for years to come’ as if he felt it too. I’m sure he will see out his Merc contract taking him to 33 coming up 34, but then he might hand over to Max, as those two seem to have a mutual respect. Just a hunch.

      1. @rdotquestionmark

        I’d expect Hamilton to stick around as long as he’s competitive. Over the next few years, you might see his qualifying edge bleed off slightly, but his race craft will continue to become more cunning as we’ve seen with Alonso over the years.

        Hamilton will call it a day when another driver comprehensively outperforms him. If Verstappen moves to Mercedes and Hamilton can’t match him then he’ll likely call it a day. If however Hamilton still has the edge or at least is there or thereabouts I don’t see him going anywhere while there are records to break to establish his legacy.

        I think it would take a drubbing like Hamilton gave Rosberg in 2015 and is currently giving Bottas for Hamilton to concede his time is done.

        I really hope before he does retire we get to see at least one season of him up against Verstappen and one against Vettel in the same cars.

    7. Cotd is spot on. This is what it is all about.

    8. @philipgb COTD speaking of non-sporting sanctions I think forcing the driver to feature no sponsors on their cars in the following race is something that might work (replace it with an FIA road safety livery or something)

      1. Something like that would be incredibly complicated legally. It would be easier to fine them an amount equal to those sponsorship payments and donate it to the charity of the hosts choice.

      2. @davidnotcoulthard Issue with this approach is it would drive sponsors away from Formula 1, the punishment directly hits the Sponsors & Teams, as @philipgb states better to punish the team not the sponsor, however even then it’s the Driver at fault not the team, however we see the drivers ‘punished’ on component usage so perhaps that doesn’t matter!

        I agree with the sentiment of COTD.

    9. Personally I think Palmer has been treated pretty poorly. I realise he has had plenty of chances but I still think Renault should have kept him in place until the end of the season.

      If Sainz is so good then he should have been able to adapt to the new car pretty quickly at the start of next season. Personally I think he is a bit overrated. He has put in some good performances on a few occasions but he has bumps with other cars too often and he makes simple mistakes too often. I think he might be quite exposed up against someone like Hulkenberg. Or certainly compared to anyone in the top three teams.

    10. Is it really that “unbelievable” that Ferrari ended up imploding? By the looks of it they rushed a powertrain update in an effort to get back some of the advantage they had until their oil burning system was banned at Baku.

      It doesn’t feel like “bad luck” really either. The way I see it it’s just the heat of the battle which got to them and they cracked under the pressure. Both Vettel and Ferrari.

      Something similar happened to Mercedes in 2015 when they introduced a new engine and it had several reliability issues initially. Resulting in Rosberg blowing up his old high mileage engine at Monza when he overdid it trying to get Vettel.

      Or to Red Bull in 2015 when they told Renault to only focus on performance enhancement and not bother with reliability testing on the dyno. Horner and Marko stated this was a useless waste of time and resources. Red Bull would fix reliability issues on the track. And then they didn’t last a race on an engine. For which they obviously fully blamed Renault.

      To be honest I was expecting Mercedes to end up like that this season. Both drivers were clearly struggling Singapore and later in Malaysia as well. I was expecting some dramatic measures which might blow up in their face.

      In fact it probably even did happen sort of because Mercedes was supposed to do well at Malaysia and their slum was mostly caused by their own doing with an aero update which they didn’t seem to understand how it affected the car.

      In the end Hamilton got rid of that aero update and took pole anyway and with that the win, but Bottas was nowhere struggling with his aero update.

    11. I’m just wondering who really is pulling the strings here.

      Carlos wanted out but red bull didn’t want to let him go
      Alonso’s been moaning about the gp2 Honda pu
      McLaren lined up Sauber as Honda team 2 whilst also touting for a new supplier
      Red bull wanted a Honda pu but McLaren vetoed it
      Red bull waived their veto on McLaren having a Renault pu
      Renault have suggested they will stop supplying red bull in 2019, supposedly due to bad feelings between the 2 entities.
      Palmer had a contract for the rest of the season but now he’s out
      Gasly effectively won the Japanese super formula for Honda but will throw it away for red bulls junior team, effectively an F1 B team and Honda are ok with that
      Red bull ditched Kyvat for Gasly and now replacing Carlos with Kyvat so Carlos can go to Renault in place of Palmer.

      Non of that makes sense to me.

      Renault ditch their own guy in favour of their soon to be ex customers B team driver while telling their main customer they wont supply them beyond next season, and their wannabe competitor is happy to throw away a domestic championship so their guy can drive for an F1 B team they where effectively forced to supply as their prestigious championship winning partner has ditched them.

      Who’s the alpha who’s made all this nonsense happen?
      Why is all this happening, as in what’s in it for Renault, red bull and Honda to do all this now.

      I feel there is more to this story than meets the eye.

    12. Great choice of picture Keith

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