Join Paul and me as we discuss the German Grand Prix. I must apologize up front for my poor audio as I had a slight microphone tragedy as my headset died just prior to recording and my Shure USB as well as AKG USB mic’s were not in my studio.The result is the charming audio you have here of a person using the old built-in microphone for which many should be arrested for using. I have edited it as best I could (you should have heard the raw recording) and promise to have my sorry situation sorted by next week. Don’t blame Paul, he was early and ready to go with his standard setup, I was not. How embarrassing!


An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Jack Flash (Aust)

    [1]. Wow. You weren’t kidding about “bathroom audio” Todd from the monitor-MIC. LoL.
    …and that was the post-processed NC audio version!

    [2]. The radio instruction to Webber on the formation lap was I think… “Mark, remember to tap-engage the first clutch paddle if you experience wheel slip at the start….” (or something to that affect). I did not hear any radio instructions to Mark of throttle non-modulation or throttle-hold instructions on a wheel slip scenario. This mesage seems to describe a paddle based slip/bogdown control procedure. I have the SkyF1 race broadcast recorded at home. I will review this part of the audio to transcibe the exact radio message (to the best of my hearing of course). I won’t be able to do that for a fews days though; I am interstate on Business at the moment.
    Can somemone else confirm?

    [3]. Donkey of the Race: no prizes for guessing who my vote is going to. Still very annoyed at the RBR pitcrew (that’s a G-rated description of my real feelings). X-(

    Jack Flash

    • I know! Hate it that the audio is so dodgy but I’ll have it sorted next week. Got caught without a mic and that’s never a good scenario. :) Hopefully you folks can afford me the one off occasion of crappy audio. ;)

      • It just showed you’re only human! Great job as always, very entertaining.

        • Thanks Christy. It’s really in bad taste and I can’t believe the luck but thanks for your encouragement. I’ll do better next time…promise. You deserve better. :)

          • MIE

            Can you provide a link to the podcast in a cave, that should show how the audio has improved?

  • pear-shaped pete

    I heard engineer say something like” If you encounter wheelslip….. keep the throttle on” or something like that. My first reaction was “Yeah that’lll help!” but on reflection it probably is better than bogging with a throttle off – stalling reaction. Anyway it seemed to work. I would imagine Webber’s best start since Silverstone ’10 (stolen wing edition). Imagine MW nailing every start from here to end of year!

    pear-shaped pete

    • pear-shaped pete

      Actually I just rewatched and voice (I presume Simon Rennie -engineer) says “Mark , if you feel some wheelslip….- hold the throttle” Great advice applicable from Monaco GP to a burnout in Dandenong. Or Hollywood movie even.

      Glad to see the cameraman not more serious than his unfortunate injuries already are, that reqlly was a hard hit he took.

      At the time my gut instinct was that Red Bull should have taken the risk with Webber and left him out another lap. Vettel had Hamilton covered, and Grosjean was still hammering on his option tyres. A risk, but I thought pitting Webber the wrong call. Unless you want to deny him any chance of an “overcut” which may have been the case for Horner/Marko.

      On the issue of rolling cars left in neutral, I thought Massa’s car was left on a bigger slope than Bianchis. Maybe Feliipe left it in gear….or Maybe his rear brakes were still locked!

      pear-shaped pete

  • Andreas

    Re Alonso stopping right after the flag – I too don’t know why, but assume it to be because they were marginal on fuel. There’s no penalty for stopping on the cool-down lap, as long as you have enough fuel left to provide the 1L sample of course. It’s after qualifying that you need to drive back to the pits under your own power before providing the 1L sample. Unless it’s a Force Majeure situation, in which case you have to have the amount needed to get back to the pits + the 1L sample. But stopping on the track afte the race is ok, as far as I can read in the regs. You still need to put the steering wheel back and leave the car in neutral, so stopping in an up- or downhill section isn’t the best place, as Marussia noticed :-)

  • MIE

    AUTOSPORT have a quote from Ferrari about Alonso’s stopping on the slow down lap:

    “At the end, we stopped because we wanted to make sure that we had the fuel needed for the regulation [sample],” said Domenicali.

    In particular he stated that Alonso’s limited fuel did not compromise he ability to chase Grosjean for third.

  • danfgough

    I read on another site race review (sorry!) that their view was that Webber left the confines of the track on the run down to turn one and therefore should have received a drivethrough. I didn’t comment on their troll-infested site (Hooray for D&C!) but I wanted to get the F1B view of it?

    Personally I thought there were different rules for the start, so there is no issue but was wondering if anyone else noticed this?

    • Jack Flash (Aust)

      How is that penalty scenario possible? Webber passed Hamilton on the outside of the acute turn 1. Any leaving of track on the outside of turn 1 to avoid collision or make the turn is not a shortcut – it’s a long way round. I am sure that the stewards would not have viewed a turn 1 lap 1 sojourn at that outer point as intolerably unfair. Had Webber cut the inside of turn 2 directly thereafter, I am sure the stewards would have issued a drive thru. As it was… he didn’t… so no Stewards disciplinary action. JF

      • Andreas

        I watched the start again, and for sure Webber was way outside the track on the exit of turn 1. There’s a bit of track there to bypass the Mercedes Arena section, and he had a good car’s width between his inside tyres and the line. However, he was not the only one to go wide there – both Vettel and Hamilton were right on the limit there too, as well as others further back in the pack. But Webber had already passed – and got in front of – Hamilton before they even turned into the corner. So the fight he was involved in when he went (some would say “was forced”) wide was actually with Vettel, not Hamilton. And Vettel came out in front, so no action needed. Had he passed Vettel by running that wide, it might have been a different story. That’s how I saw it, at least.

        • MIE

          In last season’s German GP Vettel was penalised for going wide on the exit of the hairpin, however in that case it was to stay in front of Button. In Webber’s case this year he lost a position to Vettel through going wide, so as Andreas said above no penalty.

  • Toogood2tell

    Agree on your thoughts about the FIA mandate for the drivers to put the steering wheel back on the stricken car. Last race was not the first time, when the drivers were risking their lives to avoid stupid cost.

    Talking of stupid things, our friends the race stewards were the donkeys in this race, when they got both unsafe releases wrong, and since they goofed up with the DiResta decision, they had to be consistent and topped it off with Webber’s decision. I’m not sure if the RedBull team retrieved their car from the end of the pit lane and completed the pit stop or whether Webber circulated the track on three tyres and came back. This was clear case black flag DSQ. I’m sure if JPM was still in F1 the stewards would have jumped the chance and DSQd the Colombian driver.

    In continuation with the Donkey theme, race director continued his strange streak, with the safety car decision that a) Robbed Grosjean of his race win, since he was breathing down Vettel’s neck before the safety car was deployed and safety car gave Vettel the chance to reset the race.
    b) Robbed the drivers who were benefited by Webber running a lap down and could have secured some valuable championship points. However, the safety car played into hands of both the Red Bulls for wrong reasons, thus the 30K penalty was getting off lightly.

    Given the Marussia had finally returned to safe position and could have been moved by the marshals under double yellow, the safety car effectively altered the outcome of the GrandPrix.

    Who needs sprinklers on track when you have Whiting directing the races?

    • the drivers seat

      I think once the call is made it cannot be taken back, I’m sure once Charlie saw the Car rolling he called it in immediatly

      • UAN

        saw a fan video on that, and the tractor to pick up the Marussia was right on the side of the track at that time – definitely not safe. Vettel and Grojean really had to slow on that one, a few seconds later and it could have been pretty hairy. Also from the fan video, the Marussia looked much closer to the track as well (not the same on the live feed). Good call, even in retrospect.

  • Andreas

    The RB mechanics pushed Webber’s car back through the pitlane and completed the stop, so it wasn’t a black flag scenario. The decision to deploy the safety car must have been a tough call, and more importantly a split-second one. Seeing that Marussia roll backwards out on to the track, with cars coming through the corner (the fastest corner on the circuit, btw), I can’t say that I would have had the stones to think “it’ll probably just roll over to the other side and stay there”. In hindsight, knowing how it played out, for sure we can argue that it would have been better to stay with double waved yellows. But race control needs to react to the moment, without the benefit of knowing what will happen. And once the SC is on track, you’re committed – you can’t call it back immediately.

    A safety car period always alters the course of the race. And in this case, it definitely benefitted Webber, as it put him in position to mount a charge up the order. I just don’t see what that has to do with the €30.000 fine for unsafe release. Would that fine have been less ‘getting off lightly’ if the safety car hadn’t been deployed (leaving Webber a lap down)? I just don’t see the connection.

    • Toogood2tell

      The coverage I followed didn’t show how Webber’s car was retrieved, hence I tentatively brought up the DSQ possibility.

      Given the fact that the sport, we follow uses, highly complex algorithms to calculate race strategy one end of the spectrum and on the other end, we have complete amateur mode of race control where safety car procedure lasts for 10% of the entire race length is not acceptable.

      In fact, this lack of a proper governance framework leaves FIA repeatedly with egg in its face. Not just this one, but many calls made by Whiting in his role as FIA personnel (with unclear role) makes one wonder, if Whiting indeed works for bookies to alter the outcomes of the F1 races. Mind you, we have had one instance where a team boss/driver manager banned for life for altering the outcome of race (and rightly so). With that precedent there should be more transparency in the way FIA manages race control and stewarding.

      • Andreas

        I don’t see any lack of governance with regards to the safety car either. The reason it takes a few laps (even after the problem has been taken care of) before they can resume racing is precisely because of governance. It’s in the rule book – lapped cars (Webber in this case) are to be let past so they can take their place in the queue. The idea is to let the leaders race on, once the SC as pulled in, without lapped cars impeding them. Granted, it would be quicker to let the lapped cars drop backwards and remove one lap from their tally, but that’s not how the rules are written at the moment.

    • the drivers seat

      The same thing happened to Mansell in the Honda Williams, as the rules were written then he was disquaified

      • MIE

        Didn’t Mansell drive the car in reverse (which is specifically banned in the pit lane)?

        It may be my memory, but I thought it was during his Ferrari stint as well.

        • Mechanics are allowed to pull the car back (and go through other people’s pit areas to do so) provided the car has not crossed the first pit exit line. The ban is specifically on the driver reversing it under their own power. Flintstones power is fine ;)

        • the drivers seat

          I’m not sure, I do remeber him driving flat out afterwarsd and ignoring the black flag, or was that me?

        • the drivers seat

          just checked and it was in a Williams in 1991 in Portugal

      • tom firth

        What your referring too –

  • good podcast. though the only part i disagree on is the pitlane part. there is no disagreement on the fact that it is a dangerous place, and accidents do happen. however the incident occurred because someone wasn’t paying attention to other things going on in the pitlane, and though it’s a bit harsh if people are going to be out in the pitlane they need to be very aware of everything going on around them and i think that’s independent of the number of people in a pit crew, because all of those guys are definitely on top of it. as much as i would like to get close to the action, there are some places where cameramen just shouldn’t be. could there be less people on a pit crew? yes, would longer pitstop change the spectacle, no, but part of f1 is pushing the limits and i like that is just part of the sport! i also think it’s an amazing accomplishment when you have that many people around a car, working in unison and when on tune can really make a difference in the race. a 2.5s stop vs 4s is huge in terms of track time.

    mass was definitely dog of the race. ferrari can’t afford their second driver not to be scoring that often. it’s sad when grosean is catching massa in the championship. ferrari needs two drivers pushing and scoring. massa was bake on the right track at the start of the year, but he’s fallen off. fingers crossed that hulkenberg comes in next year!

    on the note of the race. in comparison to the last few webber was definitely on tune, bested seb in most sessions, would have been a very interesting race if he didn’t have the wheel issue. i’m hoping he keeps that up to steal some points from seb and end his f1 career on a high!

    • the drivers seat

      Good points, but I think there is no way for a cameraman to be aware of his complete surroundings as they have to be focused on a single event

  • tifosi77

    Yeah, specifically wanted to chime in and echo the sentiments about there being far too many people “over the wall” in the F1 pitlane. Even without refueling, there are a minimum of 14 people servicing each car with each pitstop. At most, this should be no more than six; one per corner and the front and rear jack men. That’s it. The farce of seeing a squadron of Sparco’d dudes flailing about only increases the twin potential for errors and accidents. Do I care if a stop takes less than 3 seconds? No. Would I care if a stop took more than 10? No.

    Stopping in the pits at all used to be a bad thing. As far as I’m concerned, I’d prefer stops to be entirely optional; make a tire compound that’s hard enough to run the 190 mile race distance and one that can do roughly half that and let the teams and drivers sort out which is the best way to conduct the race. I’ve grown weary of the contrived high deg tires Pirelli has to make to satisfy the FIA.

  • tifosi77

    And another thing…. the FIA ruling that only team personnel and marshals are allowed in the pits during quali and the race almost entirely misses the point. It still means there are 2-3 times as many people as necessary in the pits to get the job done.

    • crazzzycanuuuk

      Totally agree. F1 has come a long way in safety for drivers. Baffles me why support people don’t receive the same attention. There simply isn’t any justifiable reason to put any trackside worker or pit crew person’s life at risk, particularly over a few seconds or even a few minutes in a race. If changes aren’t made there will be a much more catastrophic accident. It’s just a matter of when, not if.

    • Rapierman

      NASCAR will allow only fiver or six guys on the track at one time: One jackman, two guys with the impact wrench pulling off and putting on the lugnuts, two guys wrestling the wheels on and off and one guy putting in the fuel and/or making the chassis adjustments. In addition, there’s one NASCAR official, maybe two, checking to make sure that everything is done right. Now, why can’t the FIA do something similar to this?

  • Rapierman

    1. Well, yanno, if I can still hear and understand you, then I’m not going to worry about it. However, it does sound like you’re either in a small, empty room or you’re in a large room tightly packed with racks of clothes.

    2. At least it didn’t blow up.

    3. It’s weird: Hamilton complains, then comes up smelling like roses in the race. Makes you wonder if he’s the F1 version of a hypochondriac.

    4. So, would we expect RBR to improve their times?

    5. Surprising effort from TR.

    6. Almost worked for Ferrari, but closeness only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

    7. Nothing worse than “guess-and-gosh”.

    8. Probably the first time in a long time that Vettel got challenged.

    9. The incident with the cameraman in the pits sure didn’t help matters for Webber.

    10. F1 should also do what NASCAR does: Have marshals at each car to make sure everything is done right.

    11. I think they should have let Grosjean have a shot at Vettel, but you can’t argue with the results.

    12. Ferrari’s cars aren’t working to well if Massa can’t get out of firth gear to restart.

    13. I understand that Alonso ran out of gas.

    14. Checking the sporting regs….6.6.2: “Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the Event.”…..and…..”After a practice session, if a car has not been driven back to the pits under its own power, it will be required to supply the above mentioned sample plus the amount of fuel that would have been consumed to drive back to the pits. The additional amount of fuel will be determined by the FIA.” So, maybe they had some extra fuel saved up just in case this happened.

    15. I guess we’ll never know.

    16. Not a good day for Mercedes this time.

    17. So maybe McLaren’s starting to turn the corner?

    18. Nice improvement from Hulkenberg.

    19. Even worse, that car designer has to work for free. :-P

    20. So maybe the FIA should look into limiting the number of engineers on a team. :-P

    21. So, what happened regarding the tires (other than the fact that they weren’t working so well for FI)?

    22. Kinda hard for Williams to improve when the pit crew can’t get its act together.

    23. That’s right, lower the bar, then you’ll never be disappointed.

    24. Bianchi’s incident should bring about a ‘deadman switch’.

    25. Pass to Vettel on Hamilton. Button vs. Perez is a close second.

    26. Donkey goes to Webber/Red Bull for the loose tire hitting the cameraman.

    27. Drive to Grosjean: Outstanding race for the length of time that they allowed him to race.

  • Ab345

    Great pod and review.

    My one point is regarding Jenson’s pass on Checo that Paul lauded. 1) I think CHeco was on a 2-stopper while Jenson was on a 3-stopper, so different strategies, 2) But more importantly, I think at that point Jenson was on new option tires, while Checo was on prime’s that did not have as much grip.

    I might be wrong, but I noted the pass as well; and soon noticed that Jenson had the yellow banded tire compared to Checo’s whites.

    Not to chime in ad nauseum, but I thought the RBR release looked especially careless on first view.

  • ranger

    great podcast guys i give the donkey to the race stewards. force india’s unsafe release on a toro rosso at the BEGINNING of a race should have been an automatic drive thru not we will investigate afterwards. red bull and force india were lucky to escape with just a fine. drive of the race goes to grosjean. .todd did u know that jorge lorenzo can race with a broken collarbone. he finished 5th. great to see rossi win again.