Grand Prix 2019 Spanish Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

When my mind turned to the Spanish gp I was thinking that Fernando Alonso was of course the big name there. Then I tried to think of other successful Spanish drivers and I drew a blank. I can name other Spanish drivers of course, but not one who was what you might call successful. So I got auntie google to give me a hand and I was surprised to find that there hasn't been another Spanish F1 champion, ever, not even another gp winner which astounded me to be honest.

However Spain has had lots of F1 races at various different tracks over the years, indeed in 2013 they celebrated their centenary of hosting F1 races, yet apart from Fernando Alonso they haven't managed to produce an F1 champion. Then again they've never produced a winning team either, their only team entry being the HRT Team, formerly Hispania Racing and Campos Meta 1 (no, I don't remember them being called Campos Meta either). Sadly the team, started by a former F1 driver who had an unsuccessful F1 career in the 1980s, Adrian Campos, didn't last long and didn't make much of an impression on F1 in their brief stint from 2010 to 2012, though they had some decent drivers. The best result they could manage came in the Turkish gp in 2011 when Vitantonio Liuzzi finished as high as... 13th. Not even in the points, bless them. Even Daniel Ricciardo couldn't get them into anything like contention for a shoey. There was almost a second Spanish F1 team when in 2009 Joan Villadelprat announced his Epsilon Euskadi team, but they never actually made it onto the grid despite doing their best to get there over a couple of seasons. For one reason or another the FIA never granted them the chance to even turn a wheel in anger despite them having a team, a car, a budget, even a wind tunnel and solid plans in place to compete for up to four seasons according to them.

Google and I did some more digging then and I found that although we've had other Spanish drivers in F1 they really haven't done that well despite being in some decent cars over recent years, Carlos Sainz Jnr. just hasn't had the impact of his former team mate Max Verstappen, though many say he's his equal if only he'd been given the same chances. Pedro de la Rosa and Alfonso de Portago (mid 1950s) are the only other Spanish drivers to ever to grace an F1 podium. Marc Gene hardly shone in the sport and Jaime Alguesauri, who at that time was the youngest driver in F1, had a lacklustre time at Toro Rosso before he was dropped and that was the end of his F1 career. There were several other Spanish F1 drivers over the years but none of them really made much impact. Most didn't score a single point, one never even got beyond qualifying. Only Paco Godia who raced intermitantly in the 1950s managed a grand haul of 6 championship points. Back then points were much harder to get as we all know so he did fairly well, these days all you need is a 7th place finish and you've equalled his no doubt hard won 6 points. Emilio de Villota was entered for fourteen races over four years and only managed to start two of them which just shows how tough it was back then to even make it to the starting grid.

Maybe it is just a lack of interest by the country as a whole in F1 that has held them back, or perhaps it's a lack of money. Other sports seem more important to them like football, basketball, tennis, cycling and golf. They have produced some magnificent football teams and some fine champions in other sports over the years, they've done well in everything they take part in it seems. Everyone has heard of Alonso, also Nadal, Sanchez Vicaria, Sainz Snr., Ballesteros, Olazabal, and Garcia to name but a few. The Spanish football team have won the Euro's three times in all and in 2010 the World Cup as well. The Spanish Roller Hockey team has had even more success, they have won the world championships fourteen times and been second twelve times having done equally as well in the European Championships with fourteen wins and fifteen second places. So it's odd to me that a country of that size, and one that is clearly interested in a varied range of competitive sports, has had so little influence in F1 over the years.

There's no doubting that Alonso has been one of those characters that divides the fans. He made several questionable choices and moves in his career and I came to realise he's another one of those Marmite drivers, most people either like him or loathe him. However you feel about him he's currently the only winner of an F1 race in a country the size of Spain with the long F1 history it has. I still find that amazing.

To more current matters now. In 2018 your pole sitter was Hamilton and your podium was 1st Hamilton, 2nd Bottas, 3rd Verstappen. Who will be standing there this year? Daniel Ricciardo already has a 3 place grid penalty for his little incident in Baku with Daniil Kvyat, naughty Daniel. Based on last years results it's likely to be another 'exciting' Mercedes one, two result unless Ferrari can finally find that testing form which promised so much but has delivered so little so far.
 
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
Publius Cornelius Scipio Except they aint running the team properly .. its more "It aint my problem its his problem "mentality at Ferrari

Most of the chiefs are Italian, the main designer is Italian and the team principal is Italian
They all want to be in charge except at the crucial moments they go awol or duck out
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Half the time Ferrari does seem to be indecisive especially when their drivers are refusing to budge saying their faster and just holding each other up

Baku - Le Clerc could have and should have got pole - why send him out on tyres which are colder and risk crashing which he did

What should be a great battle between Ferrari and Mercedes is looking a serious thrashing . Its too early to say whitewash but surely Ferrari are not going to end up not winning a race this season?
 

Izumi

Banned
Seems to be some stereotyping going on here.
I would rather suggest a lot of rude and off the wall comments going on. To denigrate Italian mind as we read on these pages is at the high school level trolling, if not borderline racist.

People are ignoring how we got to this point. To me it rather looks like teams have not yet fully recovered from doldrums imposed upon teams by regulatory, police like cuffs in 2014. It is continuing struggle to catch the front team. Mercedes was, is, and for a wile will be at the front due to having luxury of improving what was already well designed car. Ferrari and others are still correcting errors of the past, of which Allison was certainly part off, speaking about Ferrari. Teams cannot test, and then when race is on, then they are learning what they have done (wrong again). Empirical, just as systematic development is way of life for the engineer, however it doesn't mean they are inept. Pushing borders poses acceptable risk of being wrong.

Late introduction of a new tire late in a season, and after the car is designed in vacuum is of course not solving anything. Not for fans, and not for the team, and corrective measures undertaken during a season are costly, as I suspect, in more than just in one frontline. We could speak whether F1 is actually managed well letting this go on for so long.
 
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vintly

Mostly bacon
Premium Contributor
EB0B6E25-EE12-46E9-9FAE-E6B2E3649253.jpeg
Still in Barca soaking up some sun, fine company and plenty of food n drink. Currently in Plaça Reial and not bad it is too. I’ll get some pics and a vid of the start up tomorrow. Cheers all!
 
I would rather suggest a lot of rude and off the wall comments going on. To denigrate Italian mind as we read on these pages is at the high school level trolling, if not borderline racist.

People are ignoring how we got to this point. To me it rather looks like teams have not yet fully recovered from doldrums imposed upon teams by regulatory, police like cuffs in 2014. It is continuing struggle to catch the front team. Mercedes was, is, and for a wile will be at the front due to having luxury of improving what was already well designed car. Ferrari and others are still correcting errors of the past, of which Allison was certainly part off, speaking about Ferrari. Teams cannot test, and then when race is on, then they are learning what they have done (wrong again). Empirical, just as systematic development is way of life for the engineer, however it doesn't mean they are inept. Pushing borders poses acceptable risk of being wrong.

Late introduction of a new tire late in a season, and after the car is designed in vacuum is of course not solving anything. Not for fans, and not for the team, and corrective measures undertaken during a season are costly, as I suspect, in more than just in one frontline. We could speak whether F1 is actually managed well letting this go on for so long.

my friend thanks for the first sentence.

And finally a sensible post about how F1 as a whole got to this stage (and why things are not improving)
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
is F1 in crisis is all i can think. because i dont blame the dominant team in because they have a great job produced a great car. been abit lucky bit opportunistic & in 3 races clearly better. & like guy called Phil taylor said when he was in process of making 14 straight world championship finals & losing 1 game between 1995 & 2006. its not my job to come down their level, its their job to come up to mine. but if mercedes keep going & we get into the dark days of 2004 & 2013. then you about viewing figures because (in the uk) whose going to pay £120 a yr for a forgone conclusion

these rules were almost brought in to stop red bull/vettel domination. i disagree its James Allison fault. its Ferrari impatience that cost them 1 of the best designers on the grid. he proved it with lotus under a tight budget & proving it with mercedes & ferrari handed him to their biggest rivals to get better he could only design 1 car & they sacked him mid season of same season. but i do agree with testing think of 2009 when McLaren could test & find 2 secs over a season Lewis Hamilton went from out in Q1 in Australia to winning in hungary. but this all comes back to money. the teams arent interested in budget caps so you they have tried reducing budgets in the wrong way including stopping testing & when in reality they have spiralled out of control i said 2017 the top 3 team spent a collective billion which worked out for 8m for 1 car in 1 weekend. the hybrids that were demanded by the teams have been a disaster especially as Horner said its cheaper to run the V8 all season than to run restricted 3 power units a season
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
But surely the rules are to blame. I don't claim to understand them all, someone else is going to have to help me out here, but didn't they bring in an engine development freeze, so once Mercedes had the best engine there is simply no way anyone else can get to their level?

That is how I understand it anyway, I could be wrong, (it wouldn't be the first time). If that is the case though Ferrari are always going to be on the back foot.

Ferrari have made some errors, actually quite a few errors to be fair, but some of that is smelling to me like desperation, just as it is/was with Vettel. I get the feeling the whole team really don't know what else to do in order to win, so they're trying things that just won't work which is making matters worse. It's not an Italian thing, or me having a dig at Ferrari, no way. Hell my two current favourite drivers on the grid drive for them, I am equally as desperate to see them do well. They just seem to be floundering for whatever reason and that makes me really sad. On paper they should be winning races and they're not, now if someone could just wave their magic wand and make clear what it is they need to do in order for that to happen, I'd be very grateful!
 
i disagree its James Allison fault. its Ferrari impatience that cost them 1 of the best designers on the grid.

I wonder when someone here will claim that Ferrari is at fault for climate change, for famine in Africa and for terrorism, seriously sometimes I think that we are talking about the devil itself

James Allison needed to spend time with his children after the loss of his wife, how do you suppose that he could have continued to work in Italy when his children where in England? unless of course you blame Ferrari for not relocating to England
 
But surely the rules are to blame.

If the rules are designed to stifle competition it looks obvious to me that the rules are a significant part of the problem. Mercedes did a great job but let's not forget that they started working on the current PU nearly two years before they imposed such rules on all the rest, so everyone else was 2 years behind. The fact that since the beginning of the PU here the pecking order hasn't changed IMHO speaks volumes about how the rules have impacted F1, in a sense they have been designed to prevent the runner up to catch the leading car, and as a matter of fact this is what has happened (despite claims that Ferrari had the best car and that it's Vettel's falut, or the Italians fault, if they didn't win).

Without constantly rewriting the rules the other teams would have probably been able to close the gap, same for testing, if yopu ban testing you ban improvements. And I'm not even going into the tokens system

Mercedes built a very good package but their record before the current set of rules was implemented wasn't great, maybe the fact that they came up with such rules (something that to my knowledge no ones has contested) has some impact on the end results.

So IMHO Mercedes greatest achivement was not building a great PU and a strong car, it was having the power and the ability for force a set of rules that they had designed, that they had started working well ahead of the competition, and to top it all up to force rules specifically designed to stifle competition.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
I wonder when someone here will claim that Ferrari is at fault for climate change, for famine in Africa and for terrorism, seriously sometimes I think that we are talking about the devil itself

James Allison needed to spend time with his children after the loss of his wife, how do you suppose that he could have continued to work in Italy when his children where in England? unless of course you blame Ferrari for not relocating to England

Sergio Marchionne gets realistic and admits 2016 F1 season a failure for Ferrari

Screenshot_20190514-230747.jpg
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
It's interesting to hear the dominance of Ferrari in the early 00s and Red Bull in the early teenies called the dark days. Mercedes current period of dominance is actually far more prolonged and far superior in terms of results and time gap then either of those two periods. 5 1-2s in a row is pretty unheard of. If you go back to 1988 McLaren won every race but one and this season is starting to feel a bit like that.

What's the solution? I don't know. Merc have built the best car and have the best driver. You can point to the larger budget in relation to most of the field but Ferrari can match them for budget but just seen incapable of matching them on the track. Whatever is going on in the sport I find it kind of weird to say that F1 was only the 5th most interesting single seater Motorsport series I watched this weekend!
 

Izumi

Banned
Cause & Effect has been discussed. Problem is, people are ignoring it, but there is a solution if it is wanted. With respect to best driver note, I would submit proposition that there are currently another 5 to 7 drivers on the grid who would look just as good in the same car, especially when competition is being held back for a decade or more by inept and anti-competitive regulations. Commercial rights holder and FiA should have been in courts over that long time ago. (And NO, it is not all about size of the annual budget.) Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus as a greatest strategist of his era has this point right.
 
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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I think there are 7 drivers on the grid who would be winning like Hamilton is but I'm not sure about achieving the level of dominance. Hamilton's consistency and form over last 12 months or more is hard to argue with. Yes I know a lack of pressure probably helps but still wouldn't get against him currently.

As for other stuff mentioned. I shrug my shoulders and stick my hands out because purely and simply I don't know. Nor do I think anyone can really claim to have a solid answer to it all who isn't in the inner workings. Problem is the inner workings seem to be more dedicated to trying to convince us what we're watching is fantastic rather than actually making it fantastic. PR over substance.
 

vintly

Mostly bacon
Premium Contributor
My photos aren't so great but here's a couple of videos with a bit of editing. Our position really shows how badly turn one affected the Ferraris, what a mess. And shows how Hammy was the only one to get the line through 1 and 2 bang on.

 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
It's interesting to hear the dominance of Ferrari in the early 00s and Red Bull in the early teenies called the dark days.

they were the dark days & dont get me wrong in my post im every bit as scathing comparing this to the them days but I dont blame Mercedes they arent ones making the rules
 

Angel

Race Winner
Contributor
vintly Great footage :thumbsup: thanks for sharing that. It sort of shows Seb almost backing right out of it, compared to the other cars he seems to pretty much stop. I'm not sure whether he should have done that or pushed on, if he had there could well have been contact I guess and it was better to survive and fight on later.
 

Izumi

Banned
I think there are 7 drivers on the grid who would be winning like Hamilton is but I'm not sure about achieving the level of dominance. Hamilton's consistency and form over last 12 months or more is hard to argue with. Yes I know a lack of pressure probably helps but still wouldn't get against him currently.

As for other stuff mentioned. I shrug my shoulders and stick my hands out because purely and simply I don't know. Nor do I think anyone can really claim to have a solid answer to it all who isn't in the inner workings. Problem is the inner workings seem to be more dedicated to trying to convince us what we're watching is fantastic rather than actually making it fantastic. PR over substance.
I beg to disagree. Comparing hybrid era with any "dynasties" of the past is totally off the mark. (Subject already has been discussed on this forum.)

People who are working (or worked) in industrial operations have pretty accurate, even if not direct, understanding how a car (here a prototype) is made, how long it takes, and what it takes. It might be a black box to an outsider, but not to everyone who is outside of the paddock. Normative references and product development with testing is pretty much rudimentary science in ENG101. F1 is no different. This is not just an empty whistling into wind. Some fans understand advantage Mercedes holds over its competitors, and it is not level playing field on technical side as far as this fan is concerned. (Internat budget is again something else, but that's in my mind secondary factor.)
 
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