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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Haug confirms Kovalainen is toast

Haug confirms Kovalainen is toast GMM

McLaren's Norbert Haug has not made a secret out of the fact McLaren is searching for a new driver in 2010. The team is searching for a hungry, motivated and focused team-mate for former F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

A number of drivers have been linked to the Woking based team. Drivers such as Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and lately world champion Jenson Button. According to Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug one of them, Kimi Raikkonen, is an option but not the only option for the team. "Kimi is an option, but there are lots of options around," Haug told Autosport. "One thing is for sure though - guys who are out for money are not the right ones for us - whoever it may be. "I won't name anyone, but we want to have full commitment from someone who is success-oriented, not someone saying 'I am a big name, pay me a lot of money and I will drive for you.'

"The team has to be convinced that a driver is hungry, motivated, focused, and that his first thought is not to get more money. We have shown our level of competitiveness - Lewis has scored race wins and podiums, and beaten the guys that have been going for the title this year.

"It shows that we are going in the right direction. We have stabilized this year, and we have a seat to offer in a race-winning car. There are probably three, four, five teams maximum that can offer that."
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 09:47 AM
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What Norbert Haug says is true. My personal favourite right now is Rosberg. Last year when Honda capitulated and Button was available, I wanted McLaren to get him at that time.

However after JB had a great car this year, he came off as arrogant in some races early in the season, when he was behind Rubens on the track and would say uncomplimentary things about RBs race pace, which we have since found out was due to a brake situation that was not favourable to Rubens style of driving.

As it turned out, Button couldn't secure the WDC until the penultimate race of the season after such a huge advantage in the beginning of the season and now, not even a week has passed and his mgr. is already making waves about JBs salary.

Too much drama for me from a guy who is quite simply very boring to watch. I mean, he barely was able to get past a neophyte F1 rookie racer in Kobayashi and only secured his championship because of the first lap crash.

Lewis Hamilton otoh passed JB and RB and ended up on the podium after starting from further back on the grid. THAT is committed race craft. Nuff said!

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 12:07 PM
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This has been one of those "one off" years. JB is fast but without the best equipment under him (and Brawn was the best car out there) he is a mid pack runner at best.
Rubens is a good guy and still pretty fast but his best days are behind him. I would like to see him at USGP so someone that really knows something about car development can get the car "hopefully" competitive..
Now you have Nico who has the talent but has not IMHO showed much of it this year. Kimi is probably the fastest guy out there (when he wants to be) and I think going back to McLaren would be a plus for him and the team. Mind you I am no fan of McLaren but I would be happy to see Kimi in a top team for a go at a 2nd WDC title.
The fun of it next year is how will Alonso handle Massa. Massa will be hungry and he has a target in the likes of Alonso. I don't think Massa will put up the the games Alonso tries to play (remember Alonso holding Hamilton up on the pit stop at McLaren?).
Getting back to McLaren putting Kimi in the car and now having two World Champions duke it out will be hours of fun to watch.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 12:17 PM
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I thought NR was to replace RB at Brawn, rumor of KR back to McLaren. But KR doesn't want to any pr stuff, wait a minute, wasn't that the case the last time he was there?
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifari View Post
What Norbert Haug says is true. My personal favourite right now is Rosberg. Last year when Honda capitulated and Button was available, I wanted McLaren to get him at that time.

However after JB had a great car this year, he came off as arrogant in some races early in the season, when he was behind Rubens on the track and would say uncomplimentary things about RBs race pace, which we have since found out was due to a brake situation that was not favourable to Rubens style of driving.

As it turned out, Button couldn't secure the WDC until the penultimate race of the season after such a huge advantage in the beginning of the season and now, not even a week has passed and his mgr. is already making waves about JBs salary.

Too much drama for me from a guy who is quite simply very boring to watch. I mean, he barely was able to get past a neophyte F1 rookie racer in Kobayashi and only secured his championship because of the first lap crash.

Lewis Hamilton otoh passed JB and RB and ended up on the podium after starting from further back on the grid. THAT is committed race craft. Nuff said!
ifari,

The Brawn car started off with an advantage and when it was there Button made the most of it. Rubens did struggle with the brakes and mid season some material changes were made to the composition of the brakes which threw the intiative back to Rubens. By this time Brawn GP's advantage was dwindling and by Brazil it was the third fastest car after the Red Bulls and McLaren. Fact is, Jenson made the most of his opportunities but he needs a car that suits his driving style and he lacks that ability to man-handle a less than perfectly balanced car. Give him a car that suits him and he is just as quick as any of current top drivers.

In Brazil Hamilton started 18th on the grid because in qualifying the car was set up for a dry race but qualifying was in torrents of rain. The race was dry so the McLaren set-up was perfect and in starting from 18th they could also plan their fuel strategy.

In 2007 Hamilton blew a 17 point lead in the final two races and last year he scraped home by one point when he just managed to get fifth place in the final 1000 metres of the race. Hardly impressive but even the mighty Schumacher wobbled a number of times when closing out a Championship.

Apart from once Button has scored points in every race so far this season and unlike Hamilton in his two title chasing seasons has made no mistakes in the races. His mistakes came in qualifying but as he is probably one of the best late-brakers in F1 he can do something very rare in GP racing which is to overtake.

Kobayashe was lucky not to be facing a penalty in Brazil. He was wild and Button was right to be careful but he dispatched him easily.

This was Button's first opportunity to win a WDC and he did it with a race to spare, without deliberately crashing into a rival, without whingeing about his team-mate or blaming anyone other than himself. Unusually he doesn't appear to have an enemy in the paddock, is articulate and honest. Given the scandals that have and continue to surround F1 he is exactly the kind or role model that the sport needs.

I for one don't blame him for negotiating as hard as he can and now is the time to capitalize on his position. For what its worth I think he will stay with Brawn.

Last edited by SSL; 10-25-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-25-2009, 07:16 PM
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McLaren blew the lead for Lewis and let's not forget that Lewis was a rookie in '07, whereas Button is now in his 9th season.

NO rookie has shown skill and race craft like Lewis Hamilton in the history of F1 and that is why he lead the championship for most of '07 and became WDC in only his second season despite the best efforts of the maFIA to thwart him and McLaren.

If that was not impressive, I don't know what is!

As I recall the only whinging was from Alonso in '07 and since he couldn't handle the pressure he left Macca. LOL.

Let's face it, Norbert has expressed the right sentiment and for the right reasons.
Alonso has done zilch for Renault and if he were such a great driver and car developer, one would think he could have helped them progress further, but instead they were reduced to cheating in Singapore last year. Ignoble is the type of champion he has proven to be.

Kimi was to be heir apparent to Schumacher, but he also couldn't handle Lewis, thus he has been dropped by Ferrari.

Next year when Lewis whips Alonso again, THEN you will see some serious whinging!

Kobayashi drove far better than you give him credit for and no one was luckier than Button at the start of this season to have had the advantage he got from the diffuser controversy.

Look at Brazil anyway you wish, but the reality shows that Lewis started further back and even pitted after the first lap crash and yet still he passed more drivers and finished ahead of both Brawns.

Lewis accepted an offer paying $300,000 to drive for McLaren as a rookie in '07 and immediately showed EXACTLY what Norbert is professing now. Macca had often asked drivers to accept performance based contracts, but since Alonso seemed the equal of Schumacher, they paid him very well. BUT he was frazzled by the rookie Lewis Hamilton.

After that experience, Macca and Norbert Haug are simply stating the obvious and that is ...'nut up or shut up!' LOL

Lewis had gotten a pay raise ($100mil/5yrs.) commensurate with his skill level and seeing as that was after only his 2nd season in F1, heaven help the rest when he gets a better raise after even more F1 experience!

P.S....I must edit....because Lewis' raise came after only his FIRST season in F1.
P.P.S....I'll close with this... Macca and Mercedes know REAL talent when they see it and now will ONLY pay when they see it!

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Last edited by ifari; 10-25-2009 at 07:40 PM.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifari View Post
McLaren blew the lead for Lewis and let's not forget that Lewis was a rookie in '07, whereas Button is now in his 9th season.

NO rookie has shown skill and race craft like Lewis Hamilton in the history of F1 and that is why he lead the championship for most of '07 and became WDC in only his second season despite the best efforts of the maFIA to thwart him and McLaren.

If that was not impressive, I don't know what is!

As I recall the only whinging was from Alonso in '07 and since he couldn't handle the pressure he left Macca. LOL.

Let's face it, Norbert has expressed the right sentiment and for the right reasons.
Alonso has done zilch for Renault and if he were such a great driver and car developer, one would think he could have helped them progress further, but instead they were reduced to cheating in Singapore last year. Ignoble is the type of champion he has proven to be.

Kimi was to be heir apparent to Schumacher, but he also couldn't handle Lewis, thus he has been dropped by Ferrari.

Next year when Lewis whips Alonso again, THEN you will see some serious whinging!

Kobayashi drove far better than you give him credit for and no one was luckier than Button at the start of this season to have had the advantage he got from the diffuser controversy.

Look at Brazil anyway you wish, but the reality shows that Lewis started further back and even pitted after the first lap crash and yet still he passed more drivers and finished ahead of both Brawns.

Lewis accepted an offer paying $300,000 to drive for McLaren as a rookie in '07 and immediately showed EXACTLY what Norbert is professing now. Macca had often asked drivers to accept performance based contracts, but since Alonso seemed the equal of Schumacher, they paid him very well. BUT he was frazzled by the rookie Lewis Hamilton.

After that experience, Macca and Norbert Haug are simply stating the obvious and that is ...'nut up or shut up!' LOL

Lewis had gotten a pay raise ($100mil/5yrs.) commensurate with his skill level and seeing as that was after only his 2nd season in F1, heaven help the rest when he gets a better raise after even more F1 experience!

P.S....I must edit....because Lewis' raise came after only his FIRST season in F1.
P.P.S....I'll close with this... Macca and Mercedes know REAL talent when they see it and now will ONLY pay when they see it!
ifari,

Don't get me wrong. Personally I think that Hamilton is currently the best driver in F1 and as his experience increases he is only going to get stronger. Of course he did well in his rookie season because he is extremely talented but don't forget that he is the best prepared new-comer ever to enter F1 and he jumped straight into a championship winning car which he has had at his disposal for two out of three seasons.

But a poor car hides driver talent and for the first half of this season he was running at the back. Button has never had a winning car at his disposal until this year. Sure he had the 2004 Honda but it was best of the rest after the all conquering Ferrari of that year.

Jenson has admitted that his nerves and the pressure got to him but he has successfully put together a Championship winning season.

My point was not to belittle Hamilton's achievements but to give Button more credit than you seem ready to give him.

In making Button an offer to drive for them McLaren seem prepared to do this.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 04:25 AM
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[QUOTE=ifari;3782558]McLaren blew the lead for Lewis and let's not forget that Lewis was a rookie in '07, whereas Button is now in his 9th season.

NO rookie has shown skill and race craft like Lewis Hamilton in the history of F1 and that is why he lead the championship for most of '07 and became WDC in only his second season despite the best efforts of the maFIA to thwart him and McLaren.

LH is a talented driver as he has shown, yet few drivers, (as SSL mentions) in the past at least, have been put in a championship capable car. That's just how F1 used to work.
Many would pay to ride in a backmarker team car to get their name out to the big boys.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 05:11 PM
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Agreed.....

Let's remember though that Lewis Hamilton had shown great skill and ambition from an early age and because of this, he was mentored by Ron Dennis.

Lewis' is a fantastic story!

Not too many people are capable of fulfilling their life's dreams and making history in the process.

Yet still, Lewis Hamilton did both!

Although knowing that Lewis was well prepared, he rose admirably to the challenge and did far more than was expected of him as an underpaid F1 rookie. It justified fully Ron Dennis' belief in his abilities and that is why he deserved a seat at a great team like Macca.

Ron Dennis and McLaren have had some of the absolute best drivers racing for them thru-out their F1 tenure and Lewis Hamilton delivered immediately when given the opportunity.

By that same logic, more seasoned drivers (Alonso, Kimi, Massa) did not meet their expectations although they have far more experience than LH in an F1 car... and... they got help from teammates and/or suspect officals.

Who the cap fits....let them wear it. Or in this case, who the car/team fits...let them drive it!

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Last edited by ifari; 10-26-2009 at 05:48 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2009, 10:36 PM
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Lewis Hamilton has been carefully nurtured and groomed through McLarens driver program.
Not to take away from Hamilton's achievements u to now, but I don't recall a rookie starting off in a top competitive car like Lewis did.
I rate Rosberg, Kubica, and even Sutil as high as Hamilton.
IMO, at present Alonso is the best driver out there, even though he is driving a dog of a car.

Schumacher had a driving style different from the other drivers:
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