Five talking points for Japanese GP 2014: Max Verstappen comes of driving age and question of trust at Mercedes

I have a question: Lewis Hamilton hopes for a reliable car this weekend

17-year-old Verstappen’s first test

Max Verstappen celebrated his 17th birthday on Tuesday. While most his age can
hope to have a first driving lesson upon reaching such an age, he will get a
go in this year’s Toro Rosso in free practice one in Suzuka.

It is quite a task for someone so young (he is the youngest in history by two
years). On what is widely regarded as the most challenging circuit of them
all, he will be thrown in at the deep end. In all likelihood, he will
prosper; he has the talent to do so.

The other records Max Verstappen will set his sights on…

Youngest points scorer: Daniil Kvyat, 19 years, 329 days, 2014
Australian Grand Prix

Youngest pole position: Sebastian Vettel, 21 years, 79 days, 2008
Italian Grand Prix

Youngest race win: Sebastian Vettel, 21 years, 80 days, 2008 Italian
Grand Prix

Youngest fastest lap: Nico Rosberg, 20 years, 263 days, 2006 Bahrain
Grand Prix

Youngest world champion: Sebastian Vettel, 23 years, 150 days, 2010 Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix

Age no barrier: Max Verstappen, who has just turned 17, will take part in
free practice one

But what does this tell us about Formula One? Well, according to many seasoned
observers, and greats of the sport such as four-time champion Alain Prost,
it shows the whole experience of driving is too easy. The current crop admit
it is not all that physical this year, barring the tortuous heat of
Singapore and Malaysia.

It should come as no surprise. The rulemakers are constantly taking away
downforce and engine power, leaving the cars on average five seconds slower
a lap than they were 10 years ago.

Verstappen’s is a remarkable achievement so young. But it is difficult to see
a team even contemplating putting a 17-year-old with only one year’s
experience in cars behind the wheel of an F1 car a decade ago.

Will Caterham make it through the weekend?

It is fair to say times are troubled for Caterham at the moment. They have an
ongoing legal dispute with 40 former employees, have gone through two team
principals in as many months, and are desperately short of money and speed.

Sadly for everyone at Leafield, it got worse yesterday. Bailiffs from the
Sheriffs Office – authorised by the High Court – visited
the factory and seized a number of goods
. They published a fairly
comprehensive list which included a 2013 test car, parts for this weekend’s
race (although given they will have already been shipped, that is difficult
to understand), steering wheels, and so on.

This was the team’s response: “[They are] unfounded and unsubstantiated
rumours concerning actions against 1MRT, the entrant and owner of Caterham

“An action was threatened yesterday [Wednesday] against a supplier company to
1MRT. This company is not owned by 1MRT and it has no influence over the
entry of Caterham F1 or the entrant.

“Contrary to uncontrolled rumours, all operations are currently in place at
Leafield and the race team is doing its preparation in Japan.”

When team’s start blurting out that everything is an “uncontrolled rumour”
(whatever that may be), you know they are in trouble. They insist they will
race as normal this weekend, but that remains to be seen.

Hitting the skids: Caterham’s future is up in the air

Hamilton and Rosberg do battle at the circuit of champions

After we were denied a straight fight between the Mercedes duo in Singapore,
the prospect of another on-track duel, this time at Suzuka, is
mouthwatering. After all, this is where Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost
memorably collided in 1989 and 1990.

That is the rivalry the Hamilton-Rosberg soap opera has been most readily
compared to, so it would be fitting if something similar were to unfold this

The venue could not be better. Just the name Suzuka, along with corners such
as 130R,the opening S curves, Degner, Spoon and so on, evoke images of a
track perfectly designed to test racing drivers to their absolute limits.

For Hamilton, it is an important one to win, to have on his CV if you like.
Eighteen out of the last 19 races here have been won by world champions, and
for many drivers this has been the site of their finest hour.

Fernando Alonso’s future has reached a critical juncture

The day after the Singapore Grand Prix, the Italian press were full of reports
Fernando Alonso had told Ferrari he wanted to leave. Either this is true, or
some people inside Maranello are briefing against their star driver.

Both possibilities are troubling for the Spaniard’s future. The love has long
been lost between the two in this marriage, which had come together with the
sole purpose of winning championships. Alonso is enjoying a particularly
barren year, despite some of his customary barnstorming performances, and is
known to have been looking elsewhere.

Alonso hates it as a topic of questioning, but expect more questions along
these lines this weekend.

Source Article from
Five talking points for Japanese GP 2014: Max Verstappen comes of driving age and question of trust at Mercedes
test of japanese – Yahoo News Search Results
test of japanese – Yahoo News Search Results

Leave a Reply