2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 36

Grand Prix                          Date                                     Tire Compounds      

Italian Grand Prix              September 5-7             Hard/Medium

Singapore Grand Prix       September 19-21         Medium/Supersoft

Japanese Grand Prix        October 3-5


Mercedes Roundtable

The excitement surrounding the Mercedes Formula 1 team has continued leading into Monza and once again the message is that everything in Brackley is sorted out between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

It brings back me back to Han Solo sweet talking storm troopers in the original Stars Wars

Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

Here’s how that are worked out.  Hamilton, Rosberg, Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe all met in the boardroom of Mercedes headquarters.  Nico took responsibility for the incident and apologized for a lack of judgment.  Mercedes announced “suitable disciplinary measures” have been taken and they are moving forward with full faith in their drivers and their capabilities.

Mercedes have also reiterated that both drivers understand the number one rule…no contact between the two Mercedes cars on the track.


Formula One Testing Preparations, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday 28 January 2014.








Nico and Lewis also released statements in the faith of kumbaya.

Nico acknowledged an error in judgment and accepted responsibility.  He also said he understands the “no contact” requirement and is committed to his responsibility racing for team Mercedes.

Lewis also released a statement.  He emphasized his commitment to a clean fight, and winning and losing together as a team.  He also brought up the long history of racing with Nico and how there exists a deep foundation upon which to move forward.









It was a well crafted Mercedes response and about all they could do to manage this situation.  So, relax everyone, all is better with Mercedes and we will have peace and harmony for the rest of the season!

There is only one problem….there’s no way it will happen!

It has to do with the transformation that occurs when a championship caliber driver straps on a helmet and Supersuit!.

Once Nico and Lewis suit up and the engines fire, the competitive power that drives these two awesome racers will take over and fuel the remainder of a season that could be one for the ages as we complete these next 7 races.

None of the words from the boardroom will be echoing inside those helmets the next time the lights go out and the Mercedes duo approach a hotly contested corner entry. This will become only more intense if Hamilton is able to close the 29 point gap in the next race or so.

We’ve only just started folks and the Rettifilo chicane at Monza is calling when the 5 blink out.

Stay tuned.  They may behave at Monza, but all bets are off for the rest of the season.


The Italian Grand Prix has historically been run at the high speed Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit.  The fastest of all, Monza is a horsepower track where engines and brakes are under tremendous strain each lap.  Over 70% of each lap is run under full power so expect your Mercedes powered teams to do well this week.

The high speeds necessary at Monza usually dictate a low downforce set up that makes the characteristic fast corners such as Curva Grande, the 2 Lesmos and Paroblica quite diabolical.  Engineers are constantly looking to balance speed and aero, many running small rear wings specifically created for Monza.

One change this year to the Italian circuit is that a paved run off area has been added to the famous Parobolica curve.  We will have to see how it shapes up, but this is bound to have a huge impact on driver approach to this corner. In the past, the Parobolica corner had a small patch of grass between the racing surface and the gravel trap awaiting a driver who attacked too aggressively on the final turn of a lap.


Now with a paved run off, the drivers will be able to be much more aggressive and the penalty for mistakes will not be a car in the gravel trap.  Expect Charlie Whiting to police this curve and penalize drivers who have 4 wheels off the racing surface here.

With Monza being a home race for the Italian Tifosi and Ferrari, it would be nice to see Ferrari perfrom well as they did at Spa.  Williams will also need to score here if they are to catch Ferrari for third place in the constructor’s race.








American Alexander Rossi

At Drafting the Circuits, we like to pay particular attention to American competitors vying to make their name in Formula 1.  Alexander Rossi is one of those drivers we have been watching and rooting for.

Rossi was a Caterham driver who was released when Caterham changed ownership.  He was quickly picked up by Marussia as a reserve driver and when Max Chilton had contract issues, Marussia tabbed Rossi to run the weekend at Spa.  What was to be Rossi’s Formula 1 debut, ended after FP1 when Chilton was given the race seat back.

Rossi has been mentioned as a possible FP1 driver for the United States Grand Prix in Austin.