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Race Engineers, who would you choose?


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#1 ashnathan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:25

Firstly I thought this topic was thread worthy, its to discuss the race engineers of certain drivers that we have the privilege to listen to during race weekends and who your pick would be if you were a driver. Also I guess thread could be used to monitor engineers over the seasons, which ones annoy, which ones make massive mistakes during any given race and which are just plain not good enough.

For me, Dave Robson has seemingly come from nowhere to be Jenson's race engineer and I have to say, he has impressed the sh*t out of me, very informative, knows how to talk to a driver and has that calm about him. Also, I love it when he says "Okay Jenson yellow G1, lets get [driver]!".

Second to Dave Robson would be Rocky (not gonna bother trying to spell his full name) although I hate the sound of his voice he knows what to say and when to say it but he comes accross as too much of a dad in certain situations when Seb get's a little snappy at him over certain things. But, he is a very good race engineer.

I feel sorry for Rob Smedley we all know how good he is and can be but with Felipe these days he just spends more time asking Felipe what the problem is, or trying to coach him on how to drive the car cos Felipe somewhat struggles, Ill never forget Melbourne 2010 when he was telling Felipe how to not get wheel spin out of turn 15 haha.

Disappointing race engineer for me is Andy Latham for Lewis, sounds panicky in tense moments, sounds too frightened to give Lewis bad news or to give him any news in certain moments, number of times last year Lewis had asked what was going on because no one was talking to him, and they just don't gel like him and Phil Prew used to, he's losing out in that area vs Jenson and it clearly shows with the frustrating radio calls. I think a reshuffle is in order, it would be nice to have the successful Phil/Lewis combo back but the way they have structured that control centre I don't see it happening.

Andrea Stella is another one that seems pretty good when I can understand what hes saying haha but Kimi said he was great, Alonso seems to like him too.

What are your thoughts people? Who has impressed you the most, who has disappointed you, and if it were down to you, who would you have? (Team bias will probably play a role here but try to think of you starting your own team current teams don't matter)



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#2 Seanspeed

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:28

We're judging race engineers by what they sound like and from a few bits here and there on the radio?

You know they do a hell of a lot more than that, right?

Edited by Seanspeed, 23 March 2012 - 23:29.


#3 pingu666

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:48

yep
darien grub impressed me last season, and the guy on the radio at highcroft was really good

f1 is a personality cult of the driver, so race engineers are pretty anonomous. hard to judge them really :/

#4 ashnathan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:56

We're judging race engineers by what they sound like and from a few bits here and there on the radio?

You know they do a hell of a lot more than that, right?

Well, please Seanspeed, enlighten us with all your wealth of knowledge and please tell us all your inside info on all the race engineers because we'd love to hear it. It really doesn't surprise me though, you oppose everything I say on this forum and if you don't like the thread then don't post in it? And yes, over the last 17 years I have learnt that race engineers don't just sit on their ass and talk to the driver when he is out on track, but thankyou for pointing that out to me. But as I said, going by what we hear on tv, I made an opinion. To form an opinion on a race engineer we need to hear/see how they work/operate, and as it is limited to what we get fed from FOM then what choice do I have, call up McLaren or Red Bull and ask them to give me stats on how they're progressing? Seriously. If you would like to take part then great, if you don't want to then good day.

#5 Longtimefan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 23:59

Jo Ramirez


#6 ashnathan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:07

I should have said out of the current crop, but lets widen this whole thing, Giorgio Ascanelli was great with Senna, just shows the driver is important in the way they gel.

#7 Dunder

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:08

Impossible to judge.

#8 Elloh

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:12

Impossible to say, how much info do we got about race engineers?

#9 ashnathan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:12

Im not asking you to judge, Im asking you, if you were a driver, who would you want in your corner? And who catches your eye as a good race engineer

#10 ashnathan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:14

So far, every person bar one is a complete fence sitter, im not asking you to make a real life decision, ive said twice now, from what you see or hear, who do you find good, bad, or ugly, and if you were a drive,r who would you choose, it really isnt hard. /delete thread.

#11 miniq

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:16

Rob Smedley, A gracefull balanced fair smart character who has never shown a bad side. Who can't love this dude.

sarcasm.

#12 chrisblades85

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:18

I'm not a driver. I imagine its the team who allocates the engineer to the driver.

#13 ashnathan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:20

Oh god, please delete this thread.

#14 ClockworkRacing

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:31

Dave Robson,he just knows how to talk to the driver

#15 Sevach

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:31

Sebastian's guy, Rocky, seems to be a calming influence and always on top of things, very good interaction.
Pretty much the same situation with Button.
Hamilton and Latham don't seem to get along so well, but that doesn't make Latham imcompetent.
I get a feeling from Hamilton and Alonso like to be in control more than they like to be told what to do, only Alonso is better at understanding a race.

I seriously don't know why Smedley is rated so high, he is friends with Massa, talks to him like a kid and this result in very funny comments at times but being funny, specially to us looking from the outside, isn't his job description (i'm not at all blaming him for Massa's performance, just don't see what makes him so special).

The teaching Massa how to drive thing is ridiculous imo, this things happen every race with several drivers, including Vettel and Hamilton "Sebastian we need you to take less speed into turn x to protect your tires".






#16 ashnathan

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:36

Sebastian's guy, Rocky, seems to be a calming influence and always on top of things, very good interaction.
Pretty much the same situation with Button.
Hamilton and Latham don't seem to get along so well, but that doesn't make Latham imcompetent.
I get a feeling from Hamilton and Alonso like to be in control more than they like to be told what to do, only Alonso is better at understanding a race.

I seriously don't know why Smedley is rated so high, he is friends with Massa, talks to him like a kid and this result in very funny comments at times but being funny, specially to us looking from the outside, isn't his job description (i'm not at all blaming him for Massa's performance, just don't see what makes him so special).

The teaching Massa how to drive thing is ridiculous imo, this things happen every race with several drivers, including Vettel and Hamilton "Sebastian we need you to take less speed into turn x to protect your tires".

Go back and watch the Aus gp from 2010, even Martin Brundle made the comment, he wasn't saying it like that, he was telling him, by not being aggressive on the throttle out of turn 15 he will get less wheelspin....that is just common sense. It was almost as if Massa had never driven a car before. I suggest you go watch it. I know what you're saying, but it wasn't like that at all.

#17 as65p

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:37

Jo Ramirez


I hope you're joking? Good guy, but he's as much a race engineer as I am. That means not very much, BTW.  ;)

#18 Sevach

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:57

Go back and watch the Aus gp from 2010, even Martin Brundle made the comment, he wasn't saying it like that, he was telling him, by not being aggressive on the throttle out of turn 15 he will get less wheelspin....that is just common sense. It was almost as if Massa had never driven a car before. I suggest you go watch it. I know what you're saying, but it wasn't like that at all.


You are the guy who doesn't remember, he was telling Massa to "kill" the speed into the final corner and then blast away rather than trying to carry speed through the corner, he basically told Massa stop trying to open a gap to the faster RBR's and Mclaren's behind him and focus on defending his position (not how to drive his car in clear air), he was awfully descriptive which was embarassing.

Anyway, i don't think he is anything special, then again neither is Massa.

#19 Elloh

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 00:59

that guy kimi got, what a sexy voice!! even when he got bad news you want to hear them!

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#20 MacLarenV6

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:05

Yeah Andy Latham sucks a lot. He's useless.

I think Schumi has a really good RE, don't know his name though.

Though most RE's sound smart and knowledgable, Latham is the only one who sounds incompetent.

#21 midgrid

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:12

Go back and watch the Aus gp from 2010, even Martin Brundle made the comment, he wasn't saying it like that, he was telling him, by not being aggressive on the throttle out of turn 15 he will get less wheelspin....that is just common sense. It was almost as if Massa had never driven a car before. I suggest you go watch it. I know what you're saying, but it wasn't like that at all.


Brundle always expresses surprise at such things because radio transmissions were much less frequent when he was driving, and I don't think he cared for them much either.

I think Jock Clear is good from what I've heard on the team radio feeds: articulate, concise and encouraging without being over-emotional. He had an excellent working relationship with Jacques Villeneuve, and also was a good "spotter" for Takuma Sato at the start. Now working well with Michael Schumacher, despite their history in 1997.

"Rocky's" full name is Guillaume Rocquelin. :)

Edited by midgrid, 24 March 2012 - 01:14.


#22 pingu666

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:02

we often seem to get radio transmissions of rocky saying the same thing to seb, or is that just me noticing something that isnt actully there?

#23 tommyhjortasen

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:16

I agree that Lewis RE isn´t as good as others, but, they are all good.

This thread is "My dad is"

#24 APR824

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 02:19

Out of F1 engineers: Dave Robson.
Any race engineer: Brad Kettler or Leena Gade.
All of them extremely competent and calm, cool, collected.



#25 alfa1

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:03

I think Jock Clear is good from what I've heard on the team radio feeds: articulate, concise and encouraging without being over-emotional. He had an excellent working relationship with Jacques Villeneuve, and also was a good "spotter" for Takuma Sato at the start. Now working well with Michael Schumacher, despite their history in 1997.




I was about to say the same thing.
Despite those years of intense rivalry, Michael is still happy to have him (as of late last year) as Race Engineer.
So I'll choose Jock Clear.


#26 W154

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:38

I hope you're joking? Good guy, but he's as much a race engineer as I am. That means not very much, BTW.;)

Yeah, gotta agree about that Jo Ramirez. Hopeless. Bloody hopeless! Just like those "tail-end-Charlie" drivers he worked with.
Let's see, there was Gurney, Rodriguez, Siffert, Emmo, Reggazoni, Stewart, Cevert, Lauda, Prost, Senna(A), Mika, and DC.
WOW! Just imagine how many races they would have won if they had all worked with a decent race engineer! :blush:

Edited by W154, 24 March 2012 - 03:39.


#27 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:12

Oh god, please delete this thread.


+1 & the numpty who started it.

In all seriousness, none of us would have the slightest idea who the best engineer to choose would be. The team allocates them anyway, so even if we were drivers we wouldnt be choosing whom we work with.

#28 PEW

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 04:14

Andrew Shovlin - a really nice guy

#29 as65p

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 07:57

Yeah, gotta agree about that Jo Ramirez. Hopeless. Bloody hopeless! Just like those "tail-end-Charlie" drivers he worked with.
Let's see, there was Gurney, Rodriguez, Siffert, Emmo, Reggazoni, Stewart, Cevert, Lauda, Prost, Senna(A), Mika, and DC.
WOW! Just imagine how many races they would have won if they had all worked with a decent race engineer! :blush:


Jo Ramirez is not, and never was, a race engineer. He worked as a mechanic and later as a team manager. So yeah, the :blush: smiley is quite justified.

#30 SmokeScreen

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 10:53

Really good question - especially now that races are largely about the tyres and tyre strategy Race engineers are even more important than ever.

i like the relationship between Dave and Jensen
but that does not mean it would work with anyone else


Re Latham He really caught my eye last year when during one of the practises, he was shown on camera chatting and smiling with someone else (off camera? ). Immediately he realised he was on the air the way he turned back to his screens and began to pretend to be working you would have thought he was committing the crime of the century – surely exchanging greetings with someone is not a hanging offence or a negative reflection on one’s competence.
It was such a ridiculous over reaction that it got me concerned about his competence in terms why he thought such a childish reaction would fool anyone and why he felt he had to make that move in the first instance, even as the action did not relate to his job.
Since keeping an eye on him i have the impression that while he may good in some aspects (well he must have to have met the criteria for selection as a race engineer mustn’t he and to be fair he comes across better during practices and qualifying), he does struggle to react in real time and is very weak in strategising – either a lack of ability in this area or a lack of assertiveness and confidence (whenever Jensen and Lewis are close together in the race then Lewis loses out and i suspect that it may be because Latham waits to hear from strategy team to make or backup decisions. He also cannot multi-task effectively -Was it japan qualifying when they got Lewis car out at the right time but still did not make the time? Whitmarsh had had to intervene to warn about the risk from the cars behind because Latham was just focussed on the question of time gap to the car in front and was not AWARE himself.



for Lewis I would have liked him to keep Jakob. if Mclaren want him to do well they should provide mentoring support to Latham or give him a competent non-English engineer - non english so that the pundits and media stop overanalysing communications in terms of how offended THEY, themselves are, while pouring over every word uttered during races& stop with all this "take your engineer down to the pub" nonsense.

Edited by SmokeScreen, 24 March 2012 - 11:12.


#31 iotar

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:08

Uninformed, based on nothing tread? Count me in.

Seconding Button's RE choice. He's got calm, soothing voice of relaxation records. Sometimes a bit like jet pilot addressing passengers: So we'll be soon approaching Heathrow, weather's good, excellent visibility, roger, roger.

Hamilton's is not bad either, when Hamilton is babbling and panicking, inventing tyres strategies, he responds like a bank clerk denying a loan application: I'm afraid Lewis we can't afford another pitstop. I repeat we can't afford another pitstop. Unsurprisingly there's no need for a stop! Good man.

I also liked Sutil's RE. Is he still around? I imagine all the English folks on live forum speak like him. Talking about footie, and what they're eating right now. - Howdy (not English but nevermind, it fits the accent) Smithie? - See you next time (all in Sutil's RE voice in my head).

#32 rolf123

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 11:58

Go back and watch the Aus gp from 2010, even Martin Brundle made the comment, he wasn't saying it like that, he was telling him, by not being aggressive on the throttle out of turn 15 he will get less wheelspin....that is just common sense. It was almost as if Massa had never driven a car before. I suggest you go watch it. I know what you're saying, but it wasn't like that at all.


BrundleSellOut loved to take the piss out of Massa unfairly. All Smedley is doing is being given a suggestion by someone monitoring the telemetry. All teams do it.

BrundleSellOut takes the piss by saying he is teaching Massa to drive which is totally unfair. It's about extracting the maximum.

I also think Shovlin was great - good buddies, like an equal, but calm and taking care of things for the driver in exactly the right way. Is he now Schumi's engineer?

btw which engineer is this:

"Kill Him!"

Edited by rolf123, 24 March 2012 - 12:03.


#33 jonpollak

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 12:17

I hope you're joking? Good guy, but he's as much a race engineer as I am. That means not very much, BTW. ;)

Follow evolution much..?
Didn't think so.

Seeing he got me into the Renault party at Jerez in '97 and gave me a blond wig I pick Jock Clear
Top bloke..

Jp

#34 midgrid

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 14:38

btw which engineer is this:

"Kill Him!"


Assuming that's Barrichello at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, it's Jock Clear.


#35 mursuka80

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 14:41

Mark Slade. Seems like a nice guy and has major success with Mika and Kimi.

#36 IceSkyrim

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 14:54

Andy Lathan always gives a short 7th gear to Lewis and makes him a fool against Schumy at Monza and Massa at India :down:

But the one I really don't want is Webber's one:
- can't pass team orders [Turkey]
- can't fix KERS
- can't dial lauch control
- can't draw a decent race strategy

The guy was finally replaced last year.

#37 Seanspeed

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 15:00

Well, please Seanspeed, enlighten us with all your wealth of knowledge and please tell us all your inside info on all the race engineers because we'd love to hear it. It really doesn't surprise me though, you oppose everything I say on this forum and if you don't like the thread then don't post in it? And yes, over the last 17 years I have learnt that race engineers don't just sit on their ass and talk to the driver when he is out on track, but thankyou for pointing that out to me. But as I said, going by what we hear on tv, I made an opinion. To form an opinion on a race engineer we need to hear/see how they work/operate, and as it is limited to what we get fed from FOM then what choice do I have, call up McLaren or Red Bull and ask them to give me stats on how they're progressing? Seriously. If you would like to take part then great, if you don't want to then good day.

I dont have insider info on these race engineers and neither do you, which is why I think its a bit silly to judge them simply on how they sound on the few bits of radio snippets we get.

Thats my contribution to the thread. A reminder to people that we shouldn't go around judging these guys based on how little we know about them. Dont be upset that I'm just pointing out the ridiculousness of it. Someone was bound to.

Edited by Seanspeed, 24 March 2012 - 15:02.


#38 MaxisOne

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 15:16

Jock Clear. Schumacher and Clear had history, but the fact that they could work together and have a tangible improvement during the middle of last year during the races is pretty good.

His communication is also clear, concise and leaves the emotions off the table and it appears that they have a mutual respect that older guys have that simply works.

I think A Latham does indeed not gel well with Lewis and i thought it was clear that this pairing does not work so i'm still wondering how come he hasn't been swapped out already.


A. Stella and Alonso are also a very good pairing. It is clear however who is in control.

Smedley and Massa ?? well i don't know whats going on beyond the gates at Ferrari but from what i can see it really looks like Smedley is getting frustrated with Massa more often on race weekends. That cant be good.

Edited by MaxisOne, 24 March 2012 - 15:16.


#39 joshb

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 15:54

I get the impression Andy Latham seems scared of telling Lewis bad things "OK Lewis we need to to slow down or look after the tyres", as if he's expecting a verbal volley in return. Given he would've looked after some serious drivers in his time at Mclaren I'm sure its just his method but I always get the impression he's like a pupil talking to a headteacher.
Jock Clear was alright, Schumacher's engineer seems quite good with his information and how clear and consise he is.
Rocky gets on with Vettel pretty well and I like Andrea Stellas accent a lot.
Who would I choose, Rocky, but mostly because he's the engineer for Vettel

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#40 jrg19

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 15:56

Rob Smedley, A gracefull balanced fair smart character who has never shown a bad side. Who can't love this dude.

sarcasm.


Rob Smedley needs a slap.

You'd think he was driving the way he goes on sometimes.

#41 SmokeScreen

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:19

I get the impression Andy Latham seems scared of telling Lewis bad things "OK Lewis we need to to slow down or look after the tyres", as if he's expecting a verbal volley in return. Given he would've looked after some serious drivers in his time at Mclaren I'm sure its just his method but I always get the impression he's like a pupil talking to a headteacher.



but has he?

the initial info posted on the Mclaren site in back in 2010 suggested that he had been an ASSISTANT engineer to only Kimi but they did not provide any further info on when that role ended. i think more pertinent was that that prior to taking over as Lewis Engineer he worked in Simulation - if one assumes he left his Assistant role when kimi moved to Ferrari (it could have been earlier than that)then from 2007 throughout 2009 he was not really gaining hands on experience to support his current role.

Not to suggest that is necessarily a problem as I don't know Robson's background but do know he is doing a mighty job. for all I know that may be how the other race engineers have progressed however 2 years + down the line I don't think Latham has got what it takes and do wonder about the politics that have left him in place (another reason i found that blatent eye service incident with the cameras intriguing).

#42 zyphro

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:22

Rob Smedley needs a slap.

You'd think he was driving the way he goes on sometimes.


You need a slap.

Rob Smedley is an outstanding character.

His emotional bonding with Massa is what carried Massa almost to the title in 08.

Edited by zyphro, 24 March 2012 - 16:23.


#43 zyphro

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:25

Smedley and Massa ?? well i don't know whats going on beyond the gates at Ferrari but from what i can see it really looks like Smedley is getting frustrated with Massa more often on race weekends. That cant be good.


Obviously. You can tell that from when he delivered the pivotal message in germany 2010, he wasn't pleased with ferrari management at all.

#44 revlec

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:30

One Day in the Life of a F1 Engineer and Mechanic

#45 cheapracer

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:47

We're judging race engineers by what they sound like and from a few bits here and there on the radio?


Yup, impossible. Also some have massive pre plans they go through before the race and some do it on the run and we will never know the detail unless we have full time ability to listen in and that's never going to happen.

enlighten us with all your wealth of knowledge and please tell us all your inside info on all the race engineers because we'd love to hear it.



Actually I would put it to you that that is your job as the OP as you're the one offering determinations on them.

#46 Bunchies

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:56

Im not asking you to judge, Im asking you, if you were a driver, who would you want in your corner? And who catches your eye as a good race engineer


To think like a driver does, you need to be exposed to racing and you need to physically have access to a car. Considering that someone asked in the quali thread what "rebalancing" a wheel in the context of a flat spot was, it is only safe to assume that many here have no experience with building or driving cars. As such, perhaps a few of the members who have posted in this thread simply don't understand what they would require as a driver in that situation.

#47 Bunchies

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 16:59

Go back and watch the Aus gp from 2010, even Martin Brundle made the comment, he wasn't saying it like that, he was telling him, by not being aggressive on the throttle out of turn 15 he will get less wheelspin....that is just common sense. It was almost as if Massa had never driven a car before. I suggest you go watch it. I know what you're saying, but it wasn't like that at all.


If you watch the team radio compilation from just the past race in Australia, you will see that Rob Smedley is still coaching Felipe how to take corners. That seems to make up 50% of Felipe's team radio throughout a season.

#48 KirilVarbanov

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 17:05

I think I'll go for Al Pacino if he was a race engineer - very inspirational :) LOL

"What are you gonna do?"

#49 Jon83

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 17:59

I suppose if you are a McLaren race engineer, you have to always start every message with "Okay [Insert name]"



#50 iotar

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 18:16

I suppose if you are a McLaren race engineer, you have to always start every message with "Okay [Insert name]"

:lol:

And now drivers need to confirm everything. There was this: - Jenson confirm, please, - Yes I got it [repeat whatever it was]