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'Political' F1 drivers [merged thread]


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#151 SealTheDiffuser

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:04

Senna, Alonso, Prost, Webber, Hamilton, Schumacher



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#152 Buttoneer

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:10

Good thread :up:

However, I don't think it's about naming them, but discussing the point:

Should we maybe rethink this attitude? Whether you work in F1 or in a bank there are politics to deal with, why should drivers who don't try to deal with them be hailed in the way they are?


I think the interesting thing about F1 is that even if you're a bit crappy at the office politics side of things, there is another metric by which a team might decide to gel around one driver over the other, and that's race results.

If you remember back to (I can't believe that I'm going to raise this spectre) 2007 then you may recall that Alonso was prevented from taking his side of the garage out for dinner etc. That was him trying to out-do Lewis at the office politics. It's been the same since forever.

#153 Lazy

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:17

People don't like it because that's not how things should work, it's a dysfunction of society. We like people who rise above it.



#154 kosmos

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:17


If you remember back to (I can't believe that I'm going to raise this spectre) 2007 then you may recall that Alonso was prevented from taking his side of the garage out for dinner etc. That was him trying to out-do Lewis at the office politics. It's been the same since forever.

 

What McLaren prevented was Alonso sharing the podium prizes with his side of the garage, something that he already did in Renault. I don't remember anything about dinners, that will be ridiculous and is part of the team bonding thing and he has done it since forever, in Ferrari too.



#155 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:26

As said above, without speed you can not really play the 'politics', which somewhat differ from the regular office cultures. I think the 'politics' played by drivers are a case of them forcing their will so to speak on the teams direction development and strategy wise and ultimately management wise.

 

Personality play a big part, we may like or dislike certain drivers and on occasion play the 'politics' card both as a negative and a positive, personally I have little doubt that Alonso played 'politics' at Renault, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari, his talent allowed him to do so however does seem as if he stretched it too much at the end at Ferrari. Kimi on the other side of the garage is an entirely different animal, he wants to race and much as his personality does nothing for me, it is nice there are still drivers who really do not give a flying apart from racing as good as possible with tools at hand.

 

To an extent most drivers play politics, very few are the Kimi's of the world, teams wants to win the drivers team on his side of the garage will react to winning to see their driver do all he can to drag results out of the car, to not retire for the same stupid reason again and again and again, to not slag the team in public. Taking another Ferrari driver with credentials, I do not recall Michael Schumacher a single time complain about the he teams what ever needed to be said, was said behind closed doors.

 

The successful 'politicians' have to be the best drivers, is sort of a cause and effect kind of deal, which is then coupled with the particular drivers personal makeup and sense of entitlement as a driver in the team.

 

:cool:



#156 Jimisgod

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:30

What McLaren prevented was Alonso sharing the podium prizes with his side of the garage, something that he already did in Renault. I don't remember anything about dinners, that will be ridiculous and is part of the team bonding thing and he has done it since forever, in Ferrari too.


Don't think they're going to try that this time around.

#157 MNader

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:40

It's not a pre-requesit because essentially a race driver has to be fast. You might be the best politician but if you are not fast nobody will take any notice. On the other hand you might be the worst politician but many teams will be interested if you have the speed. However for a lot of fans while it's not at the forefront of their minds it is certainly intriguing and entertaining when it spills over and will be lapped up with glee. For most of the 'political' drivers one thing is common; they are or are perceived to be faster than their team-mate so most of the time there is no evidence that one driver stopped another from winning the title through subterfuge. While Kimi is fast, he however is dull and lacks the smarts to plan and organise a strategy so the example you have given is an exception. All drivers do it, look at the Chiltons, Gutierrezs and Erricssons of this world, it takes some serious politicking to find the money to get into F1. It's just that the Schumachers and Alonsos of this world are scary good at it and take it to another level, but only because they have the speed to get anyone to kiss their nether regions.

 

Both Alonso and Schumacher entered the sport with backing and politics.

 

I remember reading that for Schumacher the debut his manager convinced the team owner he was a Spa expert (despite never being on the track before)

 

 

Politics are a big part of racing and i am sure everyone does it to some extent (as it is in most offices) but of-course some use it more than others.



#158 HoldenRT

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:43

The best drivers have this as a part of their personality because it's just another element to being the best, or to being competitive.  Same with how they eat, how they sleep, how they exercise etc.  It's just about being the best they can be and maximising potential.

 

However they still pale in comparison to the true political powers of the sport.  For the drivers it's just another aspect, a small minor one.  They try to play it down and minimise it but will play that card when they have to.

 

Where as, team principals, the FIA, or the heads of the sport, it's one of their only ways to amuse or entertain themselves.  Take the politics away and they pretty much have nothing.  And are old, or overweight, or unhealthy or bored, or whatever else.

 

Where as the drivers, take the politics away and they are still fit, young and among the best in the world at what they do.  For them the politics isn't a necessity, but just something they'll use for time to time to help them within the team or on the track.  I agree with the OP in that it would a weakness if they neglected this, and were naïve to it.  I don't think they particularly enjoy it that much, but will sometimes become political when they have to.  Even when they aren't directly involved, they have an awareness of what is going on.  I guess this is a longwinded way of saying, that it's not what motivates them to be in F1, but they'll sometimes "go there" when they have to.  The political figures that annoy me in F1 aren't ever the drivers but the ones where the politics is their one trick pony and without it, they've got nothing.

 

One example I found interesting in terms of the drivers, was that video of Alonso's last race with Ferrari.  At one point he said that he doesn't speak up in drivers meetings anymore, he doesn't ever question or back talk to the FIA because whenever he does, (coincidentally) there's always harsher penalties on track in terms of drive thru's or stewarding, so over the years, he's just decided to nod and smile and say nothing.  It was a pretty interesting comment and was surprised that it wasn't mentioned anywhere.

 

So anyways, what is the definition of politics (outside of elections)?  Is it simply stroking the egos of people higher up the chain than you, or people who have more power, or is there something else to it?  In F1, it's been interesting over the years to see some drivers bite the hand that feeds them, and others to say nothing.  In an ideal world, it's be soley about the driving and the sporting aspect, but F1 is far from an ideal world.  As are most things.


Edited by HoldenRT, 19 January 2015 - 14:45.


#159 Newbrray

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 14:54

Politics is being played around in almost every office there is and Formula 1 drivers are no exception (at least some of them aren't) whether its a good thing is another debate but I think what is frowned upon is if through "Politics" a driver gets some sort of advantage or preferential treatment that his underlying skill or talent does not necessarily deserve.

 

Take for example (and please this is not a real situation) the issue with pay drivers. Supposing we have 2 french drivers (Grosjean & Charles Pic) who are both french. Total decides to back a french driver into one of the F1 teams, lets say Pic is the more skilled of the drivers but Grosjean father is on the board of Total and he gets the driver, in this scenario the politics involved does not backup his underlying skill as there is a better driver out there who was outdone due to "Politics". Its this sort of scenario the public might frown on.

 

if Grosjean is however the fastest F1 driver there is and he uses his dads connection to get an F1 drive, I doubt anyone will complain.

 

I think the key thing here is the underlying talent that exists determines how the political game can be viewed in a positive or negative way.



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#160 BlinkyMcSquinty

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 15:05

Fangio promised ten percent of his winnings to his mechanics. He was talented, but he stacked the odds in his favor too.



#161 DampMongoose

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 15:16

Kimi, doesn't exactly give everything regarding PR work does he? This self-interest would be considered political wouldn't it? 



#162 as65p

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 15:39

Fangio promised ten percent of his winnings to his mechanics. He was talented, but he stacked the odds in his favor too.

 

That just means he wasn't only talented, but intelligent too. It's for fools to not try and grab every advantage possible.



#163 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 15:58

Back in the Mansell & Patrese days at Williams in 91 & 92, didn't Patrese used to take the whole workforce out to dinner, yet he was clearly the no 2.  I don't recall Mansell doing the same......consequently, Patrese was welcome to visit anytime after he'd left the team. That was probably just a big "Thank You" to the team rather than anything political.... 


Edited by Dick Dastardly, 19 January 2015 - 16:00.


#164 as65p

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 16:13

Back in the Mansell & Patrese days at Williams in 91 & 92, didn't Patrese used to take the whole workforce out to dinner, yet he was clearly the no 2.  I don't recall Mansell doing the same......consequently, Patrese was welcome to visit anytime after he'd left the team. That was probably just a big "Thank You" to the team rather than anything political.... 

 

Italian dinner vs. british.... hm, tough choice.  ;)



#165 bonjon1979a

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 16:42

That just means he wasn't only talented, but intelligent too. It's for fools to not try and grab every advantage possible.

Yep, unfortunately, I can't believe that teams would allow that these days. I don't think they would want to cede that much control and influence to the drivers who they may want to get rid of at any given moment. They'd risk losing their mechanics to whatever team the generous driver went to.

 

I think different drivers work differently within teams, some seem to be better at the political machincations, while others seem to get the team more onside by being mr. nice guy. I'm not going to name and names but I suspect we could guess which ones are which!



#166 bonjon1979a

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 16:52

Italian dinner vs. british.... hm, tough choice.  ;)

I'll have you know that we have some of the best restaurants in the world here in Britain. No one cooks food that originated in other countries better than we do.



#167 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 17:19

Vettel was a 'political' driver [2010-13], knowing that whatever he did, the team, especially Dr Marko would support him. Turkish GP clash with Webber....front wing episode at Silverstone that year. And that Multi21 scenario a couple of years ago.....  



#168 kraduk

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 17:35

I'll have you know that we have some of the best restaurants in the world here in Britain. No one cooks food that originated in other countries better than we do.

And load more variety in most places as well



#169 as65p

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 17:42

I'll have you know that we have some of the best restaurants in the world here in Britain. No one cooks food that originated in other countries better than we do.

 

Hm, it's been a while for me, but I seem to remember that the people in Britain cooking that good mostly originate from the same places as their food.  ;)

 

Which amounts to the same I guess, you can indeed eat very fine in Britain.


Edited by as65p, 19 January 2015 - 18:04.


#170 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 19:27

Vettel was a 'political' driver [2010-13], knowing that whatever he did, the team, especially Dr Marko would support him. Turkish GP clash with Webber....front wing episode at Silverstone that year. And that Multi21 scenario a couple of years ago.....  

 

Although Webber fought his corner, politically, very well in those incidents.



#171 HoldenRT

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 20:09

They were both political IMO, it's just that the team liked Seb more, for the same reason that they probably liked Ricciardo more than Seb last season.  Generalisations of course because 'team' and Marko himself can be two different things.  Marko still seemed to like Seb a lot last year, but the rest of the team seemed to get more behind the younger Redbull junior guy.  The new young gun.  Considering Seb was 4 times world champ, it's scary how quickly things can change in F1.  But as someone said, it's in every drivers best interest to try to gain every advantage possible.  It's in their nature, that's why the cutting of corners never bothers me, it's up to the stewards to police it because it's natural to find the limit as much as possible.  Probably any driver has the opportunity and choice to become more political if there is a world title at stake.  We saw that a bit with Nico.

 

Cheating is a hard thing to define in F1 IMO because there is a lot of grey area in terms of regulations or pushing the limits.  It's super competitive and if you aren't that way you'll quickly be left behind.  There's only two cases off the top of my head, the McLaren spy thing and the Renault SC in Singapore which stand out as blatant.  In terms of drivers, a lot of the time it's just two drivers (like children) and one apple, asking their parents.. "pick me pick me".  There is a layer of politics that goes well beyond that though, but usually the drivers like to avoid that as much as possible.  But the better drivers are still aware that it's there.  Separate from winning races, there is a fight over power and influence that some seem to enjoy more than others.  And then there's the worlds politics that creeps into F1 from time to time as they travel to different countries, and that probably bores the drivers even more.



#172 Peter Perfect

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 20:44

My driver is loved by the team. Your driver is political.   ;)



#173 HP

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 22:05

If everybody including drivers and team bosses, and race organisers on all levels would recognize that politics is just like a scaffolding or a framework for humans being able to live a decent live, then F1 would be a much more fun place than it is. But somehow politics seems to make many issues black and white (for the PC minded, this is strictly about colours, not race), and then add the business side with all it's grey shades, and it all looks to me rather like a foggy morning in December in my home country. Bleak, short-of-sight, chilling and not very interesting at all.

 

The least non-political drivers? IMO those that are willing to drive for free and do not try to buy or muscle themselves into a seat. Even Kimi would fall short then. But so would everyone in this day and age of racing. Ironically, the government form so highly esteemed today in the Western World is built upon the idea that everybody can (should) go and vote, and thereby expecting people to be political minded beings. But most votes in those societies seem to indicate there is a disinterest from a large number of voters. This shows that the situation could be improved, But how? Even in the micro-cosmos that is F1, politics is playing too big a role. Get the big money out of F1, and things will look brighter, starting with the drivers might help.

 

One other thing driver related is that the GPDA stops down-talking drivers that don't want to join it. The statues claim that membership with them is voluntary.

 

To end, I'd say all drivers are 'political', some more outspoken than others. Some ex drivers are even directly involved in politics today.



#174 HP

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 22:14

They were both political IMO, it's just that the team liked Seb more, for the same reason that they probably liked Ricciardo more than Seb last season.  Generalisations of course because 'team' and Marko himself can be two different things.  Marko still seemed to like Seb a lot last year, but the rest of the team seemed to get more behind the younger Redbull junior guy.  The new young gun.  Considering Seb was 4 times world champ, it's scary how quickly things can change in F1.  But as someone said, it's in every drivers best interest to try to gain every advantage possible.  It's in their nature, that's why the cutting of corners never bothers me, it's up to the stewards to police it because it's natural to find the limit as much as possible.  Probably any driver has the opportunity and choice to become more political if there is a world title at stake.  We saw that a bit with Nico.

 

Cheating is a hard thing to define in F1 IMO because there is a lot of grey area in terms of regulations or pushing the limits.  It's super competitive and if you aren't that way you'll quickly be left behind.  There's only two cases off the top of my head, the McLaren spy thing and the Renault SC in Singapore which stand out as blatant.  In terms of drivers, a lot of the time it's just two drivers (like children) and one apple, asking their parents.. "pick me pick me".  There is a layer of politics that goes well beyond that though, but usually the drivers like to avoid that as much as possible.  But the better drivers are still aware that it's there.  Separate from winning races, there is a fight over power and influence that some seem to enjoy more than others.  And then there's the worlds politics that creeps into F1 from time to time as they travel to different countries, and that probably bores the drivers even more.

Why do parents let kids play this game? It seems that this is a game about favoritism, no? Not saying split the apple in two similar parts is the final answer, But "pick me, pick me" is what adults play when they try to get elected.



#175 Tsarwash

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 23:01

I suspect that all top drivers have trusted employees to do the politicking for them. People who are going to be naturally more talented then them at it. In past eras I think political ability sometimes made a huge difference whether some drivers got decent drives or not. But there's enough money around these days to pay somebody better then you to do it instead. 



#176 Man of the race

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 08:58

Trying to define the term "political" as a virtue would be pretty political.

#177 Taxi

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 10:30

Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, M. Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Vettel. All very political in the sense they always try to influence the opinion of other in order to win or making mind games. 

 

Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Mansell, Hamilton are less so or at least less eficient.  



#178 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:10

Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, M. Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Vettel. All very political in the sense they always try to influence the opinion of other in order to win or making mind games. 

 

Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Mansell, Hamilton are less so or at least less eficient.  

 

Think you need to take Mansell and Hamilton and put them in the top box.

 

:cool:



#179 as65p

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:27

Trying to define the term "political" as a virtue would be pretty political.

 

Yep. Damning politics is the politically correct way. :smoking:



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#180 beute

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:47

The least non-political drivers? IMO those that are willing to drive for free and do not try to buy or muscle themselves into a seat. Even Kimi would fall short then.


Drivers bring a certain value/skill and are getting paid for it.
I don't see that having anything to do with politics.

#181 HoldenRT

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:23

Because it's a part of the job.  Some embrace it and others see it as a boring assignment that they are forced to do, but it's just another aspect similar to eating well or training on the simulator or PR.  It's an aspect of maximising the potential and the results to do everything in your power to achieve the best results.  I saw a talk show a few months ago and one of the hosts (a casual F1 fan) said something along the lines of.. it's a money sport, it's ultra competitive and the egos are enormous.  But that's what makes it fun to watch.  I do with there'd be more focus on the driving itself, but what can you do.



#182 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:34

The least non-political drivers? IMO those that are willing to drive for free and do not try to buy or muscle themselves into a seat. 

 

I don't know what package Senna was on at Williams in '94.....but I believe he offered to drive for free [so he did try to muscle his way into that seat]....

 

Was Piquet Jnr  'political' in the sense of offering to help Renault with "Crashgate"?  ):



#183 Gary Davies

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:37

Hard to go past Carlos Reutemann. After he stopped being a racing driver he started being a politician. He is currently a senator in the (Argentinian) province of Santa Fe.  :cool:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet someone will point out that the OP meant political in the figurative sense.



#184 Gary Davies

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:38

I don't know what package Senna was on at Williams in '94.....but I believe he offered to drive for free [so he did try to muscle his way into that seat]....

 

Was Piquet Jnr  'political' in the sense of offering to help Renault with "Crashgate"?  ):

Quite possibly. But I'd prefer "naive, scared and pushed around by a bully."



#185 prty

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:42

I'll have you know that we have some of the best restaurants in the world here in Britain.

Well that applies to almost every country.
You should look at how Michelin stars are awarded in Japan, for example.

Edited by prty, 20 January 2015 - 12:43.


#186 tifosiMac

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:44

Are there any non-political F1 drivers then?  :stoned:



#187 ensign14

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 14:15

Fangio promised ten percent of his winnings to his mechanics. He was talented, but he stacked the odds in his favor too.

 

Favourite JMF story.

 

At Maserati, he finished up practice and went into the pits.  Mechanic comes up.  "Any problems, Juan?"  "Only that there's a really nasty vibration, makes it very difficult to control.  Anything you can do?"  "We'll give it a go."

 

Next day, the race, Fangio wins.  "How was it, Juan?"  "Brilliant, thanks for curing that vibration, no problems at all."

 

A few minutes later, Felice Bonetto rocks up.  "How was it, Felice?"  "Well, it's a bit weird.  In practice it was brilliant, but today there was a really nasty vibration..."



#188 maverick69

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 14:38

Lewis is about as far as you can get from a political driver. In fact I cannot think of anyone on the grid who'd make a worse politician........

#189 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 20:01

As said above, without speed you can not really play the 'politics', which somewhat differ from the regular office cultures. I think the 'politics' played by drivers are a case of them forcing their will so to speak on the teams direction development and strategy wise and ultimately management wise.

 

Personality play a big part, we may like or dislike certain drivers and on occasion play the 'politics' card both as a negative and a positive, personally I have little doubt that Alonso played 'politics' at Renault, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari, his talent allowed him to do so however does seem as if he stretched it too much at the end at Ferrari. Kimi on the other side of the garage is an entirely different animal, he wants to race and much as his personality does nothing for me, it is nice there are still drivers who really do not give a flying apart from racing as good as possible with tools at hand.

 

To an extent most drivers play politics, very few are the Kimi's of the world, teams wants to win the drivers team on his side of the garage will react to winning to see their driver do all he can to drag results out of the car, to not retire for the same stupid reason again and again and again, to not slag the team in public. Taking another Ferrari driver with credentials, I do not recall Michael Schumacher a single time complain about the he teams what ever needed to be said, was said behind closed doors.

 

The successful 'politicians' have to be the best drivers, is sort of a cause and effect kind of deal, which is then coupled with the particular drivers personal makeup and sense of entitlement as a driver in the team.

 

:cool:

 

I don't really disagree with your post. I do want to add to the thread in general though that our perceptions of political and non-political drivers is driven by, well, perception. Necessarily, because  we don't know 10% of what's really going on, because politics can take many different forms and we cannot distinguish without having all the context, and because our minds play tricks on us by connecting the factual snippets we have into an apparently consistent narrative which may or may not have anything to do with reality (it is by now rather well documented that our brains want to see patterns, and will invent them in random data).

 

I'm replying to your post because it contains the bolded line which nicely demonstrates this IMHO. Our gut feeling tells us that being "non-political" and "just wanting to drive fast" form a consistent behavior pattern, which is opposed to a different pattern along the lines of a "political" driver valuing winning above beautiful driving. And that's what seems to have happened in the bolded part. The fact however is that Kimi 2014 did absolutely not want to race as good as possible with the tools at hand. As in, he was not only unable to, but did not see it as necessary to adapt in order to achieve this goal (and was quoted as such). 

 

This is NOT a dig at Kimi, I'm not here to judge him. I'm merely pointing out how the things we believe deep down shape our view of the facts. The thread is nevertheless interesting.


Edited by KnucklesAgain, 20 January 2015 - 20:40.


#190 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 20:06

Lewis is about as far as you can get from a political driver. In fact I cannot think of anyone on the grid who'd make a worse politician........

 

My previous post notwithstanding, the way I saw it he played the game perfectly in 2007.



#191 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 20:07

I don't really disagree with your post. I do want to add to the thread in general though that our perceptions of political and non-political drivers is driven by, well, perception. Necessarily, because  we don't know 10% of what's really going on, because politics can take many different forms and we cannot distinguish without having all the context, and because our minds play tricks on us by connecting the factual snippets we have into an apparently consistent narratives which may or may not have anything to do with reality (it is by now rather well documented that our brains want to see patterns, and will invent them in random data).

 

I'm replying to your post because it contains the bolded line which nicely demonstrates this IMHO. Our gut feeling tells us that being "non-political" and "just wanting to drive fast" form a consistent behavior pattern, which is opposed to a different pattern along the lines of a "political" driver valuing winning above beautiful driving. And that's what seems to have happened in the bolded part. The fact however is that Kimi 2014 did absolutely not want to race as good as possible with the tools at hand. As in, he was not only unable to, but did not see it as necessary to adapt in order to achieve this goal (and was quoted as such). 

 

This is NOT a dig at Kimi, I'm not here to judge him. I'm merely pointing out how the things we believe deep down shape our view of the facts. The thread is nevertheless interesting.

 

Yes I think you are right, that our perception and 'wants' to see a certain pattern will cloud who we see and do not see as 'political'. Looking back were Gilles not the 'apolitical' Ferrari driver, who wanted to race fast all other be darned? And were his displeasure about Imola not grounded in an agreement not being kept? Most drivers are somewhat 'political', some are just more than others.

 

:cool:



#192 anneomoly

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 21:12

Quite possibly. But I'd prefer "naive, scared and pushed around by a bully."

 

I'd've thought that if we're defining a political driver as someone who manipulates the non-car parts of racing to their own ends, then Piquet jr is the epitome of a non-political driver, because he ended up doing something because he felt he had no choice and no power (which isn't to say that he didn't. There's always a choice. It was just the other choice was 'get sacked or walk away'.)

 

 

Are there any non-political F1 drivers then?  :stoned:

 

If there are any non political drivers then they're managed by incredibly political people. I'm not sure you can get into F1 without being political. I mean, Mark Webber used to go and train in Jordan's gym and got his F1 break because Eddie Jordan introduced him to Paul Stoddard, and he's often cited as one of the least political drivers around... If encouraging the media perception of himself as a down to earth straight talking underdog has brought him an advantage anywhere then I'm not sure anyone would begrudge him his politicking (or the media the dinners he seemed to buy them every year!)



#193 Disgrace

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 01:33

Lewis is about as far as you can get from a political driver. In fact I cannot think of anyone on the grid who'd make a worse politician........

 

There is a difference between being political, and being a politician. Whether a driver would make a good politician is irrelevant, we're interested in who is political. Hamilton is among the most political of all drivers, and his efforts are often clumsy. That is part of the reason he is so controversial away from the circuit, and why we get lots of threads about it.

 

What was lie-gate if not a political act, albeit manufactured by McLaren and only carried out by Hamilton? How about telemetry-gate where he breached team confidentiality by using social media to absolve himself from a poor qualifying performance? These acts, of course, backfired.

 

Recall also that the only reason we know that Nico Rosberg attempted to strengthen his position following Spa-gate by claiming he did it deliberately, is that Hamilton went to the press with the story. Aren't debriefs also confidential and if so, what is Hamilton looking to achieve by breaking this confidentiality for a second time? Contrary to other events listed, don't most analysts agree that Spa was the "turning point" between the Mercedes drivers in the season?

 

Controversy is part of the F1 experience whether one likes it or otherwise, and Hamilton delivers it in spades. I personally think that's it's damn entertaining.



#194 HP

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:50

I don't know what package Senna was on at Williams in '94.....but I believe he offered to drive for free [so he did try to muscle his way into that seat]....

 

Was Piquet Jnr  'political' in the sense of offering to help Renault with "Crashgate"?  ):

I see your point about Senna. It's not easy to get my point across. Suffice to say that some racers just like the racing itself. They don't need to get paid for it and don't do it to get a better drive. Its about the motivation that drives them.

 

As to Piquet Jnr.. He was ordered to crash. And it stands to reason if Renault did know about it. Who got banned from F1? There was certainly more of an ethical conflict there than a political one. As it turned out Piquet Jnr. lost his job either way (add to it his F1 ability wasn't good enough for keeping him anyway). If politics is about having to decide between 2 impossibles then, yes it was a political move from Piquet Jnr..IMO however it was politics forced upon him and being naive. In his shoes I most likely would have returned the car to the pits after being asked to crash the car and be prepared to be sacked. But a move like that would be more political motivated than what Piquet Jnr. actually did.

 

Bottom line for me is what does really motivate them. And that is hard to figure out.



#195 HP

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 03:58

There is a difference between being political, and being a politician. Whether a driver would make a good politician is irrelevant, we're interested in who is political. Hamilton is among the most political of all drivers, and his efforts are often clumsy. That is part of the reason he is so controversial away from the circuit, and why we get lots of threads about it.

 

What was lie-gate if not a political act, albeit manufactured by McLaren and only carried out by Hamilton? How about telemetry-gate where he breached team confidentiality by using social media to absolve himself from a poor qualifying performance? These acts, of course, backfired.

 

Recall also that the only reason we know that Nico Rosberg attempted to absolve himself from blame for Spa-gate by claiming he did it deliberately, is that Hamilton went to the press with the story. Aren't debriefs also confidential and if so, what is Hamilton looking to achieve by breaking this confidentiality for a second time? Contrary to other events listed, don't most analysts agree that Spa was the "turning point" between the Mercedes drivers in the season?

 

Controversy is part of the F1 experience whether one likes it or otherwise, and Hamilton delivers it in spades. I personally think that's it's damn entertaining.

Isn't it interesting that many drivers mentioned here as being political are said to be wearing their "heart on the sleeve". Some think they're political, some not. Some people are less outspoken and are said to be more diplomatic. So labelling people more or less political doesn't work that well. Maybe we should try to talk about which political department they would fit or belong.



#196 aramos

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 04:44

There is a difference between being political, and being a politician. Whether a driver would make a good politician is irrelevant, we're interested in who is political. Hamilton is among the most political of all drivers, and his efforts are often clumsy. That is part of the reason he is so controversial away from the circuit, and why we get lots of threads about it.

 

What was lie-gate if not a political act, albeit manufactured by McLaren and only carried out by Hamilton? How about telemetry-gate where he breached team confidentiality by using social media to absolve himself from a poor qualifying performance? These acts, of course, backfired.

 

Recall also that the only reason we know that Nico Rosberg attempted to strengthen his position following Spa-gate by claiming he did it deliberately, is that Hamilton went to the press with the story. Aren't debriefs also confidential and if so, what is Hamilton looking to achieve by breaking this confidentiality for a second time? Contrary to other events listed, don't most analysts agree that Spa was the "turning point" between the Mercedes drivers in the season?

 

Controversy is part of the F1 experience whether one likes it or otherwise, and Hamilton delivers it in spades. I personally think that's it's damn entertaining.

 

Political to me speaks of being more calculated than those actions. That is just living in the F1 world and competitive sportsman. 



#197 Guizotia

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:54

Well we should define terms, I think we mean in this sense:

2.
derogatory
done or acting in the interests of status or power within an organization rather than as a matter of principle.

Although the OPs book point is that it shouldn't be considered derogatory. I suppose we don't consider it a "fair" way to get on because it isn't about your actual capacity to do the work, it's about "manipulating" relationships.

#198 Guizotia

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:56

Hamilton has been better than anyone else in my view in building and keeping a fan base, which is a useful political tool (look at the social media pressure on Mercedes at certain points last year), although I think this is more luck and need for validation than judgement, with some epic falls along the way.

#199 Guizotia

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:57

Makes me think you can be political in a calculating way, or political in a desperate way, or both.

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#200 Newbrray

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Posted 21 January 2015 - 12:59

There is a difference between being political, and being a politician. Whether a driver would make a good politician is irrelevant, we're interested in who is political. Hamilton is among the most political of all drivers, and his efforts are often clumsy. That is part of the reason he is so controversial away from the circuit, and why we get lots of threads about it.

 

What was lie-gate if not a political act, albeit manufactured by McLaren and only carried out by Hamilton? How about telemetry-gate where he breached team confidentiality by using social media to absolve himself from a poor qualifying performance? These acts, of course, backfired.

 

Recall also that the only reason we know that Nico Rosberg attempted to strengthen his position following Spa-gate by claiming he did it deliberately, is that Hamilton went to the press with the story. Aren't debriefs also confidential and if so, what is Hamilton looking to achieve by breaking this confidentiality for a second time? Contrary to other events listed, don't most analysts agree that Spa was the "turning point" between the Mercedes drivers in the season?

 

Controversy is part of the F1 experience whether one likes it or otherwise, and Hamilton delivers it in spades. I personally think that's it's damn entertaining.

 

If I remember correctly this discussion has to do with the perception (negative or positive) of  how individuals gain an influential advantage over their colleagues in the same company making use of  political machinations either through the build up of rapport or some form of sycophancy to win favor from individuals wielding influence so as to gain a competitive advantage that is not entirely  based on a fairness approach   (Please correct me if I am wrong).

 

Whilst liegate broke certain F1 rules and regulations am not entirely sure how you have managed to term that as a political act. Not sure if the motivation came from Hamilton to lie and even if it did, I fail to see if the intention was to get one over on Heikki (who was his team mate). Liegate was plain and simple an opportunity that presented itself to gain  a positional advantage on another driver (who is not in the same company or team as you) through lies. they just broke the rules and nothing different from like a Piquet crash in Singapore or Schumacher stopping on track in Monaco Qualifying. How this has been singled out as a political act (attributed to Hamilton) is quite baffling.

 

 

Even if we are not only comparing colleagues, a political machination in this case will involve Hamilton / Mclaren  trying to influence the FIA to favorably  get these charges dismissed based on some form of rapport or cronyism irrespective of the damning evidence on hand. its quite simply a case of they broke the rules, they paid the price just like any other F1 team has in the past.

 

if they broke the rules and didn't get charged or got it dismissed based anything other than the facts of matter then you can say maybe McLaren tried or wielded some political powers. We all know this is not what happened and its funny to see how people are quick to coin the term political for something that was not even remotely close 

 

E.g in a football match a  player fouls an opposing player by kicking him, the referee asks, did you touch him, he lies says no but the camera later reveals he did and gets punished. How is that political ??

 

The picture you paint is not entirely true about the Spa incident, for starters Hamilton was not the only one who spoke to the press about the debrief 

 

Here is a quote from Toto Wolff on the matter after the debrief  

 

Wolff later attempted to clarify what had happened in the meeting, explaining that "Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point."He (Rosberg) didn't give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn't leave him space," added the Austrian."So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves

 

 

another from Niki Lauda that same day 

 

Later, Lauda tried to clam the situation and added: “Nico felt he needed to make a point, and for Lewis, it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico. Nico didn’t give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn’t leave him space. So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves, but it wasn’t deliberately crashing. .

 

 

Whilst the bosses tones might be a a little different from that of Hamilton in that it was not a deliberate crash, they did agree that Rosberg said he did it to make a point (which in itself is a deliberate act) but discussion about that is for another thread. The key thing here is that both bosses also spoke with the media.

 

I personally don't think Hamilton is political, I think he just wants to to race you in an equal machinery and with the same opportunities and win or lose based on that. its when its not based on a fair fight that he tends to be upset. This I believe is what motivated him to post telemetry data (which I accept is wrong) but I doubt if his motivation was political, rather I think it was just to say the playing field was not level.

 

unless of course you see his reason to justify his poor qualification during the incident was political in itself  :)