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Political skills of drivers


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#1 sopa

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 19:27

People don't like politics in F1, they say it ruins the soul of the sport and interferes with real racing. Yet it is a natural part of the game and good skills in politics are viewed as almost essential to have a good career. So what do you think, which drivers have been the best politicians in F1? Often Prost and Schumacher are mentioned in this context.

How can we measure drivers' political skills from the outside? Do we have some good examples, where bad political skills have cost someone a career. Or at least handicapped it significantly so that the driver didn't achieve to the level of his driving talent? Or can we have an example of a sort of an average driver making a good career with the help of excellent command of political skills.

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#2 RaikkonenZn

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 19:56

Interesting topic - taking just todays F1 & the world champions on the gridthis is how I see it -

Fernando Alonso is by far the the most aggressive politically - he uses politics on a continuous basis when he feels it can help him gain an advantage - be it in a team, a single race or the whole championship - however he plays these games with those he feels will get affected by them - I feel this was shown on 05 when he never bothered to take on Kimi politically - in fact I feel that that was Alonso's purest racing season - where he raced Raikkonen purely on track. Fernando either loves to undermine somebody or overpraise them - he rarely deals with realities but always exaggerated scenarios - haha which is what makes him so bloody interesting most of the time!

Now while Alonso is the most aggressive politcally that doesn't mean the others are not (er well maybe Kimi & Lewis largely aren't) - Button is political but he's the nice guy - he would rather earn your trust & disarm you as an opponent in that sense. I feel Jensons politics work rather well, as he showed by coming into Mclaren & not causing a major issue with Lewis - in fact towards the end Lewis was the one who got flustered(Jenson unfollowed me on twitter - lawl).

The final one is Vettel & probably is the most dangerous until everyone figures him out which people are doing - Vettel is the babyface who plays the field as the innocent wonderkid with no agendas - however as time passes we're beginning to see Vettel showing his political edge - especially intra-team with Webber..who I feel he pummeled into the ground politically more than performance wise. Red Bull where happy to keep the equal status in the team but after Seb won that 1st world title (where sparks flew like crazy between them) he maneuvered himself into an unspoken number 1 at RBR, and mainly through winning Helmut Marko over through his babyface supertalent game. Now he's also pushing subtle hints out in the media regarding certain things - the most recent being who he'd rather have at Red Bull. I reckon Vettel is growing adept at playing the field politically & is growing to challenge Alonso.

Lewis politics consist of laying the smackdown - if he at any point picks up somebody is challenging him politically, Lewis does not throw any punches - he immediately states bluntly how quick he is & will go for it on track! End of story really!

Kimi's politics - errrmm...well..I mean err...mumble mumble...etc. LOL

EDIT: I ended up doing an analysis of how I see each driver using politics but not really answering the question of levels of political skill & whether it has enhanced/cost a certain his career. Sorry but it was far easier to analyse then to identify how exactly the politics where used.

Edited by RaikkonenZn, 31 July 2013 - 20:02.


#3 undersquare

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 19:57

I find it hard to disentangle Political skills from Social skills.

If we don't bother too much with that distinction then poor performers have to include:
Mansell
Scott Speed

Good performers could include
Johnny Herbert
Ricardo Patrese
Thierry Boutsen


#4 sopa

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 20:21

I find it hard to disentangle Political skills from Social skills.

If we don't bother too much with that distinction then poor performers have to include:
Mansell
Scott Speed

Good performers could include
Johnny Herbert
Ricardo Patrese
Thierry Boutsen


There can be some differences though, especially if someone ruthlessly forces politics. For example Herbert may have good social skills, but he was outmaneuvred by Schumacher and Briatore in Benetton in 1995, so that he even didn't get to see Schumi's telemetry. If I remember properly. And other than the 1995 Benetton year, Herbert got no other chance in a top team.

I personally considered Coulthard a good politician. Always got himself into good teams and had good relations in all of them. Certainly made the most of his (second tier) talent. And even though he had to move aside for Hakkinen on a few occasions, he always left an impression that by status he actually wasn't a number two driver in the team. Which Barrichello didn't leave. Of the current grid Rosberg reminds Coulthard. Despite driving alongside some of the greats and some feared that for instance Schumacher would destroy him mentally, Rosberg had none of it, does his job and avoids leaving an impression he is a #2, even alongside Hamilton.

Prost's political skills saw Mansell ousted from Ferrari and Senna blocked by Williams in 1993. But it backfired in 1991 in Ferrari. Or maybe it didn't bother him, because he viewed himself as out of the underperforming Ferrari anyway and was more interested in joining Williams for 1993. But to get that Williams 1993 seat and move both Mansell and Senna aside was brilliantly played. Though Prost made a crucial mistake earlier by accepting Senna alongside him in 1988 in McLaren without realizing the threat he was going to pose.

#5 ElJefe

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 20:40

From a historical perspective, Lauda, Prost and Piquet were extremely good in rallying the troops and using their political skills to get an advantage over their teammates and rivals. It's not a coincidence that all three had management positions and business ventures after their F1 career - although some were more successful than others of course (Prost GP springs to mind!)

Edited by ElJefe, 31 July 2013 - 20:41.


#6 d246

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 20:48

There can be some differences though, especially if someone ruthlessly forces politics. For example Herbert may have good social skills, but he was outmaneuvred by Schumacher and Briatore in Benetton in 1995, so that he even didn't get to see Schumi's telemetry. If I remember properly. And other than the 1995 Benetton year, Herbert got no other chance in a top team.

I personally considered Coulthard a good politician. Always got himself into good teams and had good relations in all of them. Certainly made the most of his (second tier) talent. And even though he had to move aside for Hakkinen on a few occasions, he always left an impression that by status he actually wasn't a number two driver in the team. Which Barrichello didn't leave. Of the current grid Rosberg reminds Coulthard. Despite driving alongside some of the greats and some feared that for instance Schumacher would destroy him mentally, Rosberg had none of it, does his job and avoids leaving an impression he is a #2, even alongside Hamilton.

Prost's political skills saw Mansell ousted from Ferrari and Senna blocked by Williams in 1993. But it backfired in 1991 in Ferrari. Or maybe it didn't bother him, because he viewed himself as out of the underperforming Ferrari anyway and was more interested in joining Williams for 1993. But to get that Williams 1993 seat and move both Mansell and Senna aside was brilliantly played. Though Prost made a crucial mistake earlier by accepting Senna alongside him in 1988 in McLaren without realizing the threat he was going to pose.



Interesting point re Coulthard. I always took it as him having very good social skills. You could be right that they were combined with effective political posturing.

Good topic.

#7 F.M.

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 20:52

Interesting topic - taking just todays F1 & the world champions on the gridthis is how I see it -

Fernando Alonso is by far the the most aggressive politically - he uses politics on a continuous basis when he feels it can help him gain an advantage - be it in a team, a single race or the whole championship - however he plays these games with those he feels will get affected by them - I feel this was shown on 05 when he never bothered to take on Kimi politically - in fact I feel that that was Alonso's purest racing season - where he raced Raikkonen purely on track. Fernando either loves to undermine somebody or overpraise them - he rarely deals with realities but always exaggerated scenarios - haha which is what makes him so bloody interesting most of the time!


Alonso's politics backfired massively on himself though in both 2007 and 2012.

#8 rasul

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 21:10

A driver who is truly good at politics is never suspected of being involved in politics.
And, as was already mentioned, it's hard to find the line between political skills and social skills.
Being good at politics is very important in some teams in particular.

#9 Smile17

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 21:23

A driver who is truly good at politics is never suspected of being involved in politics.
And, as was already mentioned, it's hard to find the line between political skills and social skills.
Being good at politics is very important in some teams in particular.


lol that made me laugh. So true.

#10 Briz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 21:48

There can be some differences though, especially if someone ruthlessly forces politics. For example Herbert may have good social skills, but he was outmaneuvred by Schumacher and Briatore in Benetton in 1995, so that he even didn't get to see Schumi's telemetry. If I remember properly. And other than the 1995 Benetton year, Herbert got no other chance in a top team.

I personally considered Coulthard a good politician. Always got himself into good teams and had good relations in all of them. Certainly made the most of his (second tier) talent. And even though he had to move aside for Hakkinen on a few occasions, he always left an impression that by status he actually wasn't a number two driver in the team. Which Barrichello didn't leave. Of the current grid Rosberg reminds Coulthard. Despite driving alongside some of the greats and some feared that for instance Schumacher would destroy him mentally, Rosberg had none of it, does his job and avoids leaving an impression he is a #2, even alongside Hamilton.

Prost's political skills saw Mansell ousted from Ferrari and Senna blocked by Williams in 1993. But it backfired in 1991 in Ferrari. Or maybe it didn't bother him, because he viewed himself as out of the underperforming Ferrari anyway and was more interested in joining Williams for 1993. But to get that Williams 1993 seat and move both Mansell and Senna aside was brilliantly played. Though Prost made a crucial mistake earlier by accepting Senna alongside him in 1988 in McLaren without realizing the threat he was going to pose.


Nice post. I think Prost could have hardly foreseen that Ron Dennis would fall in blind love with Senna (like he later did with Hakkinen and perhaps Hamilton). The choice McLaren had was between Senna and Piquet. I think Prost realised the huge influence Honda would have on the team's affairs and that they might be helping the other driver - both Senna and Piquet were Honda drivers already. Maybe he saw the old fox Piquet as the bigger threat in this situation and thus recommended Dennis to pick Senna. Ayrton had in my opinion underperformed in championship point terms in 1985-1987. What I mean is, Senna was very fast and the Lotus was a pretty good car especially in his hands but he wasted lots and lots of point scoring and winning opportunities those years, so Prost probably thought he was less capable than Piquet to challenge him over the lenght of a season. Which was actually not a bad guess looking at 1988 and 1989 championship points tables.

#11 OS X

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 21:50

Interesting topic. Did anyone else think during the race that Romain Grosjean may not have received the leaving the track penalty if he had instantly got on the radio and stated his case by saying something like "Massa pushed me off the track! I had nowhere to go!"?

The difference is certain drivers (Sebastian, Jenson, Fernando) are very vocal and this can help avoid/induce certain decisions from the stewards. Case in point: Jenson put Lewis into the pitwall in Canada 11 and was heard on the radio screaming "What the hell was he doing?" [paraphrase] and this may have contributed to him not getting a penalty. Another one is the last grand prix where Sebastian claimed Raikkonen left him no space in one of the last laps. It was a roll-of-the-dice last second Hail Mary try to earn a position by politicking. Granted it didn't work, but nothing ventured, nothing gained; I think only a few drivers would even think to try something like that.

#12 Avastrol

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:06

Interesting topic. Did anyone else think during the race that Romain Grosjean may not have received the leaving the track penalty if he had instantly got on the radio and stated his case by saying something like "Massa pushed me off the track! I had nowhere to go!"?

The difference is certain drivers (Sebastian, Jenson, Fernando) are very vocal and this can help avoid/induce certain decisions from the stewards. Case in point: Jenson put Lewis into the pitwall in Canada 11 and was heard on the radio screaming "What the hell was he doing?" [paraphrase] and this may have contributed to him not getting a penalty. Another one is the last grand prix where Sebastian claimed Raikkonen left him no space in one of the last laps. It was a roll-of-the-dice last second Hail Mary try to earn a position by politicking. Granted it didn't work, but nothing ventured, nothing gained; I think only a few drivers would even think to try something like that.


In that respect Vettel learns quickly. In his first race with RB after tangling with Kubica he was quick to raise his hand and admit he was at fault - quick penalty. When it comes to borderline matters admitting one's faults, however admirable, can be detrimental.

#13 garoidb

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:10

Carlos Reutemann and Ari Vatanen both had political careers after their racing and rallying careers.

#14 William Hunt

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:15

Alain Prost was a master at using a political approach in F1, often he used dirty politics to gain advantage over teammates or rivales. Prost was a close friend to Ballestre as well.

#15 Briz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:22

Alain Prost was a master at using a political approach in F1, often he used dirty politics to gain advantage over teammates or rivales. Prost was a close friend to Ballestre as well.


Everything you said is what Senna wanted you to think of Prost ;).

#16 RaikkonenZn

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:26

Alonso's politics backfired massively on himself though in both 2007 and 2012.


Well that's how politics work especially when you get as deeply & aggressively involved in them as Alonso and Prost - the claims, statements & mind games may just not work & you're left with egg on your face. Both of them have been left looking sheepish after some bold political moves just didn't work out.

#17 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:27

I wonder how political Webber is. He seems to have a lot of fans in the (British)press and that affects our perception of him. Intentional or just subconscious bias?

#18 Briz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:35

Well that's how politics work especially when you get as deeply & aggressively involved in them as Alonso and Prost - the claims, statements & mind games may just not work & you're left with egg on your face. Both of them have been left looking sheepish after some bold political moves just didn't work out.


In terms of politics the way I see things Alonso is way more similar to Senna than to Prost. For Senna and Alonso it's most important to develop a public image of being "magically" good and to belittle other top drivers. Prost just cared to score well in the championship.

#19 pingu666

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:38

i think button is one of the best

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#20 Briz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:40

i think button is one of the best


ditto

#21 g1n

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:43

Alonso's politics backfired massively on himself though in both 2007 and 2012.


what happened in 2012?

#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:44

i think button is one of the best


I don't see him as political at all. Just a nice, easy going guy. And that naturally gets you a lot of support from the team.

#23 P123

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:48

I wonder how political Webber is. He seems to have a lot of fans in the (British)press and that affects our perception of him. Intentional or just subconscious bias?


He just has a good relationship with the press pack, similar to JB.

#24 mnmracer

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 22:51

Lee McKenzie wrote about that today: F1 still has drivers with opinions

Lewis is emotional. Even in the interview with me on Sunday after the race he described his emotions this year as “a roller coaster” and said he wished he could “take something to level him off”! He talked openly about his family and personal life and dedicated his win to “the special person”. Like it or loathe it, he doesn’t shy away from his life, his relationships, his taste in music or God. This year he seems even more open to sharing his life publicly whether it be in interviews, in his BBC web column or through social media.


When it comes to Fernando Alonso, his style of talking is exactly like his style of driving – punchy! He isn’t shy, he’s intelligent and says what he thinks. He is 100 per cent aware and open about what it will take to overcome Vettel, or as he described it last year “Adrian Newey and Red Bull” and he isn’t afraid of upsetting people with feisty warnings such as making his thoughts clear that Red Bull are doing more than his team when it comes to development at this crucial stage of the season.


Vettel, the youngest triple world champion, has a different approach when it comes to talking up his chances. Quite simply, he doesn’t. He talks a lot about taking it race by race and if the points add up at the end and if he is in front, then he will be champion. He keeps all the information about fastest laps, qualifying, race results, but he never looks at the driver standings. He once told me that after he won his first championship in Abu Dhabi in 2010, he woke up on Monday morning and went on to the internet just make sure he had actually become champion!

But as time passes and he gets older he is becoming more assured, some in the paddock say ‘more Michael’. When he used to laugh off a question, he takes it on and sometimes unnecessarily so. He could have avoided saying to me on Sunday that he “would prefer Kimi to Fernando as a team-mate” – that wasn’t the question I asked! He then said he respected Fernando as a driver but Kimi as a driver and a person as “he’s always been very straight” with him.

The way he dealt with the Malaysia Webber situation was also not the Vettel we had seen previously. Again, whether it was right or wrong, he took a confrontational direction although one which he believed in. The difference in how he reacted to Turkey 2010 and Malaysia 2013 was that of someone who had found his own voice and wasn’t simply a megaphone for the team.



#25 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:08

Except for right after the race :p

#26 RaikkonenZn

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:12

I wonder how political Webber is. He seems to have a lot of fans in the (British)press and that affects our perception of him. Intentional or just subconscious bias?


I think Webber is one of the few straight shooters in F1 - very little politics in his make up. I feel he is quite honest about things.

In terms of politics the way I see things Alonso is way more similar to Senna than to Prost. For Senna and Alonso it's most important to develop a public image of being "magically" good and to belittle other top drivers. Prost just cared to score well in the championship.


You're right but I think he is a combo of both hey - pre 2009 especially he was more like Prost - working on things far more outside of the press halls than in them. 06 in the press rooms against Michael - 07/08 outside of the press rooms. Prosts politics was mainly about being No 1 in a team and being in a fast car which sums up Alonsos behaviour in 07/08.

But as you rightly say Sennas politics was more mind games to get the other driver to doubt himself & his ability to compete against him - which Alonso has also engaged lately against Vettel.

#27 Fondmetal

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:18

Alain Prost was the best political driver in the history of F1. We saw great examples when he was teamed up with Senna. Piquet was not far behind.

#28 Watkins74

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:19

Perhaps the word "political" has a different meaning around the world but I just don't understand how some of the examples often given are political.

If some driver buys his team dinner is that being political? If you recommend to your team that they hire someone you worked with before is that being political?

Just what is the definition of politic's by drivers in F1?

#29 Watkins74

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:20

Alain Prost was the best political driver in the history of F1. We saw great examples when he was teamed up with Senna. Piquet was not far behind.

Care to list some examples for Prost and Piquet? Thank you.

#30 zippythecat

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:23

I think Webber is one of the few straight shooters in F1 - very little politics in his make up. I feel he is quite honest about things.


Webber's very political. He's just not very good at it.


#31 g1n

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:26

Perhaps the word "political" has a different meaning around the world but I just don't understand how some of the examples often given are political.

If some driver buys his team dinner is that being political? If you recommend to your team that they hire someone you worked with before is that being political?

Just what is the definition of politic's by drivers in F1?


Without going in to detail, as I cannot be bothered really. If you invite someone for dinner, with just simple intention that you want to have dinner with that person and catch up, that is fine. BUT if you invite someone for dinner trying to achieve some sort of objectives which are not as simple as just eating food and catching up, then that is more of a political move, where you do something not because you wholeheartedly feel like doing, but where something needs to be done in order to achieve something else. Anyway,simply, being political = being false.

Edited by g1n, 31 July 2013 - 23:27.


#32 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:29

Well, it depends. Sometimes a driver taking his mechanics/enginers out for dinner or a beer is like when a boss does it. It's just good workplace practice. It shows you appreciate them.

#33 Tauhid

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:32

Vettel is learning more and more but in no way does he come close to Alonso in terms of political manipulation. Alonso currently leads the line and Button follows him closely, but I also think all these guys who are witty with their comments and feedbacks also get caught out with their tactics. Alonso in 2007.

I never liked/disliked Button, but it was clear that the favourability within McLaren turned into his side quite early on. I call that good skills in the political arena, he did nothing wrong. He put his strengths into its best use and Belgium 2012 rings into my mind right away. Same goes for Turkey 2010 and Canada 2011. Every year, I knew there was something fishy with this guy and how he wanted to be loved just as much if not more than Lewis (his team-mate back then). Now he has turned the tide against him from my perspective. I don't see him having a good personality anymore and I never expected racers to whine, I guess that's the difference between a driver and a racer.

#34 weareracing

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:38

In response to your request for examples regarding the political side of Alain Prost, Watkins 74........................
GP Japan 1989, the "turning-in incident" at the last chicane.
Political on-track followed by a hasty trip to the Stewards office to see his "friend" Ballestre to make sure that Ayton was disqualified and the World Championship was handed to Prost.
I think that serves as an adequate example :smoking:

#35 alframsey

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:39

Personally I think Lewis is the second least political out of the 5 top drivers (HAM, VET, ALO, BUT, RAI - in no particular order), I just think he is too open with how he is being affecting by things to possibly try to be a political player. I never thought JB was political, I always thought he was just a genuinely nice guy (even if it does piss me off how nice he is haha!). Alonso has this title wrapped up out of the current crop though, surely?

#36 Obi Offiah

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 23:40

I don't see him as political at all. Just a nice, easy going guy. And that naturally gets you a lot of support from the team.

This.

#37 Briz

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 00:00

In response to your request for examples regarding the political side of Alain Prost, Watkins 74........................
GP Japan 1989, the "turning-in incident" at the last chicane.
Political on-track followed by a hasty trip to the Stewards office to see his "friend" Ballestre to make sure that Ayton was disqualified and the World Championship was handed to Prost.
I think that serves as an adequate example :smoking:


I think it was a case of "either I get dive bombed/pushed over for the n-th time and possibly lose the title because of it or I lower myself to his level and close the door regardless what happens", Prost chose the latter but then Senna managed to continue and things got very ugly and political indeed. Prost has never done something like that before or after although he has lost some championships by 1-2 points, that to me is a sign that this incident is not a good example of the man's attitude. He was pushed to the wall in every way possible by Senna and by his own team and it brought out the worst of him.

#38 noikeee

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 00:03

"Politics" is a very vague concept that sounds dirtier than it may actually be. Being a nice chap to your team, making sure they're on your side more than your team-mate's, dropping the odd mindgame to mess with your competitors, being conscious of the need to have a fanbase, making friends with the rule makers and pointing out any perceived injustices to yourself... all of this could be qualified as "politics", some moves are a lot dirtier than others, and the ethics are not necessarily black-and-white.

#39 RaikkonenZn

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 00:14

"Politics" is a very vague concept that sounds dirtier than it may actually be. Being a nice chap to your team, making sure they're on your side more than your team-mate's, dropping the odd mindgame to mess with your competitors, being conscious of the need to have a fanbase, making friends with the rule makers and pointing out any perceived injustices to yourself... all of this could be qualified as "politics", some moves are a lot dirtier than others, and the ethics are not necessarily black-and-white.


I would say 100% & this leads into explaining somebody playing the game like Button.

As the dictionary puts politics: "Social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power"

I think the operative word that makes something political is "gain" - if the person is doing something with an ulterior motive to gain an upper hand.

I mean JB did seem like a nice guy(and he may genuinely be one, probably is) but when he joined Mclaren I think it became clear to a lot of us that he was using the nice guy shtick to balance out the power at Mclaren. The non-political route would probably have seen him be nice yet the team would still be mostly behind Hamilton - from what I saw through his personality & victories at Macca he used that to gain influence over the teams affections. Eventually it seemed they served him equally within half a season as they did Lewis who'd been with them for 3 years. The example of a nice guy who didn't use it to gain power would probably be Rubens right? So yeah JB is an adept player - especially after winning his WDC.

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#40 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:09

Rubens is an interesting one. He was 'more popular' in Italy as a Ferrari driver than Michael, but Michael had much better results. I think if Rubens had equalish results to Michael, he might have been overall favourite in the country and the team.

Same thing with Jenson really. He was close enough to Lewis that his personality could make the difference. I always found it interesting that in magazine terms, Jenson sold a tiny few more magazines if he was on the cover than Lewis. Over-simplified of course, but Brits *liked* Jenson more, even if they thought Lewis was better.

#41 Juggles

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:31

I would say 100% & this leads into explaining somebody playing the game like Button.

As the dictionary puts politics: "Social relations involving intrigue to gain authority or power"

I think the operative word that makes something political is "gain" - if the person is doing something with an ulterior motive to gain an upper hand.

I mean JB did seem like a nice guy(and he may genuinely be one, probably is) but when he joined Mclaren I think it became clear to a lot of us that he was using the nice guy shtick to balance out the power at Mclaren. The non-political route would probably have seen him be nice yet the team would still be mostly behind Hamilton - from what I saw through his personality & victories at Macca he used that to gain influence over the teams affections. Eventually it seemed they served him equally within half a season as they did Lewis who'd been with them for 3 years. The example of a nice guy who didn't use it to gain power would probably be Rubens right? So yeah JB is an adept player - especially after winning his WDC.


You can be as political as you like but so much of the team's loyalty comes from what the driver does on track. The reason Button was given equal treatment (from the start by the way, not from halfway through 2010) and continued to be given it is because he did a good job. He won two races early in 2010 and then held on to Hamilton's coattails in the championship. In 2011 Button actually became the more reliable driver, though still not the faster one. I guess in 2012 he was still living on that respect from the previous two seasons. Perhaps Button's easier charm (though a bit 'laddish' for my taste) helped him keep the team on side but if he had been nowhere near Hamilton in grand prix it wouldn't have made a difference how many times he took the mechanics out for meals; they still would have gravitated towards Hamilton on race weekends.

That's why the Barrichello example is flawed. I'm sure he's a nice guy and I'm sure his team thought so (perhaps a little whiny but Button isn't guiltless of that either) but when he was paired with Schumacher it's pretty obvious who Ferrari were going to favour (and remember Ferrari has a history of favouring drivers, McLaren is desperate to maintain an image of driver equality).

#42 bourbon

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:49

This is in public - in private they might all be steeped in politics up to their ears! :lol:

-Alonso is the consumate politicker - on every level. He manipulates whatever situation he can to his advantage and tries the same with people as well.
-Lewis likes to think he is a great politicker, but his attempts fail miserably (and that is a compliment).
-Raikkonen will toss a coin in the politic ring here and there, but for the most part stays out of it.
-Vettel is a formidable opponent when it comes to rebuking politics, he is a pro. But he doesn't do much of it himself. Hilarious that he is called political for being straight forward and honest in saying he prefers Kimi over Alonso for a teammate. Politics is disseminating or manipulative - that is not what was going on there.
-Button - he is a cool politicker, but only mildly so.
-Webber - he ranks just behind Alonso for politicking. He doesn't have the dastardly edge tho - he wouldn't stoop to the outrageous.
-Nico R - about the level of Kimi, just a tad.
-Perez - No idea.
-Massa - He has the backbone for it, but seems to give up before barely getting started at it. I think many things in life bring him joy and he finds it more fun to focus on those.
-Grosjean - He tries - but he has to earn the respect of the paddock before anyone will take his politicking seriously

And there are your 10 drivers in the top 5 cars. The others have little to do with politics at the moment.

Edited by bourbon, 01 August 2013 - 02:50.


#43 Zeroninety

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:16

I think it's fair to say Sutil's political skills leave a bit to be desired. :p

Unless we're talking about South Korean politics--then he might fit in well:

#44 V3TT3L

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:27

Kimi behaves like Gandhi, no agression to his peers drivers and his own team.

Kimi is so cool and confident that he brought peace to Ferrari while he was there.

#45 Watkins74

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 05:11

This is in public - in private they might all be steeped in politics up to their ears! :lol:

-Alonso is the consumate politicker - on every level. He manipulates whatever situation he can to his advantage and tries the same with people as well.
-Lewis likes to think he is a great politicker, but his attempts fail miserably (and that is a compliment).
-Raikkonen will toss a coin in the politic ring here and there, but for the most part stays out of it.
-Vettel is a formidable opponent when it comes to rebuking politics, he is a pro. But he doesn't do much of it himself. Hilarious that he is called political for being straight forward and honest in saying he prefers Kimi over Alonso for a teammate. Politics is disseminating or manipulative - that is not what was going on there.
-Button - he is a cool politicker, but only mildly so.
-Webber - he ranks just behind Alonso for politicking. He doesn't have the dastardly edge tho - he wouldn't stoop to the outrageous.
-Nico R - about the level of Kimi, just a tad.
-Perez - No idea.
-Massa - He has the backbone for it, but seems to give up before barely getting started at it. I think many things in life bring him joy and he finds it more fun to focus on those.
-Grosjean - He tries - but he has to earn the respect of the paddock before anyone will take his politicking seriously

And there are your 10 drivers in the top 5 cars. The others have little to do with politics at the moment.

Google Translation:

The two guys I like are saints and the rest are sinners.  ;)

#46 Szoelloe

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 05:38

Rubens is an interesting one. He was 'more popular' in Italy as a Ferrari driver than Michael, but Michael had much better results. I think if Rubens had equalish results to Michael, he might have been overall favourite in the country and the team.

Same thing with Jenson really. He was close enough to Lewis that his personality could make the difference. I always found it interesting that in magazine terms, Jenson sold a tiny few more magazines if he was on the cover than Lewis. Over-simplified of course, but Brits *liked* Jenson more, even if they thought Lewis was better.


I don't know where that came from, but the general view within the team about Barrichello was downright scornful, and MS was AFAIK way more popular in Italy - and still is - than Woobens.

Edited by Szoelloe, 01 August 2013 - 05:48.


#47 bourbon

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 05:44

Google Translation:

The two guys I like are saints and the rest are sinners.;)


How did you possibly get that from what I wrote? The only drivers I think are deeply political are Fernando and Mark, in that order. Everyone has some politics to them - but the rest are pretty mild.

Edited by bourbon, 01 August 2013 - 05:45.


#48 holiday

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:06

Senna was pretty special at politics. Openly vetoed Warwick for the 1986 season, wrote preferential treatment over Nakajima in his 1987 contract and made sure through his Japanese connections that Prost was at a disadvantage with Honda, especially in 1989. Makes you wonder how many more skeletons he had in his closet.

Question: The 1985 season would prove to be very difficult results-wise, and Renault opted to pull the plug on its F1 operation and concentrate solely on being an engine supplier. There was an opportunity to join the front running Lotus team, but Ayrton Senna famously vetoed the decision – he would publically justify this as harbouring concerns that Lotus couldn’t have fielded two competitive cars, but many felt that, privately, he was worried about the threat you would pose to his stature. While this was no doubt a devastating blow for you at the time, did you draw some comfort later from Senna’s acknowledgement of your talent, and did he ever reconcile with you over his decision to block your appointment?

Warwick: This was probably the turning point in my career. Renault lost all the good guys at the end of 1984 and didn’t replace them, when Patrick and I first drove the new car in Rio it was 3.5 seconds slower than the old car, so we knew we were going to have a bad season, with the biggest problem being that the big bosses wouldn’t build a new car. So at the end of the year we didn’t get the results and the decided to stop.

I had signed for Lotus when out of the blue – just before Christmas – they asked me to come to Lotus’ headquarters. I went over and it was then that they said that unfortunately Senna and the sponsor had decided that they didn’t want me to be Senna’s teammate. Buy this time all the drives had been taken up and I was left without a drive for the 1986 season.

I then got a letter from Senna in the New Year wishing me all the best for 1986!!! It was obvious that Senna was worried that Lotus couldn’t run two number-one cars and he was worried, I believe, that I would take over the team being quick and being a British driver? Yes, I can look back and say it was a compliment but that doesn’t help the fact that he probably destroyed my career, because I never got back to a top team.

- See more at: http://richardsf1.co...h.YUxurT8w.dpuf



#49 Oho

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:38

what happened in 2012?


Don't know if there was any actual price to be paid but Alonso's 'I am fighting Newey rather than Vettel' comments score 10 out of 10 for plain idiocy. The thing is the comment had no impact on Vettel, or Newey but was very likely indeed to alienate Alonso from his team of engineers and mechanics. After all Alonso in so many words said they are all second rate at best.

#50 Sakae

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:29

I don't know where that came from, but the general view within the team about Barrichello was downright scornful, and MS was AFAIK way more popular in Italy - and still is - than Woobens.

Spot on; I thought that RS was a better observer of the F1 scene.