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Mercedes asks fans to decide on team orders

NEWS STORY
28/08/2014

Whilst Bernie Ecclestone refuses to accept the increasing importance of social media, Mercedes takes full advantage of the phenomenon.

Speaking in the Spa paddock, days after ending his bribery trial, by effectively paying a bribe, Bernie Ecclestone was back firing on all cylinders.

Amongst the numerous quips and one-liners delivered to reporters in the Spa paddock was an absolute gem when asked about the prospect of (17-year-old) Max Verstappen lining up on the grid in Melbourne next year.

"I blame social media" retorted the F1 supremo with his customary grin.

Though he continues to shun social media along with much of the other technology that has become so important to most of our lives, others within the sport are not so sceptical.

Today, as it attempts to sort out its 'driver issue' ahead of next weekend's Italian Grand Prix, Mercedes has taken to Twitter to ask race fans what it should do.

Depending on how they feel the German team should handle the situation, using the hashtag #TeamBossThursday, fans are asked to either re-tweet a tweet stating that team orders should be installed to prevent incidents on track or an alternative tweet that calls for free racing between team mates (to be) allowed at all times.

Perhaps, having realised that social media is not going to go away, Bernie might take to Twitter and allow fans to have their say on various issues such as the Russian Grand Prix, the Azerbaijan race or even who should succeed him.

Indeed, we could even nominate people for his hit list... a sort of Ice Bucket Challenge with added vitriol and malice.

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Martin B, 29/08/2014 12:56

"I should think it's a completely pointless question to ask fans as I'm sure the overwhelming response would be "Let them race" but with a warning of serious repercussions if they take one another out."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by TokyoAussie, 29/08/2014 4:49

"FacelessBook or Twatter guiding Bernie? That will never happen. Part of Bernie's methodology is that he doesn't give a royal toss what anybody thinks, including the teams, drivers, marshals, FIA, media, circuit promoters, TV viewers, and, least of all, the fans who pay to attend (they come last by definition it seems). At least Greece does have motorsport of a sort, but yet another street race (veto). Russia really shouldn't be in the championship, and most certainly not with the flat, featureless, gulag circuit they've dreamed up. Azerbuyjohnny, whatever it is called, wherever it is, simply has no place in the F1 championship. Period.

It would be nice, just for a change, if the F1 promoter actually promoted F1. But that is the kind of feedback you'd get from social media, so we can't have that."

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3. Posted by gturner38, 28/08/2014 20:51

"Mercedes isn't really relying on fans to make the decision. They are letting the fans be the excuse for the decision they already made. It doesn't take focus groups to say the fans are going to choose to let them race, so when the drivers run into each other giving the fans what they want, no one can blame the team for not trying to control them.

It's the same as when a radio station has an all request show. If they get enough people calling in, they can pick and choose the requests to play only what they want anyway, but it makes the listener feel like they are involved."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by ESTMPRFT, 28/08/2014 17:51

"Merc management have really lost control if they have to resort to social media to make decisions. Will they blame the public when the situation explodes/implodes again?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by my tyres are going off, 28/08/2014 16:19

"If Merc are relying on those who use Twitface etc. then they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. So now when they get it wrong they can blame the cross section of society who use two finger texting to have their say. To quote JacktheCat .... Really????"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by scf1fan, 28/08/2014 16:10

"@Jack . . . So you wonder why?

Last I saw from NR was him saying that it was a racing incident and the results were unintended PRIOR to the team meeting. Last I saw from LH was him saying that NR "Admitted" that he (NR) had intentionally hit him (LH) . . . and that was after the team meeting. To which TW was reported to have responded that LH had miscronstruded what NR had said.

Now, this is all what I picked up from the PP articles posted here. So yes, I would say that LH was whining. (And that doesn't begin to address LHs past comments such as what a "preveledged" life style NR has had, or his sniping at his own team over the radio during the races . . . etc., etc.) Feel free to disagree, but you might want to cite your sources if you are going to cast innuendo as to the motives of others.

To this article, I hope it's a joke . . . (But it would be a pretty good PR stunt.)"

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7. Posted by JackTheCat, 28/08/2014 15:38

"Unless someone can tell me otherwise we haven't heard a peep out of Hamilton since his statement to the print media after the team debrief on Sunday. A statement that Mercedes team bosses said was broadly correct. Hardly whining all the time really is it?

Rosberg has been way more vocal on the aftermath of Sunday yet no one accuses him of whining.

One can only wonder why.

As for using Twitter to let the fans vote.... really?????"

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8. Posted by Dreadnaught, 28/08/2014 15:35

"If the quality of some of the replies on F1 forums is any guide Bernie is probably right to seek his own counsel.
If the figures, as given to me when I was being put straight about the errors of my thinking, are correct then Rosberg will be hung, drawn and quartered since his teammates? followers outnumber his own 3 to 1 and they don't half have a lot to say, very little of which is objective."

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9. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 28/08/2014 13:50

"However, as for using social media to decide a course of action, this brings the sport down to the level of a reality show. Heaven help us from this kind of "dumbing down"."

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10. Posted by Brewster46, 28/08/2014 13:48

"Listening to Hamilton complain to the team about Rosberg sounds the same as Vettel whining about Webber.
I like both Lewis and Nico but the whining from Lewis all the time gets tiring. Too many opportunities for these guys to piss and moan to the media. "

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11. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 28/08/2014 13:47

"Perhaps BCE could place all those morons who created the 2014 technical regulations on his hit list !

Including Charlie Whiting !

And to improve the show " buy " Adrian Newey as head honcho of the technical regs. No committee, his word is final !"

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12. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 28/08/2014 13:38

"Hamilton an "honest" driver? I don't think so. Hark back to his McLaren days - being less than truthful in the "Liegate" saga, then tweeting his data for all to see. Even this season, his on-track behaviour has, at times been as "robust" as Rosberg's.
All top professional drivers are totally single minded - they wouldn't have got where they are without that.
He would do well to keep quiet, and let his driving do his talking.
"

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13. Posted by Marc, 28/08/2014 12:51

"Lewis comes across as being an honest driver, the Media and few drivers, along with all the Lewis hate fans always seems to enjoy blaming him whenever there are any incidents.

Rosberg has been boiling up with anger every since he was told not to overtake Lewis, and sees this as an excuse to win at any cost.
The team has now show their weakness also which driver they are in favor off.
I wonder if Mercedes would be in the position they are in now if Lewis had gone else where?"

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