Thursday, January 29, 2009


Wednesday 28th January 2009

At the beginning of each Formula One season it takes a while to get used to the teams' new liveries. Then there's the new boys on the grid plus the latest graphics on the TV coverage you have to adapt to.

But coming into the 2009 season there is a mind-boggling variety of changes, so many that fans ought to be issued with a new F1 Users' Manual. In case you missed any of them

New Tech: The tiny rear wings and the wide front wings will be the most conspicuous change to the cars' visual appearance, along with an absence of intricate bargeboards and midwings.

F1 Calendar: There'll be no race in Canada as the Montreal organisers failed to agree a race fee that (they say) will allow them to break even. This means that scandalously, there is no race in North America.

F1 Calendar: Ditto France and the French GP at Magny Cours, though there's not quite the same heartfelt desire to return to Nevers.

GP Weekend: With the advent of KERS marshals will have to receive specialist training on how to handle the vehicles after accidents and what's more they'll be equipped with gloves capable of resisting a charge of 1000 volts.

New Tech: Gone are the grooves, all race tyres will be slick and Lewis Hamilton will have to be careful he doesn't eat his up with a slidy rear end.

F1 Calendar: Brazil won't be the last race of the season in 2009.

GP Weekend: Now that testing throughout the season is banned there'll be a much greater use of track time on Fridays at GPs. Great news for spectators.

New Tech: KERS technology makes its debut with energy stored in batteries or by electro-mechanical means. The theory is that it will give the cars a surge of energy to increase overtaking action and so there'll be some speed differentials generated.

F1 Calendar: Race start times will change in Australia and Malaysia with both races breaking with tradition and stating at 1700 local time.

New Tech: Bridgestone have been asked to increase the gap between their "soft" and "hard' tyres after it was felt that in 2008 there wasn't a big enough gap. Instead of a variance of 0.2 seconds Race Director Charlie Whiting is looking for at least 0.5. And they'll need to demonstrate which tyre is which without the convenient white stripe in one of the grooves.

GP Weekend: The much-criticised Safety Car procedure, which necessitated the closure of the pitlane immediately after an on-track incident is gone. In its place the FIA are introducing a system trialled in 2008. They are confident that through the cars' common ECU they can impose a Minimum-Time-BackTo-The-Pits.

F1 Calendar: Another season, another new race circuit, this time in Abu Dhabi and the chance to have a real "new rival" to Monaco. Valencia just didn't cut it.

GP Weekend: There'll be a new qualifying system for 2009 but the teams have yet to agree on the exact format. The idea has been raised that there could be a last-man-standing process, where the slowest driver on every lap gets sent back to the pits.

GP Weekend: Medals? Bernie wants them, the teams think they suck and it could stir up far more team orders controversies into the bargain.

Source : Planet F1

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