Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Which says something about the McLaren. It just can't match the Red Bulls and Ferrari on any pace anywhere now. Seems like bye bye championship for Lewis. The constructors has been lost to Red Bull already. Congrats to Red Bull by the way.
So now we look forward to a battle royale at the season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend. A lot can happen and it will be interesting to see how Vettel and Webber handle this race. It is still amazing to see Alonso's signle minded approach and his self belief and confidence. Incredible. If he wins the WDC this year I salute him.
Can't wait for Sunday.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Right now, the championship is as tight as it can get with 4 drivers reasonably able to snatch the championship at any given moment. Alonso, Webber, Hamilton and Vettel - Button is out as it would be impossible to imagine the 4 others having a DNF this race. Vettel is not looking too either and could be out after this race with 25 point deficit to the top plus his ability to self destruct especially under pressure.
I'd put my money on either Alonso or Webber but my personal preference would be Hamilton. I'm not sure how he's gonna do it but McLaren have to get their act together from this race onwards and Hamilton will for sure be wringing that car's neck to the podium.
On top of all that, Brazil with it's unique layout and weather will surely present one of the most exciting races on the calendar. Can't wait for Sunday.
The FIA today finally confirmed the 2011 Formula 1 calendar and it's looking good with 20 races especially the new race in India. I'm looking forward to hosting more people at our home race here in Sepang and being able to bring people also to races in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and India via our new enterprise - P1 Motorsports Hospitality (link here).
2011 Formula 1 calendar
10/07 Great Britain
13/11 Abu Dhabi
*Subject to the homologation of the circuit.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Another reason it could be extra exciting is because it might rain. Both races in Japan, either at Suzuka or Fuji has always had the threat of rain and cold weather. But Suzuka this year is predicted to rain on Saturday but not on Sunday, therefore potentially disrupting the usual suspects up front.
The final sprint to the championshiop this year is still between 5 drivers and 3 teams, sadly for Massa though. Red Bull and Ferrari stand as favorites up front with McLaren trailing in 3rd, although they will never admit to that. I'm also hoping that is not the case and hoping that they bring some good upgrades there. Also, I hope that those upgrades have a chance to work on track provided Hamilton doesn't crash his car again.
I would like to take this opportunity to praise Alonso (God forbid!). Even though I never liked him, I always knew he was a good driver all round. But this year he has proven something else. He has shown how determination and absolute self belief have transformed his chances of becoming world champion again.
At the middle of the season, a lot of people have written him and Ferrari off after a series of disastrous races and bad luck. But after he announced that he will win the title this year and followed it up with the same message, even to his team that they will win the titles this year, his fortunes has changed.
Ferrari are on a charge with Alonso winning twice since his announcement to the world. Their car now looks strong on any track and Alonso is 2nd in the championship, just 11 points adrift. That was incredible. Even though I don't want to admit it, he looks strong to win the title this year.
But then again, let the talking be done on the track. We'll have to wait and see how it goes. may the best man win.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Pos Driver Team
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
3. Robert Kubica Renault
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari
7. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
9. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
11. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
13. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
14. Nico Rosberg Mercedes *
15. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
16. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari **
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
18. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth
19. Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth ***
21. Michael Schumacher Mercedes ****
22. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari
23. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
24. Vitaly Petrov Renault
* Five-place penalty for gearbox change
** Three-place penalty for impeding Rosberg
*** Five-place penalty for impeding Yamamoto
*** 10-place penalty for Barrichello incident in Hungary
Wow, it has been months since I wrote. I can't believe how busy I've been. And the 3 week break didn't help either. Finally, it is over and we are back in business. The first race after the break couldn't be at a better track than Spa-Francorchamps.
And the first qualifying session after such a long break couldn't get any better as Spa served up an intense qualifying which looked like a race from Q1. This was of course courtesy of the unpredictable weather in the micro-climate of the Ardennes.
Everybody was saying how strong Ferrari would be, how tough it would be for Red Bull and how much of an advantage McLaren have with their f-duct on the long straights of Spa. In the end, it turned out pretty mixed.
Q1 was chaos as it rained a bit and a couple of spins plus the crash from Petrov which caused a red flag made sure of that. After the session was restarted, it started to rain so everybody was in rush to set a banker lap as they knew how unpredictable Spa can be. This made the qualifying seemed like a race with drivers jostling for positions.
Overall, Ferrari were not so competitive and Alonso left it too late in Q3 when the weather turned again. Massa was mostly uninspiring and both of them couldn't get any higher than 6th.
McLaren were on fire. Lewis and Button at one point served up purples on every sector, one after the other to take both top positions. Unfortunately, in Q3 Button made some mistakes and probably his balance went off, so he couldn't make it higher than 5th. Lewis fared better even though he had some off moments and finished P2. Actually he could have gotten pole because he was just .085 off Webber's time.
Red Bull were also not as inspiring especially Vettel. Webber somehow is on fire in a controlled way and managed to snag pole in the dying seconds of Q3. With their car passing the FIA tests, it's hard to see what they're doing right and whether anybody can stop them from winning again tomorrow.
The best of the rest was Renault with Kubica almost getting P2 if not for the incredible lap from Lewis. The updates especially the f-duct seems to work well and I wouldn't discount the thought of Kubica being on the podium tomorrow. Petrov killed his chances of anything tomorrow after his first Q1 lap crash. What a waste.
Mercedes was uninspiring, again with both cars being out of Q3 and having to serve their separate penalties. Since they're in damage limitation mode and defending from Renault, and Renault in good form now, their place in the championship is not guaranteed.
Lotus surprised again with Kovalainnen making it into Q2 and Trulli just but after some penalties were applied, it seems now that both cars are higher up the grid. with changeable weather conditions, anything can happen for that coveted 10th place in the championship.
Other than that, both Saubers crashed out - what a disappointment. Other teams were not worth talking about. Now, it's just a matter of the weather tomorrow and how the run to the first corner pans out plus the chase up Eau Rouge. Can't wait.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The last 2 races gave a suspicion that Ferrari got something right but didn't manage to show the potential because of their own mistakes. This race was where they were supposed to show their upgrades had worked. It showed in free practices and Qualifying. The raw pace of the Ferrari was beginning to match Red Bull and leave McLaren in the dust.
That set up a nice race where anything can happen and raw pace would be tested to the fullest. Ferrari had the chance to show their comeback strength and claim a win or a 1-2 in glorious fashion. But instead they chose to show us how low they would go just to entertain someone's ego.
The team orders they issued, which was subsequently proven because they did not appeal the penalty that was given, ruined an otherwise great race. After all that happened, Ferrari were just fined but the results still stand, although they were referred to WMSC for further action. We'll see what else comes out of this.
Other than that, what else is there to say. The race was ruined by Ferrari and that was it. Again, this kind of thing just wastes my 2 hours and all the adrenalin that I invested in the sport. I hope Ferrari think carefully next race in Hungary before they do another stupid thing like this.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
There have been loads of commentary and discussions and comments by everybody. The funniest thing so far was that Ferrari in trying to denounce the FIA and McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, has even used comments from their fans on their forums as "proof". Hahahahahahahahaaa..
As for Alonso, I think he still has 2007 stuck in his mind. He needs to grow up and move on. Comments from forumers make sense such as this one:
If the race wasn’t ‘manipulated’, how about a penalty (race ban?) for Alonso bringing the sport into disrepute? This is standard procedure in any sport.
I also think his comments regarding the ‘justified anger’ of the fans at Valencia and his allegation that the bottle was thrown onto the track as part of this rage a very close to incitement. His outbursts may be amusing, but they’ve stirred up a lot of anger and vitriol when to most external analysis this anger results from his own frustration at bad luck and the failure of his team to produce a car as good as he wants. - David BR
At the end of the day, Alonso and Ferrari just couldn't take it that after all the upgrades they put into the car for Valencia, they couldn't do better because of bad luck. That's all it is, bad luck. The timing of the accident, the safety car, the positions of the cars on track and what they were doing all conspired against Ferrari. Just accept that.
It was to Hamilton’s benefit that the stewards took so long to decide, that Kobayashi held Button up so much, and that Valencia’s pit lane configuration means drivers lose little time going through it. On another day this penalty could just as easily have dropped him out of the points.
Again, it was just the situation. Ferrari really need to look at themselves since nobody else on the paddock agrees with them, there must something wrong with their rants. It's time to move on.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Well, on to the Valencia GP. It was thought to be another boring featureless race even with all the new upgrades teams brought with them. And going by the performance during FP1, FP2 and FP3, it was still undecided which team had the real advantage. As it turned out, Red Bull who were written off at Valencia still had the advantage.
Red Bull secured another qualifying 1-2 with Lewis Hamilton managing to hold on to P3. The race start was really edge of your seat stuff as Hamilton overtook Webber and went straight for Vettel's jugular. Almost had him too. They touched actually and Hamilton damaged his front wing a bit.
All was quiet until lap 8 when Mark Webber ran into the back of Kovalainen, flew up into the air 360 degrees, landed on his head, bounced around and hit the barriers - at 190mph! Wow! I was speechless. But due to safety measures and technology, he just walked away. Just another day at the office.
That incident brought out the safety car which promptly caused everybody to pit, except for Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Massa who were all out of position. Hamilton managed to overtake the SC (intentionally or not) and Alonso and Massa got stuck there for the remainder of the lap while Vettel, Hamilton and virtually everybody pitted away.
Now, Hamilton did break the rules by overtaking the safety car and he was duly punished with a drive through but the structure of the race at that time did not cause him to lose his P2, so he was lucky. Alonso and Massa's race was ruined because they got stuck at the wrong place and the wrong time. It was unlucky and that is part of racing.
But they and Ferrari can't stop complaining. They even suggested to change the SC rules again just because of this. If it was them that benefited, I'd bet my balls they wouldn't be crying to change the rules. Sore losers! Just ridiculous the statements that Ferrari and Alonso made.
But lets not dwell on that because these people are never satisfied unless they benefit or they can cheat and get away with it, like they did at Fiorano while "filming".
In the end, congrats Vettel and McLaren. Lewis still leads into Silverstone when the new updates to the car will be available and McLaren will blow Ferrari away again.
Lastly, I have to pay tribute to Kamui Kobayashi. What a race he drove. He drove with the same set of tyres for 52 laps, running 3rd for a long time and holding back Jensen Button (who wasn't really trying anyway). Then after changing tyres, he overtook Alonso on the last lap and overtook Buemi on the last corner to snag 7 points. This guy deserves a seat in a better car.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
But this morning after waking up at 1am, groggy and sleepy, I immediately came to my senses as the circuit Gilles Villeneuve came alive with the sounds of the glorious V8. It was an exciting and glorious qualifying session after 2 years missing from the action. The McLarens and Red Bulls were on the pace as expected with Ferrari showing some pace after the disastrous outing in Turkey. I expected them to come back as this race was using the super soft tyres.
The action was fast and furious with Lewis taking command of the circuit and taking pole off Webber on his last flying lap which was set with 8 seconds remaining on the clock. It was one of those classic poles as everybody had run out of time and him being still on the lap after the chequered flag had fallen.
Button didn't do too well as he finished P5, something to do with his tyres not getting in enough heat. He seems to have this problem of getting heat into his tyres since last year at Brawn.
The interesting part of this qualifying and the strategy for the race is that Red Bull have gone for the Prime tyres for qualifying i.e. the harder compound while everybody else has gone for the super soft. They still managed to get P2 and P3 though, just shows you the true pace of the Bulls.
It seems that they will try to overtake Lewis at the start and maintain a long lead before changing tyres later. Hopefully Lewis can keep them behind at the start and as everybody knows, Montreal likes to throw a few safety cars which should help Lewis to pit for the harder tyres. But then again, anything can happen in F1.
The rest of field didn't make such an impact. Renault faded out of view although they did better than Mercedes. Schumacher got P13 while Rosberg P10, they were both beaten by Force India. It was expected that Force India would do well with their low downforce chassis and Mercedes engine.
All in all, another great qualifying from one of the best tracks on the calendar. Really glad Montreal came back. Now, looking forward to the action tonight.
01. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.105
02. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:15.373
03. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:15.420
04. Alonso Ferrari 1:15.435
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.520
06. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:15.648
07. Massa Ferrari 1:15.688
08. Kubica Renault 1:15.715
09. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:15.881
10. Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.071
11. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:16.434
12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:16.438
13. Schumacher Mercedes 1:16.492
14. Petrov Renault 1:16.844
15. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:16.928
16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:17.029
17. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:17.384
18. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.019
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:18.237
20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:18.698
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:18.941
22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:19.484
23. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:19.675
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:27.757
Friday, June 11, 2010
The Bulls still look good for a strong performance here, as they are everywhere. But at least we can hope for a strong fight from McLaren, whose F-Duct will definitely give them a big advantage as Montreal is just full of straights. Also in their favour is the fact that the Bulls are strong in fast corners but Montreal has not much fast corners.
I'm also looking forward to Robert Kubica making some sort of upset here as he has been good at this track. Even though he had a very serious crash here in 2007, he won the race in 2008 (albeit being gifted the race win as the leader at the time retired). Here is the video from that crash, watching it again puts the Massa accident to shame.
Somebody made a 3D animation of the same crash and it is a fantastic video, showing how the crash happened in detail with highlights of the parts of the car that saved his life.
I'm looking forward to the Force Indias making an impact as they have a very good straight line speed. Adrian Sutil should be able to fight for position in the top 10 and score some good points. Not too sure about Liuzzi though but then again he has a new chassis, so maybe both cars could make in to the top 10.
As for the rest, nothing much to say. Lotus dreaming of scoring their first points ever is a bit too high an expectation. The only way is for some huge accident involving 15 cars or something to make that happen.
Anyway, looking forward to F1 action again at a great circuit although I'll be sleepy at midnight as the race airs here at that time. And with the world cup starting at the same weekend plus the Le Mans 24 hours race also on-going, it's gonna be a tiring but exciting weekend. Have a great weekend everybody.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Ahh yes, the McLaren MP4-12C. What a car if there ever was one. It is the essence of Formula 1 and McLaren rolled into one tight little package. It looks the part too. If I ever had the chance to buy a supercar (and I'm sure I will in the not too distant future), this is the car i would have. And make that in that lovely orange shade please.
Here is a video of the two McLaren f1 drivers putting the MP4-12C through its paces at Goodwood. Makes me wanna cum.
Hamilton and Button testing out the new Mclaren MP4-12C supercar
The start was good and clean. Lewis lost a position to Vettel because he was on the dirty side of the grid, so did Button to Schumacher. I was worried that Button wouldn't have the balls to take back the position and would just sit behind Schumacher for 50 laps but he proved me wrong by taking back the place further down the road.
On the whole, the whole race was worth watching as there were battles up and down the order. The most interesting part was the battle between the Red Bulls and the McLarens. It seems to me that McLaren has caught up with Red Bull on race pace as the four of them were trading fastest lap times and fastest sector times all the time.
I'm happy to note that McLaren have found the pace to close to Red Bull and that their reliability is so much better. Now all they need is to do better in qualifying and to improve their pit work. Lewis could have overtaken Webber in the pits if not for a slow pitstop which put him behind Vettel. Although that didn't matter as the 2 Red Bulls clashed afterwards.
Talking about that clash, it seemed strange that Vettel seems to have run into Webber. He was faster at that point, that's why he could put his car right next to Webber's and there was a left turn coming up, so it didn't make sense for him to run into Webber. Unless, Vettel needed the space to turn left and Webber didn't give any. Webber did say that he was holding the racing line. But according to team principal Horner, it was a bit of both but ultimately both drivers lost their heads at the time.
A shame but a good result for the McLarens. Although to be fair, winning by a gift like this does take the shine away. To be honest, as fast as the McLarens were, they could not challenged the Red Bulls for the win outright. If not for the crash, Lewis would have finished P3 and he admitted as much.
"..winning today doesn't feel quite as good as it sometimes does. That's because it's a little bit different from some of my previous race victories: ideally, the racer in me wants to win by overtaking the guys in front, not by seeing them crash out in front of me. Rather than inheriting a win, it's much nicer to fight your way past your rivals and earn the win the hard way."I so agree with him on this point. Winning the hard way is always better. You wouldn't hear such humbleness from Alonso.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
After watching the Monaco GP and seeing how Rubens Barichello threw out his steering wheel (which incidentally costs anywhere between USD20,000 to USD40,000), I was also wondering how these things work with all the controls crammed in there.
James Allen has a very good video and some explanation on this here, and here is the Youtube video explaining how it works.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The really crappy part was that in the penultimate lap, Lewis' tyres or rims blew up and he didn't finish the race and lost a load of points. After 64 laps of incredible performance, that kind of incident really deflates your enthusiasm.
Now just looking forward to the next race in Monaco where it could be even more exciting or frustrating depending on how the weather turns out and how the 6 backmarkers spoils the qualifying.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The McLarens were also up there with Lewis slotting in P3. It would seem normal but a look at the time difference to Vettel reveals a worrying trend. Lewis was almost a full second behind. The power of the Red Bulls are undeniable. Button is P5 with a slight mistake but Alonso managed to sneak in at P4. Massa meanwhile disappointed with P9. Seems since Alonso arrived at Ferrari, Massa has been relegated to the dust heap and the worst part is he's not even lifting a finger about it.
Mercedes is doing better with their new longer wheelbase car. Schumacher is at P6 while Rosberg P8. It seems that Schumacher is back with his control over the team where he has successfully ordered changes to the car to suit himself at the cost of Rosberg. Rosberg did warn us before this race that Schumi won't stay down for long. Now I see what he meant. Perhaps Rosberg has more to talk about to Barichello now.
The best of the newcomers - Lotus, has improved as they said and it shows. Although they are still about 4 seconds behind the leaders (not much change there), they have pulled away from Virgin by about 1 second, which is a great improvement. They are also closer to the midfield now and maybe they can catch them soon.
But the best of the rest goes to Kamui Kobayashi with his "burger" banzai lap that got him into Q2 and Q3 while his teammate Pedro didn't quite like the taste of burger patties. Kobayashi muscled his car with the new updates and Burger King logos into P6 a couple of times but it shows that it is not ready enough to take on the big boys in Q3 when he finished P10. But perhaps Sauber didn't want to use up tyres in that session and saved them for the race. We'll see.
Whatever it is, the race is gonna be a cracker. And if the weather predictions come true, the it will be even better. The Bulls might have some trouble then and Lewis will overhaul them and the rest of the field will be really messed up. Bring it on.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Well, the 2 Friday practice are over and it seems that the top teams are still the top teams. McLaren controlled FP1 with Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest time. Red Bull took FP2 with Vettel setting the fastest time. But the most interesting thing is that in both free practice, Michael Schumacher took P3 ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Schumacher seems to improve with the new longer wheelbase car. He said:
"It's not about confidence, it's simply that the car goes where I want it to go and I don't have to wait too long to go to this point.
"The clear trend is there. We have improved certainly, I have more ability to work the car to my needs, that's what it is, that's what I look for. The team has reacted very good, and now we look forward to make the best out of this.
So I'm feeling a lot more confident in what the car is doing to me. Again it sort of confirmed that China, whatever glitch it was, but something didn't work out for whatever reason, and that works back to a more normal situation."
Hmm. Seems that there was something wrong with the car in China. Funny how that didn't affect Rosberg much. But now with this new car, Rosberg is affected as he finished P6 in FP1 and P7 in FP2. So it seems that Mercedes will sacrifice Rosberg to please His High-Cheating-Ness. Good luck Rosberg, I hope Rosberg will still kick Schumachers ass.
Meanwhile, Lotus who promised a 2 second improvement when they came to Spain did improve. They seem to have a 1 second advantage over Virgin and are edging closer to the middle pack. But their gap to the front of the field is still the same 4 seconds since Malaysia. Probably because the top 4 teams have found another 1 to 2 seconds in Barcelona anyway. At least Trulli is happy.
And Ferrari has fully tested a better F-duct at Barcelona and would probably keep it until the race. It doesn't seem to work much or maybe the 2 drivers are quite used to it yet. Whatever it is, Alonso is scared of the Red Bull's pace and he might not be able to catch them if the race is dry.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I like Silverstone. Not just because of its rich racing history (it did kick off the current world championship in 1950) but the circuit layout although looks simple, is quite enjoyable to drive. It's fast, flowing and has a 4 apex chicane, kinda like Suzuka.
Well, now that Silverstone is safe and will host this year's race, it has been freshened up with a new layout. According to Damon Hill, president of BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) which owns Silverstone:
‘We think we have produced a racetrack of the future,’. It looks like it has the potential to be a real corker.’
Saturday, April 24, 2010
From winter testing, everybody knows or have guessed that the top 4 teams would be Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes - not necessarily in that order. And they were right, so winter times does have some bearing, it's an indicator. And we have been proven right. So heading to Spain, we have the top 4 teams - Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes - hot on each other's heels with massive development waiting to make an impact.
So here are the links to Keith's analysis:
The pecking order as the teams ready their Barcelona performance upgrades
Jenson Button form guide
Lewis Hamilton form guide
On the side, it's worth mentioning that although it seems that Button has out qualified and outraced Lewis so far, he has been doing it on making the right calls. But Lewis has been far superior when it comes to pace and overtaking. Lewis has done 32 overtaking maneuvers so far compared to Jensen's 7.
So I would say that on a one-on-one basis on a free track and nobody around, Lewis beat the crap out of Jensen, hands down.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Finally a McLaren 1-2. They deserved it after all the speed they displayed during practice and qualifying, even though Q3 sucked for them. The win was exceptional because of the 2 different strategies employed by Button and Lewis. Lewis as usual displayed his skill and determination by carving up the field from P6. He chased and overtook everybody on his way to P2.
I especially enjoyed his tussle with Schumacher. Schumacher displayed some skill in defending and re-overtaking his position from Lewis but finally it shows how tired he was and how low was his killer instinct when Lewis re-took the position and flew away. Also, worth mentioning was the fact that the Mercedes was no match for the McLaren, a fact demonstrated again when Lewis took Rosberg for P2. But then again, is it the car or the driver because even Petrov took Schumacher. And he's a rookie driving a Renault.
Red Bull was a disappointment again even though the car was reliable, it somehow didn't have the setup for rain I suspect. Vettel and Webber both got taken by Alonso at the start but we have to remember Alonso jumped the start (and paid for it with a drive through, although a black flag was warranted if you ask me). Then they were overtaken by the McLarens and even Petrov (one of them at least).
The win by Button just shows that sometimes a correct call would be better than banzai driving. Lewis is again undisputed as one of the best and thrilling drivers out there but Button made the right call again and took care of his tyres better. This was demonstrated by the fact that Button made 2 pitstops compared to Lewis' 4 and towards the end, Lewis was losing almost 2 seconds a lap to Button as his tyres were just gone.
But then again Lewis did catch up to Button in the final few laps partly due to Button slipping around and almost going off the track. It also demonstrates Lewis' killer instinct and skill.
Rosberg also showed his potential. If he was in the McLaren he would be very difficult to beat. I hope he continues his upward climb and beats Schumacher at every race until the end of the season.
The only worry about this race was the incident between Lewis and Vettel in the pitlane. It started when entering the pitlane where they were both still racing going into the pits. And after what looked like an unsafe release by McLaren, Lewis managed to get alongside Vettel, almost lost the car and they were both still at it fighting out of the pits. Crazy and exciting to watch but I can't imagine what the stewards are gonna do about it as they have announced an investigation after the race.
Knowing the stewards and almost everybody's hatred for Lewis, I have a bad feeling that either the stewards are gonna ruin this race by giving a post race penalty or a grid penalty at the next race. Whatever it is, one thing is sure, there will be a penalty.
Update : Well I guess pigs do fly then. It seems that the incident involving Vettel and Lewis in the pitlane has been adjudged as a racing incident and the stewards have given them both reprimands and no penalties. NO PENALTIES. Yes, you read right. What has happened to our beloved race-ruining stewards, we'll never know.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
What happened in Q3? Lewis should have taken pole but was pushed back to 6th. I could understand if it was P2 but P6?
McLaren need to seriously up their game if they are to stay in the game and beat the other 3 teams. Look at how strong Rosberg is. Luckily we don't have to worry about Schumacher, he doesn't seem interested to be aggresive enough to win races. It shows on his lap video. His lap was too clean, he wasn't using the track to the maximum or attacking the corners enough.
"It was quite easy to be up the front. The car started bottoming a lot more in Q3 but I don't know whether that's had anything to do with the balance of the car, but I just had no more time in the car. The car was sliding a lot more.
"In Q1 and Q2 the car was even better and I really don't understand what was wrong with the car in Q3 but I wasn't able to get any more time out of it.
"That was me on the limit so I don't know where the time is. We have to go and analyse it and try and find it, but I'm sure tomorrow will be a good race."
These Red Bull boys are a tricky lot. The more I look at how they've been handling race weekends, the more I'm inclined to believe that their strategy is to sandbag, deceive the rest into thinking that they are not that fast during free practice and even during Q1 and Q2 of qualifying. Then when it matters in Q3, they "unleash the Kraken!".
Red Bull have had 4 pole positions 4 races in a row. That must mean something. It means their car is bloody fast and bloody good at balance, whether it be low fuel or high fuel and does not matter which track it is running on. I would not discount the Red Bull to become this year's champion.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I'm cool because I know the race will be exciting as Lewis will be carving his way through the field and overtaking like mad. And he did it at both races. His driving was incredible, inspiring and full of action. That is the kind of action that I want to see as an F1 fan. But sadly, most races these days are just a procession. A reverse grid would spice things up but not practical to implement.
Anyway, lets hope the rest of the season is just as exciting and that Lewis gets a chance to start from pole and blazes his way tom the win more often.
What's more important though is the track itself. Would it provide an interesting race and would it be exciting to drive? Well, here is the proposed layout of the new track. It looks simple enough with some interesting elevations but don't expect much as it is another Tilke creation. Hopefully we can download the track to our simulator and give it a go soon.
So what do you think?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
After the last 2 races, it is quite obvious that the thing to do during qualifying is to do banker laps everytime a qualifying session starts. Which means that no matter what the radar or technology says, just go out and set the best time possible as soon as possible.
Martin Whitmarsh had this to say about their recent qualifying form :
"We have learned lessons. The primary one is that in Q1 we are not racing Ferrari or the other big boys, we just need to get through to Q2 and cover the slow cars in those changeable conditions."Exactly. That is why a banker lap needs to be done as soon as the session turns green. This is especially important when it is raining or when the weather is not so good. I hope McLaren learns this lesson well and applies it to China as the Chinese GP has a habit of going wet.
I especially enjoyed the start where Lewis jumped as much as 7 cars in the first lap alone, I think it was at the first turn alone. And he kept on overtaking cars, on the inside and outside of turns until he was at one point 2nd, up 18 from 20th. His tyres lasted more than 30 laps before he changed to the soft options.
Button on the other hand pitted early, probably another one of his gamble which didn't really pay off. In fact, this race showed that Button is not really world champion material but last year he was helped by the car. He had Massa behind him and allowed Massa to pass him without much fuss. In fact, watching him "holding back" Massa was like watching a Sunday driver wasting time.
Button does not have the aggressive killer instinct that Lewis does. Forget about asking Button to overtake, he can't even hold back somebody. Although he managed to hold back Alonso, Alonso almost overtook him in the end if not for an engine failure. And Alonso was going round with a problematic gearbox.
Lewis made some incredible overtaking maneuvers like the one on Petrov and defended his lead after that with 4 weavings on the front straight. Although the stewards gave him a warning for weaving or dangerous driving, I think it was only racing. By the way, somebody should tell the stewards that motorsports is dangerous.
All in all, a great race which didn't need rain. Although after this we'll never know when we'll need rain. But I am considering reversing grids after this. It seems that the race is really spiced up when that happens. What do you think?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Australian GP is upon us this week and the Malaysian GP will follow the following week. It's gonna be a hectic 2 weeks. For those of you looking for happenings in KL during race week, here is a partial list compiled by the Tourism Ministry.
The interesting events are these 2:
- Petronas Pit Pulse at Jalan Binjai
- PETRONAS Formula One street demo will see the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS MGP WO1 special demo run by drivers Nico Rosberg and seven-time world champion, Michael Schumacher.
And last but not least, Lotus Racing is having a booth at Pavilion KL on 30th march (just 1 day) where they will show off their actual race car (as they don't have a replica) and there will be appearance by all 3 drivers. The interesting part for you race fans is that I will be there with 2 F1 simulators and you are invited to have a go. Try and beat my time, if you can.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Keith from F1fanatic had a first look at a beta or pre-alpha version for the upcoming complete F1 game called F1 2010. I say complete because the one launched last year, F1 2009, was not complete and was only available on the Wii and PSP.
This next version will be launched on the XBox, PC and PS3. According to the developers the game will be launched in September (so late) but will include all tracks this year. I've already talked a bit about the game in my previous post but this preview by Keith is more in-depth and exciting. I can't wait to get a copy. It seems that this game is as realistic as it can get with proper weather and other factors affecting a race such tires graining and damage multipliers.
For more information, click here to read Keith's review plus a great video on the development of the game.
Monday, March 15, 2010
The start was a good clean one with Mark Webber's car spewing a lot of smoke which caused Sutil to touch Kubica and he spun, leaving him to prop up the back of the field. Shame for Sutil, seems that with Kimi Raikonnen now gone, he has other people hitting him.
Vettel was the class of the field, pulling away strongly and never looking like he could be challenged. In fact, his pace was so good that he should have won this race hands down. Unlucky for him, his spark plugs didn't work properly and he has to slow down considerably only to be overtaken by Alonso, Massa and Hamilton. Poor Vettel still managed to hold on for 4th though.
Alonso was always strong during this weekend and I knew he would be on the podium but not winning the race. His win was only because Vettel had that spark plug problem, without it Alonso could not have challenged Vettel. But Alonso did drive a controlled and stable race.
Massa also although he had good race pace, did not have the pace to challenge Vettel. He lost a position to Alonso at the start and has some other problems especially with fuel consumption throughout the race, so he wasn't even able to challenge Alonso.
Hamilton had a good start as well and had similiar pace to the Ferraris. His only problem was either he made a mistake at Turn 4 by himself or he was squeezed by Massa. Either way, he drifted wide and lost a position to Rosberg which wasted a lot of time for him for half the race. Without this, he could have got closer to Massa and maybe even taken him near the end.
The 2 Mercedes cars did not really have the pace to challenge the leaders as expected but Rosberg put in a respectable performance. Not much to say about Schumacher though, he seemed pretty quiet and was just holding station.
Webber was a different kettle of fish. Not only did he have a bad start, his engine spewed out a lot of smoke, probably due to overflooding of the engine or something almost causing a major accident. He lost a position and was caught behind the Mercedes cars and then Button. Even though the Red Bull had the pace, Webber couldn't do much as overtaking is still impossible.
The rest of the field did not conjure up anything interesting to talk about aside from all the retirements and there were quite a few of them. Bruno Senna retired as well, shame to have the Senna name not finishing the race. Virgin also disappointed with double DNFs.
The surprise of the race was Lotus Racing which managed to finish the race albeit last and were 3 laps down. Tony Fernandes was quite excited at the prospect. Maybe he's serving free nasi lemak now at the teams' motorhome.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
"It is believed that a small air scoop in the nose of the car — you can see it just below the steering wheel in the pic below — allows air to enter a tube that runs through the cockpit and the air intake above the driver’s head to the rear wing. From there it flows to the wing and passes through small slots to the back side of the wing, where the added energy can aid the airflow like the slats on a plane. This increases downforce in the corners.
As expected, the new teams were seriously off the pace and filled up the back of the grid. I wasn't paying any attention to them to be honest except for Karun Chandok as he did no running until today and at least the car ran.
Q2 was as expected. Q3 was more interesting as a Renault and Force India made it through. I was not surprised at Kubica being there because he is such a competitive driver but maybe I was surprised at a Renault being there. If Kubica was in a better car, he would have shown up higher.
Force India is another surprise and especially Sutil. He has shown that he can stick his car where it matters, if only he had a McLaren. But I won't be surprised in the race tomorrow if he manages to secure a good points haul because the car seems stable and fast, if only the team doesn't let him down. At least he won't have to worry about Kimi crashing into him.
McLaren and Ferrari seemed closer during testing and practice but somehow McLaren lost downforce and speed when it mattered. I wonder what happened. But it shows the difference between Hamilton and Button with both separated by 4 positions. But what is worrying is the pace between Hamilton and Vettel which is a second. Has Red Bull been sandbagging all this while?
This year the gap between cars were huge. Past years the gap was 2 seconds for the entire grid. Now the difference between P1 and P10 is 2.2 seconds! Lets go racing.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I still don't understand what the device is. Explanations range from "works by the drivers blocking a pipe in their cockpit with their knees" to "the drivers themselves - who are not classified as an aerodynamic device, moveable or otherwise - who operate the flap by using their right knee to cover the flow of air into the cockpit tunnel. This in turn effects the flow of air to the rear of the car and 'stalls' the rear wing."
It's believed that the advantage accrued from the device amounts to approximately an extra 6mph on the straights when the cars are running at top speed. Which is all well and good. That is what F1 is all about. Coming up with engineering ideas to solve difficult problems and gaining an advantage.
James Allen has a very clear analysis about the McLaren wing, how it works but I still don't get it. There is a close up photo of the rear wing with a drawing as well which clearly shows the detail of the rear part of the car. It is no normal shark fin engine cover I can tell you. Click here to read more.
Friday, March 12, 2010
This is how Codemasters describes the game:
I've been playing the closest simulation to F1 yet, the F1 Challenge 99-02 game with a few different mods and updated tracks, cars, drivers, etc for a few years now on the Simsys F1 simulator. The simulator gives the best driving experience as you are seated low in almost an F1 driving position.
In “F1 2010″ gamers will take on the full, expanded grid in a variety of game modes including Grand Prix, Championship, Time Trial and an extensive, innovative Career mode. “F1 2010″ will also feature a highly advanced damage model, fully dynamic weather system and extensive competitive multiplayer options.
In production at Codemasters Studios Birmingham, “F1 2010″ is being developed using the EGO Game Technology Platform, Codemasters’ proprietary tech that powered the critically acclaimed, million-plus selling “Colin McRae: Dirt 2″ and “Race Driver: Grid”. The award-winning technology has been further developed to accurately recreate the unique aerodynamics and handling of 200mph-plus Formula One cars. The tech combined with Codemasters’ unprecedented access to Formula One teams and drivers will ensure that “F1 2010″ delivers the most authentic Formula One racing experience yet.
That simulation is as real as you can get with tweaks possible for everything from tyre pressure to wing (back and front) adjustment to brake force distribution and all manner of things which I still don't understand today. The new F1 2010 should add another dimension to that with realistic physics and greater graphic detail. I'm curious as to how realistic the weather behaviour will be.
Whatever it is, I'm definitely getting this new game and I'm gonna be pounding the tracks for a long time to come. In fact, it would be a dream to drive the F1 2010 game on a motion simulator such as the Force Dynamics.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The F1 Live timing and track positioning App offers fans:
- Ability to see the live timing screens used by the teams themselves.
- Ability to replay any session at any time you choose, and jump forwards and backwards to key points of the action.
- Ability to focus on the driver of your choice.
- News and information on race circuits, teams, drivers, results, standings and much more.
I seriously need one too but not sure how do you get enough bandwidth to follow and entire race. Maybe if you were attached to a wi-fi network it's ok but if there if no wi-fi around, do you log onto to your 3G network and pay through your nose?
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
What is more important is to change the tyres quickly as that is the only was to jump your rivals in the pit. But that means a tyre change will have to take between 3 to 4 seconds. That is definitely possible. A sub 3 second tyre change would be incredible which quite a few teams have done over the winter testing and at their factories. But a sub 2 second change?
Red Bull have indicated that they have done that. In fact it is rumored that they did a 1.8sec tyre change. Wow. Their guys even went training to get fit fot this purpose just like drivers have to. That would be fantastic. Now even tyre changes are calculated in the tenths.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
"There's a bit of a fuss over McLaren's rear wing," says Red Bull's Christian Horner, according to the Daily Telegraph. "They have a slot on it that affects the air flow and they can pick up a lot of straight-line speed. "I think it will get resolved before the first race," he added. "We've asked the FIA for clarification although I think Ferrari are probably more excited than we are to be honest."Funny though that McLaren said they spoke to Ferrari and Ferrari didn't know about it.
"We're very confident that our car is entirely legal - and we're not aware of any protest. In fact, we've spoken to Ferrari this morning and they're not aware of any protest either."I think this is normal F1 games before the start of the season to try to derail your competitors' competitiveness if you see any advantage. The fact that this issue even came up means that McLaren are fast and have an advantage so Ferrari and Red Bull are trying to slow them down before the first race.
What is scary though is Mercedes' quietness. I won't be surprised at Bahrain when they whip out some crazy diffuser or something and blows everybody away.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
1. Jenson Button
2. Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Grand Prix
3. Michael Schumacher
4. Nico Rosberg
Red Bull Racing
5. Sebastian Vettel
6. Mark Webber
7. Felipe Massa
8. Fernando Alonso
9. Rubens Barrichello
10. Nico Hülkenberg
Renault F1 Team
11. Robert Kubica
12. Vitaly Petrov
Force India F1 Team
14. Adrian Sutil
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi
16. Sebastien Buemi
17. Jaime Alguersuari
18. Jarno Trulli
19. Heikki Kovalainen
HRT F1 Team
21. Bruno Senna
BMW Sauber F1 Team
22. Pedro de la Rosa
23. Kamui Kobayashi
24. Timo Glock
25. Lucas di Grassi
Rumours are swirling since Lewis Hamilton announced that Anthony will no longer be his manager and that he is looking for a replacement manager. The rumours are going round saying either Martin Brundle or Mika Hakkinen could take the role.
Personally, I like both. Brundle is an ex F1 racer and has raced in various other categories and currently is a commentator on the BBC for Formula One. And a damn good one too. Mika Hakkinen needs no introduction of course. He is the 1998 and 1999 world champion and overall nice guy. Met him a couple of times, great guy to be around.
If it was up to me, I'd have Mika manage Lewis.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
An interesting piece of news, even to me. Anthony Hamilton has not just stopped being Lewis' manager but has opened up a driving academy for aspiring Formula One drivers with Formula One cars managed by Formula One personnel. That sounds hugely interesting. I wonder how it works. Although, the cars will be from the preceding season. The website is here.
I knew that Anthony was working on the Lewis Hamilton Academy, a sort of club like what David Beckham did with the David Beckham Football Academy. We almost had a deal going with Sepang last year with that academy but somehow the academy didn't turn out. Or maybe it turned out to be this one.
I thought an academy for aspiring drivers would start at karting and provide the necessary help to progress to Formula One but this one sounds like somthing to prepare young drivers to graduate to Formula One itself. Meaning, if you are already in GP2 or F2 or World Series by Renault, then you could enrol in this academy and get the necessary training to prepare to enter Formula One. Or something like that. Oh well, we'll have to wait to ask Anthony himself next month.