May 182011

As I write this, I am sitting on the sofa watching the F1 race from Monaco, there are about 18 laps to go and unless a car breaks or crashes or some technical problem intervenes then the result is set.

The top ten has been set for something like the last fifty laps.

Initially there was a great deal of ‘fun’ when Alonso, who started in the pit lane, picked off car after car and pulled the same move on several cars, before a safety car session allowed him to jump up the order and create a Ferrari-McLaren-Ferrari sandwich. Given that Alonso is one of the absolute best drivers in the world and he is was in arguably the most expensive cars on the grid he really struggled to get by cars that are several seconds per lap slower. Typically he would catch a car that was five seconds or more up the road in a single lap than spend two laps trying to find his way around it.

The safety car sessions gave Alonso probably as much as thirty seconds back at one time.

Continue reading “Monaco F1” »

Apr 112010

Or how I learned to love to watch people driving in circles.

MontoyaNASCAR was not exactly popular among my peers growing up in the UK. Apart from the odd mention on TV I had not really heard of the sport until I became a regular reader of Motoring News. Even then, the mentions were vague and related to a sport that I had no reference points for.

Let me explain.

In the UK there is a huge ‘club’ racing scene, with many formula based classes that allow anyone that is interested to race wheel-to-wheel at a price that matches their budget.

There is a simple ‘open vs closed wheel’ split, and then ‘tin tops vs open’ split too. The open-wheelers ranged from ‘Formula Ford’ up to ‘Formual One’, with a reasonably simple progression that would allow almost anyone with talent to progress through the ranks and arrive in F1 after a few years. Many famous names made the progression. I remember seeing Nigel Mansell race in the lower series at my local track for example. Continue reading “F1 vs NASCAR” »

 Posted by at 9:15 pm
Mar 282010

I had planned on watching the race live last night from 11PM to 1AM, but after a fairly long day and too much pizza I went to bed before it started and was therefore able to watch it this morning on the DVR while avoiding the internet (and hence results), luckily I was awake enough to watch the whole thing and it really was a fun race.

Perhaps though it is time to change the definition of ‘winner’ though ?

Over the weekend Lewis Hamilton manage to score more ‘Hero Points’ than any driver that I can remember since the late, great James Hunt and therefore should be considered the winner this weekend.

The viewers were also winners this time around after the snooze-fest last time around. This race had pretty much everything, it started out wet/damp, then there was the almost expected first lap crash that shuffled the field. A brief session behind the safety car followed and then the race proper began. During which time the track dried out and the field got shuffled a little and there was more overtaking for position than anyone could have predicted.

Continue reading “F1 race opinions – Australia” »

 Posted by at 9:41 am
Mar 142010

Having just endured the first F1 race of the year, I am finding it a little difficult to express my disappointment.

First off let me mention the broadcast time. The race started at 5AM for me. In order to watch it live I would have needed to get out of bed at 04:30, give the clocks changed this weekend, that works out as 3:30AM. I am not usually at my best then. Until Bernie realizes that the world does not revolve around CET, I guess that this is about as good as it gets.

I started watching the race at around 6AM, skipping the build-up and only dropping from 32x to 1x during the warm-up lap.

Prior to the race there was much speculation that the first corner would be problematic, however apart from Mark Webber laying down a smoke screen that would have made Q-Branch proud, it was pretty much a none event.

Sadly that phrase springs to mind for the rest of the race too. The race quickly settled into a procession with no driver able to overtake without a significant car advantage.

But, lets rewind a little, some time ago the FIA (Ferrari International Assistance) announced that in 2010 there would be a ban on refueling as the majority of the ‘changes to position’ were brought about due to fuel stops and those with the best strategy computers generally rose to the surface. occasionally the logic broke, but in general the race became among the strategic teams.

The ban on in-race refueling has forced the cars to carry an entire race worth of fuel in their car from the start of the race to the flag. Add to this a narrower front tire and team-wide acceptance of the ‘double diffuser’ that emerged in 2009 and you have cars that start very heavy, then gradually get lighter and lighter as the race goes on, but also cars that have more rear-end grip (via the diffuser) and less front end mechanical grip (tires). You do not need an advanced degree in aerodynamics to figure out that the cars are going to be unbalanced and any instance of ‘dirty air’ will reduce the front end grip to, well, not much.

…..and the double diffuser produces a lot of dirty air.

Continue reading “F1 Race report – Farce 1 – Bahrain” »

 Posted by at 1:00 pm
Mar 112010

Friday predictions…..

This will be the first time that we will even see some of the cars on track and I expect that Friday will be far from ‘incident free’. The Campos HRT cars will be rubbish, they will be at least five seconds / lap off the pace, or slightly faster than the Virgin cars, maybe. Lotus will be faster, but not by a great deal. Up at the front the McLaren and RedBull cars will be leading the way, much to the annoyance of everyone that has not got a ‘stalling’ rear wing or Adrian Newey on the design team. Ferrari and Mercedes will be close, but the infighting will somehow detract. Yes this is race one and there will be a lot of tension in the team.

The shock of the session with be Kamakazi sticking in a blindingly fast lap and overtaking an ‘on the limit’ Schumacher around the outside of turn 19 and heading the timesheets for a few minutes. Sauber may well prove to be the best of the rest at times on Friday, again much to the annoyance of many.
Continue reading “F1 Bahrain Predictions” »

 Posted by at 8:53 pm