Clip The Apex
Renault have been dipping in and out of F1 since 1977 in one guise or another. Currently supplying Redbull and Toro Rosso. There is talk afoot of them now taking over Toro Rosso and bringing back the Renualt Works team.
Renualt have a significant track record of 304 races, 35 race victories, 51 pole positions, 2 drivers championships and 2 constructors championships. Plenty of big boy scaring form there. This could be good.
The inclusion of another manufacturer works team would be a much need security blanket for Formula One. With F1's run away costs, consistently failing to be addressed, the only realistic way to get financially secure teams in F1 is for them to be backed by car manufacturers.
It would of course be far better for F1 if Renualt were to do a HAAS and leave Toro Rosso alone and look at bringing in a new Renualt Works team from scratch. Two extra cars on the grid would be a far better scenario for F1, what with Caterham falling off the back of the grid last year.
If they were to come back as a works team it would be unlikely they would supply engines to another top team such as Redbull. So I guess Horner would have to moan about someone else's engine. My heart bleeds.
I think this would be great for F1. To have Renualt back as a fully blown works team would make me and I'm sure many other F1 fans very happy.
Lets hope it happens.
Well believe it or not the next Formula E race is already less than 3 weeks away as the race schedule starts to speed up after its sporadic start. Round 6 of Formula E swoops into a venue very familiar to motorsport as it lands at Long Beach, South California. The track itself is a modified version of the classic lay out that has held races such as F1 and Indy Car since 1975. The track lay out looks like so:
Whilst the traditional 90 degree corners of US street tracks are there we also have a couple of chicanes thrown in so while some of the racing will be similar to what we saw in Miami we will have added breaking zones which should create added overtaking opportunities and, most likely, added carnage. Miami was the first Formula E race to go all the way through with no safety car which added to the interesting element of power saving. Whilst there will be an element of that here I doubt we'll go the distance without someone in the wall so I expect it to lessen off.
So after a fairly average season opener the mighty F1 circus roars on to Sepang in Malaysia to write its second chapter where it will hope the main headlines will be made on the track and not off it like in Melbourne. It will also hope for a full grid of 20 cars and for no one to break down on the way to the grid. There is no question that the mighty Merc will be favourite to take a result. When you've got the best car being driven to perfection its hard not to tip them for a win. Already though you have to be concerned about Nico Rosbergs sporting mental state as he was was not only thoroughly beaten by Hamilton on the track but then also took a thrashing from Vettel in the press conference. Whilst we're pretty sure he'll remember to mention Merc's Malaysian backers on the podium(remember last year?) you have to hope for his sake its from the top spot in order to stop the rot that set in about half way through the 2014 season.
Sepang has actually been a stop on the F1 calendar since 1999 with the first race win being gifted to Eddie Irvine by Michael Schumacher. Young Max Verstappen will probably have to spend the next two weeks hearing stories from his dad Jos about how in 2001 in the rain he went from 18th to 6th off the start line in an Arrows and even lead the race at one point before the track became dry again and despite some brave defending he slipped back down to 7th. Speaking of rain, its a fact that Malaysia is notorious for it and I severely doubt will have a weekend without any arriving at all even if they have moved the start time forward to avoid the monsoons. What that will do to the current pecking order at the moment I have no idea but I doubt it will throw Hamilton off course with his current form. Some of the laps he was doing in Australia were sublime to the point of being ridiculous.
In terms of a challenge to Mercedes then all eyes are on Ferrari. Their race pace was a lot better than expected and whilst still a way off you suspect from Vettel's obvious confidence and swagger at the moment that the car feels good and he expects it to get better. He has certainly show himself to be in predator mode and I expect his plan is to be sitting there on Mercedes shoulder in order to take advantage of any error that might creep in. A few digs in the press conference in order to throw them off kilter is a cheeky tactic but not one unheard of. It reminded me very much of 1993 when Prost was complaining about all the car problems he had with his Williams and Senna asked him if he'd like to swap cars for the next race. Kimi has very fond memories of ice cream at Malaysia and I'm sure we'll have some form of t-shirt to remind us all about it going off this year. It was good to see Raikkonen showing the speed we know he has in the first race but now we need him to find some luck from somewhere in order for him to get into the race. Kimi always comes to life when he has a good car and that seems to be the case here. I also think he genuinely gets on with his teammate for a change and I fully expect him to be at the very least sat on Vettel's bumper in a straight race.