Featured Threads Archive
As F1 moves into the summer break, Ferrari are firmly in the lead, and Mercedes must be feeling just a little worried.Their supremacy is definitely being threatened, and so the Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) will be crucial for them if they are to win this years Constructors and drivers championships. Crucial for Ferrari as well.
If Spa is famous for anything it's the unpredictable nature of the race, courtesy of the weather. Frequently one part of the track can be sunny and dry, whilst just round the corner it's raining, quite a challenge for drivers. But despite the difficulties, or maybe because of them, Spa is popular with drivers and fans alike.
Spa started life running on public narrow roads, between three different villages, but by 1983 it had become, more or less, the track we know now. A mix of long straights and fast corners and the longest F1 circuit on the F1 calendar.
Kimi Raikkonen has had four wins at Spa, and certainly has the car to do so again, but I...
For the 32nd time in a row the F1 circus rolls into Mogyorod just outside Budapest for another race at the Hungaroring. 11 out of the last 13 F1 world champions have won a race in Hungary making it a badge of honour. The two that never won at Hungary by the way are Nico Rosberg and Alain Prost. The circuit now has to be regarded as an F1 Classic and unlike Silverstone and Monza there never seems to be any talk of it dropping off the calendar. This suggests to me they have a pretty dam good contract. I don’t even know who backs it but I don’t see it making more money that Silverstone so I can only conclude they are paying cheap rates.
In recent times the race has thrown up unpredictable results and actually was voted CTA race of the year 3 times in a row from 2013 to 2015. The track itself was resurface in 2016 and is no longer the dust bowl it used to be. The new tarmac made it much faster last year and with the new cars I imagine it’ll be off the charts this season. The twisting...
We can only hope that Silverstone is closer in the action to Baku than to Austria, which is probably in the running for one of the dullest races this year.
The weather may well come to the rescue at Silverstone, it is often, windy, wet and frequently cold. It's also very flat and used to be very fast until the powers that be decided that fast wasn't really what F1 is about. So starting at Woodcote in 1975 started to make changes to slow the track down. In 1990-91 the tracks transformation from super fast to technical was pretty much complete, although they still tinker and tweak it from time to time. Now they may well be taking a break from 2019 until .....? But we shall know by the time the race is run next week-end.
They say that they can't afford to host the race anymore, and when you look at the other races round the world many are government backed, or at least backed by very rich oil countries, it becomes obvious that to keep pace is not easy, Silverstone does not get...
Well, the Austrian Grand Prix has a lot to live up to. Barcelona, Montreal and Baku have all proved excellent races and we're all hoping that the same can happen in the lush, green hills of Central Europe.
The title race has had its first real flashpoint with Vettel's wheelbanging at turn 16. This could have represented a massive swing to Hamilton but for an ill-fitted headrest. As it was, Vettel eked out 2 points on his British rival. Watch for fireworks.
It's not a case of Finnish friends in the second cars either. Bottas and Raikkonen collided again in Baku. While the chaotic race enabled Bottas' recovery, the two need to keep out of each other's sides to boost their chances in the Constructors' Championship.
Max Verstappen will be outrageously frustrated. He's getting into very good positions - almost certainly a race win in Baku - but is not completing the races. It looks like a finish will coincide with a decent result, but to finish first...
Ricciardo, meanwhile, stayed...
No, fear not fellow clippers, it's not my hayfever getting the better of me but it's the next F1 venue in the 2017 F1 season. Designed to be the worlds fastest street circuit, this year the grand prix carries the name of the host country unlike last year when, for reasons never fully explained it carried the European GP title.
Last years race was effected by kerb bolts not being fully tightened down, causing a number of tyres to be shredded and a flying drain cover that re-arranged the underside of one of the cars. These little issues to one side, on the whole, the circuit did set out to achieve its aim of speed with some of the highest straight line speeds ever recorded in F1, along the long back straight.
The race itself saw the top 6 spread out by over a minute showing that the key to success was a powerful engine and a high top speed. Hamilton suffered badly due to starting in the wrong mode. This highlighted the 'radio driver instructions' issue once again and was the...
The Canadian Grand Prix, a true highlight of the F1 calendar, has certainly provided plenty of action and extreme entertainment over the years, not to mention a few pesky ground-hogs. The passionate and diverse Montreal crowd enhance the upbeat atmosphere, with a large Italian community sure to be in high spirits with Ferrari’s form this year and Vettel’s win at Monaco. As ‘North America’s most European city’, Montreal is well placed to host its 34th Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit on the Île Notre Dame; in the heart of the European season.
The circuit has played host to some crazy incidents down the years, generally with rain involved. From the debacle in 1973 where confusion reigned (and did it rain), to Button’s 2011 epic win from plumb last, in what turned out to be the longest World Championship Grand Prix ever due to a lengthy rain delay; and Hamilton’s maiden win in 2007 that included Kubica’s horror crash in a race with four safety cars. (Kubuica sat out the...
Monaco. It is the Marmite race of F1. You either love it or hate it and it’s a left over event from YEASTeryear (thank you thank you, I’m here all week, try the chicken). Personally I love it. I love the colours, the walled in racing and the fact it’s a ridiculous place to have a motor race. Those who hate street circuits will grumble about there being no overtaking and I see their point, but the thing about Monaco is that if you do get an overtake its usually spectacular or ends up in a big smash. It’s a quality over quantity situation.
CTA’s most controversial race of all time was the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix. It concluded in an 23 page argument and the banning of at least 3 members(seriously if you have a spare half hour then go into the archives and read it) . Between a three way battle between Vettel, Alonso and Button for the lead, Mclaren rebuilding Hamilton’s car on the grid during a red flag stoppage, Lewis accusing the stewards of racism and poor old Petrov getting flack...
Catalonia, made up of four provinces, the capital of which is Barcelona, is an autonomous community in north eastern Spain (Thanks Wikipedia). To explain its long and complicated history would take more time and effort than I currently have at almost 11pm on a Sunday evening. The one fact that should concern us however, is that since 1991 the region has been home to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the Spanish Grand Prix.
It's hard to imagine that Spain has been one of the longest serving fixtures on the F1 calendar. Making its debut as a World Championship event in 1951, it has been in and out of the calendar on several occasions and been hosted by a number of circuits but has been ever present since 1986.
Catalunya which took over from Jerez after 1990, couldn't have got off to a better start in 1991, hosting the famous dog fight between Senna and Mansell. As the years progressed however, and car designs became more overtaking unfriendly, the track has felt it more than...
As the Formula One circus shakes the Bahraini sand from it's shoes it heads to Russia for the 6th running of the Russian Grand Prix. Held for the last 3 years on the streets of Sochi the circuit wends it's way around the 5.9Km long Sochi Autodrom which was built as part of the 2014 Winter Olympic Park.
The last 3 Grand Prix around this circuit have all been won by a Mercedes driver with Lewis Hamilton scoring two wins with Nico Rosberg climbing the podium as victor last year.
However, it appears that the stranglehold Mercedes have had on the Championship over the last few seasons may be being loosened in the guise of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari with the German taking two wins this season. Some could argue that for a duff strategy call and a penalty in Bahrain that Hamilton could be leading, but, in a sport where the margins are so fine on such events are championships won and lost. Vettel will be hoping for a better race than last year where he was unceremoniously punted off the...
Have we all calmed down after China? After the rather dull opener in Australia Shanghai did show that the 2017 cars can overtake one another and without DRS. The question is did the damp conditions flatter to deceive? I suspect we won't see even a hit of rain in Bahrain.
It's a score draw between Hamilton and Vettel now in the championship. The Merc looks to have the edge over the Ferrari in qualifying trim but the cars are closer in the race. The decision to pit Vettel under the virtual safety car left him at a disadvantage as he tried to chase Hamilton down in China but Lewis always looked like he had something in reserve.
Behind the two front runners their team mates are looking like genuine No. 2 drivers, although this may be a little harsh on Bottas only two races in to his Mercedes career. Raikkonen's complete lack of enthusiasm to try and overtake Ricciardo in China was telling although he was complaining about having problems with the "energy" supply from his car....
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