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Back in 1996 two times World Champion Michael Schumacher turned his back on the team that had just won him back to back titles and went to drive for Ferrari. Ferrari had won some races in the mid 90's but weren't pushing for titles and many wondered why Schumacher had gone there, apart from the reputed $30 million salary.
Schumacher won 3 races that season, despite the car not being particularly good. Come 1997 Schumacher was challenging for the title and again in 1998. In 1999 a broken leg put paid to any drivers title but Ferrari won the constructors title. From 2000 onwards I don't think I need to go in to much detail. Schumacher and the red machine dominated F1 in a way that that hadn't been seen before and he was only knocked off his perch by a young pretender called Fernando Alonso in a Renault.
Via a troubled time at McLaren and a couple of "wilderness" years back at Renault the often quoted "best driver in F1" found his way to Ferrari. He challenged for the title in...
There is no doubt that the 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is a popular driver. His directness and monotone I don't care attitude is loved by a good majority of F1 fans the world over and that has maybe created this current elephant in the room. No one seems to be asking the question so I feel I have too, and believe me I'm bracing myself because I know passions will run high. Are we currently watching Kimi in decline or was he maybe not as good as we thought?
Due to the battle at the front in Canada it went under the radar that Raikkonen trundled into 10th out of 11 finishes almost a minute down. The biggest surprise about the result is that actually its not a surprise, its kind of how Kimi's season has been going. His season seems to have been full of half collisions, untapped speed and funny little spins when he loses the back end through slow corners at the oddest time. Whilst we keep hearing about how difficult the Ferrari is its fair to say we haven't seen Fernando Alonso...
Have reviewed the Technical Delegate reports from Canada ... and prepare a little table showing the current state of play with regard to "power unit elements" ... you reach six on any of these and you start to receive grid penalties through to having to start from the pitlane ...
The first section is the power unit element usage as at end Monaco ...
The middle section shows the new elements used during Canada ... the black shaded yellow text items are changes that were made during the weekend ... and where you see a number greater than one (1) that means not only did they take a new element after Monaco ... but they also had to / were forced to take another new element during the weekend as well ....
The last section is the (provisional) usage at the end of Canada ... which will be confirmed at the start of the Austrian GP in a couple of weeks ... usage by simple calculation should be 1.8 (say 2) after R07 ... yellow and red shaded are self explanatory ...
Did a little...
F1 is back In Speilberg, Austria for the first time in 11 years.
The Speilberg race track has a long history in F1. The original track was know as the Osterrelchring. The track was built in 1969 to replace the Zeltweg airfield circuit, and first debuted in F1 in 1970. It was a very fast circuit with every corner a fast sweeping spectacle meaning drivers never had to drop below 3rd gear. However large sections of the track had little run off and some sections including the start finish straight were very narrow. Mark Donohue’s death in 1975 resulted in alterations to the Vost-Hugel Kurve and in 1977 the Hella-Licht chicane was added. After that Allan Prost pushed for larger run off’s rather than more track alterations. These followed in some, but not all corners.
The Osterrelchring was a regular offering until 1987 when the turbo era pushed engine power up to 1400 bhp in quailfying. The speeds achieved approaching the Bosch Kurve were well over 200mph, a corner still with little...
After reading RasputinLives Team Mate battle thread it got my brain working overdrive. We are trying to work out which drivers are better compared to another driver in a different team. Due to the differences in this generation of F1 cars it is like comparing apples to oranges.
The obvious answer to this problem would be to make F1 a spec series like GP2 and the new Formula E series starting soon.
Before you all start shouting saying what a terrible idea this is and how much it will stifle the engineering and ingenuity by the F1 designers who are constantly striving to squeeze every extra ounce of performance out of the cars, I think I may have a potential solution.
Currently in NASCAR there are 3 actual car manufacturers, each of these then sells their chassis to a team who compete against all other teams. This isn't too different to what we have in F1 as far as the engines are concerned....
So we are 6 races in which is just under a third of the way through the season so I thought it was a good time to look at the team mate duels we have had going off so far this season.
We are often quoted with the qualifying stats and who is in front in the championship standards is plain to see but exactly how close are they results wise?
Something I've done on a reg basis for the last two seasons, which I think is a good reflection of how close they are, is look at how many points the losing driver has scored compared to the winning driver as a percentage. Whilst its not an infallible measure it does give a good reflection on how close a second based team mate has been to achieving what the lead team mate has done and also is a good way to compare the different team mate battles.
Obviously for this stat to work the drivers have to have scored points which rules out Sauber and Caterham. Meanwhile Grosjean and Bianchi have 100% more points that their team mates so the stat is...
The "European" Season continues in Canada at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Last year Vettel took pole and the win, somehow this season it doesn't look likely that there will be a repeat, rather we will see the two Mercedes drivers battling things out for win seven out of seven as Hamilton and Rosberg share the races out between them.
After Monaco Rosberg has returned to the top the drivers championship but is 4-2 down to Hamilton in race wins. Lewis likes Canada so perhaps this race will see things tip back in his favour. The big question will be the inter-team dynamic after Monaco. Rosberg's pole appears to have rankled Hamilton and he questioned the team tactics regarding the safety car. Perhaps a pole to flag win for the Englishman will put these things to the back of his mind.
Red Bull and Ferrari will battle to be the best of the rest, with Daniel Ricciardo proving that the decision to give him the "second" Red Bull seat has been more than justified. Force India, Toro...
Today, the oldest living World Champion, Sir Jack Brabham, vacated that particular title. It got me thinking, who are the oldest survivors of F1's illustrious past.
It's oldest surviving champion is 80-year-old John Surtees, who won the title in 1964, and uniquely was also a motorcycle World Champion. He is also one of the two drivers to have won the World Championship in his only career race in the Championship lead, with the late James Hunt.
The oldest surviving winner is far more well known in Britain than Surtees, being that it is Stirling Moss at the age of 84. Moss finished as Championship runner-up on four separate occasions, and could never in his career match having the fastest car to not being Fangio's team-mate. He is the model on which the stereotypical gentleman racing driver was largely built in the UK. Moss is also the oldest surviving pole sitter.
The oldest surviving fastest lap setter is one of Moss' team-mates, 86-year-old Mercedes driver Hans Hermann, who set...
Monaco. The jewel in the crown. Where the crowd is closer and the colours are brighter. A truly unique track on the F1 calendar and everyone has massive love for it. Well actually they don’t. A lot of voices point out that there is hardly ever any overtaking, the races are dull and the track is just not suitable for modern F1. I, however, am not one of those because I absolutely love Monaco.
For me Monaco is one of the most exciting sporting events on the year. Some people have the cup final, I have Monaco and despite the cries of ‘dull races’ if you think back on It we always have drama at Monaco. Whether it be the three car train and the bumper cars behind of 2011, The team orders of 2007, Schumacher hitting Montoya in the tunnel in 04, Panis coming through the carnage in 96, Mansell all over the back of Senna in 92 or even the wet race no one wanted to win in 1982, there is always something to talk about at Monte Carlo.
So why do people think its dull? Well it is true that it...
Back in the day, F1 cars used to barrel round for an hour on a Sunday morning to allow the teams to prepare the cars for the race in the afternoon. We now have "Parc Ferme" where the cars have to run in the configuration used for Saturday's qualifying even if the quaile was dry and the race wet or vice versa.
Is it time for the powers that be to reintroduce a 30 or 60 minute session on the morning of the race so that teams can set the car up in race trim, make adjustments for the climatic conditions and give the fans something else to watch apart from a Porsche Supercup or Renault Clio Championship race before the main event?
Hopefully this would lead to a more interesting race if the teams have compromised their set up for qualifying. I think we can all recall Vettel's drive from the pit lane to third a few years ago when the team took the decision to break the Parc Ferme rules and set the car up in race spec. I'm sure Pirelli could find another set of tyres for each of the...
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