Featured Threads Archive
The F1 circus rolls into not-in Barcelona for the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round of the championship. As it is the start of the European season, this Grand Prix is usually the scene of technical updates from all teams, or last-minute bits and bobs to hopefully reverse the awful job the engineers did at the start of the season, depending on your cynicism. Now, all teams say that they can get half-a-second per lap, so the field theoretically shouldn't change order, but inevitably this is never the case. So, it will be interesting to see which teams have been overly-optimistic. I mean, there's one thing talking the talk, but can they walk the walk (or in this case just go really fast).
Often hailed as a 'complete' circuit which tests all aspects of the cars - i.e. a byword for producing awful races - the circuit often used to hold pre-season tests, so teams had a reasonable ides of what to expect, but some guy in the FIA decided that it does rain in Spain,...
In case you are not aware the second season of the BRDC Formula 4 starts this weekend at Silverstone and is set to confirm itself as the new first rung on the single seater ladder to F1.
The series has great coverage in the UK as its on free to view channal ITV4. They don't give you live coverage but they do give you an extensive highlights hour long package on the Sunday evening the weekend after the races take place and as its real wheel banging stuff its always fun to watch.
The BRDC was set up last year to try and fill the gap left with the demise of British F3 and like British F3 it has seemed to become the destination for young non-european drivers to learn their trade. There is even a Brazilian team this year in Petrobull. The drivers you see compete are on their first step in single seaters and usually fall between the ages of 15 and 20 (most of them are balancing this with sitting their A-Levels!). The BRDC's position as 4th step on the ladder has been confirmed this...
Apparently, Formula One needs to change to improve "The Show".
It's just not visually exciting enough for casual fans.
After all, what's the point in Instagramming a boring, regular old photo of an F1 car if there are no vapour trails?
As such, the latest incarnation of "the out of touch brigade", known this time as the "Strategy Group" are proposing, amongst others, the following changes:
- The return of sparks
- Glowing brake discs
- Vapour trails
- Standing starts after safety cars
- Reduced race length
- Faster pit stops
What a shame they've been lapped in the race, are currently last in the championships and have zero points.
Maybe I'm just out of touch with current F1 but I can't fathom how any of that is going to improve my enjoyment of the primary reason for the existence of Formula One, which is the actual racing.
But then the racing has taken a back seat to "The Show" for...
It is 4 races in, and we now have a 3 week break to take stock of the F1 season thus far. The obvious question everyone will be asking is: what can we learn from the four races so far?
Well, the first and most obvious lesson is that Mercedes are significantly clear of everybody else. Their winner has been between 23 and 25 seconds clear of the fastest non-Mercedes¹ at every race so far, underlining their superiority; they have managed that specific gap. The advantage in fuel and tyre wear in China for Hamilton must worry the other teams as well.
Looking at the qualifying sessions, too, it seems that Red Bull is not only the best challenger in the wet, but Ricciardo's performance in Bahrain suggests they're not a busted flush in the dry either. They are clearly very close to Mercedes in the wet. So I think Red Bull have the most need to be hopeful, even if they haven't always picked up the points.
As for the rest, it is important to question how much the order has been shaken up...
I came across this article recently stating that F1's young driver schemes are winning out over what was perceived as the rise of the pay driver.
I was interested to get everyones views on this point as whilst I think, in principle, the article is correct I think it misses some of the double edged swords of the schemes that actually benefit the 'pay driver'.
Whilst it is great that the F1 teams are running these schemes I think they also see them as a way of gaining extra cash and satisfying sponsors. For instance Mercedes only currently visible youth driver this season is Malaysian driver Jafaar who races in the 3.5 Series. Whilst he's not terrible he is considerably behind others which leads you to conclude he is getting the backing due to being Malaysian and Mercs Petronas connection.
Williams have a similar thing going on with Flippe Nasr. They sign him to their team and suddenly the name of Banco De...
Stewart Grand Prix had been taken over by Jaguar. They'd lost momentum from their early season form, when Rubens Barrichello had mixed it with the front guys. Rain was in the air, as so often in Nurburg, and Frentzen lead off from pole, on a surprise title charge...
Felipe Massa sat on pole at Interlagos, the cheers of the fans ringing in his ears. Hamilton was ahead, but he was ahead last year too. For sure, if Felipe won the race, it would be his best chance...
The pit lane is no place for a Champion to start, especially if he's on for a fifth consecutive win. Up front Hamilton was ready for the sequence to conclude his career with McLaren. On second thoughts, leave them alone. They know what they're doing...
These are just snapshots from the best three seasons I can remember. And what do they have in common?
Epic title one-on-ones, but battles that didn't exclude outsiders like Frentzen, Kubica or Webber until late on.
Unlikely and emotional one-off wins. Stewart's last...
Welcome to the discussion for the 11th running of the Chinese Grand Prix, in 'Shanghai' (i.e. the middle of nowhere). The imposing circuit, with its 200,000 capacity grandstands, stand tall and large in the middle of marshland. Unfortunately, there is very little danger of anything like 200,000 people entering the circuit (despite whatever the Chinese government claims!!) This was the scene of Nico Rosberg's win in the Mercedes in 2012, and, given the form of the Silver Arrows this season, who says that the team can't repeat that feat?
As I'm sure you all know by now, thanks to previous Chinese discussion threads, the circuit, designed by Hermann Tilke, was created in the shape of the Chinese symbol 'shang', which means up/above/on top of. Whilst the circuit may not be the most thrilling in the world, it does often produce great races, mainly down to its tight hairpin preceded by a 1km long straight at the end of the lap. Most notable of these was perhaps in 2007, where...
So the Renault 3.5 world series by Renault is set to start next weekend in Monza and whilst some would say the vast amount of talent has switched to GP2 this year there is no question that this years World Series line up looks as if it will bring us exciting racing.
For those of you who are uninitiated in the world series it is an alternative to GP2 as a feeder series to F1 and is sometimes favoured by the F1 teams as a feeder series due to its more similar technology. Last years champion was Kevin Magnusen and previous graduates from the series have been Sebastian Vettel, Jules Bianchi, Jean Eric Vergne and Danial Ricciardo. The series runs for 9 rounds with 2 races at each round, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. There is no reverse grids here as they have a Saturday and Sunday quali. Most of the races are in Europe including races at Nurberg, Hungaroring, Spa and of course Monaco which is the only one on the same weekend as the F1.
This years field certainly looks interesting...
So, after the thrills and (mainly) spills that was Australia, we move onto the greenhouse that is Malaysia for the second round of the championship. Situated just outside of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the Sepang International Circuit is fast, flowing, has numerous overtaking opportunities and is a real test for the driver, partly down to the inevitable and often oppressive heat and humidity. With the new regulations for this year, expect numerous driver errors and for the cars to be placed under immense mechanical pressure.
The Sepang circuit is the first of the Tilke circuits and the GP's inaugural year in 1999 paved the way for the Asian expansion of Formula 1, with races in China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Korea and India added to the calendar in recent years - although the last two have since departed from the travelling circus that is F1.
When one thinks of Malaysia, rain is one of the fist thoughts that occur. The race has been affected numerous times, most notably in...
So GP3 will once again be back on the tour in 2014 with 9 teams of 3 drivers competing over 9 rounds that consist of 2 races each.
GP3 starts on its 5th year in existence and its fair to say its been a massive success even trumping its big brother series GP2 for talent a lot of the time. Of GP3's 4 previous champions 3 of them now earn their living in F1 (that's Bottas, Guttierez and Kvyat) and the other one is one of the favourites for the GP2 title this year (Mitch Evans) so its most certainly proved its a path to the top. Last year they introduced a new car to the series that, apart from a few aero problems where overtaking was concerned, proved to be a big success and certainly produced a level playing field with 10 winners from 16 races and now the car has been tweaked, with the help of Kimi Raikkonen no less, we should be in for a good year.
The season doesn't kick off until May in Spain and of the 27 seats available only 11 are filled so far and I was going to hold off...
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