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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...
In 1980, Gilles Villeneuve scored 6 points and his defending champion team-mate, Jody Scheckter, only the 2. Their glorified table was 10th in the Championship.
This made Lotus' woes the previous year seem minor since they could at least finish fourth.
Drivers champion Nelson Piquet didn't score till summer in 1984 and Jacques Villeneuve and Williams took up residency in midfield in 1998.
Ferrari's early adoption in 1961 was unmatched by continuing form a year later; losing Stewart killed Matra's 1970 just as losing Fangio had stymied Maserati in 1958. Alonso and Renault, Schumacher and Benetton, Fittipaldi and Lotus - examples abound.
These are but mere examples of how Champions can fall over the winter. Rule changes can challenge hegemony, or the natural loss of advantage of Brawn's double diffuser, for example.
Chasing the wrong new ideas was Chapman's folly in the 70s, while losing a top driver is equally bad.
It will be of no comfort to Red Bull that so many have been...
Having been a fan of F1 for 50 years, I just started to think about those drivers that appeared to have the talent yet never managed to obtain a single victory in their Formula One career. The two main ones I can think of were:
Chris Amon whom I remain amazed wasn't a WDC, never managed to obtain a single race win. Time after time he would be in the lead, and his car, usually a Ferrari, would break or have something go awry which would cost him the win (worn tyres, fuel feed problems etc). His luck seemed atrocious (but he did get out of the sport alive, which is more than a lot of drivers of that time could say). He couldn't have been hard on the machinery because his record in endurance races (including winning Le Mans with Bruce McLaren in the Ford GT Mk II) was actually rather good. So his lack of success remains baffling to me.
Jean-Pierre Jarier was lightning-fast and was the man that teams usually called upon first to substitute for a driver that had been injured or...
As I am sure we are all aware, various racing series have disappeared over the years. I was wondering which defunct series you all miss the most and why.
The two I miss most are the old Tasman series, and the Can Am.
The former because it was the series that got me interested in racing in the first place, and I got to meet most of the F1 drivers of the day in a less-pressure-filled environment than F1. The drivers were more relaxed and far more approachable, which is nice when you are a youngster.
The latter because, although the actual competition wasn't much, as each year (except the very first) one team was totally dominant, the cars themselves were amazing: big, loud, faster than F1 and the most innovative bunch I ever saw. With cars that awe-inspiring, you didn't NEED wheel-to-wheel competition.
The rookies found on the F1 grid this year will be taking on the challenge of their first F1 season in different ways. Ericsson will likely have the difficulty of a poor Caterham but the advantage of a mid-road yardstick in Kobayashi to fight, Magnussen will have a World Champion team-mate but a promising car, while Kvyat is the latest on the Toro Rosso conveyor belt that seldom leads to the promised land.
Their appearances mark the returns of their northern European nations to the F1 stage after varying absences, as the rest of northern Europe meets the challenge of neighbours' Finland's F1 success.
Sweden have, of course, been the most successful of the three, but Ericsson is the first Swedish driver to enter F1 for over 20 years. The first Swedish F1 start was Jo Bonnier's start at Monza in 1956, and his was to be a long career - he was the third man to reach 100 Grands Prix (after Jack Brabham and Graham Hill) - and he was to take a win at Zandvoort in his big day. He died at...
24 years old. Apprenticeship fully served, and finally arrived in one of the two seats that you've been working towards sitting in for years; that of the quadruple reigning champions. And to start with, your home Grand Prix. All you need is for the car and engine combination to maintain its previous stratospheric standards...
At time of going to press, testing has shown little sign that Daniel Ricciardo's dream will be realised. Although, it has to be said, at time of going to press, testing has not been quite as indicative as it could have been. We don't know who is going to be fast and we won't know until the lights go out in Melbourne.
Ricciardo's team-mate, paradoxical pantomime villain and quadrakaiser Sebastian Vettel is going for his tenth race win in a row, although early suggestions are that his assault on double figures might not be as straightforward as some of the previous nine. At Jerez, getting to double figures in terms of laps was a struggle..
Ricciardo will have...
Welcome to Clip The Apex Fantasy F1 2014
The 2014 Fantasy F1 season is now officially open.
Sign up here: http://cliptheapex.com/fantasy-f1/sign-up
A quick introduction to the game is here: http://cliptheapex.com/fantasy-f1/seasons/2014/rules
If you would like to read the detailed rules and points scoring, see this page: http://cliptheapex.com/fantasy-f1/seasons/2014/rules?detailed=1
Fantasy F1 Teams Championship
In addition to the league, there is also the Fantasy F1 Teams Championship.
Sign up here: http://cliptheapex.com/threads/fantasy-f1-teams-championship-2014-introductions-sign-up.6709/
The discussion thread for that is here: http://cliptheapex.com/threads/fantasy-f1-teams-championship-2014-discussion.6710/
This thread can be used for any help or questions concerning the interface and the games, or the administration of them.
The teams are meeting on the 21st to discuss altering the qually rules to ensure proper running in all 3 sessions. The concern is that with reduced reliability and a need to conserve tyres there will be very little Q3 running with some teams choosing not to run at all.
Possible amendments would be to give an addition set of tyres for Q3 which would then be handed back after qually. Or to force the 10 drivers that make Q3 to start the race on the tyres they ran in Q2.
I don't know what the solution is but something has to be done. Q3 was an anti-climax several times last year and I can only see it getting worse for 2014.
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