Featured Threads Archive
I know you all look forward to my pointless and rambling annual review so I didn't want to disappoint. What a year 2016 wasn't. At the start of the season we had a few new drivers, some of whom look like they might be quite good. We had a new team to bring American viewers in, in their, errm, dozens to watch a series which means little to them. Renault were back too, although few noticed.
By the end of the season we did have a new World Champion though, who then promptly buggered off into the distance. We also had a new race winner and the youngest man to ever win a Grand Prix to boot. Otherwise it was all a bit 2015 with the only question being how many races Mercedes wouldn't win and in what circumstances might other drivers take the top step from the Silver Arrows.
The season started well (sic) with the introduction of an "exciting new qualifying format to mix up the grid". That went so well it was dropped after two races and I'm sure any serious F1 fan sighed a great...
Many drivers have been obliged to leave a team during the season, even multiple World Champions Niki Lauda and Alain Prost were immune to being given the boot by a team. Following the discussions on the Nico retirement thread I thought I would list a few I can recall and if you have any of your own please feel free to add them.
James Hunt - three years after taking the title James moved from McLaren to Walter Wolf racing for the 1979 season. The car was, reputedly, difficult to drive and he announced his retirement from F1 after the Monaco GP. Lots of rumours abound that he deliberately broke the car in Monaco to force retirement from the race and clearly his heart was no longer in it.
Niki Lauda - Lauda never completed the 1977 season with Ferrari even though he had just won his second World Title for them. For 1978 and '79 he was at Brabham until practice at the Canadian Grand Prix where he announced himself "fed up with driving round in circles" and walked away. He came...
At the very real risk of burning out the moderators tool kit, let's put it to bed.
Did Lewis Hamilton do the right thing in Abu Dhabi in backing his teammate into the chasing pack and disobeying team orders?
It's a simple poll, yes or no.
For what its worth, I think Hamilton did the best he could under the circumstances to give himself the best shot at retaining the title. So I'm voting 'yes'.
Just 117 days until the first race
Figure we need a thread to chat about the upcoming season, testing, the new cars, car launches if that happens etc. So here it is.
I'm actually excited to see the new cars on the fat tyres. Hoping they look a bit retro. Fingers crossed for Merc to screw things up over the winter to give us a more balanced 2017
PROVISIONAL 2017 WINTER TEST SCHEDULE
February 27-March 2: Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunya
March 7-10: Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunya
March 26: Melbourne, Australia
I hope we get proper car launches this year and it's not just opening the garage at the first test.
Always controversial and always subjective but how do you see the top 10 drivers this year?
Here's my list:
1) Daniel Ricciardo - Rarely put a foot wrong all season. Let down by his own team twice when he could have won and had to contend with the arrival of F1's hottest talent his new teammate. Coped admirably.
2) Lewis Hamilton - Ten wins and clearly the fastest driver in the fastest car. Yes mechanical issues played their part but their were a number of mistakes this season which kept him off the top of the Championship and, I'm sure he'll be devastated to learn, my list. On most Sundays he remained unbeatable.
3) Max Verstappen - Got the call to join the big team and marked his debut with a win. Spent the remainder of the season putting some real fizz into race weekends. Would have placed higher on my list but he was kept honest by his team mate and still needs to calm down a bit.
4) Nico Rosberg - History will tell us that Hamilton lost the title with 10 wins but it will...
So 2016 all comes down to this. Two teammates in one of the best cars ever produced in F1 go head to head for the title in the last race of the series. The showdown will happen at sundown in a beautiful city, on a beautiful street circuit, in a country with no F1 heritage and no F1 fans (you can’t have everything).
Lets give credit where credit is due for Nico Rosberg, no one expected him to ever get on top of Lewis Hamilton like this. True he comes across very plastic soul and PR schooled to within an inch of his life but you can’t deny he has shown true grit. He knows he is not as quick as Hamilton but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep chipping away at him. Rosberg has made sure consistency is the key, he has picked up those results when Lewis has had off days and mechanical issues, he continually frustrated Hamilton into uncharacteristic errors and dips in mood that lead to dips in form. Yes there have been days when he has not been able to live with him and yes there have been...
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakech Express? Oh and its running on electric! Yes Formula E comes to North Africa and takes up residency on the street circuit in Morroco that has been well trodden by the WTCC since 2009 (and Auto GP if you know what that is. Narain Karthikeyan holds the lap record don't you know). The layout has been changed slightly but all the same elements are there and its always looked quite fun. Speaking of fun, it was certainly a pretty good kick off for Formula E 3 in Hong Kong. We looked like we were going to get everything mixed up but then some smarty smarty tactics from the old guard of Buemi/EDAMS and Di Grassi/Abt put them right back out the front. One thing it did show though is that EDAMS do not have the advantage they did last year and we might see someone else coming to the front.
You still wouldn't bet against Buemi though, the Moose has been on form for quite a while now and seems to be able to mange his power saving better than...
And so the F1 bandwagon roles south from Mexico and reaches Sao Paulo and the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. A final reminder of what a great F1 track looks like before the season reaches its final stop in yet another concrete utopia built in the vision of Herman.
I've made no secret of the fact that I love this track and in particular the first set of turns. Known as the 'Senna S' as any vaguely S shaped set of corners was named across the globe in Senna's honour, at least this set of turns gives credence to that title. Off the line, drivers are faced with a down hill left hand turn with a good deal of camber before switching to a right and change of camber then a long sweeping left. Unlike Mexico where you could take no part of a corner and come out quickly on the other side, here you tend to slither off down hill and keep going and going across a long grass field.
For the championship battle, Nico continues to do just enough to do enough for the title. This must frustrate the...
Donald Trump wanted them to build a wall but instead they rebuilt the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, and I'm mightily pleased they did. The race last year was pretty top notch, the Formula E race here was pretty top notch and the fans were amazing at both. Why shouldn't they be? They have their own hero to cheer on in Sergio 'Checo' Perez (oh and Gutteriez for now) and he usually puts on a show. The track lends itself to good racing and I'm hoping we see a good one this coming weekend. We certainly need something to wash the taste of dull Austin from our mouths. The US Grand Prix was pretty much like ordering your favourite ale only to take a giant swig and find out it was off. It did see a home win for American driver Lewis Hamilton (Yes he's officially American now. Apparently they got him in a swap deal for Scherzinger and Will.I.Am. It was a bad deal and personally I blame David Cameron) which is good news for us because it put him back in a good mood and...
So as we move onto Austin, Texas, Rosberg would appear to be pretty much in control, and, unless Hamilton gets his starts sorted out, or Rosberg DNF for four races in a row, I don't see much changing.
Last year the weather at Austin dominated the race, to say that it was a wet race would be a massive understatement. The rain was so torrential that Q3 was cancelled and Qualifying was on race day. So do we hope for a dry weekend or a really wet one ?
The circuit is 3.427 miles long (5.515km), it's another Tilke designed circuit, one of a few which runs counter clockwise. From the start to the first corner the drivers climb to the highest point on the circuit, making the initial dash to the first corner and the inevitable jockeying for position that much more challenging than the usual start of race chaos. Last year if you remember saw Hamilton and Rosberg fighting for position at the corner with Hamilton winning. Bad feeling between them escalated, and it hasn't really got any better...
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