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Whilst Formula 1 blasts round Shanghai on Sunday the day before will see the streets of Rome filled with tyre squeals and electronic whirrs as Formula E comes to Europe and makes its debut at the fabled Italian capital. The circuit in question is the second longest of the year and apparently goes past some major landmarks.
I can't say it looks especially interesting as it's full of the usual 90 degree corners but you never know about a circuit until its been raced on.
If we get the same type of race we've had so far this season then raced on it certainly will be. I dismissed Jean Eric Vergne as a title contender very early on so obviously he is now significantly in front in the championship to make me look like a fool. He and Teechetah have really exceeded expectations this season, especially surprising as they are a Renault customer team. The actual Renault team seem to be just tootling along until the end of the year where they hand over their...
So F1 moves on to its Shanghai noon, or Shanghai ten past noon under the new regulations, for its annual trip to China. The Clip The Apex board is still reeling from a Bahrain Grand Prix it actual enjoyed and Mercedes are still reeling from the second Ferrari victory in a row. Whilst there is a good deal of punditry suggesting these results mean Ferrari have now caught up with Merc I tend to disagree. Both races feel like Mercedes have ballsed up rather than Ferrari have solidly beaten them. The Merc has never liked the heat so Bahrain was always going to see them off form (as will Singapore later this year). China though is very much a Mercedes track. It was a Mercedes track before they were the dominant force in F1. If they don't win here then they are in serious trouble.
The problem Merc have is the opposition they are facing. He really has his detractors (some on this board) but Sebastian Vettel is a force to be reckoned with. Hamilton may be the greatest when it comes to pace...
I shall start you off with these quotes from the qualifying press conference at the Australian GP:
LH - “I can assure you we don’t have a party mode. I used the same mode from Q2 to the end of Q3. There was no extra button or mode I engaged in.”
SV - “What were you doing before then?”
LH - “I was waiting to put a good lap in and wipe the smile off your face.”
2018 Australian GP Result:
1st - Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
2nd - Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3rd - Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
It was a stunning lap from Lewis on Saturday, make no mistake, but someone needs to remind him that you don't win anything on Saturday. Vettel got lucky on Sunday with the timing of the VSC but then to win in F1 you always need a slice of luck. Pride can often preface a fall - ask Nigel Mansell in Canada in 1991.
So what have we learned in the first race of 2018? Mercedes have a very obvious qualifying advantage over all the other cars. This is a combination of the settings available to the works...
As a less than convincing set of test sessions drew to a close in sunny snowy rainy sunny Spain, most of the motoring press had Mercedes out in front as the team to beat again this season.The packing cases, cars, freight, PR Stands and all the other guff that makes up the travelling kit of a modern F1 team will by now be well on its way to Australia and in a few short weeks we will find out if the motoring press are correct.
One man who won't be taking his place in the stands at Albert Park this year will be Ron Walker, the former Mayor of Melbourne and the Chairman of Grand Prix Australia who was the key figure in establishing the Albert Park and Melbourne as the countries addition to the GP Calender. Ron passed away on the 30 Jan this year.
Attendance figures at Albert Park have been on the decline since reaching a peak in 2012. The race day attendance last year dipped below 100'000 for the first time in the tracks history. Does this reflect a growing...
Welcome to the CTA betting game. Gambling with fake money on the F1 races for the 2018 season.
If you like a bet with Fake Money or Brogans as they are called around here, you're in the right place.
Some big tweaks to the rules for this year so everybody is in the game right until the end. There will also be no huge wins in the first race which should help maintain the competition. And the penalty bet rule 6 is history. Each way bets are now more inline with actual betting shops. The big changes are highlighted in blue, see below for details.
1. Do you want to play? Just post a message saying I want to play and you are in.
2. In each round you can ‘claim’ an income of £20. You can do this automatically by simply placing a bet or If you wish to claim this income without spending it just post a message saying ‘Bank’. Failure to do this will result in you...
Formula E comes to Mexico for its one and only race on a purpose built circuit tomorrow. This event also boasts the best podium of the year too, The season so far has produced some pretty good races and has been nicely unpredictable. I speak from experience on that front as I’ve been trying to predict it in these intro articles all year and have got it wrong pretty much the entire time.
The current championship leader is Jean-Eric Vergne after the Techeetah team came from nowhere in Santiago to secure the sports first ever one two finish. Not to be sniffed at when you consider they are a customer team (of Renault) and only got 1 days testing pre-season compared to everyone else getting 8. Of course it wasn’t without incident as the quick release seatbelts they fitted for the driver change were a bit cheaty and second driver Andre Lotterer mounted his team leaders car going down the main straight in attempt to hump him out the way. Vergne does have a tendency to get involved in odd...
So just three weeks on from Formula E’s ride on the Marrakesh express it takes a tour for the first time around the streets of Santiago. Like most places in Chile the city sits significantly above sea level and I have no idea how this will affect the running of electric cars. The population of city is just under 8 million and, with Chile having no history of hosting motorsport events, it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd turn out the race will get. This will be the 4th round in this years Formula E season and with only 12 races it is a third of the way through . That is good news for Felix Rosenqvist who comes to this race after back to back wins and leading the championship. Rosenqvists performance in Hong Kong wasn’t as impressive as it should be but last time out in Marrakesh he passed both his main championship rivals, Buemi and Bird, for the win. If Felix gets another win here as well its pretty much a finger on the championship trophy.
Second in the championship...
It's so close to Xmas that the mechanics still have cold turkey sandwiches but this Saturday it's time to charge up and get back on the Formula E train. Just a single race this weekend on the series second visit to Morroco on a circuit which Isn't too bad IMO.
The double header that opened the series in Hong Kong certainly gave us something to reflect on. Virgin's Sam Bird leads the championship after taking the win in race 1. All this despite the fact he nearly took one of the officials out by crashing in the pit lane. Jean Eric Vergne, who eats up energy like housewives eat Valium, somehow find himself just two points behind in 2nd in the customer Renault team, and despite his worst weekend in the sport Felix Rosenqvist is not far behind in 3rd. All three have a problem where consistency is concerned so it will be interesting to see if this head start they've got over the others will lead to greater concentration.
Of course what we'll all be looking out for is if the new order...
As 2017 draws to a close we are less than 3 months before the first race of 2018. Here's a place to offer your opinions on the runners and riders for next year. Firstly, here's the calender:
25th March - Melbourne, Australia
8th April - Sakhir, Bahrain
15th April - Shanghai, China
29th April - Baku, Azerbaijan
13th May - Barcelona, Spain
27th May - Monaco, Monaco
10th June - Montreal, Canada
24th June - Le Castellet, France
1st July - Spielberg, Austria
8th July - Silverstone, Great Britain
22nd July - Hockenheim, Germany
29th July - Budapest, Hungary
26th August - Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
2nd September - Monza, Italy
16th September - Singapore, Singapore
30th September - Sochi, Russia
7th October - Suzuka, Japan
21st October - Austin, Texas
28th October - Mexico City, Mexico
11th November - Sao Paolo, Brazil
25th November - Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi
21 races, kicking off in Australia and finishing in Abu Dhabi with races returning in France, after a 10 year break, and Germany...
So the question in the thread title is necessarily a subjective one (leaving aside the question of whether "fastest" = "best"). However we do have some objective data to try to make an assessment. Although cars' performance varies we do have team mate comparisons to draw on, and qualifying times are a 'cleaner' data set than race results given the number of variables involved in a Grand Prix.
So, with apologies and thanks to Rutherford, I've analysed the relative performances of team mates in qualifying sessions for the past decade and more, the results of which are shown below. The basis of measurement is a percentage, representing the average gap between the faster and slower driver(s) over the course of a season. To save decimal places and for easier interpretation, I've scaled them up by a factor of 10,000. So in the chart below, +1 means a difference of +0.01%, and +100 means a difference of +1%. Over a typical lap time of 1m40s, +1 = +0.01% = +0.010s...
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