Battle of the newbies


Staff Member
As all the new teams were forced chose to use Cosworth engines, their relative success or failure will purely be down to chassis and aerodynamics (possibly drivers too...).

So who do we think is going to come out on top at Bahrain?

Lotus, Virgin or the newly renamed Hispania?

There's a new poll on the home page to accompany this thread so get voting.
Should we include Williams in this poll? I know they're not a new team, but they didn't exactly have a lot of choice in the engine market and as such their performance at the back of the grid will also be down to aero.
I considered Williams but they have reams of data on double diffusers, tyre wear, etc. so they should finish comfortably ahead of the new teams.

If they don't then there will be some serious questions to answer.
Fair point, it is after all battle of the newbies and not battle of the cosworths. In that case, as much as it chokes me to suggest it, given the low regard I hold him in as a designer, I think Mike Gascoigne's experience will give Lotus a competitive edge. That and the fact the Spanish crowd have yet to turn a wheel in anger.
Interesting one given the circumstances with only two of those teams actually having done any testing.

HRT - likely to name Brunno Senna & Karun Chandhok as its drivers, reserve position going to lopez. One thing i am looking forward to if they make it to the grid is seeing how Senna performs.

Will HRT have the treatment to overcome Virgin & lotus, i suspect not and are more likely to be sweating at the back with lack of drive.

Not much to choose so far between Lotus & Virgin through testing but i'm also going to give it Lotus purely on the experience factor not only on the basis of fat_jez's comment but also the drivers.
I think we can discount HRT for a while (is it just me or everytime you see that do you think of middle aged ladies?) because of their lack of testing among many other reasons.

As for the battle between Lotus and Virgin it's a tough call. Looking at the testing times, when Virgin did manage to take to the track it seemed that their times were on average about .5 to a second faster than Lotus. The lads from Norfolk Nr Malaysia on the other hand appear to have reliability on their side and two experienced drivers to Virgins one.

I reckon that Glock's Virgin has the potential to beat both Loti but as the season progresses I think Lotus will develop faster and be the stronger of the two teams.
Funnily enough I still think the HRT car might be reasonably quick, if not reliable.

Obviously the lack of testing will mean that they've got no setups for the car, the drivers will be completely in at the deep end, and any teething troubles will still have to be sorted out. But I've got a lot of faith in Dallara, actually, and I would be surprised if the design isn't fundamentally a good one.

Lotus will lead the way in Bahrain, I expect, but I still think Gascoyne's car is disappointing, notwithstanding it's difficult conception.
I thnk that I will throw in with Lotus. Virgin seem to have far too many reliability problems. I also wonder about the bearded one's commitment to F1. If Virgin get off to a bad start, will he stick around? His only experience as a sponsor was with Brawn, so his expectations might be rather high!

As for HRT, for once I will have to disagree with Gordon Murray (and so face the real chance of being proven wrong). I have never been impressed with Dallara-their previous F1 attempt was laughable, and their expertice has been in producing spec racers, which F1 is not. Their lack of testing does not bode well either. If there is a basic flaw, the test ban will prevent their correcting it, so it looks like a very uphill slog to me.
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