FB's 2010 Completely Biased Season Review

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
A brief (?) review of the 2010 season for you to add your comments to. First a few stats:

19 races
12 teams & 27 drivers
4 (3?) new teams - Mercedes, Virgin Racing, HRT and Lotus
5 different race winners
A new World Drivers Champion - Sebastian Vettel
A new World Constructors Champion - Red Bull Racing Renault
6 leaders of the WDC

Preamble

2010 had some revision to the rule book compared to 2009. Although the basic rules regarding car design were the same there would be no in-race refuelling so the cars were about 20cm longer than the previous year to accommodate the increased fuel load, front tyre widths were reduced from 270mm to 245mm and the teams had agreed not to use KERS. Cars were also allowed to qualify on a light fuel load, rather than their starting race fuel, but still had to use both types of tyre compound Bridgestone had provided at some point in the race. Drivers who made it to Q3 of the qualifying knock out had to start the race on the tyres they set their fastest times on.

The biggest change, however, was to the points system. During the off season Bernie Ecclestone suggested awarding the drivers title to the one who won the most races, based on an Olympic style gold, silver and bronze system. The FIA decided that instead it would award points for the first 10 finishers with 25 points for the race winner and the points then declining 18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. Well done them, bloody silly idea Bernie!

Red Bull continued on with the same driver pairing as 2009 with the Adrian Newey penning the RB6 chassis to replace 2009’s super fast RB5 for Vettel and Webber to drive. Mercedes bought the Brawn team and inserted two German drivers to recreate the glory days of the 1950’s Silver Arrows. Nico Rosberg joined from Williams and 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher returned to F1 racing after a 3 year absence. Jenson Button found a new home at McLaren, creating an all British driver line up with Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso replaced Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, as the Finn left to pursue a career in rally driving, and Felipe Massa returned to the fray having recovered from his injury sustained at the Hungarian GP in 2009.

Brawn refugee Rubens Barrichello teamed up with GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg at Williams, now powered by a Cosworth engine. Robert Kubica replaced Fernando Alonso at Renault and was teamed with newcomer Vitaly Petrov, bringing with him some much needed Rubels for the Anglo/French team.

Force India and Toro Rosso continued with the same driver line ups and power trains as 2009 whilst out of the ashes of BWM rose the Sauber BMW team. Peter Sauber taking back control of the team BMW bought from him; adding a customer Ferrari engine along with star rookie of 2009 Kamui Kobayashi, teaming him up with the experience of Pedro de la Rosa.

Three brand new teams (if you exclude Mercedes) took to the grid in 2010. The famous Lotus name was back, bank rolled by Malaysia money, with a car designed by a team led by Mike Gascoyne. The driver line up was F1 stalwart Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovaleinen finding somewhere to try and recover his reputation following a less than impressive time at McLaren. Manor Racing entered a car designed solely using CFD computers by Nick Wirth and the team was re-branded as Virgin F1 as Richard Branson supplied the cash. Timo Glock took the lead seat after Toyota folded and Lucas di Grassi filled the second birth.

The surprise team at the first race of 2010 was HRT. With Campos F1 suffering financial melt down Hispania Racing was born using the chassis Adrian Campos had asked Dallara to build for him. The Senna name was back on an F1 grid with Ayrton’s nephew Bruno taking one of the HRT seats and Indian driver Karun Chandhok filling the other.

Season

The season was dominated by the speed of the Red Bull’s but a number of mechanical problems and driver errors meant they didn’t tie up the Constructors title until Brazil and the Drivers title until the last race in Abu Dhabi. The Red Bull cars also stirred controversy with accusations of ride height control systems in the early part of the seasons and flexible front wings dogging them through the year. Mark Webber, for many a journey man in F1, led the title race in the middle and towards the end of the season but eventually his young team mate, Sebastian Vettel, won the title with wins in both Brazil and Abu Dhabi to add to Malaysia, Europe and Japan, and became the youngest ever Drivers Champion.

14 out of 19 pole positions and Webber’s wins in Spain, Monaco, Britain and Hungary were testimony to the speed of the RB6 and innovations such as an exhaust blown diffuser made the car super quick. 2010 wasn’t an easy season for Red Bull though with problems between the two drivers as Webber felt he was treated as No.2 to Red Bull prodigy Vettel; the situation wasn't helped when the two collided in Turkey as Vettel attempted to pass Webber and Vettel being given Webber’s front wing at Silverstone.

McLaren had a difficult season but still came away with 5 wins, 3 for Hamilton and 2 for Button. Many thought reigning Champion Button would be blown away by his hard charging team mate in "his" team but early wins in Australia and China helped Button cement his place in the team and showed he was not a one season wonder. Without mistakes such as Monaco; where the team left a cover over a radiator, or Vettel attacking him in Belgium, Button’s season could have been even better.

Hamilton’s season was characterised by some blindingly fast driving and poor luck, with 3 of his four retirements being beyond his control and losing a gear in Japan meaning more lost points. That said, despite the efforts of Button and Hamilton, the McLaren MP4-25 wasn’t as quick as the Red Bull. McLaren also bought F1 the wing stalling device or “F Duct” which other team subsequently copied resulting in it being banned for 2011.

Fernando Alonso reminded everyone in 2010 of what is capable of, both positively and negatively. His career at Ferrari couldn’t have started better with a win in Bahrain. A “gimmee” in Germany restarted Alonso’s title challenge, as Massa was asked to move aside and let the Spaniard through to take the win, and a victory at Monza cemented his place in the hearts of the Ferrari faithful. The brilliance of Alonso as a driver was shown in Singapore when he took the Grand Chelem with what probably wasn’t the fastest car on the track. Red Bull failures in Korea let Alonso through for another win putting him in the lead of the WDC going into the end of the season’s races. A poor strategy call in Abu Dhabi by Ferrari cost Alonso the title and his reaction to Vitaly Petrov on the slowing down lap showed the darker side of Alonso but typifies his desire to win.

Felipe Massa had a poor season compared to recent years and events in Germany seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Brazilian. One wonders what the future holds for Felipe at Ferrari and how he will be able to cope with a future as the clear No.2, driver given the rapport he has built up with the team over recent years.

Nico Rosberg must have wondered what he had let himself in for when it was announced that Michael Schumacher would be his team mate at Mercedes in 2010 but the young German showed his illustrious driving partner a clean set of wheels through the season and managed 3 podiums in a car very much below par. Schumacher’s much vaunted return was probably the dampest squib in F1 history. Failing to make Q3 on quite a few occasions and with his highest finish only two 4th places one wonders why he came back. The old Schumie also reared its ugly head at various points in the season as he attempted to intimidate drivers in the way he used to in his pomp, unfortunately without the success he used to enjoy. Whether he is too old or the Mercedes car just didn’t suit him is difficult to tell, next season may prove one way or the other.

Robert Kubica put his Renault places it simply wasn’t supposed to go and reinforced many peoples opinion that he is a Champion of the future. 2nd place in Australia, with some canny tactics, was the highlight and he managed two further podiums in 2010. What could he do in a better car? By contrast Vitaly Petrov looked like an accident waiting to happen for much of the season, exemplified by his crash on the formation lap in Spa. The best he could muster was 5th in Hungary and one wonders whether the Russian will continue with Renault in 2011 regardless of how much sponsorship he brings to the team.

Williams had another season of “transition” and they were without doubt the best of the Cosworth teams (as they should have been). Barrichello was his usual consistent self whilst Nico Hulkenberg seemed to take some time to adapt to F1. Pole on a drying track at Interlagos was without doubt the highlight of both Williams and Hulkenberg’s season but it wasn’t enough to save the German's place as they looked around for a pay driver for 2011. How the once mighty are fallen.

Toro Rosso and Force India scrapped over the minor points placings through out 2011. Adrian Sutil proved he had some talent, certainly more than the car was able to demonstrate, but a best placing of 5th in Malaysia and Belgium must have been frustrating. Luizzi was soundly beaten by his team mate and one wonders if he has a future in F1 especially as Nico Hulkenberg is now without a drive. Buemi and Alguersuari were certainly more consistent in 2010 than they had been in 2009 but if the point of the Toro Rosso team is to build a Red Bull driving dynasty one has to question whether these two are really Crown Princes.

Kamui Kobayahsi repaid Peter Sauber’s faith with some great driving and showed that you can overtake in F1 if you really want to. His highest placing of 6th in Valencia was scant reward for his entertainment value. Pedro de la Rosa was another “comeback kid” who probably should have stayed at home. By Singapore Sauber had had enough of DLR’s rather weak efforts and drafted in his old mate Nick Heidfeld who proved what the car was capable of, scoring points in two of the five races he contested.

Right at the back Lotus, Virgin and HRT were left to scrap it out amongst themselves and try not to get in the way of the leading cars as they were lapped during the race. Heikki Kovaleinen went some way to restoring his reputation whilst Jarno Trulli did what he does best, driving very slowly. The “high spot” (literally) of Trulli’s year was when he put his car on top of Karun Chandhok’s HRT at Monaco. Timo Glock certainly deserves better equipment than Virgin managed to provide him with and is without doubt a better driver than a highest place of 14th in Japan suggest. Perhaps Nick Wirth needs to invest in a wind tunnel for 2011. Lucas di Grassi, hmm, don’t remember much about him and I suspect we won’t see him in F1 next year; although he did finish above his team mate in the WDC table on count back.

HRT played musical chairs with their drivers in 2010 and severe financial problems limited the development of the car to virtually nothing. Karun Chandhok, despite only taking part in 10 races, finished ahead of Senna in the drivers table. Sakon Yamamoto replaced Senna at the British Grand Prix and then Chandhok at subsequent races until the HRT management realised that perhaps a driver with some experience might help them improve the car. Enter Christian Klien, car still crap and he couldn’t even beat Senna. Bizarrely HRT finished above Virgin in the constructor’s championship, not quite the tortoise and the hare perhaps the tortoise versus the dead tortoise.

Conclusion (well, mine anyway)

From my perspective a very entertaining season, spiced up by a number of wet races, driver tantrums and some scary accidents. A worthy Champion in the end with Vettel becoming the first man to win the title without leading the Championship during the season since James Hunt in 1976. Here’s an interesting stat, no driver leading the WDC won a race (thanks Wiki).

So, many congrats to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing, although if you had made fewer mistakes through the season it might not have been quite so tense in the last race. Rumour has it that Christian Horner is currently planning surgery for an RSI injury on his ankle. Perhaps they will stop bleating about the Renault engine being underpowered now. No? Thought not…

Roll on 2011, you have a lot to live up to.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Grizzly said:
I liked this. Id like to do my own if i can before the new season has started...
No reason at all why you can't. Any forum member can contribute an article. All we ask is that it not be plagurised :thumbsup: (so we don't have any scary legal people after us)
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
fat_jez said:
Grizzly said:
I liked this. Id like to do my own if i can before the new season has started...
No reason at all why you can't. Any forum member can contribute an article. All we ask is that it not be plagurised :thumbsup: (so we don't have any scary legal people after us)
Thanks, can't see me plagiarizing too many others work hopefully lol and of course i'd reference if so... Its a time constraint as well though. I may have plenty of time to troll around here and add my tuppence to threads, but writing a full on article takes a little more time and thought, all those bits that caught your attention and remembering all those little tidbits through the year that you have opinions on.

Hopefully KTK is also doing a season review in film some time over the winter :thumbsup:
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Grizzly said:
Thanks, can't see me plagiarizing too many others work hopefully lol and of course i'd reference if so... Its a time constraint as well though. I may have plenty of time to troll around here and add my tuppence to threads, but writing a full on article takes a little more time and thought, all those bits that caught your attention and remembering all those little tidbits through the year that you have opinions on.
Well, you've got about 3 months to the start of the next season, so think about what you might want from next year or look back on the season just passed. Maybe think about focussing on a specific driver's career? Jot things down as you think of them and fill them out into an article if you get time.

Pretty much any motorsport related article is fair game :thumbsup:
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
fat_jez said:
Jot things down as you think of them and fill them out into an article if you get time.
Exactly what I was thinking....

fat_jez said:
Pretty much any motorsport related article is fair game :thumbsup:
Brilliant, it can include some of my own "m o t o r s p o r t" antics as well then :whistle: you should stop encouraging me now... dog --> bone
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Excellent review FB :thumbsup:

I would have responded sooner but I needed to clear my diary to read it all :D
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
That sums it up quite nicely.

I agree whole-heartedly on several counts.
- Glock should be in a better car
- Kobayashi is thoroughly entertaining
- I'm not sure if the ruble can save Petrov

One thing that I've been meaning to mention for a little while, and may have been brought up by someone already anyway, is Alonso's reaction and performance after the Germany shuffle. Much has been said about Massa's shaken psyche and poor performance after Germany, but not as much attention has been paid to Alonso's reaction to the events of that race.

To me, it became quite clear after the German round that Fernando was out to prove a point. He should have been, and probably was, a bit embarrassed that he essentially forced the team's hand at Hockenheim. He was admitting that he, the two-time World Champ simply could not pass his "slower" teammate. Massa was going to beat him that day, and Fernando pulled his trump card, Ferrari No. 1 Status. The guy was a man on a mission after he showed the world that he wanted, and needed, Massa to pull over for him to win the Grand Prix.

Aside from his shunt in Belgium, Alonso was basically flawless after Germany. It would have been an incredible World Championship victory for Fernando, but ultimately the fastest car won out.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Been too busy to be on the site lately, but just read it and good review FB, it must have hurt to praise JB though... LOL
 
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