Archive for March, 2010

Malaysia – Podium line up?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 by philcurryf1

It looks like this weekends race will be affected by storms and heavy rain. While this is usual in Malaysia, we all have to hope that we don’t see a repeat of the Fuji race in 2007, which spent half the distance behind the safety car. We also have to hope this year the race sees the chequered flag, rather than a red one.

However, it seems the general consensus amongst other fans is that McLaren will be on top in the rain. We know Jenson was able to pick the perfect time to pit for dry tyres in Melbourne, but will he even get the chance to use drys this weekend? Meanwhile, many of us still remember Lewis’ scintillating drive in the wet at Silverstone 2008. He also stayed in control at the aforementioned Japanese race.

However, whether it will be a 1-2 or not remains to be seen. If Red Bull can keep their reliability in check, they too should be able to make the podium. Then there is Michael Schumacher, struggling at present in the Mercedes, but with a history on the South Asian track, and known for keeping control in the wet.

Therefore, I believe that this race will once again be too close to call. With a safety car start likely, I will say Vettel for the win, with Hamilton second, and Alonso third.

As for the new teams, it seems HRT are coming strong, and have been impressive, scoring their first GP finish at their second attempt, despite having no testing. They’ve managed something Virgin haven’t and probably won’t be able to do until the European leg of the season starts. However on home ground, Lotus should have an advantage. Expect a sea of green and yellow in the grandstands this weekend. They will once again be the best of the new guys, with HRT getting a double finish.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts, let me know your predictions, and I’ll update my blog with your views!

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Practice Form in Bahrain

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 by philcurryf1

It would seem that Ferrari have a car set up very well for the Bahrain desert, and Mercedes are close too. If we look at yesterday’s times, it would also seem that McLaren are there or there about. However we didn’t get to see Lewis Hamilton put in a fast qualifier, while Jenson only did one run.

So who has the best chance for pole? It looks like Alonso. His team-mate Massa didn’t seem to be able to dial the car into a fast lap, and the Mercedes was close, in the hands of Rosberg anyway, but not quite there. I don’t think we’ve seen the best from the others yet, and I would say Red Bull and McLaren are hiding their cards somewhat. Then there’s Renault, Sauber and Force India. I think we’ll see Kubica and Sutil mixing with the big four in the final ten.

Of the new teams, it looks like Virgin have stolen a march on Lotus, while I will not pass judgement on HRT yet. The Spanish team have done well just to get to Bahrain, although due to problems on Chandhok’s car, it will only be Bruno Senna who takes to the grid from their garage. His last lap was 10 seconds off Alonso’s time, but did they run at full throttle?

Alonso for pole, Glock the best of the new boys

Three Newbies, but where’s the fourth?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2010 by philcurryf1

So with a week to go until the five red lights go out, there has never been so much anticipation for the start of a new season. One of the reasons is that we’ll have three new teams sitting on the grid.

It’s inevitable that these teams will be towards the back in Bahrain, but which will fare best out of Lotus, Virgin and HRT? and what about that fourth slot that never was?

Lotus seem to have the strongest case to be the best of the three. Even though they started work on their car later than the others, they have managed to sign up two experienced race winning drivers, who can obviously aid development through the season. Mike Gascoyne has built a good team, and with the classic Lotus name, they are sure to gain support. But I, along with many fans I’ve spoken to, cannot get over how simple and boxy the car looks. I’m sure there will be developments, but these may not arrive until the European leg of the season kicks off.

Virgin have come up with the only car on the grid to have never seen a windtunnel. The CFD design from Nick Wirth looks like a very sleek car, indeed, the front wing features no winglets of any kind, just a pure and clean wing. This is, of course, the same wing that fell off during the first Jerez test. Much was made of this, however, Lotus had problems with their power steering, and steering rack, and any new team will encounter trouble, that’s what testing is for. Yet Virgin’s lack of mileage does not bode well, and see’s them heading into the season without much data on their car.

Yet they’ll have more data than HRT, formally Campos. their Dallara designed car features a nose similar to the Virgin, and a very bland livery. For a Spanish team, with Hispania in their name, I was expecting a red and yellow theme. However, that the team will make it to Bahrain is a miracle in itself. Their shake down will be very public, and I don’t expect them to make an impact straight away. But with the very handy Bruno Senna behind the wheel, it won’t be long before they’re taking the attention from the big boys.

So in Bahrain, I expect it to be Virgin leading, but HRT and Lotus to be close behind. When the season is not so new, they’ll all be pretty close.

However one team that won’t be there is USF1. They have finally thrown in the towel, and the FIA have denied them an entry for this season. It is expected the tender for the 13th slot will be opened soon, and both the Americans, and Stefan GP will be invited to bid. It’s a shame, but USF1 have no excuses. Lotus had just five months, while Virgin are running on £35 million for the season, and HRT had a host of financial problems sorted out just two weeks before the start of the season. These three teams have shown what can be done, USF1 it seems, just couldn’t tie up that fourth.

Welcome to All About F1

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 by philcurryf1

So here we are, at the beginning of a new season, and perhaps the most exciting for years. Where better to start All About F1!

This blog is written by a fan for the fans. I’ll be following the F1 season as much the same as many, through broadcasting on television, magazines and news feeds. I’ll be bringing my outlook on stories, unbias and welcoming of comment.

So this has been the most exciting pre-season ever, with the return of Michael Schumacher, the unexpected move of Jenson Button to McLaren, the aquisition of Brawn by Mercedes, the introduction of four new teams, whittled down to two, then up to three with a pretender, and then three full stop.

The FIA selection process has come in for a lot of criticism recently, and questions must be asked. Why were teams allowed in when finances were not in place, and more experienced companies passed over? The appeal of establishing teams in new markets must be one option. Both Spain and the US are important areas for F1, while there is a large number of teams in Britain. Was this a factor? Or was it purely because these teams agreed to use the Cosworth Engine?

Only if an investigation is run will we know. But with the tender process open for 2011, we should get an idea as to whether the recent change in leadership will lead to a change in thinking.