Monday, 28 March 2011

2011 Melbourne GP

The big story is Sauber having been disqualified for breaking a rule about rear wing area. They are going to appeal, but the FIA aren't going to back down. A real shame since everyone knows that the Kobayashi and Perez drove an absolute blinder and that the minor infringement wouldn't have given them that much (if any) advantage.

Vettel won from pole. No surprises there.

Barrichello was driving like a nutter this weekend, first spinning it in Q2, then spinning it in lap 1, then barging Rosberg like a n00b. Maybe he's getting old and has got cataracts or something.

As an interesting aside, I bet a friend £5 that Williams would place higher in the constructor's championship than Mercedes, but neither team saw either of their drivers pass the finish line. Not such a good start given that we were both confident that our team would be clearly ahead of the other. I'm on slightly more unsteady ground given that Barrichello is driving like he's been down the dog and duck all morning.

I think Schumacher isn't going to meet with much success this season. He hasn't got that fire in him anymore. If he had a race turn out like this in the 90's he'd be fuming, but in his post retirement interview he seemed quite apathetic towards the whole situation. The only sign he was still alive last season was when he tried to murder Barrichello in Hungary last year!

If Petrov keeps driving like that, expect to see him around a lot more. Especially now the Russian GP is going forth. I wouldn't be surprised if a Ruski oil billionaire buys up Hispania (let's face it, they are dying anyway) at the end of the season and runs it Branson style.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brief update of the aims of this blog

After re-reading my last post and looking around a few other F1 blogs I realised that we are all saying exactly the same stuff. I figure since you are reading a blog about F1 you care enough about the actual sport to have watched or at least kept up with the actual race. So from now on I aim to do less re-hashing and more editorial stuff (a harder task than repeating the day's events, but I'll try)

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Australia Qualifying

Well well well... How interesting! Vettel in pole position. Hamilton's impressive 2nd place driving a wedge between the two Red Bull's and Webber qualifying in 3rd 0.8s behind his teammate.

Ferrari are in deep trouble with a generally poor overall performance. Massa drove badly and Alonso looked sour. No changes there.

On the other hand McLaren have done wonders to their car with the extra 2 weeks Bahrain's cancellation afforded them. General consensus was that they were up the creek in testing, but apparently they found a paddle, (an outboard motor and a jetpack) managing to transform their car into a really well running machine worthy of contesting the constructor's trophy.

Williams are not looking as hot as I anticipated. Barrichello starting from 17th after he span into the gravel trap by going for a bit of a wander into the grass during Q2 and cashcow Maldonado performed as well as a rookie would... I.e. Not well, but he still qualified higher than Barrichello in 15th.

In similar (basically identical) news, n00b Paul Di Resta outqualified Force India teammate and seasoned F1 driver Adrian Sutil after Sutil made the schoolboy error of opening up throttle, DRS and KERS while the back end had little grip, spinning his car violently and through extreme skill luck managing to recover.

Interestingly both Vettel and Hamilton posted their very quick times without the assistance of KERS, having coincidentally failed on both cars. The look of shock and fear on 4th place Button's face when he was told this information was priceless!

The first proper use of the new Pirellis went rather well. Most teams churning their way through their alloted tyres at an incredible rate. Ferrari went through all 3 of their softs and were still uncompetitive. The drivers and teams seem to have become accustomed to the nuances of the Italian tyres, although there were a few slip ups, the most common of which was exiting the pits with a little too much vigour when the rubber was still a touch cold. The tyres flat spot really easily, degrade in strips and its impossible to determine what compound they are from just glancing at them while the car is on track,  but they are very quick and if you can use them well they seem to go like thunder.

Let's see how tomorrow pans out. I pick Vettel 1st, Webber 2nd and Button 3rd (he did well with tyre strategy last year in Melbourne, I reckon he can do it again)

Friday, 25 March 2011

Season Tips

I intentionally left this until after practice so I wouldn't get things completely wrong :P I know its cheating, but hey my blog my rules.
  • Tip1: Williams. They might be my favourite team, but I love the bravery of that really steep gearbox design. I think it shows a lot of engineering prowess and seems to go OK on track. Also I think their KERS might have a bit of something special ;). Overall I think because of having rookie moneyspinner Pastor Maldonado in seat 2, they'll finish 4th or 5th in the constructors.
  • Tip2: Mercedes don't have a rubbish car this years so don't count them out. Schumacher (because everyone last post wanted to know) should perform much better this season, but I think he will be inconsistent and only make 6th or 7th overall.
  • Tip3: The Perelli tyres will make things interesting. They look likely to fail randomly.
  • Tip4: Ferrari won't win the constructors for various reasons.
  • Tip5: Kobayashi will drive erratically and aggressively, but still oddly well
My picks for Melbourne (dry): 1st-Webber (home turf advantage :P) 2nd-Alonso(Ferrari have a habit of doing well 1st race) 3rd-Hamilton(just a gut feeling)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The lead up to Australia

The first GP is just days away! Melbourne, Australia plays host to the world's greatest racing drivers for one weekend and handy that it happens to be this one. We will get to see just how badly the Mclaren performs, how many backmarkers fall out of the new 107% qualifying rule  and just how stilted the KERS/ajustable rear wing system makes overtaking. But the trouble with Australia is that its bloody ages away which means that there is an unfortunately large time difference. The BBC is playing it live at an ungodly hour of the morning if you can be bothered to watch it then, otherwise its on at the usual midday timeslot on BBC1HD(omfgHD!!!!) which is still too early for me, so I'll watch it on sky+ and the forum on iplayer if they are still uploading it after last year's trial which I hope they do.
Tomorrow: My tips for the season.