3 key moments of 2010 season

Red Bulls cars crash in Turkey – In a very bizarre incident the two Red Bulls cars crashed during Turkish GP. Vettel went to overtake as he believed that he was faster of the two cars. But the end effect didn’t suit any of the Red Bull teammate.

Ferrari team orders at German GP – Massa pulled over towards the end of the race to let Alonso past. However the stewards imposed a fine of  $100,000 on the Ferrari team.

Red Bulls’ reliability – Vettel could have wrapped up the WDC a few races ago had he had greater reliability. The car picked up 14 poles and 8 wins in the season but still suffered with reliability issues.



Hamilton rides home a win

Lewis Hamilton of Mclaren Mercedes won Hungarian GP ahead of second placed Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and third place Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing.

Hamilton got to a strong start using his KERS to get ahead of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.  Mark Webber though passed him again but Hamilton regained the position later. Hamilton took the race lead at lap 13 after front right tight came off Fernando Alonso’s car after latter’s pitstop. Renault have been suspended from next GP at Valencia because of the incident. Hamilton then never lost the race lead. The win is an effort of all the team and hats off to team Mclaren for proving once again that class is permanent and form is only temporary.

Raikkonen had an equally good start but was investigated for the event surrounding his contact with Vettel at the start. He pushed his KERS enough to get ahead of Vettel after turn 1. But Vettel had to retire soon after damaging his suspension!

Jenson Button finished seventh and blamed tyre issues for the late foes in the championship. Button is still 18.5 points ahead of Webber in WDC.

Drivers of F1

2009 season of the FIA F1 championship has been a revelation to me and it is not because of the loathsome F1 politics!

The current season saw the rule changes unprecedented since 1984 and this led to a reshuffle of the racing field. The once Ferrari and Mclaren dominated grid now saw Brawn GP and Red Bull Racing leading the pack. Ferrari and Mclaren found themselves languishing at the back when the season started and now only after half the season is gone are starting to show some signs of recovery. Even now their gap with Brawn GP and Red Bull Racing is huge.

But what has surprised me?

With a fan growing up in the era of Schumacher’s Ferrari, I had a feeling that their exists a huge difference between the driving capability of drivers in the lesser cars. This era in which i became huge fan of the sport included drivers like Button and Webber. But after witnessing events of this season with Button having a cushion of 21 points on WDC to his nearest rival and Webber claiming his first win after being a 130 races veteran, I am first to claim that I was wrong.  There might be a few drivers who can’t cut it out at this stage of racing (Seb Bourdais anyone?) but most of the drivers in F1 today (or any given year) can win races and even challenge for driver’s championship given a right kind of machinery. It is a driver with his machine and his team only to win a race or title.

We see in current grid drivers like Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso as also-rans, who are all previous champions. Also, we see also-rans of previous years like Jenson Button and Mark Webber ready to make their mark on the sport.

I totally believe that with a right car Jarno Trulli  can be a WDC champion, or Adrian Sutil who came so close 3 times to be in points with his Force India car or Sebastian Buemi or Robert Kubica……

My respect for F1 drivers has now increased many folds.

Amazing race for Force India

sutilThe Force India team today achieved a double race finish along with securing a 9th and 11th finish in the Australian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil finished in 9th position with Giancarlo Fisichella 11th.

Giancarlo Fisichella showed an improved pace of new Mercedes powered VJM02 and by lap 12 was in a points scoring position. After Nakazima’s accident as safety car arrived, Fisichella reached a maximum 4th position, however mistake of missing pitbox on entering the pitlane cost him and he rejoined in 14th position.

Adrian Sutil lost part of his front wing at the very first corner of the race and was forced to pit. He then dropped to the rear of the field to make a comeback later in the race.

There was though a bit of hilarious moment when both drivers were taking each other out (why?) and hit each other.

Both the drivers showed their resilience to finish the race. The result is the team’s best since its 2008 debut.

Brawn GP and McLaren – A tale so opposite!

At the end of last season McLaren were at the top of the pile only next to Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton became 2008 F1 season champion. On the other hand Honda finished just in front of Force India. Honda then decided to part with its F1 team and the team looked dead near the end of last year!

Then only a week ago Ross Brawn along with Nick Fry and few others pulled out a management buyout from Honda and Brawn GP was established. The team had only 4 days to test at Barcelona. And they were all guns blazing. They consistently set pace throughout four days.  (Mon, Tue, Wed and Thurs)

Barcelona is a great yardstick for the season as it rewards aerodynamic efficiency and good tyre management, so if your car goes well there it’s going to go well at most places. – James Allen

If you make a direct comparison between the race distance runs of Massa and Button on Wednesday and Barrichello on Thursday you see that Jenson does 19 laps below 1m 21, Barrichello does 14, while Massa manages just 2! – James Aleen

On the other hand the situation with McLaren was totally opposite. Ron Dennis confirmed this week that the development of the car was a little behind schedule. Now Norbert Haug, engine partner Mercedes’ motorsport boss and Martin Whitmarsh, team boss concede the same.

“We are definitely not fast enough and not competitive enough to aim for wins.”- Norbert Haug

The real pace and reliability will only be confirmed after a couple of races in the season but if things remain same then Brawn GP will be the story of the season and Honda will be kicking themselves.

Is there a problem with McLaren?

lewis-hamilton-feb-barcelona3-test-wed-04All is not well at McLaren it seems. It has been reported that the rear of the car – the diffuser and the rear wing – is not doing what the figures in the wind tunnel suggested before the season.

A study of the lap times in Barcelona this week suggests that Ferrari have a slight edge on Renault, who in turn have an  advantage over an mid-pack group comprising BMW Sauber, Brawn GP, Red Bull and Toyota. And then lies McLaren!!

‘The testing performances we have seen so far suggest that McLaren has, if not a mountain, then certainly a big hill to climb, while Ferrari, BMW and Toyota look very strong, one might almost say equally strong.” – James Allen

Lewis Hamilton will be testing the car tomorrow at Catalunya.

Meanwhile, Ron Dennis has insisted McLaren will be title contenders in 2009.

“Whatever performance level McLaren have today we will be a competitive racing team.” – Ron Dennis

The 2009 season begins in Melbourne with first race on 29 March.

Brawn GP looking good

button_1362904cBrawn GP is out of the hat and looks to be in full swing. The drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were behind the wheel only after November. But they pulled out amazing times in last 3 days of testing at Catalunya.

On the third day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya at Barcelona, Brawn GP F1 driver Jenson Button was the fastest man on track.

Button’s did a 01:19′.127 at Barcelona. Unbelievably impressive no matter how much fuel is in the car! Indeed, it’s 1.6 sec faster than the Q2 time of last year’s Spanish GP.

I think the team would be pretty chuffed knowing car has gone 2.5 s faster than Hamilton’s time and a second faster than everyone else.

Yesterday, Rubens Barrichello completed 111 laps over the day as he posted the third fastest lap on the timesheets.

And Button was fourth fastest on first day of the testing in Catalunya.

If this is anywhere related to sign of things to come the Brawn GP have pulled a great show given their struggles after Honda pulled off the plug last November.

“The car is consistent, driveable and a great basis on which to chase more performance.” James Allen

There’s been a few minor reliability issues but, with the team squeezing a Mercedes engine in to a car designed for a Honda, and then attaching the Honda Racing F1 gearbox to that engine, that’s to be expected.

Jenson Button will be in action tomorrow to finish of testing.

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