Saturday, March 22, 2008

Malaysia hot, humid and hot

Its been a good week of positive news starting with the surprise from the BBC. F1 returns to the BBC next year. What this means is clearly the end of commercials given the unique way the BBC is funded. Well teams have gathered themselves to go to Malays and the heat is on. Most driver appear to have had a smooth weekend with only exception to Red Bull who had to explain to the stewards why David Couthard's car lost a wheel. The McLarens given a 5 place penalty on the grid. The race will tell the whole story, lets go racing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Australian Prix Qualifying Report

8">Australian Grand Prix starting grid



4. MASSA Ferrari


6. TRULLI Toyota

7. ROSBERG Williams


9. VETTEL Toro Rosso


11. ALONSO Renault

12. BUTTON Honda

13. NAKAJIMA Williams

14. GLOCK Toyota

15. WEBBER Red Bull

16. RAIKKONEN Ferrari

17. FISICHELLA Force India

18. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso

19. SUTIL Force India

20. SATO Super Aguri

21. PIQUET Renault
22. DAVIDSON Super Aguri

Lewis Hamilton put the McLaren on pole position, with a supreme lap which appeared flawless in a time of 1m 26.714s. BMW Sauber will be pleased that Robert Kubica grabbing P2 putting together a lap that have would possibly got him the pole position had he not run wide in turn nine. This surely cost him a couple of tenths of a second giving him a time of 1m 26.864s nevertheless it’s a mighty performance from the Polish driver and BMW Sauber who will have gotten themselves noticed in the paddock. Heikki Kovalainen has impressed his McLaren bosses coming third performing solidly in the sister McLaren. Heikki will be hoping his performance should carry on into the race tomorrow. No great stories from the rest of the top ten. One thing to note was the Toro Rosso driven by Sebastian Vettel elected to use their unexpected entry into the Q3 shoot out to scrub tyres and not post a hot lap. The team said he suffered technical problems that forced him to pull out. Expect he will be running a heavy tenth place on the grid, set up for a long first stint. In the bottom ten are most of the usual suspects but out of place there is the defending World Champion Kimi Raikkonen whose Ferrari lost fuel pressure as the fuel pump stopped working. Unable to make it back to the Ferrari garage Kimi stopped at the pit-lane entry, still considered part of the track hence he could not continue to take part in the proceedings. Mark Webber also stopped in the Red Bull, whose brakes failed eventually stopping in the gravel trap. Honda appears to be in recovery staking their fortunes on last week’s aero upgrade and test at Jerez. Renault was unimpressive managing 11th and 21st driven by double World Champion Fernando Alonso and Nelsen Piquet Jr respectively. Force India had a decent showing on their debut under new ownership by leading the back markers with Giancarlo Fisichella. It’s a great start to the season and Albert Park delivered a thrilling opener, it makes for an exciting race tomorrow. Race starts 3:30pm local time 4:30 GMT catch up then.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Winter season is over, let the racing begin!

If you have been hibernating over the northern hemisphere or were just switched off then this may be useful. If you want to be in the know, F1frontwing will put you in the loop. Over the last few months McLaren dropped Fernando 2 weeks after. No surprise there effectively swapping him with Heikki from Renault. This marked the end of the controversy of the 2007 season McLaren only too happy to move on but the Italian magistrate still has a case against the Working squad. Ferrari will let this ride for as long as it takes as part of a wider strategy of keeping the screws in their closest challengers. Most teams launched their 2008 challenger car in the usual way with glitz and glamour that is traditional in F1 at venues across Europe except for Force India who launched in Mumbai. Three teams shied away notably Super Aguri just had money troubles simple as.

The news coming out of test over the winter is as follows - Ferrari appear to be the strongest team out there, take note Kimi put 2sec on last years best lap in Bahrain. If this did not tell the competition what's what then you can only make your own mind up. BMW Sauber have been dogged by handling problems with the car being unpredictable when cornering. BMW Sauber have added winglet on the nose con. Renault have re-grouped hoping the R28 would improve the fortunes but the lackluster test results coming out of testing see them having a lot of work to do catching-up. Williams appear to be the dark horse in F1 right now. Williams has a solid driver line-up with Rosberg and Nakajima showing good pace all winter. While everyone else in the mid-pack is struggling, Williams has shown that with continued development throughout the year they can pull off a few podiums on raw pace alone. Redbull has with the second generation infamous Adrian Newy design RB4 kept the same driver line up, suck with the Renualt power train have ticked all the right boxes. Rebull now has the depth of experience, man power skill to improve on their best outing a 3rd place in Monaco. Formula 1 may be about big budgets and big egos but does not always translate to big result and Toyota has certainly not achieved any thing that reflect their big budget. A new driver in reigning, GP2 champion Timo Glock should motivate the team, of course the TF108 is a re-think on their previous car with it's aggressive aero package. Scuderia Toro Rosso are Red bull in Italian and the B team to their name's sake. Scuderia Toro Rosso can lay claim to have F1's future hot talents on their roaster in the two Sebastians Bourdais and Vettel. This will be Vettel's first full season and Bourdais enters F1 a consecutive four time Champ Car Champion. Honda are more closer to the back of the grid than they feel they deserve. They have very talented drivers in Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello who have both won races albeit one for Jenson, thats just detail. Last year that car was bad and this was blamed on wrong wing tunnel calibration this year in testing its still bad. Super Aguri only managed to test once over the winter siting major financial problems. Today, a buy out has been agreed with the Magma group which secure their future. Everyone loves an underdog and Super Aguri is a true one at that. Force India is the new team formed after the sale of Spyker F1 to a consortium led by Vijay Mallya, they start with last year's B spec car updated to this year's regulations. To round off, McLaren launched the MP4-23 on Lewis Hamilton's birthday and the next day they were testing. Martin Whitmarsh McLaren CEO told The Observer UK that Mclaren was ahead of schedule in its testing programme leading up to the Australian Grad Prix.

Monday, March 3, 2008

McLaren formula 1 Rant

So this is going to be my ever so often rant about all things Mclaren and F1. So looking forward to Turkey where I think we will be strong as ever. Drivers' beef should be under control by now so we can expect plenty of clean fighting from the drivers Fernando and Lewis.

I'll put in my 10 pence about this beef. Well what Feranando does not seem to believe given that I think that someone in his camp would has said it to him. Well I will say it Ferenando you are the double World Champion and Mclaren want you as the tripple World Champion. So you get an even bigger head and Mclaren can say we made the best investment paying you £25m and Lewis £5m. From a cash point of veiw Lewis winning is not good cause as World Champion he will command a huge pay check. The counter arguement is that Lewis is an advertiser's dream and with the loss of tobbacco money a team need someone who brings the money in effortlessly. Back to Fernando he can't see this team bias when on track Lewis is beating him to the chequered flag dispite Lewis carrying 2-3 laps more fuel in qualifying on most Saturdays. Its clear Lewis is doing a good job and would you imagine if Kimi was still in the team Lewis might just still be a rookie trying to keep up. This is not a dis on Lewis it just saying it like it is. Lewis is a sensation, you can say Lewis is the future and it is bright. Only Mclaren need to come good on the investment after loosing Kimi.