Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chinese GP - Shanghai 2009

So, Brawn haven't managed to do it this time then. So much for their "super-diffusers".

I actually thought this was a bit of a boring GP, starting under the safety car, so no 1st lap-1st corner dramas. The only exciting part in my opinion were when Kubica thought he could steal a Toyota diffuser by trying to mate with Trulli's car, and took pretty much the entire rear off of the car!

Ferrari have had yet more problems, as it seems Massa had hydraulic problems, meaning his engine just went idle, whereas Raikonnen again, didn't do anything spectacular, but at least managed to finish the race this time.

Speaking of finishing the race, it was about time we saw Heikki Kovalainen actually do some racing! In the quite difficult wet conditions the Finn found his fin and managed to swim past his teammate Hamilton, to take a respectable 5th overall, bagging some much needed points for the team. Hamilton on the other hand, clearly wasn't the wet weather master that he showed he could be like in Silverstone last season, and span out several times. I think his car would've been much faster in the dry conditions, as he showed in the 1st Friday practice.

Red Bull clearly are on to a winner here, with a very decent car that has shown it is quick, and also WITHOUT that now fabled "double-decker" diffuser design, something which Adrian Newey doesn't think he'll have ready until at least Monaco. We can only wait and see how much quicker they will be once armed with this new design.

As for the diffusers, the FIA has published the following document outlining their reasons for declaring the diffuser designs legal, and their responses to the other teams arguments.


Pretty boring stuff, though it does contain a somewhat humourous obsession with the words "hole", "continuous", "impervious", "hard", "solid", and "rigid". I'll leave it up to you to decide why they chose these words...I also can't believe some teams thought using the words "against the spirit" would actually carry ANY legal weight whatsoever!

Renault had a pretty hard time, even if they were armed with a new diffuser design. Alonso made use of it "for sure" in qualifying, although shame about his end result. As for his teammate, well, he clearly did not. Qualifying P17, they were poles apart, and during the race, Piquet seemed to be like Michael Jackson, needing a nosejob every 15 minutes!

Vettel won the race. I wonder if Renault are eyeing him up as a replacement for Piquet? We'll see how long Red Bull are able to keep hold of him.

As for next week, I wonder if Brawn will show the half-second lead over the field like they did in the winter testing. This race certainly won't be wet. (Though it may be a test of how much those engines like to eat sand!)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

"For Sure"

A friend and I have noticed the proliferent use of the phrase "For sure"...
I think I counted it to be used around 25 times during the Malaysia weekend.

It is THE CLASSIC formula one phrase. Have you not noticed how often it is used? I mean, who uses the phrase in general conversation? I'm "for sure" that we all use similar phrases such as 'certainly' or 'regardless' depending on the context, but "for sure" seems to be a favourite phrase amongst the sport.

I'll gladly say, if I were to get £1 for everytime the phrase was used in formula one, I probably could've bought Honda F1 myself!

The next time a driver or team principal is interviewed, listen carefully, and i'm "for sure" that he'll use the phrase.

Malaysia GP 2009

Well, what can you say?

Jenson's done it again. He did race well, and Brawn got the strategy right, as they were clearly good in the untested wet conditions (other than the passing of champagne to the rest of the crew!). However, it is yet to be seen when Jenson actually wins a full, unhindered race, as he has pretty much followed the safety car to victory in both of the races so far. I also wonder if the No. 22 car is a lucky one, as Lewis won with a No. 22 car last season. Probably just chance. I bet Richard Branson is still laughing is virgin ass off.

Considering the race finished with those in the points scoring positions received half of the points they'd attain if the race progressed to at least 75%, then, I wonder what would've happened if Bernie's olympics-style medal system had been put in place? Half a medal? What a farce.

Regarding the diffuser conroversy, I found some interesting info on it. Ross Brawn, somewhat of a Formula one legend now, (or at least soon to be!) really is a genius. He stated back last year about the diffuser area of the regulations needing to be reviews, but subsequently got rejected. And, as he puts it, "there were things that you could do...but nobody was interested. They are interested now." Full article: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/74282

As for Hamilton, KERS is becoming his favourite feature of the MP4-24, as without it, he would on doubt be one of the stragglers at the back. His fight with the Red Bull car was difficult as the pace of the Red Bull car is clearly faster, and Hamilton HAD to use KERS to recover his position.
As for the stewards' enquiry, all I can say is, Hamilton, STOP being such a puppet! Even the commentators said to Whitmarsh, Hamilton is a man, not a boy, or words to that effect. I see the team were "misleading" him again, as in his post race interview, he thought he was 5th, and then pulled a face of "oops, I shouldn't have said that!"...I mean, look where that got him last weekend! http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7984330.stm
His teammate meanwhile, seems to be taking the role of a test driver this season, with him not making the 1st turn in both races so far, but only doing practice and qualifying.

Heidfeld was 2nd again, for the 6th time in his F1 career. Seems like pole escaped him yet again. The broadcasting on BBC never seem to show BMW using its KERS system, so I wonder how effective it is on his car, especially considering his teammate doesn't use it, and didn't even get past the 1st turn.

Nico Rosberg really seems to be unfortunate, as he is able to put in decent lap times in the practice sessions, but seems to have a similar fate as the Ferraris, albeit not so fatal. It must be the car's sensitivity to fuel loads and tyres, for both teams.

Now, Ferrari. They really don't have it good do they? Their strategists really are messing up this season, so far. Massa, failing to make it to Q3, how embarrassing. They really need to sort themselves out, and this time, can't spend their way out of trouble, as they have done in previous years. So much for Massa loving the F60. Last year he was pole. This year, far from it.
As for Raikonnen, well. Did you see him when the race was stopped? He thought he was on holiday! Straight for the ice-cream, flip-flops and shorts!

I bet his ice-cream was "DNF" flavour, no doubt with a hint of smoked KERS battery.