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The Formula 1 Thread

Recap of stuff mentioned in the previous thread:

  • Alonso’s missing the Australian GP, to avoid getting a second concussion after a crash in pre-season testing - a crash that McLaren claims didn’t give him a concussion.
  • Marussia are back as Manor Marussia and will be running a slightly altered version of last season’s car.

Alonso’s manager is now dismissing the claim that Alonso suffered memory loss after his crash. But then, Alonso’s manager is Flavio Briatore and I wouldn’t trust him to accurately tell me the time.

Giedo Van Der Garde’s attempt to sue his way into a racing seat for the season has worked, it seems. A court has upheld his claim and told Sauber to give him a seat, which hasn’t pleased them at all. Even if he does get to drive, I can’t see this making him particularly popular.

Marussia’s two drivers for Australia (at least) are Brit Will Stevens and Spaniard Robert Mehri.

The first race is this weekend and should either be interesting or another Mercedes whitewash.

The Van Garde thing is crazy, I see the Sauber’s team appeal against the high court decision was dismissed today. That i going to be one awkward situation at the weekend.

I can only assume they will eventually pay him off. I can’t imagine a situation like that working for anyone.

Looks like another Mercedes-dominated season… they were nearly 1.2 seconds ahead of everyone else in first practice.

Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull battling it out for second place, but McLaren are having lots of teething troubles it seems.

As an aside, I’m watching the formula e race from Miami.

It’s a bit like listening to a swarm of angry Sinclair C5’s.

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Dutch driver Giedo van der Garde has dropped his legal action against Sauber, allowing them to race in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
A court backed Van der Garde’s claim he had a valid contract and Sauber risked having its assets seized and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn arrested.
Van der Garde said he had given up his rights “with respect to the interests of motorsport and F1 in particular”.
Sauber will now race this weekend with Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Not a particularly exciting race, but a solid start for Hamilton. Leaving McLaren was the best decision he ever made - it’s positively surreal seeing a McLaren potter round at the back of the grid.

Also, you know you’re getting old when you remember a current driver’s father being behind the wheel… :confused:

Does remembering Carlos Sainz count? He wasn’t an F1 driver but I remember watching him driving in, and winning, the WRC.

Didn’t realise you knew Graham Hill?

Didn’t watch the race yesterday but just checked out the results. I would think the Mercedes domination was expected. Glad to see Vettel and Ferrari both doing well again. They were still 30 seconds off the Mercs. I hope at least one team can challenge Mercedes this year.

21 years ago today Senna died:

Not exactly Formula 1 but this was an interesting interview with Rick Mears on the Indianapolis 500.

With the best will in the world, my interest in Formula E has waned severely. The race are too infrequent, the driver line-ups change too much and every race seems to be won or nearly won by an ex-F1 guy on his first go.

I did watch the Monaco one the other week and while the opening lap was pretty exciting (ie, a lot of relatively safe crashes) the alterations to the iconic circuit layout made for a really dull race. That and the team with the best livery (Team China) has changed to a pretty dull carbon grey and lime green design.

Ya. I think Formula E will be great if it has time to develop but I don’t think it’s there yet. I kind of wish Formula 1 would take a Le Mans approach and limit the MJ of energy a car can have at the beginning of the race. That would allow the manufactures to play with electric in a more competitively advantageous way.

The funny thing is the kind of racing that a lot of F1 fans are clamoring for, balls out racing that is more driver than car focused, is actually available in IndyCar. They’re just too busy looking down their noses to notice. :wink:

I thought initially that the promise of open development on cars for next season would be enough to keep me interested, but I’m not sure that will solve the problems. If anything, it might make it less interesting, if it creates a Mercedes style situation that F1 currently has.

The problem (or one of them at least) with Formula E is that the cars aren’t fast and durable (engine-wise) enough and the way they’re masking that, with continual street-circuits, just isn’t making for interesting races. The tracks might be in some of the most glamorous cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean much when you can’t see any of it thanks to the massive walls and barriers set around the edges of the track.

F1 really shines (for me at least) when you get grand sweeping corners, dynamic camera angles showing fast cars and drivers stuffing it up and careering off into a gravel pit, none of which F-E can offer. Most of the time it’s a fairly slow looking procession round some tight, bumpy tracks (at least they had the sense to ditch the parade laps - they really were atrociously boring).

The FIA really needs to step in and get the driver situation sorted. They’ve had a field of nearly 40 (in 20 cars) in half a dozen races. It’s too choppy, so it’s hard to really get behind anyone.

The coverage could do with improvements as well, but a lot of that’s down to ITV4.

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Pretty boring race this weekend. I think the most interesting thing was Alonso losing it on the team radio. I don’t blame him frankly. The Honda situation is beyond a joke now. It shouldn’t be this hard for a professional engine manufacturer to make a working engine, especially when Honda had about 18 months to work on it without the concerns of actually supplying to a team and knew the specifications well in advance of the season. It’s pretty pathetic.

The way it’s going, I can see Alonso just walking out, Button probably sticking around for the length of his contract and then quietly retiring, his career once again derailed by Honda’s inability to perform.

What really worries me is that this’ll do for McLaren as well. They’ve had some stability issues over the last few seasons and this sort of problem long-term won’t help. Weirdly though, if you look at Honda’s F1 twitter account, it acts like they’re solely responsible for the team and car, as if McLaren wasn’t even a factor. It has me worried they’ll swoop in and buy out McLaren, turning it into another failed attempt at a works team.

I can see why McLaren wanted to try this experiment, a combination of not being Mercedes’ favoured team any more and the fading memories of their Honda-powered success in the 80s, but it’s hard to see this as anything other than a mistake now. They’re working with the inept Honda of the 00s that tanked BAR, not the Honda of the 80s that won things. If I was in their position, I’d have persuaded Honda to buy a smaller team (Caterham perhaps) and use that as a trial works team (as Honda effectively did with Super Aguri in the 00s) til they got the hang of the engines and then switched over.

I think you underestimate the complications in building a modern F1 engine. You can only test so much on an engine stand and in-car testing is limited. Honda seems to do a pretty good job in IndyCar with a similar type of engine that has less complicate auxiliaries. I don’t think they’ve thrown nearly the amount of money at it that Mercedes has. The old pre-Brawn GP Honda team had other problems from what people I’ve talked to have said. It also wouldn’t hurt my feelings to see Alonso leave F1 as long as he doesn’t pop up anywhere else.

[quote=“RonnieM, post:17, topic:134”]
I think you underestimate the complications in building a modern F1 engine. You can only test so much on an engine stand and in-car testing is limited. [/quote]
Maybe so, but Mercedes, Ferrari and to a lesser extent Renault have all managed it while also developing and supplying engines to the previous specs in the seasons previous.

Honda seems to do a pretty good job in IndyCar with a similar type of engine that has less complicate auxiliaries. I don’t think they’ve thrown nearly the amount of money at it that Mercedes has.[/quote]
And that really is part of the problem. They came in saying they were looking to compete, that they were aiming to take on Mercedes and convinced a top tier team to work with them. They have to back that up. They can’t just go in and shoestring it for a few years, hoping it’ll pan out eventually.

No one has really thrown the amount of money that Mercedes has at this and the locks on development after a certain point in the season isn’t a real help. I’m still surprised that the other teams never tried to have Mercedes’ solution to the engine change banned. It’s what seemed to happen to every innovation in the previous few seasons.

The tokens system is complicated, but as I understand it Honda have only once used any to improve the engine and that was before this last race, to improve reliability, incredibly. They didn’t have the same pre-season restrictions that the other three had though, as far as I can tell. Mercedes haven’t changed anything since the start of the season though, mainly because they haven’t had to.

I’m surprised Renault haven’t made any changes yet though, especially with all the griping from Red Bull.