F1 Fanatic round-up: 8/1/2010

We start today’s round-up with a reminder for F1 fans in Britain – this evening David Coulthard is on the 40th anniversary edition of BBC sports quiz “A Question of Sport” at 7pm on BBC1.

Here’s the Friday round-up:

Links

Relaxed Jenson Button creates positive first impression as new kid on McLaren block (The Times)

“I?m not going to say [Hamilton] starts with a big advantage. I will say it?s all new to me with the team and I?ve got to get to know a lot of people and how they work, which is going to take a little time. Hopefully we will be ready for the first race.??

The big freeze (Lotus)

We’ve had an unusual amount of snow here in Britain recently. Lotus’s Hethel factory got a coating but the teams says: “[Our] ever-growing workforce have battled through the snow and ice to continue work on their challenge for the 2010 F1 season.”

GenII Capital bidding to buy Saab (Joe Saward)

“The word in Sweden is that the new owners of the Renault F1 team are in the process of trying to buy the entire Saab Automobile firm from General Motors. This adds a whole new dimension to the purchase of the Renault F1 team and suggest that perhaps when the Renault deal is over, the team might end up being badged as Saab.”

Comment of the day

I have to agree with HounslowBusGarage both that getting rid of double diffusers is for the best – and it would have been nice not to have the problem in the first place:

I think I?m quite pleased with this rule change. But I wish that someone with the ingenious and devious brain of Ross Brawn was in charge of the F1 rules and regulations. If Ross could see the problem, as could the designers at Williams and Toyota, the FIA regulations must have been very badly written.

So when he retires from being a team principal at Mercedes after six straight WCC wins, I?d like Ross to become technical head bloke at the FIA. I think he?d enjoy that and I?m certain he could close all the loopholes before they open.

From the forum

Not really the first 2010 F1 car launch but a good effort!

Site updates

The sharp-eyed will have noticed some very small changes to the homepage today. For example, the Feedburner counter has been taken down. There’s been a few more changes under the skin as well, all part of the efforts to make the site run more quickly and crash less.

Also the Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli biographies have new profile pictures with them in Lotus gear:

Happy birthday!

We have an F1 Fanatic birthday to celebrate – Many happy returns to Michael Roberts.

On this day in F1

On January 8th 2005 Toyota launched what proved to be the most successful car of their eight-year tenure in F1, the TF105. With it Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher scored a total of 88 points putting the team fourth in the championship.

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15 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 8/1/2010

  1. I’ve had a whole 1 inch of snow where I live in south Bedfordshire… I can get to work and everything. Where’s the fun in that?!

    • Harvs said on 8th January 2010, 5:09

      sorry to hear that but ajokay! but i had 32 degrees celcius to day and i swam at the beach and got really burnt

  2. James Bond said on 8th January 2010, 4:49

    Alistair’s argument was superb

    Ads21:

    ‘Alonso clearly never felt at home even in Australia and Malaysia when he was beating Lewis’ (Ads21)

    Alistair:Well, there was no particular reason for Alonso to feel at home in Australia: he’s Spanish, after all. On a more serious note, there were no problems, whatsoever, between Alonso and Ron, until Alonso tried to blackmail his own team into giving him No: 1 status. It’s sad that Alonso had to stoop this low, in what was a desperate attempt to establish superiority over a rookie; a rookie who wouldn’t be dominated on the track, even by the reigning double-world champion. So, Alonso was the architect of his own downfall at McLaren for two simple reasons. First, he wasn’t good enough to establish superiority over his rookie teammate (quite the contrary, in fact). Second, Alonso, as a consequence, turned on his own team.

    You cite Australia and Malaysia as evidence of Alonso beating Lewis! What needs to be pointed-out, I think, is that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1. He didn’t know either track, with Melbourne, so the drivers say, being particularly difficult to learn; and Malaysia being particularly demanding, physically and mentally. Lewis hadn’t been in any car in any race for this amount of time, nor raced with such G-Force, required such levels of concentration and fitness to maintained, etc. Never mind; let’s compare his performance to his double-world champion teammate in just these two races – his first two races.

    Australia:

    Lewis qualifies 4th: two places and 0.2 sec behind Alonso; but Lewis has a lap’s worth more fuel than Alonso. Lewis, initially, makes a bad start and falls behind Kubica on the approach to turn 1. Then, Lewis makes a stunning double-pass around the outside of both Kubica and Alonso, his double-world champion teammate, into turn 1. The race is dominated by Kimi, who leads 52 of the 58 laps. But Lewis leads twice as many laps as Alonso: 4 compared to 2. Alonso finishes the race second; Lewis is third. Lewis is just 11.3 sec behind Alonso after 58 laps of his first ever race. Alonso sets a faster race lap than Lewis – by all of 0.03 sec.

    Malaysia:

    In qualifying, Lewis is again 4th; Alonso, again 2nd. Disappointingly, for Lewis, he’s 0.7 sec behind teammate Alonso. But Lewis has 2 laps more fuel than Alonso. Moreover, Lewis is frank and blames his inexperience: he backed off too much, when he got some spots of rain on his visor. Lewis vows to make amends in the race…. Massa makes a bad start: Alonso takes the lead. Then, Lewis makes a superlative start: somehow managing, in the first corner complex, to overtake not just Kimi’s Ferrari, but also Massa’s sister Ferrari as well! Alonso wins the race from Lewis by the respectable (for Lewis) margin of 17 seconds after 56 laps of racing. Alonso leads 52 of those laps; Lewis, just 2. But Lewis sets a faster lap than Alonso (in so doing Lewis sets the fastest race lap in just his second race) by a tenth of a second.

    So, I would agree with you that, in Lewis’s first ever two races, Alonso did better, if we confine ourselves just on paper, than did Lewis. But, even on paper, the overall advantage Alonso had is, as we can see above, small. Given that the gap is small, given that Alonso was the reigning double-world champion, and given that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1, this shows you just how good Lewis was – straightway. Moreover, I would argue that Lewis was more impressive than Alonso in these first two races, because of his inexperience, and because of his great and nigh unprecedented overtaking.

    Considering the season, as a whole, which is what we should do, Lewis beat Alonso by finishing ahead of him in the WDC – when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion. (This needs to be reinforced, because, never in F1 history, has a rookie beat the reigning double world champion as Lewis did.) Incidentally, if Lewis hadn’t had those two bad races at the end of 07, where McLaren kept their rookie out on tyres worn down to the canvas at China and had that…very strange electronic problem at Brazil (which I view suspiciously in light of ‘Alonsogate’), Lewis would have won the title in his first year in F1 and, thus, beaten Alonso by a greater margin. It’s fair to say this, since neither of these problems were Lewis’s fault; and, up till then, his season had been nigh flawless.

    The bottom-line is this First, Lewis not only beat Alonso over the course of a season when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion, but Lewis also showed that he was faster than Alonso, better in the wet, and better at overtaking in this his rookie year. Second, all drivers improve, considerably, from their rookie year: imagine how much better Lewis is now than he was in 07; imagine how much better he will be when he reaches his peak in several seasons’ time…

  3. Kovy said on 8th January 2010, 7:02

    I’m not going to call them Lotus, it’s “Team Malaysia” for me.

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th January 2010, 9:14

    Here’s a nice design someone’s created for this year’s Lotus: http://www.zerotohundred.com/2010/auto-news/rendering-lotus-formula-one-car-decals/

  5. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th January 2010, 11:59

    Joe Saward reckons USF1 will test at Barber Motorsports Park: http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns22022.html

  6. Brakius said on 8th January 2010, 15:03

    Is it just me, or do those pictures of Jarno and Heikki make them look bummed about their new team?

  7. Bartholomew said on 8th January 2010, 16:48

    It would be a good thing for the Saab name to get F1 exposure — anything except the brand dissapearing

  8. Icthyes said on 9th January 2010, 12:47

    Michael Roberts, Happy Birthday!

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