F1 Fanatic round-up: 30/1/2010

Yesterday was a very busy day for me heading to and from the McLaren launch and trying to juggle keeping the site updated with getting as much as I could out of the event.

Salty suggested I should do a ‘behind the scenes’ article on my day at the launch. Is that something you’d like to see? If so, leave a comment below.

It’s been encouraging to see so much activity on the site – we’ve broken our traffic record the last two days in a row and I’ve been reading dozens of pages of comments. Thanks to everyone who’s contributed and welcome to our new readers!


Bottas named as test driver (Williams)

Formula Two champion Andy Soucek had been tipped for the test role at Williams but it’s gone to Finnish F3 driver Valtteri Bottas instead. Bottas is managed by Mika Hakkinen.

Raikkonen crashes on Arctic Rally

Kimi [R?Ůikk?¬nen] and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were unhurt in the incident, but their C4 World Rally Car sustained damage to its right-hand front corner. With help from spectators the pair eventually got the car back on the road and underway again, but the episode cost them more than 15 minutes on the stage, and more than 20 minutes of penalty time.”

Comment of the day

Dan Bigham takes a close look at the front nose structure of the MP4-25:

This is an extract from the MP4-25 tech spec off the McLaren website ‘«£Bodywork ‘«Ű Carbonfibre composite. Separate engine cover, sidepods and floor. Structural nose with integral front wing.‘«ō Note ‘«ˇStructural nose with integral front wing‘«÷. Granted that could be just describing that the front wing is integral with the nose, but technically it is detachable and bolted together, so i think that is hinting towards the integral wing underneath the nose shown in the pictures.

Quite an interesting feature, very similar I think to the old central ‘«÷spoon scoops‘«÷ of the pre 2009 regs front wings. Circumventing the regulation that limits the central 500mm section of the wing between the lowest plane and a set distance above it to be an aerodynamically neutral shape pre-determined by the FIA.

Another feature of it is that it aims airflow towards the sidepods, considering the intakes are unusually small, it could help force feed air into the ducts.

Make sure you read the full comment and have a look at the pictures.

Site updates

I haven’t received any more complaints from people saying they aren’t able to see the site, which suggests that the server changes have refreshed complete and everyone can see it now. I’ll ask people again on Twitter tomorrow.

Later today I intend to take a look at the broken forum and hopefully get that fixed, or at least get a temporary one up in the meantime.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

This time 12 months ago we were also talking about changes to the points system – but on that occasion it was Bernie Ecclestone’s controversial gold medals plan.

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49 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 30/1/2010

  1. Icthyes said on 30th January 2010, 1:44

    Behind the scenes, please!

    Funny thing is, I’ve been warming more to Bernie’s idea – not the daft medals, but the “winner takes all” system. In tandem, change the points to 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. This is perhaps more a reflection of my dislike for the new system than thinking Bernie was on to something…

  2. Behind the scenes please! :-)

    • +1

      Regarding site updates, any chance we can get a mobile theme for people visiting from smartphones? Like what WP-based blogs automatically provide.

      • inc0mmunicado said on 30th January 2010, 5:00

        I’m on a dumbphone and I get the WP-based mobile version even after the updates… you might be able to find a link to the mobile version somewhere at the bottom of the page. Make sure cookies are turned on, and restart your browser, I can’t switch between the mobile and regular site w/o a restart (using opera mini).

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th January 2010, 8:36

        The mobile version has been temporarily deactivated because of the server move but I’ll try to get it back up again this weekend.

  3. ZANARDI2010 said on 30th January 2010, 2:40

    Yeah it all work wells on my fone but I cant comment frm my fone ,only view stuff,great work keep it up.Man v new McLewis looks great so now, u no that another thing ,someone was sayin v cars hydrogen fuel cells yeah absulutly y no anything in that vein.thats v direction they should be goin in.U no i saw a program here in Australia a couple of years ago and basicly,these guys,real revhead typs had some sort of battery powered drag car,sedan, and they recconed that it was doin v quarter mile in 14secs.They just were gettin fed up and wanted 2 show that new tecnologies can work.yeah that points scheme would b pretty cool easy 2 understand keep things interesting.I dont see any negatives with it.V best driver will ajust 2 that points system acordingly and still become champion each year.Ciao 4 mow

  4. sato113 said on 30th January 2010, 2:43

    F1fanatic is in good health. absolutely love it!
    a behind the scenes article would be great.
    I must agree, Dan Bigham’s comment was excellent too. great stuff! :)

    • John Beamer (@john-beamer) said on 30th January 2010, 3:49

      I posted this against Dan’s comment:

      Yup – it’s effectively a more developed version of the Williams’ snow plough. Sitting at that height it is above the bargeboard exclusion zone. It has two functions – create low pressure below the nose and divert air to the sidepods.

      You’ve got to be quite careful about what you do under the nose because that is the easiest way to trash the airflow to the floor.

    • Dan Bigham said on 30th January 2010, 10:35

      Thanks. John has a very good point though, if their diffuser is as extreme as they say they better be able to feed it. Limiting air flow to it to direct air to other less critical areas could be a compromise too far.

  5. inc0mmunicado said on 30th January 2010, 5:26

    Let me get this straight – the new wing under the traditional one is integral to the monocoque then? I guess this radical Mclaren nose design is predicated on their two drivers not ripping their regualar front noses off and a piece of the monocoque with it. It’s not like they would, since they are the last 2 WDCs. But this is something the backmarker teams won’t want to copy as their drivers are more prone to crashing.

    I think I commented a few weeks ago that the refuelling ban would change pit strategies alot for repairing damaged cars. It is apparent now that changing a front wing like it has been will effectively end your race. Before it would have taken anywhere from 4 to 13 seconds to refuel. Now with only 2.5 seconds to change tires, there’s only so much you can afford to fix in that time period. Teams are either going to develop something conservative–a simple wing that can change out rapidly or something very agressive like Mclaren that cant be changed or damaged.

    • Dan Bigham said on 30th January 2010, 10:30

      I think the nose scoop/plow is attached to the underneath of the nose, which detaches the same way as always from just infront of the wishbones. So I rekon changing front wings shouldn’t be anymore difficult. It would be rather ill thought out if the scoop/plow was attached to the monocoque and therefore required bonding a new piece on if it broke. Front wings are always going to take a bashing and the ease at which they can be changed could save seconds in a pit stop, so it’s an area well worth developing and simplifying.

  6. CounterStrike said on 30th January 2010, 5:41

    An useful analysis regarding all the teams mimicking the RB5


  7. CounterStrike said on 30th January 2010, 6:13

    Silverstone spy video


  8. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th January 2010, 8:37

    The Times says rumours in the Italian press claim the F10 is off its performance targets:


    Seems very early to make that kind of judgement, perhaps they’re just over-reacting to Ferrari not having done their shakedown yet. I’ll have a look at some of the Italian sites later.

  9. I would love to read anything you write about your time at Mac. I am so jealous… I would so love to be there.

  10. James_mc said on 30th January 2010, 10:36

    Behind the scenes sounds interesting! I was thinking that the new McLaren has a touch of the FW26 Walrus about it? That’s a good thing in my book! :-)

    I really hope the F10 isn’t off on it’s performance!

  11. Ned Flanders said on 30th January 2010, 10:38

    Behind the scenes would be great! (honestly, did you expect anyone to say no to tha offer?!)

    The site seems to be working fine for me now, although the sooner the Forum is back the better. And the gravatars, I miss them too!

  12. David said on 30th January 2010, 10:45

    Very sentimental and passionate behind the scenes article, please! :-D

  13. Hairs said on 30th January 2010, 10:48

    I 30th the behind the scenes article. Stunning work on the site over the past while, Keith, this has become by far the best 1-stop shop for F1 news and features of late. The GP Update site you’ve been running ads for is also good for odd stories that haven’t been picked up by the other sites.

  14. Lucas.M said on 30th January 2010, 10:54

    Bottas as the new Williams tester, I thought it would be Andy Soucek, I hope Soucek still gets a testing seat at Williams

    • Icthyes said on 30th January 2010, 15:31

      Is Soucek any good though? He blitzed F2 but his competition wasn’t that great. With GP3 coming in, I think the FIA needs to do more about its lower-formulae series otherwie they could end up becoming the reject series as the GP series take over.

      • Hairs said on 30th January 2010, 19:42

        The problem is there’s simply too many “junior” formulae in the first place.
        GP2, GP3, F2, F3, F3000, Formula Renault, GP2 Asia, Formula Nippon etc etc etc, how many do we really need?

        Where’s the clear career and training path of F3 -> F2 -> F1? It goes all over the place.

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