F1 Fanatic round-up: 19/2/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

It’s the tenth day of F1 testing and hopefully the weather will be kinder to the teams today. Here’s the Friday round-up:


McLaren: Jerez developments (ScarbsF1)

“Another tool commonly used and rarely seen are the tyre temperature sensors used in testing and often in Friday practice. McLaren have long since used tiny infrared cameras to measure the temperature signature across the full width of the tyre. In previous years these have been fitted in pods to the side of the cockpit or to the rear floor of the car. Now the cameras are so small land their range sufficient that McLaren fit theirs inside the wing mirror shells, pointing to each front tyre.”

Life’s a Beach (YouTube)

Snazzy promo video from Virgin filmed at Jerez. Looks like it was done between the two blocks of test days when the track was dry and they had chance to hang some Virgin ads up.

Heikki Kovalainen MTV3 commercial (YouTube)

Amusing F1 advert starring Heikki Kovalainen.

Villeneuve linked to Stefan GP return (Autosport)

Another Jacques Villeneuve off-season rumour. We may have five champions on the grid yet…

Points Systems Comparison 1950-2010 (Making up the numbers)

Rubbergoat takes a detailed look at how the points system has been changed over the years.

Comment of the day

There’s been a lot of reaction to US F1’s problems – like Greg Wesson, I find it all pretty disappointing after it looked like F1 was finally set to make some progress in the USA:

I?m a Canadian too, though living in the UK. I was excited about the prospect of a team from North America. Even though it wouldn?t be a Canadian team, it was still good to have a team from our little corner of the world. A lot of times I find that sports in Canada and the USA are so internally focused and not very international. We seem to play sports that no one else plays, and don?t take serious part in sports that do. The thought of a decent North American F1 team was an opportunity to see the North American sports world open up a little more to the world.

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

Six years ago today an F1 car ran in Bahrain for the first time ever. Neel Jani drove a Sauber through the capital Manama to promote the inaugural race in the country held later in 2004.

46 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 19/2/2010”

  1. I just saw that MTV3 commercial with Heikki. Very strange indeed… almost as strange at the fact that he’ll be the only Finish driver on the grid in 2010.

    1. He and Mark Webber share the (dubious) honour of being the only nationals of their countries to win a race but not an F1 title.

      1. Currently on the grid, that is. Remember Mika Salo? :-)

        1. Nah, Salo doesn’t count, cause his trophy says E. Irvin on it. So no win..

          1. Irvine.

      2. What about kubica?

      3. What about David Brabham?

      4. JJ Lehto….

        1. Sorry, I missed the “win a race” part!

  2. virgin need to be concentrating on their car, not making movies. I feel they’re all fart and no poo.

    1. But doesn’t their car look fabulous?
      Maybe it’s the Woody Woodpecker nose that I like so much.

  3. heikki is unhappy with the lotus so he decided he was going to race on a horse instead

    1. No, No, the horse is his exercise partner.

      He is going to race on the fish.

  4. @sato113, i kind of disagree, i like their video, light harted and good to see they can have a bit of fun and not take themselves too seriously whilst they are going through what is probably both a very stressful and very exciting time. as JYS has said about stewert gp, it is very important to also focus on being the best you can be outside the car as well. It takes a lot of hard and good work as well as time to be a sucesful F1 team, something that sponsors will probably not understand, so it is important to communicate this with them as well as insuring that your off track PR, corporate relations is a best as possible as well.

  5. Mouse_Nightshirt
    19th February 2010, 2:00

    Awww, look at Villneuve in that autosport article. He looks like a cute little old man with a toupee!

  6. Mark Webber gave this interview to Melbournes Herald Sun.

    In it he says that he wants to do better than last year and that he is confident that his contract will be extended beyond 2010.


  7. To use a quote I found of the SpeedTV forum:

    F1 in America has entered another dark age. (Last one was from 1994-1999). No American Driver, or GP, and little chance of either happening in the near future. Que Lastima!

  8. Ahahaha, the Kovalainen ad is effin funny! World’s fastest Heikki hahaha :D

  9. Prisoner Monkeys
    19th February 2010, 5:47

    Based on where they send people to do PR work, I think I’d rather drive for Virgin than for Lotus …

  10. There is an interesting article on espnf1.com about Mercedes. Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche warned the Mercedes F1 team that they must win races to hold on to the support of its parent company. Zetsche said that winning is “a condition” of the F1 project because Daimler’s money could be better spent outside of F1.
    This really worries me. I had assumed that Mercedes entry into F1 would mean that the team wanted to be in F1 for a good few years. I didn’t think that they would be entering solely in the hope that winning a few races would increase sales of the C-Class. Having manufacturer teams is great for F1, but when they start adding conditions like this to their entry, it kind of cheapens the whole thing for me. I’d much rather have a grid full of real racers than a grid full of manufacturers if that is the case.

    I’m not for one second doubting that Mercedes will be successful this year, I am in fact quietly confident that they will win at least one race but it is definitely not going to be easy. Yes Mercedes have huge resources, and yes they have the most successful driver in the history of F1 and yes they have got a promising young driver in Nico Rosberg, but we have seen in the past that throwing money at a team doesn’t make it win (Toyota, are you listening). They bought the Brawn operation which had so much success early in the year, and they struggled once the other teams successfully integrated DDD’s into their cars. Schumacher is the most successful driver ever, but he is now in his 40’s and hasn’t raced for three years, and I honestly think that F1 is now more competitive now than it ever was in his heyday. Nico Rosberg is talented, but he has flattered to deceive on a number of occasions.

    We will just have to wait and see I guess…


    1. Worries me too…sounds an awful lot like BMW’s ‘conditions’ for BMW-Sauber…

  11. Today Alonso, Button, Schumacher day. See if Lotus fixed it’s wing and can make some decent runnings.

  12. I don’t know if you realise Keith, but today is the 50th installment of the F1 Fanatic Round-up

    1. Indeed it is! That was fast…

      1. Just a suggestion, but could the Round-ups have their own tablet rectangle thing perhaps other than being in the articles in brief?

        not that I’m questioning the design of course Keith! :)

  13. Hadn’t seen this interview from yesterday about Enzo Ferrari’s birthday. Another opportunity for Ferrari to bang the drum for three-car teams and more testing:


  14. Keith, I can’t see why there is objection to teams testing at will. When everyone is concerned about money how can it be cheaper to build a car and not try it out?
    Would you buy a road car that had 20 days testing or more to the point would who paid for the funeral of someone who bought a car with 20 days testing be happy?
    The idea of private teams with last years cars worked in the past and allowed some of the best names in the sport to progress(Williams and Mclaren to start with). The main problem here is messing with the rules every week. Fix rules and regulations, let teams develop and test and why not have newcomers in last years Ferrari/Mclaren/ Red Bull etc.
    On another point Dieter Zetsche said yesterday at Mercedes HQ that if they don’t win they are off as without titles they cannot justify the costs. We can all knock Ferrari for many reasons but we will always know they will at least be there

  15. im starting to think Merc are in trouble….

    Michael and Nico ends most days 1sec+ off the pace…. Ferrari and Mclaren appear ahead, with Redbull next line, and behind that Merc….

    hopefully im wrong, but Merc never appear in testing to do a decent run and be quick… Ferrari and Mclaren have both done that

    1. Joe Saward suggests that Williams are as quick as McLaren at the moment, which I didn’t expect…

      1. Joe Sawards is quite possibly talking bull. Ocasionaly he says something that just doesn’t ring true. And it’s usualy because it isn’t.

  16. I see what you’re saying Rampante, but remember in modern F1 testing takes place in simulators as well as on the track. I’d much prefer there to be fewer tests and more races. And if teams feel they need more opportunities to test, they can always use Friday practice sessions.

    And while it’s a bit concerning that Mercedes are already talking about potentially quitting, they aren’t nearly as dependent on F1 as Ferrari are. All manufacturers are in F1 to sell cars; it just so happens that F1 helps Ferrari sell more cars than Mercedes

    1. Let’s not forget that Ferrari used to sell road cars to fund their racing programme in the days before sponsorship…

      1. Enzo paid for his racing by selling the car that raced on the Sunday on the Monday.

        1. Perhaps BMW, Honda, Renault or Toyota could have used their motorcar turnover money to finance F1.

  17. Agree with you Ned but Ferrari make 4000 cars a year and they will always sell them. According to AP Mercedes had a 10% fall in sales in Aug 2009 to 93,500 for the month.I know this also includes the A and C class but it terms of numbers they are not on the same planet.
    Cars manufacturers spend $1 billion plus on development(track and simulation) and as has been seen with one recalling 8 million cars can have basic problems with steering and acceleration.

  18. staying worried… michael out again and still way over a second slower than ferrari ….

    the team that designed so many bad hondas, designed the brawn car, and with the DDD, got a jump on everyone…,

    but that same team, got completely outdeveloped by mclaren and redbull, who quickly caught up and passed brawn/merc

    i think in 2010, that same bad honda/bar team, has come to the for..

    lets hope im wrong

  19. Above comments remind me of a book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It’s title is about a dog who learns to drive in the rain by watching videos of Senna with his boss. The dog, called Enzo, is later reincarnated as a boy that wants to be a racing driver.
    Book is not all about racing but very good nonetheless.
    If you buy, don’t forget to use F1Fanatics Amazon link.

  20. Seems Mercedes should have the perseverance of one Stefan Z…interesting Q&A posted today at 11:48GMT http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81594

    I dunno what might be circulating in the background, behind the scenes, but if this guy does get on the grid, and if his cars fight half as well as he does….could be the rest of the teams have a worry.

    1. Accidental Mick
      19th February 2010, 13:56

      It would be interesting to hear why Toyota keep support Nakajima given his total lack of success.

  21. Stefan GP has an advantage over the other new teams in that Zoran Stefanovic seems to be very passionate about the sport and he really wants to get his car on the grid. We here constant reminders about how they are doing this and that with the car, but never here a word from Spain with Campos or much in the way of testing a finished car from USF1 over the pond!

    1. Au Contrere! There is word about Campos F1.

      Seems Adrian Campos is about to be bought out by his own majority shareholder…Jose Carabante.

      My question is this…if ol’ Jose had enough money lying about to buy out the team. why didn’t he fork up to help pay Dallara and get the team on the grid?

      Oh, wait, silly me. Cause then Campos Meta 1 wouldn’t have been teetering financially so he could instigate the buy-out.

      Wonder if Adrian Campos has a sore bum just now?

      1. Does anyone know what the meta bit means

  22. People keep mentioning that if Villenueve makes the grid it’ll tie the record of 5 champions on the same grid. Anybody know when that was and with what champions? I’m curious now.

    1. In 1970 there was 5 WDC in the one season.
      Stewart/Brabham/Surtees/G Hill/Rindt who won in 1970

      1. Does that count, though? Rindt died before he won, didn’t he?

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