F1 Fanatic round-up: 22/2/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Later this week we’ll be starting the F1 Fanatic 2010 season preview. If you’ve got an suggestions for articles please post them in the comments. Here’s today’s round-up:


Mansell and sons, open for racing business (The Sunday Times)

Nigel Mansell: “Greg is more like I was… am. Whereas Leo is more of a strategist; calmer. But we work very well together. And what we want out of this year?s race is simply a finish for the team. What really helps is that the boys are prepared to drive their hearts out, and they keep me honest and don?t fear taking me on.”

Villeneuve downplays Stefan GP comeback (Speed)

Jacques Villeneuve: “I had a chat some time ago with Stefanovich just to find out where everything was at. It was not about everything that has been written recently, it was prior to that. I?m not involved directly with anything.”

Comment of the day

MPJ1994 has been watching racing at Yas Island and wondered if F1 should try a change of circuit:

I saw the V8s at Abu Dhabi. I think that the circuit that they used, while great for the V8?s wouldn’t be so good for F1. Sure you would put in three-four good corners but you would be sacrificing an overtaking opportunity at the end of the straight as the corkscrew is single file, meaning they can?t get close at the end of the straight.

Also the different camera seemed to show the different camber of the corners better than the angles for the F1 race.

Happy birthday!

Today’s birthday shout-out goes to Rich!

On this day in F1

Two years ago today Champ Car and IRL ended their split which had lasted for more than a decade.

The series, which once attracted F1 drivers like Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi, begins its third re-unified championship at a new street circuit in Sao Paolo on March 14th.

82 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 22/2/2010”

  1. Even now IRL and Champ Car are back together it’s still never going to be back to how it was. Such a big shame, I really enjoy watching the Indy Car.

    1. Well. I’m not sure. It’s getting back on it’s feet. It’s starting to attract medium stars again. The Indy 500 is still a race everyone wants to win.

      It’s certainly national popular like NASCAR or Internationaly popular lie F1, but it’s got a new Chassis comming, new races on the calender and packed out stadiums.

      An as they controll the chassis it might become the worlds only proper drafting series. Well Lets hope.

      1. I plan on trying to watch some of the Indy races on the street/road tracks. Not so bothered about the ovals, but this year I really wanna try and watch a lot more motorsport.

  2. an article examining which driver’s should suit the new tyre rules would be great! you could compare button to hamilton, alonso to massa etc.

    1. It’s probably a bit early in the season to be doing that, but the general consensus seems to be that drivers with smooth driving styles and an idea of when to ‘push’ and when to take it easy will benefit more from the new rules.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see that a driver that seems to get off to a really slow start in the races comes through to finish first, just like Alain Prost used to do!

      1. it’s a bit early in terms of cars yeah, but not drivers. yes we all know generally how the drivers drive but i think keith could go through a few drivers in detail maybe.

  3. I think with more road courses and A new car will make it work!

  4. Plink Plonk Plunk
    22nd February 2010, 1:47

    Check out the new Ferrari wheel nut (scroll down).

    The close ups are really cool showing the locking pin, etc.


  5. Is there a crisis within the Mercedes team? Vettel suggests that things are not alright within the team and perhaps it is just psychological warfare but I never seen Schumi look so serious before. Also it has been said that Daimler chairman demands victories this season or Mercedes will pull out.

    1. “never seen Schumi look so serious before”

      You haven’t been looking at him for very long, have you?

  6. I don’t think there’s any danger of Mercedes not winning at least one or two races this year.

  7. I have one burning question…..forums?

  8. Do I get credited with an assist for the comment of the day. LOL

    1. It was MY comment Macca :)

      Maybe if you werent a ford fan you might get some respect :P haha

      1. That was sarcasm by the way mate, just in case you take offence

      2. And credit for the comment

  9. Michael was this serious in the start of his career at Ferrari…

    nothing there to be worried about, and he knows the car is a bit behind Ferrari…. he is thinking hard to develop it, button mentioned the rears on the merc appear to lock up, so there is a weight distribution issue and they were working on a rear suspension solution…..

    moving on

    IRL has only been unified for three years and is expanding every year…. they might get pretty close again to their glory days….

    and the street circuit at Sao Paulo, for the opening race, should be awesome, with the longest straight of the season, longer than the straight at Indy… probably the longest straight ever on a street circuit

    lets rock

    1. or he is bitter over not sitting in the Ferrari. Alonso humiliated him in 2005 and 2006. Maybe he feels a bit bitter of not running in this beautiful F10 and Alonso does.

      1. wrong,

        2005, terrible tires and junk car

        2006 – , leading the championship with 2 races to go, engine failure while leading the race in japan, followed by a puncture in brazil, how is that being humiliated by alonso?

        1. Well he didn’t win so thats kinda humiliation to a several time world champion.

        2. You could also say that Alonso was lucky not to lose it in 06, after the mass damper was somewhat controversially banned, he was ridiculously penalised in Monza and suffered retirements at Hungary and Monza that weren’t his fault.

          Stop being bitter – the outcome is the outcome, and Renault and Alonso did a better job than Ferrari and Schumacher that season and deserved their championships.

          1. Agree with Dan completely. Alonso earned his reputations as ‘the best on the grid bar Schumi’ because of the 06 season. It was a near perfect campaign and Renault and Alonso were totally deserving and did do a better job.
            I don’t really believe in luck but I think Schumacher was fortunate Alonso at times had so much against him and that allowed him to fight to the end but Michael wasn’t humiliated at all.

        3. Your assessment of Schumacher’s domination of 2006 is absolutely bang on.

          Except that Alonso was leading the championship from round one until round 16, then retook the points lead after Japan so Schumacher only actually lead the title chase for a single race. And Renault had their mass damper banned mid-season in highly dubious circumstances, which slowed them up considerably. And Alonso got that very silly grid penalty at Monza and lost points due to an engine failure in the race. And, like Schumacher in Japan, Alonso also lost a certain victory due to mechanical failure in Hungary.

          But as long as you ignore all that Schumacher and Ferrari definitely should have won…

  10. mixxmexx,

    did u watch the 2005 and 2006 season?

    2005 – the bridgestone tires were terrible and won only one (ridiculous) race, the car was junk too, hardly Michael being ‘beaten’


    michael was leading the championship (in wins, equal pts), with 2 races to go

    an engine failure in japan while leaing the race, and a puncture in brazil is hardly a humiliation…

    i think you’re a bit bias my friend…

    that being said, the front wing of the Merc appears identical to the brawn, and not nearly as complicated as the Ferrari/Mclaren/Force India/Red bull….


  11. that being said, why does the front wing of the Merc seem so simple when compared to ferrari/mclaren/williams/red bull/force india….

    it has a lot less technical detail it appears….. less elements,

    and their weight distribution is wrong, if what button said about the rear’s locking up is correct… but brawn has said he is aware of that and they are working on a new rear suspension geometry

  12. Just think in 3 weeks time we will know the new driver’s champ, :). Serously, how often is the winner of the first race the winner of the whole season. I wouldn’t bet against the winner of the first race being champ:
    Here is a list of the last ten seasons showing the opening race winner, and their overall championship place.
    09) Button, 1st
    08) Hamilton, 1st
    07) Kimi, 1st
    06) Alonso, 1st
    05) Fisichella, 5th (constructors: 1st)
    04) Schumacher, 1st
    03) Barichello, 2nd (constructors: 1st)
    02) Schumacher, 1st
    01) Schumacher, 1st
    00) Schumacher, 1st

    In the last decade, 80% of “opening race winners” go on to win the title, and of the 20% that didn’t, their teams both went on to win the constructors trophy.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      22nd February 2010, 8:24

      Interesting observation Calum. Certainly looks that way.

    2. yeah i’ve always thought that too.

    3. Interesting – the 90s were almost as predictable too!
      99 – Irvine wins, 2nd in championship but 1st in constructors
      98 – Hakkinen, 1st
      97 – Coulthard, 3rd (4th except Schumacher was DSQ)
      96 – Hill, 1st
      95 – Schumacher, 1st
      94 – Schumacher, 1st
      93 – Prost, 1st
      92 – Mansell, 1st
      91 – Senna, 1st

      Coulthard the only real outlier in 97!

    4. Here’s a post I did on the same theme after the 2008 Australian Grand Prix:

      Does the Australian Grand Prix predict the world champion?

      The Australian Grand Prix moved to Melbourne and its season-opening slot in 1996. Since then it has accurately predicted the champion on eight occasions including the last two years – a 66% strike rate. […]

      No race that has been on the calendar since then has been won by the eventual champion of a given year as many times. But two other races tie with the Australian round: the Spanish and Japanese Grands Prix.

      Since then the Australian Grand Prix has kept up its hot streak: Button won it last year.

      The Japanese Grand Prix has not fared as well: Alonso won in 2008, Vettel in 2009. And the Spanish GP was won by the champion last year but not in 2008.

      1. I love looking at statistics like this – Keith, if you are looking for ideas on articles then some interesting statisticle articles would be the way to go.

        1. Yeah, F1 Fanatic is a haven for us statto’s!

        2. Got a couple of stats articles planned for the 2010 preview.

          And then there’s this planned for during the season: Comparing team mates in 2010

      2. Totally off topic, if you want to see the latest Jacques Villeneuve racing video, check him out trying the skeleton at 2010 Olympics,

    5. Interesting Calum, but Coulthard won the first race of 2003- Barrichello actually crashed out of the same race

      1. Indeed, it was Coulthard, my mistake. Just checked and it was a Ferrari quali 1-2 with the Mclarens in 11(DC) and 15(KR). This sort of corrupts the theory but generally the opening race has a “hot streak” for being a champions victory!

        Oh, by the way, does anybody know who Justin Wilson is, my book says he started at the back of the grid and was British.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          22nd February 2010, 11:08

          Justin Wilson won the F3000 series in 2001 and moved up to Minardi and then Jaguar in F1 without much success though. From 2004 to date he’s done the Champ and Indycar series in the US with some success.
          He also runs in the Daytona 24 hours every year and came second with Max Papis, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
          One of his possible handicaps in racing may be his height. As I understand it he is over six feet four and has difficulty fitting in many cars . . .

          1. HounslowBusGarage
            22nd February 2010, 11:09

            Edit: Daytona 24 hours – he came second this year.

  13. Does this mean we actually only need 1 race for the championship? That would save some costs ;-).

    Anyone dare to guess who will be fastest in Barcalona tests?
    Here’s my prediction:
    1. Alonso
    2. Kobayashi
    3. Button
    4. Hamilton
    5. Massa
    6. Vettel

      1. Sorry, I ssem to have missed your better guess.

        1. Yeah just like Kobayashi only needs one average race to be voted next world champion by some …

    1. really want massa to beat alonso this year…

  14. Keith & other fanatics, I have a problem accessing F1fanatic.com on my Blackberry. For the last couple of weeks, every time I try to log on, I am redirected to a certain 1&1 Web hosting and Internet Domain names site.
    I get the following msge:
    THIS DOMAIN NAME HAS JUST BEEN REGISTERED FOR ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS and then goes on to ask me if I need premium web hosting or domain name Blah blah blah…

    Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know what I need to do to get back my F1fanatic back! This situation is really sucking my energy every morning I try to log on to catch the day’s round up. I have no problem on my PCs. I’m based in Spain if this helps.

    1. Bookmark a random page of this site and it won’t happen again.

      1. and use it every time you want to access this web site.

        1. Cheers, FLuidd. It worked.

    2. I don’t know if it was a typo in your post but you should be using f1fanatic.co.uk not .com

      1. Sorry, that was a typo, PJA. Cheers all the same.

    3. We had a DNS move last week which resulted in some people seeing that page for a short space of time. It should have stopped by now though – could it be that your Blackberry has cached the page and needs refreshing?

      1. I had to clear my private data in my Firefox browser. Cookies, temp files, and History,
        then it worked again.

        1. caught by your gf eah?

          1. Yes it helped with that too!

  15. God its a slow day for news today :(

  16. It’s the calm before the storm. ;)

    1. Craw of FIA senate said USF1 only inquired about the FIA’s stance on missing 3 races. So the articles heading is inaccurate at best.

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      22nd February 2010, 13:45

      I assume that the FIA penalties for missing races are financial, rather than participatory (there wouldn’t be much point in suspending a team’s entry if they hadn’t turned up at a race), but does anyone know what they are?
      I’m also guessing that because the figure of three races has been mentioned by the FIA, if a team misses the fourth race, then they are deemed to have removed themselves from the championship . . . is that right? In which case, would Stefan be lobbying for an entry point of the fifth race of the season?
      Of the proposed solutions, obtaining a ready built cars from cash-strapped Campos Dallara would assume that US F1 have the money to pay for the cars and actually run them. And wouldn’t that be a ‘customer car’? Or have I got that wrong?

      1. “And wouldn’t that be a ‘customer car’? Or have I got that wrong?”

        They would be paying for the IP of the chassis design. They would own the ‘rights’ to the chassis. Stefan GP own the IP of the Toyota chassis.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          22nd February 2010, 15:08

          Yes, but surely that would only be if Campos didn’t enter the chasis as their race car themselves.
          If Campos don’t enter the Championship after all, I quite accept that they can sell the IP to US F1 just like Toyota did to Stefan (and we’d be back to 12 teams). But if Campos *do* enter, they can’t supply their car to US F1, or can they?

      2. If you remember Arrows, they showed up for 3 grand prix but didn’t race, and they got kicked out.

  17. This is an interesting development in MotoGP, and it kind of makes you think back to the original F1 budget cap rules.


    1. The “original” budget cap was to be imposed for 2009. Most people forgot about that one. Indeed it went away quietly.

      1. “Indeed it went away quietly.”

        Hardly “quietly”, but yes it did eventually go away. Shame really, in a lot of respects.

  18. I’d be interested in an article about the rookies this season:

    Nico Hulkenberg
    Bruno Senna
    Lucas di Grassi
    Vitaly Petrov
    Jose Maria Lopez

    I think it will be really interesting to see who is the best newcomer, although I’m expecting Hulkenberg to lead the way.

  19. USF1 to sell entry to Stefan GP?

    It seems a sensible enough idea IMO.


    1. Selling their entry spot ? This makes me puke.

      FIA should ban USF1 from F1 if this happens.

      1. “FIA should ban USF1 from F1 if this happens.”

        I’m not sure on what grounds they could do that? Maybe it’ll be the last we see of USF1 anyway after the inevitable name change.

  20. Since the forum is not working,I have found this news story about Jean Todt dismissing the chance of an Indonesian GP.

  21. I see the ex-malaysian PM has opened the Lotus factory, to glowing thanks from its Malaysian owners, who couldn’t imagine a better person to open the factory, stating

    “He is the father of motor racing in Malaysia, the visionary behind the birth of the Sepang International Circuit and the Malaysian Grand Prix and has given us all the inspiration to reach for the skies and achieve our dreams”

    With the addition of two Malaysian businessmen with no F1 experience as Deputy Team Principals to “strengthen” the management team, this will surely put the final nail in the argument that this team isn’t Lotus, a famous English team, set up by a famous Englishman, with the best of British engineering talent in his home county in England, racing under the English flag, playing the British national anthem at races and with a legendary history in the sport, carried on as a small, back of the shed type affair in the best English tradition.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      22nd February 2010, 20:31

      Cricket and warm beer, eh Hairs? :)

      1. Eh, I’m not that nationalistic, but what bothers me about the Lotus situation is the same as the Mercedes one – here you have team owners beating their chests about how great the “home” nation is, and they’re going to run their national flag and their national anthem if they win – yet the teams they own are all based in England, with mostly British staff. It’s just crass and pretty offensive to the people who actually make the teams happen, for the credit to be “exported”. I would give Tony and his crew a LOT more credit if they called the team “1 Malaysia” or “Gascoyne GP”, but this habit of banging on about this being the “real” Lotus team, at the same time as ferrying malaysian bigwigs with no F1 experience around is just contradictory and rude. If there’s so much to be proud about, then base your team in Malaysia, get your suppliers from there, get your staff from there. When your actual Malaysian team wins a race, then you’ll deserve to see your flag up there and the national anthem playing.

        Either admit the team is Not Lotus, and change the name, or admit the team is not Malaysian and kick all the hometown flunkeys out.

        Is it important as an F1 fan? No, not really. Plenty of other team owners have come and gone. Are Lotus going to get rid of their “deputy team principals” or get Clive Chapman to open the factory instead of some **** politician? Of course not. But if it’s not important then why the pride over seeing “your” flag waving on the podium? It’s more of the same franchising that goes on with US sports teams – commercially it makes sense and it’s a good marketing exercise, but in a sporting sense it’s just wrong.

        I think people underestimate how much Mercedes’ attempts to take over McLaren rankled that relationship. Those guys view themselves as British through and through, and I don’t think they appreciated one of their partners attempting to muscle the company into becoming AMG mk.2.

        1. HounslowBusGarage
          22nd February 2010, 23:17

          I quite understand at least some of your concerns, and I certainly understand your problem with this sort of ‘back door’ nationalism in team terms.
          I think it is a retrograde step to have an all-British MacLaren team lined up against an all-German Mercedes and an all-Latin Ferrari. It certainly doesn’t make sense in sponsorship terms – just look at the difficulties the eponymously nationalist US F1 team have had – better to present an intenational face in order to broaden your sponsorship pool or appeal.
          No, Hairs. I was gently extracting the michael, thinking in ‘John Major’ terms of warm beer and cricket on the playing fields of England, MGs parked on the gravel, motoring back to Oxford after tea. A world we never knew and one that never really existed either.
          But I do understand your irritation at Lotus being neither one thing nor the other; it’s either Malaysian or Norfolk-ian. Can’t be both.

  22. How ‘French’ is Renault? How ‘German’ is Mercedes? How ‘Indian’ is Force India? How ‘Italian’ is Ferrari?

  23. @ VXR Renault are French owned, Mercedes are German and Force India are Indian Owned. Ferrari are completely Italian. It is Mclaren that you could question, owned by a saudi consortium, engine made in Germany and for us old enough to remember Bruce Mclaren was from New Zealand.

    1. Mclaren has their chassis made in England and their engines made in Germany by Mercedes.(their contract with Mercedes ends in 2015)

      1. Their engines are made in Brixworth in England, by a company that was called Ilmore and was “rebranded” Mercedes High Performance Engines.

  24. I think you will find the late great Paul Morgan was British. Mario Illien was Swiss German. Guess where the Illmor name came from.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      22nd February 2010, 23:19

      are you sure that no parts of the Ferrari cars are made in the UK?

  25. Hounslow, quite a few including a very suspect management system that they all have due to FIA regulations. if you cut the car in half it still sings Fratelli D’Italia.

  26. HounslowBusGarage
    22nd February 2010, 23:53

    . . . but with an English accent!
    Buona notte.

  27. Reading the Mansell article made me think about the F1 Masters series. I wish they would bring that back…

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