F1 Fanatic round-up: 23/2/2010

A quiet day for news yesterday as the teams complete their preparations ahead of the final test of 2010. Read on for the Tuesday round-up:

Links

Partnering Lewis Hamilton helped me grow up, says Fernando Alonso (The Guardian)

“Obviously I don’t know how McLaren is now but if Jenson arrived in my time then, for sure, it would be very tough for him. But, hopefully, it’s now better for Jenson because I learned a lot from that season and McLaren did as well.”

Ride height changes with fuel level (Scarbsf1′s blog)

“Teams could have a mechanic adjust the ride height during the pitstops. This would be legal and feasible, as the pushrods or torsion bar mounting could be fitted with a quick adjustment mechanism. Even within a sub 3 second pitstop, this could be completed accurately. But as the car will start the race with qualifying (low fuel) ride height settings, this could not be adjusted until the first pitstop, thus the opening stint would be compromised by the wring ride height. Of course the balance of the race could then follow the ride height with the decreasing fuel load, but adjusting at the second and subsequent stops.”

Stefan GP cancels Portimao test (Autosport)

“Bridgestone is only contracted to supply F1 tyres to those outfits that have an entry to the world championship, and the Japanese tyre manufacturer was unable to provide alternative GP2 rubber at such short notice.”

Al Gore Joins Richard Branson in Backing GreenRoad (TechCrunch)

We were talking about Richard Branson’s commitment to green motoring the other day – turns out he’s backing this project I hadn’t hear of before.

Comment of the day

Sven has a master plan for an F1 Fanatic points system:

What about inventing a parallel points system which takes many more parameters into count. Such as place in Q1,2 and 3. Race pace consistency, Overtaking on track, fastest lap, places gained on starting position and position at end of race. This could work as a driver ranking system.
Sven

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

Hans Herrmann turns 82 today. The driver from Stuttgart was part of Mercedes’ three-man team when the manufacturer entered the world championship for the first time at Reims in 1954. He set fastest lap but retired while team mates Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling finished one-two.

Third place in the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten that year was the best result of his career. Herrmann crashed badly during practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in 1955 and by the time he returned to the sport two years later Mercedes was gone. He made a few starts in a Maserati 250F and, later, a Porsche.

Herrmann withdrew from what would have been his final race at the Nurburgring in 1969 after countryman Gerhard Mitter was killed in practice.

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56 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 23/2/2010

  1. tommy boi said on 23rd February 2010, 0:15

    with so much rookies on the track this year, do you guys think more crashes are inevitable? I do not want to see my favorite drivers crashing out on first lap because of somebody else’s silly mistake, so I sure as hell hope not…

    • Scribe said on 23rd February 2010, 9:29

      I definatley forsee more saftey cars.

      • three4three said on 23rd February 2010, 11:35

        Agreed Scribe, but I don’t think they’ll all be down to the rookies what with the heavier lazier cars and everything, there’s bound to be a few top tier racers making silly mistakes too.

        • Scribe said on 23rd February 2010, 18:34

          Can you imagine when they get to Monaco though, especially considering the rookies in new team cars?

          First corner, rrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaagCRUNCH.

  2. Ferrari and other of their colorful statements:

    Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace.

    As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal.

    The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again. Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

    Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.

    This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?

    Link:
    http://www.ferrari.com/English/News/Pages/100222_GR_Per_chi_suona_la_campana.aspx

    • Woffin said on 23rd February 2010, 0:34

      As much as I hate Ferrari for being so full of themselves in the press releases, I have to admit that they make some very valid and serious points.

      • Dan Bigham said on 23rd February 2010, 0:40

        Too true, nice to have some straight talking big guys out there that aren’t afraid of FIA or Bernie.

      • Sometimes, just sometimes, you really do wish that the budget cap was actual reality.

        • Plink Plonk Plunk said on 23rd February 2010, 1:45

          Love Ferrari or hate them no body has more of a right to be critical of the new entrants, as Ferrari has certainly paid their dues. And although the tone is a bit condesending, you cant deny it’s accuracy.

          I’m sure some of the old guards are thinking the same thing.

        • Oliver said on 23rd February 2010, 8:25

          VXR your fascination with the budget cap amazes me. Why should teams that have suffered for ages to achieve what they have, suddenly be brought down to the level of those who want to join the sport.
          When you are running at full speed you just don’t stop suddenly but rather gradually slow down and thats the best approach to the budget cap.

        • Del Boy said on 23rd February 2010, 17:56

          VXR
          I can assure you the budget cap is very real. Mention resource restrition to anybody at MTC and you’ll understand its very real and happening.

      • Hairs said on 23rd February 2010, 8:24

        “Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, ”

        Or in Ferrari’s case, having failed to get someone on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, now watching him drive for the enemy….

    • Icthyes said on 23rd February 2010, 3:43

      Who writes this stuff for Ferrari? If it had come from an independent blogger, I would be laughing and agreeing with it a lot more. I still am, but these are meant to be sporting professionals.

    • This is great!
      It’s the best chuckle I’ve had so far this week… “serbian vultures” hahaha!

    • GeeMac said on 23rd February 2010, 5:46

      That surely can’t be an official statement by Ferrari. From the tone of that it must have been written by a 15 year old who managed to hack into their system!

      Although they have made a few valid points, the use of phrases like “the Serbian Vultures” and “the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president” are just out of line. Sounds like whoever writes the press releases in Maranello has forgotten the concept of professional courtesy over the winter…

      • They are passionate Italians. Italians.

      • Oliver said on 23rd February 2010, 8:26

        Speaking figuratively, Stefan GP is a vulture.

        • Hallard said on 23rd February 2010, 15:10

          The vulture analogy, although belittling, does seem to fit. I think Stefan GP should embrace it. Paint their car up like a vulture and everything…

      • matt88 said on 23rd February 2010, 9:03

        I think that’s all stuff of Luca Colajanni, Ferrari’s spokesman. In Italy also Ferrari fans (like me) hate him, there are some petitions to Montezemolo that ask to fire him. :)
        He’s harsh, unpleasant, unpolite, bitterly sarcastic (also with Italian press)… all the kinds of qualities a spokesman should not have, and this contributes to the bad image of the Scuderia.

    • Calum said on 23rd February 2010, 7:50

      A “quixotic legal battle?”
      What’s that, makes me think of the Spannish guy with all the windmills, Don Quixote!!

    • maciek said on 23rd February 2010, 7:51

      As usual, there is truth in it, but it’s amazingly condescending.

  3. Dan Bigham said on 23rd February 2010, 0:36

    that driver ranking system seems a lot like the Castrol driver rankings website ;-) very useful!

    • Bewildered said on 23rd February 2010, 2:55

      snap. You got there first :)

      http://www.castroldriverrankings.com/

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd February 2010, 8:10

      I think trying to compare drivers from disciplines as diverse as NASCAR, F1 and the WRC is never going to work. It’s hard enough working out which driver’s dong the best in F1 given the differences in performance between the cars.

      I think the Castrol Rankings is more an exercise in sponsorship generation than a serious attempt to rank the world’s racing drivers.

      • The actual standings inside a racing category do not add much help in rating drivers;

        Formula 1:
        1 Jenson Button 21,828
        2 Sebastian Vettel 20,599
        3 Rubens Barrichello 18,788
        4 Mark Webber 17,624
        5 Lewis Hamilton 15,628
        6 Kimi Räikkönen 14,471
        7 Jarno Trulli 13,614
        8 Nico Rosberg 13,352
        9 Fernando Alonso 12,869
        10 Timo Glock 11,887

        It mainly follows the points standings.

        • Scribe said on 23rd February 2010, 18:36

          I think they award points according to qualifiying, finishing position and how high they rate your championship.

  4. Zahir said on 23rd February 2010, 0:52

    Concerning the ride height, couldn’t teams set their hot lap a bit early then bring the driver back in again, change the ride height so its suitable for the race, and send him back out to do another lap?

    • The cars are in parc ferme conditions from the start of qualifying (Q1). Which means that they cannot alter suspension settings at any time during qualifying. If they do alter suspension settings during the parc ferme period, they will then have to start the race from the pit lane.

      • The actual sporting reg:

        34.1 Each car will be deemed to be in parc fermé from the time at which it leaves the pit lane for the first time during qualifying practice until the start of the race.

        • Peter said on 23rd February 2010, 9:14

          Does this mean that after start of Q1 no changes are allowed?
          If you think you won’t make it to Q2 and take less fule but without the weight you suddenly come in Q3 you won’t make it to the end of the race ;-)

    • We want turbos said on 23rd February 2010, 1:41

      They don’t even have to do the lap as long as it’s changed before end of Q3 or so I believe!

      • According to the sporting regs, the suspension cannot be adjusted at any time during qualifying and right up until the start of the race. Even then, the driver will have to wait until his first pit stop to make any changes.

        • The actual sporting reg:

          34.5 If a competitor modifies any part on the car or makes changes to the set up of the suspension whilst the car is being held under parc fermé conditions the relevant driver must start the race from the pit lane and follow the procedures laid out in Article 38.2.

          • Bewildered said on 23rd February 2010, 2:58

            81.5.1 states that anyone nerdy enough to have the rule book to hand and willing posts multiple comments online to clarify a situation, deserves at least one beer or possibly more.

            It’s a binding rule, and iron clad.

  5. TMFOX said on 23rd February 2010, 8:54

    “Bridgestone is only contracted to supply F1 tyres to those outfits that have an entry to the world championship”

    Well duh!? I’m pretty sure the rule book (which they clearly haven’t read correctly) mentions something about this.

    Clearly the FIA have made a botch job of the new team selection process. We all knew which teams should have got in but as it stands we’ve got two outfits who have shown next to no evidence of actually having a ready car. And an outsider who are running on the slim hope that the FIA (after of course trying to take them to court) will let them in.

    I’m not a huge fan of Ferrari but their statement above however harsh is completely true.

  6. three4three said on 23rd February 2010, 9:21

    I like Sven’s idea. It would give us a better understanding of how the drivers are performing (especially relative to their team mates) over the course of the season. theRoswellite suggests this too on the “Comparing drivers” article.

    • maciek said on 23rd February 2010, 11:18

      I like this too – it will avoid the end of season poll catfights we had last year, and it will be clearer picture of who did how over the season than just remembering this or that driver’s two or three shining moment.

    • Ned Flanders said on 23rd February 2010, 11:57

      It’s a nice idea in theory, but I think in practice it would be very difficult to create. Besides, we’d all end up disagreeing as usual anyway!

      • three4three said on 23rd February 2010, 13:25

        Not if we agree on it before the season starts.
        To summarise previous comments this would take into account:
        Qualifying position
        Places gained at race start
        Race pace consistency
        Laps led?
        Overtaking (on track only, so not when cars in front crash out as this will be reflected in final finishing position)
        Fastest lap
        Finishing position (reflecting new points system)
        Penalties (including grid, drive through, stop and go)
        Other factors include:
        points (or minus points) for offs, crashes shunts and spins
        Also maybe pit stops (reflects tyre management).

        Now, how do we weight these to reflect driver performance fairly? Any ideas?

  7. Nobody knows, what will be from USF1. I still have some hopes of this being solved without a really big slap in the face for the whole sport (as Ferrari is suggesting in their commentary).
    This: http://www.usf1formula1.com/2010/02/speedtv-video-report.html
    offers some hope, that everybody behind the scene is working on finding an acceptable solution. Not like the really great show F1 put on, when only 6 cars went for a parade 300 km around Indianapolis!

  8. FLuidd said on 23rd February 2010, 12:23

    Sven’s idea is a cluster****.

  9. Sven’s idea is good but it will be very difficult to implement it.

  10. I am really surprised Alonso said that, it makes me rspect him more again. I was taken aback from his behavior when he was equalled by his teammate in 2007, especially in the pit lane at Hungary, but hopefully its all forgotten and he and Hamilton will get along better, they are going to have to when they see alot of each other at podium ceremonies this year!!

  11. I rather enjoyed the Ferrari broadside. A breath of fresh air quite in contrast with the usual treacle one finds served up in normal F1 press releases and team member comments. I like it when people actually say what’s on their minds.

    According to BasCB’s link, USF1 may yet have hope. Interesting article.

    Another interesting article, and another breath of fresh air let into the usual PR hogwash is here > http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12433_5970672,00.html Seems Campos still has difficulties, even after the buyout.

  12. Good, that Campos car is actually built by Dallarra, otherwise they would have even less than USF1!

    Maybe USF1 can call Lola and ask too use the chassis they showed off a couple of months ago?

  13. doncakes said on 23rd February 2010, 17:15

    “But as the car will start the race with qualifying (low fuel) ride height settings, this could not be adjusted until the first pitstop, thus the opening stint would be compromised by the wrong ride height.”
    ————————-

    This sounds like to me, that teams will NOT try and “low fuel” qualify. As the suspension setting would be totally different on a full load vs running on fumes.

    Qualifiying on low fuel in Q3 (combined with having to use those tires) will severly hamper the top qualifiers in the race. The cars will scrape the ground on a full fuel load because they can not change the ride height for the race until there first tire stop?

  14. They will have to set the car up in the previous practice sessions in order to find out what is the correct ride height for the car on full tanks at that particular track. This will ensure that the car does not “scrape the ground” during the first part of the race. ‘All’ of the teams will have the same problem, since suspension settings cannot be altered during Q1, Q2, or Q3. Yes, the cars will be higher than is required for them to be at their optimum configuration, but it’s the same for everyone, and you could never say that when we had refuelling.

  15. Scribe said on 23rd February 2010, 23:58

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81664
    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/02/usf1-troubles-start-to-leak-out/

    USF1 looks to be in a pretty catastrophic state.
    If you ask me the only way it can be saved is if Hurley joins USF1 and Stefan and acepts that a US based F1 team just isn’t going to happen this year.

    It seems like the real problem was Ken Anderson, also from what the empolyees say if an organised entity tried to start an F1 team, it could go be very good.

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