Today I’m at Silverstone to get a first-hand look at the changes made to the circuit for this year’s Grand Prix. Stay tuned for more from the track and keep an eye out for updates from me on Twitter.
If there’s anything you’d like to know about the changes to the track for this year, or the further revisions planned for 2010, post your questions in the comments and I’ll read them before I get to the track.
The next instalment of the “Making F1 Better” series will be up tomorrow. Here’s today’s round-up:
“As far as F1 is concerned, if the sport can shed its image of profligacy with resources – in this case, fuel and money – while embracing and helping to develop and refine road-relevant, future technologies, new manufacturers could be attracted into the sport. My sources tell me, for example, that Volkswagen and Hyundai – neither of whom have ever been involved in F1 – have had talks about entering the sport on that basis.”
On the budget cap not happening: “It’s a bit disappointing although I don’t think anybody really expected that to happen. But there does seem to be a general realisation from the established teams, with the possible exception of Ferrari, that it was unsustainable as it was. There’s now only one genuine manufacturer in F1 as far as I can see and everything has to be more tightly controlled to see if we can make some changes and drive down costs. And I do genuinely think that’s the intention. There’s a definite sense of people trying to make it realistic again.”
“To our minds there’s one outstanding venue that should be hosting an IndyCar race in Britain, and that’s the same one that hosted it twice before. We want to see IndyCars on the full oval at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, where Tony Kanaan still holds the lap record. No messing about with road courses or street courses. If IndyCars are going to come, let’s do this in style.”
“According to the informed rumours, Mercedes will opt for a blend of front suspension changes mated to a shorter gearbox. In the process extending the wheelbase. Many in the media have highlighted the changes as a wheelbase change as the solution to the balance problem, but the extended wheel base is largely a function of the shifting the axles. It is not in itself the primary solution to their problems.”
Ferrari explain the F10′s steering wheel in this video.
“Q: Which film makes you cry? NH: ’Marley & Me’, I think.” Because it’s so bad, presumably.
Comment of the day
There were lots of interesting explanations for Williliams ‘fall from grace yesterday. Antonyob blamed the transition from Patrick Head to Sam Michael and Dougal cited ever-rising budgets.
But Lustigson’s point about the change in the tyre rules late in 2003 particularly struck a chord with me – would they have lost BMW so soon if they’d won that year?:
Juan Pablo Montoya was only a point adrift from Michael Schumacher with three Grands Prix before the end of the season, while the team actually lead the constructors’ standings with as little as two races still to go.
Ironically, what helped them develop Williams’ speed in the early days of their relationship with BMW, arguably cost them either of the Formula One titles: Michelin’s tyres of which the front versions were deemed too wide by the FIA at 75% of the season.
The 2010 F1 statistics page has been updated.
On this day in F1
The ninth and last F1 race at Zolder was held on this day in 1984. The track, forever remembered as the place where Gilles Villeneuve lost his life in 1982, was dropped to make way for the revised Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which has remained on the calendar more or less ever since.
Michele Alboreto won the last race at Zolder driving for Ferrari. The circuit is still in use and held the Masters of Formula Three race in 2007 and 2008 before the event returned to Zandvoort in The Netherlands.