F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/9/2010

It was great to meet several F1 Fanatics at the F1 photography exhibition in Camden yesterday – Sebastian (or is it Sebastien?), LewisC and Icthyes were among those who showed up. Apologies if you were there early and I missed you – blame the London Underground I’m afraid.

Also yesterday I had my first play of the retail version of “F1 2010″ and interviewed two of the games’ designers. They had a lot of interesting things to say and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the article which should be up on the site later today.

Here’s the round-up:


Sauber: Ferrari loyalty no factor in letter (Autosport)

Monisha Kaltenborn: “We also did not write it in name or in favour of Ferrari. We wrote it as an interested party to the whole matter, because it is a matter that we feel concerns us all.”

Villeneuve still pursuing F1 (GrandPrix.com)

“It is now thought that Villeneuve could look at a buy-out or partnership with one of F1’s existing teams, with HRT the obvious target as rumours circulated Monza that the team may not be in a position to complete its debut season.”

Comment of the day

Lost of different views on who will be world champion yesterday. Steve makes the case for fifth-placed Sebastian Vettel:

If Vettel wins in Singapore, I think he will take it.

Monza was such a big race for him after recent events, and after his problem he handled it all superbly to go on and take a big gamble and go on such a stint to finish ahead of Webber which was vital.

His confidence will now be back to a degree, and he?s now also in a position which I think he is more comfortable in: no expectation upon him, the underdog.

He also has the experience of that last races of last year where he was the strongest driver in terms of results along with Hamilton, if I remember correctly, when he was in a similar position to now with Button having such a lead to lose.

From the forum

SLR wonders if the Singapore Grand Prix will have to be cut short.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jo??o Pedro CQ and F1 Badger’s Adam Milleneuve, who I saw at the F1 2010 preview event yesterday!

On this day in F1

One year ago today Renault announced Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore would be leaving the team – the first sign we had of the truth of the allegations over Singapore 2008:

Read more: Briatore and Symonds step down as Renault accepts Singapore crash charge

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45 comments on F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/9/2010

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th September 2010, 13:46

    Just spinning off the above discussion briefly, I thought a few people might be interested in the MG Metro 6R4, which was designed and built by Patrick Head and Williams right at the end of the Group B era. I’ve got this really great book simply called Rally Cars by Reinhard Klein, which looks at the most influential cars from the sport’s inception to the year 2000; it was practically the first thing I bought when I got my first job and cost about $65. I don’t know if it’s still in print today.

    Anyway, there’s a few pages dedicated to the Metro 6R4, and this is what the book has to say:

    The Metro 6R4 long outlived it Group B rivals, but partly because it founds its level. It remained and effective tool in British and Irish national rallies long after Metros disappeared from the showroom, but it looked capable of fulfilling its World Championship aspirations only fleetingly and its hird place on the 1985 RAC, its first World Championship rally, was its best rest.

    Work began in 1981 and if it had appeared on schedule in 193, it might indeed have beaten long Quattros and early 205T16s, although its uncertain reliability makes that open to question. By the time John Davenport bludgeoned Austin Rover into committing itself to the car, a brave attempt to amange without a turbocharger was doomed. The pace of development and the increasing use of “special” petrol permitted the turbo teams to run much higher boost and therefore pressure.

    The mid-mouned three-litre V6 epitomised the Metro’s failings. Chronic problems with the came belts caused a rash of failures well into 1986 and early air filters were badly wanting in the dusty conditionss, but above all, it delivered neither the 400bhp nor the smooth flow of power promised. The exhaust system caused a serious power drop between 4000-5000rpm that was only identified when a new dynomometer was installed in late-1986. Until then, shortening the gearing had been the only solution and that imposed excessive strain on the differentials.

    But it was never intended to be a three-litre, nor to be as wide and as heavy as it became. Williams (yes, the Formula 1 team) made the prototypes, which had six-cylinder versions of Rover’s V8 and were reputed to cost one million pounds each. Patrick Head’s design had a 2.5-litre engine and 13-inch wheels. Then Michelin railroaded the Austin Rover Group (ARG) into using the bigger 390mm rims that Peugeot and Audi wanted and, as development proceeded, weight went up in both senses of the term. The homologated car was not only heavier than Williams intended, but the size and nature of the engine caused major handling problems because it raised the centre of gravity and the shell was too small to permit ancillaries such as oil and header tanks to be relocated to compensate. ARG therefore pioneered the use of wings, but it was forced to reveal its hand as early as 1984 simply to make the car perform on national rallies, thereby alerting the opposition. As the wings were fitted to the 200 road cars, it remained ahead of the field in this regard because the FIA felt unable to quibble over the homologation, but downforce and braking were the sole areas in which the 6R4 excelled.

    Understandably perhaps, Williams had failed to appreciate either the amount of punishment it was expected to take, or the need for rapid access for servicing. As Wynne Mitchell, the engineer who finally took control of the project, observed: “It was designed as a race car, It was light and it was neat and it just wasn’t strong enough for **** and corruption.”

    So there you go. Williams’ foray into the WRC wasn’t exactly what one might call a success, though the 6R4 picked up several major national rally victories, including the 198 Ulster, Manx and Circuit of Ireland rallies and Didier Auriol claimed the 1986 French National Championship behind the wheel of one.

    The source is as follows:
    Williams, D., Davenport, J., McMaster C., 2000, Rally Cars, Konemann Verlagsgesellschaft mhB, Bonn, Germany

  2. Seems Renault is coming to the resque to boost visitor ratings at the Korean GP, after Red Bull kicked off the promotion with its circuit run. http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/242715/renault-confirms-korean-roadshow-for-october/

    If the teams get Ferrari and Mercedes and McLaren to join at the end of next year to get the USA warmed to the Austing event, that would be great work by the FOTA community.

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