Whitmarsh: “I don’t think anyone looks dominant”

F1 Fanatic round-up

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012

In the round-up: McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh expects a close contest in 2012.

F1 links

Whitmarsh: Tight at the top (Sky)

Martin Whitmarsh: “It looks tight, sadly we’re not the dominant team, that’s the bad news for me. But the good news is I don’t think anyone else looks dominant either. Red Bull look strong, Ferrari and Mercedes look pretty reasonable, so that’s encouraging.”

Reading between the lines in a phoney war (BBC)

“‘You’re old enough, Andrew,’ one senior insider said to me during the test, ‘to know that Red Bull look very strong. McLaren and Ferrari are a bit behind. Force India look like they have a quick car, too.’”

Ross Brawn Q&A: We?ll do a better job this year (F1)

“What happened in Melbourne last year was that we had carried over some problems from the tests. The cooling of the car was not good enough and there had been a lot of wasted effort put in to resolve the cooling and some other reliability issues. It hit us massively at the first couple of races. So yes, it was a really messy start to the season and this year it has been one of our major priorities to avoid such a messy start, as it distracted us from focusing on the performance that we wanted.”

Is F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone finally missing a trick? (The Guardian)

“When asked if last year was a bad one for F1 he said: ‘It wasn’t good obviously. I often wonder whether people watch because of the championship or because of the particular race.’”

Massa sure Ferrari now on the right path (Ferrari)

“I have to say that now we are a little bit more positive because we found the direction to work and I’m sure now, having found the direction, we can see the development coming.”

Launch Analysis: Red Bull RB8 (ScarbsF1)

“Traditionally Red Bull have switched their launch exhausts to their Melbourne spec in the last days of testing. It?s been mentioned by the team that there is a new exhaust system coming. This is no doubt partly the reason for the team delaying the last test and having a near private test (shared with Ferrari) on the last day.”

Sauber via Twitter

“The 144 laps of Kamui Kobayashi today are equivalent to 670km. Only one car in Sauber’s history covered more during one test day. This was Nick Heidfeld at Le Castellet [Paul Ricard] back in 2006 (729km).”

Why Formula 1 mustn?t go to Bahrain (MotorSport)

“Why walk into the crossfire? Why take the risk? Formula One does not need the Bahrain Grand Prix and Bahrain certainly does not need to stir up unnecessary tensions.”

Government accused of hypocrisy in bidding for Grand Prix after 2015 (The Age)

“The Baillieu government has been labelled hypocritical by opponents of the Grand Prix and lauded by sections of the business community for its decision to bid again for the Australian Grand Prix – despite the AUS$50 million annual cost to taxpayers.”

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Comment of the day

Electrolite on Jenson Button – currently the most popular driver among F1 Fanatics:

For me it’s not that Jenson’s British, but he’s been around for a long time now and he’s the good guy that’s had to deal with some real dogs.

He stayed loyal to the Honda team for so long (the Williams contract buy-out aside) and even through ’07-’08. I remember being about 13-14 and cheering on his BAR, I’d be so glad if he got a podium! Through the Brawn year was very moving for me to watch him take all them wins and also how hard he fought later on in the season.

He’s British, yeah, but I’m really not that patriotic, and I think many of his 638 fans will share the same sentiments I do.
Electrolite

Incidentally, Button’s added a few dozen more fans since yesterday. To set your favourite drivers and teams, log in and go to My Account > Profile > Edit and then click F1 teams and drivers to make your selection.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Mike Roach, Ivz and Jake!

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

The non-championship Cuban Grand Prix was held on this day in 1957, postponed by one day as a dock strike had delayed the arrival of many cars.

Juan Manuel Fangio won the race around the rough Malecon Highway circuit which Stirling Moss described as “pretty wild” even by the standards of the day.

Image ?? Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic

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64 comments on Whitmarsh: “I don’t think anyone looks dominant”

  1. Jake (@jleigh) said on 25th February 2012, 0:10

    I don’t want to start to sound like I have a problem with Andrew Benson, but yet again I am less than Impressed with his analysis of testing – basically RB are amazing Mclaren are struggling, Ferrari are much better than people are saying. Here is my post on his blog:

    Oh Andrew. It’s pretty clear that RB and Mac were on different programmes during there “race simulations”. Whilst yes, RB were on a “race simulation”, Mclaren were on a “race-DISTANCE simulation”, the key difference being that they were pulling the drivers into the garage and refuelling them between stints. A clear example of this can be seen in Jenson’s first two stints yesterday. They were both on medium tyres and were almost identical in times. If they hadn’t refuelled, Jenson would have been significantly faster in his second stint.

    Therefore we have to look at specific stints. It appears that after Jenson’s 2nd stint, they didn’t refuel before they sent him out for the 3rd. This means it is comparible with Mark’s 2nd stint, especially as they were both on the hard tyre. And well well well, they are very similar (as would be expected of the two teams who are generally considered to be very close), and in fact it is Jenson who had the faster average laptime by half a 10th.

    Finally, you compare Lewis and Vettel’s times as “evidence” that RB are well ahead. However, Jenson did a time 4/10ths down on Vettel’s top time, but with the hard tyre. If we accept Pirelli’s estimates of 8/ths between each tyre compound, Mclaren would be 1.2 seconds faster than Red Bull. Obviously over those 2 days, the track would have improved, but it again highlights the irrelevence of fastest times. Especially as Martin Whitmarsh said today that all the top teams could easily go 2 or 3 seconds faster.

    So there we go, there’s some proper analysis of the times, now, can I have your job?

    • Daniel Thomas (@iamdanthomas) said on 25th February 2012, 0:33

      Re ‘can I have your job?’: On Ben Gallop’s behalf: no, Andrew Benson put up with a lot of crap from F1 fans last year (not necessarily those from this site, in fact, almost certaintly not), and he is actually pretty good.

      Mark Hughes’ move to Sky, however, is a real loss; his insight seemed informed and interesting.

      Other than that, interesting stuff you’ve got there!

    • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 25th February 2012, 1:18

      @jleigh Brilliant! You beat me to it! I’ve tweeted directly to A.Benson about his blog, obviously nothing offensive and I’m not expecting a reply, but I thought the Jerez analysis was bad…the Barca analysis is terrible!!!

      There is something quite mind-bogglingly simple that A.Benson has missed or just blatantly not paid any attention to: In his blog he states that Hamilton was so much slower than Vettel he would have been lapped over a race distance. That sounds like pretty horrific performance from Mclaren right?! Apart from the fact that he has completely ignored the fact that Hamilton had breaks (not pit-stops, actual breaks) inbetween each stint of his race distance. This astounding omission from his analysis of the subsequent lap times, coupled with the horrendously basic method of calculating a mean lap time for each driver over the whole stint/distance, means that apparently we can expect Hamilton and Button to be trundling round with HRT and Marussia in Melbourne. Funny that, because I haven’t really heard anyone else saying that, but then again what do Vettel, Horner, Webber, Alonso et al know eh?

      I can’t believe that things this obvious have gone unnoticed by the Chief F1 writer for the BBC. But not only that, he’s taken his fundamentally flawed approach and basically condemned the Mclaren’s to a season in the RBR shadow.

      The only light at the end of the tunnel is a few lines at the end of the blog highlighting that the Ferrari is actually looking pretty decent, which has since been backed up by Massa comment’s after todays session.

      On a whole though…what a load of rubbish.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th February 2012, 3:24

      Whatever the fuel load, the fact that Williams jumped from outside the top 6 to the best time in the test until then (which was 2.4 seconds better than what Bottas and Senna did the previous days) says everything.

      They all can go faster than they do, so there’s not a single indicator of how well Red Bull/Mclaren/Ferrari are doing compared to each other. Reading too much into this is quite pointless.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 26th February 2012, 1:04

        Exactly.

        @Jake That was fantastic.

        I rad his post, it was less than inspiring. And if you are going to look into times then you at least better do it right. As you did.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th February 2012, 9:20

      Benson is at times capable of good insight. However most of the time he’s a headline-churner and sensationalist. Sometimes he comes up with pretty shoddy arguments too and leaps of faith.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2012, 11:42

        He does seem to be overly negative about McLaren lately. And more positive about Ferrari than most others are (all kinds of people from Buemi to photographer @jameyprice noticed the Ferrari drivers struggle with the car)

    • Franton said on 25th February 2012, 9:51

      By all means be disgusted with him, there’s a lot of other people especially on the BBC comments that also are. It wasn’t so bad previous years but the BBC really has it in for McLaren this year and despite by his own admission (because he actually tweeted back to me) that it all really means nothing until 1st practice.

      I’m growing slowly more and more hacked off with the BBC’s F1 coverage i’m afraid to say. Too much of their top talent has defected to Sky and it’s starting to show. They’ve attempted to cover by employing people like Gary Anderson (ex-Jordan car designer) but then go OTT by claiming they designed race winning cars. (Technically true, but 3 wins in 9 years at Jordan is hardly a stunning success).

      • Mike (@mike) said on 26th February 2012, 1:06

        The BBC does not have it in for Mclaren. -.-

        And in terms of personal achievement, 3 wins in F1 at any time by a car you designed is a fantastic success.

        • Franton said on 26th February 2012, 13:13

          Compared to other designers in F1, he’s not that good. Adrian Newey is the current gold standard of multiple race wins and multiple championships with multiple teams. Neil Oately at McLaren has designed cars that won five separate championships. So in comparison to his peers, he’s not that good.

          Now let’s look at the McLaren bias. The reports on Sky F1 News make the suggestion that they’ll be in Top 3 certainly along with Red Bull. Autosport makes similar claims from similar sources. Only the BBC F1 team is claiming anything else. I think biased is more than justified in this case.

    • Tom Haxley (@welshtom) said on 25th February 2012, 9:51

      Andrew Benson et al are one of the main reasons I ditched the BBC and came here.

      Their coverage of any news is sketchy at best (surely someone could be updating the website every day like this one or countless others)

      And the blogs are a joke.

      F1Fanatic ftw

      • Andrew Benson et al are one of the main reasons I ditched the BBC and came here.

        That, and their website just looks like they gave a teenager from the 90s a go at designing it. I thought it was horrible before, but now it’s managed to get even worse and that had to take some real effort.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th February 2012, 10:22

      That’s a really good analysis. Nice to hear one from somebody who isn’t apparently useless.

    • James (@jamesf1) said on 25th February 2012, 13:43

      It’s for reasons like this that I’ll be viewing on Sky this year. The BBC have shot themselves in the foot here. They wiggled out of a contract early, made a loss and have lost most of their technical knowledge and insight from their coverage team. The one member of the team that the BBC can gain some redemption with is James Allen, although I’ll only be reading his blog.

      People can be peeved at Sky for “stealing” the coverage, but they’re not the villans here in my book. They’ve a dedicated and knowledgeable team that talk sense – not drivel churned out by Benson.

    • McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 25th February 2012, 19:52

      @jleigh – great analysis. And great point about Benson, he has been annoying me for weeks also. The sensationalism and clear disregard of parameters in his analysis are awful. I tend to find that about all of the BBC’s “chief” sports writers though.

    • Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1) said on 25th February 2012, 20:15

      I totally agree with everything that has been said. For saying that he works or the impartial BBC is surprising.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th February 2012, 14:41

        Being Canadian I don’t have a history of reading Andrew Benson’s work, but some of you sound overly harsh about his comments. It starts for me with the headline about reading between the lines and about a phoney war. ie. I think AB has put in enough caveats about it being just testing and about this season’s testing being particularly hard to take readings from. So from there on it should just be taken as one man’s speculation. Nowhere do I read him trying to cram down everyone’s throats how it is going to be this year. By his comparison he has Mac lagging behind Red Bull, but again, I think he has included enough caveats about that being a difficult thing to surmise and most I’m sure are assuming Mac should be closer to the Red Bull’s than last year, but I allow for the possibility that Red Bull as taken a step up as well. So it’s relative. If anything I think it is a pretty safe bet for now to assume that Red Bull will still be very very strong, Mac should have improved relative to them, and AB doesn’t discount that possibility whatsoever, Ferrari are getting it together, and Merc and Force India may be fairly strong as well. These are all things that to me could have been predicted when they announced relative stability in the rules last year for this season. Another question mark is Lotus. And I never took Ferrari’s comments to mean they thought they were slow or had problems, just that they needed more time with a car that has clear departures over last year’s. Nothing unusual there, and it sounds like Ferrari, having now put more time in, have a better understanding of their new creation.

  2. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 25th February 2012, 0:33

    Nice to see Whitmarsh confident. Looking foward for this season, i think it will be very interesting to say the least.

  3. sato113 (@sato113) said on 25th February 2012, 1:48

    long good qual mercedes testing vid-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDxInRcQas

  4. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 25th February 2012, 4:29

    ‘It wasn’t good obviously. I often wonder whether people watch because of the championship or because of the particular race.’

    i watch for good races. instead of stressing a title fight in the last race, f1 needs to promote a series of individual races that are dynamite tv. if you’re a fan of any sport, you still watch the finals with or without your team, right?

    • George (@george) said on 25th February 2012, 14:06

      I’m with you. Obviously having both is preferable, but if I had to choose I’d take a year like 2011 over 2010. I think this goes especially for non-fans (people channel hopping on sunday afternoon). If you want to draw people into the sport having a greater percentage of entertaining races is better than one big publicity wave at the end of the year I think.

  5. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 25th February 2012, 5:08

    I’d say either in 2012 or 2013, Ferrari are going to win a lot of races with this current evolution of their car, I guess the question is when.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 25th February 2012, 7:58

      for sure it should be before 2014 when the regulations would be heavily revised. so there’s 2 years for them. I hope it would be sooner than later…

    • On current observations it looks like they have a problematic car which is underperforming so I would not necessarily say they will win a lot of races. However it would be foolish of anyone to write off any of the top teams as they are all capable of turning poor cars into capable cars within the course of the season. Also this is testing so it is pretty much impossible to say for sure which cars are slow and which are quick as to do that one would need the full stats for each car throughout testing.

  6. sandy (@sandy) said on 25th February 2012, 8:58

    that bbc article made no sense to me..is he really the chief f1 writer?

  7. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th February 2012, 9:26

    I’m going to hazard a guess that most people watch for the championship. 2011 had far better races (well, pre-Singapore) than 2010 and yet most of what I read on message boards, twitter, etc. is “I hope we have another fight like 2010″. A good race is always welcome, though. And certain races will always attract more viewers.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th February 2012, 9:58

      2010 was a great season but it did lack what 2011 races brought to the races. A mixture of both seasons would be incredible @Icthyes

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th February 2012, 11:54

      Still @icthyes, the races in the first 2/3rds of 2011 were a lot better than the last couple of races, when most teams got exhaust blowing working, had the tyres figured out and knew what to do with DRS.
      So that coincided with the championship lacking much exitement to create a bit of a numb feeling to some races for me.
      But the races themselves did everything not even to need much of a championship battle to make me watch until that point.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th February 2012, 16:57

        @bascb I watched because I just watch F1. Had I been a less enthused fan, I probably would have stopped before Vettel officially clinched it.

        Yes, the first 2/3s was great. But the last third was utterly dull stuff most of the time. Combined with a lack of championship battle, that is why I don’t think 2011 was an especially great season.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 25th February 2012, 10:02

    I know it’s only testing but I have a lot of confidence that this year will be a closer fight than 2011. The main source of my confidence comes from McLaren’s smooth testing season this year as opposed to last years disaster. Ferrari, I don’t know, they have their niggles, but I’m sure they will bag more than one win this year. Doesn’t seem right otherwise, given how much Alonso flattered the F150.

  9. Macca (@macca) said on 25th February 2012, 12:11

    I am sick of this stupid argument over the Australain GP.

    All you stupid greenies who are worried about Albert Park which gets used for 1 week a year and does no damage to the environment, go back in to you little holes where you have no life and stay there.

    The sooner you relize this event is good for the country and the state, the better. Australia as a nation is built on sport so it only makes sence that we are hosting the pinical sporting events.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th February 2012, 14:05

      I’m not Australian, but +1, I always loved the Albert Park street circuit and want it to stay.

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 25th February 2012, 17:22

      -10

      I’m no Australian, but I just have to completely disagree with your s**d comment.

      First, looks like you haven’t even read the article. You’re offending some people of whom there’s no mention in there.

      Second, as much as I love F1, if I were an Australian, I couldn’t agree with such giving away of the taxpayers’ money. The calculations are clear and I’m pretty sure they’re honest – the country loses ~10M AUD. Every year. Just for allowing us to watch some people going in circles for three days. Not everyone is an F1 fan and has to agree with that. Australia’s a rich country but I’m sure there are some people in need there.

      You’d do better writing Bernie a letter asking for a smaller hosting fee. I think his daughters could do without another 20M$ summer house.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 26th February 2012, 1:10

        The calculations are clear and I’m pretty sure they’re honest – the country loses ~10M AUD.

        Demonstrate this please. With evidence.

      • I agree with you there. I for one would love Britain, Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy, Monaco, Belgium etc to refuse to pay Bernies ridiculous prices and let him go bankrupt. Perhaps then the circuits could get back to making some money again……

        • phildick (@phildick) said on 27th February 2012, 10:22

          The real funny thing is that Monaco, being the richest country (per capita income) from the ones you’ve mentioned, pays an exceptional fee of $1 (one dollar) for the GP, as far as I know.

      • Le Jimster (@lejimster82) said on 26th February 2012, 23:42

        The reason bernie is allowed to get away with overcharging venues is exactly because of government intervention all around the world. If you don’t pay him the money he moves to a country that will give him the money, he couldn’t care less about heritage, just that fiat paper.

        If all countries agreed to not use government funding for F1, then better commercial schemes woudl have to fill the gap *or* Bernie would have to drop his prices. It’s pretty disgusting the price hikes every year he imposes on all the tracks, I’m 99% confident they’re way above inflation rates.

      • Dorian said on 27th February 2012, 1:02

        That’s a totally myopic view of the situation. I too wish the hairy, tree hugging hippies would bugger off as fast as their birkenstocks could carry them!!

        I live in Melbourne and yes, the Grand Prix does cost the tax payer at least AUD$10m BUT…..one thing the hippies forget to mention is that the Grand Prix generates over AUD$160m in revenue for the city derived from hotels/restaurants/bars/pubs etc!!!

        The only negative issue with the F1 in Melbourne is for the folk who live in/around Albert Park because of the road closures in the area anywhere up to two months before the race. For those people I empathise. But insofar as the hippies and the other stupid people who falsely believe the the GP costs the city rather than enriching the city (in more ways than one)……well…there are a few expletives I could use!! ;-)

    • Mike (@mike) said on 26th February 2012, 1:12

      does no damage to the environment

      Come on! geez…. F1, obviously damages the environment around it. Always has and always will. I want the race there, but covering your eyes and ignoring the problems doesn’t make you a good debater on the races behalf.

  10. foleyger (@foleyger) said on 25th February 2012, 12:46

    I don’t think 2011 was a great yr to be fair. DRS has destroyed Formula 1 and it is embarassing explaining to non F1 fans that cars behind can get a speed advantage to overtake an opponent. Schumacher was denied a podium in Canada becuase of it. Spa was denied a great race when Rosberg was overtaken early on cause of DRS. DRS is being used for the bigger teams to overtake smaller teams when they make mistakes. Imagine DRS being used in the 80′s or the 90′s, the shame.

    • George (@george) said on 25th February 2012, 14:09

      Vettel overtook Rosberg without DRS at Spa too, and I wouldn’t exactly call Mercedes a ‘smaller team’.

    • free sutil said on 25th February 2012, 17:06

      well try this then @foleyger

      the cars behind get a performance disadvantage when they manage to get within 1 second of the car in-front, so to level this out and reward all of their hard work for managing to get within 1 second of the car in front in the first place, the TEAMS decided to introduce DRS, and the drivers and fans alike love it as it allows for RACING rather than PROCESSIONING

      • and fans alike love

        No they don’t!

        I’ve seen far more Anti-DRS comments from fans than I have Pro-DRS.

        DRS is killing F1, Passing is becomming boring, dull, easy & unexciting & will only get more so as teams make DRS more effective!

        DRS shoudl be banned immediately & never allowed to infest a racing series with its artificial, gimmickey stupidity ever again!!!!!!

      • Dave_F1 said on 25th February 2012, 17:19

        it allows for RACING rather than PROCESSIONING

        in what way does DRS allow for racing?

        if it does it certainly isn’t making better racing, i think drs is making the racing significantly worse, certainly made several races last year less exciting.

        heres the thing which the fans of drs either ignore or dont care about.
        drs does create passing, however what passing it does create isnt real overtaking & isnt even fun or exciting it watch, it creates boring push of a button passing done in the middle of straghts that are in no way exciting to watch as a racing fan.

        as a racing fan id much rather see 1 real overtake than 10 boring drs passes!

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th February 2012, 17:25

          as a racing fan id much rather see 1 real overtake than 10 boring drs passes!

          I agree. We had loads of passing in 2011, but the best passes were the ones without DRS.

          • StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 25th February 2012, 20:47

            I would also agree with that.

            Hate DRS, Think it took away a lot of the fun from watching many of the races through 2011.
            Watching a car catch upto another one, get into the DRS zone & then simply drive past was certainly not exciting to watch & to me thats one of my biggest problems with DRS.

            Its fans will talk about how it helped bring in a lot more passing & while that is certainly true you must ask these questions.
            How much of that passing was actually exciting? How much of that passing was fun to watch? How much of that passing had you on the edge of your seat thiking ‘wow that was great’?

            And thats where DRS falls flat for me because it simply does not generate exciting overtaking or add any fun to the racing!

            But another point which is often ignored is that I think DRS penalises smaller teams & takes away the opportunity for those surprise results.

            The most obvious example of this was Schumacher @ Montreal, Great drive to 2nd only to be dropped to 4th & robbed of a well deserved & well earned podium purely because of DRS.
            In past years he most likely would have got a podium & we would all have been praising a great drive which ended with the result that drive deserved.

            What DRS does is get cars finishing in there natural performance order, Fastest cars at the front, slowest at the back. There is no longer the possibility that a mid-field team tries something different to get well into the points & is then able to stay there because as soon as they get there, there likely going to get DRS-ed.

    • Agree, I loathe DRS & it seriously killed my intrest in last season & if it does the same this year i’ll stop watching F1 altogether!

  11. Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th February 2012, 14:04

    I’m not a fan of DRS whatsoever. I would also like to point out that it is a bit incorrect to say MS was robbed of a podium in Montreal due to DRS. The fact is, he used DRS earlier in that crapshoot of a race, so without DRS he wouldn’t have gotten to where he was (a potential podium position) with 10 laps to go. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

  12. Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th February 2012, 14:15

    Regarding Brawn’s comments about how they started off last season on their hind foot with problems carrying over from testing to the first few races…sure enough, that is what happened, but I don’t think the negative effect of that was ‘massive.’ After all, when they did get it sorted out, come the end of the day they were a distant 4th in the Constructors, so better showings in the first few races would not have really affected their season. Unless of course they would have pulled a rabbit out of their hats, but obviously they didn’t have said rabbit on board or it would have appeared sometime in the season.

    This year, if the field is tighter like many predict, then sure perhaps starting off on one’s hind foot might prove to be a massive negative not to be recovered from. eg. if MS doesn’t improve in quali, that might easily have a bigger negative effect than last year when come the end of the day Merc was all alone in a distant 4th with Renault a distance back from them in 5th.

  13. The Limit said on 27th February 2012, 18:46

    What I don’t like about DRS is what if a drivers DRS systems fail? I can remember that happening to Mark Webber a few times last year and thinking how unfair it was. However, the same can be said of tyres. Drivers get overtaken because their on worn tyres and the other guy’s on fresher ones, or the wrong ones altogether! The problem F1 has is how to spice up the ‘show’ without upsetting the purists who still take packed lunches and deckchairs to grands prix, without becoming too NASCAR?
    Afterall, when the grands prix are all processional we get angry for there being no overtaking, so F1 make overtaking easier and then we get angry for there being too much overtaking. Short answer, ditch mickey mouse corners and chicanes for more straights with tight corners and hairpins at the end of them. F1 is not NASCAR or Indycar, nearly all our overtaking is done under braking into corners after a long or medium sized straight. Fans want to sense raw speed, which means getting them closer. It should be no surprise why Monaco is still so adored after all these years, or why Singapore has been successfull! Both get you closer to the action, to the sound and visceral excitement that is grands prix racing. When I leave a race, I am not happy unless my ears are ringing for three days afterward.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th February 2012, 20:12

      I think the short answer is to limit their dependance on downforce with changes in the regs…they won’t remove the wings because they make the cars look better and they make for good sponsorship space, but they can limit the angles of the wings etc. ie. while they have sticky slicks, they don’t also need DRS, and especially if they make the cars with less aero.

      I’ll again repeat JV’s opinion when grooved tires came out and he called them a joke. He said give us back the big fat slicks they used in the 70′s which caused so much drag down the straights that in order to achieve any kind of respectable speeds you had to run less wing, thus killing two birds with one stone…big tires=mechanical grip and less wing=more seat of the pants passing without it looking and being easy like DRS does.

      I agree with the philosophy in F1 that passing should be rare and special and memorable…DRS ruins that. I don’t want a million passes a day, nor do I want a procession. And while I appreciate that that balance can be hard to find, I think they are already close but somehow insist that the cars still be too aero dependant, and thus we have DRS, which most people think is to F1′s detriment.

      Summing up, while they have sticky slicks they need to abandon DRS and move to restrictions to the ways teams find downforce, and no longer will we see faster cars stuck behind slower ones until a moveable wing in a dedicated zone makes a pass look simple and the one being passed look silly and defenceless.

  14. I really enjoy the article post.Much many thanks. Keep writing.

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