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  • #266719
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    Abu Dhabi as a circuit!!

    #264403
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    My mate Dan of course- no bias here :) LOL!!
    But actually it would be my pick.

    #264402
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    @Keith Collantine

    Spot on! In 1994 you see Ayrton driving to the side of the safety car and waving at him to go quicker as the tyres were so cool. A factor in his death? Maybe, but who knows.

    With the current compounds of the Pirelli tyre being so hard for the driver to get to temp, it is an issue at quali within the time frame, but under a safety car even more so. Also they do spend far too many laps under it, no more unlapping a great start, what a terrible rule (again)!

    The F1 safety car is seriously quick and I would love a few laps as a passenger. But its not quick enough for the F1 boys to keep the tyres to temp, but I guess thats when the skill of being one of the best in the world comes in!!

    #264401
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    Any top team should hire Bottas, as they should with Hulkenburg as they should be top drivers in just a few years time (if you don’t think they are already). If its Mercs, Red Bull, The Horse or McLaren who knows- its the timing of when a top team rates the future potential over the current talent. It happened to Sergio last year (I thought harsh, buts its F1) when McLaren rated Kev Mag’s possible speed and talent more than what Checo could do for them in say 2-4 years. A good call or not- time will tell, but Kevin looks good, a bit of a rookie learning curve but he will be a great driver, but Checo looks not too bad this year as well and is in a faster team.

    There seems to be no room at Mercedes but the way Williams is looking not sure why he wont be happy in his current seat. I think the Williams are just improving all the time rather than a ‘flash in the pan’ few quick races. I think they may challenge RBR for 2nd come year end.

    Button will go from McLaren next year I think and retire. Not that he cant do some great work and help Kevin learn his craft a bit more, but old dog, new power unit, some good talent to come through (guys like JEV also) and McLaren HATE not being in the top 3 and are speaking of some radical changes to come. Seems obvious to me.

    #263615
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    A good thought mate but it wont work or save coin. If Red Bull had three days testing they would 1) walk away from F1 and 2) use the in factory simulator. If Marussia (for example) had 25 days testing they would not have the resources to go to all of these with staff flights, accommodation and costs of running the car that much. Also if they did get the data required its highly unlikely they could actually produce the parts they need to make that faster on the track as well. There is only so much cash!

    There are also cost for a circuit to hold a test. When they tested Mon & Tues after the race (Spain I think) it needs the same amount of staff and marshals etc if there are one or two teams, or the full grid, so that is not really cost effective.

    Something needs to be done but I don’t know the answer to be honest. A budget is too hard to police- Mercs get their power train that is worth (I don’t know) $30mill per year. They invoice the non-F1 department say $3mill so low cost to the F1 team, overall in Mercedes its the same cost but just a price transfer- its too easy! Or Pastor gets paid $4 dollars by Lotus, no cost, but his sponsor pays him $15mill. There are too many smart people in F1 for the budget to work I am afraid!

    Any ideas out there??

    #263420
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    @RoboCAT

    It all depends on your budget mate!

    Stands- I sat in Prost Stand this year (last corner) but also got to swap with mates and have a session in Jones (T1). I preferred Prost Stand to be honest but the seats in Jones were right down the front, so if you go Jones certainly go higher in the stand. Prost was good as you get them around the last 2 corners, down the straight or see them into the pits and also you have a big screen. The screen where we sat in Jones not as good, but a better seat would fix that position wise.

    I have not sat in any other stands at the back of the circuit so cant comment there, but just having a walk around the GA hills are pretty packed, especially around the fast chicane. I think the good stands in Melbourne are between $450-600 AUD so quite reasonable so if you can get the best seat as there is not too much variation really. Also get yourself to “Pete’s Bar” near the Paddock Club entrance near the pits- some great songs and a good party tent!
    I have been in the Paddock Club the previous two years before this one, and a very expensive exercise (Around $4200 AUD) if you can do it (at least once!!) please do so- you do get to see the drivers, teams, cars up close and you may sneak a garage tour if you whoo the right person- I have :)

    Hotels- 2012- stayed at the Rendezvous on Flinders St just opposite the train station. Nice and clean, cheap at about $200 per night, no pool for an early morning dip and the one bar empty- F1 fans were not abundant really. If on a budget its fine and right in town.
    2013- Splashed out and went Crown Towers- best of the best and we paid about $600 per night (about $1000 if not in Paddock Club with their discount), you will see drivers and the teams all the time, but they are not siting around in the foyer. A great hotel but not quite worth the money really.
    2014- We won a trip through Australian GP Corp and they put us up in the Oak On Market (Just off Flinders street), its 5 min walk to Crown Casino, great room, clean, good breaky and a nice bar. We didn’t pay but speaking to F1 fans (heaps compared to the 2012 hotel above) it was about $300 twin share per night, so quite reasonable. I would recommend this one for sure.

    I didn’t stay there but mates were at the Crown Promenade (opposite Crown Towers) a very nice hotel, great bars, you will have a few teams and drivers there and they booked last minute at around $360 per night. Value for money this is a lot better that the Towers!

    There are plenty of good restaurants in Melbourne of course, but many quite expensive. If you like Chinese food head to the Dragon Boat in China Town- I have been there 6 times in the last 3 years- try the satay entrée :)

    Flights- As the race starts late arvo for Europe TV viewing, to get from the track after the race to the airport is extremely hard, unless Bernie lends his helicopter. We done it in 2013, were late, just got on and will never do it again (this is just MEL to ADL). My suggestion is to spend Sunday night, go to the Dragon Boat for a feed and fly out Monday morning or arvo.

    The Australian Grand Prix is excellent and the on and off track action is the best world wide- enjoy Tassie Devil!! :)

    #263017
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    Sorry a few typo’s there- main one was the ‘old power unit’ for Renault (not ‘new’) there were winning in an engine they didn’t sell to their market, which as a business, is bad marketing.

    #263015
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    We had booked Sepang for this year so a lucky win to Melbourne one week before the race meant I done the first two races back to back. Being in Melbourne was great, as commented earlier in the post they do the ‘speed challenge’ so we have the 2011 Red Bull V8 on track probably 45mins before the new V6, so you could make an easy comparison I guess to those who just hear the new car this year without an old car on circuit over the race meet. . The difference is immense comparing outright noise and also the pitch of the engine. I loved the sound of the old engine and was definitely preferred to the V6. You could hear David Coulthard ring that thing all around the track, where with the new car you didn’t really hear until the 2-3 corners before maybe. So a vote for the V8.

    I was in Suzuka in 2012 above the pits just over Red Bull/McLaren/Ferarri, which was the point where the drivers would approach the exit, hit the clutch and rev them flat throttle to get the heat up. It was my wife’s first to see an F1 car in anger and at this point they were probably the loudest, it pretty well scared her LOL. I love that old loudness and it quite literally makes the rib cage and heart vibrate at that range- not for all of course but I would think “this is F1 at its best” – it was a shattering sound!! Perhaps too much for some, as pointed out you certainly cant have a chat to your fellow race goer or hear the commentary- like going to the movies, you sit next to someone, but don’t talk to them.

    In Melbourne this this we had tickets on the last corner (Prost) and had mates on T1 (Jones) so we did a swap in FP3. This was really good as at Prost you see them out of the 2nd last turn, past the pit entry and wind up into pit straight. You can really hear the turbo kick in, which I think sounds great when it really ramps up. You also hear the tyres squeal, the under tray touch the track and really know the driver are actually driving. Jones at T1 was great to compare as they were under hard breaking. Again you got the tyres going, but they sound really good under breaking I think, where before it was all just engine and no other car reaction as its was so much louder (back in the days of traction control, break assist, active suspension, the car cooks you breaky :), you could wonder if it was Kit from Knightrider- now you know the driver is working from his dough. So hearing the cars sound and not just a loud engine a vote for the V6.

    I saw F1 in Adelaide from 1986 to 1994 so that was a mix of turbo and normally aspirated from 1989 (I Think) but also you have different engines on the grid- I think one year (maybe 1988) you had V8, V10 & V12 all in one year. It was a much more open Formula back then reg wise, also had 2 tyre choices in Goodyear and Michelin. I think back then you could hear the car sounds more than just the engine more so than last year, but you certainly could pick the Ferrari approaching back then- a REAL squeal to it!!

    I didn’t get to Melbourne live until 2012 so can comment on the V10 era.

    We were guests of Red Bull in Sepang this year and met Dan Ric in the garage on the morning of race day, one question he asked was “what do you think on the new sound?” My reply was “we will get used to it” meaning “I don’t like it” but its actually growing on me. On TV they sound worse than live, so maybe a put off for the TV audience and your not so hard core viewer.

    This is an issue for F1 in the future as TV rights are a massive part of our sport and BE knows that and that why he is against it this year. But the issue with the new power unit is for those like Renault who gave RBR an engine that won championships yet no technology (or say, not too much) that lead to their on road car, and therefore sales and shareholder profits. These manufacturers don’t race for free do they?!

    So in answer I love and miss the old sounds for sure, a car that can literally make your body tremor is something in awe, as car you hear just as it comes around the corner certainly is not! To go to a race and hear people talk and the commentators so you know who just went out is a GREAT bonus, so we don’t all get on a train on the way home and say “what happened to so n so??”

    There are pro’s and con’s of each, but to be honest an engine sound somewhere in the middle would be great for me- I want to know I am at an F1 event but talk to those I go to once in a while as well! A few cons would be those who make ear plugs and Seb’s excuse for a Multi-21 debacle :) (He may not need one this year LOL)

    Would it ever make me turn off or not attend a race?? NEVER!! The double points looked like a deal breaker…………… but that didn’t work either!!

    #261095
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    Kvyat

    He is FAST!!!

    #260713
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    @klon – so if you were not 6’7″ mate would you be world champ??:)

    I am short, 5ft 9 on a good day, but wide, shoulders like Arnold (same size when he was not on juice) but its genetics. I sat in an Tyrell at 16 and was too big! I am short but could never do F1! (beside no talent lol)

    I was in KL a few months ago and Sutil looked too thin, so did all of them. We met Dan in RBR on Sunday morning and he said he was 68KG!! Must have cut his leg off !!! Its gone way too far and that Nico, who is a gun, cant get a top drive is not real good for F1- The Horse needs to pick him up, Kimi has not done enough, much to my disappointment!

    #260098
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    @JS – just the opposite mate, its MUCH easier to loose muscle than to gain it, and F1 drivers do not put their bodies in an anabolic state due to their training/sets/reps/rest time/exercise type & calorie intake.

    F1 drivers need strength (arms and neck) and no bulk, need to stay very lean.

    With your comment above they are looking to keep carbs lower now compared to a few years back, and carbs help body function and also mental awareness- required at F1 level of course. So the new weight limits are not real good IMO, a lean, strong and fit F1 driver for sure, but current weight levels are way too low and needs to be looked at!!

    I saw most of the drivers in Melbourne and Malaysia this year and all had arms the size of my wrist/mid forearm (not good)- if they cold all carry 4-5 kg more it would be better for their health IMO.

    #260096
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    RBR 2nd.

    Daniel
    Vettel
    Alonso

    Seb will still struggle all year but looking better this weekend with the car, Dan looking real good and will just get better and is oozing confidence. Fernando is always a great racer, although could be better Saturday arvo, but again he doesn’t seem to have the car.

    I would love to say Bottas for 4th really, next year maybe!

    #260093
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    Fernando on Kimi, that was great driving by both.

    I was hoping to say Nico on Lewis but a lap or 2 short!!

    #258500
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    1994- Damon Hill re: Shu’s take out. At least Senna and Prost “disguised” theirs a bit :)
    2010- Mark Webber- Korea cost him & I don’t want to hear about reliability issues from anyone else………….. I just wanted our Aussie to grab one (but our new one will!!!)
    2012- Alonso- Most will spout he is the best driver (I wont argue too much) but this year done by another great the car was the difference. The fact my hero’s nephew in Bruno didn’t fully take him out in Brazil on lap one with that contact is still quite amazing, but so was Seb’s come back drive (off the record, please).

    I didn’t have time for the 20 years but that said I don’t think any F1 driver DESERVES a title ever- right man, right machinery (aka team) and right year!

    #253382
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    A nice tribute there and a happy birthday to my childhood hero- to think I was 17 and still at school when he died!!

    I think that to say Ayrton had a huge impact outside F1 just because he died young (as some say) gives him a huge disrespect and disservice. He was very much a contradiction in many ways, very religious as many Brazilians are, such a huge aura around him and a charismatic man, but would then, to quote Martin Bundle, put his car in a position where he would leave it to you to either back out or crash- risking both your lives! White line fever at its best!!

    Senna well knew he was born into the right side of Brazilian society, but also while very proud of his country also ashamed in how so many were so poor, and he did have plans to use his fame and money to help that after F1. He did donate quite a fair bit of money before the creation of the Senna Foundation (I think started not long after his death).

    I don’t think too many on this site will doubt his achievements in the car but I think he could have done so much more for others after he retired- the F1 version of Bono if you will :)

    Still sadly missed 20 years on!!

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