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  • #184001
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    MazdaChris
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    As that article alludes, i think one of the best strengths of a site is to have a well written, well informed user base who express their opinions coherently and back up their comments with facts and logical arguments. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy commenting on this site; because I know that if I get into a discussion with one of the other members here, even if that member has a contrary viewpoint, we can enjoy a good debate and will both understand each others’ reasoning. There are of course a few who don’t take the time to do this, or who put up comments which are offhand and disrespectful, but I do think they’re in the minority.

    One of the great things about a site like this is that it is, to a certain extent, self-moderating. When someone does come along with questionable viewpoints, they’re challenged by the regular members who can use good arguing skills to point out where the person is going wrong. I’d much rather be part of a community which tackled the problem in this way, than one which sought to simply exclude anyone who didn’t fit the mold. Don’t hate – educate. As they say.

    As a forum moderator for a couple of sites myself, I know how difficult it can be to strike a balance between allowing people the freedom to say whatever is on their mind, and ensuring that the standard of contributions is kept at a suitable level. Thankfully your task is made significantly easier by the general standard of posting here, compared to somewhere like the BBC’s have your say section. I’d say that motorsport attracts a more educated following, but judging by the comments I’ve seen on Andrew Benson’s blogs, I’d say that’s sadly not really the case. For whatever reason though, F1Fanatic seems to attract a well informed userbase, and I think the quality of the existing members is one of the main reasons for that.

    #135000
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    MazdaChris
    Participant

    It’s a picture of my cat

    i love cats

    #206391
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    MazdaChris
    Participant

    Where’s the evidence of the superiority of the Lotus? Yes, it has had good stints in a few races, but it doesn’t qualify well and the pace isn’t consistent. It’s getting better, but in a season where the races have been totally open and we’ve had so many different winners, to me the fact that the Lotus is yet to record a victory is rather telling. The Ferrari has won races, and it’s leading the championship. Raikkonen is no slouch, and can be relied upon to demonstrate the potential of the car. So, why would you think that the Lotus is better than the Ferrari when it hasn’t been faster than the Ferrari since probably the second race of the season, and is yet to win a race.

    Fact is, Alonso is showing us what the Ferrari can do. Massa isn’t just miles behind Alonso, he’s miles behind all of his rivals in the cars which others are suggesting he might go into. No matter how you slice it, he’s been by far the worst driver in the top half of the grid, and I don’t see what any reasonably competitive team would stand to gain by employing him.

    #206867
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    MazdaChris
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    I’ve got Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric2s on at the moment. They’re a great tyre, very strong in warm dry conditions, and seem to have reasonable grip in the wet.

    I’ve had the Eagle F1 GSD3s in the past and loved those tyres, really had a nice sharp bite to them with nice feel through the steering. Unfortunately they stopped making them in my size. After that, I switched to Toyo T1-Rs which are a reasonable tyre but seem to be a bit peaky depending on temperature. I found in the winter it was hard to get enough heat into them, and on a frosty road they could be a bit hairy.

    I have had Pirelli tyres in the past, and I didn’t think they were too bad. Bags of grip and a really progressive break in traction. Even when close to the limit the car felt very tractable, and you could really lean on the tyre. The initial turn-in wasn’t sharp from them though, and I felt the sidewall construction was a little too soft.

    Favourite tyres I’ve used were Toyo Proxes R888s. They’re a summer/trackday tyre, with a very soft tyre compound and a semi-slick tread pattern. Being a trackday tyre they were geared towards higher operating temperatures and so needed to be worked a little bit and heat cycled to bring them into their best operating window. Once warm though, the grip was absolutely phenomenal. Very sharp turn-in with virtually no understeer. Steering weighted up nicely as the load increased, and the very stiff sidewalls gave a really communicative feel. Under braking the grip was something else, and since I was using carbon-ceramic trackday brake pads, I felt I could really heave the brake pedal and get virtually no locking or fade. Wet weather performance was surprisingly good, as long as there wasn’t any real standing water and it wasn’t too cold. Easily comparable to a regular tyre in anything other than monsoon conditions. Flipside of course is that you can’t use them on the road once the ambient temperature gets down to around 7 degrees, as the compound becomes too hard and it is almost impossible to warm them up. Driving hard on them while they’re cold does damage them and causes a bit of surface graining, and of course the wear rate is significantly higher than you’d experience from a regular sports tyre. Worth it though if you can afford to have a second set of winter tyres, as the grip really is something else.

    #206386
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    MazdaChris
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    Grosjean has made quite a few errors, but he’s absolutely blown Massa away in an inferior car. Why would they replace Grosjean with a driver who has been unable to score as many points as him, in a car which is capable of winning races and leading the championship? Just on the offchance that he might perform better in the lotus than ferrari. That’s a hell of a chance to take!

    #203839
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    MazdaChris
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    Being better as such was never the point. The point was showing that it can be just as fast as an LMP2 car while using only half the resources; an engine with half the horsepower, tyres lasting twice as long, and using only half the fuel. And it proved that brilliantly at Le Mans, where it was considerably faster than the targets set by the ACO, with a fuel consumption of over 11mpg. Which is absolutely astonishing when traditional cars are having to use twice that.

    Plus, the concept itself was severely restricted so as not to allow it to upset the P1 cars. It was running a tiny fuel tank so its incredible fuel economy didn’t give it a big advantage, it was restricted in terms of its minimum weight (they were using virtually no titanium in the construction, and steel wishbones, rather than carbon fibre), and the power was restricted to 300bhp when the engine could easily have coped with more.

    It did have some transmission issues, but other than that the concept was an absolutely roaring success. I would love to see what it was capable of doing if it wasn’t so restricted.

    #203835
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    MazdaChris
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    @Mads

    I don’t think that’s quite correct. For a start, the narrow front track means they can run extremely narrow front tyres, which significantly reduces drag. Tyre wear on the DeltaWing was also extremely low because of the low weight/drag setup; they reckoned they could have done up to 10 stints on a single set. The deltawing shape meant that the floor was the most efficient shape for a venturi, meaning you didn’t get the loss of efficiency you got from a rectangular wheelbase.

    Basically, everything which was great about the DeltaWing came specifically from the shape. It certainly wasn’t a gimmick, and they literally wouldn’t have been able to create something with similar efficiency with a traditional wheelbase.

    #205847
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    MazdaChris
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    Engine developers do put way more mileage on development engines than they run in the race. They will run the engines for over 24 hours at full power on the bench, at least.

    Bear in mind in the nineties F1 engines were being changed several times over a weekend, and often failed to last even a regular F1 race distance. Plus they were revving up to 20,000rpm and delivering over 900bhp in some applications. the 2014 engines will be running around 750bhp, and only revving to 16,000rpm, having a fair amount of power delivered by energy recovery systems. Plus of course, they’ll be thoroughly modern engines, designed using the latest technology and using the latest materials. Engine technology has moved on hugely in the past 20 years.

    #205845
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    MazdaChris
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    That shouldn’t be an issue. Even though the current engines are only doing hours of usually less than 2 hours, over the course of the season each of the engines in the allocation will do well over 24 hours of running. I wouldn’t have any concerns about reliability. Remember that reliability comes from precision engineering, and removing areas of potential weakness. That’s exactly what high performance engines are all about; an engine which is very efficient and very powerful, is also very reliable. The days of physical material defects and manufacturing issues are pretty much a thing of the past.

    #206269
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    MazdaChris
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    This. Is. AWESOME

    #206379
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    MazdaChris
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    Think you need to look closely at the points table to see why most teams wouldn’t touch massa these days. What would be the benefit for Sauber in hiring massa when they currently have two drivers who have outscored Massa in a car which is nowhere near as good as the Ferrari he’s driving? Even someone looking for a solid number 2 driver would have their doubts, since his lack of points is the reason why Ferrari aren’t leading the WCC at the moment.

    Massa’s continuing slump has meant that he’s damaged goods to pretty much anyone in the midfield and above. Yes, it may be the case that a change in environment could give him a second wind but why would anyone take that chance when there are so many promising drivers coming through the ranks? Better to have someone you can work with and develop for the future than a washed up driver at the end of his career who looks like his best days are well behind him.

    #205843
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    MazdaChris
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    The 2014 engines are based around the same sort of concept though, of delivering the maximum efficiency from a restricted fuel flow rate. If that fuel flow rate is consistent between F1 and LMP1 then in theory the F1 engines would be very competitive. After all, delivering more power and improving fuel economy are both centred around the same principles of improving efficiency. Since F1 is at the cutting edge, you’d expect the F1 engine to be at least as good as anything developed for WEC. If it’s not, then the engine designers should be pretty ashamed of themselves.

    #205841
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    MazdaChris
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    See, I see it the other way round. Look at manufacturers like Ferrari and Mercedes, both making engines which will now be eligible for entry into Le Mans. It would be a major coup for WEC if these brands decided to create a presence at the top level of sportscar racing, and with the current financial climate in F1, I can see it being a very attractive proposition. Not to mention a means to address the contentious issue of how the 2014 spec engines will be funded.

    Although there’s a question over how competitive those engines would be when lined up against the diesels of Audi and mazda, which have historically had a significant torque advantage over the petrol units. The performance of Toyota this year however is cause to question whether this is still the case.

    #206075
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    MazdaChris
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    I do see what you mean about Alonso’s approach to fans, and I think it can look that way especially to English speakers. But I do generally feel that he gives good interviews, often speaks honestly, and has a really positive attitude when he speaks about the team which seems totally genuine rather than a PR man’s answers.

    He’s also, if you follow him on the likes of Twitter and Instagram, quite a funny and quirky guy. It’s not something which will come across so much in interviews made pre and post race, but when he speaks in a casual situation a much more easy going side of him emerges. But of course, he loves his Spanish and Italian fans, and I don’t think that’s something to be derided, any more than you could blame someone like Hamilton for paying more attention to the British fans.

    #206071
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    MazdaChris
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    Difficult one to answer. Of the current crop I’d say Alonso. I’ve been a fan of his since the Renault days, and in my opinion he’s equal in terms of ability to any of the greats of the sport’s history. If he wins this year’s championship it’ll be a masterclass on how to extract the maximum from what you’re given, and he’ll have used the tools available to him to devastating effect.

    My childhood hero, when I started watching F1, has to be our Nige. The hype and following for lewis Hamilton is nothing compared to the mansell mania of yesteryear. He embodied everything that’s great about the british sportsman – dogged, determined, relentless, indefatigable. And he had a sweet ‘tache.

    Favourite driver of all time? Probably james Hunt. The playboy image belied a talent which should have been able to shine much brighter than it did, and his witty, insightful commentary was among the best that F1 fans have ever enjoyed. What a guy.

Viewing 15 posts - 256 through 270 (of 281 total)