F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/3/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Later today we should have the results of the first round of the F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship so keep an eye out for that to find out if you’ve won.


Michael happy with the first race (Michael Schumacher)

“I am very, very happy and proud about how it went, considering I was completely out for three years and did not have a lot of driving for preparation. It would be strange to assume that I would come in, sit in the car and drive circles around the others ?ǣ I, for my part, did not assume that in any case.”

Bahrain: Petrovs Renault retirement (ScarbsF1)

“In this weekends race Petrov retired with e a suspension problem, it transpires the ride height adjusting shim fell out between the carbon pushrod and the titanium end fitting.”

Don?t write the script for misery (Who are you, anyway?)

“I know what we need to do: declare a moratorium on outright guff.”

Comment of the day

I think traditions are made to be broken so instead of a Comment of the Day today we have Brilliant Comment Thread of the Day.

I’ve read a lot of reaction to the Bahrain Grand Prix on other sites and much of it is hysterical ranting.

I think the discussion we started here on Sunday night is one of the best comment threads we’ve ever had, with lots of smart observations and imaginative ideas in its 300-plus posts.

This is exactly the sort of engagement I hoped to have with other people who are as passionate about F1 as I am, when I started F1 Fanatic. Thank you to everyone who contributed – it’s because of you that I can say with pride that this is the home of the best quality F1 debate online.

Join in the comment thread here.

Rash promise of the day

Not following F1 Fanatic on Twitter yet? Here’s a new reason to:

Site updates

As part of the efforts to keep comments flowing quickly and without interruptions I added a new anti-spam system to the site yesterday in response to a slight rise in comment spam we’d been receiving. It seems to have worked well so far, but if you notice any problems posting comments please let me know.

We also had a brief server outage which was unrelated to anything going on here.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. 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 2008 F1 season began on this day two years ago. It’s often remarked that the driver who wins the first race of the year usually goes on to become champion. That was the case two years ago, when Lewis Hamilton started the season with a win: 2008 Australian GP review – Ferrari falter and Hamilton triumphs

42 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 16/3/2010”

  1. Barney Gumble
    16th March 2010, 1:15

    Great, Stuart Codling has a blog now, I never realised. I think he’s a good journalist, it’s a shame he left F1 Racing.

    F1 Fanatic has been a good place to find lots of good if slightly obscure F1 sites- this is where I first heard of Adam Cooper and Will Buxton’s sites over the winter, for example. Are there any other F1 journo’s with low key blogs out there?

    1. Stuart’s a good bloke, I met him a couple of weeks ago. He’s written a book on great F1 cars – am looking to get some copies for a competition soon.

      If I spot any other blogs like that I’ll definitely mention them in the round-up.

  2. it’s very nice to see people have so many different opinions at somethign we all love and follow passionately…

    i wish i could check the comments more often!

  3. After a brief liaison with Twitter I feel pretty sure it’s not for me!

    I’ve been reading up a wee bit (so far) on the site that Stefmeister kinked cliptheapex.com Fascinating stuff, wish I’d encountered it sooner, with regards to all the talk about over taking etc one point from their findings stands out particularly:

    1994 This year can be taken in isolation since most of the rule changes introduced were as a result of the tragic weekend at Imola. By the end of this year the average overtake per race was down to 18, a reduction of 7 on the previous year and the biggest single drop in the year-on-year average to date.

    1. There were many, many kneejerk reactions from mMosley et al in 1994, although I’m sure that they were made with the best intentions in mind.

      Much as I hate the pitline speed limit and hanker after the sight of the cars screaming out of their boxes, the limit is a good idea from a safety point of view and I can’t see that ever changing now. However, the following drive me crazy:

      The plank. Back in 94 most of us thought it was a stop-gap measure as the FIA could impose restrictions on aero for 95 (which they did) but we’re still stuck with it now! If the cars were flat-bottomed they’d be able to follow each other more closely (more mechanical grip). Honestly, I have no idea why they still have a plank…

      Refueling.* Well, at least it’s gone now :)

      Reduction in engine power, initially through cutting holes in the airbox and subsequently through myriad changes in spec from 3.5 to 3.0 and now to 2.4 litres along with the loss of V12s and V10s. Not only do modern F1 cars now sound like over-powered karts, but there should always be more power than aero, otherwise F1 begins resembling F3. Which it does, sadly.

      ANd finally, the sanitisation of the classic circuits and the rise of the Tilkedrome. The classic venues have been ruined with chicanes, tightened corners and the like. Is this REALLY neccessary now, given the advances made in safety of the cars and things like tecpro barriers??? As for the Tilkedromes, enough has been said already I guess, but let me add the following: Keith mentioned that given a free reign, Tilke can come up with the goods as evidenced by Motorland Aragon, in Spain. Personally I disagree as – elevation changes aside – I really don’t see what the circuit has to offer. There are no fast corners, there’s no flow and there’s a bloody awful chicane in the back straight. Additionally, look at Abu Dhabi – a bloody chicane just before a hairpin! Arrrgghhhh!!

      1. The problem with this now is: We could probably turn back some of these changes, and no driver would still get seriously injured/killed because of the hundreds of safety innovations since 94. But nobody want’s to try because it could go wrong and then you’re (the FIA) to blame.

    2. I’d never come across cliptheapex.com before – thanks for that K – but, wow, there’s some serious food for thought in the overtaking statistics since 1983.


      1. Yeah completely blew one my suppositions out the water.

        1. I say completely but they have quite a tight definition of overtaking which I didn’t.

  4. By the way, am I the only one who, after the race, found himself for the first time not thinking about the points standings until they flashed up on the screen? I still can’t remember it off the top of my head!

    1. Points don’t really matter after one race, I haven’t given them much thought either.

    1. Can anyone help me with the fact that how many people attended the 2010 F1 Bahrain GP on Sunday out of the 70,000 groundstand seats.
      From the TV view it seems like there wasn’t too many,which ask the question why Bernie is going to Market where you don’t get 70,000 people to watch F1?
      Last year we saw that in Turkey there were on 36,000 people!

      1. Bernie doesn’t take anything from the ticket sales he takes a hosting fee that rises year on year over the course of the contract.

      2. On Sunday they didn’t seem to show any footage of the grandstands, which says to me that they weren’t full, as for the rest of the circuit the only people we saw were the marshals.

        1. I noticed that as well. I got the suspicion that they were careful not to show empty stands on the shots. Normally they like to show excited crowds waving flags.

          1. No, they just showed people standing in pit garages instead.

          2. I hope Australia will be a different story.

  5. Keith,

    I’d love to follow you on Twitter, but last time I did, there was a problem. On every race day you tweeted some 15000 times (exaggeration) and it flooded over my entire timeline so I couldn’t read anything else.

    1. That’s my problem, too: F1Fanatic, but also Autosport and other F1 journalists tweet like crazy during practice and race. However, I would like to keep following all those folks during normal weeks.

      1. Can you not turn it off (never been on Twitter before, but I’m considering it now).

        1. It is obvious you don’t follow many f1 fans on twitter – everybody is posting like crazy during the race ;)

  6. The only time I’ve seen a more ludicrous overreaction is when Hamilton got penalised at Spa ’08.

    What is it with these team principals who suddenly think they are Hollywood film producers now?

  7. yes there has been some really good points made on the “Brilliant comment thread of the day”, i have learnt a lot off some of the members here, lots of good points coming from all directions.

  8. I really liked the discussion. So what about bringing on our own survey what to do to improve F1?

    We discussed this some time ago, probably not being realistic to make it work in X languages etc. but maybe after this race we can take the initiative and then hand it to the FOTA and to Todt to take in account.

    1. A shame he just goes on about the madatory 2 stopping idea in line with RedBull company strategy as a solution.

      His argumentation started to sound good, when he writes about standard parts and mandatory tyre changes. But instead of going on to promote gettin rid of the mandatory stop, he argues for introducing the opposite!

      No good blaming the new teams for not making it to the end, as JIM N points out (in the teammate comparison), non of the now leading teams only Jordan and Williams finished their first race (both racing only 1 car).

    2. Barney Gumble
      16th March 2010, 11:03

      Nice one DC! I don’t particularly like him as a BBC pundit but that was a very outspoken column, great to see people telling it like it rather than sitting on the fence

      1. “David Coulthard is writing on behalf of Red Bull Racing, for whom he acts as a consultant. Have your say and send your questions below for DC. ”

        Caption at the bottom, no wonder he’s pedling the party line again about mandatory pit stops. I swear he’s been worse with the Red Bull plugging this year on the BBC. I really like DC but its getting to the point where DC is going to have to decide whether he wants to be a spokesman for Red Bull or an indpendent pundit, he can’t pretend to be both.

  9. actually i would like to see more than 2 stops, 3 stops basically… and teams should be using each hard & soft tires twice…. the main problem is that drivers want to conserve the tire, but if they are going to be using more… they will more than likely push a bit harder knowing that screwing one tire sets won’t impact the race pace by much… i’m sure that will improve the show…

    ofcourse the real culprits are the diffusers, which make it hard to follow and give more downforce to cars than it was originally intended…

  10. Finally a voice of reason in the paddock from Liuzzi

    “But overall I think this could turn out to be one of the best years. I think under these regulations you will see a purer form of racing that shows the potential of the driver much more. I say that because in the past you would just go out 100% from start to finish and now you have factor in preserving the tyres and the fuel. You’ve got a lot of things to think about and you have to change your driving and strategy during the race. It’s much more about the driver’s mental aptitude and that’s a good thing.”

    Full article here: http://en.espnf1.com/forceindia/motorsport/story/11444.html

    1. I nominate Tonio for COTD!

      Finally a driver talking sensibly!

      The issue about the brakes does have something to it, lets consider it for a change in the next years?.

      1. Right I posted this on James Allens site but im slightly proud of it It slightly agrees with Tonio but with some differeances, hope it’s not to out of place. Thuss..

        Personally I think midseason rule tweaks should be focused on improving the racing, fundemental mistake by nearly everyone in F1, they seem obsessed with F1 as “the spectacle” not realising that the racing is the spectacle, the casual fan turns on to F1 an keeps watching if he/she see’s good racing, an racing is always at it’s best when you can optimise, simply because everyone is going faster and harder, one of the few good things about the refuling era. Although this came at the expense of the true thinking driver.

        Two prime examples of good racing creating good spectacle where Spa and Intergalos last year. The first was alright per on track action but it was the tension that made it, you knew all the way through that if Fisi came in a lap latter Raikkonen was done, you also knew that Raikkonen was going to fight tooth and nail for his only chance at a victory that year, his totaly boarderline start being testement of how hard he was driving that car. Gimmicks had no role in improving this race tyre choice went unnoticed largely it was simply racer vs racer underdog vs contender fantastically role reversed, in completely different cars. Like Turbo vs Cosworth +innovation changed to KERS vs Lowdrag+fuel effiecient

        Intergalos was also a marvellous race, my mum watched it an she doesn’t like the sport. But ask yourself whose race was more exciting even excluding the title element, Hamiltons or Buttons? Of course it was Buttons an not just because he finished way higher than he qualified or because he won the championship. It was because he carved his way through the field why Hamilton used an advantageous saftey car to leap frog his competitors because of a gimmick designed to improve show not racing. Button battled past no less then four oponents running races on strategy not worlds apart from his own on a track where thats possible. Hamilton KERSed (in an exciting pass no doubt) the one guy who matterd in his strategy, because his tyres ment he didn’t have to worry about passing most others. Statistically Hamiltons feat is more impressive but again who do you think really drove better that day?

        Tl;dr racing frendly rules will improve the show for everybody, much more effectivley then show “enhancing” rules.

        1. *thumbs up to this comment*

  11. Keith, where’s maximum motorsport gone? :(

    1. Afraid I closed it at the start of the year, I did mention it at the time. The old MM articles are now within F1 Fanatic. I’m planning to do some GP2 articles during the season and possibly some Indy Car and Le Mans stuff too on here.

      1. I would love some coverage from you of Indy Car. You provide some great stuff on F1, so it makes me curious about your take on “our” series.

        That and it’s way harder to find torrents of IRL races :C. I haven’t even gotten to see Sao Paulo yet!

  12. Looks like only one person got the Pole and the top 5 positions correct in the Predictions Championship! Of course not the exact positions though….Out of 1750 entries, only one. Hmmmm. Well, i wont reveal the name and leave it to Keith.

    Blame this on a holiday in India and me being totally jobless!!

    Waiting for the results…publish them asap Keith..

  13. Where do you find the results of the predicition game.
    I cannot see it. But that may be due to the fact that on my work pc I can only see half the menu and no activex or ajax objects.

    1. Seconded. I’ve been wondering this, too.

      1. As mentioned, I had a lot of free time. So I downloaded all the predictions and played around with the data.
        Anyways, the official results are out now. How did you guys do?

  14. An as Lotus become the first new team to make the race distance, they also become the first new team to bag big money sponsership. Petrobras, a Brazilian oil company though not the Petronas originally hoped for should have their logos on the car by Spain for about £9 million.

    Lotus just looks so ready to start creeping up the grid. Hopefully their upgrade in spain will bring further improvements an put them into battle with the straglers.

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