Archive for February, 2010

Ferrari’s war with the FIA not over, apparently.

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Here is an amuzing article that was posting on Ferrari’s official website yesterday.

The Horse Whisperer – For whom the bell tolls

Maranello, 22nd February – Only less than three weeks to go until the ultimate form of motor sport, the Formula 1 World Championship, gets underway, while celebrating its sixtieth birthday this year. For many of the teams, this coming week is a crucial one, as the bell rings to signal the final lap, with the last test session getting underway in Barcelona. It is one last chance to run the cars on track, to push reliability to the limit and to try and find some performance. That’s the situation for many teams but not for all of them. Of the thirteen teams who signed up, or were induced to sign up, for this year’s Championship, to date only eleven of them have heeded the call, turning up on track, some later than others, and while some have managed just a few hundred kilometres, others have done more, but at a much reduced pace. As for the twelfth team, Campos Meta, its shareholder and management structure has been transformed, according to rumours which have reached the Horse Whisperer through the paddock telegraph, with a sudden cash injection from a munificent white knight, well used to this sort of last minute rescue deal. However, the beneficiaries of this generosity might find the knight in question expects them to fulfil the role of loyal vassal. All this means, it is hard to imagine the Dallara designed car showing its face at the Catalunya Circuit, with Sakhir a more likely venue to witness the return of the Senna name to a Formula 1 session.

The thirteenth team, USF1, appears to have gone into hiding in Charlotte, North Carolina, to the dismay of those like the Argentinian, Lopez, who thought he had found his way into the Formula 1 paddock, (albeit with help from chairwoman Kirchner, according to the rumours) and now has to start all over again. Amazingly, they still have the impudence to claim that everything is hunky-dory under the starry stripy sky.

Next, we have the Serbian vultures. Firstly, they launched themselves into a quixotic legal battle with the FIA, then they picked the bones of Toyota on its death bed. Having got some people on board, around whom there was still a whiff of past scandals, they are now hovering around waiting to replace whoever is first to drop out of the game, possibly with backing from that very same knight in shining armour whom we mentioned earlier.

This is the legacy of the holy war waged by the former FIA president. The cause in question was to allow smaller teams to get into Formula 1. This is the outcome: two teams will limp into the start of the championship, a third is being pushed into the ring by an invisible hand – you can be sure it is not the hand of Adam Smith – and, as for the fourth, well, you would do better to call on Missing Persons to locate it. In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there’s not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?

Again, this came from Ferrari. Their official website. It is believed that Luca Cordero di Montezemolo wrote this, uh, eye opening article. However, whomever is responsible for this article deserves to be scolded by Ferrari’s PR department.

Why is this article a bad thing? Fans all over the internet are condeming it and rightfully so, because this article has many suspect phrases. “Serbian vultures” is probably the phrase that sticks out the most, and it has an air of xenophobia about it. The author (again, thought to be Montezemolo) should have known better! They have blasted entities in Formula One in the past over doing stupid things, but this article just reeks of wrong doing and hypocrisy. Shame on you, Ferrari.

While I respect Ferrari for bringing up Campos and USF1, I am not impressed by how they appear to slag Lotus and Virgin, two of the new teams who have very competent looking cars. They may not get very far off the back of the grid at first, but Lotus and Virgin are going to be on the grid and competing, and that is not something you should disrespect. Campos looks very likely to make the grid now as mentioned, but I still feel that Ferrari is being too hard on them.

As for USF1, I agree that they are certainly done for, and the way in which that team has mismanaged itself is apalling. This is the only point that I will agree with Ferrari on. I fully expect to write about the demise of USF1 in a few days when it is revealed that the team is no more.

The other side of the article is Ferrari’s obvious swipe at the FIA. It is a well known fact that towards the end of his term, Mosley was not well liked by Ferrari, and Luca di Montezemolo proved that. Now that Ferrari’s former team principal Jean Todt is the FIA President, you would think that Ferrari would be a little more lenient with their FIA bashing, but it appears not. I don’t know what they’re trying to accomplish, but I certainly hope that they don’t start a “crusade” against the FIA just over new teams.

Anyway, just wanted to talk about that ridiculous article. Ferrari, you upset quite a few fans today. For the sake of your reputation as a world class brand, don’t do that again!


Red Bull unveils the RB6

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Red Bull Racing has finally revealed the RB6. It’s about time too, with this being the latest launch by a top team.

To be fair, it’s not a bad looking car. It’s more of an evolution of last year’s car than anything else, which is a smart move considering how supreme the RB5 was. The RB6 looks quite nice and I’ll be surprised if they’re not near or at the top yet again this year. With Adrian Newey, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, as well as their 2009 results, it would be very surprising and perhaps disappointing if this car does not at least challenge for podiums.

Bernie Ecclestone tipped Vettel for the 2010 title last month, but honestly, what does that old bastard even know? Red Bull and Vettel can certainly do it, but so can Webber. He demonstrated tremendous pace last year and, dare I say, was even set to beat his teammate had it not been for his terrible luck midway through the year when his RB5 let him down too many times to count. The fact that Mark still finished 4th in the standings after suffering such awful luck says something for sure.

So the car looks good, the drivers look good, and their performances last year were good. To be perfectly blunt, Red Bull cannot be allowed to do any worse than last year. If they do, it will be a travesty. Give us a championship to tremember, Red Bull! Tangle with the Ferraris, McLarens, and Mercedes!

2010 Force India Launches

February 9, 2010 1 comment

So Force India’s 2010 challenger, the VJM03. has finally been unveiled.

Force India VJM03

I don’t feel too impressed. Overall, it just looks like the VJM02, but with a slightly different livery and minor tweaks to the wings and chassis.

Here’s what I mean..

Force India VJM02

There seems to be little innovation going on at Force India. They did have a decent midfield car last season, but with so few obvious changes, I am already worrying about them slightly.

I hope that there’s more to the car than there seems to be. I want to see the Force India drivers, Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi, do well because I like both of them and then rate them highly.

Well, here’s hoping that Force India’s new VJM03 has what it takes to get points for these two drivers, as well as the team. They definitely deserve success after not failing to stay in F1 for more than a year like Midland and Spyker before.

Good luck, Force India.

Virgin Launches VR-01

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

After some initial hiccups this morning, which involved technical difficulties during their online car launch, Virgin eventually sorted everything out and presented their 2010 challenger to the world. The Virgin Racing VR-01.

This is one of two cars to be designed without wind tunnel assistance, but it really does not show. It’s quite sleek and attractive looking, and the livery is very nice. My only gripe is that the front wing looks very simplistic in comparison to every other 2010 car’s wings. It seems to have copied from the 2009 Red Bull, much like many other teams have also done.

Overall, I feel quite optimistic for this team. They may struggle, but they have two respectable drivers and a very nice livery, so I wish them the very best. Good luck, Virgin!

Barrichello urges Rosberg to “get out”

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

No, this isn’t about Rubens Barrichello doing an Elaine Benes impression. Today, while waiting for Virgin to launch their car after a technical delay, I have chosen to write about comments that Rubens made to little Nico Rosberg recently during testing in Valencia.

“Yeah. Get out of there! That is the only thing I can tell him. He needs to drive fast and don’t crash: Ross will always tell you that before the race. Knowing what I know, and seeing how fast Michael went today, it is going to be a tough job. I wish him all the best because I think he is a talented boy who can be world champion. If he has the chances of being world champion in the same team as Michael, then he can be world champion anywhere. Let’s put it this way.”

Look Rubens, we all know that you’re still hurt over your time at Ferrari, and frankly it’s a bad reason to be raining on Nico’s parade. During his stay at Ferrari, Rubens was beaten almost all the time by Michael Schumacher. There were rare moments when Rubens was really in the zone and was the class of the field, but these days were very uncommon. Usually, he just played the role of second best driver.

It is true that Rubens Barrichello is a very good driver, probably among the top five or six on the grid, but he has never been near the calibre of Michael Schumacher. Such talent is only a dream in Rubens’ mind.

The man has a bad habit of reflecting on his time at Ferrari, when he was the #2 driver. Whenever something went wrong at Brawn or Honda, Rubens would point the finger squarely at the team. He would have a “YOU DID THIS TO ME!” attitude.

Rubens rates himself far higher than even the height of his own abilities. I don’t want to say that he has an ego, and it is alright for the man to think that he is the best driver on the grid (and he should do so), but the fact that he is still gripping at straws and beating a dead horse to bring up his treatment at Ferrari is just plain bull.

Rubens, you were not treated as the #2 driver just because you were paired with Michael. You were treated as the #2 driver because you were not strong enough to regularly challenge Michael, and you showed that your abilities are inferior to his. That is something that Rubens cannot seem to accept. Ferrari didn’t make him the #2 driver, he himself did.

So I ask you to do one simple thing, Rubens. Leave Nico alone. He already responded in the press and indicated that your remarks did not phase him one bit. He knows what he has to do, and he’ll probably be able to do at least come pretty close to doing it, too.

Also, Nico’s response pretty much says it all…

“From his point of view, he was beaten for six years so maybe from him it doesn’t surprise me that he says that.”

2010 Mercedes, Renault, Sauber, Toro Rosso, and Williams Cars Emerge

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

We’ve formally seen the Ferrari F10 and McLaren MP4-25, and now we get to see five more 2010 challengers. Here they are.

Mercedes W01
Nico Rosberg
Michael Schumacher

What can I say about the Mercedes? Well, the livery certainly looks better on the Mercedes chassis than it did on the Brawn last week, and I find myself liking the livery that little bit more now that I see it in the sun. The W01 definitely looks like a great car, and I love the sidepods. The crook in the nose cone is also pretty nice.

Renault R30
Robert Kubica
Vitaly Petrov

Beautiful car! Formula One has been sorely missing a yellow car since the demise of Jordan. I didn’t watch F1 back when Renault used to be exclusively black and yellow, but I’m well aware of those times and I’ve seen many pictures. This is just a really beautiful car, and it is exactly what the fans wanted from Renault.

Sauber C20
Pedro de la Rosa
Kamui Kobayashi

I was hoping for something… More? There are only two sponsors on the car (you have to look really hard to find them, especially since on cannot be seen in this picture) and the car itself looks questionable to me. It looks too long, too straight. It’s like a drag racer or something. Overall, I don’t know what to think of this car, but for Peter Sauber’s sake I hope that it does well.

Toro Rosso STR05
Jaime Alguersuari
Sebastien Buemi

I didn’t expect Toro Rosso to come out with a beauty, but they did just that with the STR05. The new Toro Rosso is very sleek and slender and looks deceptively fast. I don’t doubt that this is going to be a good car at all! The only question marks are hanging over Alguersuari and Buemi, two drivers who I still do not have much faith in.

Williams FW32
Nico Hulkenburg
Rubens Barrichello

I’m in love. The 2010 Williams FW32 is a really wonderful looking car! The team is very optimistic about their 2010 challenger, and why shouldn’t they be? It looks absolutely beautiful and oozes a sense of raw power and speed. It also sounds pretty awesome too. Check out this video..

Preseason testing kicks off today, but it is pointless to examine the lap times and try to judge how well each car performs, since they are not even doing race simulations yet.

But just the fact that preseason testing has finally started says something. F1 2010 is just around the corner, and I can hardly wait!