Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes’

“We really, really, reeeeaaaaally want a third car! Pleeease?”

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

From Autosport:

Ferrari has expressed a keen desire to tie up with an American team in the near future if it can see through its idea to allows teams to provide a third car.

Ferrari is yammering about the whole “we want a third car” thing again! Has any other team ever expressed interest in that? I don’t think so. I think some were actually against it, if I recall correctly.

So what happens if the third car rule never happens? Will Ferrari NOT help any Americans in F1 or what? What a strange group, they are. I’m certainly happy to be on the Mercedes train now, let me tell you! There’s a lot less of this foolishness for sure.


Schumacher’s Penalty

May 17, 2010 Leave a comment

The Monaco Grand Prix finished under the safety car, yet Schumacher decided to pass Alonso for position, finishing 6th rather than 7th. Everyone condemned him for passing when he isn’t supposed to, myself included.

But then…

Around the time that Schumacher is handed a 20 second penalty, dropping him to 12th, word flies across the internet that Schumacher made the pass because a green flag was deployed. That’s right, the flag that indicates that the race is on was waved. Schumacher did exactly what anyone would do. He saw green, so he made a move on Alonso.

Many people are now against the penalty due to the whole green flag aspect of this interesting situation. This same people are criticizing the FIA for penalizing Schumacher while Felipe Massa, who mucked with the rules in both qualifying and the race, was not even spoken to. Massa broke two safety regulations while Schumacher did nothing wrong, due to the green flag being out.

It makes you stop and wonder, doesn’t it? Schumacher was a victim of circumstance it seems, while Ferrari continues to avoid the wrath of the FIA.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the little Frenchman running the show now?

2010 Grand Procession of Bahrain

March 16, 2010 Leave a comment

With the first race of 2010 now completed, is it fair to say that the offseason rule changes damaged the sport? Yes, it is.

For an opening race, the Grand Prix of Bahrain was quite boring and lacking, and was one of the worst processions I’ve seen recent years as the top 10 hardly changed at all throughout the race, except when everyone needed to change their tires. The only excitement that came from the race would be the manner in which Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull encountered problems well into the race. It was very enjoyable watching him fight his car around the track, ending up a very well deserved and suprising fourth place after the troubles he had to endure.

The McLaren and Mercedes teams turned out to be slight duds, as both were clearly behind Ferrari and Red Bull. It was a little disheartening to see this, since I put a lot of my eggs in Mercedes’ basket prior to the start of the season. It was disappointing to see them finish fifth and sixth, but I am sure that these results will only fuel their hunger for success more. As an already loyal and staunch supporter of Mercedes who has already started ordering team merchandise, I’ll be cheering for them the whole way and hoping for the better results to show in the coming races.

Force India was quite a surprise. Adrian Sutil hoisted his car into Q3 on Saturday, but dropped back in the race. Vitantonio Liuzzi made up for this falter by picking up two points in the race for the team. Very impressive performance by Force India! They certainly are improving steadily, and it is a joy to see Vijay Mallya succeed with the former Jordan team while Midland (Alex Shnaider) and Spyker (car manufacturer) failed to amount to anything when they owned the team.

Williams was just a minor blip throughout the race. Rubens Barrichello managed to get into Q3, but if I remember correctly, he was the slowest in the third sesssion. The 2010 Williams car doesn’t appear that bad, but it’s just another typical Williams – and that says it all unfortunately. Nico Hulkenburg was predictably nowhere in qualifying or the race, even attempting a little offroad racing on Sunday. This was fine though, as it was his debut race.

Robert Kubica looked very handy and also reached Q3 in his Renault, but he had an accident early in the race and was never able to get back into the top ten. Vitaly Petrov didn’t look too bad as he kept his car where it should have been throughout the race. Overall, he had a decent F1 debut.

Toro Rosso never looked too brilliant. Like Williams, they appeared to be more of the same. Buemi did seem to have somewhat decent pace throughout the race though, and this may manifest itself better on circuits which encourage actual racing more. Jaime Alguersuari did not impress me much, as I predicted. In January, I stated that Toro Rosso would be smart not to retain Alguersuari for 2010, but they did. I fail to understand why Franz Tost thought that keeping Alguersuari instead of seeking out a decent pay driver was a good idea.

Sauber never really looked with it all weekend. It was rumoured in preseason testing that their car would be quite good, and Bridgestone said that the Sauber car probably looked after its tires better than any other car on the grid. Shame that De la Rosa and Kobayashi couldn’t step up and score a point or two in the opening race then. Sauber is one of my favourite teams of all time, so it stings a little to see them not living up to preseason expectations.

As for the new teams? Kudos to HRT for even getting to Bahrain. They didn’t do too bad considering that the weekend was mostly a test for them. During the race, they showed pretty decent pace. If things come together for HRT soon, they could be the best of the new teams. Nobody would have thought that a month ago!

Virgin failed to impress me. They mostly just putted around the back of the grid all weekend long and never looked very quick. Thankfully, their race pace was better than what we saw in testing and even practice. They should improve for sure, but I don’t think it will happen in the short term and Virgin will probably be the last of the new teams by the end of the year.

Lotus did well in the race, getting both cars to the finish line. That was a massive accomplishment for a new team, and the Lotus team was extremely pleased with their result, even if they were essentially last of the finishers. For now, they appear faster than HRT and Virgin, and they undoubtedly have the best driver pairing outside of the top four teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull). I’ll also note that their car looks really beautiful in motion. Good luck to them in the coming races!

Now back to the procession aspect of the race. I won’t say much more on it, but I will note that when a few drivers, fans all over the internet, Nick Fry, and Martin Whitmarsh all express serious concern, then something is probably wrong. Bernie Ecclestone has already responded by telling the teams that they should get the message that they don’t make up the rules. Unfortunately for your senile old mind Bernie, the teams (FOTA) have far more knowledge of what would make the racing better than you. Please keep your mouth shut and let FOTA do the talking.

Oh, and I forgot one thing. Congratulations to Fernando Alonso for winning on your Ferrari debut!

How Schumacher could win in Bahrain

March 10, 2010 1 comment

It is widely known that Mercedes did not appear as quick as Ferrari, McLaren, or Red Bull in preseason testing, but a few things of interest may render everyone’s perceptions of the Mercedes pace completely irrelevant.

In testing, the Mercedes were an average of three tenths of a second off of the pace of the other top three teams. Thi isn’t a lot, but it would normally be enough to solidify Mercedes as fourth best if these times came from an actual race weekend. A lot of people said that Mercedes didn’t seem to have it, and that they just didn’t have the speed that the other teams had. I agreed with everyone, and I began to feel slightly worried for Rosberg and Schumacher. It was then that Ross Brawn said something very interesting.

“We were running heavier in testing than the other front runners.”

This, without question, means that the Mercedes should have a little more pace to it. Whether it’s a tenth of a second or just a couple hundredths, there’s definitely more to the car and it can go quicker. This was music to my ears because, during the final days of testing, Mercedes confirmed that they will be using their definitive 2010 diffuser in Bahrain, which is said to certainly bring a few more tenths of pace.

What I have gotten from all of this is that Mercedes ran a heavier and more incomplete car than that of their rivals during testing, and they still looked fairly decent. Certainly capable of fighting for podium finishes. Now we are aware that the car can go faster and that the 2010 diffuser has not even made an appearance yet. Many are predicting that the diffuser alone will bring three tenths of a second to the Mercedes car. If they had these three tenths during testing, their drivers would have finished 1-2 overall. Even if the diffuser only brings two tenths, they’ll still be right up into the thick of things, and two tenths is a very possible and realistic number.

Here are some tables to show how things will be if the diffuser brings one tenth, two tenths, or three tenths. I won’t bother going higher, because three tenths alone is enough to put them on top. I used the best times set by each driver during testing in Barcelona to calcualte this.

And so that’s how it looks. With however many tenths the diffuser brings, on top of having lower fuel loads late in the race, Mercedes will be right up there and should be very competitive.

As for the title, I do believe that Schumacher can win the opening race. Unless his three year hiatus from Formula One has weakened his abilities, he should be able to beat Nico Rosberg. It is true that Rosberg is a bit of an unknown quantity even after four years in Formula One and could very well be a great driver, but this is Michael Schumacher we are talking about. He will be no pushover for Rosberg or the competition, and if the Mercedes is half as competitive this weekend as I think it will be, then we may very well see silver on the top step of the podium.

2010 Formula 1 Constructors Entry List

March 4, 2010 1 comment

Well, last night the FIA posted the full 2010 entry list and it’s pretty much exactly what everybody expected, though there’s one disappointment that I’ll get to after the entry list.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
1 Jenson Button
2 Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
3 Michael Schumacher
4 Nico Rosberg

Red Bull Racing
5 Sebastian Vettel
6 Mark Webber

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
7 Felipe Massa
8 Fernando Alonso

AT&T Williams
9 Rubens Barrichello
10 Nico Hulkenburg

Renault F1 Team
11 Robert Kubica
12 Vitaly Petrov

Force India F1 Team
14 Adrian Sutil
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi

Scuderia Toro Rosso
16 Sebastien Buemi
17 Jaime Alguersuari

Lotus Racing
18 Jarno Trulli
19 Heikki Kovalainen

HRT F1 Team
20 TBA (Karun Chandhok?)
21 Bruno Senna

BMW Sauber F1 Team
22 Pedro de la Rosa
23 Kamui Kobayashi

Virgin Racing
24 Timo Glock
25 Lucas di Grassi

Now, there are just a few things that I’d like to point out or mention..

1. Mercedes’ team name is too long! I abbreviated the name and it’s still gargantuan. If I were to write out the full name, it would be Mercedes Grand Prix Petronas Formula One Team… Wow. Isn’t that a little bit too long? I’ll bet anything that it will just be shortened to Mercedes Petronas F1 on television broadcasts.

2. HRT is what became of the Campos Meta team. Unlike USF1, Campos has managed to crawl through and should definitely be on the grid next week. They still only have one announced driver, but the second is expected to be revealed within the next few days. Karun Chandhok is expected to drive for HRT alongside Bruno Senna, who it feels was announced as a Campos driver ages ago now. USF1 refugee Jose Maria Lopez is expected to be the teams reserve and test driver.

3. The Sauber team is still being called “BMW Sauber” despite BMW not being involved in Formula One at all. Since Peter Sauber obtained Ferrari engines for 2010, this technically makes the team BMW Sauber Ferrari. Hmm, two rival European manufacturers appearing to be running a joint team? I don’t think that BMW or Ferrari will like this very much, and I would not be surprised if BMW, Ferrari, and/or Sauber appeal to have the name changed before next weekend in Bahrain.

4. No Stefan GP. This also means no Kazuki Nakajima or Jacques Villeneuve. I don’t care about Nakajima because he’s slower than molasses on a cold day, but I really wished that Jacques Villeneuve would have taken to the grid. He is the only man fit to represent my country in F1 for at least a few more years (until someone such as Red Bull takes a good look at Robert Wickens from F2), so it was disheartening to see Stefan denied USF1’s grid spot yesterday. I can’t mourn about this for too long though, since favourite drivers come and go all the time. Other favourites of mine have departed, such as Olivier Panis who is certainly well out of F1 and Kimi Raikkonen will probably want to stay in the WRC indefinitely, so there’s no use crying over spilled milk. Jacques may not be on the 2010 grid yet, but he’s like a bad cold – you think that he’s starting to leave but then he comes back when you least expect, over and over again.

And with that, there are only ten days left until Bahrain. I don’t imagine anything else newsworthy will happen before then, except for HRT announcing Karun Chandhok. Ferrari and Red Bull are also appealing to the FIA to investigate McLaren’s rear wing, because they want to know if it is legal or not, though even the teams pointing their fingers believe it will be, so there’s not a whole lot to discuss there.

For now, I will just kick back and wait for the lights in Bahrain. 2010 is going to be an amazing show, the most exciting season since I have followed Formula One. I can hardly wait!

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!

Congratulations Lewis Hamilton, 2010 World Drivers Champion!

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As the chequered flag waves in Abu Dhabi (yawn) at the end of this year, Lewis Hamilton will be crowned world champion. I am predicting this even though I dislike him immensely.

Why I am tipping Lewis is because I opened Microsoft Excel this morning and had a little fun, working on a chart to predict the outcome of the 2010 championship. I scored the drivers based on the following criteria:
1. Their general track record, consistency and achievements.
2. Likewise, the track record, consistency and achievements of their 2010 team.
3. How they performed, as a driver, in 2009.
4. How their current team performed in 2009.
5. My own personal opinion of how talented the driver in question is.

Here are the results that I ended up with, which are in direct defiance of my desire to see Michael Schumacher clinch the title this year.

1. Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes)
2. Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro)
3. Jenson Button (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes)
4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
5. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes GP Petronas)
6. Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro)
7. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP Petronas)
8. Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)
9. Rubens Barrichello (AT&T Williams)
10. Robert Kubica (Renault F1 Team)
11. Jarno Trulli (Lotus F1 Racing)
12. Nico Hulkenburg (AT&T Williams)
13. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)
14. Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus F1 Racing)
15. Renault Driver 2 (Renault F1 Team)
16. Adrian Sutil (Force India F1 Team)
17. Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber)
18. Timo Glock (Virgin Racing)
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India F1 Team)
20. Lucas di Grassi (Virgin Racing)
21. Sebastien Buemi (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
22. Jaime Alguersuari (Scuderia Toro Rosso)
23. Jose Maria Lopez (USF1 Team)
24. USF1 Driver 2 (USF1 Team)
25. Bruno Senna (Campos Meta 1)
26. Campos Driver 2 (Campos Meta 1)

I placed the yet-to-be-named second Renault driver in 15th, feeling that they won’t be as good as Kubica but should be able to handle Force Indias and Virgins. The second USF1 driver is 24th, because I feel that they will be inferior to the questionable Jose Maria Lopez. I put both Campos drivers at the bottom (despite Bruno Senna ending up with enough points to be in the 16th to 20th range) because I simply don’t think that Campos will get very far this season, meaning I feel that the team will drop out.

Of course, this little “2010 standings” list means absolutely nothing and I just did it for fun, but do you know what? I am definitely going to be digging this blog post up in November to see how my “predictions” compare to the real final standings.

(This is what happens when a fiercely loving fan of the sport gets bored in the off season, by the way.)