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tune
I figured for ease we could have one thread for comments on the latest race. It'll keep the predictions thread a bit cleaner for when I'm scoring.

So Australia - what did you think?

Firstly, Sauber have been disqualified for a technical infringement on their rear wing: F1Fanatic
This is a shame, I was mightily impressed with Perez's ability to manage his tyres. The other teams will be scratching their heads after that one surely.
Also, Kamui did a good job to come through to 8th.

On the other hand, this promoted both Force India's into the points, meaning the British rookie, Di Resta, achieves his first points finish. I'm sure he would have wished to get there on merit however. A good race for him all the same.

What were your thoughts on the return of KERS and DRS?
It seems that DRS combined with KERS can be enough to create an overtaking opportunity, even when the car in front is using KERS (Button on Massa). I think it will probably be more effective at other circuits where the corner before the DRS release is a bit easier to navigate (think Catalunya for example).

I was gutted to see both Mercedes drop out, largely because of Alguesuari and Barrichello (Rubens having an uncharacteristically drama filled afternoon). But more disappointingly the pace just didn't seem to be there.

An impressive turnaround from the McLaren's pre-season situation, even with a damaged floor and a drive through, that was a pretty good result.

I have to say I was waiting for the mistake that put Petrov out of the race, but he did a fantastic job all afternoon and I expect Renault couldn't be happier considering Heidfeld's problems, which came as a surprise.

I've seen some interesting things today, but wouldn't say that it was a particularly entertaining race.

All in all, it would appear that the other teams have got a long way to go to catch up to a KERS-less Red Bull with Vettel at the wheel.
clarkma5
I hate KERS. In 2009 and this race, it was more useful to defend with than to attack with, and it kills overtaking. I am 99% certain Red Bull did not have KERS on their cars at all throughout the entire weekend, too, which gives me hope that KERS will die off. (Edit: Red Bull did, in fact, not run KERS at all since Friday practice.)

I am loving the movable rear wing, but honestly I'd kinda like it to be free use through the race...a regulation standardized f-duct replacement. It's an affordable to implement idea that's intelligent and efficient. I like the whole concept of moving the cars away from downforce and into other areas of efficiency. Any takers?

The tires were exactly as I said: two stoppers. Everyone crying for 4 or 5 was off their rockers, did we not see the exact same thing with Bridgestone last year in testing? Testing conditions are never like racing conditions and racing is actually easier on the tires. That said I think Pirelli did an excellent job with their tires. The tradeoff between the tires was much more significant than Bridgestone (there sometimes seemed like there was no difference between bridgestone softs and hards...) but also quite balanced. And they're quick, too. Canada's gonna be nuts this year though smile.gif

Despite the fact that the field was actually quite spread out during the race, all the battles were quite interesting because the cars can operate much closer to each other these days! I think banning the double diffusers worked, or maybe it's the tires there too. Either way I'm looking forward to some mean driving. Ditch KERS and make the DRS free through the race and I think we'd have a killer season.
tune
I agree with you on the KERS front in some respects, but as a technology I think it is a good thing for F1 to be promoting. Perhaps KERS should also be regulated in the same way that the DRS is? So you can only use it when you're on the offensive. Maybe this would give the car behind too much of an advantage, but would probably mean more overtaking.

Still, the ideas that come out of F1 are great and if you're into your technical things, it's great for fans. I think the graphics used (certainly on BBC coverage - I guess it's seen everywhere else) to cover when the DRS is available, when it's being used, when KERS is being used is great and added to that that you can see the DRS working is also great for fans.

We did see how DRS can cause some wild moments and Sutil was pretty lucky to escape a big accident in qualifying.
tune
Is anyone else a bit disappointed with the amount of failures teams are having with DRS and KERS? New technology is good and all, but the amount of failures makes it seem stupid.

You never heard about so many failures with the adjustable front wings - although admitedly they weren't used for overtaking so there wasn't as much of a big deal made about them.
bobo27
yea maybe it is a bit disappointing in terms of not creating the passing opportunities and what not, but most importantly I hate both KERS and DRS because the commenting team on Speed just beats the hell out of it, repeating it as if there are tens and thousands of new viewers who do not understand it. It did create some overtaking at the last race tough.. I am surprised how good Vettel has been even without KERS, as well as Webber pulling that 4th spot finish after a horrible start. Also very impressed by Renault.
clarkma5
Still not a fan of KERS, still think DRS use should be free in the race, but I've definitely seen how the current regs work. Basically in order to get close enough you must have been pretty quick, so it lets you by without too much drama (you still gotta do it well)...it lets the faster car through, unlike in the past where people have often been bottled up. And that is allowing different tire strategies to play out against each other, which is very interesting. There was a lot going on in Malaysia! In other words, the DRS rules work quite well with the Pirelli tires.

Anyway enough about the rule changes...so glad to see Red Bull being matched by someone else, and so glad it's McLaren (yes I'm a McLaren fan). Hamilton's race really demonstrated how important tire management over the weekend is going to be, with just 11 sets for the weekend and races needing 3-5 sets and qualifying needing several sets too. Button was really driving it sweet on the Primes at the end smile.gif

Renault looks good, I'm glad for them, Petrov's exit was quite unfortunate but they both had amazing starts! Heidfeld's in particular is pretty legendary as starts go. The other Lotus team also looked good, ready to pounce on the Toro Rossos and definitely having the better of the Williams (what a dismal weekend for them). I'm encouraged by Force India too, I thought based on winter testing and Australia that they looked pretty poor. Di Resta drove a nice race, very calm and just taking what's coming to him it seemed.

Very interesting race weekend! This season's got a lot of potential, as long as Vettel doesn't just run away with it...snooze.
tune
I agree the season has potential, but more likely the fun will be behind the leaders most of the time.

Perez is impressing too. On the UK coverage they showed his qualifying lap and he is very smooth, much like Button. Speaking of which they also showed side by side footage of Hamilton and Button's qualifying laps, was very interesting to see the 2 styles. Hamilton has chilled a bit over the last few years, but he is still more aggressive and on the kerbs way more than Jenson.

I'm really gutted by Mercedes lack of performance - I haven't heard but would hope that Rosberg was without KERS for the whole race given his poor start and inability to move forward.
shandyman5
QUOTE(raphureny @ Apr 26 2011, 09:01 AM) *
yeah,i agree. thumbs_up.gif


Thanks, man. I am glad you do. whistle.gif
bobo27
Great race in Turkey, tons of overtaking and action all around.

just a side observation in the F1 media, and what drivers are saying; I am really tired of the drivers using the term "stuck behind". why do they say this? it seems so pointless, isn't it called racing for a reason? The rules have been re written so much over the last couple of years just so we can have passing and what not. Maybe I am being ignorant or my knowledge of the topic is not versed greatly but it just ticks me off when they say shit like that...
clarkma5
Yeah I don't believe "stuck behind" anymore with KERS, DRS, and the pirelli tires. If you're fast enough to really be moving forward, you'll be able to pass, and if you can't then you gotta work the tire situation until you can. Good observation, bobo.

I feel like Turkey was really in the same mold of all the other races this year, but then I realized that we're 4 races into a season that has seen not a single safety car or wet race lap or even much in the way of retirements (there are so many finishers this year!!) and yet the races are still exciting just through on-track action and pit/tire strategy. Dry races for Bridgestone were never that reliable from an entertainment point of view...

I do think the DRS zone was too long in Turkey, though, and I think it had something to do with the wind...the back straight went from a oblique wind to a headwind so the cars just sailed pass that much better with the DRS open. But it should really just allow a slip into the braking zone, half the time people were just driving past in Turkey.
bobo27
A case for non-championship Grand Prix races.

QUOTE
Teams should be required to test together, at the same tracks, on the same days to keep costs down.

They should not be allowed to test at Grand Prix venues, to ensure they still do set-up work and testing during race weekend practice sessions.

They should only be allowed to run drivers with no Grand Prix experience. And, of course, the total number of test days allowed should be kept to a strict minimum.

But what’s the point of going to the considerable expense of running F1 cars without taking advantage of the opportunity to draw a crowd and make some money? This is why bringing back non-championship races makes sense.
A three-day, non-championship race weekend could include all the testing time teams need on Friday and Saturday, followed by qualifying and a race on Sunday.
It would be F1′s equivalent of a ‘friendly’ football match.

Who wouldn’t want to see Jules Bianchi in a Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull, Oliver Turvey in a McLaren and Romain Grosjean in a Renault racing at Motorland Aragon and Imola?

A ‘pie in the sky’ plan, perhaps. No doubt Grand Prix contracts include clauses that prevent F1 cars from participating in any other races in countries that hold world championship events. But that still leaves us with Portimao in Portugal and Magny-Cours in France. But running F1 cars isn’t cheap and the teams should take advantage of any opportunity to promote themselves and the sport.
Bring back testing? Here’s a better idea -- F1 Fanatic.co.uk

I dont know why but I really like this idea, especially the part where lesser know or past used venues would welcome F1 and stage the event. I know it sound like a bit like a traveling circus but thats what F1 is and more is always better. And also the idea that non GP drivers would be at the helm sounds like good rule, grooming them for the future while giving them proper exposure in terms of F1 teams and their marketing schemes.
clarkma5
That is a cool idea, but I don't think you'll ever convince F1 that there will ever be a race that doesn't count for points...

Personally, I think all three practice sessions should just be extended by a half-hour and every team should be required to run a reserve driver at least half the races per year during FP1, or something like that. So they can get their testing and reserve driver running done in practice. Maybe augment that with a couple full test days in the mid-season and I think that'll be a pretty good balance for testing. Personally, I love seeing testing happening in free practice in front of the TV cameras.
bobo27
Hamilton had a really bad weekend, jeez.. Still not doing any favors by yapping his mouth on twitter and to a reporter. It was funny for him to play the race card the way he did it, but these days with media relations being a huge part in all of sports, you dont do your self any favors. Now its damage control mode by taking all back and apologizing left and right. On top of that he blamed everybody else but himself for the non ideal finish in Monaco. I expect better from this guy, but man that "pop" life has him sucked in at the moment it seems.
clarkma5
The last safety car really sucked an exciting ending out of that race...I think Pirelli's right on, you shouldn't be able to change tires under red flag. It's there for track safety, not for the benefit of the drivers on track. If you want a tire change, you need to suffer a pit stop. Alonso or Button should've won that instead of Vettel...
bobo27
QUOTE
The last safety car really sucked an exciting ending out of that race..


yep, totally did, vettel would have had trouble keeping them behind..

hey clarkma5, why aren't you in the DS Predictions Championship?
tune
The new tyres are really making this season. The end was totally ruined, would've been exciting to see Vettel reach "the cliff". Although I think Hamilton had a poor race and is showing he's not so great on handling that kind of pressure, I should think he was in the heat of the moment after the race and quick to blame everyone else as that's how he would've felt in the race. Once he's taken a day to step back and think about things, he should realise he has his own performance to blame. The real models of self control would be able to control themselves during and immediately after the race though.
clarkma5
QUOTE(bobo27 @ May 31 2011, 01:05 PM) *
hey clarkma5, why aren't you in the DS Predictions Championship?


Because last year I found that rooting for my predictions was getting in the way of just absorbing and enjoying the races.
tune
I thought the race was pretty good, back on form. Even though the weather conditions were changeable at the start, that wasn't the only time there was action on the circuit.

There were some great moves, Hamilton and Schumacher into Copse, Button's move around the outside from Stowe into Vale was great, Kobayashi immediately taking back his position after Alguersuari(?) took it from him and of course Massa on Hamilton then Hamilton on Massa right at the end.

I watched the race at the Mercedes GP factory, they had an open day to employee's families and those from Mercedes High Performance Engines, so there was plenty of atmosphere and support for Mercedes, McLaren and Force India. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet the drivers - in previous years they have set up a meet the drivers, with photo & signature opportunities - but it was less organised this time.

HPE will be holding a similar event in Brixworth for the German Grand Prix in 2 weeks (as the team's other home race).
tune
This is a pretty interesting article about the number of overtakes this year: Daily Telegraph

Not that we really needed to be told - clearly the rule changes have made a big impact.
shandyman5
^ Interesting article!
bobo27
Belgium, wow, I love this track. And the race was not bad either.. Some great passing from Webber and Vettel. Really action packed race. Hamilton once again disappoints, man that guy, he bites of more than he can chew off.. I love his hustle but man, make sure it produces result, yet again its F1, nothing is certain besides a Vettel victory...
tune
Webber's move on Alonso on the outside of Eau Rouge was BALLSY! I know Alonso backed off, but still Webber didn't know that he would.

Great to see Schumacher get his head down and pull his way up the order and Button. Shame Alguesuari was taken out at turn 1.
Bjorn
Great race. Every time I watch a race at Spa, Monza or any other "Classic" venue I'm reminded how poorly the new tracks deliver an entertaining race.

I thought that DRS made passing down the straight a bit too easy though . . . unless the car you were driving was a Mercedes, if the guy behind you got his DRS open he was pretty much guaranteed a pass. DRS does improve things on a new track, where passing opportunities are few and far between, but I don't think we needed it for Spa.

Speaking of Mercedes, holy shit were they fast in a straight line! I thought Rosberg was going to win the whole thing based solely off his start. I was disappointed when MS passed him.

clarkma5
The race was entertaining but kinda fell flat later on. Disappointed with another Vettel win/Red Bull 1-2 honestly, though they didn't exactly get there in a straightforward way. As much love as you guys are giving the old tracks, which I love to, I don't think the classic venues have produced races any more exciting than the newer ones this year, it's been pretty consistently excellent all season thanks to the new tires and rules. DRS was too strong here, I think it was Stefano Domenacali who said that they basically misjudged it because, unlike most DRS activation zones, the following driver could set themselves up very close in Eau Rouge which made the pass a bit of a foregone conclusion most of the time. I'm slightly nervous about the double (independently activated now!) DRS zone in Monza. I kinda just wish DRS was open in the races like it was in quali and practice...it's a very efficient performance idea, both in terms of cost as well as in terms of ditching downforce when it's not needed (less power needed due to lower drag to get the same speeds...sounds "green" to me!)
bobo27
monza was a bit of a dud for me, not a whole lot happened. Vettel's pass on alonso was great, and Button did it to MS. Good race for Schumi. The 2 drs zones were all hype, not a whole lot of passing with it.. Webber, what an idiot, taking Parabolica almost full speed with no front wing. He didn't seem bothered..
tune
Yeah that was odd from Webber, he must've known how badly the car was handling throughout the rest of the lap.

I did snooze a bit during the second half of the race, although it seems quite eventful now, that felt like one of the less interesting races at the time.
Bjorn
I think Webbers wing got stuck under his under-tray on the straight after Ascari . . . sounds like he didn't know about it until parabolica.

I thought it was a great race. Schumacher versus hamilton was pretty great. First time we've seen old-skool Schumacher since his return I think. Then watching Button catch them both and whip around MS like he was a back-bencher.

Would have been better if someone could have challenged Vettel, but the rest of the action made it a fine race to watch.
clarkma5
Thought it was an excellent race! I found it much more entertaining than Spa...
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