In recent years in Formula 1, the tactics of the sport have transformed into a tire conservation formula.
With these temperature-sensitive Pirelli tires, teams now elect to sit out certain sessions of practice and/or qualifying in order to have the best potential chances to score points during the Grand Prix on Sunday.
Now that all makes perfect sense, but as a fan it can be unbelievably BORING if nothing is happening. It can be down-right distressing to discover that your favorite driver has decided to sit out the final qualifying shootout, ‘just’ in order to have a better tire selection… (Especially if you’re up at 1 in the morning to watch it on your local time zone.)
What I miss are qualifying sessions like these… It may be a pointless dog-fight, but it was at least exciting.
Maybe we need to return to having a ‘qualifying tire’?
Seeing that most of us who watch Formula 1 are armchair pundits, myself included, it makes it really easy to poke fun at a team like HRT. Even though they are one of the slowest teams in Formula 1, the team is working extremely hard to develop from such a limited budget.
It made me think about how much effort is going into developing this team. They may not have made a complete fan out of me, but I’ll think twice before I shoot another jaded remark toward them when I see them on the grid. You can see that they are working hard.
Will HRT remain in Formula 1 in five years time? We’ll see, but it will be interesting to see how this team develops.
Last night, Sebastian Vettel was on David Letterman, since Formula 1 was in the New Jersey area checking out the prospective 2013 road course track. Normally I’d be cool with an interview, but two things have been brought to my attention about David Letterman during this interview that got me really heated.
- He actually understands nothing about racing cars…or Formula 1…or race tracks. Sadly, Letterman does nothing to promote the USGP that is coming later this year. All he does is rant about Indianapolis. (IndyCar doesn’t work very well there, in my opinion, so we should keep F1 away from Indianapolis as much as possible… Austin is just fine, thanks! Dorknozzle…)
- As an interviewer, he is just…a really annoying old man. (Retire, please?)
But really, I don’t care all that much about talk show hosts. I just want to hear about racing. ;)
Dear Sky Sports,
If you’re going to talk about the FIA, please make sure that you spell the name correctly. *facepalm* (Check out from 0:18 – 0:42). I guess that’s what happens when you stream way too much F1 footage 24/7.
Later this year, Formula 1 will be coming to Austin, Texas to race on the newly constructed Circuit of the Americas. Now I’m super excited about this, but I haven’t seen many ‘track-level’ shots of what the circuit will look like.
Fortunately, Codemasters has come to the rescue, by previewing the track on the latest version of F1 2012. The first sector alone just looks mega!
What happens when you slice a Formula 1 car up the middle?
You learn a hell of alot. Sauber F1 Team has taken the last two years to slice one of their older Formula 1 cars into a cutaway model, as an instructional tool to teach people more about how a Formula 1 car works.
Watch. Learn. Discuss.
I love this new Formula 1 helmet camera view, almost as much as I love the racing itself this year!
I won’t talk about whose won the Grand Prix, since I know that the Speed Channel re-airing hasn’t aired in the states yet. (Update: Go Web-ster!)
However, check out this camera view from Sebastian Vettel during practice, as he takes on the Monte-Carlo street circuit.
If you’ve ever wondered if Fernando Alonso karts better than you can, don’t worry. He can.
Today, the new short-film featuring Sebastian Vettel and Infiniti was just released. It was a martial arts film, called ‘Drive of the Dragon’ featuring Celina Jade.
Funny short, if nothing else. I swear that he’s just training to develop his ‘finger poke of death!’ move for during race weekends, and definitely more exciting than Mark’s Canberra Milk commercials…
Nico Rosberg infuriated Fernando Alonso during the Bahrain GP weekend by nearly squeezing him off the track, claiming it as a defensive move. Alonso spent the following week, making a comment to the press about how driver conduct in Formula 1 needs to improve. A fact that personally, I think holds water.
At least when concerning driver conduct, I generally agree with Alonso’s. (I’ve never thought that I would be one to agree with a comment that came from Alonso in the past!) Although my personal impression of Alonso has changed over the last few years, I knew eventually someone would make a jab- reference to one of Fernando’s ‘less than polite’ past actions. You don’t become a two-time world champion by just being nice all the time.
Who would have thought that the burn would have come from Sebastian Vettel! Check out this video during today’s FIA press conference, and Vettel’s wicked Alonso impression.
Check out the video before it gets tagged.
Piotr Buczkowski has created some drawings of Formula 1 World Champions that are absolutely stunning. Click on the link to his gallery to view more of his work.
Take a look at this trailer. Well, at least I know what Sebastian Vettel could do when he gets bored of winning Formula 1 World Championships.
Whatever happens, it’s better than what Schumacher decided to do in his off- time…
Follow Alonso on Twitter-
@alo_oficial. You know you want to. His introduction to Twitter has been completely awesome. I wish more people engaged with their fans like he does.
I’d suggest that you just take a minute to close the door, turn up the speakers and enjoy the audio of this 2011 Pirelli test. Beautiful sounds coming from that Toyota Formula 1 car.
Although none of us had ever met him, most of us who write for this blog love Aryton Senna. |StartingGrid| has written several articles about him, including a very special one which features photos from the San Marino Grand Prix taken by one of readers on that tragic day of May 1st, 1994.
Out of respect, I had planned to write an entire article about Senna. However, posts of that kind can be found all throughout the internet. I decided that today would be better spent in quiet reflection. Not only about the passing of Aryton Senna, but how we spend the rest of our time on this planet.
What does any of that have to with Ayrton Senna? Senna was a man who not only chased after his dreams. He spent his life pushing himself to become better, stronger and faster. His single-minded focus, belief and dedication moved generations of people throughout the world, and changed our perceptions about what one person could accomplish.
That impact should be respected and never forgotten. We should all strive to reach such greatness. Even if we fail to make it, those who do will be more successful than those who fail to try. So with those thoughts in mind today, take a moment to remember Senna.
Now, what will you do next?
Sitting in a Formula 1 car isn’t really actually ‘sitting down’. In reality, it’s more of a lie-down position. Recent grand-prix winner, Nico Rosberg provides more insight into the effects of a grand-prix driver’s seating position.
Imagine if we had to drive our road-cars this way? Jeezus.
He’s in here somewhere! See if you can find him!
This was always one of my favorite ‘instructional’ videos about overtaking in Formula 1. Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell have been tag-teaming together in motorsport for a long while, so it was only fitting that they were featured in this video.
Of course, some of the things covered here are semi-negated with the introduction of DRS. But thankfully, we still have GP2 to watch if we want to see more pure overtaking moves going right/wrong. (I kid, I kid.)
Clearly, I’ve been on an Formula 1 kick lately, but I don’t see a problem with that right now! Even within the tight-lipped world of Formula 1, it’s nice to see that the drivers can act like people rather than PR machines sometimes.
(Apologies for the annoying music. Plus, I know that alot of these clips are re-hashes, but still funny to watch)
Note to self: When meeting Micheal Schumacher, keep him away from your chair. He will strike!
So having taken a look at some of the replay footage of the Bahrain GP this weekend, this particular incident with Nico Rosberg and Alonso got my attention. It’s clear that when Rosberg comes off the corner, he cuts back across the track in order to squeeze Alonso off the track.
However at the same time, Alonso isn’t alongside the Mercedes when Nico makes the move. So you could argue that although Rosberg was blocking him, that Ferrari driver should have known better than to go there.
What are your thoughts? Was Rosberg being unfair, or was Alonso just not paying attention?
As a Formula 1 mega-nerd, I am loving the 2012 season. With more media teams covering the races, the fans get more access and information than ever before. One cool feature is a new cameraview from the helmets of the drivers. It’s pretty cool to see what they are looking at, from as close to their viewpoint as this.
Check out this view of Paul DiResta during the Chinese Grand Prix last week.
Rumor is that if you buy SkySportsF1HD, then you can watch entire races from this view. (But being in the United States, I don’t think that we can access that.) Oh well, back to streaming feeds for me!
For the last few days, I’ve had a few friends ask me to explain how the Mercedes GP DRS system is more unique than other F1 cars. I found a video which details it.
The key point to note that isn’t brought up in the video that followers should be paying attention to:
- F-Ducts are still legal, even though most people though that they weren’t. Driver-controlled aerodynamic devices were banned. In 2010, the F-duct airflow sections were controlled by the drivers placing hands/knees over ducts in the cockpit. So people made a relationship between driver-movement and F-Ducts, and got the two items confused.
For those who enjoy reading text, ScarbsF1 has a great explanation as well here.
Ever since Sauber’s surprise podium finish last week, the team has been in the media spotlight. Rightfully so! The team’s involvement with social media has been skyrocketing. For example the team, Kaumi Kobayashi and Sergio Perez all have Twitter accounts.
Sauber is also good with releasing ‘sneak-peak’ videos about how the team works. In this latest cut, Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez introduces us to the team that helped him to his latest race podium. Other teams have videos much like this, like Ferrari, but they lack the rough ’style’ that these do.
I normally don’t like posting two Vettel videos in a row, but people seem to forget what happens to Sebastian Vettel when things aren’t going his way.
Well, it’s nice to see that even the best drivers get caught up in the heat of emotion from time to time. Always nice to be given the finger, when it’s someone elses fault. (In my opinion)
I love rear three-quarters shots of cars. Doesn’t matter what it is.
A bit older video, but a nice watch. (Attention, it is a bit long…)
The Ayrton Senna documentary is now available for purchase on DVD in North America (finally!). Davin reviewed this movie here at StartingGrid during its theatrical release. While I agree with all the criticisms Davin had about the film overlooking Senna’s exploits in the lesser formulas and particularly Senna’s input in the development of the Honda/Acura NSX (a car equal to the Ford GT40 for its impact on the established exotic car makers), I cannot give this film anything less than an enthusiastic “two thumbs up”. What can I say?
Ayrton Senna is my hero and will always be the best driver that ever was to me. The Senna documentary is a great piece of film making that will hopefully share Ayrton’s Promethean driving talent with generations to come.
Let’s commemorate his memory with some pictures my friend Alan Dahl shot at Imola in 1994. Alan was there visiting an autocross friend who found himself working for Scuderia Ferrari as a computer programmer (talk about a dream job! “I’m a programmer for the Ferrari F1 team, you?”). I’ve shared some of Alan’s work before.
Ayrton Senna leading the San Marino Grand Prix, May 1, 1994 Photo by Alan Dahl
As someone who always has a huge interest in the story of the ’underdog’, the HRT Formula 1 team has gathered alot of my attention in recent months. Formerly known as Hispania Racing in 2010, HRT has attempted to survive in Formula 1 on a relative shoe-string budget compared to much larger competitors.
It shows with results on track as right now, as HRT cars are only seen on-screen when they are being lapped by the leading cars several times through a race.
In the last two years of competition, Hispania/HRT had not been able to get their car running on track until the first race of the season, missing all pre-season testing. This problem was mostly down to a low budget, and a lack of technical organization prior to the season opener. This year, HRT have made a small step forward by being able to have the 2012 car, the F112 , take it’s first laps on a media day, only one day after all of the pre-season tests had been completed.
Any step forward that you can take is a good one, right?
I think I’ve found a new way to encourage faster pitstops in Formula 1- Bears!
Happy Friday, all.
With the recent Daytona 50 postponed and delayed by rainfall, I got to wondering about how rain tires provided such wet-weather excitement. Interesting watching Brundle driving rain tires on a dry track, just to show the extreme tire wear that can happen once the track dries up.
However, I still think that rain tires on a superspeedway would be a terrible idea…
Now having had a few weeks to get used to the ‘crooked duckbills’ of current 2012 cars, I’m starting be able to look past the aesthetic and get pumped for the season again.
Followers know what a massive fan I am of Lotus Racing/Team Lotus/Caterham, and my hopes that the team make a massive step into the mid-field in 2012. With the recent news that Vitaly Petrov is replacing Italian wine-lover Jarno Trulli, I’m expecting to see a seriously spirited fight to the teams ahead.
Something about the underdog that really gets me excited to see some racing…
The car with the target on it’s back for 2012. Interesting nose vent there…
Again, I won’t post much about the technical details on the car right now, because tons of Formula 1 blogs have that covered. Is there anything interesting in the video that catches your attention?
So as predicted, Ferrari has followed suit with the tapered ‘duckbilled’ nose for their 2012 car. The pressfeeds had been flooded with leaked news from the Scuderia that the car would be ‘ugly, but fast’.
So now we have two opposing design stances from two of the top four teams. Mclaren believe that a smoothed (and much prettier) nose design will be the goal to taking advantage of the new aero regulations. Clearly, Ferrari think the opposite.
I’m excited to see what Mercedes and Red Bull have to say about these in their new cars.
*Note: I promise that the blog will have more road-car posts in the coming days. With the #F1 testing season coming soon, I’m a bit distracted…
Check out this video from the passenger seat of an #F1 double seater. Formula 1 cars can push 3.5G on the driver through corners, and nearly 5G under the brakes.
Having strong neck muscles is key for a successful racing driver. Otherwise, you look like this guy…
While checking facebook this morning, I saw this breathtaking image posted by the Senna movie guys.
Formula Alone by Oleg Konin
This image shows Ayrton Senna exiting his wrecked Williams after crashing in Tamburello at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. We of course know that didn’t happen. But what if Senna lived? Would he have salvaged the 1994 season with an improved Williams? How many more World Championships would he have won?
Put your thoughts in the comments, or just appreciate an image of a dream that sadly didn’t come true.
Image credit: Oleg Konin. Go here to buy a print of this striking image.
You’re making it hard for me not to like you…
I’m going to start to call the new ’12 F1 cars that have the taper-nose, ‘Duckbills’. That being said, I don’t think that they look too terrible when they’re moving on track!
I’m super excited for the 2012 F1 season to get started. I love the testing season, because it’s like Christmas for Formula 1 fans! New cars, and everyone is happy and excited for the new year.
I’m not sure how much time I’m going to have to work on the ‘Fantasy F1′ season that I planned for, but the racing will be exciting nonetheless.
Today Mclaren launched their 2012 contender, the MP4-27. The hope is that the Woking-based squad can get a jump on the development race early on in 2012, rather than having to play catch up.
I’m sure that the team get tired of hearing the words ‘runner-up’, when they have winning infused in their DNA.
I’m not going to post about a bunch of launch pictures, because you can find them all over the internet today. I’m really rooting for Mclaren this year (as I do every year), because I’m really tired of seeing the Sebastian Vettel finger at the end of grand prix!
Come on, Macca! (I’m going to look for more detailed pictures later in the day, and hopefully try to have a more detailed discussion about this car.)
So Caterham F1 (formerly Team Lotus) decided to release images of their 2012 F1 contender in the pages of F1 Magazine, tomorrow morning. (Which is also my birthday, btw)
However some subscribers received their editions a day early, so Caterham decided to leak a photo to the public early as well. Initial attention is drawn to that odd hump on the front nose, which I’ve been told is one of the results of the new 2012 aero regulations around the height of the nose relative to the ground.
I’m excited to see actual images of this car on track during winter testing. I’ll leave my opinions on the design until then.
What do you think?
I’ve been pretty busy, so I haven’t had the time to finish some of the posts that I have in the queue. However, I didn’t want you guys to miss out on seeing some exciting Formula 1 news!
Since Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Formula 1 in 2012, Lotus has been able to prepare a pre-race test for the ‘Iceman’. Kimi spent the day driving a 2010 spec car with 2011 Pirelli tires, in order to get used to modern-F1 tires and help the 2007 get back up to speed more quickly.
Thrilling stuff to see a sixth world champion join the F1 Grid this year. I cannot wait for the season to start!