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F1 starts again this weekend.

Flitzer

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Just wondered how many on site will be getting up early this weekend for the start of the F1 seson in Australia?

I've followed it since the days of Raymond Baxter's commentary and black and white images on a 9'' screen Bush with a strap-on magnifying screen making it a whopping 12''.

My favourite all time team? Lotus.

Cheers
Peter
 

Orionblamblam

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They're starting up an F-1? I'm there!

 

AeroFranz

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I live on the east coast of the US, so it won't be too bad. ;D
OTOH, except for Brazil, all the other ones will be a pain! And no more Montreal this year... :'(
 

blackkite

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Please remember BGP001 is designed by HONDA resources. ;D
 

blackkite

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Congratulations Button and Brawn GP team!!
 

prolific1

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One of the worst F1 seasons in history.

Perennial slacker Jenson Button dominates F1 for the first half of the year...lol! Of course when "some" of the other teams catch up he no longer factors into podium finishes. This is of course the downside to car racing...the cream can't always rise to the top as it does in Motogp/WSBK.

They should have left the rules unchanged from the last season. When there is stability - there is close competition; everybody eventually catches up. In 2008 Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Renault, and Torro Rosso all won races at the hands of 7 different drivers. The cars were fairly close together and competitive with BMW looking like title challengers for the following season. The rules change however had several undesirable consequences. Firstly the cars are ghastly in appearance (unlike aviation....this is important to fans and purists alike). Secondly, like any change of rules, the level of competition was destroyed. An in no uncertain terms was BMW's decision to exit motivated by a loss of form when it appeared in the last season that they were on their way up.

More interestingly is that in 2010 we will see yet another dramatic rules change that wil (guess what) upset the current balance of power again. With refueling set to be banned, the cars will again see their most dramatic transformation since ...er...last year. Don't expect the same winners as were seen this year. Increasing the fuel tank capacity by 70% means a consequently dramatic increase of the CoG and Polar Moment of Inertia.

Oh...and yes - Honda is totally pissed they walked away from F1 when their technical staff finally came up with a world-beater of a car - despite their claims to the contrary in the press. That said the Honda powerplant was quite inferior to the Mercedes lump - which is the best engine on the grid. That may have diminished their advantage early on somewhat but it's all speculation now.
 

Stargazer2006

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Well summed up. The ex-Honda team and car did great. Button's victory owes largely to Brawn's risky bet which largely paid off, to Honda's dismay.

Mercedes had a great engine, but so did Renault, as they amply proved it through the Red Bull team's overall good performance throughout the season. Their efforts as an F1 Team were as bad as their engines were good... With the unimpressive R29s, an uninspired Alonso and a lousy Piquet Jr., and a scandal to top it all towards the end, Renault disappointed all the way through. One can only hope that Kubica's transfer and Grosjean's promising start will bring some new spunk to the team.

Another great disappointment was the non-performance of last year's boy wonder, Lewis Hamilton, who was virtually non existent this year. There have been great moments though, however few. Fisichella and the Force India Team pulled off a great season despite modest expectations. Webber did great too.

The main problem is that the international federation seems intent on adding rule after rule to make the whole event as uneventful and boring as possible. Forbidding refueling during the race will only add to this by depriving the teams of a key factor in building up their racing strategy.
 

Archibald

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Didn't follow F-1 seasons since 2003... Remember a rookie called Button, looked promising :)

One of the worst F1 seasons in history.

Can't be worse than Shumacher killing the championship mid-August (!) for five consecutive years (!!). Stopped watching F-1 thanks to him.

Forbidding refueling during the race

WTF ? They prohibited refueling in the mid-80's, re-introduced it around 1994, and now they are prohibiting it again ?

the international federation seems intent on adding rule after rule to make the whole event as uneventful and boring as possible.

A very old issue. The very same issue killed 1500 hp turbochargerd F-1s in the mid-80's. Oh, and ground-effect cars. And many other things...
Are Mosley and Ecclestone eternal ? Aside the Ferrari team they are probably the oldest element in the Formula One barnum
 

prolific1

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The main problem is that the international federation seems intent on adding rule after rule to make the whole event as uneventful and boring as possible. Forbidding refueling during the race will only add to this by depriving the teams of a key factor in building up their racing strategy.

Ain't that the truth. Fortunately for F1, Motogp made a similar mistake for which they are unwilling to backtrack out of for fear of losing face. Had they not not done the same they might have displaced some of F1's TV audience as evidenced by Bernie Ecclestone's vastly increased interest in buying into it a few years back.

Mercedes had a great engine, but so did Renault, as they amply proved it through the Red Bull team's overall good performance throughout the season.


Not sure about that. Sebastian Vettel's string of engine failures may have cost him a title shot. In fact he has put some serious mileage on his current motor and will have to do so again at Abu Dhabi or take a grid penalty for the change.The Red Bull was a good package, even sans double deck diffuser for the first half of the season - save for their terrible reliability. In fact Red Bull are almost sure to abandon the Regie's engines for 2010. They already courted Mercedes but were vetoed by McLaren. We shall see.

Renault, like BMW, were on the way up in 2008 but got the new rules all wrong. A shame as a four or five way fight this year would have been nice. It would have whittled its way down to three or less protagonists in the end as is always the case but would have made for a great show.

Lewis Hamilton did win two races to make for 5 podium appearances. He did what he needed to do which was help develop the car into something that could win. Earlier this year it was hopeless.
 

prolific1

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Didn't follow F-1 seasons since 2003... Remember a rookie called Button, looked promising Smiley

Actually I believe you meant 2000...that being the year that Button "impressed" on his debut with Williams. The 2003 saw Button do...well nothing.

Can't be worse than Schumacher killing the championship mid-August (!) for five consecutive years (!!). Stopped watching F-1 thanks to him.


Yeah this year was worse. When Schumacher dominated it was an easier pill to swallow since he was the best guy on the grid. I preferred him in a crappy car because he was more amazing to watch - doing things that shouldn't be possible. Schumacher's triumphs in the all conquering Ferrari that he and his duo of genius accomplices (Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne) were the stuff of legend...at least. Ferrari was nothing more than a sad throwback to a bygone era before Schumacher came over and turned it into a winning machine. Now it appears they are on their way back to the bad old days...and I don't think Alonso can save them since he got beaten by his rookie teammate in 07, needed his loser teammate in 08 to help him win one of two races, and only managed a single podium this year.

WTF ? They prohibited refueling in the mid-80's, re-introduced it around 1994, and now they are prohibiting it again ?

Actually refueling had been missing from F1 for quite some time save for a brief experiment in 1983.

A very old issue. The very same issue killed 1500 hp turbochargerd F-1s in the mid-80's. Oh, and ground-effect cars. And many other things...
Are Mosley and Ecclestone eternal ? Aside the Ferrari team they are probably the oldest element in the Formula One barnum


Jean-Marie Balestere was the evil dictator of the FIA in the 80's and early 90's who was dethroned by the well spoken, law practicing, son of a Nazi name Max Mosley. Everyone thought he'd be the savior of F1. Ha! "Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss."
 

Artie Bob

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I am no longer as physically close to F1 as once was. People who do not drive race cars or have not worked in F1 possibly do not understand some of the issues at hand this year. I began driving in 1959 in a FIII Cooper, and quickly decided I had neither the talent or commitment to move up. I continued to drive for another twenty years Sports, Formula, and occasionally Karts. I also, for a number of years did flagging and scoring, then moved to scrutineering, eventually working up to F1 and CART. That being said, I am not an expert and believe that when one thinks he understands what really is going on in a situation like this is he is almost always wrong. I do remember one item; when Jenson Button won his first F1 several years ago, it was one of the most popular victories for a long time among the people who do really know, those who live and work on the paddock. Somewhat indirect evidence perhaps, but hardly the response to a "slacker" by his peers.
My general impression is that right now (not early in the season) things are about as evenly matched in equipment as it has ever been. Was it after P2 that the entire field was separated by about one second?

Best Regards,

Artie Bob
 

prolific1

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Working as a flagger doesn't an expert make. I've heard that story a million times as a motorsports journalist. I talk to the same folk in and outside of the garage and the ex club racing bloke waving a flag is no greater an expert.

The grid isn't close and Jenson Button didn't just suddenly find a second a lap of pace from nowhere. Qualifying pace is meaningless since they qualify in parc ferme conditions. The fastest guy in quali is usually the lowest on fuel, though not always. 2002 would be the last days of all out qualifying in qualifying trim.

It is actually the opinion of many in the "paddock" that applied the slacker moniker to the man in mention. Remember the Williams contract fiasco? He probably regrets that mistake as Williams remained a winning package well into 2004.

Button isn't complete rubbish by any means but he's not the measure of a Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, or Raikkonen. Had any of those four had an advantage like that the season would have been a complete yawner. Thankfully Button decided to make heavy weather of bagging the title in mostly peerless mechanical competition.

Asphalt circuit races, Cars in particular, have always been more of a contest between engineers - save for spec championships. The driver is merely 20% or less of the equation in success. The best guy might only win in the worst car if it rains...badly. Since grip on asphalt, in a car, is easily defined - the ultimate performance of the package is the defining factor. In the WRC's gravel and dirt stages then the driver is more important...as grip is hard to define like it is in the rain for tarmac. Motorcycle racing is a little different as the cream rises to the top based on the risk associated with finding grip. Even then it is the off-road world were equipment is meaningless since dirt renders this art more acutely.
 

Artie Bob

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Actually, my flagging days are well past, it was my days as a scrutineer that was my closest F1 contact, being a personal friend of the USA representative to FIA and US representative for one of the F1 constructors, and having another friend that apprenticed with one of the F1 teams. I also was a driver, an engineer, a physicist and also built most of my own race engines. The old formula car in the basement(alongside 3 old Porsches) just might be going vintage racing next year. Those are my qualifications in answer to your somewhat snide response. By the way, just who are you a journalist for and what is your background, relative to F1 expertise?

Best Regards,

Artie Bob
 

prolific1

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Actually that was a typo...I meant "from journalists." I do not wish to diminish your no-doubt rich history of racing, the enviable photographic record you must have, your garage of racing gems, and the large network of "in folk" you surround yourself with. In fact I didn't regard my slightly defensive remark as any more snide than your own...which felt a trifle elitist - even if that was not your intention. I mean you kind of trampled on what was ostensibly a "fun" discussion between some arm chair fans (some more devoted than others) with your diatribe.

I am duly impressed by your credentials - really (in fact I was the first time around)...and in another situation I might pick your brain as I do our resident aviation expert Mr. Lowther so I might make more authentic 3D cutaway illustrations of historical racing cars which I do the old fashioned way with a pencil and like all my art I am self-taught.

That said, it is with great humor that I have observed the TWG (made up of the most brilliant minds in the design side of the sport) craft a set of aero rules that failed miserably to accomplish anything [claimed by their studies] to improve the show. I kind of knew that would happen having not spent a day as an engineer. From a historical standpoint they should have left well enough alone for the time being in light of their desire to keep cost under control; seeing as how costs surged with this years rules and the following years changes to come.

You should post some of your racing pics...I bet you have some cool ones to share.
 

shockonlip

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If they put fenders on them I might be interested!

I find the current F1 cars the ugliest of all time!

And I'm really a car guy! Really!!
 

prolific1

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Yessir...F1 is hideous right now. I don't mind the banning of all those appendage winglets but the lawnmower wings and funky looking rear wings are hard on the eye. That and the ultrawide noses. What's that about?

In 1998 they made the cars skinny and added grooved tires, which ruined what little overtaking there was - having removed mechanical grip vs aero grip. It took me a while but I warmed to those cars eventually - even though the wider track cars of pre 1998 were better looking. I've tried and I can't stand looking at today's cars. TWG=Fail.

Well at least the ALMS and LeMans series still make decent looking cars.
 

prolific1

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I wonder what happened to the idea the ACO was kicking around that the LMP! protos should resemble a production car in some vague way aesthetically. Although ridiculous it might have made for some intriguing kit.
 

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shockonlip

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I really like the ptototypes to be relatively unrestricted. They
always represented the highest top speeds attainable, and
highest g-force cornering. They look to me just as cool as
the neatest jet aircraft. But some street cars (like
Bugatti Veyron, ...) or limited production cars (but not really
street - like Ferrari FXX) are now attaining the speed and
acceleration capability of past LeMans racers of not that
long ago.

Then there was the McLaren F1 which was very similar in
LeMans and street trim. The same for the Porsche GT1 for
LeMans or the street. The Mercedes CLK-GTR for LeMans or
street, ..., 1964 Ford GT-40 in prototype or a few years later
in GT form and the Mark III bersion for the street. There have
been many others.

The amusing thing to me is if American street cars looked
like LeMans prototypes, what would NASCAR do?

Anyway, not sure what this has to do with secret stuff.

I always wondered if we should bring up the Mercedes-Benz T-80
Land Speed Record car of 1939, with a DB603 inverted V12
(based off DB601 Messerschmitt 109 engine) in it. Not really a secret
either though I guess, but the allied soldiers that discovered it in
Germany at the end of WWII must have been pretty surprised
and thought that it was! What the heck is THAT! :)
 

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Stargazer2006

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I agree that the FIA's restrictions and requirements make for little originality in the cars' design. This being said, I really found the Brawn cars (ex-Hondas) beautiful. Still, I believe there should be room for a lot more invention and individuality... Making all the cars similar or imposing the same rules for refueling, tyre changing and such is supposed to give everyone the same chances... but it just evens out and nullifies every possibility of standing out.
 

prolific1

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First off...that prewar car is awesome!

I'd wish they'd return to revolution not evolution engineering. Evolving the cars in small increments is more expensive than freeing the engineers to make leaps and bounds. It was often the case in the past that some free thinking characters came up with a novel idea that allowed success from a modest budget.

Colin Chapman of Lotus fame received a mysterious sketch on a piece of paper in the 70's that showed a venturi airfoil inverted as to produce negative lift under the car. From that he developed the early ground effect Lotus racers that culminated in the "Black Beauty" that Mario Andretti would drive to the '78 F1 title.

The drawback of course, is that the parity among the teams would be no better...if not worse. Either the engineers have race straight up or the drivers - but seldom both.
 

blackkite

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Worst picture for prolific1! ;D
I agree less power of HONDA engine. :'(
HONDA:No comments (officially)
 

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prolific1

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Hahahahahaha!!!!! Actually I like Brawn since he is one part of the genius behind Michael Schumacher and a major component in Ferrari's success. Ferrari screwed up letting him leave. All he wanted was to take over as team director for Ferrari. He deserves it.
 
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