Wednesday, 27 August 2014

F1 Resumes With A Bang

Let's get straight to it then, the incident. Nico Rosberg has obviously taken a lot of the bad press from this one, and no-one was helped by Lewis Hamilton's post debrief claim that Rosberg admitted to crashing into him on purpose. There are a few angles to cover with this one, but I wonder whether 1 argument blankets the majority - Formula 1 usually protects the driver being overtaken in any manoeuvre.

The undoubted flashpoint in the 2014 Formula 1 season.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Rosberg Completes Perfect Week

7 days don't come much better than Nico Rosberg's. Get married, watch home country win the World Cup, sign a new multi-year contract with Mercedes, and then win your home Grand Prix in a German car. The F1 fans and a certain Brit would suggest that the race wasn't quite perfect, given the lack of competition opposed to Rosberg's victory, and such was his margin throughout the 90 minute race that he was barely televised at all. Another "gift" as Hamilton put it after another technical failure left him with serious ground to make up, both in Germany and the overall championship fight.

The victory was assured as soon as Hamilton crashed on Saturday, but Rosberg will not complain if they all come like that.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Making Sense of FRIC Suspension Ban and Pirelli Test

Following last weekends British Grand Prix, the teams stayed behind to complete an in season test on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The main news to come from these days were the banning of FRIC (Front and Rear InterConnected) Suspension, and Pirelli testing a prototype set of 18 Inch wheels on an adapted 2014 Lotus car. This post will try to explain exactly what these are and the affect of Formula 1.

Charles Pic completed 14 laps on the experimental 18" Pirelli wheels.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Best of British

12 months ago, the 2013 British Grand Prix made spectacular viewing for all of the wrong reasons. The Pirelli issues first came to light in a number of high speed and very frightening blow-outs, which nearly saw a driver boycott in later races. It was Lewis Hamilton that suffered the first of these incidents, and it took away his lead and all hopes of winning his home Grand Prix for the second time.

What a difference a year makes.

Hamilton's bad luck struck during the race in 2013, but his weekends fortunes reversed come Sunday in 2014.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Quieter Than a 2014 Formula 1 Engine...

Once again I find myself writing a blog post to apologise for the lack of updates recently. Again, I am not stopping but just taking a short break. Very good reason this time - my lack of it. VERY good reason for that - I am getting married this Saturday! Weddings take quite a lot of planning, and of course the blog was just 1 of many things that has been put to one side to make it happen.

Of course the moment that I don't have the time to write what I feel about Formula 1, the championship erupts with views, developments and intrigue! I found time to gradually do a Monaco write up, but Blogger managed to ruin that for me as well and I had to abandon that post halfway through. Knowing as well I may not have time to write a full report on all incidents, here is the 1 minute summary:

1. Rosberg has done a good job of breaking the Hamilton dominance.
2. I think Rosberg parked deliberately.
3. Hamilton could do with reviewing the safety car periods so far and why he always seems to lose out to Rosberg.
4. Red Bull on the up, fantastic job by Ricciardo.
5. Where are the other teams? Ferrari especially faltering
6. Newey's decision good for Red Bull. "If we can't have him, no one can".
7. Red Bull may rue losing Prodromou to McLaren.
8. What was Raikkonen thinking (Monaco move), or was it payback to Magnussen?
9. Great job by Marussia to score points!
10. Chilton unfortunate but definitely at fault for Canada collision.
11. Perez's fault.

12. Pirelli told to make tyres softer? They just can't win...

That's all for now, more in the near future hopefully!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Team Mate Struggles Surface

The first European Grand Prix of 2014 took place last weekend at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona. The track is not notorious for providing stand out races, but it does highlight the cars aerodynamic strengths and weaknesses. With all of the teams bringing update packages to this Grand Prix following the 3 week break, it was hoped that the advantage enjoyed by Mercedes previously would be reduced. They of course brought updates of their own as they are pushing equally as hard to maintain the gap to the rest of the field.

Excluding the pitstops, Hamilton leads over Rosberg never exceeded 5 seconds.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

GP3 2014 Preview

This weekend sees the Formula 1 world championship make its first visit to Europe in Spain. Local hero Fernando Alonso will be hoping to capitalise on the home support that last year propelled him to victory, whilst Pirelli are hoping it doesn't take 4 tyre changes to do so again. GP2 returns to the calendar again having missed China, but we will also see the beginning of the 2014 GP3 championship. The 2014 calendar is shown below.

Daniil Kvyat won the 2013 GP3 championship before his promotion to the Toro Rosso F1 team this year.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Remembering Senna

20 years ago to the day, the world lost one if greatest competitors. Formula 1 was still in mourning and shock following the death of Roland Ratzenberger just the day before, the first death at a Grand Prix weekend in 12 years. Safety was greatly improved between the 70's and 80's, where death and injury in the sport went from being common occurrences to rare anomalies. As the cars got faster and more complex over the 80's though, the sport became complacent over the safety of the drivers, and many foresaw the warning signs creeping back to haunt motorsport.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Change in China?

The 2014 Chinese Grand Prix was not the most exciting race to grace the Formula 1 world championship, especially following the thrilling Grand Prix in Bahrain immediately before it. Lewis Hamilton repeated his unchallenged ease to victory that he enjoyed in Malaysia, something that could become common when the Mercedes drivers don't have one another to race. Nico Rosberg's drive to second was a great save considering the team ran the entire race blind with no telemetry fed to them from the car, and after he gave Valtteri Bottas a hefty whack at the first corner. Despite leading the world championship, Lewis is getting away from him a bit now having won all 3 of the races that he has completed and has recovered much of the points gap that Rosberg inherited in Australia. Both drivers will still be wary of reliability hurting their championship chances, but Hamilton has the early form and maturity to keep his head and do what he does best when chasing a points gap.

How long will Nico Rosberg have to wait before he can hold a winners trophy of his own?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Blog Update

I wanted to give a quick little update on why this blog has been quiet over the last week. A lot has been going on within the motorsport world that I haven't missed, but similarly haven't offered my opinions on.

I enjoy sharing my opinions on motorsport, both on here and in person - there is always something to talk about and prophesise ahead of coming races and meetings. By not posting for the last week, I have missed a number of topics (that I will revisit shortly) that are certainly worthy of discussion and review but I simply haven't due to the time investment in doing so. I have got myself into a pattern of certain repeat posts that I like to publish on certain days either preceding or following a Grand Prix or event. It was all going well at the start when the 2014 Formula 1 season started, but the expectation I had placed on myself caught up with me in Bahrain when GP2 entered the schedule as well. I intend / intended to write about Formula Renault 3.5 and GP3 as well being the strongest links to a F1 seat, but I currently don't know how that will work out. Formula Renault 3.5 especially is going to be difficult when I can't actually watch the races...

To keep this blog fun for myself as I always intended, I certainly don't want to worrying about self imposed deadlines for posts when I don't always have the free time that I would like to write them. Keeping my opinions relevant, I will have to look at shortening some posts or breaking them down into shorts to allow more periodic updating when I maybe only have minutes spare to share opinions. I would rather take the second option if it helps, as I don't feel it would be worth barely touching on topics in the pursuit of post shortening...

In the meantime, thank you to those that continue to read my posts when they do get published. I am glad that from a small project I started to stop me going mad in unemployment between jobs, I have actually found something which has helped more people understand and enjoy a sport that I have wanted to be a part of almost my entire life.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Brilliant Bahrain

The Sakhir circuit in Bahrain has never been associated with the best Grand Prix, but in 2014 it delivered one of the sports greatest ever races. Combined with the launch of the 2014 GP2 season and some FIA announcements, there is plenty to be talking about between now and the Chinese Grand Prix.

The first Bahrain Grand Prix under the lights became an instant classic.

Friday, 4 April 2014

GP2 2014 Preview

This weekends Bahrain Grand Prix will bring with the start of a new GP2 series, which will support 11 F1 weekends this season. It is a major feeder series for tomorrows Formula 1 drivers, with 18.4% of its drivers going on to race in Formula 1 and even more gaining test / development driver roles. The current Formula 1 grid includes 11 former GP2 runners, 5 of which were GP2 champion. The 2014 GP2 series looks set to be a fantastic duel between some of the best talents looking to make the final step up like Marcus Ericsson did this year. Take a look through those drivers and the teams running them with my pre-season form guide.

With the entire Formula 1 paddock watching, passes often explore the line between overly ambitious and spectacular.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Experience Shows in Malaysia

The 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix was not the most thrilling race ever, as Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes eased their way to a foregone conclusion. Regarding the overall season picture though, we learnt a lot about the current form guide within Formula 1 that was still clouded after Australia. It was qualifying however that produced a lot of the excitement as teams still seem unsure if they are lucky to escape Q1 or disappointed a missing out on Q3, and of course the great unknown of a monsoon shower.

Qualifying was worth the 50 minute wait. After seeing the Mercedes SLS struggle in the conditions, I thought it may be run Sunday morning instead.

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Best of - The Malaysian Grand Prix

Since 1999, the Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur has hosted the Malaysian Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, and was only his second circuit design project after the redevelopment of the A1 Ring in Austria. He has of course gone on to design many other circuits for Formula 1 and other motorsports, whilst the Sepang circuit has produced some absolutely mesmerising races and maintained it's spot on the Formula 1 calendar where other races have come and gone. Across the years of the Malaysian Grand Prix, there has always been one theme that has created much tension here more than anywhere else - the weather.

Last years rain affected Malaysian Grand Prix was an instant classic.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The 2014 Formula 1 Experience

The Australian Grand Prix was the first chance that the spectators had to see and hear the introduction of the new 2014 regulations in full. Pre-season testing beckoned the new exhaust notes in, but the real test would be with 22 of them sat on the grid waiting for the start lights to fade. There has been a divided opinion over the volume of the new engines, headlined by Bernie Ecclestone's regular complaints over the diminished noise from the V6 turbos.

Bernie Ecclestone has certainly voiced his concern about the quieter sound from the 2014 F1 cars.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Mercedes Dominate Season Opener

The 2014 championship is now underway following an exciting first weekend in Australia. There were so many unknowns heading into the race that it would be impossible to say we now have all of the answers after just 1 weekend, but certainly a lot more questions have been answered than raised.

Rosberg and Magnussen got great initial launches from the grid.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Best of - The Australian Grand Prix

For the 17th time in the Formula One World Championship, Australia will host the opening round of the season. The 2014 season is the most hotly anticipated championship for Formula One in its history, and the first race this weekend should be an instant classic. Australia certainly is the best place to get off to a flyer...

Ralf Schumacher's 2002 season starts in spectacular, though short lived, fashion.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

When are the posts coming?

The 2014 season opener is just 1 week away!

I have been a little quiet on my blog lately, last posting in mid-February. I had intended to do 2 more posts about the second and third pre-season tests in Bahrain, as long as a post regarding the Williams - Martini deal and the other news heading into the season next weekend.

The truth is that I would rather I didn't post anything that I have not committed myself and attention to, than brief posts that would not provide a decent or informative read. I could have just posted the results from Bahrain, along with 1 line about each team, but it would not have been news to you having probably seen the same results and a write up on other websites. I like providing my own thoughts, insight and analysis that the main news reports tend to skip past, or are somewhat skewed by what they are allowed to say.

I write these blog posts in my own free time around my full time job, and tomorrow is a very important day in that regards. I have been very busy staying late and making sure all my work is done on time, meaning my reduced free time has been needed to relax and recharge ready for another frantic day. After all my efforts going into tomorrow though, I am feeling less anxious and have got some great ideas going onwards into the 2014 Formula 1 season and beyond!

Keep an eye on this blog for more posts coming soon...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Virtual to Reality

One day from my own history highlights so much of what is currently so wrong with motorsport. I was thrilled to finally be old enough to race a go kart, and I was quickly lapping the indoor track flat out in the junior powered go kart on my 8th birthday itself. After just 30 minutes behind the wheel however, my potential racing career would already be starting late and a decision would have been needed immediately on whether to progress or not.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pre-Season Test 1 - Jerez

The first and most revealing test was completed last week at the Jerez circuit in Spain. We saw many of the challengers for the first time, heard the new V6 turbo engines in action, the first ideas about each teams chances in 2014. Here is the overview of the 4 days for each team.

Friday, 24 January 2014

More Rule Changes

The World Motor Sport Council met yesterday (23rd January) to discuss the implementation of the new 2014 rules, and to outline new rules for 2015. The outcome of this meeting (from the FIA website) is quoted as follows.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

All Change at McLaren

For a team that target both championships at the start of every season to finish 5th and without a single podium all year, 2013 certainly was not a year to remember for the McLaren team and its fans. The ambitious choice to start again with the car design rather than evolve what had ended the 2012 season as the fastest car backfired immensely, causing the team to instead focus its efforts on 2014 early. It was a gamble, and not every gamble goes well so even a team of McLaren's calibre can be forgiven for having 1 bad year. Think back only to 2009 when Lewis hamilton could only extract a pair of wins from the MP4-24, having won the drivers championship the year before, and coming close to doing so again the year after in 2010.

Victories in Hungary and Singapore were highlights in an otherwise fruitless 2009 season

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

First Post of the New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas break. I'll begin 2014 with... 2013. I missed a lot of the main talking points surrounding Formula 1 in December, so I begin the new year by closing the last.