F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/3/2010

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We’ve got the first race of 2010 in the books – more reaction to the Bahrain Grand Prix later today. Here’s the Monday round-up:


James Allen’s Bahrain GP verdict (ITV-F1)

“This handed the lead to Alonso, who was in that position because he had passed Massa at the start. It was a very smart move by the Spaniard, who went around the outside of his team-mate into turn one and then passed him in the ensuing left-hand kink of turn two. It was an important move and one which handed the initiative back to Alonso after he was outpaced by Massa in qualifying. In the post-race TV interview I asked him if this gave him the bragging rights in the Ferrari team and he said that it was not important, but this was just a political answer. That pass was significant and Massa goes away knowing that.”

Vettel hit by engine, not exhaust issue (Autosport)

“Red Bull Racing has revealed that Sebastian Vettel’s chances of winning the Bahrain Grand Prix were hit by an engine problem, and not by an issue with the exhaust as the team initially reported.” It’s 2009 all over again…

Comment of the day

An interesting thought from Ichtyes on the biggest discussion point after the Bahrain Grand Prix:

What is it those saying it was a boring race want? I know what it is, and let me say, they?re not things that can be forced into existence by the rules short of making F1a spec series. I voted a 7, and in my view the race deserved no more and certainly no less. It?s not F1?s fault if you?re not interested in races that have the potential to develop in an exciting way but rather demand everyone be artificially forced to be close together, ironically what people were supposedly against in the off-season when discussing the tyre rules. You can?t have it both ways, freedom in all areas and close racing. Sometimes they will work against each other, and only sometimes come together to make a great race, which is what makes great races what they are. It seems people want an F1 as close as lower series whilst making it less ??artificial?? or constrained than lesser series. Bad news: there?s a correlation between the two.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two years ago Robert Kubica’s pace in qualifying for the first race of the season had us wondering whether BMW could mount a bid for the championship.

Not quite, as it turned out – but Kubica did score his and the team’s first win later that year.

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  • 58 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/3/2010”

    1. Great comment of the day.

      I honestly wouldn’t care if 15 of 19 races this season were that processional – well, I wouldn’t make as many complaints as I am doing right now – if the cars hadn’t been made to look like crap as part of a broken rpomise of making it “more exciting”. And if they sounded as awesome as they used to, when they had the V10 engines.

      But is anyone else more than just a little bemused by this hysterical reaction today, people screaming their heads off like F1 is literally burning in front of our eyes? It’s not like there weren’t any of races last year that were like that.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        15th March 2010, 19:45

        “It’s not like there weren’t any of races last year that were like that.”

        Exactly! The way people are reacting it’s as if for the last few years F1 was an overtaking-fest. It wasn’t, and hasn’t been for years.

        1. The reason for the reaction is because all the hype we were fed in the winter. Lewis vs Jenson, Fred in a Ferrari, Felipe back, MS in a siver arrow etc. Then we get that snooze fest..! With nearly all cars on 1 strategy and the problems already mentioned do you really think its gonna get any different.

          God i really really hope so!

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            16th March 2010, 0:29

            Yeah I get that, and I was as disappointed as everyone else.
            But lots of people are acting as if the race turned out the way it did because of the refuelling ban. The reality is that with refuelling we would have seen the same race, except that Alonso, Vettel and Massa would not have started closing up towards the end so it would actually have been less exciting.

            It was the first race, it’s too early to judge whether the hype was justified or not. We had plenty of races like that over the last 2 years and we had close exciting championships.

          2. Mark Hitchcock
            16th March 2010, 0:36

            Oh and regarding the tyre strategy. I think we will see some changes in the coming races.
            It’s been mentioned that some people were surprised that no-one stuck on a new set of tyres towards the end of the race, which would have given them a couple of seconds per lap advantage.

            I think we’ll see some drivers trying that, and maybe some other strategies. In Bahrain everyone was conservative because they didn’t want to make a stupid mistake. Now that they know their pace on a conservative strategy they can try something different.

            1. I hope your right!

        2. I think its because since the rule changes in 98, things have been moving more and more in the wrong direction. Mosley was trying to slow the cars down in 98 with the thinner track width and the grooved tyres. It continued with the one tyre per race, and the introduction of the v8. Yet through all the trying to slow it down F1 got faster every year and overtaking became less and less frequent. The problem is obviously the only area Mosley didn’t try and “slow down”, the aerodynamics. In fact the only time he did force a reduction in aero devices was when he banned the pins and wings ontop of the side pods because they were “ugly”. This needs sorting, and fast or F1 will die a death. I say restrict aero, and free up engine development and chassis design. Remember in the early 90’s ferrari had a v12, but were slower than v10 of williams and the v8 benetton was using….

          1. Fins and wings* not pins and wings :s

    2. I don’t know what to say but I missed 5 laps from tomorrow’s race due to power cut in my area.

      1. inc0mmunicado
        15th March 2010, 2:29

        On the other side, those were 5 laps of your life not wasted watching a procession!

        1. inc0mmunicado
          15th March 2010, 2:38

          Why have we had so many expectations about season openers? The Bahrain circuit has produced lackluster races recently, whether or not its been the first race or not. We should look forward to Melbourne, which tends to produce exciting races. In fact, the season openers should either be in Australia or Canada!

          1. It’s probably not a good idea to count on the weather in March in Canada.

      2. Wow, I also had a power in my house during the race. Fortunately it was only downstairs, so I could watch the race from upstairs.

    3. Wow, my second COTD.

      I just wonder what the race would have been like under last year’s rules. Vettel would have qualified light for pole, and Alonso would have leap-frogged him at the pit stops for the win. If Vettel hadn’t had problems, we would have seen a true battle for the lead, as the Ferraris were apparently much better on the harder tyres and Alonsi himself said he was saving pace up to have a go at Vettel. Unlike last year, we could never be sure that Vettel’s initial lead was always going to be good enough to ensure victory on pace.

      It’s only one race; hardly cause for people to say “boring, they messed up the rules” already. I think we’ll be lucky if we know where the season’s going by Silverstone, let alone on the back of one race. Maybe teams will see that they had much better race pace on the harder tyres and take the gamble on qualifying on them next time around, making for more mixed-up racing. Or maybe not; we just don’t know yet what they’ll do. After all, the first race with new rules governing how the race is run is always bound to be full of teams playing it safe.

      1. inc0mmunicado
        15th March 2010, 4:01

        Last year’s rules? The Ferraris would have used KERS to launch. The race would have been over after turn 1, barring some refueling mishap involving someone dragging a fuel hose down pitlane while on fire. Vettel would not have had a DDD (neither would the Ferraris). Maybe they would have been closer together (like the first few laps at Spa last year). We have the rules for this year and they’re different to last year, its really not worth it to go down the “what if” road. That’s like trying to compare different years and different champions under different points systems.

        As for your last statement…ask Vettel and Kubica (Red Bull & BMW) and maybe even Martin Whitmarsh about playing it safe at their first race at Melbourne last year with all the radical rules changes!

        1. “The race would have been over after turn 1”

          as opposed to … oh thats right

        2. You are right, the rules are different. But the point of Icthyes post was, you cannot blame the rules for making it more boring.

          As you said, last year the race would have been done even earlier!

      2. I agree entirely icthyes, with this and the COTD. Of course the other issue which limits overtaking is that the drivers and teams are too good, most overtaking moves are products of a mistake by the guy in front.

    4. Can someone tell me where I can get every lap time for every driver during the race.

      1. If you’ve got an iPhone you can download the F1 Timing app, which gives official timing feed and gps positions on the track. It’s £20, but well worth the price over the season.

        1. Sorry, I ment that I want all those lap times after the race, not during. Is there somewhere that I can go and look at them when the race is completed.

        2. There’s now a free iPhone app from Formula1.com. Has everything the live timing on the website has. plus it uses the same log-in name and password as you use on the site.

          No way am I paying £20 for live timing. Ok, that version has GPS data from the circuit to show you where the cars are in real-time, but thats what the TV is for.

    5. Some interesting observations by James Allen. Lets just hope Schumacher can fuel development of the Mercedes to get right on the pace and McLaren will suit other circuits better than this Bahrain track.

      Meanwhile Massa has said, that he expects Melbourne will see different strenghs from teams, so not a too big advantage by Ferrari.

    6. After the race, i must say, that i am enjoying the new teams. Have lotus in the giant killing role Minardi had, when they were having some exiting drivers.
      Virgin is quick but misses stamina, but she will improve.

      As for HRT, good they were here. They almost celebrated the laps done in the GP like a victory. For them it surely is. I am looking forward to them getting to 1/2 race distance at least the next time.

      1. I think this in it’s self is an enjoyable and interesting part of a race weekends know. Not only are we watching the front to see who is winning but we are also watching the back to see how far the back teams can go in the race and how much they can improve at the next event. I’m not a big supporter of any one of the back teams, but I must admit that it does bring a smile to my face every time I see them improve.

    7. I totally agree with Ichtyes!
      I see cries for rule changes, sprint race, close racing. That is just not F1. A1GP had all the same cars, sprint race. Now THAT was boring.
      What I miss is the discussions on the details of the race. So here are my questions:

      Does anybody know what was wrong with Trulli when he stepped out of the car?

      What happened to Karun? It was not shown on TV.

      Did Webber had en engine failure at the begin of the race because he was lacking pace and suddenly got it back?

      Why could Rosberg not close in on Vettel easier?

      The only realy fast pitstop I saw was that of Vettel. What about the below 3secs pitstops? What went wrong?

      Of the new teams Lotus was best but at the end zero points. It does require to score points to beat the competition?

      1. I read (in GP+) that Webber’s engine may have been over-filled with oil, and all the smoke was that burning off. Apparently Kubica, with the same Renault engine, had some oil taken out before the start. It was just bad luck that he got hit in the middle of all the smoke from Webber…

        1. Trulli had a hydraulics problem.

          Webber’s engine bay was overfilled with oil. As the cars turned into the corner and the oil moved towards the hot exhausts, the oil burned off.

          Vettel adapted to the problem and changed his driving style for the rest of the laps.

          Nervous mechanics?

          1. I seem to remember Vettel himself saying the problem got better towards the end.

    8. I see Renault are being blamed again for Red Bull’s reliability troubles. Funny how the works team never has these issues, isn’t it?

      1. Well the Red Bull is a lot more agressive in design, I guess it’s a cooling/packaging issue rather than just QC.

    9. Andrew White
      15th March 2010, 9:10

      There were more overtakes at this year’s Bahrain GP than at every other race there bar 2006. That’s with the new layout that is bad for overtaking. I agree with the COTD, what do these people want to see in an F1 race? Overtakes on every lap? Crashes every five minutes? Go and watch NASCAR if you want that.

    10. The Times calls Karun Chandhok an “expensive flop”. Bit harsh blaming him under the circumstances: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article7061689.ece

      1. Just another easy way to moan about F1 while showing almost no understanding of the current situation with the sport and the new teams.
        The only bit I agree with is “the Indian was forced to suffer a tortured weekend in Bahrain.” well yes, but not because of his pace but because the first time he drove the car was on a track with a new layout was in qualifying which must have been terrifying but Karun was impressive by the cool and mature head he showed.
        The article is a lot less harsh than I thought it would be given it’s headline which I think is very poor.
        Anyway they can keep on having a go as it’ll just make Hispania and Chandhok the underdogs of the grid.

      2. The whole coverage by the press today stank of plain old build ’em up knock ’em down journalism. Untill Sunday this was going to the be the greatest season in history, now F1 is rubbish and people would be better watching paint dry acording to the Times. Also the mainstream media needs to stop hiring ‘motorsport writers’ who seem to relish sticking the boot in at every opporunity.

        1. Ads you’ve pretty much said it all. :)

        2. Yeah I’ve moaned about the press plenty of times before, the problem is the general public just accept it as the truth, and F1 needs the general public. As long as the news industry refuses to hire motorsport experts it’s always going to be flavour of the month crap.

      3. That’s Kevin Eason – what do you expect? He hates Lewis Hamilton too. Draw your own conclusions.

      4. I was rather impressed with Chandhok considering his position, seems like a pretty straight up guy.
        Also HRT, they did well just getting to the race. Hope they manage the whole season and make some decent progress.

    11. Bahrain had good races in 2005 and 2006, and I thought last year was alright, but it’s a bit hit and miss. The new section hasn’t helped with that, and yet most people want to blame the refuelling ban? Of course, it couldn’t possibly be anything to do with that, or the the more advanced aerodynamics this year.

      There have been dozens of processions in the refuelling era too, and I really hope there are no knee jerk reactions to change anything by the teams or the FIA.

      1. Well said and I think 08 was a good race too

      2. The start of the new section was great, with the dip, the big bump and a quick change of direction. The photographers liked it, it’s a challenge and it created a few mistakes. So it’s a shame that’s not followed by a long straight – they should use the “outside” circuit next year, and go straight from there to turn 22!

    12. I wanted to respond to the COTD and ask why there can’t be middle ground?

      What people like me want is to be able to see guys that are faster get around the slower cars. That has to be possible. You don’t need a spec series to keep the cars artificially together – they are already together, but can’t do anything about and that is what is frustrating to watch. And the argument goes the other way, too: Webber was kept artifically apart from Button.

      And that’s the scenario that needs to be fixed in my opinion. Don’t force passing, but don’t hinder it either. When someone can clearly catch another driverbut can’t get around, there’s a problem – when there is no skill involved. This was not Senna keeping Mansell behind at Monaco or even Alonso keeping Schumacher behind at San Marino. Button never changed his line, never really had to. This was Webber unable to close because of a quirk of the rules that does not address the ability to close and pass – IOW, the ability to race!

    13. Trying to fix a comment spam problem today – if you experience any problems commenting please let me know, best to use the contact form.

      1. yeah i couldn’t seem to post comments recently…

    14. What a shame the first GP ended as it did – a long procession – maybe it was the long track but you have to fear for places like Monaco where the races will end up as whoever qualifies first wins – that would be bad but lets see what happens in Aus.

      Anyne know the tune /band used by BBC at end of coverage ?
      Even that sounded more boring that usual like some 80’s power rock band !

      1. At least we know what to expect in Monaco, and to do a rain dance before the race :D.

      2. It was Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.

      3. One of the best montages they’ve done yet, absolutely loved it, don’t stop believing’s still in my head. Then again I’m a biased Alonso fan so I’m very happy to remember the race and the montage of it.

    15. For me, it’s all about the design of the cars, they simply can’t get close enough as was proved yesterday. Yet this has been a problem since the mid 90s, but has never been fixed. Last years rule change helped a little, but the designers have caught up again over the winter.

      If the fixed that, then the circuits make little difference. No one has ever been able to pass at Monaco, it’s always taken a do or die effort there since the 60s, but because you could follow closely, the chance was always there, and that’s what makes it exciting. Mansell was never going to get past Senna in 92, but it was still edge of your seat stuff.

      I don’t want to see overtaking for the sake of it, and neither do I want to see the return of refuelling. I believe a standard size rear wing and defuser would be a simple step in the right direction.

    16. Spot of server trouble here today which affected sites other than F1 Fanatic. Back up again now, sorry about that.

      1. It seems like the problem is over now.

    17. Wow. I’m Surprised by all the posts the last couple of days from all the ‘Fanatics’. I waited impatiently for the last few months for the season to start, anticipating some incredible action on track, wild rivalries between teammates, and the return of ‘The great one’, as did many of the ‘Fanatics’ on this site. Now, after the first race, Alonso didn’t slap Massa in the face, Micheal didn’t win the championship, and cars didn’t overtake that much. It looked like a standard F1 opening race to me. Except for the fact that it had a new (very prominent) feature that we haven’t seen in a long time, the driver actually had to look after his car for the duration of the race.
      I liked watching what looked like Alonso stalking Vettel to the end of the race, wondering if and when he would attempt to make his move. If Vettel would burn out his tires trying to keep Alonso at bay or if Fernando would destroy his own. Similar to Spa last year when we all knew Fisichella had the faster car and wondered if and when he could make the move on Kimi as he couldn’t do it in the pits. It seemed like there was more of a PURE strategy developing throughout the race rather than before the start, one that was being decided by the Drivers with the help of the engineers instead of the other way around. Once the teams get all the bugs Ironed out and a few new Ideas up their sleeves I think we’ll witness some great stuff.

      I expect to see some amazing races this year and look forward to seeing Micheal win 15 races, Lewis getting a new car in China while Jenson drives the older model
      until Japan, and of course Alonso and Massa having a slapping fight after a turn one incident in Monaco (in front of the King).

      1. Great comment, in my opinion.

    18. Seems like diffusor trouble is coming along again!
      Let us just hope Todt (and the FOTA) manage this better than last year.

    19. Not a great race, true. But I wonder if most teams weren’t playing a very conservative game. After all, the high temperatures and bumpy track conditions were way different to what they’d experienced in pre-season testing in Spain. Beyond engine conservation -enforced- there may have been doubts about tyre wear and suspension components taking a bashing under the new, heavy loads.
      That said, something MUST be done to decrease download and clear the wake, making overtaking a real option!

    20. On the McLaren/Mercedes diffuser issue:

      Article 3.12.7 states: “A single break in the surface is permitted solely to allow the minimum required access for the device referred to in Article 5.15. [supposed to refer to starter motor, although this is Article 5.16]”.

      The problem is that the regs do not specify the size of this hole. Why the hell not??? Surely after the DDD affair last year they went through their own rules to check for potential loopholes… but of course this is the FIA :(

    21. All the comments talk about “next” year when they ban double defusers cars will race closer! We all know it was not banned last year to suit Max’s agenda against certain teams – so wht was it not banned for 2010, together with narrowing the front wing to INSIDE the front tyres? Then we could have stuck with a decent set of no extra cost rules for a few years that would have been effective!

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