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Thursday, March 30, 2006

March 31,2006

Bernie plans to recycle F1 calendar
This has been making rounds for quite sometime now. Personally I feel while we should have 36 venues around the world, that FOM wants to take game to new markets, but races should be held on every venue every alternate year. And taking into account history and tradition of F1, classic venues like Monaco, Spa, Monza, Silverstone (I’d have added Suzuka to this list as well) be annual fixture on calendar while for the rest of circuits can host race every alternate year. Once in three years would be too much stress on the new venues as most of these are new markets in Motor sports, these circuits are not much utilized after the F1 weekend and hence have become overheads from maintenance perspective

Secret of Renault Flying start
For all the fans who wondered from 2004 onwards the blazing start by Renault cars when the lights turn green, and now the secret is out, as per Briatore managed driver Webber its carrots that Renault drivers eat make their eye sight better than rivals , makes me wonder what happens when Renault drivers leave team and join other, are they contractually prohibited to eat carrots after parting ways with Renault (Button did drive for Renault right, still he was frozen on Bahrain grid ),does Renault have patent on using carrots on grid, for likes of Ferraris and Mclarens with massive team budgets - a pound or two of carrots every Sunday will be well spent on if that converts to race leads and wins J

Button Hope Renaults goof up
After Sepang some fans rightly said only possible scenario when Button will win his maiden GP is when all the race leaders retire. This Button statement is sort of acceptance by Button. Maybe in his bid for World championship , JB will buy himself out of Honda now and go to his old boss Flavio for 2007 ;-)

Montoya Confident about Mclaren Preparation at Oz
Montoya, we know is one outspoken character on grid, who calls spade a spade.So all hope of Macca redemption from this weekend onwards. While their Aero package is second to none, last weeks testing in Paul Ricard by Mclaren test driver De La Rosa must be the confidence booster to the team, well Mclaren engine by Norbert Haug completing three race distances should be a event of its own class J

DC fine if JPM is his team-mate at Redbull in 2007
Key issue raised by DC ( this guy is always good in raising issue,but then he also babbled on the sex and sauna stuff on Malaysian heat ) here is Redbull Driver program and which is valid concern, as the primary reason for Rebull having Junior team on grid is to give opportunity to their up and rising potential candidates. From this perspective Montoya in Redbull again becomes a if and else story , but then that’s how it is in F1. If only Ron had kept the cat under wraps , Fans could have focused on racing and not the drivers market from very start of 2006

Jacques Villeneuve Fastest Race driver in Free Practice 1
This is Good sign JV, but we thought your BMW engine is in second weekend, in which case what’s the logic for pounding it for 16 laps??


Why Villeneuve stressed out his BMW engine in FP1
So indeed he is going for fresh engine change to make use of revised spec engine, which BMW Management claims to be more reliable. This means 10 spot grid penalty for the Canadian in current set of rules. Anyways good thing is he has put in 40 laps and that should have given him good handle on his car setup. If indeed the revised BMW engine is good in race, BMW & JV can look forward for productive results from the Oz weekend

Free Prac Results
Honda Racing is topping the charts with Jenson leading the race drivers. Is the wait finally going to be the Brit? Apparently many drivers both rookies and veterans struggled to come to terms with the lack of grip in Albert Park. Though Williamsf1 duo of Webber & Nico are lying lowly in the timesheets, the consistent times in low 1.27 and 1.26 put in by their Man Friday Alex Wurz must be comforting the Williams team...


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What’s in a drive?

A lot, especially if the car you’d be driving is done in chrome and boasts of a power plant provided by a company, which has a three-pointed star as its emblem, and goes by the name of McLaren (MP4-XX).

The recent events in the F1 paddock have been centered around two teams, mainly, Renault and McLaren. And apart from the fact that these two teams were instrumental in giving us a splendid 05 F1 season, they have also been in the news for what can be best described as driver baiting. McLaren turned the driver market on its head when they announced that Alonso would be joining them in 07 and have plans to do the same again this year, if rumors are to be believed, with their newly found interest in Nico Rosberg. It seems that Ron Dennis had a “word” with Sir Frank Williams during the Malaysian GP about the new kid on the block, and though it might be just to congratulate Williams on a great find, it could also indicate McLaren’s interest in “hiring” Nico if Kimi chooses to leave and join some other team. Of course the team denied all this, as is the case often, but it should be noted that Nico holds a German passport (information courtesy Mahesh  :-)) and that should be a hugh attraction for Mercedes. Not to mention that fans, especially those from the fairer sex, hound him for his looks, is an added advantage, and such a brand ambassador always attracts sponsors, which in turn is translated into $$$$.

There’s little doubt that Ron has a soft corner for Kimi, but one must keep in mind that he is running a business now, and should his star driver leave, he would need a replacement which is as good if not better than Kimi. Of course he has Alonso, but Bernie once quoted that Alonso is not a peoples champion, and I guess he was referring to the popularity of Kimi and Schumacher VS Alonso. I am not taking anything away from Alonso, but when it comes to attraction off field, he kind of lacks the spark. Kimi though icy, has something about him that the fans like and the only chap I can see who would have a fan following is Nico. He is talented, cool and has that extra element which can land him in the so-called top drives in F1.

So where does that leave JPM, well apparently he is waiting for Kimi to decide, and I am afraid he will be found waiting, unless his blasts the day lights out of Kimi on track, which is a bleak possibility, but could very well happen…. Remember Brazil 04?

March 30,2006

Sixty seconds chase!?

The sterling performance put in by the Williams rookie Nico Rosberg has not only infused enthusiasm amongst the F1 Fans, but also some predators lurking in paddocks. While n animal kingdom the fastest animal is Cheetah, one of the fastest car on grid is Mclaren(surprisingly its similarly fragile like cheetah).While the bosses have successfully poached current WDC Fernando Alonso to Pilot their car from 2007 season onwards, the situation of second seat is very fuzzy at the moment , One line of thought making rounds is, not wanting to be reduced to #2 status within the team both their pilots are already moving out of Mclaren end of 2006. If that indeed happens, Ron Dennis needs second pilot whose star is on Rising ,enter Nico who has speed ,skills and also looks ( yes eye candy for Female Fans ) ,and no wonder the corporate Mclaren blood must have surely gushed thrice its normal speed. While Mclaren Bosses have categorically denied having approached Williams & Nico for a switch (given the cash strapped situation of Williams Team, approaching Sir Williams is quiet possible) , those who follow F1 know when all parties rubbish claims made by media as piece of imagination , rumor and Bull$**T. 99.99999 times of 100 they are simply denying truth. For some one who has seen girls having no clue of what the F stands in F1 for gushing over Kimi & every thing he does ( does nothing but mumble in inaudible tone outside the car), I can tell indeed Mclaren must have already started flirting with Ni-Comet. Reminds me of the famous remark by the Blue Man "Now that they can't make champions they are buying one". Well corporate Mclaren have already done with the "heart of a racer" tag , now its just "Money talk" thats left for the Woking squad L

Every Body Captured Montoya’s mood at Sepang

I had already mentioned this to my friends already, I was seated on long straight between T14-T15 , from my seat I also had good view of T9-T10 , So I had all opportunity to plan my pictures in advance, and similarly when parade lap started I was searching for Montoya, I saw him & Kimi driven around in parade cars passing Turn 9 , I set my camera ready and was waiting to click the Mclaren Drivers when the passed our stand , and Montoya never looked at the crowd , bore a sullen look on face, , a true JPM Fan didn’t feel like taking that picture … I am sure there is more brewing in Mclaren Garage than what meets the eye.

Flavio Briatore “Supports” Fisichella for WDC

So Briatore confirms that last year most of the issues Fisi had were all of teams doing , well that puts one more facet of F1 in light , Driver is very much dependent on Team Boss and his patronizing is critical for keeping the car and career on track, Are you listening Montoya :P.. Well this is fact for any person’s career right??

Ferrari modifies the controversial “Flexi Wings”

After their pedestrian 2005 performance, the Bully in Ferrari personality seems to have cooled down, when was the last time the team had given a fair hearing to the valid objections raised by the rivals. Not that I remember of …

Cost reduction for more teams on grid

This story on PF1 doesn't exactly echo the claims made by Bernie & Max Mosley , They want to see more teams on grid ,and to do that the costs in F1 have to be reduced. Now the story claims that EX-BAR boss David Richards and Paul Stoddart are both fighting for the 12th entry spot.Then whatever happened of the claims that Roger Penske joining F1 circus and stuff. Lack of transperancy and open & honest communication thy name is F1...


March 29, 2006

From the Wind Tunnel

My favorite F1 writer Nikki Reynolds recaps the two races of the season so far, and like always she has level view of the races that have been. One thing that Nikki captured was “Sex & Sauna” comments made by DC before the Sepang race.I wanted to comment on that ,but with Sepang trip and all that went on back burner. Her last remark on jinxing Kimi .well..err.. I hope not. I hope we get to see some good battle on level grounds for all the front runners

Drugs in F1!?

Not exactly was the case ,former racing legend Stirling Moss was passed on pills by another great Juan Manuel Fangio ,when he competed in the 1955 Mille Miglia – a thousand mile road race. The pills kept him awake, maybe F1 fans need something like these when watching races at circuits like Hungoring or Monaco ,where overtaking is simply not possible under normal conditions. Well I have seen two overtaking moves by Heidfield and Webber at Nouvelle Chicane in 2005 edition of the race, which explains the normal conditions part J.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Minardi is Back

Character of F1 paddock is back!!!!

Barely within hours of confessing that he is already missing formula1 circus ,Paul Stoddart divulged that he has submitted entry for Minardi to join grid from 2008 season. This is a great news , not only the historic Minardi name is back on the grid , Stoddy is back , the circus needs characters like him.. Welcome back Paul!! We were already missing your outspoken personality...

Webber & Williams assessment by Jacques Villeneuve

For someone who has spent life time in Formula One driving both competitive and non-competitive cars, Jacques in right on money in his assessment about Webber’s performance ( or lack of it as lay fans like me see) . Well its start of season so lets wait and watch his assessment about the promise shown by the Williams team. Outspoken and knowledgeable as he is Jacques is liked ( and disliked) by equal number of people in F1 fraternity, while I have immense respect for him , I wish and pray that his assessment about Williams proves wrong !! It all depends upon the results that Williams drivers get in the earlier races that will keep the team morale high through out the season. But then they need to hire some good designer to replace Jorg Zander who parted ways with Williams recently.


70% Full Throttle 100% Entertainment

When one has a look at the circuit map of Albert Park, it’s hard to conceive that for about 70 % of the lap, the engine is screaming at full throttle. And that’s the beauty of the Ozzy GP. It’s deceptive in its appearance, but it’s a damn good place to race at.

The first two races, in my humble opinion, can be treated as warm-up races, as the conditions under which they were conducted won’t be repeated for the rest of the season. Hence one can say that the “season starts now”, albeit with Renault in the saddle and McLaren doing the catch up, sounds like a repeat of 05?

Judging by the first two races, the field is a lot closer than it was in the last decade or more, and this track provides opportunities for the truly good racers to carve themselves out from the rest of the field. Last year Fisico won the race, almost unchallenged, but this year I doubt if he can get on the podium even, if the top four pilots have a trouble free qualifying and race.  Alonso will be on the money (his consistency is sometimes boring) and Kimi will be raging to claw back some of the point deficit. JPM will want to set some records straight after his subdued performances in the last two races, and it will be interesting to hear his comments on how his car is handling over the weekend.

Albert park is one of my fav circuits as McLaren Mercedes scored their first win over here in 97, and its always been special because it has hosted the inaugural GP for so long. Although overtaking is not easy on this circuit, the reduced speed of the cars and the ability to follow each other closely thru the corners should make for some interesting attempts and half attempts. This circuit also has a great view from on track cameras, just like the final turn at Monaco. Watch out for first corner incidents, especially involving Button and probably Nico.

If I have to predict a winner, I’d choose Alonso, though Kimi has an equally good chance of winning it.

March 28,2006

Lessons for Shutterbugs

So mark Sutton shares his trade secret, rather the gear secrets which gets him good snaps. I liked the Montoya & Sebastian Montoya pics there. There is also mention of the Red Bulletin, in the article & and I should say I was amazed at the good job team of 18 people does Friday thru Sunday over the race weekend. These guys were giving away free copies of Bulletins which were published every 3-4 hours with updated paddock tidbits. I have one cute pic from the red bulletin, I will publish it in next post

Five Year Engine Freeze!?

This would make the things pretty much predictable on the grid, in current scenario engine performance ( or non-performance) for most of the cars is well known, assuming that things stay more or less the same start 2008 season ,all we get is same team leading the field from 2008 onwards. On current form Renault has most reliable engine on the grid and its no surprise that they would want status quo on that front. My impression is all it will do is kill competition. FIA should just lay broad framework and not dabble in the nitty-gritty. Else maybe they just go A1GP way where all the car on grid are provided by the organizer and all that the team does is tweak it around during race weekend

Mclaren Melbourne GP Preview

While one of their pilots is categorically claiming that his engine was yielding less power and speed. Mclaren Management is countering the claim; especially the statements made by Mr. Haug are outright denial of the song they were singing in last two race weekends, wherein they had accepted Engine in JPM car had mapping problem which resulted it running slower than Kimi’s Car. So much for teamwork =D>;

Williams F1 - FW28

Image shared by Yuki, WilliamsF1 Fan from Japan , whom I met at the Malaysian GP


Monday, March 27, 2006

March 27 2006
IRL starts on sad note:
IRL driver Paul Dana lost his life in final practice of series opener race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I always get this notion that racing in ovals is more riskier than racing on circuits, The only banked oval that F1 cars have to negotiate (the T11-T12 Turn at Indy) has been tough on Ralf Schumacher and he has never been the same driver after he has crashed twice on that oval corner. My sympathies with the family of Dan & the racing fraternity on losing a member.A brief Biography of Paul Dana.

GPMA falls in line
So like it happens in the F1 world, after all the in fight and bad-mouthing everybody stays in F1 family and Bernie and Mosley have things done their way. On brighter side, well Ferrari will still be competing against the likes of Mclaren & BMW and not likes Midland F1 and Ferrari customers like Red bull


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Whats the matter Juan Pablo?

Read an interesting article on itv-f1 "TED'S MALAYSIAN GP NOTEBOOK" . Apart from the usual stuff, what caught my attention was his take on JPM.
Its seems that during the Malaysian GP, Massa was catching up with Juan Pablo at a frightening rate (atleast for McLaren) on account of the latter backing off considerably because his engineers told him to "bring the car safely back home". They had to tell him to step on it in order to keep the Ferraris at bay.
Secondly, after JPM's second pit stop he started complaining about his tyres, and at the very moment when he was complaining he set the fastest first sector.

I call this very "Fisichella" kind of behavior, complaining when there is a need to keep the trap shut and concentrate on driving and more importantly mis-interpreting the instruction from the pit crew. Now I can understand JPM's point of view of slowing down to conserve the car, but surely one knows what is the margin by which he should slow down yet be competitive. Is he thinking too much?

I like JPM and his driving style, and was overjoyed when he arrived at McLaren, but his race pace has been a shadow of what it was when he was in the white and blue overalls, and his driving is very much DC like, calculative and non spectacular. He will get the job done, no doubt, but his consistency is still a big question mark. I remember seeing a video, which Mahesh had mailed me couple of years back, when JPM was on a qualifying lap in his CART days, and he literally brushed the side barriers on one of the corners. That’s the image which I'd like to see this guy thump upon his rivals, but I am afraid he is too busy thinking about which car he would be driving next year, rather than taking the fight to Kimi and company in any equipment which is given to him.

Its in the head Juan, don’t race to win a contract for next year, just race to rip the track and kick some back, you'll get the best deal out there if you manage to do so.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

March 25 2006
Alonso steal to Mclaren reconstructed:
So if this is what happened really it makes me wonder,in this age abundant communication tools how come Alonso was not able to reach his mentor Flavio at the crucial moments. Contrast is Ron just lifts phone and calls his drivers to inform them about the new hire on board

Mclaren 1994-2005
In certain ways it tells changes in F1 culture than an now. As Nilesh puts its while we had red blooded racers then,we get the blue blooded businessmen. Personally a Red blooded racer would have gone back to the drawing board fixed issues which lost them double title last season (reasons were engines and not pilots),taken the pilots in confidence,and had a go at it with renewed fervour.Alas thats not to happen in modern F1 .....

Bye Bye Suzuka !?

Its official now we have a race in Fuji in 2007 season.Does this mark the end of Suzuka race.Not necessarily,like there have been two German ,there are two Italian races ,there can be two events in Japan. I feel while Bernie is searching for new venues , the classic old ones needn't be bumped off the calendar , they can just be flipped alternate year. On personal front , lets hope blessings of all the friends from Japan I met at the Malaysian GP come true & I get to meet them at Suzuka GP.


Friday, March 24, 2006

March 24 2006
Mosley on Offensive:
While it should be said that Mosley has come up with many Stupid Ideas during his tenure, he surely has caught GPMA on back foot when he clearly states that GPMA just criticizes, but doesn’t participate in constructive discussion and alternate ideas. Now if Renault deserts GPMA & continues in F1 circus, all that will be left of GPMA is Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes. I am not sure fans will pay monies to see race between Toyota Honda and BMW. About Ron Dennis, I have doubted that he is planning to park the Mclaren in Bernie’s Garage; he just wants the bigger piece of pie. That is reason why he has hired services of WDC Alonso for 2007 and later and also going around getting big sponsors like Vodafone for the Macca.

Tit for Tat ?
Flavio says he can do to Ron Dennis what Ron did to him by signing Alonso for Mclaren. But knowing Flavio who would rather groom a young gun on less monies ,like he did with Schummi & Alonso ,it seems unlikely . But then there is Sr. Renault management ,who have since 2005 have categorically stated that they will continue the F1 project as long as they see the results, which leaves the equation open.

Essential Sins !?
Agreed that tobacco sponsorship for sports events be done away and most of the F1 teams will be doing away with their association with cigarette making sponsor by end of 2006 season. The way Mclaren solved problem was brought in Liquor sponsor Johnnie Walker in place of West; also We have Beer manufacturing Giant Fosters as official sponsor of Formula One . Is the message being sent to public while its ok to drink and drive , please don’t smoke. I feel this is all a sham

New Rules

Scrapping of Entry fee is the best thing I can see here, will encourage more teams to join the series. Someday I can have my own team on the grid who knows

Testing restrictions : Good for smaller teams ,who don't have as many resources as bigger teams

Engine Development Freeze : Bad , if F1 claims to be pinnacle of motorsport , research and development shouldn't be stopped in the sport. While I am fully in favor of doing away with the technical gizmos on board ,automatic traction control and all the driver aids which have been killing talent and reducing drivers to robots. But Engine and Chassis development are heart and art of Motorsport alongwith Driving Skills,and ability of drivers to overtake.

Single Tyre supplier : if FIA wants more teams on grid ,why prevent Tyre suppliers from joining the party. Having single tyre manufacturer kills the competition and development on the tyre front ,and also this move increases the risk of repeat of USGP 2005 , now we can have scenario where the FIA approved Tyre supplier comes to venue with wrong tyres and that leaves spectators with No Show. This is more of personal vendetta against Michelin , the way I see it

Two teams engine supply restriction : reduces the option of team principal (customer) ,if a team principal want to have BMW to power his car he may have to end up with Dallara or Lola because there are already two teams on grid running on grid. Of course this will also bring in more engine suppliers like Lola, Dallara ,who specialize in manufacturing Race Engines.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 22 2006

Trivia : Renault 1-2 win
This was only the second-ever one-two finish in Renault's Formula 1 history, and the last time it happened was on 25 July 1982 at Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France – that possibly one of the greatest seasons in the sport's history( Keke Rosberg had won WDC after one race in the season , but there were no driver who had multiple wins in that season either) , The 1-2 podium finishers for the French outfit was the French Driver duo of Arnoux & Prost ( Oh yes Nico was not yet born and so was Alonso ).

Will this season go down to wire like that and will history repeat itself again ? We will know by end of the season.

Rise of Ni-Co met

Nilesh has posted Nico Rosberg has WDC written all over it, I fully agree with this assessment. The Guy is a fresh air on the grid. To outqualify your team-mate who is renowned for his qualifying abilities is a feat in its own. As much as I understand he is bit raw when it comes to understand the ways of "F1" but that is good part. I would give him this season and the next before he wins WDC.

WDC in first two season logic

My rationale, in current days with all technologies loaded on F1 car , people who make name for themselves in other series (where more driver skills are required) have that racers spirit in them , which gets muted with every passing season they hand around in F1 , JV and JPM are classic cases of 'what could have been'. Like Michael Schumacher has correctly stated , to join ranks of F1 all one needs to do is be good in Karting , which basically means having steering control and accelator controls. JPM, JV are here from CART series which has less technology onboard and more driver skills are required,but having acquired those, to come to F1 one needs to unlearn many of those. Jacques was a case who blazed the other racing series came to F1 was on heels of his team-mate who won WDC that year, rallied the team around him the next year and won the title in second season. Nico needs to take that path as well. While he must have his engineers all inspried by his raw potential, he needs to keep that tempo by aiming for podiums ,few DNFs here are there would not hurt him this season. This will keep the team in hunt and keep them motivated to get those steady set of upgrades throughout the next season which is what needed to have the title under your belt.

Where does JPM fit in ?

Juan Pablo started on right note in 2001-02 and 2003 could have been his chance of glory but thanks to spat with Ralf that made him sign with Mclaren in 2003 meant that he would have written off his 2004 chances even before the season started. What happened in 2005 is well known , while he was driving surreal race one day , next day he got tangled with backmarkers. Mystery injury didn't do good to his chances as well.Now looks like RBR F1 racing is interested in JPM . While JPM Driving Adrian Newey Designed car is a mouth watering prospect to look forward to in 2007.One big downside is Ferrari customer engines that RBR signed, this probably is their only wrong move after their Debut on the F1 grid in 2005 season. How I wish like in IT the term service level agreement SLA had some relevance in the world of F1.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sepang 06 - Fisi's lucky escape

The fact that Renault “accidentally” put double the amount of fuel in Alonso’s car for qualifying sealed Fisi victory of the Malaysian GP.

After a fantastic and classical Bahrain GP the expectations from this GP were high and had Kimi and Williams not registered DNF’s, it could have been a race to remember. Even the rain gods didn’t “bless” the organizers with their showers and the only moments the race had to offer was Taku Sans heroics.

So what can we infer from the race. The most obvious conclusion, which could prove dramatic in deciding the season is that Ferrari are clearly not on pace, and their result in Bahrain was a result of massive testing they did on that circuit. MS and Massa were not on pace with the front-runners and it must be a disappointment for the thousands of Tifosi’s. Secondly, Renault have yet again built a bullet proof car, and they are the team to beat. Alonso is in his elements and Fisi seems to be doing well than last year. Thirdly, BAR has the pace but is it enough to challenge for race wins, well, maybe on occasions when they get a daemon setup on their cars. McLaren were off pace, and JPM had a race which can be described as consistent but not spectacular, and thats not what you expect from the master of overtaking. But there’s hardly anything he can do, when the car is not up to it. Williams are the surprise package and they will be challenging the Renaults and the Mclarens for sure, that Nico guy has future WDC written all over him.

So now the circus moves to Ozzy land, and the cooler temperatures there would well put my theory to NULL. Kimi cannot afford any more DNF’s and though Klien is partly to be blamed to taking Kimi out, the line which Kimi took going into turn 4 was not the best, one can argue. So maybe there’s a lesson for Kimi.Roll on Melbourne, and heres hoping that JPM gets a better Merc engine to power his challenge.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March 16 2006

Revisiting the memories of USGP'05

Visit to "Autograph Signing session" by Kimi Raikonnen organized by his sponsors Tag Heuer was a big let down.Sponsors publicized the event as "Autograph signing session" and all the crowd got was regular monosyllable drone from the Fin and his beating the local minister in simulator race (with all organizers huddled around the simulators).

I can compare this to USGP'05 fiasco ,well at least Michelin ( though it was not their mistake) showed graciousness to refund the ticket holders . Will Tag Heuer make Kimi sit on his A$$ and give personalized autographs on his photograph and make these available to Fans !? I couldn't bear watching the scenes of howling kids carrying Mclaren diecasts with hope that, they would be able to meet their hero(!?) in person ..And then Bernie accuses Schummi as not being accessible to public ,maybe he need to have a good talk with his young pilots once.While its common in the rival series of IRL, Champcar to give chance to fans to meet the drivers,will F1 ensure that they take a lead in bringing the sport closer to common fan ?.

Kimi's Denial on Ferrari Deal

Umpteenth denial by the Finn.But like it happens in F1 ,rumors have more truth in them.
But then maybe he is true ,coz the next pic from yesterday's "ripoff session" tells that the man has already sold his soul to the devil J .

Ron's Routine

Well really tells something about Mclaren as an organization, Ron & Martin sing two different tunes.And like they did at end of 2005 pass the buck on their pilots.All the same it also tells within Mclaren there are set of people who don't want Kimi to leave the team. I am sure JPM has already found a new home for himself for the next season,Only wish and pray that he leaves the team after making the statetement thru his performance i.e Winning the WDC. Well but then the catch is Pilot is as good as the car he drives .....

Next post on what to expect at Malaysian GP...


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

March 15 2006

Monotoya Exonerated

Many thanks Mr. Whitmarsh, I only hope you remember this clarification next year , or else next thing we hear is blaming the drivers for no fault of theirs , like you and H.H Ron Dennis did endo f season 2005.When even a person not following F1 was aware, that engine reliability was one reason that costed Mclaren both WDC & WCC in 2005 season. What are they finally planning for JPM at Sepang,effectively the team has tanked two races for Monty.

Driver Loyalty
While they are not loyal to the Drivers themselves they expect the Drivers to be loyal to the team , its not one way street Mr. Dennis!!!

Who is Lewis Hamilton by the way ?

Talking of Lewis Hamilton here is a small interview of the guy on Mclaren Site interesting tidbit - His favorite Driver is Kimi and Kimi did something similar on same venue starting from 22nd place of grid to get podium finish albeit on a different step of podium and in different racing series.

Wing beneath the wings for Williamsf1

With good start at Sakhir Williams team is upping the ante. After BMW severed ties with my all time favorite team,I had been secretly wishing that 2006 should be one season which should make BMW realize their folly on blaming Williams management for the team's failure to win WCC in 6 years of their partnership

Something about new kid on the block

A lot has been talked after Sunday race about Nico Roseberg and his dream F1 debut, one old interview at grandprix.com to know more about the man.

Ferrari defending rear wing

Well when was the last time when Ferrari violated rules and FIA took action on them , not that anybody can remember , in recent past. FIA and Ferrari are just two sides of same coin , Ah well where can I put bridgestone now that two side are allocated .Anytime a Non Ferrari team comes up with some inovation F1 authorities will punish them, and same goes for biased treatment FIA has given to Michelin, and the lengths and breadth it has gone to make rules favor Bridgestone.

While the F1 circus is in KL what the heck am I doing, well more on that ...


Monday, March 13, 2006

Bahrain Leftovers

Williams camp Buoyant

Understandably Williams camp is in Buoyant mood after Bahrain, Nico & Williams bosses are even claiming if not for his incident on first corner of first lap , Nico could have been a podium contender

Nico applauded by Sir Jackie Stewart
Looks like we have one more cool headed Finn on the grid ,not all drivers have cool head to recover from one mistake they make in race ,as more experienced Massa proved it.Only question here is I saw Nico racing under German flag

Montoya explains his low key race

All the same JPM was at speed with Kimi ,in fact he has posted faster lap of the two Mclaren just before his 1st pitstop ,Kimi posted his fastest lap before his only pitstop as well!! For me its the two stop strategy that held JPM back and one stop strategy that gave Kimi chance to make it to the podium, is there any place where we can get lapwise times for all the drivers , I 'd like to plot some graphs thru the season

Why DC let Nico pass him in finishing stages

Another point which came from Alonso & Kimi's post race conference hints that while Michelin compound was superior during early part of race, Bridgestone runners did well in latter half of the race. Yes Red Bull are also michelin runners for those who care

Uncle Schummi how art thou ??

In concluding part of same conference some scribes where really hellbent to piss of Schummi.Man Don't step on toes of guy approaching midlife ,last thing I want to see is Schummi piercing eyebrow like Luizzi ,streaking his hair and entering paddock in skin tight jeans and Leather jacket ,trying to ape a teenage rebel

Few Dummy observations

a) Kimi didn't put in "fastest lap of the race" on the final lap ,as he did frequently last year,looks like "nursing the engine" concept has finally entered the finn's head

b) On same note if Barichello had lost gear mid race what was the point stressing out the engine rather than retreat and protect the engine

Renault Technical Director Applaudes Kimi

Now this is very interesting peace of news especially under light of situation that Kimi's current boss is asking him to put pen on paper with current term & conditions

Signoff on winning note

Renault's F1 Patrick Faure decided to signoff on a winning note...


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Good Opening to 2006 season

Fernando Alonso saw through resurgent Ferrari's challenge to start the 2006 campaign of his title defence in style.All in all the race was delight for racing fan who got to see lots of on track action,overtaking moves and lots of pit-stop action as well.
While Mclaren did a good job in recovering from qualifying mishap of Kimi , Rivals will be on watch for Williams duo who gave lots of smile to Sir Frank Williams

Drivers Results :
01 F. Alonso Renault 1:29:46.206 10
02 M. Schumacher Ferrari + 1.246 8
03 K. Räikkönen McLaren + 19.360 6
04 J. Button Honda + 19.992 5
05 JP. Montoya McLaren + 37.048 4
06 M. Webber Williams + 41.932 3
07 N. Rosberg Williams + 1:03.043 2
08 C. Klien Red Bull + 1:06.771 1
09 F. Massa Ferrari + 1:09.907
10 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 1:15.541
11 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1:25.997
12 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1 laps
13 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps
14 R. Schumacher Toyota + 1 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda + 1 laps
16 J. Trulli Toyota + 1 laps
17 T. Monteiro Midland F1 + 2 laps
18 T. Sato Super Aguri + 4 laps
19 Y. Ide Super Aguri + 20 laps
20 J. Villeneuve BMW + 28 laps
21 G. Fisichella Renault + 36 laps
22 C. Albers Midland F1 + 57 laps

Team Standings:
1. Renault 10
2. McLaren-Mercedes 10
3. Ferrari 8
4. Honda 5
5. Williams-Cosworth 5
7. Red Bull-Ferrari 1

Tyre War:
Michelin 26
Bridgestone 13

Renault: The 2005 champions start new season where they left in Shanghai.And ist same for their two pilots. While Alonso saw off Schumi's challenge.Fisi couldn't repeat his 2005 Season opener win. While he retired with hydraulics trouble, 36 laps to go .his outburst on botched pit-stop got good TV coverage.

Mclaren: Kimi continued where he left in 2005 in a way starting from back of grid having not posted times in qualifiers. But this proved to be a boon in disguise perfect one stop strategy saw him getting the last place on the podium and beat Montoya .Montoya who had a quiet race after starting with a bang by overtaking Button on Race start. He didn’t challenge Button when he overtook him twice during the race. While it is apparent that Both Mclarens where heavy on fuel Two pit stop strategy got Montoya out on fifth position after his final pit stop and he drove safe to bring his car home with 4 points for team rather than taking risks when Button challenged his postion twice in race. All in all Mclaren will be happy that the car is on pace with the rivals and if life they claim their engine woes have been cured ,they can look forward to good season ahead.

Ferrari: Schummi brought smiles and tears of joy back to Ferrari Garage with his second place finish.Massa and Ferrari crew didn’t do each other great favor.Nerves got better of Massa when Fernando challenged him on Turn 1 when he lost control of car and in doing so flat spotted his tyres, Ferrari pit crew who gave Schummi brilliant pitstops ,messed when Massa came in for tyre changes and result was Massa ended up lowly after he emerged from pit. From then on it was all driving thru traffic and ending up ninth shows that Ferrari had potential for double podium finish. But never the less the team has lots of positives to take from this race

Honda : While so much was said about Honda and the form they showed in Winter World championships ( Winter testing), Button was nervous on race start and gave way to JPM and Fernando make most out of that JPM move on Button, then while for sometime Rubens got better of Button , but mechanical troubles saw Rubens losing his position through out the race, while Button was left to fight with two Mclaren cars in quest for podium finish. Toyota did not do much favor to him by blocking his way out of his final pit stop which resulted in Kimi making to the final podium. Honda have to look over their shoulders especially with form of the next team discussed here

Williams: Based on form shown by teams in their winter testing , it was speculated that Renault, Honda,Mclaren and Ferrari will be fighting for the battle at top while the other question was for the Middle pack who would be leading the way.From what Bahrain showed us Williams are the team to be , Cosworth power in back of car and two good drivers fetched the team 5 valuable points from the first race. Williams has been an all time personal favorite & I have been always rooting for this team , Looks like racing fan like me has one more reason to root for this team and the reason is Rookie Nico Rosberg !!! while he has advantage of track experience of all F1 tracks on calendar with GP2 racing title under his belt , he showed nerves of steel while taking on F1 experienced drivers like Coulthard and Klien. Showing true racers attitude , he was just not content in beating DC to grab eighth place, he stretched himself further to beat Red Bull of Christian Klein to take his tally of debut points to two. I am looking forward to hear more from this bloke in time to come !!
Red Bull: for a team whose winter testing was screwed up by heating problems of Ferrari powered engines, the team had good race ,Klien drove the car well and DC who thanks to the new qualifying format got chance to fuel to brim to start his race, stayed on track for more and gained lots of places and was in position to get 7-8 place finish for Red Bull , but not for the new kid on the block and if not for the Cosworth power. I am sure Redbull bosses must be feeling same way like Peter Sauber whose Ferrari powered cars really never took off in races.
Toyota: After being first car to release their 2006 car and showing initial promise in winter test , Toyota are back where they were in latter half of 2005 season ,middle of pack, new qualifying format has done no favor to their One lap specialist pilot Trulli and end of race Ralf Schumacher and Trulli find themselves ending 14 & 16 respectively. Unless they come up with some dramatic improvements Toyota should be in middle of the pack or end of the mid pack on their current form

BMW Sauber : While old partners had lots of cheers,same was not case for BMW camp.Both Heidfield and Villeneuve drow decent race , and the car showed a lots of promise , BMW did not carry much from Bahrain apart from telemetric data and Villeneuve memory of spectacular fire to his car on track which saw him belly out on lap 29

Midland: are where they were in 2005 under Jordan banner, While Montiero continues to bring car home at lowly 17 place finish his team mate Albers returned to hut on lap 1 after having initially started race from pit lane

Torro Rosso : While both their rookies (if we consider Luizzi as rookie) ended up 11-13 position their straight line speed and that they are ahead of BMW, Toyota MF1, is surely going to have their rivals raising their voices over the detuned V10 races the team is running their cars.So We have more off track stories to chew on this one for sure

Super Aguri : They came they saw , they ended up as mobile Chicanes, Best part was Taku-San bringing the car home without hurting himself or anyother car on the track . Partner Ide saw his F1 debut eventful ,first a drive through penalty thanks to goof up of his mechanics.Next in line was he lost his radio contacts and accidentally came for refuel when it was call for Taku-San. And then when we saw his car getting stalled and end of race, we see him gain on track to ‘gain’ valuable track experience!? What does Bernie and his cronies Charlie and others have to say about this , These guys are potential hazard on track to themselves and other cars. Comedy was not yet over when after initial gaffe , Taku pitted again the fuel rig proved faulty , meaning Aguri had to go begging for one in the pitlane to get their driver some fuel. If they are not ready FIA could have held them off for another year , just because the Japs are distressed not to see Taku-San on grid ,is not reason to hurry this hotchpotch on grid.

Overall good start to season and watch out for Williams team and their brilliant rookie .

Next week Circus comes to Kuala Lumpur and I will be having my second trackside F1 race experience


Saturday, March 11, 2006

March 11 2006 - Qualifying as it happened

01. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m31.431s
02. MASSA Ferrari 1m31.478s
03. BUTTON Honda 1m31.549s
04. ALONSO Renault 1m31.702s
05. MONTOYA McLaren 1m32.164s
06. BARRICHELLO Honda 1m32.579s
07. WEBBER Williams 1m33.006s
08. KLIEN Red Bull 1m33.112s
09. FISICHELLA Renault 1m33.496s
10. HEIDFELD BMW 1m33.926s

11. VILLENEUVE BMW 1m32.456s
12. ROSBERG Williams 1m32.620s
13. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m32.850s
14. TRULLI Toyota 1m33.066s
15. LIUZZI Toro Rosso 1m33.416s
16. SPEED Toro Rosso 1m34.606s
17. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m34.702s

18. ALBERS MF1 1m35.724s
19. MONTEIRO MF1 1m35.900s
20. SATO Super Aguri 1m37.411s
21. IDE Super Aguri 1m40.270s
22. RAIKKONEN McLaren no time

Ferrari's make it to front row at Bahrain race tomorrow in doing So Schummi equals late Ayrton Senna's record of 65 pole position.

Session started dramatically with Kimi Losing the rear wing (so much to piss of the sponsors Mr.Dennis) and thus not posting any time and starting at end of field, he must be experienced in seeing end of grid now.

Teams were confused in first session as everyone was waiting for other cars to sweep the circuit for them thus causing pandemonium and huge traffic in pit lane with 4 minutes remaining
Montoya put a stunning lap in first split and held P1 till Alonso displaced him to P2.

Well I am so very angry with Star Sports last 10 minutes for qualifiers remaining they switch to English Premier league Soccer telecast leaving minority motorsport fans in limbo :-(

ITV telecasts deferred live by one hour :-(

I am off for dinner ..hope we have a good race tomorrow.



Friday, March 10, 2006

March 11 2006..

Bahrain GP friday practice and Mclaren team already has a situation Kimi had electrical problems which left him stranded on circuit in free practice,while JPM has raised concern that his car is running 7 kmph slower than Kimi's car, whoa things don't look brighter here.
As we write this Macca is not providing different engine to JPM, not a good news for the fiery Colombian. This is sad ,theoratically if he drives with this engine in Bahrain and carries this one to Malaysia ( With weather and all ) effectively his two races are tanked ..Thank you Mr. Dennis and Mr. Haug <<>>

While most of the teams had concerns about Torro roso running detuned V10 cars, their timings in free practice is better than some of the cars in mid-field,I am sure FIA has a situation here. Will we have similar situation where Honda was docked by FIA in 2005 ?? another thing is how soon can STR come up with V8 engine , given that their supplier is Cosworth , does cosworth has capacity to produce V8 engine on such short notice , already they are supplying WilliamsF1 team. lets see how this one build up....

Rest is as expected, third drivers shouting on top of lungs Ant Davidson and Alex Wurz topping the charts . point to be noted in all racing drivers Schummi has topped the free practice,will Bahrain training help Ferrari to start season on a bang we will know by end of the weekend

Champions Renault preferred to have quiet friday , both their drivers just ran 6-7 setup laps ,thats it

Small note Doornbos fined for speeding in pitlane ,well this guy is not new to racing ,has one F1 season behind him ...how can he do a rookie mistake , I am sure his country man Christien Albers will have some choicy things to say on this .

I am off for now lets wait for the qualifiers and what they unfold



March 10 2006..

2006 season starts - Drivers get your engines started well another 2 days and lights will turn green and another F1 season will commence. Will try to be regular in posting the details of races and F1 happenings between races ( there is more happening between races in F1 world anyways )..So keep watching this space.