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  F1 2011
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    PostPosted: 25 Mar 2011, 14:12 
Darkling
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Well, I got in from work around midnight last night, quick bath then settled in for practice 1 of the new F1 season, had a 2 & 1/2 hour nap then watched practice 2 before heading to bed for 5 hours...and it was so worth it.

Great to see how the new Pirelli tyres wear fairly quickly which'll mean plenty pit stops and mixing it up on track. The new moveable rear wings seem to be doing the business too.

Sad to see Force India seem to have slipped backwards having done so well in moving up the field last season. Also felt sorry for Karun Chandhok who stacked it 3 corners in on his first lap for Team Lotus (though he'd not actually driven the car til then so driver error is somewhat understandable if he hit the wrong button on the steering wheel). Hispania look even less prepared than they were last season and I'll be surprised if they make it to the last race in Brazil.

McLaren seem to have worked out the bugs in the car that made them seriously off the pace in winter testing and Mercedes definitely will be tussling for podiums this season too, though Ferrari and Red Bull seem to have started where they left off.

Was impressed with Kobayashi in the Sauber, they seem to have come on leaps and bounds since last season, and his rookie team mate Sergio Perez also looks like one to watch.

Also, the most important bit of the season...what has Vettel named his car! After 2008's Julie, 2009's Kate and then Kate's Dirty Little Sister (having wrecked his first chassis of the season) and 2010's two chassis Luscious Liz and Randy Mandy, 2011 sees him calling the car Kinky Kylie! Whether she stays with him or is just for Australia remains to be seen but at least he adds a bit of fun to the proceedings.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 25 Mar 2011, 17:44 
Darkling
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I suspect it is going to be another season of arguments over the technical legalities of cars, with McLaren making such dramatic improvements I suspect the finger will be pointed at them first.

It is looking like it'll be the usual suspects again, with perhaps Mercedes added to the mix. I had hoped for more from Williams and perhaps Renault.

Further down Perez does look impressive from the times and I would like to see Kobayashi in a more competitive car as he's proved before he challenges the accepted order.

Would have liked to see more improvement from the new teams, especially as Ecclestone would prefer there to only be 10 teams. Personally I'd like to see it back to 26 cars.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 25 Mar 2011, 22:12 
Darkling
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I agree on Williams and expecting more from them, after all they had been continuing in the KERS development across last season when it was banned with a view to it coming back again and should have a light and nimble package there. I wonder if letting go of The Hulk will prove an error of judgement on their part.

As for Renault, I think the loss of Kubica accounts for a lot of their slack pace as Petrov has never really impressed me and Heidfeld may take part of the weekend to get up to speed...and he's also never been that good with the quali format they have these days though can be handy and impressive on race day.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 26 Mar 2011, 05:22 
Darkling
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I hope the brum brums goes fastest x


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 26 Mar 2011, 13:59 
Darkling
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So Petrov decided to prove me wrong and, though he was held up by the snails on the track...sorry, I mean Hispania's (who didn't make the 107% cut and thankfully for the other drivers won't be in the race tomorrow), Heidfeld still didn't cut it when it came to quali.

Was so gutted for Sutil who could've been in Q3 had it not have been for the pesky moveable rear wing catching him out. Now it's all down to who gets the best out of the tyres and makes the most of the pit stops (as well as who doesn't get caught out in turn 3 at the start...and someone always does)

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 05:55 
Darkling
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Wasn't it Sutil's fault for deploying the wing at the wrong time?


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 12:54 
Darkling
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Not necessarely. If you look at other cars, they were doing the same thing, he was more likely just caught out by the extra drag on top of the speed he was doing. It's just something to learn from. I think anyone could've done it (except maybe the Hispania's who have no speed at all)

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 15:28 
Darkling
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True, but ultimately it takes the driver to turn it on. So whilst it might have been unlucky that he was the only one caught out, it was ultimate his own action that triggered it.

Still Vettel had a great race


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 23:29 
Darkling
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You and your Vettel-ness ;) :P

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 28 Mar 2011, 16:40 
Darkling
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I guess watching it live (early morning) wasn't the best idea. Within moments of the start it seemed the outcome of the race was certain. And then to hear Brundle explaining what could be used and when had this relatively casual fan thinking WTF?

With competitive overtaking somewhat lacking I found myself at one point noting the number of retirements. Alas that promptly dried up to, so no chance of points for the minnows.

Shame for the Sauber team, especially Perez after a flawless debut. Though even that suggested the hype about unpredictable tyre wear was just that - hype.

I'll give it a few more races but if Vettel does prove dominant (with team orders back) then I may finally quit following the sport.

Also if anyone missed them, there were a couple of documentaries on BBC4 - A 60th Anniversary Challenge and 'The Killing Years'. Both available on iPlayer. I've not watched them yet so can't advise as to whether they are any good.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 28 Mar 2011, 22:31 
Darkling
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You've been saying for years you'll quit. I'll believe it when I see it. I imagine it is going to be a procession this year, but at the moment watching Vettel establish himself as a true great is enough reason to maintain an interest.

Tyre wear shouldn't be unpredictable. It's one thing to change elements of the rules to encourage strategy, but to introduce any element of lottery devalued the sport. The KERS/DRS initiatives seem similar ill-tested. However with the return of Turbo engines and Wing-car technology there are longer term solutions that may yet see a resurgence in overtaking.


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 29 Mar 2011, 11:28 
Darkling
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Isn't it time Massa calls it quits? He has never been the same since the accident and it's sad to see him reduced to Alonso's foil.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 29 Mar 2011, 17:44 
Darkling
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I'd like to see him at another team tbh. You can't tell whether he really is a lesser driver since the accident or simply playing a distant second to Alonso.


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 29 Mar 2011, 18:20 
Darkling
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I missed the fecking race coz I forgot to record it! Stupid.
Oh well...I wanna get back into it after playing the game on PS3...got me interested.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____
Liverpool, December 2003;
Paris, August 2004;
Manchester, December 2004;
Manchester, February 2006;
Liverpool, July 2006;
Leamington Spa, June 2011;
Liverpool, November 2011....
Manchester, November 2017!


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 10:43 
Darkling
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spooner_22 wrote:
I missed the fecking race coz I forgot to record it! Stupid.
Oh well...I wanna get back into it after playing the game on PS3...got me interested.


BBC iPlayer.....just watch it on there

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 11:02 
Darkling
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cometcycle wrote:
Isn't it time Massa calls it quits? He has never been the same since the accident and it's sad to see him reduced to Alonso's foil.


I agree with Switchy that he just needs a new team.

If Perez continues to impress then you may even see a mid-season switch of the two drivers (with some much needed financial renumiration to Sauber on top) but, if not mid-season, I can see the two swapping places at the end of the season. A spell of time back with old friend and boss Peter Sauber as well as the opportunity to be team leader may be just what Massa needs to rediscover his old form.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 17:26 
Darkling
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That's not a bad call at all. Although I think we could yet be jumping the gun on Perez. There's been a fair few drivers who had started red hot and then faded. I hope it's not the case, it's just too early to tell.

In terms of mid-season switches I genuinely wonder if Schumacher is going to last the season. We were told once again the winter that he would be back and winning races this year, but the Mercedes doesn't look especially improved and he's still being out performed by his team-mate. Take away the 4006 world championships and isn't effectively just an old driver that no longer cuts it?

Webber to a lesser degree is starting to look like his chance has passed.


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 30 Mar 2011, 21:33 
Darkling
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CodaQueen wrote:
spooner_22 wrote:
I missed the fecking race coz I forgot to record it! Stupid.
Oh well...I wanna get back into it after playing the game on PS3...got me interested.


BBC iPlayer.....just watch it on there

Well I know the result so I probably won't bother now

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ____
Liverpool, December 2003;
Paris, August 2004;
Manchester, December 2004;
Manchester, February 2006;
Liverpool, July 2006;
Leamington Spa, June 2011;
Liverpool, November 2011....
Manchester, November 2017!


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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 31 Mar 2011, 11:49 
Darkling
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Switch625 wrote:
That's not a bad call at all. Although I think we could yet be jumping the gun on Perez. There's been a fair few drivers who had started red hot and then faded. I hope it's not the case, it's just too early to tell.

In terms of mid-season switches I genuinely wonder if Schumacher is going to last the season. We were told once again the winter that he would be back and winning races this year, but the Mercedes doesn't look especially improved and he's still being out performed by his team-mate. Take away the 4006 world championships and isn't effectively just an old driver that no longer cuts it?

Webber to a lesser degree is starting to look like his chance has passed.


Maybe you are right about Massa and I agree about Webber too. I think the official return of team orders will favour Vettel to the point that Webber tries too hard to prove his worth. Another driver needing a team change?

Unrelated, I've now watched one of the BBC documentaries I mentioned - GP - The Killing Years http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00z8v18/Grand_Prix_The_Killer_Years/
It shows the relaxed attitude about the sport through the 60's & early 70's combined with a staggering waste of life.
I know Jackie Stewart was a driving force (excuse the pun) behind safety improvements but I have even more respect for him having seen the attitudes he was up against.

The footage of David Purley trying to save Roger Williamson at the 1973 Dutch GP is heartbreaking.

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  Re: F1 2011
    PostPosted: 31 Mar 2011, 14:31 
Darkling
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Switch625 wrote:
That's not a bad call at all. Although I think we could yet be jumping the gun on Perez. There's been a fair few drivers who had started red hot and then faded. I hope it's not the case, it's just too early to tell.

In terms of mid-season switches I genuinely wonder if Schumacher is going to last the season. We were told once again the winter that he would be back and winning races this year, but the Mercedes doesn't look especially improved and he's still being out performed by his team-mate. Take away the 4006 world championships and isn't effectively just an old driver that no longer cuts it?

Webber to a lesser degree is starting to look like his chance has passed.


Perez also was surprisingly strong time wise and more than a match for Kobayashi in winter testing too. Plus he's also come through the Ferrari driving academy so they wouldn't have wanted him in F1 unless they thought he had the potential to join the main team sooner rather than later. Don't forget Alonso was put in Minardi for his first season by manager Flavio Briatori as he felt he was ready and he wanted him to get experience of the circuits and driving in F1 generally before moving him to Renault the following season. It was never a case of IF Alonso would move to Benetton after Minardi but more WHEN he'd move. If Massa continues to only get megre points or doesn't effectively back up Alonso then a mid-season swap isn't out of the question but I'd be shocked if his contract to drive with Ferrari next season isn't just paid off.

The Mercedes looked good in winter testing and in the practice sessions in Australia. I'm not overly convinced that Schumi has gotten the hang of the qualifying format tbh and it's an area he still needs to work on however Australia saw both cars retire due to incidents outside of their control so I'll give it another few races to judge them as we never got to see what they really could achieve over race distance.

As for Webber, last season was his best shot for the title and he couldn't achieve it. His moment has passed. Not just through team orders but also through the supreme confidence Vettel now has. Like Barrichello & Button a couple of seasons back when, for either one of them, it was bound to be their only chance of ever being World Champions, it was the same as Webber last year. All three of them are good, solid drivers but ones that I would never have tipped for WC unless in exceptional circumstances as I never felt any of them were really WC material.

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