F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/2/2010

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The third F1 test of 2010 wraps up at Jerez today. Here’s the Saturday round-up:


Jenson Button Q&A (Autosport)

“I think the Ferrari is a very strong car. If you look at their runs today, they’re very consistent. I think they have better consistency than anyone at the moment. It’s always interesting to observe what they’re up to. I think our pace is good, but there are still areas we need to work on for me to be happy with the car.”

Comment of the day

Will having two drivers with distinctly different driving styles help or hinder McLaren? Here’s Tim’s take:

The car is generally developed to suit the driving style, not the other way round. If both drivers have similar driving styles and struggle to overcome the same problem with the car, then the team only has one set of problems to solve. If the drivers have very different styles, one may struggle with one set of problems with the car and the other may struggle with a different problems. Then the team has two sets of problems to deal with, and it effectively has to develop the car in two different directions at the same time to suit each driver. This means either twice as much work for the team(or only making half as much progress for each driver) or focusing all the team?s effort on one driver only.

In 2006 McLaren had Raikkonen and Montoya, who wanted very different things from their cars, and the results were not good. Similar driving styles helps to provide consistency of feedback and helps the team focus.

Happy birthday!

Birthday wishes to MondoL!

On this day in F1

Roger Penske turns 73 today. Though better known for his Indy Car outfit Penske entered an F1 team from 1974 to 1977. They won a single race, courtesy of John Watson at Austria in 1976, one year after his predecessor at the team Mark Donohue had been killed at the circuit.

Penske himself raced in F1 in the United States Grands Prix of 1961 and 1962.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 25 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/2/2010”

    1. I seem to remember an interview with Bob Bell and Pat Symonds in which they clearly stated that an F1 car could never be designed to specifically suit a particular drivers driving style. They could only build the car and then each driver would use the normal setup parameters to make the car work for him. Clearly Alonso’s world championship winning Renault’s were like chalk and cheese in the handling department.

      1. Your point makes sense. But then again in the course of development, they might introduce a new steering element or suspension geometry, that induces understeer, which of course might be favorable to a particular drivers style.

        1. You would always try to get the car to handle as neutrally as possible, just for the sake of the tyres. This is why we now have narrower front tyres, because the balance was too far forward last season. Drivers, generally speaking, have to adapt themselves to the car, rather than the other way around. Designers often have the car finished long before they get their drivers sorted!

      2. hey guys , if u have a live cover please give link…

    2. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello have very different driving styles and they didn’t do too badly, 6 consecutive constructors championships.

      Fernando Alonso has a markedly different style to other drivers, hasn’t caused his teams too much bother.

      Hakkinen and Coulthard weren’t very similar, they did ok.

      I think Bertie is more on the money in that exchange. I was under the impression that having drivers of differing styles was preferable. It may lead to more problems being defined but I thought that was a good thing as teams generally want to solve problems with the car and it may also lead to more solutions. There are lots of permutations besides the ones Tim mentions but more significant than style is experience.

      There are lots of accounts throughout F1 history of drivers adjusting their driving style to suit the idiosyncrasies of particular cars.

    3. Terry Fabulous
      20th February 2010, 4:01

      That was an excellent comment by Tim.

      And great to hear the news about ‘The Penske File’

    4. Not sure if anybody noticed but renault just made a pretty neat official community site. Actually looks like something that will be worth checking out with blogs and all that fancy stuff. check it out:


      1. cool site, thanks for the link

    5. I agree to an extent with Tim’s take.
      However whilst that is true, if the team are suffering a fundamental problem with the car when used with one driving style. They will still be able to score points with the other driver as the problem wouldn’t necessarily affect them.

      1. Perhaps, but then the team faces a difficult choice – keep developing the car around the successful driver, put their efforts into remedial work to get the other driver up to speed or split their efforts and not make as much progress on either front.

        BMW went for the middle option in 2008 and focused on getting Heidfeld up to speed at the expense of Kubica’s championship chances.

        The Schumacher-era Benettons were very much developed around the German, however, who has a very particular driving style. His team mates often struggled with the car which only resulted in the team putting more and more of their resources behind Schumacher – a vicious cycle.

        After Schumacher left, his replacements (Gerhard Berger and Jean Alesi) found the B195 practically undriveable – the perils of putting too many eggs in one basket.

    6. Dont know if anyones seem autosport this morning, but USF1 has gone on record with the New York Times. They are in talks with the FIA to sit out the season until the Spanish GP.

      I am not sure how I feel about it really. Part of me thinks Stefan should just be given the nod. I really want to see USf1 on the grid but its very unfair when a team has been as proactive as SGP but USF1 are allowed to be exempt from the rules because the FIA want a US presence in the sport.

    7. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81386

      OK, it’s 10 days old now and is about Indy Cars rather than F1, but I completely missed this story when it came out and I assume some other people did too. This has to be the craziest looking car I’ve ever seen!

      Well I suppose Indy Cars are really struggling against NASCAR at the moment, and desperate times call for desperate measures…

      1. yeah personally I think it goes way too far.

        This idea they have that fans want to see some of the engine exposed??? I am yet to find anyone who thinks this is a nice idea!

        I think the only way to get indy to take off is to make a real world series, get a load of races in europe and the east. The problem is it would take time and money to build the following. Time I fear they dont have.

        1. “This idea they have that fans want to see some of the engine exposed???”

          It worked great in the sixties and seventies!

          Many of us F1 nuts simply drool at the idea of a bit of exposed ‘Cossie’.

          1. hmmm I am not to sure about it all

            everything seems to be “out there” for the sake or being ‘out there’

            I would just say copy champcar. oh I miss champcar *weeps*

      2. I don’t know anyone who has said “what I really want to see if a bunch of Batmobiles racing on ovals!”

      3. I saw this last week and though, what the hell, I thought it was a wind up!

      4. Na na na na na na na na, Indycar? Thing looks like the Batmobile.

        1. I think it’s called “progress” or something.

          Maybe we’re all just too ‘trad’ in what we believe to be is the ideal look for an open wheeler? If it turns out to be as quick as an F1 car with less than half the power, then F1 is going to need to take a serious look at its future regulations.

    8. What’s with the USF1 coverage over at pitpass? Those guys have had a negative slant since the team was announce. With the team in real trouble most reasonable sites appear concerned and dissappointed or empathetic.

    9. Flavio Briatire, Renault’s previous flamboyant team principle has resigned as Queens Park Rangers chairman.

      1. Where’s he off to next I wonder?

          1. FB: “You eez crash da little beets of da car youa have and a claim on da insurance. Simples!

    10. I’m getting more and more impressed with Jenson and I wish him well this season…

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