F1 Fanatic round-up: 25/3/2010

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I’ll be in bed early tonight to get up to watch the Australian Grand Prix practice. Don’t forget to join us on the live blogs tomorrow!

Here’s today’s round-up:


Lewis Hamilton puts ‘lie-gate’ behind him as he and Jenson Button gel (The Guardian)

Lewis Hamilton on last year’s Australian Grand Prix controversy: “I’ve always had great experiences here and so I don’t look at last year’s experience as a bad one. I look at it as a stepping stone in my life, something I learned a whole lot from.”

They’re off! Race for change becomes a sprint (The Times)

F1 is in a constant state of flux – but so are many other sports. Is this a strength or a weakness?

Sauber introduces its own duct system (Autosport)

“Sauber has not yet decided whether the system will be raced in the Australian Grand Prix, but it wants to give the ducts a proper test in practice to see how effective they are.”

Comment of the day

Chris Yu Rhee wants to know more about the Korean Grand Prix later this year. Do we have any readers over there who can help?

Does anyone have any info on this race in English? I live in Korea, understand and speak Korean pretty well, but have yet to see anything in English anywhere. Do they think that only the average Korean, who earns less than $20,000 a year, is going to plunk down close to a month?s salary to go to the whole weekend?

We?re going down to the site sometime in the next month, so I?ll post pics, etc., but I?m not encouraged by what I?ve seen so far. I?d love to hear from someone who?s had success even buying tickets..

Here’s our earlier coverage on the race:

Happy birthday!

It’s Marc’s birthday today so happy birthday to him.

On this day in F1

BBC F1 pundit Martin Brundle started his first F1 race on this day in 1984. He qualified 18th in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Jacarepagua.

He got his Tyrrell up to sixth place – the last of the points-paying positions in those days – when Patrick Tambay’s Renault ran out of fuel, promoting Brundle to fifth.

However he was stripped of that result and all the other points he scored when Tyrrell were disqualified from the championship for allegedly running with illegal ballast in their tanks.

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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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  • 50 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 25/3/2010”

    1. You just missed this…
      Sauber introduces its own duct system http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/82346

      1. The channel opening was above the sidepod, but surely the driver isn’t speeding along with his left arm hanging out the side of the cockpit to block the opening when it isn’t needed!

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          25th March 2010, 7:38

          Most likely they just use their elbow – it looks like the channel the air follows goes into the vent and then cuts across the back of the cockpit. Kobayashi and de la Rosa would then bend their arms back to block it off. I imagine the sharp, sudden changes in direction would slow the air down, though.

          Clever of Sauber to avoid going through the survival cell, avoiding the need t re-homologate.

          1. Interesting take on the F-duct, i am curious to see how much time it will take for them to get it working.

            1. Prisoner Monkeys
              25th March 2010, 10:55

              About as long as it takes for Kobayashi and de la Rosa to move their arms. The brilliance of the device is that it is so simple.

            2. Prisoner Monkeys.
              True it is simple theory but that doesnt mean it is easy to get it working well. There is no evidence that saubers is an active device, Mclaren tested 3 different intakes and tested results with intricate pitot static devices. Have sauber got the right intake design, enough air at the correct speed? on the correct element?

              I think this will be more of a test with it for them. If they do race with it I dont think it will be optimal. Still well done for the speed of development sauber!

          2. ScrabsF1 thinks the duct is not operated by the driver at all, the flow to the wing stalling more or less by itself at slower speeds, or having a little bit different function.

    2. Wasn’t the 1984 Brazillian Grand Prix also Ayrton Senna’s first F1 race? He retired on the 8th lap with a Turbo fault I think.

    3. Regarding Brundle. I suspect the ballast wouldn’t give a huge advantage,
      so you have to fell sorry for him.

      Sauber’s device affects the main section of the wing, unlike Mclaren’s which only affects the upper profile, Can anyone suggest whether this will cause the Sauber’s Version to be more effective at reducing drag?

      1. The ballast in the tanks meant that their car could be lighter than the minimum weight. That’s plain and simple cheating.

      2. At the time Tyrrell’s punishment for the illegal ballasting was widely regarded as a political move. The governing body wanted to make turbo engines mandatory but required 100% agreement among all the teams. The only team who objected was Tyrrell – once they were thrown out of the ’84 championship the turbo rules could be pushed through without opposition. Whether the penalty was appropriate is an open question; certainly since then, other technical infringements of similar severity haven’t been punished as harshly.

      3. Mike, if you read Scarbs article, he seems to think that the isn’t anyway for the F-Duct (I hate that that became its final name, it only an f duct on the mclaren) to be switched on and off by the driver.

        Therefore the device isn’t going to be used to stall the wing, but add windspeed an mass through the blown section of the rear wing. Simply speaking it reduce overall drag on the rear wing, an allowing the rear wing to be run at a steeper angle for more downforce at less cost.

        Massivley impressive by Sauber, you can’t be sure how long they’ve been developing this but I wasn’t expecting new systems till at least China.

    4. michael-in-beijing
      25th March 2010, 8:29

      An elevated commuter train line connected with metro system in Shanghai is due to open shortly before the Chinese Grand Prix.

    5. Can anyone explain how these ducks work in layman terms I still don’t fully understand how it works thanks.

      1. Under cornering conditions, it is advantageous to have the rear-wing producing as much downforce as possible, but on a straight, the downforce takes the form of drag, which slows the cars down. In an ideal world teams would be able to move the wing to alter downforce levels, but as this is outlawed, they have the duct, which can be activated to channel air through a hole in the wing. This injection of air breaks up airflow under the wing, causing it to “stall” and thus reducing drag, giving drivers an extra 5/6kmph.

    6. Typical British media – all they bang on about is lie-gate. So negative towards Lewis Hamilton, while making excuses for Jenson Button. Same old, same old.

      1. I think that’s unfair. I’ve hardly read anything about Lie-gate since Malaysia last year and of course it’s going to come up now they’re back in Australia. It’s not as if they ignored Alonso’s Singapore scandal, is it?

        We all know you’re a big fan of Hamilton and that’s fine. But it’s unreasonable to take umbrage whenever someone mentions something negative about him.

        As for Button, there were plenty of articles in the newspapers last year criticising him when he stopped winning in the second half of the season. I remember a particular article in The Times that was really quite unfair. I don’t think that’s the way it should be but to suggest Hamilton gets all the flak while Button is heaped with praise is just plain wrong. Particularly if your definition of ‘British media’ includes this website.

      2. Given that Hamilton got off essentially scot-free for his actions in Australia last year, I think getting the occasional negative comment in the media is par for the course.

        1. Losing a podium finish is scot free?

      3. I agree that there seems to be an odd appreciation for Button in England while at the same time is does appear that the Brits are just waiting for Hamilton to fail. I find this very obvious. Maybe its a race thing, maybe its just his clean cut slick look or maybe it was his dad as his manager that has made him less likeable… glad that part is over.
        Button seems to be this innocent shining diamond in the media, but he is perhaps one of the luckiest champions of all-time. Its pretty annoying really. This year will show his true abilities, which are outside the top 5 drivers in the field easily.
        I hope that attitude changes regarding Hamilton as he is a top 3 driver in Formula 1 and very good for the sport. He’s England’s best driver by far. Perhaps he gives off the “Schumi air” that people root against him because they know he’s the man.

        1. For me, I’m not particularly a fan of either Button or Hamilton. Hamilton because he’s a McLaren driver (booooo, hiss), but also because he’s quite controversial in his way; his role in the 2007 meltdown at McLaren, getting a slap on the wrist for Liegate, various “on-the-edge” driving manouevres that have gone unpunished. Button I never warmed to after his lacklustre season for Benetton in 2001, where he seemed more interested in swanning around on his yacht than working for the team.

          Button has been in F1 for a long time, but he has only just become anything more than a midfield driver, which means that his “media honeymoon” is still going strong. Hamilton had the same golden ticket to universal appreciation in the media back in 2007. Eventually it wore off, and it will for Button too.

        2. I agree that there seems to be an odd appreciation for Button in England while at the same time is does appear that the Brits are just waiting for Hamilton to fail

          I don’t think that’s true at all. They both get glowing and critical press from time to time, neither more so than the other.

    7. Hi everyone, here’s a clip of David Coulthard and RED Bull in action in Belfast last Saturday – just to get you in the mood for this weekend!


      (Sorry Keith for the flagrant misuse of this post!)
      (But its a great video all the same!!)

      1. Great Video, was you who filmed it, if so what a great spot!

        1. Thanks a million – yup, that was me filming, I actually could have leaned out and touched the car! Imagine being that close at a Grand Prix…

      2. Sorry to nitpick but towards the end of the video the caption was “Listen to that V10”.

        I wish it was a V10.

        1. Thats definitely a V10. You can tell from the sound.

          1. I thought it was a V10 engine sound as well, but someone also posted on the youtube comments that it was a V8. I’m totally confused now, and am doubting myself!

            1. Could have been a V10, they certainly wouldn’t want to make fools of themselves and blow up a V8 Renault at an event day!

      3. Nice video. Does anyone know why the car had the number 32 on it?

        1. Could be to do with 3rd driver car numbers, the actual racers get numbers 1 to 25, and then the 3rd/test drivers get registered on the entry list as #26 and onwards, I think, but when the 3rd driver is forced into participating in races, that driver will take the number of the driver he is replacing think Fisi for Ferrari at Monza, he raced as #3.

          I could be wrong, however.

      4. wow that looked pretty cool!

    8. Guilherme Teixera
      25th March 2010, 10:36

      Hey Keith, I added my birthday to the comments on that “F1 news on your birthday” topic yesterday… it is today by the way =P

      1. Happy birthday! And happy birthday, Marc!

    9. I’m sure Chris knows better than me, but I thought South Korea was quite a wealthy country. I’d have thought if there was any Asian country (other than Japan) where people would be able to afford F1 ticket’s, it would be South Korea.

    10. The stewards for Melbourne will be joined by Tom Kristensen. He did not do a lot in F1, but his record in endurance racing is something different altogether.

    11. Apparently McLaren have double wing mirrors now… very strange:

      1. maybe they think it would be good if the drivers had better view, therefore added extra mirrors ;-)

        Or they will be testing, which version works better on the car?

        1. Methinks one gives a nice aero-device which is useless as a mirror and the other gives a mirror which is useless as an aero-device…. :-P

      2. Is for when they are being lapped and the blue flags have been banned.

      3. and do mclaren have a new thinner nose?
        the one in bahrain looked alot wider than this one…

    12. Amazing interview with Alonso on Autosport.com

      I really agree 100% with this. Well maybe that’s why I think it;s such a great interview, but also because he really takes the effort to explain his stance rather than just blurt stuff out.

      Especially his points on the whining about overtaking are exactly what i always have been saying too. That you cannot expect much overtakling if the cars start in order of which is fastest. Especially now they qualify on the same fuel level.

      Also that this difficulty of overtaking has existed for 15 years and we still see great races and great seasons. Even though every year people complain that there isn’t enough overtaking.

      he even goes so far to say that if people don’t understand the attraction of F1 then maybe they are watching the wrong sport …

      1. Let’s force all journalists that hate F1 to stop writing about it. They can look every day at ESPN to retro F1 races.

      2. The Nude Wizard
        25th March 2010, 17:02

        Yeah I just finished reading it myself and was looking to post here it here but i was foiled! ;), I also completely agree.

    13. Agree! Alonso for quote of the day no question!!!

      “This is about the knowledge, about how precise everything – drivers, engineering, everything – if people want extra show, maybe they need to reconsider if they want to watch Formula 1?”

    14. The only problem with that quote is that he doesn’t say what may happen if millions of fans decide to reconsider watching Formula 1.

      Interestingly the teams and Charlie Whiting have been working on ideas to improve the ‘show’, because, let’s face it, they know that they’ve screwed up yet again.

      Charlie suggests the use of only the super-soft and hard tyres at every race. There is also a suggestion of rev-limiting to 17,000 rpm and then a set amount of time to use revs to 18,000rpm during the race.

      McLaren have also suggested the use of success ballast during qualifying.

      1. Like he says, the same situation has been going on for the last 15 years. Why would they all of a sudden leave now?

        They should stop messing with the format. If anything is going to tick people off then it’s the circus they are trying to turn F1 into to make it more “fun”.

        Last year people were complaining that the season was over after the first race too. Fans were threatening to stop watching if the double diffusers weren’t banned so that their favorite team could win.

        Like Prisoner Monkeys said, F1 fans seem to need to complain all the time.

    15. Wow, Sauber are not slow with their version of the snorkel duct as copied from McLaren…

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