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Archive for March, 2010

Formula One is alive and well

March 28th, 2010 2 comments

The reports of Formula One’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

I said after the Bahrain Grand Prix that judging the entire Formula One season after one race was premature and the thrilling Australian Grand Prix just proves that Formula One is far from dull.

The race was filled with action throughout and one could argue that it was the new rules that added to the excitement. Without having to stop for fuel, drivers had to decide whether to come into the pits for fresh tyres and risk losing places or stay out on worn tyres and hope to maintain their position.

An early gamble on switching to slicks and a smooth driving style meant that Jenson Button only had to stop once and was able to dominate the race from an early stage.

Further back in the field there was all kinds of action. Lewis Hamilton drove spectacularly well and if it wasn’t for a questionable decision to stop for fresh tyres and Mark Webber running into the back of him on lap 56 there would almost certainly have been two McLaren drivers on the podium.

Schumacher had another disappointing race spending most of it fighting with the Toro Rosso of Alguersuari. At one point he was even passed by the newcomer Lotus and Virgin cars.

Lewis’s charging drive also provided a classic bit of Brundle commentary:

It was an invitation to pass and Hamilton RSVP’d immediately.

Kubica’s second place finish is encouraging for both Renault and the talented Pole and Felipe Massa’s refusal to yield to his team mate shows that after only two races there is no number one driver at Ferrari.

The Australian Grand Prix proves that Formula One is still as exciting as ever, perhaps even more so. Let’s hope the excitement continues in Kuala Lumpur next week.

2010 Australian Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 4 1:33:36.531 25
2 Robert Kubica Renault 9 +00:12.034 18
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 5 +00:14.488 15
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 3 +00:16.304 12
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 6 +00:16.683 10
6 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 11 +00:29.989 8
7 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 13 +00:59.847 6
8 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 8 +01:00.536 4
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2 +01:07.319 2
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 7 +01:09.391 1
11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17 +01:11.301 0
12 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Cosworth 14 +01:14.084 0
13 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 19 lapped 0
14 Karun Chandhok Hispania-Cosworth 24 lapped 0
15 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 21 retired, 41 laps 0
16 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 22 retired, 26 laps 0
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1 retired, 25 laps 0
18 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 10 retired, 9 laps 0
19 Vitaly Petrov Renault 18 retired, 9 laps 0
20 Bruno Senna Hispania-Cosworth 23 retired, 4 laps 0
21 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 crash, 1 laps 0
22 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 15 crash, 1 laps 0
23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Cosworth 16 crash, 1 laps 0
24 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 20 retired, 0 laps 0

Image: Renault F1

Categories: 2010 Season Tags: ,

Bernie talks sense

March 17th, 2010 No comments

So what to make of the Bahrain Grand Prix?

If you believe some of the press, at least in the UK, the race was one long procession, only mildly more interesting than watching paint dry.

I agree it wasn’t the most exciting of races but I don’t think it was that bad. There was some overtaking although admittedly a few of those passes were like taking candy from a baby when Vettel’s engine broke a spark plug.

Perhaps it was because expectations had been pumped up so high: four world champions, three new teams, the second coming of Michael Schumacher.

I think we need to give it a couple of races before passing too much judgment. Bahrain was the first race under the new refueling ban and the teams were obviously being careful with tyres and fuel. I think a lot of the drivers were holding something back and not pushing as much as they could have. Who knows whether Alonso would have mounted a successful attack on Vettel in the closing stages of the race if the German hadn’t had engine trouble?

I hope in the future we will see more agressive driving and race strategy.

Schumacher, obviously disappointed with 6th, questioned the new rules saying

Overtaking was basically impossible unless somebody made a mistake.  That is the action we are going to have with this kind of environment of race strategy.

Even race winner Alonso thinks the refueling ban will encourage processional races.

But let’s not forget one of the reasons the ban was introduced was to take away the option teams had of ‘passing’ in the pits. I don’t think anyone prefers to see positions made or lost in the pits as opposed to out on the track. When you look at the number of actual on track passing moves (rather than ‘passing’ in the pits) in Bahrain was it that much worse than previous races?

I say let’s wait and see. For a change, I agree with Bernie Ecclestone:

The first race with new regulations was always going to be a learning curve for them all. Now they know they can make improvements and be a bit bolder and we will get more action.

I had a meeting with the teams and tried to explain to them what our business is about – racing and entertaining the public. It’s not about playing with computers and going fast over one lap.

Image: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

Categories: 2010 Season Tags:

Prediction game 2010 – now on Facebook

March 9th, 2010 No comments

Last year we ran the innaugural F1 Buzz Formula One Prediction game.

It was a lot of fun and ended up being very close with the top three players still challenging for the win right up until the last race.

In the end, Andrew took the top prize: a scale model of Jenson Button’s revolutionary BGP001 in the historic Brawn GP livery.

2009 was one of the best and closest F1 seasons ever, which meant that predicting the winners was hard.

With Fernando Alonso in a Red Car and the return of Michael Schumacher, 2010 promises to be just as exciting.

This year the Prediction Game returns for another season, but rather than posting your predictions on blog posts, the game has been fully Facebookified! Just visit http://apps.facebook.com/formulaone-buzz and add the application.

The rules are basically the same. Make your predictions for pole, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fastest lap by the start of qualifying for each race. The deadline for each race is listed on the calendar page.

The points have been tweaked slightly to reflect the new points system introduced by the FIA in 2010:

  • Pole position: 10 points
  • 1st: 25 points
  • 2nd: 18 points
  • 3rd: 15 points
  • Correct driver on podium but not in correct position: 8 points for each driver
  • Fastest lap: 10 points

The prize will remain a scale model of the winning car/driver by Minichamps. They are nicely detailed little models. Andrew can tell you. Just look how happy he is up there!

As the countdown timer in the top right shows, there is now less than a week until the first race of 2010. This means to maximise your chances of winning you need to get your predictions in for Bahrain by this Saturday.

The first race is always the hardest to predict. Good luck!

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:
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