F1 Fanatic round-up: 6/3/2010

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The teams are packing up and heading out to Bahrain. The long wait will be over soon. Here’s the Saturday round-up:


Raikkonen out! (WRC)

“Citroen Junior Team driver Kimi Raikkonen rolled his Citroen C4 World Rally Car out of Friday’s competition almost within sight of the end of SS7 – the repeated El Cubilete stage… Eyewitnesses report seeing the car roll off the road at high speed, before coming to rest at the bottom of a bank. Both Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom are out of the car and are reported to be okay.”

Virgin Racing’s secret: Behind the scenes at Wirth Research (James Allen)

“The design of the monocoque was frozen in June last year, probably three months earlier than the top teams who have greater resources and experience in manufacture. The team has a strict budget of ??45 million all in and so far has hit all the deadlines it set itself. It will travel to Bahrain with two cars and a spare monocoque as well as five sets of spares for most parts. Wirth says that the troublesome differential, which has been causing the hydraulic leaks and destroyed their Barcelona test, has been fixed. There were quality control problems causing it to crack. But new spec ones are in short supply, so the drivers had better not crash into the barriers backwards before the race.”

Comment of the day

Geo isn’t happy with how F1 rules are changing:

I’m more interested in rule changes for reasons of fairness and to prevent any sort of gamesmanship (cheating is perhaps a too strong a word).

It seems we increasingly see rule changes for the sake of people who watch on tv.

Now, I love Formula One, and have watched since I was about 12 years old (I am now 25). I didn’t need any rule changes to get interested in the sport and follow it closely.

If people aren’t natural F1 fans then so be it, the FIA should stop trying to ‘sex up’ the sport to make it appealing to part time fans, who are only interested if there are ‘big crashes’ or lots of ‘action’.

Either you like F1 or you don’t, I’m sick of MANY sports dumbing down to try to encorporate the plebs and part timers. See 20/20 Cricket and the recent proposals in snooker as other examples.

Site updates

You will now find driver biographies and team details for all the 2010 F1 season participants via the links at the bottom of every page. The following were added yesterday:

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Mario Andretti, who turned 70 last month, won his first F1 race on this day in 1971.

He qualified fourth on the grid in the season-opener at Kyalami in his first appearance for Ferrari.

He moved up to second at half-distance but leader Denny Hulme looked to have the race won – until his suspension failed four laps from home. Andretti swept by to win his tenth F1 start – but his second career victory didn’t come until the last race of 1976.

Author information

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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44 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 6/3/2010”

  1. Ned Flanders
    6th March 2010, 0:46

    Kimi Raikkonen seems to be crashing his rally cars an awful lot…

    Keith I know you must get sick of getting asked this but what’s up with the forum? Is it coming back or have you scrapped it?

    1. I do intend to bring it back but there’s still trouble getting it to work with the new server.

      Unfortunately that’s now backed into the start of the season so the time I have to work on it has been cut back a little. That’s partly because, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get accredited for two test sessions in February!

      I may have some time this weekend to take a look at it, will see how it goes.

      1. Maybe you should delegate that specific workload to someone else who has time to do it? I’m sure you have some avid readers, professionals IT peeps, who would love to help.

        1. Minions Keith! You need minions. Little internet Umpa Lumpas that do your bidding.

          1. Any chance of a temporary forum using phpbb or something? Just until the problems are sorted out?

      1. Was in yesterday’s round-up: F1 Fanatic round-up: 5/3/2010

  2. I expect Kimi to get bored of crashing his rally cars and come back to F1 next year. Goodbye Mark…

    1. I doubt crashing in WRC is a good way to advertise your agenda.

      Kimi is out of Formula 1, gone, and let’s hope it stays that way.

      1. You’d rather not see a world champion and recent winner race? I get people not liking him, but I can’t believe people are actually glad he’s gone, rather than just indifferent to it.

        1. Because a lot of people perceive that Kimi kinda had that title handed to him, and that if you discount his last two Spa drives he had been fairly uninspiring in his driving for the majority of the past two seasons. Then was his attitude to the McLaren negotiations, and finally his own “good riddance” comments about F1 after he left.

          Much of which you can dispute if you wish, but it’s a valid argument and one quite a few subscribe to.

    2. Terry Fabulous
      6th March 2010, 3:06

      Yeah I expect Citroen to get bored of Kimi crashing their rally cars real soon.

      However, I doubt he will walk back into a top seat in F1.

      He HAD the best seat in F1 and blew it with his casual indiference.

      1. Has Kimi actually finished any rally he has started? He was crashing FIATs long before he began crashing Citroens, so I am beginning to think his career in WRC will be very, very short indeed unless he gets some decent finishes this year.

  3. Kimi is having trouble in WRC, I hope the forum comes back soon

    1. Red Bull and Ferrari have requested the clarification about a slot on the wing of the MP5-25


      1. old news (like 2 days old?) Ferrari haven’t made a public acknowledgement of the query, and Red Bull are just asking as a matter of course, but don’t expect anything of it. I believe Charlie W has already visited McLaren, or is about to do so. McLaren have invited the FIA over.

      2. Another blown out of preportion story, afterall, Mclaren wont be protesting because they know it’s legal, Redbull’s Horner says ” They must be confident it’s legal” then says he thinks it will be legal, what is the point in that, Redbull complain because MCLaren have found a legal performance booster and they missed the trick. To use a Scots phrase “nae doot” Ferrari are moaning too!

      3. There are always these kinds of queries before the start of a season, there are ones going on with other teams and I think the only reason this has got so much attention is because of the Button/Hamilton angle.

        If it was as big as the diffuser story last year I’d have put an article up about it, but I don’t think it is. Let’s wait and see.

        As Matthew said we had the link in the round-up a couple of days ago. I think the Daily Telegraph ran it first, after Christian Horner made some remarks at a media lunch.

        1. It seems that I have missed that round-up.

        2. It was certainly a good find by Mclaren to have a component that gives a 20mph speed boost without having to compromise drag.

  4. Very agreeable comment by Geo, in my opinion. There seems to be a limit in terms of how far a sport can go out of its way to attract new audiences without affecting its quality or credibility.

  5. The more new F1 ‘followers’ the better, It could convince Bernie to roll out HD.

  6. Great to hear “HRT” is full of confidence, that they will impress (senna – we are 1 sec faster than Lotus and Virgin)
    lets hope for them, it is true, so it makes it worth trying to actually get to the finish of the race.

  7. Klon and Terry – I think you need to educate yourselves a little more when it comes to both -Rally and -Kimi Raikkonen. Crashing cars is a part of motorsport in general, esspecialy when your trying to find the limit in your first year in a totally new class. Raikkonen also clocked the 5th fastest time over all in shakedown, the car had quite a few mechanical issues,and on top of all that, Raikkonen is nursing a recuring back injury, which he sustained in 2001 testing for Sauber, in his 1st year in F1. Need I say more…

  8. Force India having an embarrassing Twitter problem this morning. See here:


  9. How about if we do the PF1 predictions?, I kind of like them (it would be better if we have the forum):

    01 Drivers’ title
    – Hamilton in a intense battle with Alonso and Vettel
    02 Constructors’ title
    – Mclaren because I they finally should win a constructor’s title
    03 Top rookie (including Kobayashi and Alguersuari)
    – Hulkenberg
    04 Top newbie(team)
    – Lotus, because they have plenty experience in their lineup
    05 Top of the Mid-Grid/Indie battle (Renault, Sauber, Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso)
    – Williams
    06 How soon till Schumi wins a race?
    – He won’t
    07 How soon till Virgin finishes a race?
    – Malaysia
    08 How soon till Lewis and Jenson have a spat?
    – They won’t, maybe because they are both british
    09 How soon till Felipe and Fernando have a spat?
    – When Alonso realize he’s under Massa in the standings
    10 Who will Schumi tangle with first i.e. hit or get hit by
    – I’m betting on Hamilton or Vettel
    11 Will USF1 ever produce a car?
    – Nope
    12 Will Campos-Meta last the season?
    – I want to say yes…

    1. I’m going to do a predictions article closer to the start of the season. Some of their questions are already dated (Campos Meta).

  10. Delighted to see Kimi being consistent in his inability to drive in proper Motorsport alongside real men…
    He should stop before he gets hurt as he is now going to start overdriving the thing.
    I don’t know how on earth anyone would want Mr Charisma in their F1 team. World Champion by accident really.

  11. Mark Hitchcock
    6th March 2010, 14:33

    I agree with Geo, but I’m not sure I agree that 20/20 is ruining or dumbing down cricket as some people think.
    It’s attracting fans who would normally look at cricket and be put off by the length of a test match or even a one day match, and some of those people are then going on to appreciate and enjoy test matches.

    20/20 is a different animal to a test match, but it’s just as exciting.

    Snooker is a different matter though. Barry Hearn has done great things with darts, but too many radical changes to snooker and it’ll be ruined. Shorter versions of the game are actually less exciting than the epic, 2 session endurance matches.
    If I want to watch someone potting balls quickly I’ll watch pool…

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      6th March 2010, 14:36

      Reading that back, I realised I’m a total hypocrite! I’m just saying the same things about snooker that some people say about cricket. Oops.

      1. I don’t follow snooker so can’t comment, but I have to agree with you on cricket. Twenty20 complements the full version of the game, it doesn’t compete with it. Those fans who say that it’s “killing cricket” are generally the elitist types who can’t stand so many new fans getting interested and involved in “their” sport.

  12. Hey pretty unrelated I know, but I just found something a bit odd.

    I doubt any person would disagree when I said this year there is expected to be four leading teams, Ferrari, Mclaren, Red Bull and Mercedes.

    so when I read this on the official F1 site I was a little bemused.

    “at least three leading teams in which team mates will be fighting head-to-head for the title honours”

    Now I recognise it says “at least”, and I would guess they aren’t sure about Mercedes, But again, most people would agree to 4.

  13. adding to that, can someone very good with the numbers of Formula one go over the article? I found a few more odd bits but am not sure…


  14. Here’s a man with a short memory. Maybe that hit in the head was a little bit harder than we thought.


    1. Felipe is entitled to his opinion, of course, but in this instance he’s just plain wrong. If not for the new teams we would have 18 cars this season (maybe less if Sauber hadn’t been saved). Instead we have 24, a fuller grid than we’ve seen in years.

      Who cares if they’re slow? Super Aguri were at least 4 seconds off the pace when they started out in 2006, yet few questioned their right to be there. Like Super Aguri the new teams now have a base upon which to build. They will be pretty much on the pace of the rest of the field by next season, if not sooner.

      1. Super Aguri was a great team…. (reminisces aimlessly)

  15. Hi Guys, i´m back!
    Keith it was good to seeg you in Jerez, even knowing that you didn´t saw me!
    Yes, i was there to see Alonso!
    Well, i am stuck in Bulgaria now for the next 6 months and on my arrival, yesterday i realised that there is no coverage of F1 here, even the cable chanels available don´t show any coverage.
    So guys, does anyone know of a live internet F1 coverage chanel, wher i can watch F1 live?
    Now, regarding a little of the past tests, from what i saw Ferrari and MacLaren have the upper hand, but i would like this season to go without any problems and politics.

  16. Just realised of my mistakes, sorry!

  17. I read on a couple forums that this week’s Autosport quoted a Bridgestone spokesperson as saying that Jenson was having tyre wear problems during the Barcelona test, while Lewis was doing perfectly fine. Funny eh?

    1. Maybe Jensons ‘smooth’ driving style just doesnt get enough heat into the tyres, therefore causing some graining issues. Whereas Lewis tends to be more aggressive, getting heat into the tyres quicker?

  18. @Geo

    Without cynicism, it’s all about money. If you want the big sponsors you need the large audiences. If you want all the technology, you need the big sponsors. You just can’t have everything. If you want to keep F1 pure (i.e. not tinkered with so the popcorn crowd can get into it) than you have to cut down costs – if you don’t want to cut down costs, you have to live with what the sport’s decision-makers think will attract bigger audiences so that sponsors keep pouring in the funds. But I’m afraid that the days are past where we can have unbridled innovation and keep the sport “pure” too.

    1. In a related vein, Time magazine has published an article entitled “The turbulent times of Formula 1”

      Here’s an excerpt: “Six hundred million people around the world watched some part of the season on television. That’s why companies such as Korean electronics conglomerate LG Group are prepared to lay out “several hundred million dollars” to have their logo plastered all over F1, says Andrew Barrett, the company’s VP of global sponsorship, who recently inked such a deal. “We were looking for as broad a global reach as we could get with one sport, and nothing else even came close.”


      1. Thanks for that link. Great article by Time!

  19. Keith, your web site just gets better and better. It is now the first site in my favourites that I go to each time I log on!

    Many thanks, can’t wait for the season to begin, especially with such good info coming from here.

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