F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/4/2010

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The F1 Fanatic mobile site is back up and running now so those of you viewing the site on mobile devices should find it loads more quickly.

It’s using the same style sheet as before so if you’d rather view the normal site you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click to exit the mobile version. It should remember your choice for future visits, and there’s an option to switch back to the mobile version if you prefer.

At the moment images aren’t re-sizing properly on the mobile version which means you won’t get the ideal viewing experience if you have a very small screen.

Here’s today’s round-up:


F1 rookie is too fat (Top Gear)

“It emerges that [Vitaly Petrov] has been instructed by his team to lose some weight to bring him more in line with similarly tall but 10kg lighter team-mate Robert Kubica.”

Election candidates challenged to support British racing circuits (Brits on Pole)

“It gives the example of Croft in North Yorkshire which lost a case last year bought by a disaffected local resident who the MSA says did not have the support of the local community. As a result the circuit has had to cut back dramatically on its motorsport offering despite not having altered the nature of its activities or breached any planning rules.”

Why driver aids are killing F1 (QUTA)

Everyone’s got their tuppence-worth over how to improve the spectacle of Formula 1 – this article has a more thoughtful take than some of the reaction I’ve read.

Flavio’s deal with the FIA over Crashgate leaves a sour taste (Daily Telepgrah)

“This out-of-court settlement for the purposes of expediency leaves a sour taste in the mouth. We still don?t know what really happened in Singapore 2008. And now we probably never will.”

Comment of the day

Some interesting thoughts from Chinese F1 fan Freeman on the future of his country’s Grand Prix:

This race was founded based on Chinese officials throwing tons of money (which there?s plenty in China) to promote Shanghai & China?s image. This is all well and great. But these officials have no clue how to promote and generate interest to the public. They expected by throwing gazillions to Bernie, everything will be fine and dandy.

Site updates

Thanks to Enigma to alerting me to a problem with the site’s RSS feed not updating properly. This appears to be a problem with Feedburner, which processes the feed. I’m looking into it at the moment and have raised a query about it on their website.

In the meantime the basic version of the feed is working.

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

Ralf Schumacher scored his first F1 win on this day nine years ago in the San Marino Grand Prix.

It was also the first victory for the Williams-BMW partnership in only their second year together.

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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  • 27 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/4/2010”

    1. “Why driver aids are killing F1”

      Without being a repetitive pain the ***, that’s been one of my recurrent rants here. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

      1. I was looking for your rants, but couldn’t find any. Odd.

        1. Funny that though. I wasn’t looking for one your unwarranted jibes and I found one. Ironic, no?

    2. Ned Flanders
      15th April 2010, 0:33

      Ahh, the San Marino Grand Prix. How I miss Imola. I’m not entirely sure why, because the post 94 Imola wasn’t the greatest circuit, it rarely produced exciting races (with the obvious exception of 2005), and crowd figures were plummeting during its final years on the calender.

      But I loved how it always seemed to be held around Easter time, as the start of the European season. I liked it’s elevation changes, and how its straights weren’t drawn with ruler’s, Tilke style. I loved it’s lack of tarmac run off, and how little daisy’s grew in the grass beside the track. Basically, it had soul- more soul than every Tilkedrome put together.

      (PS, just read what I’ve written… it reads a bit like a love letter, which was not my intention!)

      1. You know, you may be right, it does sound like a love letter…

        But more importantly, your 100% spot on about the soul of the track, that’s what the Tilkedromes lack, all they are is a large bucket of money thrown onto the ground…

    3. again- forum? avatars?

      1. Sorry to the bearer of bad news, but Keith has said the forum won’t be returning!!

        Avatars have probably gone too to reduce the load on the website and keep it running nice and quick.

        1. I never said the forum won’t be returning.

    4. Ned Flanders
      15th April 2010, 0:38

      Don’t worry Vitaly, you’re not that fat. When you start to look like this guy then you might want to consider a diet:


      (sorry Juan Pablo, you’re an easy target, heh heh!)

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        15th April 2010, 1:33

        Petrov is just a few centimetres taller than me – maybe three or four – and I’m heavier than he is … but I’m not overweight. Maybe he’s just too heavy by Formula 1 standards.

        Then again, body shape has a lot to do with it. Robert Kubica might be lighter, but he’s also quite slender. I thik we’ll find Petrov is pretty borad across the shoulders.

        1. Didn’t Kubica lose a lot of weight last year to try to run the BMW KERS?

          1. I remeber that from pre-season ’09 as well, he doesn’t look as ‘healthy’ as he once did.

    5. The driver’s aid article is pretty ridiculous. Car data is a driver’s aid? It clearly doesn’t affect any other racing that diversely. Carroll Smith has some pretty good comments about tech, “With all of the electronic data gathering equipment – both on board and telemetered – in use, the most sensitive and accurate data gathering device at our command is the racing driver.” Also, “An often overlooked aspect of onboard data gathering is that unless the driver involved is able to drive the car to its limits – and do so consistently – the data gathered will only serve to confuse everyone concerned.” “Further when I decry the arrival of such technological marvels as active suspension, anti-lock brakes, active differentials and automatic mechanical gearboxes, their advent was inevitable and they will not change the driver contribution to the equation. The genius driver will merely have fewer distractions (housekeeping choirs someone called them) and more time devoted to his art.” Finally he says it best when talking about people who believe that the driver doesn’t play a major role in the car (even at a time when F1 was at its peak of technological brilliance) “Rubbish, the driver has always been somewhere between 60% and 80% of the performance equation – and he always will be! They don’t pay Berger, Earnhardt, Mansell, Schumacher, and Unser that kind of money because they like them.”

      This is all from Drive to Win by Carroll Smith, n excellent read from an incredible person. I feel no different then he does when it comes to the role of technology in motorsports. It merely allows the driver to stop wasting his time being slow (doing housekeeping) and so they truly get to drive. It’s easy for us to sit here and complain about how “easy” it looks but let’s be honest, a race car driver needs everything at his disposal to be fast. If you’re an engineer they don’t take away Computer Aided Design because it speeds up the process too much or makes the art of drafting disappear. What this person talks about is taking away items that are critical to any form of racing not just F1, while aids such as TCS, STM, ABS…etc shouldn’t be in a car.

      /end rant. hahahahaha

      1. I think the point of the QUTA article is without all the stuff, it would mix things up a little, because some drivers will be better at “housekeeping” than others.

        Take the data-gathering. Maybe the driver is key to this, but then the data will be shared across the garage and the differences between the drivers levelled. Maybe it isn’t any use unless the driver isn’t driving the car at its limits, but how would getting rid of sensors make things worse?

        I don’t totally buy the idea that “it just gives drivers the freedom to perform”, exactly because that’s what happens; the best drivers should have to do more than just turn up and drive the car.

        Bottom line, the best drivers are already separated from each other, but given how hard it is to overtake in F1, a superior driver can be held at bay easily. Granting even more variables might put an end to that.

        It’s worth a try, at least to see which version of events is true.

      2. The driver aid article was interesting. I don’t however agree that things like sensors and radios should be banned. Banning them would only transfer more of the glory for a win on to the driver, who already gets more than his fair share, considering F1 is a team sport.

        I would also imagine that the development of sensors in F1 have filtered into road cars, for example some cars can sense when it’s raining and turn on the wipers, or turn on the lights when it’s dark. No doubt this sort of sensor technology originated from F1.

        My final point is that even though all the teams have all heaps of data from sensors, they still need to know how to use it. A human needs to understand the collected data, and if a human doesn’t do it manually it needs to tell a computer how to do it. So you can have all the data in the world, but if you don’t know how to interpret it, it’s going to be more of a hindrance than a help.

        1. One way radio?

          “I didn’t know the car was on fire”

          :D Hahahaha! nice one David.

      3. The point is that that with all the information teams can now gather and with all the ways they have of exploiting that information, F1 has moved increasingly towards an engineer’s than a driver’s sport. In-race decisions have been steadily moved away from the driver to the pit wall. The effect has been a drastic reduction of variable, unforeseen factors and drivers reaction to them. Now you may consider this to be a good thing and you may consider it to be inevitable – but the fact is that it has taken a good bit of the human element out of driving an F1 car, and the racing has consequently suffered.

        1. “In-race decisions have been steadily moved away from the driver to the pit wall.”
          Which is why it was refreshing to see what Button did in the Australian Grand Prix.

    6. “But these officials have no clue how to promote and generate interest to the public”

      I agree with this,it’s the same with many new tracks.

    7. That McDonalds ad on the right is making me hungry…

    8. Hi Keith, just to let you know – when viewing the mobile site on my iPod Touch, the ‘Exit Mobile Edition’ button at the bottom of the page does not work – when pressed, the mobile site just reloads…

      Other than that, great site Keith, keep it up!

      1. Hmm. I’ve tried it on an iPhone and it worked fine. If your software up-to-date? Has anyone else had this problem?

        1. Well, my iPod is currently running on iPhone OS 3.1.3 – what is your iPhone on currently? That could be why.

    9. For any UK people here, seems like EJ’s not making it to China:

      jakehumphreyf1 – Ok people, all blow as hard as possible towards Iceland and hopefully you’ll clear just enough ash for EJ to fly out and join us…!!!: less than 20 seconds ago via web

    10. RSS feed seems to be working now – I’ve at least managed to persuade it to publish today’s posts.

    11. Terry Fabulous
      15th April 2010, 23:44

      Just as aside I quickly ran my eye over todays ‘articles in breif’ and merged two together…

      So for a few moments I thought it said ‘F1Fanatic joins Chinese GP stewards’.

      Disappointed :(

    12. Glad the mobile site is back. Loads much more quickly on the iPhone.

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