F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/4/2010

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Later today we should have the results of the fourth round of the F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship. Stay tuned to find out who are latest prize-winners are.

Here’s today’s round-up:


Lewis Hamilton ready to follow Jenson Button and let his head rule his heart (The Times)

“Hamilton?s bravado and extraordinary success in two seasons that saw him win a world title at the tender age of 23 was enough, many believed, to humble the defending champion. But that is not how it has proved and Hamilton is looking up the 2010 world championship table at the leader, Button, who has already chalked up two wins in four races, including an epic effort at the Chinese Grand Prix.”

Turvey contemplates F1 future after signing with McLaren (Brits on Pole)

??When I?m not racing I?m at McLaren training twice a day, six days a week, or at the factory. I?ve been working with the simulator team as I am the only driver with an engineering degree.??

Rubens Barrichello’s extended interview talking about Power Balance, Golf and F1 (YouTube)

Twice world champion? Erm, no.

via F1 Silver Arrows

Comment of the day

Steph’s dead right about Alonso’s move on Massa if you ask me:

Am I missing something? I really don?t see what the problem was with Alonso?s move.

Felipe went to the pits and as soon as he was en route, he thought he was safe which allowed Fernando to pull out the ballsy – and a little bit rude – move. If it had ended in a crash then he would have looked stupid but Felipe was very fair.

Felipe will be upset but he should be upset just at how it impacted his race because it wasn?t an illegal move. Just my opinion though.

Fernando needed to get ahead. If he had been delayed in the pits he would have had to put in all the hard work all over again and possibly, in the latter stages, ended up stuck behind Felipe. After his start it was do or die for him and he had to recover.

It wasn?t illegal, it was ballsy and if Felipe didn?t like it he shouldn?t have been caught napping, if the FIA or anyone has a problem then maybe the rules should have been looked at but fair play to Alonso and it added a bit of excitement. As long as it?s fair and legal I?m fine, I don?t want a parade after all and these two should be allowed to race it?s just Fernando was more clever and quicker yesterday.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jacob!

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher won the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola on this day in 2003. But the result brought no joy for him or brother Ralf, who he had shared the front row of the grid with and who had finished fourth, for their mother Elizabeth had died the night before.

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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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  • 53 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 20/4/2010”

    1. And when did mr barichello win his 2 world championships?

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        20th April 2010, 0:48

        I believe that was sarcasm on Keith’s part

      2. maybe they were trying to say 2 time VICE-champion (2002-2004)

    2. That Times article about Hamilton and Button is a bit silly.

      I mean this line:
      “he confessed that his spectacular driving style was taking him nowhere fast.”

      It DID get Hamilton to the front in all races so far. If he didn’t have that racer instinct he would have been with Vettel, Webber and Massa somewhere around P7 or P8. It was exactly his spectacular driving that got him to P2 instead.

      Could he do better by not getting tyre changes wrong, sure. But then just about everybody got it wrong in both cases (Australia and China).

      Besides, that Australia call for Button was bordering on desperation and luck. He ruined his tyres and thus HAD to come in, was passed by Hamilton so he had nothing to lose anymore either and the rest was waiting on the basis that “more rain was coming” (which never came).

      1. Well, it is Kevin Eason so you shouldn’t be so surprised. He wrote off Schumacher immediately after Bahrain, despite the fact that it was his first race for three seasons.

        1. Classic British press reaction.

          He isn’t winning? Write an article slagging off every single aspect of the driver, misread the positives and generally insult the reader’s intelligence.

          He won? Half a column hidden somewhere behind the football.

        2. Kevin Eason in another article for timesonline wrote that Vettel got a reprimand after the incident in the pitlane, completely ignoring that Hamilton also got one. It still has not been corrected in spite of readers’ comments. Strange.

          1. His blog this morning about his travails in trying to get back to Europe in time for his wedding is funny though!

          2. Isn’t this the same publication which is about to stop offering its content for free online and put up a paywall?

            Anyway, Vettel and Hamilton have definitely both got reprimands regardless of what The Times says.

        3. Yep Patrickl, That’s the Times for you, do you not remember when they slagged off Button after he stopped winning in 2009 then when he one the world championship they put him as the 4th best world champion ahead of Hamilton and Hunt…

          Hamilton’s style has definitely done him good this year, just because his tyres went off, fact is he got up to 2nd place from no where.

          1. Yeah I’ve always felt that I had to defend Button in 2009. The media kept describing how he lost it when in fact he was doing just as well/bad as Barrichello. There was every indication that they just lost the development war with the other teams.

    3. Has anyone checked out the items that Power Balance sell? They’re armbands that have magical holograms that go in tune with your body’s natural charge which are supposed to help make you better at what you do. $30 US. Rip off?

      1. wow, that is just crazy. “a sticker made me go faster”. Haha, lol

        1. Sush Meerkat
          20th April 2010, 8:21

          Everyone knows red makes you go faster, not some silly sticker.

        2. Well there are go faster stripes.

        3. They need to put some on the Williams then!

        4. F1 cars are full of stickers. Maybe that’s what makes them go so fast?

          My car doesn’t have any stickers on it and it goes a whole lot slower!

          1. *collects stickers*

            I’ve got 5!

      2. They remind me of the “Energy Polarizer” that Peter Brock and Holden had a big falling out over.

        Brocky seemed to think they’d “align the molecules” or some such BS…

        1. In the Netherlands we had a guy who was the “face” of magnetic bracelets that would rid you of diseases (or something).

          Then he died reasonably young (51) and I’ve never heard about that bracelet anymore.

          1. We want turbos
            24th April 2010, 0:06

            There ment to prevent artharitus they do work… Apparently.

    4. After the epic race we saw on Sunday, my opinion is that it isn’t the technical regulations making us rely solely on rain to spice things up, its the sporting regulations, namely the fact that we have just one stop mandatory.

      With just one stop actually needed, we know that the drivers will do a quarter or so of the race on the softer rubber, then pits for the harder tyre and there you go, job done, unless rain arrives or there is a crash.

      The latter part of that last sentence is unlikely though. The reason? One stop only, they need to make those tyres last, so they are not going to risk flat-spotting a set of perfectly decent tyres just to gain a place and maybe a point or two.

      However, if there were two mandatory stops, then they would know that they do not need to make the tyres last say 40 laps, it may only be 20, maybe less. That would stop drivers taking care, going conservative and show us that they do possess a pair of balls.

      I hate the idea of forced stops too, but unless we put sprinklers at the side of tracks to spice up a boring race, there is really little else that can be done. Technical changes would be too costly to make sense.

      Oh and lastly, can we prescribe the drivers more of whatever the hell they were taking in China? They were all going mental, banging wheels, losing bits of carbon, it was amazing, overtaking left, right and centre and not conserving tyres. Oh yeah, they had to make at least two stops because of the crapy inters…see my point?

      1. Ned Flanders
        20th April 2010, 3:41

        Yeah, I kind of agree. We want to see drivers pushing all race long, rather than taking their time. Then again, either extreme would be good to me; 2 mandatory stops would be interesting, but then no forced stops might work even better. Who knows?!

        1. My personal opinion is they should remove the forced stop and let them drive on which ever tire for the entire race. Then you could see a driver trying a no stopper on the harder tire while you might have another doing a 2 stopper on soft rubber. On many tracks the soft rubber is as much as 1-2 sec faster a lap but might only last 20-25 laps. That is enough faster per lap to allow them to make up the pit stop time and gain some over a driver not making a pit stop or only making one.
          You could see some very varying strategies depending on track, team and track tire selections. A car and driver nicer on their tires might try to bold no stop strategy on hard another drive might try a one stop, starting on soft and finish on hard. The possibilities. Now your guaranteed to have the front runners start on soft and finish on hard and back runners start on hard and finish on soft both doing a single stop. The race and strategies been more interesting when they been able to run the choice of their tires because it was even for shortest time classified as a wet race and inters was ran so not forced to run on both compounds.

          1. I half agree, have no mandatory pit stops but have tyres that don’t last long at all,

            This of course won’t happen because the tyre supplies wants us dumb viewers to think there tyres will last a long time… Ignoring the fact that they won’t let us have F1 spec tyres on our own cars…. not that I have a car… meaning the comparison is like comparing a Polar bear to a cockroach….

      2. Overtaking has been a problem for years, even when the tactic was to sprint between stops. I think having to preserve (or deciding not to) makes the races interesting, it means the cars have large performance differences which encourages overtaking.

        The deal IS the aero, we didn’t see this in China simply because it was wet, and people couldn’t get perfect runs on to the back straight. I get the feeling Barcelona will be a Bahrain repeat.

        1. I agree with George.
          Furthermore: pitstops kill overtaking because then the drivers will just wait for them and try to gain position via the pitstop. They should do it on the track.

          1. Pitstops might kill overtaking, but it introduces an important strategic element.

            I’d rather watch a strategic race where cars pass in the pitlane by pushing their cars to the limits rather than a procession with no hopes of overtaking.

        2. Barca is pretty much always a procession.
          The only thing that made it close to interesting last year was Barichello 3 stopping Vs everyone else (Button particularly) 2 stopping.

          That and the awesome Webber Vs Alonso battle at the restart…

          1. This is one of the really boring tracks. Only more boring is Valencia and Singapore (I will hold off on Abu Dhabi until we gotten at least one or two more races there).

            Average overtake for Catalunya in the last 6 years is a lowly 4 per race. Last two years gave 2 over takes each. Be prepared for a race far more boring then Bahrain which in the same period seen average of 16 overtakes per race and this year saw 21 overtakes. Bahrain wasn’t after all that dull just we didn’t get to see the overtakes with exception of Vettel loosing 3 places rest of the front field was static from the start to finish. Midfield had some happenings just the producers choose not to show us this and only showed us the top drivers follow each others around lap after lap.

      3. Personally I think no mandatory pitstops would work better as long as it wasn’t so easy to make one set of tyres last the whole race.

        We got a taste of what having no mandatory pitsops would be like in Australia. Because of the damp start everyone had made an early pitstop and didn’t have to stop again. Then we had some drivers nursing one set of slicks to the end while others such as Webber and Hamilton stopped again and tried to make their way through the field.

        If the tyres were more marginal I think the above situation would work much better.

        The trouble with mandatory stops is that the optimum strategy will usually be the same for everyone so once one driver comes in the rest will follow him and make their stop as well.

      4. Adding a further mandatory stop is not the answer in my opinion. We should be taking compulsory things away and having more variables – even offering the possibility that a driver can go the whole race without pitting.

        It will make the end of races much more exciting. *Adding one more stop is manufacturing a show. Taking one away is just letting it happen naturally.*

        1. John H has it dead right.

      5. I don´t know. The biggest problem of your line of reason is to expect that the teams would not change their beahavior with these new rules. They could simply do two very short stints with soft tyres and a long one with hard tyres. Moreover, they could do it, using computer simulations, in such way that a lot of overtaking would be done during the pit stops.

    5. Ned Flanders
      20th April 2010, 3:36

      I agree with Steph and Keith. IMO that Alonso pass will probably be overtake of the year, I loved it. And this coming from an Alonso hater, so I’m not biased.

      I know Massa was top of the championships this time last week, but on the whole he’s having a really disapointing championship. I predicted him to beat Alonso this season, but so far he’s being outclassed by him. Felipe needs to sort himself out ASAP or his reputation will be destroyed

      1. Thanks Ned. I don’t think Felipe has been quite that bad. I am hugely biased though!

        I know some will say he’s had eight months out but he’s had a load of testing and Fernando is fitting into a new team so I think it’s pretty equal by that both are having to get back into a rythmn and Fernando is just beating Massa.

        Massa needs to improve quali (which is where he was expected to have an advantage over Alonso) and get his head down in a race. He’s too hesitant and lacking pace but at least he showed some aggression at the Aus start but that just faded.

        I wouldn’t say he’s doing that poorly but he has to improve. These have been tracks he generally doesn’t go well at, it’s no excuse as he should deliver every time but maybe there will be some improvement for the next rounds…hopefully.

        Oh and really thanks very much Keith for CotD! :D

      2. I loved it too. It was great racing from Fernando.

        But I’m not entirely sure Stefano would agree. The last line of their statement is kind of a message to Alonso. He did push his teammate onto the grass let’s not forget.

    6. Seems the rift between Hamilton and his father may run deeper than we thought:


      1. Now Lewis is just another person who’s got on the wrong side of Anthony…

        Seriously, I’m sorry to hear that – but I’m sure a win or two will help.

      2. I think it is good. He has been micromanaged by his father (and McLaren) well into his twenties and it high time he asserts some independence and becomes his own person. I wouldn’t be surprised if the distancing from his father and getting back together with his girlfriend are connected. In any case he seems happier and more relaxed. And driving just great!

    7. I like how all the incidents in this race, and in Malaysia, have shut the mouths on critics and fans saying the F1 was boring.
      No matter how boring the races are there will always be lots of entertainment in F1. There will always be loads of news for us tech-geeks following, I for one enjoy watching qualification and training as much as the races. I like to see how the different updates work or dont work, and which teams are the best to adjust to the circuit.

      For all of those who are not interested in the tech stuff, there will always be drama. There will always be intra- and interteam battles, like Button-Hamilton or Massa-Alonso. There will be be the sunshine stories of small teams surprising. Gloating over the favourites failures.

      F1 does not need to improve the show. It is almost to exciting already.

      1. A dry race at Catalunya will change that, I’m sure.

        1. I’m actually dreading Catalunya. The wet races have been great, but simply because rain is a quick get out clause that provides everything we have been asking for in F1.

          Rain Reduces grip and therefore speed through the corners. Without the cornering speed the aero efficiency is reduced and therefore the aero wake is reduced. Rain increases the chance of driver mistakes, and also allows for varied and non-mandatory pit stop strategies. Finally in qualifying rain can scatter the starting order dramatically putting fast cars behind slower ones.

          Rain is the holy grail of F1 at the minute, but it won’t last. We can’t suggest for one minute that all our problems are solved and the powers that be should be looking hard and fast at fixing the fundamental issues with the sport.

          Any engineer should know that to fix a problem you need to fix it at its source, not patch it so it looks fixed, and there are a hell of a lot of great engineers in F1, they should just get on with it!

          p.s. that turned into a fair old rant!

      2. Completely agree. Every season has it’s great races and it’s boring ones.

        Although I do fear we will have more boring dry races this season.

        The only way to realisticly create more “excitement” would be to add a big random element to the cars starting order.

        If they start in order of which car is fastest, you simply cannot expect much overtaking.

        With the refuelling gone, we lost the last bit of randomness we had in qualifying. Now they are all on exactly the same strategy.

        1. I’m dreading the spanish grand prix also, how will Lewis cope with the Spanish fans since we all know how they treat him by booing, chucking insults and having people paintng their faces black trying to intimidate him, It just puts a smear on what F1 stands for.

          No matter how much that circuit tries to stop this from happening it always happens. Now that Alonso is with Ferrari…. well that’s just going to make it 10x worse, since both are in title condentending cars and are on equal points.

          Tbh I would like to see Lewis win the Spanish grand prix over Alonso to shush them up for another year, since I dont hear about british fans taking it out on Alonso when he comes to Silverstone.

        2. Have you guys been looking at the concepts for 2012’s indycars. There mad, very exciting, hope the delta wing gets it.

          Anyway, there an example of what can be done when an engineer sets out to create a car that’ll have top class open cockpit performance. An good overtaking. F1 can surley do this.

          1. Seriously? I thought the delta wing looked more like a three wheeled sportscar. Of the sportscar type designs, I liked the Dallara better.

          2. to me these cars look like what we thought of as futuristic racing cars we drew as kids.

            It would be interesting to see a test of what they do on track, because they look really something different.

      3. If Montreal is dry, the fact is we’d all still be looking forward to a great race. The same at Albert Park. Things always happen regardless of the weather.

        The cars and the regulations get a lot of stick for making F1 boring… but really, it’s the tracks that can make all the difference.

    8. I just hear some good news from Romain Grosjean, remember him? He won the first round of the GP1 sportscar championship. Not too bad!

    9. Keith: idea for an article – how about a map of the world and perhaps some stories showing how different F1 characters have made their way back from China? 5LiveF1 tweeted Alonso, Massa, Buemi, Smedley, Liuzzi and Kubica were all on a plane together (some in economy) as well as some other F1 names via Dubai, getting into Nice. All driving from there…. what about other characters, cars, etc?

    10. Mark Hitchcock
      20th April 2010, 19:02


      Hamilton praises stewards.

      Obviously it’s no surprise that Hamilton is happy with the way the stewards have acted this year because he’s received some lenient decisions.
      But if his comments about not being afraid to battle any more are true for other drivers then it makes me wonder why they didn’t speak up sooner about the harshness of previous decisions. And if they did speak up, why didn’t Mosley do anything about it?

      1. Hamilton hasn’t received lenient decisions. He’s gotten reprimands for things that other drivers didn’t get anything at all.

        The difference is that in seasons before he was penalized for things where others had received nothing.

        So yeah, that’s a big step up for him.

        I think the drivers did speak up about previous decisions. Donnely just didn’t care.

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