Barrichello begins IndyCar test at Sebring

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Rubens Barrichello, IndyCar, Sebring, 2012

In the round-up: Rubens Barrichello tests for IndyCar team KV Racing at Sebring.

Barrichello joined friend and fellow Brazilian Tony Kanaan at the two-day test.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Barrichello and his first lap! (YouTube)

Barrichello has no plans beyond 2-day IndyCar test (Associated Press)

“I have been a racer for too long to just give it all away right now. I have a lot of speed in myself. I know that and I want to continue to race.”

KV Racing via Twitter

“Tony Kanaan leaves pits for the first time and stalls, Rubens Barrichello says ‘last time I get advice on car from TK’.”

McLaren dismisses PURE rumours (Autosport)

“McLaren has had absolutely no contact with PURE for many months. Moreover, the contact we did have with PURE, many months ago, was of an entirely informal nature, and was merely a courtesy gesture.”

Sutil apologises in court for Lux attack (Reuters)

“‘I did everything to try to settle this row,’ Sutil told the court, adding he had even offered to support a Lux charity project in Africa.”

Bahrain has failed to grasp reform – so why is the grand prix going ahead? (The Guardian)

“Reporters Without Borders has just named Bahrain one of the world’s top 10 most repressive regimes, while Freedom House downgraded Bahrain from ‘partly free’ to ‘not free’.”

Interesting to note Reporters Without Borders ranks China, which of course is another F1 host nation, below Bahrain.

Nico Hulkenberg's helmet

Nico Hulkenberg via Twitter

Hulkenberg’s 2012 helmet design.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Beneboy was not moved by my optimistic view on the season ahead:

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to get even a little bit excited about the start of the season.

Ugly cars, stupid rules, artificial overtaking, boring circuits and a complete denial of reality from FIA/FOM/Teams that the main problem with F1 is that the cars have become so dependent on aerodynamics that the driver is almost an irrelevance and that the racing has become close to non-existent without the use of artificial devices such as DRS and silly tyre rules.

I’m in the process of moving home at the moment and I’m struggling to decide if I want to get Sky or not, I do like other sports that they show but the only reason it’d be worth paying for is to get Sky F1 HD but I’m struggling to justify spending hundreds of pounds to watch a sport that has become one big corporate middle finger aimed directly at the fans.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Sharan!

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

We were treated to a trio of launches on this day last year: Renault, Sauber and Lotus unveiled their new cars on the same day:

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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148 comments on “Barrichello begins IndyCar test at Sebring”

  1. Although I’m very excited about the season ahead, that’s some COTD! Take that!

    I do like the use of orange in Hulk’s helmets, and this design is refreshingly clean and simple.

    1. Agree with you on both accounts there @electrolite!

      I hope Hulk now stays with this desing for a long time.

      1. Unless anyone can think of a way of getting a car in motion without interacting with the air around it, Aerodynamics will almost always be king. The current set of rules at least mean we don’t see ‘dumbo wings’ on the front nose cones. ( )

        1. Bring back ground effect then. The original fears about safety would be somewhat mitigated with the likes of the HANS device, survival cell etc.; it causes much less turbulence than a great big wing.

          1. @mrargh

            I wish the same too, but it just won’t happen I don’t think. With going green being the main concern now, I don’t see any of these ideas coming to fruition. But any of the bright F1Fanatic readers could apply some Photoshop skills to modify modern F1 cars look wider with fatter slicks, ground effects and slim wings – and send them to FOTA and the FIA. Maybe then they’ll change :)

        2. I’m not suggesting that aero be ignored, I just think that the reliance on aero downforce for the cars performance has been damaging the sport for years and that the regulations should be fundamentally changed so that the cars aerodynamics are tuned to give as little drag as possible with grip coming from the tires, suspension, chasis and other mechanical means – that way the cars will be able to get within millimeters of each other without suffering from a significant reduction in performance and grip as we have seen for the last decade or so.

          By moving away from aero grip to mechanical grip there would be a significant reduction in cornering speeds which would also allow the FIA to deresitrict the rules governing other aspects of the cars design and then we may end up in a situation where different teams could run different types of engines, different suspension systems and so on which would mean that F1 would again become the test bed for future production car technology which in turn would make it a more attractive sport for manufacturers to invest in rather than the technological dead end and bottomless money pit it has become in recent years where the teams spend hundreds of millions of pounds developing technology that has no real world applications and actually makes the racing much, much worse from a spectators point of view.

          1. regulations should be fundamentally changed so that the cars aerodynamics are tuned to give as little drag as possible

            Did that, hence the small rear and large front wing. There is only so much you can do without radically changing the rule set and that, I might add, brings about as many problems as it solves.

            moving away from aero grip

            How would you do this? As long as the engineers are able to modify the cars body then this will be a performance differentiator.

            The only way to limit that is to start standardizing parts a lot more visibly, and I think that would draw mammoth criticism.

            Keep in mind people were complaining about F1 being too restrictive (on aero) when they saw the Caterham nose.

          2. @Beneboy, I could not agree more, nice to know I am not alone. @ Mike, F1 did not begin with wings, during the 1960’s great racing was had with low-drag, wingless cars with engines of only 1500 cc. and no turbo-chargers and no pit stops, todays cars are heavier for safety but todays engines can produce twice the horsepower per litre that they did then, and slipstreaming was used through the corners, not just down the straight, if we banned aerodynamic appendages and reduced engine size then we could again see exciting racing between innovative cars that had different strengths and weaknesses .

          3. I think you are a bit crazy HoHum, but in a good way.

            Actually, now that I think about it, without wings, overall, and I’m speaking well out of understanding here, but wouldn’t that overall reduce the effect of dirty air.

            I think there’s probably a safety issue some where in here, but maybe much smaller wings is also an option.

            However I resent the idea that taking F1 back in time is either viable or a good idea. I think if you went back in time you’d see that it had serious flaws as well. That and the cars do have different strengths. Just look at the Red Bull, it was so slow in a straight line last year but dominated the time sheets.

          4. We can begin by making the front wing a lot simpler – just a two planes on either side.

    2. @Beneboy has stolen the words from my mouth! I am equally unexcited about the F1 season. If I see the beginnings of another Vettel whitewash then I’ll have to seriously reconsider – whether to continue watching F1 or not.

      This year’s Dakar, the exciting finish to the Rolex Daytona 24 Hours, the new Dallara DW12 IndyCar chassis and Barrichello’s IndyCar test have made me resolve to follow the other recognition-deserving motorsports out there. Of course, all my F1 passion would return if I only see Alonso winning again :)

    3. Completely agree with the COTD. I lost interest quickly during the last season and I seriously doubt that the new season will be any better.

      I’d rather have a race where there are no overtakes and the drivers are on the limit than that I want to see them drive on eggshells during the whole race just to make sure the tyres last long enough.

      1. I also agree with the COTD…I will restate what I have said on other threads on this site in the past few years when it comes to this topic…

        Back when they brought grooved tires in, JV called them a joke and was hauled up on the FIA carpet for it…he said at the time gives us back the big fat slicks that they used in the 70’s…they created so much drag that in order to maintain any kind of respectable straightline speeds you were forced to run less wing…ie. those tires would kill two birds with one stone…instant mechanical grip with less aero dependancy due to the need to run less wing.

        Aside from that, as has been stated above they could go back to two plane wings etc etc. I know the idea of getting rid of wings has been shot down time and time again and I agree with that…they make the cars look better and they are great advertising space, but surely there are ways they can get themselves back to less aero dependancy and more mechanical grip, which they have now with the soft Pirelli’s…they seem so close right now and could so easily take a few more simple steps which imho (and many other’s) need to include getting rid of DRS, and they’d be there.

        1. @Mike…standardizing some parts might draw criticism, but I doubt it is as much as fake DRS passes have been drawing…I think some standardization would be forgiven if it meant real seat of the pants passing that shows a drivers skill and courage as opposed to his ability to be a passenger in a gadgeted up F1 car.

        2. @Robbie,

          I am a big fan of the tyres of the 70s. They would (on paper at least according to what we imagine) not only bring about the double effect of increasing mechanical grip and reducing aero efficiency, but also look so aggressive and jaw dropping on F1 cars. I’d also like the cars to get wider for the same reason and not look like a stick when viewed from the top. But we’re only dreaming – it ain’t gonna happen possibly because of the increasing emphasis on fuel efficiency and environment friendliness.

          What’s more, when people like Martin Whitmarsh running respectable teams such as McLaren don’t consider stuff like DRS as gimmicks, we can get a picture of the thought process that is rampant in the FIA and FOTA circles. People like Mario Andretti, Stirling Moss and Jacques Villeneuve don’t exist in the decision making echelons of Formula 1.

          1. @PT…fair comment…I guess we should just feel glad that at least they are back on slicks and got rid of the grooved tires…

  2. I´m excited. I really enjoyed last season and I´m counting the days until the first race…

  3. loving COTD right now.

    1. Despite being excited, I agree with it completely… I think the passion for the sport overrules the stupidity that has crept into it.

    2. I am 100% excited DESPITE the COTD – which I agree with entirely. We as F1 fans (along with American conservatives) have to realize that its never going to be the 80s again.

      1. I’m definitely not as excited as I was last year. DRS has sucked a lot of the tension out of the races. I used to love seeing drivers try and solve the problem of getting stuck behind slower cars.

        However the make or break thing for me as an F1 fan is the Japanese Grand Prix, as there seem to be a few rumours that it might not be on the calendar soon. If that race goes so do I.

        1. Yeah i’ll really be ****** if Bernie lets the Japanese GP die. I even had plans to go there in 2-3 years.

      2. +1.

        I hate DRS but I don’t blame aerodynamics. F1 is and will always be an Engineers+Driver sport since day one. Maybe technology has more influence today, but F1 has never been cycling and nobody has ever won a race in a Fiat Panda.

  4. I will religiously follow Indy this year if woobens is competing.

    1. Did you mean willigeously.

  5. Ugly cars, stupid rules, artificial overtaking, boring circuits and a complete denial of reality from FIA/FOM/Teams that the main problem with F1 is that the cars have become so dependent on aero that the driver is almost an irrelevance and that the racing has become close to non-existent without the use of artificial devices such as DRS and silly tire rules.

    I doubt cars will ever become less dependent on aerodinamics… there might be changes and less and less downforce, but aerodynamics will sitll be the way to gain tenths every lap. And engineers will try to squeeze every single bit of aerodynamic efficiency from the wings, winglets, sidepods, whatever.

    Unless of course, they ban diffussers, wings, ground effect, and everything, thus creating a ridiculous copy of 1960’s F1.

    That’s why, in my view, the question of: “how to make racing better” is so difficult to answer…

    1. I doubt cars will ever become less dependent on aerodinamics

      They will only become less-dependant on aerodynamics when mechanical grip surpasses aerodynamic grip. The teams know that the more aerodynamic grip they have, the faster they will go, and so they are unwilling to sacrifice aerodynamics.

    2. Aero is not the demon per se. Rather downforce is. If the cars were producing lift, and were low on drag; both of which are aero characteristics; we wouldn’t complain one bit.

      The thing is the more downforce a car has; the worse the effect on lap time. If; for example; you took a minivan; which was not designed with aero in mind (it produces lift; which is basically the same as downforce, except in the opposite direction – up!) and put it in the “dirty air” of another car; you would go quicker.

      1. Until you come to a corner, where downforce really plays its part. The Red Bull has the faster lap time due to the most downforce. If F1 was racing in straight lines then you might have a point.
        By your reasoning the HRT should have the fastest lap time as it has the least downforce. F1 doesn’t work that way.

      2. @raymondu999

        I see where you’re going with that but I think if they were producing lift the drivers might have something to say about it! ;D

        The FIA have been trying to reduce down force for years. But how do you reduce down force without being too restrictive? These are both common complaints and are directly opposed to each other.

        The answer is you can’t. As long as the engineers can shape the cars they will do their utmost to create more down force.

        @Prisoner Monkeys

        I don’t agree, Aero gets a lot of the attention because it’s the most visible component, but teams are constantly trying to look for ways to improve mechanical grip as well. Simply put, if you give them an avenue to improve they will take it, but this isn’t necessarily at the expense of other areas of performance. As long as they are allowed to shape the car they will pour effort into aerodynamics.

        1. @Mike The only real way is to have them race in vacuum. As long as they aren’t racing in a vacuum; aero will still be a very big performance contributor.

          Having said that @prisoner-monkeys is slightly right in one respect – though teams are still upgrading the cars mechanically too; because of the huge velocities that the cars are traveling at; aero’s importance gets multiplied massively. If you’re looking for 1 or 2 tenths; you can get that through mech grip. But if you’re looking for half a second or more; other than the tyres (which are a control element now anyways) and engines (frozen) then aero is really the way to go.

          1. I think you are right.

        2. @mike, it’s simple, ban wings .

      3. With the technology F1 has, if they where trying to have as little down-force as possible then F1 cars will be flying. might be on to something there.

      4. This is why ground effects are important to reintroduce. They produce downforce with less turbulence than wings.

      5. They tried that on Mark Webber’s Merc, it didn’t end well!

  6. I found this little twist in the tale of Adrian Sutil that Reuters didn’t include in their article:

    Sutil said Lux rejected his overtures but that they had discussed an out-of-court settlement in which the driver said Lux had made “strange offers” involving “a lot of money” and a hiatus from Formula One.

    That’s bizarre – as part of a settlement, Sutil would be forced to leave the sport? What logic is Lux using for that? What right does he have to ask that?

    1. Sounds suspiciously like blackmail, but then offering to give money to a charity seems like a bribe, even if it is more moral.

      1. offering to give money to a charity seems like a bribe

        That’s what an out-of-court settlement is: the two parties come to an agreement on their own where one drops the charges in exchange for some kind of compensation from the other. It’s a little unconventional to offer to pay that money to the charity, but it’s certainly not a bribe. It’s probably a ploy to put Lux in a position where he can either drop the charges and continue to support the charity, or refuse and look like a jerk. Sutil probably doesn’t want to pay him directly given that Lux is apparently intent on ruining Sutil’s career. On the other hand, trying to force Sutil out of the sport in exchange for dropping the charges does feel like blackmail, or at least Lux throwing his toys out of the pram at escape velocity. It suggests that he is not confident in the outcome of the trial – if Sutil is found guilty, then he will probably be suspended from racing. But if he is innocent or acquitted, then his career will take a hit, but he probably won’t lose his racing licence. Lux evidently sees that outcome a being very possible, and so is trying to get Sutil to step out of the sport voluntarily.

    2. I wonder if that offer came as Force India were getting a little to close for comfort to Renault last season?

      1. Possibly – but the fact that Sutil is talking about the terms that were offered means that this out-of-court settlement is not confidential. If it was and he talked about it, then he would be in contempt of court and charged accordingly. So if Lux was trying to stymie Force India, then one of two things would happen: it would be confidential, but either Sutil or his lawyers would work out what Lux was trying, and would refuse to take the deal; or it would not be confidential, in which case Sutil could (and would) speak about it, and it would make headlines as Lux tried to sabotage Force India, which would probably raise the FIA’s ire – and that would be a massive risk. Renault were found guilty of race-fixing after the Singapore incident, and were given a two-year suspended sentence on September 21. That meant that Renault would be free to compete so long as they did not get caught up in another race-fixing controversy; if they did, they would be banned on the spot. That suspended sentence expired on September 21 last year, but Force India really started to catch Renault from the German Grand Prix, which was on July 24. The suspended sentence expired the week of the Singapore Grand Prix (the Thursday before the race), but which point it was obvious that Force India were chasing Renault down. If Lux tried to force Sutil out of the sport to protect Renault’s position, the FIA could very well interpret that as trying to fix the outcome of a race, and the team would be banned for it.

        1. Out of court settlements aren’t generally confidential until they’re agreed (it’s a term of the settlement)…

    3. To me this part of the Reuters article

      Lux, also in court, said he had expected the driver to visit him in Luxembourg for an apology.

      “A phone call is not good enough,” Lux told the court.

      sounds a lot as if Lux is doing his utmost best to take revenge on Sutil. I can imagine how a proposal to meet in Luxembourg would have been planned during a GP weekend to make sure that Sutil would not be able to attend!

      Asking a racing driver to stop his career voluntarily or face possibly losing it and being imprisoned to me sounds like a choise between poison or the guillotine.

      On the other hand, these are probably Sutils accounts of what happened, so its only one side of the story.

      Sad that incident happened, and sad these guys were not able to agree on some kind of settlement. To me it looks as if pride and revenge were key in that. A real shame its come to that.

      1. I can imagine how a proposal to meet in Luxembourg would have been planned during a GP weekend to make sure that Sutil would not be able to attend!

        I think Bernie would have something to say about it if Lux tried that one.

        1. Why would he? It would just mean Sutil would not be able to come to the meeing with Lux. Making Lux feel good about how Sutil did not even turn up for their meeting!

          1. Sutil is under contract to race for Force India. And so long as he has a valid contract, he will race. Given that there is usually a two-week break between races, why would Lux feel the need to schedule a meeting with Sutil on a Grand Prix weekend? Is he really so busy that he cannot see Sutil on the non-race weekend? Or on the Wednesday after the race? The drivers do regularly commute to Europe. Bernie would hit the roof if one team member tried to force a driver from another team to miss a race. Especially under the pretense of resolving a legal matter.

          2. Is he really so busy that he cannot see Sutil on the non-race weekend? Or on the Wednesday after the race?

            And if he is so busy then, why should Lux expect Sutil to put his professional life on hold when Lux himself cannot do it?

          3. Sutil has been convicted and given an 18 month suspended sentence for Shanghai attack on Renault/Lotus boss Eric Lux and fined €200,000 to go to charity

  7. I couldn’t disagree more with COTD…

    sure the cars might be ugly this year, but the rules arent stupid, all the teams know exactly what aero does for the series, both in overtaking and performance.

    Last year wasn’t a bad year for not just overtaking (‘artificial’ or otherwise) but also close racing (which counters the aero claim). I’m looking forward to a great season where Mclaren and the rest can refine their cars and challange Red Bull!

    Don’t let F1 politics cloud your view of what is actually (IMHO) a potentially great season!

    1. how do we know the cars are ugly this year? we haven’t even seen them yet. you cant judge the whole field by one backmarker.

    2. Scottie, I comletely agree with you.

      Are we “F1 Fanatics” or “F1 bashers”? If you are the former, this forum is for you – else stop being a whinger and let everyone else enjoy it!

      Last year was fantastic, and as Keith has proven it produced the best racing of recent years. DRS is a great thing. It produces great races, because cars that are racing each other are not trapped behind other cars. It does take away from some of the more creative overtakes we have seen in the past, but at least the right cars are fighting for the places, not being stuck behind a much slower car.

      Also, I’ve no problem with them being ugly. Bring on ugly cars! Lets all enjoy the promise of a good season and savour the excitement to come!

      1. Being an F1 fan does not mean you have to approve of and support everything that happens in F1.

        This site exists for all F1 fans regardless of their opinions. If we all thought the same the comments would be rather boring…

        I love F1, but I’d rather we didn’t have to put up with ugly cars, bland circuits and DRS.

        1. I love F1, but I’d rather we didn’t have to put up with ugly cars, bland circuits and DRS.

          A nice motto for the coming year Keith!

          1. @keith_collantine fair play! I guess my argument should have been “I wish the coming season sparked the same amount of enthusiasm and hope with all fans as I have”. I guess at this point in the low season, it all seems to be a long way off – especially with only one car launched so far.

            Fingers crossed for a great season!

        2. peru(kowalsky)
          31st January 2012, 14:58

          and past due date drivers, you forgot to mention keith.

      2. DRS is a great thing.

        No, It Isn’t!

      3. Being trapped behind is part of racing, the “one move” rule is suppose to help on that matter. DRS is so video game!

        Fans are allowed to boo and express their ideas freely, it has nothing to do with bashing.

    3. peru(kowalsky)
      31st January 2012, 15:05

      the difference here is in my view, how long you have been watching f1. For the new fans f1 is so exciting that are unable to see the flaws. The coment of the day fan is sure an old fan, who is not easily impressed anymore.
      I agree with keith, i like f1, but i rather have it some other way.
      Paying 300 pounds to watch it, i think is not worth it. But if you have asked me in 1982 i would have done anything to be able to watch all races live.

      1. @peru(kowalsky)

        Less of the old there mate, I much prefer to describe myself as seasoned ;-)

        1. seasoned will be.

      2. In 1982 the old fans might have said the same about you…

        1. that’s the point i was trying to make. It’s human nature to think that past times were better. But if you look at the early eighties there was a lot of politics, more than today’s, and the wing cars were crap, drivers were very upset about them.

          1. It’s frustrating when you find yourself longing for the “good old days”… of 2010…

  8. unfortunately its hard not to agree with COTD.

    1. I feel this way too. I’m not passionately looking forward to the start of the season as I have been the last 20 years in fact.

      Keep wondering if something is wrong with me or F1. Maybe both!?

  9. What is COTD????

    1. Comment of the Day.

        1. McLarenFanJamm
          31st January 2012, 12:34

          In My Humble Opinion

    2. Cardiac Output Obtained by Thermodilution.

      1. That’s COOT.

        1. oh ya! It’a COtd. :D
          hmmm. City of the Damned?

    3. Completely Off-Topic Digression : )

  10. Can’t wait for the month of Feb,car launches, testing, & still need to know who will seat in the HRT car.

  11. COTD! Is Spot on.

  12. I’d like to see Rubens in Indycar. The sport could definitely use a driver of his caliber.

    1. And let me add that I wish they’d shown more of his lap than what we see here!

    2. Not to mention they should leave that car just as it is with the bare carbon, only put on some sponsor stickers if needed.

      1. Given that Lotus is sponsoring them, not very likely. But perhaps now that the Group Lotus – Caterham dispute is settled, maybe KV Racing-Lotus will race in black-and-gold instead of green-and-yellow? It’d thus be a bit closer to the bare carbon color.

        1. @hircus – KV Racing Technology no longer receives sponsorship from Lotus Cars. They were planning to, but Lotus was delayed in producing their engine, and so the team signed Chevrolet on instead. If you look closely, you can see the Chevrolet insignia on the engine airbox in the video when Barrichello drives out.

          1. Ah. I did hear they’re using Chevrolet power, but didn’t know the Lotus sponsorship is tied with an engine deal. After all, in F1 the “Lotus” cars are Renault-powered, and KV Racing was sponsored by Lotus last year even though everyone ran Honda engines.

  13. Happy Birthday Sharan!

  14. @keithcollatine, seems the Bahrain article has been taken down by the Guardian – it now says this:

    Removed: Bahrain has failed to grasp reform – so why is the grand prix going ahead?

    This article has been taken down on 30 January 2012 pending investigation.

    1. @keithcollantine – seems the Bahrain article has been taken down by the Guardian, see my post above

      1. Hmmm, looks like The Grauniad realised that there was a bigger problem with the article than their usual spelling mistakes.

      1. Thank you for that link, although I must say I am curious to learn from the Guardian why they pulled the story. Any chance of finding out @keithcollantine?

        For now, I think Bassiouni, the head of the BICI commission expesses what the situation is like in Bahrain clearly in this video.

    2. Very odd – let’s see if they say why it was removed.

      I must say I prefer their practice of openly admitting the article has been taken down to the rather shadier practice of removing a problematic article and leaving the link dead, which you often see other news sites doing.

      1. Very odd – let’s see if they say why it was removed.

        Looking at the archive version that was posted a few entries above, I’m guessing that the paper might have felt that it was too much of an opinion piece when it was intended as factual reporting. This is the headline:

        Bahrain has failed to grasp reform – so why is the grand prix going ahead?

        This can form the basis of a factual article, looking at the various social, political and economic reasons for the race going ahead despite the problems in Bahrain.

        But then look at some of the language used:

        the FIA still hasn’t got the message.

        Behind the facade, however, lie tales of misery, blood and torture.

        The BIC is responsible for purging its own people. It is hardly a place that deserves to host this race again.

        It is simply shocking that Britain and the US continue to support such a repressive regime and that Formula One is even considering holding the Bahrain race at the current time.

        The Formula One race provides a perfect example of how a polished PR image hides a reality of human rights violations, political repression, torture and corruption.

        And so on and so forth. Now, however true these statements might be, it is the way that they are written that does the damage to the article. They are judgemental, persuasive, and above all else, emotive. The words are designed to ellicit an emotional response from the reader – and if this article was originally intended as factually examining the situation, then those words have no place in this article. It loses journalistic objectviity. This story is better-suited to a blog or an opinion piece, but may have been presented as a factual article.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys That tells us everything about your opinions and nothing about what’s actually happened. I’d rather wait and see what the Guardian have to say.

          1. Hey, I’m just speculating as to what might have happened. There’s no harm in it … right?

        2. It would appear from the URL in the header to the archived article on the Nottingham Quakerd page:

          that this was in fact a commentary piece and not a news article

          1. And @keithcollantine link in the article above is the same, both pointing to the Guardian’s commentary section.

        3. PM, it IS an opinion piece.

          1. But what I am asking is whether it was intended as an opinion piece by the editors, or if they wanted something more factual in nature.

          2. Since it was originally posted in the Guardian’s commentary section it was obviously an opinion piece.

      2. I must say I prefer their practice of openly admitting the article has been taken down

        Certainly, this way they clearly show they did post an article, but now have some doubts over it. Good policy for transparent journalism

      3. Speaking of which, something similar’s just happened on Autosport:

        1. Here‘s a full-size screen grab of the article

        2. Now that is very interesting.

  15. completely agree with the COTD. I’ve watched F1 for over 20 years and it’s inspiring me less and less and less, this season is the first where I’ll maybe watch 1 or 2 races.

    1. Interestingly, I’ve been watching F1 for about the same time and I think that last year was far and away the best for action I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait for 2012!

      1. In 25 years, I’d put last year as average at best.

        2010 was better than last year (2011).
        2010 was probably the best of the last 5 – 10 years, the championship lead changed many times, it went to the wire, more ‘real’ over takes in one season than nearly two sessions (pick any two) that preceded in the last who knows seasons. 2010 was a really classic.

        2011- what 2011, we won’t remember it be the end of the summer ;-)

        Looking forward to half of 2012 though

        1. Don’t get me wrong, 2010 was the best championship battle I’ve ever seen. I said 2011 was the best year for ‘action’ and I stand by that.

          1. I’d say the first half of 2011 saw the best on track action, but overall seasons like 2006 and 2008 were probably better because the on track entertainment never died down halfway into the season.

          2. Lots of “action” in the pitlane yes. Who cares about that?

  16. That Indycar really is horrific looking.

    1. Yes but still better looking than a F1 car unfortunately.

  17. On a different note, spanish sources are talking up Jaime Alguersuari’s chances of landing a Mercedes 3rd driver role pointing out that the Abu-Dhabi owners (Abu-Dhabi -> Aabar ->Mercedes) of CEPSA were non too impressed with Red Bull dropping ALG who had become something like their public face recently in international expansion plans.
    The article also hints at Petronas rethinking their involvement in the sport, after already dropping sponsorship of the Yamaha MotoGP team, opening up the way for CEPSA to get involved with Mercedes.

    Lets see how that pans out in the coming weeks

    1. opening up the way for CEPSA to get involved with Mercedes

      Oh, great. Then we’re going to have two red-and-silver Mercedes-powered teams.

      1. Although it seems that CEPSA were the ones sending invitations to the STR car launch today, making it doubtfull they are going to sponsor Mercedes any time soon.

  18. Mikkel Sørensen (@)
    31st January 2012, 8:17

    Can someone tell me how fast those Indycars are around a relatively twisty track compared to an F1 car?

    1. A Formula One car would be way faster of any kind of track apart from a banked oval. Although some would argue a F1 car if properly set up could potentially be quicker on some ovals also. It would be a brave driver to try though. Stability and safety would be a big concern.

      Formula One cars are much lighter and would brake and accelerate far faster. This is the main reason for the difference.

      I’d guess about six to eight seconds a lap on most Grand Prix tracks. Possibly even ten or eleven seconds a lap around Monaco!

  19. I hope Rubens lands a seat in Indycars. That will be a very good reason to try and follow the whole season instead of just the Indy 500.

    As for Aerodynamics: It’s such a shame the whole car is a earo device. It would be easy to freeze front and rear wing development and then lift the freeze on engines. But this wouldn’t solve the problem because the whole car is made to generate downforce.
    I do think FIA needs to look at that sort of solution. Maybe have teams build a car that without wings is neutral (not producing any downforce or lift), and then homologate 3 front and 3 rear wings at the start of the season (High, medium and low downforce). This way could stop the current dependency on earo and make overtaking easier, and stop cars from getting a whole lot faster.

    1. not producing any downforce or lift

      That would not only be extremely difficult to both build and enforce, but would also be absurdly dangerous.

      1. Nice to see someone having and expressing ideas though! :D

  20. I understand the COTD is purely opinion but I’m not sure where he’s coming from. Formula 1 has been like that for decades, why choose this season to be the final straw?

    1. My guess is the knee-jerk reactions to try and solve the problem, like DRS and purpose-built unreliable tires, instead of a more back-to-basics approach.

      Have to agree if that’s the case. If they really were concerned that F1 wouldn’t be the fastest form of motorsport anymore, they wouldn’t limit the engine power to 750bhp for instance.

    2. @Dan Thorn

      I’ve not had to pay hundreds of pounds to watch a season of F1 before.

    3. I think it may be the straw that broke the camel’s back, rather than anything else.

  21. This sounds promising:

    McLaren are preparing themselves for a fight over the MP4-27’s legality.

    1. I wonder why this has since been removed, cant see it anywhere on the site now.

    2. Geoff McGrath said that the car has innovations that are evident from first time you see it
      the RB7 was also very innovative last year with the EBD but the red bull team didn’t say that there were doubts about it’s legality!!!!!!!!!!
      i don’t know what the word ”innovative” mean in Mclaren’s dictionary but i think this is a big risk to take especially when we know that the FIA is intended to ban every controversial innovation

      1. that the FIA is intended to ban every controversial innovation

        Unfortunately for Mclaren this has been the trend :/

      2. RBR knew perfectly well that their car was illegal on many points. That they didn’t openly state so doesn’t mean they weren’t prepared for legality issues.

  22. I thought Rubens had promised his wife he would never race on ovals?

    Perhaps he might share a ride.

  23. Thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine, and thanks to all those who agree or disagree enough to post their thoughts; I was expecting to get flamed and have my fanatic credentials questioned after posting it but it appears I’m not the only one who’s finding it difficult to get excited about the sport these days.

    I think this season may be a game changer for British F1 fans; we’ve all become accustomed to getting F1 for “free” (TV tax aside) but now that we’re being asked to pay hundreds of pounds for the right to watch all of the races live I suspect that many people will find that what used to be an annoyance with the way the sport is run is now enough to stop them paying to watch the races which could result in them following the sport in a less than fanatic manner, or not at all.

    I can’t remember the last time I failed to watch a race live (excluding falling asleep during a boring Tilke GP) but I now find that I’m faced with a decision to spend hundreds of pounds to watch all of the races live, watch half live and half as re-runs or to simply stop following the sport entirely. For someone who has been following F1 for over 25 years and who considers it to be their favourite sport this isn’t an easy decision to make.

    1. Its a good COTD, nicely showing the thinking of a long standing F1 fan. And its also contoversial enough to capture the discussion.
      Thanks for it @Beneboy

    2. Accidental Mick
      31st January 2012, 15:43

      I’ve been watching F1, and the preceeding series, for over 50 years. At first, just the British events (Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Goodwood) but. as the television coverage grew. eventually all the races.
      When, for a few seasons, I just hadn’t got time to watch every race (very young children, renovating houses) I found watching just the occaisional race boring because I lost track the “behind the scenes” stories.
      I am retired now and cannot justify the expense of Sky (and would resent paying anyway).
      I will probably watch Australia just for old times sake but I expect that will be it.

      1. That is very saddening to hear.

  24. I hope Rubens Barrichello gives Indycars’ a go, he’s still got what it takes and it would be a great thing for American openwheel racing to have a driver of his standing in the series. As a diehard Indy fan, there has not been much cheer in recent months since the tragic death of Dan Wheldon. Thank God, atlast some possible good news for a change!

  25. Look at this nice little piece of motorsport news posted by Saward: Colinb Kolles will be back on track running a Lotus powered Lola chassis in the LMP2 championship!

  26. Personally I think that Rubens would kick some ass in this series if he’d decide to race there.

  27. An option for Jaime Alguersuari, in the possible shape of a Mercedes third driver role?

  28. I don’t like drivers changing their helmets. Nico’s new design is quite different to his previous one, and I haven’t warmed with it yet.

  29. Is it just me or do the new Indy cars look so much better than the current F1 cars? Especially with the new 2012 silliness at the nose , not that I don’t still like them but the Indy-cars look somehow more menacing (as single-seaters should!)

  30. I said 2011 was the best year for ‘action’ and I stand by that.

    Much of that so called action was artificial though & thats why I think 2011 will be forgotten as we go into the future.

    I largely hated the on-track action last year, All the DRS moves were dull & unexciting & a lot of the tyre related passing was similar.

    I’ll watch the start of 2012 & if things are the same I’ll just stop watching, I can’t stand the direction F1 is going with all these tupidly absurd gimmicks that do nothing but create artificial & boring racing.

  31. I had to laugh at the comment of the day. Alot there was true, especially the Sky Tv segment. Which gave me pause for thought! If 2012 is a bad, boring, give Vettel the trophy at the Monaco Grands Prix type of season, could we see people on mass telling Sky where to shove their expensive HD F1 package? Its abit like football. People will fill a stadium if the team is playing good football, but when they play a load of junk, the stadium soon becomes empty. F1 has alot of diehards like the good people on this site, but it also has alot of casual fans aswell, just like football. Those who jump on the bandwagon when something appears cool and fashionable.
    I.E Watching the Valencia Gp on free to air BBC tv, even though is was boring and like watching paint dry, is fine aslong as its apart of your license fee. Would it be fine though when it has cost you hundreds of pounds though? Me think’s not

  32. hey guys if you are interested here is a great on board cam shot of Rubens lapping the new indycar in testing. Very good quality video

    1. Nice clip.

      Odd how the low revs make it sound like he’s driving slow. When compared to the high pitched whine of F1 cars anyway.

    2. I love the on board sound, it’s reminiscent of the 80’s turbo F1 days

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