Sunday, 30 June 2013

This is just getting silly now ...


That is all I have to say on the subject.

Rosberg won, because his tyres didn’t explode and his engine didn’t break
Webber was second after complaining to his team that his start line procedure didn’t work properly
Alonso raced the arse off the car yet again to third because Ferrari can’t get the thing dialled in before the race
Hamilton was robbed in fourth
Kimi was lucky the track was warm and the tyres worked for him after a cold qualifying left him a long way back, fifth today... will he be in a Redbull next year ..... yes.
Massa also had to race back after his tyre exploded
Sutil was dull
Ricciardo is still convinced his eighth place today will mean something to Redbull at the end of the year.
Di Resta is counting down the days before he can tell the press just what he thinks of the Force India team in ninth
Hulkenberg must be wondering if the move to Sauber was worth it after all ... the answer, is no.

I'm going to watch the rest of Glasto and drink port now.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Silverstone ... How long will Bernie hold his tongue for .....?

Right. Silverstone ..


Tyres blah blah blah balh ablah Redbull whinging blah ablha blah Ferrari not happy blah blah blah blah testing blah blha bblah bhalbbbbllllah Mercedes.


Usually It’s a wet and windy affair, but it’s looking like a bright and sunny race at the moment. Bernie will stick the knife into the BRDC at some point. Try and shift the focus away from his impending arrest for being a less that truthful with the German judiciary. The Merc testing ho harr storm in a teacup rumbles on, with Redbull throwing their toys out of the pram.


I’ve not really bothered with this whole Merc testing farce because it’s such a waste of time and effort to get worked up about it. The teams can’t agree on what day of the week it is because they have all become so paranoid about what each other is doing. Because there is so much money involved now, there is no trust between the teams. Pirelli have been crucified because their tyres don’t last long enough for the like of Redbull and Mercedes, whilst Lotus and Force India think they are fine.

But because there is no in season testing Pirelli couldn’t develop a tyre last year for this year, and can’t test this year for next, when it’s really going to matter. So they got tired of all the infighting and backstabbing and just went and tested in secret with Mercedes because they needed the data. They’d done the same thing with Ferrari and Redbull in previous years. So why not now ?


Its all so tedious. Redbull are now saying that they’re not going to take part in the young drivers test in protest at the FIA not throwing the book at Merc. They’re going to go off and do a test with Ferrari and boo sucks to the FIA. What tyres they’ll be testing is anyone’s guess. Because I think they’ve burnt all their bridges with Pirelli now.  


Redbull, never backwards in coming forwards, are really starting to throw their weight around now. I think winning 3 titles on the bounce has giving them a very inflated sense of entitlement. Maybe they want to move in on Ferraris territory as the team with the biggest clout. Horner is starting to be the go to boss for stupid accusations and finger pointing.


Well really, what were you expecting the FIA to do about Mercedes testing .. ? Ban them, throw them out of the championship ? take all their points away ….?

The FIA knows the teams won’t agree to anything and they know Pirelli have got to get some sort of testing of 2014 tyres done on comparable machinery. I suspect they knew full well what Merc were up to and just sort of turned a blind eye and waited for the usual suspect to throw a hissy fit, then slap wrists all round “don’t do it again” and breeze off back to HQ.


And low and behold that’s what happened.  As I said before, Merc were never going to sort out their tyres issues in three days, it’s a fundamental design issue. Not a set up glitch.


Anyway… back to the track. If they can all keep their knives sheathed this week end … take you pick really. Redbull, maybe Ferrari, Lotus have faded a bit as the big boy throw money at the problem. McLaren have been giggling nervously and talking about a ‘maaaaaybe” getting a podium, which is never going to happen.  Mercedes on pole again, about evens, flick a coin between Hamilton at home and Rosberg on a mission.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

It's that German lad again .. oh the joy!

Well there you go then, Vettel didn’t even need to break into a sweat for that did he, and it’s all starting to look dreadfully predictable (well maybe not for some of you). The Wall of Champions had ONE job this weekend and it failed spectacularly in its mission.  Hopeless.

Do you think anyone can stop him? I don’t, well I don’t think he’s going to win every race between here and Brazil ... but he doesn’t have to now. As long as he finishes in the points and keeps it all ticking over, that’ll be enough won’t it.  Alonso and Kimi don’t look like they can keep the challenge going week after week really; the Ferrari is a little suspect at qualifying and the Lotus doesn’t like cold days and slippery tracks. Alonso showed us again what a fantastic driver he is when he has to chase the points down, with another balls to the wall drive from sixth this time. Kimi meanwhile just couldn’t get the Lotus to grip the blacks stuff and was trying to make something of a ninth place start.

Then you have the Merc which are fast ish ... and a day spent testing 2014 Pirelli rubber has made no difference to their race pace, despite what that nitwit Horner might say. They haven’t been able to make the car work for three years on Italian rubber; one day in Bahrain isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference.  Lewis will drive the arse off anything you give him but the thing goes through rubber faster than a season pro in the plot challenge films of Hollywood’s more spicy film industry.

Saying that, there weren’t too many teams complaining about the tyres this weekend, two days of cold wet rain meant the track was pretty green and the wear rates were down for everyone.  Without a series of long fast corners the temperatures couldn’t build up to dangerous levels.  During the race Di Resta even managed something like 56 laps on a set of softs, which would have been unthinkable a few races ago.  Maybe ... just maybe the teams have got a handle on the issue.


Wet qualifying always throws up a few interesting sights. This time it was the turn of Bottas to make a name for himself. The rain was hard enough to mean no slicks, but not enough to go from inters to full wets. So it was a bit tippy toes from the drivers keeping the temp down on the inters on the long back straight, so they could thread their way through the tree lines twisty bits that never got a dry line.  Bottas in the Williams was consistently up there as qualifying went on, he didn’t scrap into Q3 by the seat of his pants. No, is was fully deserved and a very creditable career high of third. Vettel and Lewis battled it out for pole with the German just sneaking it as the rain started to get heavier as time ran out.
Not having a good weekend at all was Button who forgot that to do a final quail run you actually have to cross the line before flag drops. They don’t wave you past with a cheery “oh go on then, you loveable scamp”  No trying to be too clever and hanging back to the very last second to start your lap does require you to know how much longer you’ve actually got. As everyone else scampered off for one last attempt to make it into Q3, he took too long and crossed the line after the flag had dropped and so started the race in fourteenth.   

Sunday, dawned bright, sunny and clear. This meant when the lights went out for the start of the race Bottas went backwards rapidly, he made Alonso and Webber work for it, but he didn’t make them work for long.  
Meanwhile Vettel drove off into the distance. Hamilton tried to stay with him for a bit but in reality Vettel was gone after turn one and no one got close to him all afternoon. Back in the pack we got to see some great racing as the laps ticked over. Mass and Sutil where at it tooth and nail, Sutil after almost collecting half the field when he spun trying to pass Bottas into turn five, before Maldonado attempted to use him as a break into the hairpin. With a damaged rear wing he managed to haul his Force India into the points. But then he got a drive through for not getting out of the way of Hamilton and Alonso who were scrapping over second spot.   
Alonso showed you can look after your tyres and still over take on the track with moves past Rosberg, Webber and an enthralling dice with Hamilton. Yes DRS and KERS played a part, but you have to know when to use them and how to do it effectively for it all to work. It was a real master class in proper old school racing. Grosjean please take note.

But yeah, it was really the Vettel show and he didn’t look like he’d broken into a sweat when he got out of the car.  He missed fastest lap to his team mate at the end, had a few dicy moments when he got board and slap the wall or missed turn one. But there was never any challenge from anyone else. The only person that was going to beat Vettel this weekend was Vettel. With Silverstone next which should be prime Redbull territory, followed by Germany and Hungary in July, I think we’re about to see championship run be put together.

Alonso was second with a championship saving run. Like I said, Ferrari are looking edgy right now, the car doesn’t qualify well and it took all of Alonso’s skill to haul it’s backside up to a podium finish. Massa binned the other in qualifying and the team had to work hard to keep the show on the road. Alonso is 32 points behind Vettel now and I can’t see where he’s going to make up the difference.  He needs some more weekends like Spain where it all went right, or else he’s going to be runner up yet again.
Hamilton gets a career reviving podium in third. The witless media will be happy with that for a few weeks. He tried hard to defend second from Alonso, but the Spaniard was on a mission and had just too much grip in the end. But it’s a good result none the less, he almost got pole, but I don’t think it would have made much difference if he had started one place higher; Vettel was just so much faster. It was great to see two of the best drivers going wheel to wheel with inches to spare. Let’s hope we more of the same over the rest of the season.

Webber was fourth and got the fastest lap at the end. He was another than couldn’t stop the remorseless drive of Alonso to the podium. He was doing alright just about holding him off until he met our favourite rubbish, and here i use the term very loosely, F1 driver; Giedo van der Garde. Giedo who was running as usual in last place, taking in the sights of MontrĂ©al, waving to the crowd, sighing autographs as he drove slowly past. He was smiling and waving at the crowds so much coming in to the hairpin that he completely missed every single marshal waving a big blue flag at him. Wondering around on the racing line like it didn’t apply to him, he turned into the apex from about six miles away and was surprised to find Webber was already there. Queue comedy spin with bits of Webber wing end plate bouncing off and around for humorous effect. It didn’t stop the grumpy Ozzy, with a couple of fastest laps later. But breaking into the big stops was a bit compromised and Alonso was soon past.  It’s an okay result for Mark, but it’s not the start of a championship run is it. How long before he announces he’s off to the Porsche Le Mans gig ? Also getting a fastest lap at the end of the race in fourth just shows the team boss he wasn’t trying hard enough for the rest of the race, in my opinion.

Rosberg fifth and one of those, “was he there?” races we talked about at the start of the season see, brilliant in Monaco one week, faceless in Canada the next. He complained he didn’t qualify well because his radio didn’t work and he didn’t know he had three laps or fuel not two. Which is rubbish and we all know that. Get out there and drive it like you didn’t just borrow it from your mum you idiot! I have no idea what his excuse for the race is, and I don’t really care. Must do better next time, young man.

Vergne, puts done his marker for the Redbull seat next year with sixth. After the eighth in Monaco he’s having a good run of results. With 13 points to Ricciardos 7 he’s the one to watch at the moment.

Di Resta is also on a mission to save his career in seventh. Two weeks now the team has clowned around and left him stranded at the back of the grid. This time they were fixing a faulty do darr when he should have been qualifying and absolutely nothing to do with Paul not going fast enough or anything.  Anyway, he started in seventeenth and made it all the way to lap 56 before he had to change tyres. That’s some going considering he’d done no long run testing and practice had been short and wet.  It was a good solid driver and could well have been a podium run if he’s just qualified better ... I mean if the team had been on the ball.

Eighth for Massa and again another run from the back end of the grid after he binned it in Q2, well at least he finished this time, after the nightmare in Monaco. He’s started to get a bit wobbly again and people are starting to talk about Massa like he isn’t in the room .... when he’s standing right there. He needs a top five at Silverstone really.

Kimi was ninth and didn’t get hit by anyone this week. I think he’s either now joint or has become the driver with the longest points scoring run ever in F1.  This is a fairly meaningless achievement when he only has one world championship and is 44 points behind Vettel this year! Still it could be worse, he could be Grosjean. Lotus are making a big deal about this and it just shows you they are scraping around for good news stories down there. From being title contenders to “yeah he’s got loads of points and finishes and stuff (but not quite enough to lead the championship) and he’s ace at drinking Vodka and eating ice creams ... gggrrrr don’t tell him what to do heheheheh......heh...he ............sigh”.

Sutil was tenth and I think a little unlucky with the drive through for ignoring blue flags. He tried to get off the line to let Hamilton and Alonso through but he was caught at a point you can’t easily do that.  When they got to the hairpin he got out of the way, Hamilton had too many laps to defend against Alonso so ultimately it made no difference Sutil holding them up for a corner to two.  But it was Ferrari so you know; the FIA likes to throw its weight around every now and again.

Right, Giedo got taken out by Hulkenberg this time I'm afraid so it’s the turn of plucky Brit Max Chilton to be last this time, well done him.

And that’s your lot because it’s late and I'm tired.

Well done to whoever won, see you in Silverstone in two weeks time.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Canada and some points of interest.

Right then its time for the Canadian GP and there are a couple of interesting things to watch out for this weekend.

Firstly keep an eye Ferrari. It’s all been a bit quite down Maranello way thus far, the season hasn’t really got off to the flyer the last one ended on. Yes Alonso got the wins in China and Spain, good wins too. But Malaysia and Bahrain were a bit of a disaster and Monaco was lacklustre, they are having to scrap it out with Lotus when they need to be beating Redbull. Already the constructor’s championship (and the ones the teams really want to win, for the money if nothing else) looks like it’s going to be Redbulls to lose. They’re 40 points ahead of Ferrari and don’t look like losing that lead any time soon.

So Ferrari needs a good weekend to keep Alonso in the hunt and Massa to be on form to pick up the points, while Lotus and Redbull are out of the point. Things are starting to look a little jumpy around Ferrari as they start to feel the constructors and drivers titles beginning to slip away.

You never know with this place though, the ‘Wall of Champions” might claim Redbull or two, Kimi might trip up. But just watch Ferrari and see how edgy the team are at the moment. 

Lewis ….  The red tops and scandal rag Media is starting to poke at Hamilton and ask why he isn’t beating his team mate by a country mile. Most normal F1 watchers are aware that is takes time to gel with a new team, especially when your whole career to date has been with one team who you won a world championship with. So the regular press pack hasn’t taken much notice of the goings on at Mercedes.

 But then Nico went and dominated the Monaco weekend. Lewis was consistently half a second off his team mate’s times and didn’t really look like he’d got a handle on the car at all. This is a just new team teething problem, nothing to be worried about in the grand scheme of things. The car was designed with an ex seven times world champions backside in mind. So it’s to be expected that the car isn’t quite how the plucky Brit would like it.

 But the Fleet Street hacks that haul their fat backsides to Monaco once a year for the annual free food and booze orgy, have decided that Lewis has lost the plot and will leave Mercedes for McLaren any minute now. Never mind that Nico has always been pretty handy when he’s motivated and spent the last three years beating Schumacher. He’s always promised this sort of season but then fades as the year goes on, lets see how he’s doing once we get to Japan shall we. As for Lewis, it’s a kick back and enjoy the ride year, it all changes next year with new engines and rules. I think the death of Hamilton’s career is being greatly overstated right now.

What else…

Well there’s Force India and their “We will get a podium  … any minute now… just watch  .. here we go … the next one .. yeah the next race  … we’ll get a podium” story. This season, just as Mr Malaya looks like he’s going to sell the lot to the first bidder if they offered him £4.50 and a packet of wine gums! The rozzers are looking to haul him off for unpaid bills back home in India, so how much longer the team is around is anyone’s guess. I imagine this is rather taking the managements eyes of the prize on the track right now, so its no small wonder they are doing quite as well as they are. Once again look out for Sutil and Di Resta, either could well be up there if the big boys come a cropper on the wall.

Meanwhile, McLaren and their new 2015 Honda engine deal … I’m going to make a prediction here and now. I don’t think Jenson will ever drive a McLaren with a Honda engine. Perez has turned up and after a bit of a shaky start, shown Button the way home. He doesn’t seem to respect Jenson the way Lewis did and certainly doesn’t have the same sort of skill. But that will come, It just won’t be there when Jenson is. Because Honda are going to want a Japanese driver in the car for the first few years as they get the motorsport division back up to speed and into winning ways. No point wasting lots of money on talent that isn’t going to get results now is there.

 So the smart money is currently riding on a return for Krazy Koby when Jenson walks off into the twighlight in a year or two’s time. The team are really talking Canada, and to a large extent the rest of the season, down now. They need to understand why this years car is so poor so they don’t make the mistake again with next years car. But this season is over as a championship now for the Woking boys and girls.  

Right, who will win …Vettel or Kimi … my money is on Kimi. I thin the Merc will be on pole again, Nico seems to be dialled in so why not him, maybe a Banzai lap from Vettel though, just for a change.

Bear in mind though, the weather is expected to be wet on Saturday, so pole could go to anyone of the big four.

 Fastest lap is all about who has a problem at the end and has to make an unscheduled stop at the end. That could be anyone, so close your eyes and pick a number there.

Last place, well Max was doing alright against Van Der Garde, but I think Caterham mighthave a faster car here so  .. Max is my tip for last.

But as ever its all down to you.

Don’t forget to make any updates before midnight on Thursday.


Good luck.