Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Back to the grind I'm affraid.

Right. Okay, I'm afraid these are going to have to get a bit more focused and shorter now. It's one month till my wife is due to give birth, so I have a huge long list of stuff which I'm supposed to be sorting out. Rather than wasting my time away writing silly Formula one stuff.  
But I've sneaked a beer into the den and closed the door. I think I've got enough time to give you a preview of the weekends Austrian GP.

So then Mercedes will win .... Or will they ? Austria is very much like Canada, long fast bits with a couple of tight chicanes. It flows up and down the side of a mountain and fast times come from fast powerful engines; Mechanical grip is required as the teams trim the cars out to make them as slippery as possible.

Ferrari was right up Mercedes chuff in Canada, or they would have been if Vettels power unit had held together. Kimi normally qualifies a few tenths off Vettel and in Canada he was only half a second or so behind Nico's rear wing. If Vettel hadn't had his problems he would have been right up there making Mercedes work for their points. So Ferrari should be just as fast this time and a punt on some Vettel top step action isn't such a long shot. You certainly want at least one Ferrari on the podium.

But what about a Williams up there, I hear you cry. Well last year they should have sneaked a victory, but pragmatic point scoring trumped spirited racing. This year the car is just as fast and now more reliable, but the Mercs have pulled further ahead and Ferrari have got their engine working so the best they can reasonably hope for is a fourth but it'll probably be a fifth. Really they're waiting for last year's prize money to clear Bernie's "resting account" around the last third of the season. Next year it's going to be all about the Williams boys, trust me ;)
Lotus looked to have got their act together in Canada; Grosjean was beaten fair and square by Maldonado who managed to avoid hitting anything for a change. Austria being a power circuit I think a top ten is more than likely, and there's plenty of space for Pastor to charge around in.

Out of the points will be all the Renault drivers again. The Redbull A1 ring that Redbull pay to maintain, goes up the side of a mountain so if your engine runs out of puff on anything longer than 100 yards of straight road, you're in trouble. I've lost count of how many engines the various Redbull and Torro Rosso drivers are on but I expect someone will get a penalty for changing something this weekend. A Renault engine car in the top ten is a very long shot this weekend.

And finally Nico Hulkenberg, He's had a bit of a quite season thus far. So he went off and with the help of Porsche, British driver Nick Tandy and New Zealander Earl Bamber, only went and won Le Mans. It was mostly due to Nick Tandy who drove it like he stole it though the night. But this wasn't some seat of the pants, wing and a prayer, last man standing win. This was a gutsy, hard fought and well deserved win, beating the normally ruthless Audi winning machine. We all knew the Hulk was a top class driver and I hope he gets a bit more respect now, If he isn't in a factory LMP1 program next year, there's no justice in this world.

Right that's enough. Flip a coin to chose who follows Lewis home, Mercs and Ferraris up front, Williams best of the rest, throw in a Lotus and a Force India and then chose between the remaining Merc engine cars for the rest of the top ten.    

Oh one last thing ... McLaren Honda. The tension ramped up several notches in Canada. Alonso openly saying "Look the car is dog slow, unreliable and handles like a fat kid in a chocolate shop..... Now you're telling me its thirsty too.  Oh for f.... "

Alonso is not a happy camper. This is not the McLaren he signed up for and he can see no end to the pain he's having to endure at each round this year. There seems to be an awful lot of head scratching around the car and yet another bit melts, or falls off, or grenades itself, of just stops working.  Sure the other teams had these teething problems last year! But Honda had a year off testing whatever they wanted to for however long they wanted, they had no testing restrictions at all to sort these problems out.

The car is fundamentally wrong, the engine is going to take years to sort, meanwhile the Merc and Renault squads are getting further up the road. 

The Hulk goes off and wins Le Mans in the car Alonso was expected to be in, but was banned from racing by Big Ron. I wouldn't be surprised if Fernando burst into Ron's office and demonstrated his frustration to Ron using the medium of a clenched fist. Repeatedly.

Right no, that is it. Update your prediction before Friday please and good luck.

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