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The misadventures of a pint sized man.

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Posts Tagged ‘Schumacher’

Formula One in 2012 – My thoughts.

Posted by Bill Prosperi on March 9, 2012

Heikki on track

Last year my Father-in-law looked at me and asked me what I thought about the chassis of the Formula One cars. Before I could answer, he told me they were ugly. ‘They are the ugliest cars I have ever seen, they looked like squished bugs.’ I could not see what he was seeing and therefore could not argue the point. Can not wait to hear what he has to say about this year and the new step / platypus nose just about everyone seems to be using. My big pain of the season will be something a little more close to home though. I do not hide my allegiance to McLaren. My son makes no bones about who he wants to see win. I tried hard to raise him right but he has fallen prey to the Tifosi. The good thing is that he is only six and I have plenty of time to correct him before I have to kick him out the house. Not sure what to do about the Ferrari flag hanging in his room or the Scuderia jacket his Grandparents gave him for his birthday.

So as the new season is just days away, I figured might as well throw out my thoughts for what the season may bring. After digesting all the preseason testing, it is easy to see that just about everyone is fast. (Preseason times mean nothing to me.) Well, everyone except Ferrari, who seems to be having a wee bit of issues with the car and its setup. I am sure Montezemolo will blame some obscure rule if Alonso does not make it to the podium. The first rule that comes to mind is new for the season. I like to call it the Schumacher-Monza rule which states that if a driver leaves the racing line after a defensive move, that driver needs to leave space before returning to said racing line. This will be a hoot to watch for the first few rounds. This season we also see the return of in-season testing. Not sure why this was removed, beyond the supposed cost savings, but glad to see it back. I am sure several of the teams are glad as well. The other change, allowing lapped cars to pass and get a lap back under restarts. For the love of Zeus, I am glad to see this. Having slow cars packed between the leaders is plain and simply dumb, as well as unsafe. This should help rein in a certain Bull.

A few other things this season we will see are the return to the U.S. and the Kimster! Come November Austin, Texas will host the return of the USGP on a track designed for the purpose of Formula One. I figure, if I save enough lunch money, Little Man and I can make it out there in a few years. Kimi Raikkonen, the Ice man, is back and driving the Lotus. I really missed the post race interviews that he put on. He will make a difference for the team right out of the gate. We also see a lady back in the ranks with Maria de Villoto as a test driver for Marussia. One thing we will not see this season is Ruebens. The long time veteran has been displaced at Williams and has moved on to IndyCar series. Best of luck Ruebino.

Here is what I predict for the season:

1.) Kobayashi will land a podium or two this season. Kamui is one of the more enjoyable drivers to watch and the boy is not scared to put a pass on anyone.

2.) Caterham will score. The old Lotus team will not just score once but a few times this season. The addition of Vitaly Petrov will be a big boost.

3.) Torro Rosso will continue to prove they are morons. To scrap both drivers cause the results did not meet expectations is usually a good idea. Not in this case. Just because the young protege of Sebastian Vettel managed to eek out a win in a wet race does not make one a top tier team. Buemi and Alguersuari were respectable drivers in a car that is just not up to pace. Marko is living in a dream world. Best of luck to the new boys. Keep your resumes on hand just in case.

4.) Massa is a goner. Ferrari want something more than the poor Brazilian is willing to give. Is Massa a good driver? Yes. Does he deserve to be a ‘Second Driver’? No. This is for the betterment of his career, especially if he wants to stay in Formula One.

5.) Cooler heads will prevail. The Driver’s Title will come down to young Seb and Button, both who drive with a calm style. Mark and Lewis will battle it out for the third spot which should lead to some interesting clashes. Temperament is not on their side.

Driver’s Championship

Constructor’s Championship
Red Bull

The Driver’s Championship will not be a run away event this season. The battle between Button and Vettel will go to the wire. The same will hold true for the Constructor’s title. Red Bull and McLaren will duke it out until the end but pace themselves well clear of the third place spot which will be a fun battle between Lotus, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Ferrari’s spot will all depend on if they have their mid season pick-me up that they seem to have had lately. If the others make inroads as well, the Scuderia crew may be lucky to manage fifth. Time will tell.

(Image Link – Via Caterham F1)


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The World’s Most Expensive Parade No More.

Posted by Bill Prosperi on June 22, 2011

When the season started, three key things were introduced: new tire supplier in Pirelli, the return of KERS, and the new DRS. When ever there is such dramatic change, the Boo Birds come out in full force.  This time was no different.  Now that there are several  races on the books, the chants are growing more and more distant.  Back this season are aspects that have been missing.  Formula One is once again a spectators sport.  Still think otherwise?  The opening races should give ample proof, with China seeing the most passes and Turkey seeing the most pit stops in a long long time.  Pit strategy all but vanished when refueling was banned.  Bridgestone was making tires that would allow the teams to need two stops, maybe one, to go the race distance.  This would allow the front runners to gain enough of a time advantage to comfortably make the required stop to use both assigned compounds of the race weekend, and be back on their merry way in the lead.  Now we are seeing upwards of four stops! Some events became a parade instead of a race since overtaking points are all but configured out of most of the newer tracks. The only racing to be had, it seemed, was either out of the points or low point paying positions.
Formula One has made its mark by being on the cutting edge of technology. Heck, by being on the very edge of reality when it comes to pushing man and machine to the brink of massive failure in order to achieve maximum results. That is what draws viewers in. No one wants to see twenty some odd cars play follow the leader around some of the most spectacular tracks the world has ever seen. The fans want to see drivers battle it out till the last few laps and pull out the win on the final corner. Ladies and Gentlemen, we may have our dreams answered.
During these first rounds, teams are settling in with the new toys. The last few seasons saw things like rear diffusers that would almost create a force field around the leading car, creating ‘dirty’ air and take away the slip stream and tow. The new Down force Reduction System or DRS is attempting to remedy that. So far so good. Now mix in the extra boost of KERS and look what happens. In China and Turkey we saw Mark Webber and Kamui Kobayashi come from way down in the pack and score points. Webber managed to find his way to a podium finish without KERS, but a change in pit strategy and use of DRS. Both drivers benefited from poor qualifying results by having extra tires the others did not. Add in that both are very skilled drivers and the results speak for themselves. In Canada, Jenson Button gave the drive of his career by coming from dead last to force Vettel into an error and win on the last lap.
The season so far has seen young Vettel pick up where last season left off. The only thorn in his crown so far is McLaren, taking victory in a hard fought China and sloppy wet Canada . Matching Vettel with the likes of Adrian Newey may be a strong case for sugar somehow finding its way into the Red Bull’s fuel cell right before the lights go out. Every one of the front running teams are making full use of KERS except Red Bull, who have had on and off issues but looks to be resolved. That boys and girls is what we call ‘phenomenal race pace’ or if you’re Ferrari, one would call that cheating. The other major head scratcher this season is Michael Schumacher. This once race dominator is now fighting to not be a moving chicane. The race in Turkey saw the veteran driver in a constant battle to not be run over by drivers who were in diapers when he was winning world championships. This is still Schumi so do not count the old man out just yet. Hopefully this is not showing that the old man was just an average driver who got to pilot a well designed car.  Imagine the dreams that would crush. In Canada, Michael just missed the podium, finishing in fourth.
As this season roars on, the hope is that someone will be able to put up a solid and consistent fight to Red Bull. Both McLaren and Ferrari have shown that it is possible. Could we also start to see that qualifying may not be as crucial as in seasons past.  Teams now seem more willing to hold back and save rubber for race day instead of burning them up in hopes of pole. Not having to reuse tires from qualify may save a trip to the pits and in term buy an extra twenty to thirty seconds.  But then there is always the possible turn one carnage that the front runners usually avoid.
There are still a lot of unknowns to this season and as the Formula One circus begins its parade through Europe, a clearer picture will emerge. With more pit stops required to finish a race, there is now more uncertainty involved.  Some drivers have already paid the price in lost time from stops gone wrong.  Hold on to your couch cushions boys and girls, we are in for one hell of a thrilling ride this summer.

(Photo from http://www.f1-pics.com/, an awesome site with images that span many years.)

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