Sunday 28 February 2010

The Countdown Continues: WYSIWYG Qualifying and more

The first race of the 2010 season is now just a couple of weeks away and as the cars are packed away in Barcelona today after testing there is time to reflect on the changes for this season.

No Fuel Stops: This change in theory provides the opportunity for teams to reduce weight by increasing fuel efficiency. In practice it has resulted in none of the teams taking up the option of the heavy KERS boost system. We saw during 2009 that some cars and drivers were much kinder on the tyres which will be an advantage this year as teams will try to keep cars out for as long as possible. Cars will still have to use both compounds during the race so tyre stops will be back down to times of about four or five seconds with fewer crew needed.
Let me be the first to christen the final qualifying session “WYSIWYG” Sessions as all cars will be on the lightest fuel they can get away with. This which means this year what you see is what you get, with each car qualifying for the race based on the skills of the driver and not an artificially light load to please the sponsors. After qualifying the cars will be topped up with the fuel that the teams think will get them to the end of the race. But who will be the first driver to suffer the fate of running out of fuel whilst in the lead on the last lap of a race?

Narrower Front Wheels and no wheel fairings: The size of the wheels are reduced in size from 270mm to 245mm. This will have an impact on grip, particularly into tight turns under braking. Many teams have employed vertical wings on the radiator pods which may be to take advantage of a change in the airflow caused by the narrowing of the tyre surface. Gone will be the Frisbee style aerodynamic wheel covers which we saw cause a few near misses last year.

Rise in Minimum Weight: Cars will now have the minimum weight increased by 15kg. This provides a theoretical opportunity to position ballast to offset the size of the fuel tank.

Next Week: Bahrain Preview.

Sunday 21 February 2010

The Countdown Begins

The world motor sport council agreed on Thursday 11 Feb 2010 to a new F1 scoring system of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 for the first 10 drivers in a race.
I am always a bit nervous about new scoring and was against the gold silver bronze system proposed last year. This new system gives greater advantage to a winner which is great were the cars are very closely matched. The problem is that we never quite know how close the cars are until the first race. Also agreed by the council was a revision to allow for a substituted driver, who has not raced within the last two years, to test on a non-F1 track. This is good news for the safety of all involved.
We have a fantastic line up for 2010 but will all the teams make it to the grid?
This year we have some well established teams, some new teams with an established DNA and four completely new teams in the shape of Virgin and Lotus Campos Meta and USF1. Lotus does undoubtedly have a strong historic link with the sport, but it has to be said that the Lotus on the 2010 grid is a very distant cousin of its predecessor. The Virgin car is quite literally something dreamed up on a computer. However its designer Nick Wirth is no stranger to F1 with an impressive career in motor racing and aviation. As for USF1 and Campos Meta F1 things only time will tell.
As for me I am fed yup with the endless speculation and spin. I just can’t wait for the red lights to go off for the first time and see the comparisons in racing conditions.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Sauber F1 2010 Launch

Peter Sauber returns to formula 1 after handing over his team to BMW for a few years. Watch the launch of the 2010 Sauber BMW Car launch By clicking on the link above.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Lotus F1 2010 Car launch

Lotus Racing launched its 2010 F1 Car at London’s Horticultural Hall, Westminster on 13 February 2010.
See Team Principal Tony Fernandes unveil the new car by clicking on the link above. You can also see the car’s first run on youtube at the link below:

Saturday 6 February 2010

Renault F1 2010 Car Launch

Get up close and personal with Renault's 2010 F1 car by clicking on the link above.

Mclaren f1 2010 Launch

See the launch of the Mclaren MP4-25 by clicking on the link below and hear Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button look forward to an interesting year:

Mclaren is perhaps the only current f1 team that could give Lewis and Jenson the space and technical support to genuinely compete for the championship. I think they both also have the right mental attitude to fight to the limit on the track whilst remaining relaxed in each other's company off the track. I just hope the car proves to be competitive.

The Car

Unveiled at Vodafone UK's Newbury headquarters, the 2010 car looks noticeably different from last year's race-winning MP4-24. MP4-25 features a radical aerodynamic overhaul and a significantly larger fuel tank to take full advantage of this year's new regulations. The engine cover now includes a fin similar to those employed by Renault and Red Bull.

Virgin 2010 F1 Car Launch

David Croft Presents
"A Car is Born"
A behind the scenes
look at Virgin Racing's
2010 F1 Car.

One more very effective low budget coffee and pizza launch.

See "A car is born" by clicking the link below:

Ferrari 2010 Car Launch

It was interesting to see how the 2010 teams are dealing with car launches during the credit crunch. On 28 January 2010 Ferrari launched their car live online claiming 3 million viewers. I have to say that the Ferrari continues to look beautiful car.

At first sight is significantly similar to last year's car but with less of an angle on the engine cover.

More in depth comment as the season gets under way.

Watch the official Launch by clicking on the link below: