Archive | February, 2012

10 things to look at for in F1 2012

28 Feb

1. Sebastian Vettel: he’s going out for his 3rd championship and you have to admit if anyone can join Schumacher and Fangio with three in a row it’s Seb.

2. Nico Hulkenburg v Paul Di Resta: both these drivers are highly rated by the critics but this year will reveal who is the best.

3. Daniel Ricciardo v Jean-Eric Vergne: both these men could be a future world champion and this opportunity to see them in the same team should be a classic.

4. The Toro Rosso selectors: out with the old and in with the new, if it goes well they deserve a bonus but if it goes wrong they could find themselves queuing outside the job centre next year.

5. Lewis Hamilton being unpredictable: well he’s never going to be predictable but it would help if he was more down to earth this year than last year.

6. Massa and Webber retiring: Massa has always been under pressure to perform since 2009 and unless this season is special I can’t see Ferrari giving him another chance. Webber though may leave Red Bull so one of the talent twosome can replace him.

7. Lots of newspaper reports about wether McLaren made the right decision with their nose: With everyone else driving with a platypus nose Lewis and Jenson could either find themselves leading the championship or seeing the team have to change the car.

8. Eddie Jordan’s sense of fashion: Or the lack of it, what will Eddie do this year, dress up as a cowboy for Austin? or wear a hawaiian shirt in a monsoon in Malaysia? The trouble is no one knows.

9. BBC v SKY: As F1 leaves 100% free to air TV both BBC and Sky will be doing their best to try and get an audience. Whoever you are, if you want F1 to be free to air you need to watch the races the BBC have on the BBC.

10. The unexpected: Be it a car setting on fire or Massa doing donuts there is always something unexpected happening in the world of F1, and this year shouldn’t be any different.

Drivers Preview, Pt.4 Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams

27 Feb

Sauber:

Kamui Kobayashi: Last year was a poor one for the unstoppable overtaker but Kamui’s car was slow and the rules improving the number of overtakes stopped him doing his challenging moves as he -like everyone else- could do the simple passes. But you have to remember with Kamui, if you give him the machine he’ll get points as he proved last year finishing 5th at Monaco.

Sergio Perez: If the Sauber had improved at the rate of others over last season Sergio would have been able to put a big fight on the competition of best rookie, but Chico had to cope with the car heading further and further back. Despite this there were still times when we could see Sergio was fully deserving of his seat, and I consider him a hot favourite for taking Massa’s seat next year.

Toro Rosso:

Daniel Ricciardo: Potential is a dangerous thing in sport, if you don’t fulfil it you’ve failed and if you do then no one’s that amazed. Daniel has one of the largest potentials on the grid and is widely thought of as a future world champion, so those words will affect him more than others but more dangerous than his future is his present. The man who lurks on the other side of the garage as both Red Bull prodigies battle it out in what could be the 2018 world championship.

Jean-Eric Vergne: When Toro Rosso announced their driver line up the F1 community was shocked, Toro Rosso was replacing two young inexperienced drivers with two younger and even more inexperienced drivers, it looked like madness. But now it looks like a great move, both their drivers could win championships at some points and although we don’t know how Vergne will cope with the power of an F1 car if his CV’s anything to go by he’ll be picking up points like Bernie Ecklestone picks up contracts.

Williams:

Pastor Maldonado: Before we mention the millions of Venezuelan money behind him lets remind ourselves of what he can do, at Monaco last season he was set to finish 6th had Lewis Hamilton not knocked him off. Problem is he didn’t have enough of those moments and with Williams struggling financially he’s going to have to make sure he doesn’t crash the car too much as Williams won’t be able to afford the repair costs.

Bruno Senna: “If you think I’m fast you should see me nephew”. But despite Ayrton’s word we haven’t seen enough of that potential so far, he started in a HRT which had it been in a race with a snail would have finished 2nd and then got a chance in a Renault which was on it’s way down the field. But he did show his speed at Renault, and it one weekend for Senna to outperform more experienced team mate Vitaly Petrov. Both Senna and Pastor are ridiculously inconsistent drivers and we could easily see Williams regularly picking up points or sitting in a tyre wall.

Drivers Preview, Pt.3 McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull

26 Feb

McLaren:

Jenson Button: Having established himself as McLaren’s number 1 last year  Jenson will be out to prove he deserves that title again, and I can only imagine Jenson will be hoping Hamilton stops and stumbles again. Despite this I can’t see him winning the championship this year as I think the championship will only be able to go to 3 drivers this year: Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton: After last year’s shenanigans you’d have thought that Lewis would overhaul his routine and start afresh, during last season the majority of the blame was put on his social life and especially his relationship with Nicole Scherzinger. So what does he do, Lewis being Lewis he starts going out with her again, if Lewis intends on staying in F1 he’s going to have to put his feet back on the ground.

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher: 3rd time lucky. That’s all Michael can be thinking as he hopes to pick up a podium for the first time since he reentered F1. Despite this lack of successes Michael started to lay the foundations last year and this year could show he can stand on the podium.

Nico Rosberg: The Merc is set to be a challenger this year and then it’s all about which of their drivers can lead the challenge for podiums and victories and if the previous two years are anything to go by then it will be Nico who leads the team again this year.

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel: The defending champion will be out for a third title this year and unless the Red Bull is useless he’ll likely be leading he charge to the line.

Mark Webber: Aussie Grit could be facing retirement at the end of this year and being replaced by either of the Toro Roso drivers is likely. If that’s the case then he’ll have been unlucky seeing as he’ll have been good enough to win a title but got pipped at the end in 2010.

The testing championship

25 Feb

The testing championship is a championship which takes place during testing. Each day of testing there’s 15 points up for grabs, 5 for the driver who sets the fastest time going down to 1 point for the 5th fastest. Although it gives us no clues as to who’s currently the best it helps pass the time at the moment when there’s no F1. Needless to say the championship is being led by Vettel.

After Barcalona the drivers championship stands at:

Vettel                  14

Schumacher       9

Hulkenburg        9

Maldonado         9

Rosberg               8

Alonso                 8

Kobayashi          8

Ricciardo            7

Hamilton            7

Di Resta              7

Raikkonen         6

Webber               6

Vergne                6

Grosjean            5

Perez                   4

Button                 4

Bianchi               2

Massa                 1

and the team standings are:

Red Bull              20

Force India        18

Mercedes            17

Toro Rosso        13

Sauber                 12

Lotus                   11

McLaren            11

Ferrari                  9

Williams              9

Drivers Preview, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia.

25 Feb

HRT:

Pedro De La Rosa: Should provide HRT with their first ever driver who can actually help improve the car during the season. Sadly though for Pedro he’s not going to be able to get any points this year.

Narain Karthikeyan: Narain is the living proof that money can get you to F1 without talent, he’s slow and absolutely useless except for bringing in sponsors.

Lotus:

Kimi Raikkonen: Love him or hate him Raikkonen will certainly add something to the grid this year with his talent his flamboyancy and his ability to drive a car on the edge. But, he’s been out of F1 since he won the championship in 2008 and since the he’s done WRC rallying and NASCAR truck racing with a lack of success.

Romain Grosjean: The last time we saw Romain he was a mid season replacement for Nelson Piquet Jr. and he was lacklustre picking up 0 points in 7 races, whilst in the same races then team mate Alonso picked up 13 points. But this time Romain is more experienced as he won last years GP2 and has appeared in multiple practise sessions last year.

Marussia

Timo Glock: Probably one of the 10 best drivers on the grid this year, and despite the Marussia having never been as quick at the Caterhams Timo regularly managed to keep up.

Charles Pic: This year it’s the young frenchman who takes Marussia’s ever changing second seat, and the odds are unless he picks up points he’ll be dropped for someone else next year like the previous men to hold this seat Lucas Di Grassi and Jerome D’Ambrosio.

Drivers Preview, Pt.1 Caterham, Ferrari and Force India.

24 Feb

Caterham:

Heikki Kovalainen: as he starts his 3rd year driving for the Lotus/Caterham outfit Heikki knows that this year has got to be the year when Caterham score points and he’ll be the man to do it having always been the better driver in the car. So long as Heikki can carry on taking the Caterham beyond it’s limits he’ll still be driving with Caterham for a while.

Vitaly Petrov: During last season we saw hints that he might not be just a pay driver, but as the season wore on Vitaly wore down. It was no surprise therefore that Renault dropped Vitaly, but for him to end up at Caterham is a surprise, I never expected Caterham to need a pay driver, although he has got the talent required to drive for Caterham, and could fill the second seat well.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: Widely thought of as the best driver on the grid and so long as the Ferrari’s good and competitive Alonso can win races. Fernando has one of the most secure seat on the grid and so he’s almost certain to still be with the Tifosi in 2013.

Felipe Massa: Had another poor year last year, but if this year is another bad one then I can’t see Ferrari keeping Felipe. Despite this there’s a chance that this year could be the year when he redeems himself and becomes competitive once more.

Force India:

Nico Hulkenburg: The Hulk is back after a forced sabbatical and if his performances on Friday last year was anything to look at he’s going to be able to challenge the more developed teams of Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and of course Red Bull. The Hulk is in one of the most competitive team mate fights this year as both him and Di Resta are similar drivers, but I think Nico’s going to be the one on top spot, remember he did beat Vettel to pole at Interlagos 2010 in his debut year.

Paul Di Resta: Performed well last season and if he’s improved this year I can see Force India being propelled up the standings. But this year Paul has a new challenge in the shape of Nico Hulkenburg and the on track fight between them is going to be a one to watch.