Archive | August, 2012

FIA thinks electric

29 Aug

A new racing series is going to be launched called Formula E. This series will debut in 2014, but I haven’t told you what makes it unique yet. All the cars will be electric.

The series will be an international formula with races happening in city centres around the world, and the series will aim to improve the image of electric cars and as the FIA says it will be “a vision for the future of motor industry over the coming decade”.

Despite electric currently being classed as the way to go only 0.0015% of cars sold in the US last year were electric.

There are a few problems with electric car racing: due to current battery limits pit stops will see the driver swap from one car to another – fully charged – car, but as the technology improves this should become unnecessary and purists won’t be happy with the car’s lack of noise.

All in all I expect this series to be a success and we at F1F see it as the correct way to go for an industry which has been lacking in energy saving solutions.

 

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Force India and it’s Drivers

29 Aug

When Force India announced it’s driver line up earlier this year there was much speculation as to which of it’s young drivers would impress more, now half way in we can compare how the two drivers have performed.

By looking at these stats it appears that Hulkenburg and Di Resta are very evenly matched. Despite this Di Resta has a good sized lead over Hulkenburg in points scored. This suggests that Di Resta has been the better driver over the season, but if you look at the graph below you may notice how in recent weeks Hulkenburg has been the better driver, in fact in the last 5 races Hulkenburg has picked up 12 points whilst Di Resta has picked up 6. This late charge can be put down to Hulkenburg not racing last season so he’d need to get re-accustomed to the car.

Either way you look at the numbers you can make a case for both of the drivers to have performed better so far, and we could be in for a cracking fight between Nico and Paul over the rest of the season.

The Felipe Massa Problem

27 Aug

Since 2006 Felipe Massa has been a devoted servant to the Scuderia. But ever since the crash 3 years ago Felipe has struggled to pick up points, and every season since the crash there have been calls for Massa to be replaced. Here I shall look at the possible replacements:

Felipe Massa

  • May not have had a great start to the season but if he keeps up his current form then it’s likely that Ferrari will retain him for another season.
  • Negatives: it shows that Ferrari aren’t willing to change and could jeopardize their chances of a constructors championship next year.
  • Positives: already knows the team and is currently reviving his season.
  • Chances: There’s every chance Massa could get a 8th season with the Scuderia.

Sergio Perez

  • One of the stars of the season with two podiums, despite driving for Sauber.
  • Negatives: Luca di Montezemalo (Ferrari’s owner) has already come out and said that Sergio is too inexperienced.
  • Positives: there is definitely world champion potential there, Sergio is a member of the Ferrari drivers academy so he’s had experience with the team, he’s light on his tyres and Sauber get on well with Ferrari (they’ve done deals before and Sauber use Ferrari engines) and so are more likely to accept a Ferrari deal as apposed to a different team.
  • Chances: despite Montezemalo’s comment Sergio should be the favourite.

Jules Bianchi

  • Jules has been spending this season as the third driver for Force India and despite his inexperience has performed well.
  • Negatives: If Perez is classed as too inexperienced then Bianchi will be too (he hasn’t started a GP).
  • Positives: A member of the Ferrari drivers academy, he’s young and burtsting with potential and he has had some F1 car experience this year with Force India.
  • Chances: Unlikely but could have a chance in a few years time.

Sebastian Vettel

  • Reports have said the Vettel’s signed a contract with the team for 2014, but Red Bull are denying it.
  • Negatives: Although there’s no previous history between Alonso and Vettel it’s unlikely they could work together at Ferrari, a team famous for having a designated number two driver.
  • Positives: If the car’s up to scratch they’d be unstoppable and would dominate like Senna and Prost did at McLaren, sadly they’d probably get on like Senna and Prost did.
  • Chances: If Vettel is going to sign for Ferrari it will be as a replacement for Alonso when Fernando retires.

Nico Hulkenburg

  • Despite having a year off Nico has been a star of the midfield and despite a slow start he’s now the better driver at Force India.
  • Negatives: Nico is much more likely to replace Schumacher at Mercedes, still inexperienced and he probably isn’t a future world champion.
  • Positives: Potentially a future race winner and the perfect number two for Vettel if Vettel joins Ferrari. A strong qualifier, qualified 4th in Valencia and Germany.
  • Chances: Should make it into the final shortlist but unlikely to make it into the team.

Robert Kubica

  • Despite not having driven a car since 2010 Robert has been making good progress to recover from his rally crash.
  • Negatives: Hasn’t driven an F1 car since 2010 and it;s unlikely Ferrari will take the risk after seeing how a big crash affected Massa.
  • Positives: Definitely use to be a championship winning driver and gets on well with Fernando Alonso.
  • Chances: Almost impossible.

Paul Di Resta

  • After a good start to the season in recent races the Scotsman has been out performed by his team mate.
  • Negatives: Unlikely to ever be a world champion and is questionable whether he’s good enough.
  • Positives: A consistent driver who would definitely fill the role of second driver to Fernando Alonso.
  • Chances: much more likely to drive for McLaren or Mercedes than Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton

  • After driving the car to beat for the first part of the season various problems have stopped Lewis from leading the championship.
  • Negatives: They may be trying to make it seem like Alonso and Hamilton now get on but it would be a poor decision to risk them together again, also Lewis is close to signing a new deal with McLaren and he’s been very inconsistent since he won the championship in 2008.
  • Positives: He’s a talented driver who could give Alonso competition for his number one seat.
  • Chances: It’s not going to happen.

Jenson Button

  • It’s not been a good season for Jenson and the press have already ruled him out of winning the championship this year.
  • Negatives: One of the grid’s worst qualifiers and is unlikely to be wanted by Ferrari’s management.
  • Positives: The best driver in changing weather conditions.
  • Chances: If all the other candidates break their legs then he may have a chance.

Can F1 finally conquer the States

25 Aug

Ever since Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 Europe has been desperate to conquer America, but despite numerous attempts the USA has held firm and you have to go back as far as 1776 to find the last time Europe owned American land. Like Europe F1 has tried many a time conquer the American public but despite ambitious plans and millions of dollars thrown at the idea every attempt has gone down like a lead balloon, which makes me ask the question:

“Is there any point even trying to host a GP in the US?”

Here is a summary of F1’s US disasters:

F1’s first attempt at hosting an F1 race in the USA was by incorporating the Indianapolis 500 race into the F1 calendar. To say it was a disaster would be an understatement, despite the race staying on the calendar from 1950 to 1960 only one driver ever doubled up the 500 and the rest of the F1 championship, Alberto Ascari competed in the 500 during 1952 – his first title winning season. Ascari retired on lap 40/200 with a wheel problem.

Over the years F1 has attempted to break into America 10 times. You’d have thought by now they’d have learnt that an American GP isn’t a clever idea. Of the 10 tracks used the majority did not provide good racing and at the most recent American GP at Indianapolis in 2007 only 100,000 of the 257,000 tickets were sold.

F1’s last disaster in America came in 2005 when only 6 cars competed for the victory. Although this wasn’t any fault of the organisers it only gave the race a bad press. The reason for this debacle was that tyre supplier Michelin felt that their tyres were unsafe at the high speeds sustained at the track, and although they did suggest an alternative – an artificial chicane placed on the track (a.k.a. some cones) – their idea was rejected by the stewards, this meant that only the 6 cars running on Bridgestone tyres started the race.

As Bernie Ecklestone says, “11th time lucky”