Saturday, March 31, 2007

F1 Racing Aus GP results

1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
2 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
4 Nick Heidfeld BMW
5 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari

Not too far off with my prediction for the Aussie race. Only Kubica not in the top six as predicted. Just picked the wrong team mate there.

Raikkonen was absolutely awesome in the race though. His fastest lap clearly indicates a dominant Ferrari, beating the next time by a second. And if you consider that Massa had to complete one stint, half the race, on the wrong compound tire, then it must be pretty demoralizing for the other teams.

Hamilton had a dream debut, giving his illustrious team mate a good run for his money. And then Ron Dennis admits publicly that the strategies favoured Alonso. Lewis, I would ask for my money back.

Keep in touch for my predictions for the next race.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Formula 1 racing Australian GP preview

So Raikkonen got pole in qualifying for the first Formula 1 racing event of the 2007 season. What does that tell us about the race? Not much really. Qualifying and racing is a totally different ball game. What is quite significant is that Raikkonen was able to run about a second faster in the first attempt at setting a time. Yes, Alonso did get a faster time on his second attempt to narrow the gap to four tenths, but on equal terms, assuming similar fuel strategy, Raikkonen is much faster.

Massa had the Albert Park jinx again and failed to reach the final ten, but if his car, like that of Raikkonen, is much faster than the rest of the field, a podium place is not impossible.

Alonso should have a good finish if the Mclaren lasts the distance, and Hamilton should follow in the wings of his leader.

Not to many surprises during qualifying besides Massa not completing Q2. For me the biggest disappointment is Renault not up there to fight for the lead. Is it car or is it driver? And I have to say well done to Super Aguri, beating their better funded engine suppliers. As I siad in an earlier blog, this must be crunch time for this team and a failure like this can not be taken lightly.

So now my prediction for the opening race of the 2007 Formula 1 racing season.

1. KR
2. FA
3. FM
4. RK
5. LH
6. GF

So let us see how the finish.

Formula 1 racing teams and drivers

Below is summary of the Formula 1 racing teams and drivers as well as some stats about our Formula 1 racing stars.


FERNANDO ALONSO (ESP) Birth date: 29 July 1981
Wins: 15
Number of GP: 88
First GP: 2001 (Melbourne)

LEWIS HAMILTON (GBR) Birth date: 7 January 1985
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 0
First GP: Melbourne 2007


GIANCARLO FISICHELLA (ITA) Birth date: 14 January 1973
Wins: 3
Number of GP: 179
First GP: 1996 (Melbourne)

HEIKKI KOVALAINEN (FIN) Birth date: 19 October 1981
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 0
First GP: Melbourne 2007


FELIPE MASSA (BRA) Birth date: 25 April 1981
Wins: 2
Number of GP: 71
First GP: 2002 (Melbourne)

KIMI RAIKKONEN (FIN) Birth date: 17 October 1979
Wins: 9
Number of GP: 105
First GP: 2001 (Melbourne)


JENSON BUTTON (GBR) Birth date: 19 January 1980
Wins: 1
Number of GP: 120
First GP: 2000 (Melbourne)

RUBENS BARRICHELLO (BRA) Birth date: 23 May 1972
Wins: 9
Number of GP: 236
First GP: 1993 (Kyalami)


NICK HEIDFELD (GER) Birth date: 10 May 1977
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 117
First GP: 2000 (Melbourne)

ROBERT KUBICA (POL) Birth date: 10 May 1977
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 6
First GP: 2006 (Hungary)


RALF SCHUMACHER (GER) Birth date: 30 June 1975
Wins: 6
Number of GP: 163
First GP: 1997 (Melbourne)

JARNO TRULLI (ITA) Birth date: 13 July 1974
Wins: 1
Number of GP: 167
First GP: 1997 (Melbourne)


DAVID COULTHARD (GBR) Birth date: 27 March 1971
Wins: 13
Number of GP: 212
First GP: 1994 (Barcelona)

MARK WEBBER (AUS) Birth date: 27 August 1976
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 88
First GP: 2002 (Melbourne)


NICO ROSBERG (GER) Birth date: 27 June 1985
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 18
First GP: 2006 (Bahrain)

ALEXANDER WURZ (AUT) Birth date: 15 February 1974
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 53
First GP: 1997 (Canada)


VITANTONIO LIUZZI (ITA) Birth date: 6 August 1981
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 22
First GP: 2005 (Imola)

SCOTT SPEED (USA) Birth date: 24 January 1983
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 18
First GP: 2006 (Bahrain)


CHRISTIJAN ALBERS (NED) Birth date: 16 April 1979
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 37
First GP: 2005 (Melbourne)

ADRIAN SUTIL (GER) Birth date: 11 January 1983
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 0
First GP: 2007 (Melbourne)


TAKUMO SATO (JPN) Birth date: 28 January 1977
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 70
First GP: 2002 (Melbourne)

ANTHONY DAVIDSON (GBR) Birth date: 18 April 1979
Wins: 0
Number of GP: 3
First GP: 2002 (Hungary)

I wish our Formula 1 racing teams all best for the season.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Formula 1 racing 2007 season preview

With all testing now complete, the Formula 1 racing teams head to Australia for the season opener on 18 March at Albert Park. Who will be ready to fight for the top honor? Who will wear the crown at the end of the 2007 Formula 1 season?

Let us start by looking at the Formula 1 racing teams that performed well during winter testing. The last week of testing certainly belonged to the scarlet Ferrari at the hands of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari topped the time sheets in most sessions in the last week of testing in Bahrain where most teams were in action and some comparisons can be made. Mclaren was a close second with both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton doing well. Other teams showing promise was Renault and BMW. Is this an accurate reflection of the strength of the teams?

Winter testing in the past has very seldom been a very good barometer to establish the leaders of the field. This year however we have something more to help us. Since the engines used for the last two races of last year, are the engines that must be used for the next four years. In the final round at Brazil the Ferrari power plant certainly had the pace to keep ahead. Renault on the other hand had no pressure, therefore not using all the grunt available. Kimi Raikkonen was a contender as well and finished among the front runners. And who knows what can happen if Honda actually finishes a race.

The word in the paddock is that Ferrari should have the advantage over most other teams as a result of their long-term relationship with the sole tire supplier, Bridgestone. Is there more than meets the eye with this relationship? Why would Ferrari opt for a longer wheelbase in the 2007 car when most, if not all other teams, are opting for a shorter wheelbase?

Traditionally the Australian Grand Prix, or the first Grand Prix of the season for that matter, was not the best outing for Ferrari. Renault has performed much better at the season opener in the last few seasons and Mclaren frankly disappointed at the start of the last few seasons. Will Renault continue with another good start to the season? The question however remains, do they have a driver capable of winning a championship.

So let us turn to the drivers for the 2007 Formula 1 racing season. Let us start with the current world champion, Fernando Alonso. Will he be able to outgun his renowned, but much less experienced team mate Lewis Hamilton? During winter testing Alonso seemed to have an edge, when he was at a session that is.

At the Ferrari camp it was Felipe Masse who dominated the testing sessions. Massa has been a part of the Ferrari team a few years now and is ready to step up and make the most of his opportunities. Never underestimate the Flying Fin though. He is always faster at qualifying sessions and during the race, saving the best when it is needed.

Renault probably has one of the best cars for the season, but their driver line up will have to prove themselves. Giancarlo Fisichella has not been able to keep up with Alonso in the last few seasons, and starting his twelfth season in Formula 1, has not lived up to his reputation. His team mate Heikki Kovalainen will have to at least beat Fisichella to assure a future in Formula1 racing.

Now that we have covered the big three for the 2007 Formula 1 racing Season, are there any other drivers that have a chance. Robert Kubica must be one of the drivers that stand an outside chance of getting a few points from the big guns. BMW has shown promise during the winter program, and Kubica impressed a few team managers last season.

Jenson Button was lucky to get his first win last year, but can the taste of victory improve his run. Both the Japanese car maker teams must see this season as the make or break season. Both Toyota and Honda need to score well this season to justify the backing from the East.

From the rest of the teams I don’t expect too much competition. Both Red Bull teams need another year or two to settle in.

So who will win the 2007 Formula 1 racing championship? I think Massa will be the chosen one, but only time will tell… only time will tell.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Formula1 Racing Rule changes for the 2007 season

Below is a outline of changes to the Sporting and Technical Regulations made by the FIA for the 2007 Formula 1 Racing season.

Engine specifications utilized in the last two rounds of the 2006 Formula 1 racing season must be utilized for the subsequent four seasons. This effectively means that an engine freeze is in place for the following four seasons. Some restricted development is legitimate, but only under strict control from the FIA. Some room for pushing the rules there I would say. I certainly comprehend the requirement to reduce costs, but this rule can make Formula 1 racing very stagnant for the next few years. The team with the most powerful and reliable engine will have an lead for the next four seasons, or would the FIA be more understanding of improvement if you are not one of the leading teams. Throughout Friday practice sessions the teams are permitted to use new engines. For Saturday practice and qualifying the two race engine rule is still relevent. This is in contrast with the FIA intention to reduce costs, as all the drivers will use alternate engines for Friday practice. It should enhance the action on track for Fridays though, giving Formula 1 racing fans an improved display. On the other hand, the team cannot risk having an accident and demolish the race chassis, as this would spell disaster for the team for the rest of the weekend.


The teams will receive two different compounds of tire from Bridgestone for the weekend. The number of tires allocated will increase with eight sets for each Formula 1 racing team for Friday and ten sets for the rest of the weekend. One of these ten sets must be returned to the supplier before qualifying. The eight remaining sets of four sets of each compound can be used for qualifying and the race. Both compounds must be used by each driver for the race. A good strategy will be important here. Races could be won or lost if the wrong compound is used at a incorrect time in the race. I would expect most teams to start with the softer of the two compounds to ensure good track position and try to keep away from the masses at the start. Accidents requiring deployment of the safety car before the first round of pit stops however, would give a team using the harder compound a considerable advantage.

Practice sessions

The two Friday practice sessions will now be 90 minutes and not 60 minutes. Third cars are no longer allowed, but teams can use one alternate test driver for each session on Friday’s. The third driver must use one of the team’s race cars, but an alternate engine can be used. This means that a team can use one race driver and one test driver in each session, or use only the two race drivers with alternate engines. A maximum of only four drivers for the season is still in force.

Safety Car

The pit lane will be closed when the safety car is deployed until all the cars are bunched up behind the safety car. Lapped cars running between cars on the lead lap must pass the lead cars and take up position at the back of the field, effectively unlapping themselves. At first when I read this rule I got the impression that cars would not be able to pit at all during safety car periods. After reading the detailed rules it became clearer that the pit lane would only be closed until all cars are behind the safety car. With modern racing pushing all barriers it would be interesting to see what would happen if a team is scheduled for a pit stop and an accident brings out the safety car. Most teams would not have sufficient fuel to sit behind the safety car for a few additional laps, and a pit stop during this time would incur a 10 second penalty.

Other changes

There are many other minor changes in the regulations for the 2007 Formula1 racing season and a large amount of these changes were incorporated to improve safety. As an example, cars will be fitted with a display of coloured lights representing the different colour flags used. Stewards would now be able to alert drivers of dangers and hazards more effectively.

A medical light will be fitted to all Formula 1 racing cars to give rescue crews an immediate indication of the severity of an accident.
The Formula 1 Racing cars have to pass a more stringent series of crash tests in the interest of improving safety.