September 21, 2014

Hamilton takes advantage of Rosberg's car failure, it's hammer time in Singapore.


Lewis Hamilton scored maximum points at Singapore with a victory that once again highlighted the crushing advantage Mercedes have over the competition this year.

Hamilton did not put a foot wrong and now leads the Championship going into the Japanese GP,  Rosberg scored no points and is now 3 behind.

There was a race in Singapore but it was all behind Lewis.  Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso had a decent scrap for the remaining podium spots which was decided when Ferrari got slightly caught out by the Safety Car, He had been ahead of the two Red Bulls but emerged behind on the same tires after the stop.

It might have been a closer race had the drivers been able actually race with each other rather than just try to save tires and get to the end.    Mark Webber, racing at Circuit of the Americas in the WEC,  was quoted yesterday:

“There’s no contest there, Michelin is a real racing tire, Pirelli was for show business in Formula one.  These are real racing tires so it’s a tire which all the drivers can enjoy...”

But it is what it is, I guess.

As predicted, the FIA's ban, half ban, on radio communications was made a joke today with all sorts of messages being sent back and forth from all teams.  More confusion.

Of note, Maldonado did not crash though he did drive off with a wheel gun still attached once.

Also, Jean Eric Vergne finished 6th despite being given not one but two 5 second penalties!   Perhaps Toro Rosso needs to arrange to have the FIA penalize JEV every race!

Now on to Suzuka and the momentum is all in Hamilton's corner again.   If we're lucky we'll finally see a straight up,  on track battle between the two Mercedes.

 It's been a while now.

September 20, 2014

Don't miss the Singapore GP!

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What 0.007/sec looks like (via SkySportsF1)

Singapore qualifying was the closest so far this season, not just for the 7/1000th of a second between Hamilton and Rosberg but the top 5 are all in the same 2.5/10th, the top 9 in the same 6/10th.

Has the competition caught up to Mercedes?    It's more likely the very specific characteristics of the Singapore circuit played a role.    If you accept Mercedes' big engine advantage is due to their superior MGU-H (turbo) component then it might be that all those short segments make it less of a factor.

In any case, today's  exciting qualifying hint at a very interesting race tomorrow.   The only shame that Kimi Raikkonen did not get a chance to show his speed in Q3 because of yet another problem on his Ferrari.

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:46.9211:46.2871:45.68117
26Nico RosbergMercedes1:47.2441:45.8251:45.68819
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:47.4881:46.4931:45.85412
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:47.4761:46.5861:45.90215
514Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:46.8891:46.3281:45.90716
619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:47.6151:46.4721:46.00020
77Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:46.6851:46.3591:46.17014
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:47.1961:46.6221:46.18718
920Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:47.9761:46.7001:46.25018
1026Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:47.6561:46.9261:47.36221
1122Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:47.1611:46.94312
1225Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:47.4071:46.98914
1327Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:47.3701:47.30813
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:47.9701:47.3339
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:48.1431:47.57513
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:47.8621:47.81214
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:48.3246
1813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:49.0638
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:49.4407
2010Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:50.4058
214Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:50.4737
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:52.2875

September 19, 2014

The importance of proper barriers.


The team behind Circuit of the Americas did a stellar job building a world class facility, the only FIA F1 Certified track in the United States.

FIA certification means a very high level of safety incorporating all the latest advances in the field But, to all those who still insist safety equates to less excitement, let me show you how all that work paid off today.  

I would bet you Tim Bell, the Nissan 370Z driver racing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series,  did not find it boring at all.

In this case,  the paved runoff made things worse but the FIA barriers did a superb job absorbing the impact. Contrast this to the recent crash at Watkins Glen.

A stack of tires, bare armco, just don't not cut it anymore and it's really up to all of us racers and enthusiasts to demand every track make the effort to upgrade.   This is why Axis is fully behind efforts of the Motorsport-Safety Foundation and the Sean Edwards Foundation.

We're guessing Tim Bell will be too.

September 18, 2014

Engine change, you're doing it wrong

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Australians may be a pragmatic bunch but this is not the preferred way to do an engine swap

The Aussie Porsche Carrera Cup was at Sandown last week.  Start of race 2 did not go quite as planned for Nick McBride when he was spun by his teammate and collected by two other competitors.    McBride was taken to the track's medical center for evaluation but was able to eventually limp out the car mostly on his own. Thank you Porsche build quality.

The 991GT3 lumpectomy resulted in so much debris,  the race was just cancelled.

(thanks Sergini!)

September 16, 2014

Radio Messages: an F1 sized mess in the making?


The FIA will start to clamp down on radio messages this week end in Singapore,  not just for the race but for every session.  The goal is to make life harder for drivers and the pretext is an article in the Formula 1 sporting regulation stating a driver must " the car alone and unaided"

So no more "Lewis is 1/10th faster in sector one, braking later in turns 2 and 5"  but also no more pit to car info on tire and brake temperatures (from the following race) and most crucially perhaps, no more info on fuel consumption.  

And no getting cute with coded messages either.

So yes,  life will be made harder but while the radio talk allowed or forbidden is specified and nothing but gap messages can be displayed on pit boards,  who's to stop teams from sending info to the display,  or work out some other code using the allowed messages?  

Sounds like a big mess?   You got it.

Below is a list of what teams can and cannot say on the radio to their drivers. (list FIA via Adam Cooper)

Goodwood Revival in Pure Sound

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Photo seberry67 / Flickr

Formula E got you down?  Hate Formula One's new polite volume?   Despise Diesel race cars ?

Here's a full retro, politically incorrect, loud, smokey antidote  courtesy of aspiring designer Nicholas Lette van Oostvoorne and, of course, Lord March organizer of the event and all those who maintain these mechanical artworks alive and roaring.

Turn it up!

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