June 15, 2012

Casino de Montreal

I can't figure out why I've been cool towards F1 recently,  after all, seven winners in seven races,  that's special.   Perhaps because once again after Monaco we had another objectively dull race.   Sure Hamilton fans will be jumping up and down and I don't mean to take away from his drive which was  great but, reality is that most passes were in the DRS zone or in the pits.
I simply don't find that exciting any more.

Couple with a nagging feeling tires are a lottery, that there is an an element of luck in getting a consistent set of PZeros  on any given race day.  

Having  said that, kudos to Hamilton who drove the right strategy to perfection despite more pit stop shakiness.

Epic fail from Ferrari who cannot hide behind performance excuses for the newly developed F2012 any more.  Not after Massa qualified sixth and was moving up, like the old Massa until the new Felipe (or should I say, the new Button) returned.

Why Ferrari would be covering Vettel  behind rather then Hamilton in front remains a mystery.  Why when the writing was on the wall they did not stop,  even more.  Alonso may come away from Canada only two points behind Hamilton but  that may be the championship right there.  Strategy seems to be Ferrari's weak point right now.

Ferrari's wasn't the only epic fail of the day, Button, Webber, Mercedes.

Mixed feelings aside, being at the track in Montreal was great  (and a full report on the Axis CG epic week end in Ferrari Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup is coming...) ,  sure you miss a lot in the chaos but you also get  things you just miss on TV.

A good example is sound and how exhaust notes change though out a week end.  In qualifying the Renault engined cars, Red Bull in particular, had a clear honking resonance as they accelerated out of turn 2 and a buzzing sound on the overrun.   These were absent in the race.

I put the question to someone who would know and they confirmed that indeed RBR used different maps in qualifying and for the race, different ones at different stages of the race too (and not always the correct one at the correct time).  This of course, all in an effort to preserve tires.  Think of it as traction control through engine mapping.  I never did get a good explanation about the buzz on the overrun though....

Also with some access to the pit you  catch small details you never would otherwise.   Ferrari's Pit signal board box contains the names of all the 2012 runners and one more,  Robert Kubica.

And all of a sudden your faith in the humanity of Formula 1 is restored.

Please comment on Ferrari's strategy or your view on the championship so far,  love to hear from you guys.


  1. Kubica on the pit board - something I'd never expect from Ferrari. Great little way to say he's not forgotten in all this mess.

  2. It's been a great season, but we may be receiving a wake up call as to why all of the things we value mean something when it comes to winning. Arguably, tires are overstating their worth in the big picture. Problem is, the F1 that I loved one decade ago . . . two decades ago . . . three decades ago (scary huh), won't fly in today's marketplace. I'm also certain that the world's not ready for another dominant driver/team . . . remember 2011? So 2012 is yet another iteration of F1, and the only thing I know for certain is that it won't be the same next year.
    In the meantime, I want to see the correct calls from Ferrari, Kimi on the top step, and an entire race weekend/result for Schumi that will written about. Down on F1? Not me. Never.

  3. think you need to check whether you are actaully still interested in racing as a whole. A different winner in each race, teams and drivers making podiums for the first time, no dominant team, wild card tires shaking up the strategies, lead changes all the way to the last laps....

    F1 is far from perfect in the rules or "show" but it seems you are simply not looking at whats happening with enthusiast eyes anymore.

    1. I think if I wasn't an enthusiast, I would not bother with Axis at all...

      It was a dull race. Passes were mostly DRS, tires made it so there was zero defense of positions at the end, it was all in who had more tire when.

      It's kind of ironic that tire wars were eliminated because tire performance was too much of a factor and here we are talking tires again....

      But to the point I maybe did not make clearly enough, I think there are those within teams wondering just how consistent the Pirellis are from set to set, not that they would ever admit it publicly.

      BTW the Pirelli wear characteristics are shared somewhat with the Ferrari Challenge tire. CG was given direction not to overdrive that tire because once it goes over the cliff, no amount of slowing down would make it recover.

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  5. I think the pit stop moves are good. The team plays a direct role in doing a quick or slow stop. Out on track drivers are saving tyres or going flat out. And between them all they're deciding on a strategy. I was glad to see this in Monaco and Canada.

    DRS and KERS are anti-strategy and dumb things down. Before, a smarter team/driver could be out in front even they were slower. Now the faster car will always be ahead.

    I'm turned off this year too. I miss a qualifying session that means something, teams having a tyre manufacturer work for them (instead of teams having to adapt to tyre development that seems to be based on another tangent), I miss refuelling, different strategies, and passes that are worth uploading to Youtube.

    It's been a build-up of a lot of things, and this year the random-tyre thing seems to have taken things futher. This is quoted from the article link below:

    "There is a recognition throughout the sport that this unpredictability is adding to the superficial appeal of F1, especially as the years of Michael Schumacher's domination with Ferrari are not so very long ago.

    "Nevertheless, there is also a growing sense of unease - largely unspoken publicly until now, apart from Schumacher's comments after Bahrain - that it's somehow not quite real.

    "The tyres, some feel, are introducing too much of a random element that demeans the sport in some ways. That F1, whisper it, may have gone too far the other way."


  6. I think the main reason of the "dull" races is that driver do not push or go to the limits of the cars like they use to. Now is all tyre management. Look at Masa, he was "attacking" and when the tires where gone he started going backwards also you see it in Schumy he was never good at tyre management, in my view is because of his style the 4 wheels drift as someone called it.
    In the qualy, where drives in some venues prefer not to do a extra lap to keep a fresh pairs of tires or how the tires performance vary with minor changes in the whether.

    But don't get me wrong is better than a full dominance of a team or not able to pass... what I'm totally against is that the F1 is starting to be more "spec" category....
    Same engines, brakes,oils, fuel... because of this ferrari construct a wind tunnel, in the old times ferrari was a engine car and not so good chassis.

    I would love to see the old F1 (60-68) where there was no too many regulations... the only regulation I may suggest is the ban of wings.

  7. My opinion is there should only be regulation on budgets. It may force teams to be more creative while also evening out the field so everyone has the same amount of resorces to work with. I am no experienced F1 viewer (4 seasons). I would love to hear why this would be a bad idea or good one.

  8. Axis does this every year. Alonso hasnt won in a while, hes doing some racing of his own, and is down about some technical reg. Soon a post will come something like "All the drama is in motoGP etc etc."

    Soon enough Alonso will win. Hamilton wish crash, and all will be well at axisofoversteer.


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