Sunday, May 27, 2012

Webber 6th winner in Six races

Mark Webber wins Monaco Grand Prix 2012. Mark Webber who had inherited the Pole after Michael Schumacher dropped down five places due to the penalty for colliding with Bruno Senna in Spanish Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg came in second and Alonso was third.

Michael Schumacher was again distinctly unlucky. He chose to take the outside route and had climbed to 3rd position when he was hit by Romain Grosjean and he dropped back to 8th. After that he was stuck behind the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen for half of the race till Kimi went for a change of tyres. Later Michael complained of some issue and retired leaving millions of his fans disappointed.

Sebastian Vettel lead the race when the race leaders went for tyre change. Vettel was on a different strategy. However, he finished 4th with 1.3 seconds behind Fernando Alonso. Lewis Hamilton finished 5th. Felipe Massa of Ferrari who is rumoured to be on the verge of being dropped by his team was the race leader for a few laps when others went for tire change. He finished at 6th position. Narain Karthikeyan finished the race at 15th position.

Grid Position Driver Team Points Gap
1 Mark Webber Redbull 25  
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 18 0.6
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 15 0.9
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 12 1.3
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 10 4.1
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 8 6.1
7 Paul de Resta Force India 6 41.5
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 4 42.5
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 2 44.0
10 Bruno Senna Williams  1 44.5
11 Sergio Perez Sauber 0 1Lap
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 0 1Lap
13 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 0 1Lap
14 Timo Glock Marussia 0 1Lap
15 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 0 2Lap
16 Jenson Button McLaren Retired 8Lap
  Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Retired 13Lap
  Charles Pic Marussia Retired 14Lap
  Michael Schumacher Mercedes Retired 15Lap
  Vitaly Petrov Caterham Retired 63Lap
  Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Retired 73Lap
  Pedro de la Rosa HRT Retired  
  Pastor Maldonado Williams  Retired  
Romain Grosjean Lotus Retired  

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Schumacher is Back!

Michael Schumacher is Back on top, to the position he rightly belongs!

Michael Schumacher drove a phenomenal lap of 1:14.301 to score the pole position in Monaco Grand Prix 2012. The first since his come back in 2010. Surely, the stars are appearing to be turning over for the good for Michael Schumacher, but the dark clouds are still not over, as he was handed by the stewards in Spain due to his collision with Bruno Senna. Michael Schumacher will start on 6th due to the five place grid penalty.

Mark Webber of RedBull who came in P2 with a time of 1:14.381 will be elevated to P1 after Michael's Grid Penalty. Michael's misfortune has come as a stroke of good luck for his German teammate and rival Nico Rosberg who will be elevated from P3 to the first row with a P2 position. Nico Rosberg scored a time of 1:14.448. Lewis Hamilton scored a P4 1:14.583 where as his team mate Jenson Button could not qualify for the Q3 and scored a P13 position. Grosjean came in P5 with 1:14.639 and Alonso scored P6 with 1:14.948

Pastor Maldonado came in P9. However, he has been penalised 10 places for an earlier incident during free practice.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

F1 Drivers Championship after Spain

F1 Drivers Championship after Spanish Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado after his win in Spanish Grand Prix broke into the top ten. He is currently 9th in the championship race with 29 points. Fernando Alonso with the second position in Spain picked up 18 valuable points to tie up with Sebastian Vettel at 61 points on top of the table.

Lewis Hamilton with 53 points is currently third on the race. With the amount of blunders committed by his McLaren team, there is virtually no hope despite his individual brilliance.

Kimi Raikkonen is at 53 points. Due to a bad strategy by Lotus, Kimi could not challenge for the first position. He had a longer first stint and a short last stint. So it was difficult for him to challenge for the top two steps of the podium. At the end he was 3.8 seconds adrift of the first position and only 0.6s behind the second placed Fernando Alonso.

Ranking Driver Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 61
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 61
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 53
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 49
5 Mark Webber Red Bull 48
6 Jenson Button McLaren 45
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 41
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 35
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams  29
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 22
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 19
12 Paul de Resta Force India 15
13 Bruno Senna Williams  14
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 4
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 3
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 2
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2
18 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 2
19 Timo Glock Marussia 0
20 Charles Pic Marussia 0
21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 0

Maldonado wins Spanish Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado of Williams wins his maiden race in the Spanish Grand Prix. He is the 5th winner in as many races this season. Fernando Alonso came second with 3.1 seconds behind and Kimi Raikkonen a further 0.6 seconds adrift. Grosjean, Kobayashi, Vettel, Rosberg, Hamilton, Button and Hulkenberg completed the top 10 and the point scoring positions.

There were many casualties in the race. On lap 12 Michael Schumacher ploughed into the back of Bruno Senna when Senna missed the braking point inviting the ire of Schumacher who referred Senna as an idiot over a radio message. A fuming Michael Schumacher told Sky Sports F1 HD "I want the Stewards to clarify what happened. He moved to the right, but he shouldn't move back in the braking phase to the left that sharply. I am just behind him and I don't know how sharply he is going to move. So it was all very dangerous. We had a chance of good points today so it is doubly frustrating. I have to say I don't know what he was trying to prove but in Brazil last year he was driving into my car and today he was doing funny things."

Just before this incident Bruno Senna who is having a horrible weekend had come in contact with Grosjean. Schumacher immediately stopped and Senna stopped a further down. Narain Karthikeyan stopped at 22nd lap.

Vettel, Massa and de la Rosa were the only drivers having 4 pit stops. Hamilton was the only driver to be on a two stop strategy. Others were on a three stop strategy.

Grid Position Driver Team Points
1 Pastor Maldonado Williams  25
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 18
3 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 15
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus 12
5 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 10
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 8
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 6
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 4
9 Jenson Button McLaren 2
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1
11 Mark Webber Red Bull
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
14 Paul de Resta Force India
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham
17 Vitaly Petrov Caterham
18 Timo Glock Marussia
19 Pedro de la Rosa HRT
Sergio Perez Sauber
Charles Pic Marussia
Narain Karthikeyan HRT
Bruno Senna Williams 
Michael Schumacher Mercedes

Heartbreak for Hamilton, Respite for Narain Karthikeyan

Our article on Spanish Grand Prix qualifying was titled Hamilton on Pole, heartbreak for Narain

However, in the continuing drama that is Formula 1, the new title should read Heartbreak for Hamilton, Respite for Narain

Lewis Hamilton had done a great lap in the dying seconds to score the pole position. However, he stopped the car as he didn't have enough fuel to complete the lap. This was in breach of the regulations. Incidentally, the regulations (Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations) came into place because of a previous incident in Canadian Grand Prix by the same McLaren team with Hamilton driving the car. At that time Hamilton didn't have enough fuel for the mandatory inspection, so he stopped the car, got down and pushed it all the way waving to spectators. It was indeed a spectacle, but the rules were changed after that. So it is surprising that the McLaren team didn't knew about it.

McLaren officials pleaded before the Stewards that there was a fuel rig fault and hence there was shortage of fuel. However, the Stewards didn't accept the explanation and ruled "As the amount of fuel put into the car is under complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure"

So Hamilton has been excluded from the qualifying results and will start from the back of the grid. Pastor Maldonado has been promoted to the pole position - his first pole.

"The Stewards received a report from the Race Director which stated that during post-qualifying scrutineering a sample of fuel was required from car 4, however, the car failed to return to the pits under its own power as required under Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

The Stewards heard from the team representative Mr. Sam Michael who stated that the car stopped on the circuit for reasons of force majeure. A team member had put an insufficient quantity of fuel into the car thereby resulting in the car having to be stopped on the circuit in order to be able to provide the required amount for sampling purposes. As the amount of fuel put into the car is under complete control of the Competitor the Stewards cannot accept this as a case of force majeure."

The disqualification of Lewis Hamilton has also resulted in Fernando Alonso moving into second position and to the front row of the grid. That will definitely excite many Spaniards and the race is going to see a full house.

So the revised provisional Grid for the Spanish Grand Prix is as follows:

Grid Position Driver Team
1 Pastor Maldonado Williams 
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus
5 Sergio Perez Sauber
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
10 Jenson Button McLaren
11 Mark Webber Red Bull
12 Paul de Resta Force India
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari
17 Bruno Senna Williams 
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham
20 Charles Pic Marussia
21 Timo Glock Marussia
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT
24 Lewis Hamilton McLaren

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hamilton on Pole, Heartbreak for Narain

Hamilton on Pole, Heartbreak for Narain

In the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton scored the pole position in the dying seconds of the Q3. He was so low in fuel that he had to stop on the track after the qualifying and could not come back to the pitlane.

On the other hand, the lone Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan could only score 1:31.122 and was outside the 107% time. So he hasn't qualified for the race. He can only race on the discretion of the stewards. Considering that his time in Final Practice was within the 107% times and he was also better than his team mate and his team mate managed to qualify, so HRT will file an appeal for allowing Narain to race.

In the Q3, the drivers chose to do only one lap in the dying minutes of the qualifying. Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi did not choose to set a time. Clearly they were trying to preserve their tires. Michael Schumacher who is known for his phenomenal starts, will hope to overtake a few cars during the start.

To the momentary delight of the partisan spanish crowd Fernando Alonso had scored the P1 time, however within seconds Pastor Maldonado and Lewis Hamilton bettered it.

Complete timings:

Sl. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren  1:21.707 17 laps
2 Pastor Maldonado Williams   1:22.285 19 laps
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari  1:22.302 15 laps
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus  1:22.424 14 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus  1:22.487 13 laps
6 Sergio Perez Sauber  1:22.533 14 laps
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes  1:23.005 17 laps
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 14 laps
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 15 laps
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 14 laps
11 Jenson Button McLaren  1:22.944 13 laps
12 Mark Webber Red Bull  1:22.977 8 laps
13 Paul de Resta Force India  1:23.125 14 laps
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India  1:23.177 13 laps
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso  1:23.265 11 laps
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso  1:23.442 11 laps
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari  1:23.444 12 laps
18 Bruno Senna Williams   1:24.981 8 laps
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham  1:25.277 8 laps
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham  1:25.507 8 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia  1:26.582 8 laps
22 Timo Glock Marussia  1:27.032 8 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT  1:27.555 6 laps
Narain Karthikeyan HRT  1:31.122 4 laps
Q1 107% Time 01:28.4

Spanish Grand Prix Final Practice: Vettel on Top

Sebastian Vettel topped the third and final practice in the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday. Considering that Vettel only drove for 13laps, it shows ominous signs of Vettel dominating again. Narain Karthikeyan of India who was frustrated yesterday due to lack of track time, finally could drive. He drove 24 laps in his HRT car compared to the 13 laps of his team mate Pedro de la Rosa and was faster than him. This should surely give the much needed confidence to Narain.

Michael Schumacher chose to drive 17 laps and was 17th in the timesheets with a time of 1:24.825. I don't think he would be bothered that his team mate Nico Rosberg drove for 24 laps and scored a faster time of 1:24.070.

Fernando Alonso, who had topped the FP1 times was 6th with a time of 1:23.807 while his team mate Felipe Massa was 11th with a time of 1:24.179.

With Qualifying scheduled in the afternoon, it is to be seen who wins the important qualifying battle.

Time Sheet for Third Practice

Third Practice
Sl. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull  1:23.168 13 laps
2 Pastor Maldonado Williams   1:23.336 0.168 19 laps
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber  1:23.350 0.182 19 laps
4 Mark Webber Red Bull  1:23.578 0.410 16 laps
5 Sergio Perez Sauber  1:23.742 0.574 22 laps
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari  1:23.807 0.639 15 laps
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso  1:23.833 0.665 14 laps
8 Jenson Button McLaren  1:23.909 0.741 13 laps
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus  1:23.936 0.768 16 laps
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes  1:24.070 0.902 24 laps
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari  1:24.179 1.011 16 laps
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India  1:24.323 1.155 17 laps
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso  1:24.3331 1.163 15 laps
14 Bruno Senna Williams   1:24.409 1.241 18 laps
15 Paul de Resta Force India  1:24.599 1.431 15 laps
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren  1:24.778 1.610 15 laps
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes  1.24.825 1.657 17 laps
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham  1:25.911 2.743 20 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham  1:26.587 3.419 20 laps
20 Charles Pic Marussia  1:27.469 4.301 18 laps
21 Timo Glock Marussia  1:27.689 4.521 16 laps
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT  1:28.207 5.039 24 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT  1:28.373 5.205 13 laps
24 Romain Grosjean Lotus 2 laps

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spanish Grand Prix: Glory lap by Alonso

It was a bitter and sweet afternoon for the Spanish crowd watching the Friday practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix 2012.

Fernando Alonso who is adored by many of his fellow countrymen, didn't fail to charm the friday crowd in the Spanish Grand Prix and scored the P1 position at a time of 1:24.430. This was achieved in Ferrari's B- specd car. Alonso was 0.378 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel of Redbul. Alonso's team mate in the other Ferrari, was down in 12th place a massive 1:003 seconds adrift.Michael Schumacher was 6th with a timing of 1:25.187 and his team mate Nico Rosberg was 14th with a timing of 1:25.607.

However, in the second practice Fernando Alonso could only score at 14th fastest lap time and his team mate who is generally struggling for the past two years scored a 11th fastest time. Jenson Button scored the P1 in the second practice followed by Sebastian Vettel. Nico Rosberg was third, Hamilton fourth, Raikkonen fifth, Grosjean sixth, Webber 7th followed by Schumacher at 8th position. Interestingly Schumacher drove 36 laps whereas his team mate Nico Rosberg drove 41laps ie. 5 laps more than him. With tyre degradation to become a major factor, it is important to see how the drivers cope up tomorrow as well as in the race day on Sunday.

The Indian fans were disappointed, as in the morning session Narain Karthikeyan didn't drive as Dani Clos - a spanish driver was given the drive to have an all spanish drive - as per earlier plan. In the second practice Narain Karthikeyan's car had developed an electrical problem and when he ventured very late in the second practice his car promptly stopped in turn three. We have to watch the impact of this lack of driving on Narain tomorrow. For the record, Dani Clos was a massive 2.511 seconds slower than his team mate Pedro de la Rosa, both of them driving 19 laps each.

The timings in First Practice:

First Practice
Sl. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari  1:24.430 20 laps
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull  1:24.808 0.378 18 laps
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber  1:24.912 0.482 28 laps
4 Jenson Button McLaren  1:24.996 0.566 24 laps
5 Valtteri Bottas  Williams   1:25.120  0.690  24 laps
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes  1.25.187 0.757 15 laps
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus  1:25.217 0.787 16 laps
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren  1:25.252 0.822 20 laps
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus  1:25.285 0.855 29 laps
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India  1:25.339 0.909 24 laps
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso  1:25.367 0.937 22 laps
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari  1:25.433 1.003 21 laps
13 Mark Webber Red Bull  1:25.539 1.109 23 laps
14 Nico Rosberg Mercedes  1:25.607 1.177 20 laps
15 Sergio Perez Sauber  1:25.918  1.488 19 laps
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso  1:26.226 1.796 24 laps
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams   1:26.297 1.867 18 laps
18 Jules Bianchi  Force India  1:26.630 2.200 21 laps
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham  1:27.475 3.045 20 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia  1:28.267 3.837 21 laps
21 Alexander Rossi Caterham  1:28.448 4.018 25 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia  1:28.633 4.203 22 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT  1:29.107 4.677 19 laps
24 Dani Clos HRT  1:31.618 7.188 19 laps

The Timings in Second Practice:

Second Practice
Sl. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jenson Button McLaren  1:23.399 38 laps
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull  1:23.563 0.164 38 laps
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes  1:23.771 0.372 41 laps
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren  1:23.909 0.510 32 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus  1:23.918 0.519 32 laps
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus  1:23.964 0.565 37 laps
7 Mark Webber Red Bull  1:24.065 0.666 34 laps
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.24.080 0.681 36 laps
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber  1:24.214 0.815 41 laps
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India  1:24.365 0.966 22 laps
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari  1:24.418 1.019 35 laps
12 Sergio Perez Sauber  1:24.422  1.023 32 laps
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams   1:24.468 1.069 40 laps
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari  1:24.600 1.201 33 laps
15 Paul DiResta Force India  1:24.688 1.289 30 laps
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso  1:24.733 1.334 34 laps
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso  1:24.769 1.370 37 laps
18 Bruno Senna Williams   1:25.047 1.648  42 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham  1:26.296 2.897 36 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham  1:26.740 3.341 35 laps
21 Timo Glock Marussia  1:27.314 3.915 27 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia  1:27.664 4.265 30 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT  1:28.235 4.836 26 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 2 laps

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Formula 1 Needs Mercedes

In our previous article "Formula 1 Politics Mercedes to Quit?" we had detailed the machinations of the Grand Old man of Formula 1 Bernie Ecclestone.

Mercedes a much bigger name than Red Bull and McLaren. Keeping it out of the board is something which will definitely not be agreeable to Mercedes. Neither will it be seen in good light by the millions of its followers. The dispute continues to remain unresolved. Earlier Mercedes was quick to state that it is not pulling out. However, the battle is going to be murkier.

Incredible India logo in HRT car?

Narain Karthikeyan is in talks with the Tourism department for conducting demo runs of the HRT's Formula One car in chennai and the deal will involve placing the Incredible India logo on the HRT cars. If this happens, then it will be good.

Narain Karthikeyan will get much needed sponsorships for the HRT team which is currently struggling due to lack of sponsors. Due to the high viewership of Formula One throughout the world, placing the "Incredible India" logo

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All Spanish Driver Lineup for HRT in FP1

HRT which is a Spanish team, has decided to opt for an all Spanish driver lineup in the First Practice in Spanish Grand Prix.

Dani Clos, a Spanish driver, who was earlier taken by HRT as a reserve driver, is given the opportunity

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Schumacher says Pirelli tyres is like driving on raw eggs

Tyre War continues

We had earlier talked about the tyre wars which started with Michael Schumacher criticising Pirelli tyres for its high degradation.

Pirelli had hit back at Michael casting aspersions on his driving ability. Many players then jumped into the fray.

Now Michael Schumacher is not taking it lying down. He has continued from where he had left earlier. While speaking to CNN, Michael Schumacher said

Monday, May 7, 2012

Formula 1 Politics: Mercedes to Quit?

Formula 1 and Politics are two sides of a coin and are inseparable. This feeling is being reinforced every other day.

The latest political battlefield in F1 is around the new concorde agreement. 

In March Bernie Ecclestone had announced that he had concluded an agreement with a majority of the Formula One teams over a new Concorde Agreement. The existing concorde agreement is bound to get over by the end of this year. He had announced via a statement "I am pleased to announce that we have reached commercial agreements with the majority of the current Formula One teams, including Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull racing about the terms one which they will continue competing in Formula One after the current concorde agreement expires at the end of this year."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Force India to pay 5.61 crores rupees as legal costs

Force India team, which had got into a dispute with Caterham (the erst while Team Lotus) over IPR has been ordered by the London High Court to pay legal costs to Mike Gascoyne and Caterham to the tune of 650,000 pounds which is equivalent to Rs. 5.61 crores.

Mike Gascoyne will get 4,00,000 pounds out of that amount. The balance 2,50,000 pounds will go to Caterham's holding company - 1Malaysia Racing Team.

Tyre Wars: McLaren supports Schumacher

The Politics around the Pirelli tyres is not going to die down soon.
Michael Schumacher, the seven time Formula One champion had kicked up a storm when he had expressed his displeasure about the high degradation of the Pirelli tyres after the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. Pirelli Motorsport director hit back at him casting aspersions on his ability to drive. Further details of that can be found in our previous article:

Now, Martin Whitemarsh, Principal of McLaren team has lent his voice to the debate and has agreed to Michael Schumacher's expressed views that the tyres have become a decisive factor in the races. He said "These tyres are very, very challenging. If you are in the sweet spot, you are in great shape. If not, your are in for a pretty tough time, and it gave both of our drivers a tough time. We were clearly too hard on the tyres. They were going away very quickly, and both drivers really struggled."

With the Spanish Grand Prix round the corner and Pirelli allocating the hard and the soft compounds where the degradation between the two compounds is higher, it is going to be pretty interesting to watch how each team copes up with it.

Clearly the last word on the subject has not been spoken.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Politics on Resource Restriction Agreement - II

Politics on Resource Restriction Agreement - II

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Look who is talking of cost reduction!

Earlier we had highlighted the politics in the Resource Restriction Agreement with Red Bull and its sister team Toro Rosso not agreeing to it.

Now, after the Mugello testing - the first in-season testing in several years - Christian Horner of Red bull has come out strongly against the in-season testing. In an interview to Autosport, Horner has said "any test time you have is useful, but whether it is the right thing for F1 to be testing in season is probably a bigger topic." He says that the the cost of in season testing is high. "If you look at the focus on cost saving, this test hasn't achieved that for any team."

"When you look at the cost of running here, we will have done three times the mileage of a grand prix weekend." Due to widespread demands, Formula 1 rules were tweaked to allow one in season testing from 2012. With Christian Horner's call for scrapping in season testing, many other Formula 1 team chiefs are clearly not amused.

Christian Horner alluding to high cost is to hit at all the other teams who had written a letter to FIA for strict policing of Resource Restriction norms. It is said that Red Bull has spent phenomenal amount of money to develop a winning car and win the F1 championship in the last two years. So this statement of Horner is to take the moral high ground of other teams and weaken the case for imposition of a budget limit for teams.

Clearly, the last word on the Resource Restriction Agreement issue is yet to be heard.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Politics around Pirelli tyres

Politics is the second name of F1.

Now it has been triggered by Michael Schumacher's comments about tyres.

Michael Schumacher expressed his displeasure regarding the heavy degradation of Pirelli tyres after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Schumacher was quoted as saying "I had to drive at a pace to manage the tyres to finish with tyres left over. We should question whether that should be the case. It is unsatisfying and not what a Formula 1 event should be."

He further added that "If 80 or 90% complain, maybe Pirelli should think about it."

However, the director of Pirelli  Motorsports Mr. Paul Hembery hit back at Michael Schumacher. Rather than denying Michael's opinion that high tyre degradation is not good for Formula 1, he choose to discredit Michael Schumacher by saying "Formula one has always been a meritocracy - in the end the best engineers and drivers will always succeed."

Since Michael Schumacher hasn't been in the Podium since he has made his come back, Paul Hembery is suggesting that Michael is not good and his opinion doesn't count.

Latching on to the situation is Nico Rosberg. This young german teammate of Michael Schumacher, has always tried to attack or show Michael in a less then positive light, albeit in a subtle manner.

Rosberg in an interview to Autosport responded by saying "No. It's just a very different game. We have seen already this year that when you go from one condition to another, one racetrack to another, on temperature to another... different cars are better on tyres, so there's a very big engineering challenge to understand why, to adapt and to try and be the one to understand the tyres best..."

In the first two races of the season Michael Schumacher was much faster that Rosberg but unfortunately could not score many points. In China, Rosberg won and Michael who as running second had to retire due to his wheel not secured during the tyre change. So Rosberg is trying to say that he is better and Michael is not able to adapt.

In a highly competitive environment like F1, Michael Schumacher has won 7 world titles and doesn't suffer from any inferiority complex, unlike his team mate who only won his first race after participating in more than 100 races.

In the latest turn of events, Mark Webber has jumped to defend Pirelli tyres. It may be noted that the performance of Mark Webber of Redbull in the previous season was abysmal. In this year, in the first three Formula 1 races, he did better than his teammate Sebastian Vettel. Vettel bounced back to score a victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix. Also, with Redbull cars doing well in the hot weather of Bahrain than the previous cold and wet races, it is normal that they don't want to say anything bad against Pirelli.

We haven't heard the last of this different kind of war over tyres. We will keep you updated as and when the various protagonists decide to fire....