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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hungarian Grand Prix Preview

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This is the 25th year since the Hungaroring hosted its first Formula 1 Race which was way back in 1986. Bernie Ecclestone, currently the president and CEO of FIM and FIA, wanted a race track in the former USSR but upon the suggestion of a Hungarian friend of his a race track was built just outside the city of Budapest.

The track is notoriously twisty and slow which often makes overtaking a herculean task. Generally an underused circuit becomes faster over the weekend as the track 'rubbers' in , but the Hungaroring , being built on sandy soil often gets extremely filthy and dusty , infact slows down cars . Despite difficult overtaking conditions, this circuit isn't new to exciting races.Hopefully the coming weekend wont be an exception.

The Weather is expected to be rainy , with heavy showers on race day and mild drizzling on qualifying.

Since the surface is not used too much, there could be a lot of graining which is why Bridgestone are bringing Medium and Super-soft tires to the race. Also this track being the second smallest track of the season after Monaco , the track is very demanding on the engines. Engines on an average will be running on full throttle for about 55% of the track.

A responsive engine is especially important exiting turn 14 to get a good run down the main straight heading to turn 1, arguably the only overtaking opportunity around the short lap. Because the majority of corners are slow speed, the engine needs good driveability at high revs and drivers need to be smooth on the throttle to avoid excessive strain on the unit. Cooling is often a problem at Hungary because of the lack of straights and the usual hot climate in Hungary at this time of the year. The engine gets very little in the way of breathing space around the lap, enhancing the risks of overheating over 70 laps.” - Cosworth

Circuit Data :

Number of Laps : 70

Circuit Length : 4.381 km / 2.722 miles

Total Race Distance : 306.63 km / 190.531 miles

Lap Record : 1.19.071 - Micheal Schumacher (2004)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Should Team Orders In Formula 1 be Banned ? ? ?

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Following the incident in Hockenheim wherein Massa was told to make way for Alonso, the FIA have floated a committee to probe into this incident further. What exactly occurred is as follows. On Lap 50 Rob Smedly told Massa over the radio "Fernando Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm" which in an indirect manner implies "Let Alonso go by". Later on , once Alonso overtook Massa, Smedly's apology to Massa just confirms the fact that it was a team order.

Team orders were banned in F1 since 2002 . During that year Jean Todt, the current FIA president who then was the team principal of Ferrari, ordered Rubens Barichello to let Micheal Schumacher go by, on the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix. That weekend Barichello had been a lot faster than Schumacher, both in practice sessions and during the race itself , and so deserved to win. Micheal Schumacher who had a comfortable lead in the drivers title really should have had no problem finishing second. It was an outrageous thing to do as it was to early to have any significant effect on the championship points. It was due to this , the harsh sides of team orders , that team orders were banned ever since.

But in my view team orders shouldn't be banned. Its true that it may produce bitter and unfair results , but at the end of the day all drivers whether they like it or not, drive for their respective teams . And if their team believes that one of the drivers has a much better chance of scoring something substantial and beneficial , then why not help that driver out ? Look at it this way, say its the last race of the season and Sebastien Vettel is leading the championship with 250 points ahead of Fernando Alonso who is second at 240. And also imagine that Massa is leading that race and Alonso,who will win the Driver's Title if he wins this race , is second, with Vettel in a low scoring position. Then clearly if Alonso wins that race , he will win the Drivers Title . So he has to be let through. It is in such cases that team orders do matter.

Team orders as these shouldn't be given at a very early stage of the season because literally anything can happen in Formula 1 ! And teams should be smarter if they want to carry out anything like that and they should execute in a very inconspicuous manner so as to raise no suspicion .One way to go about this could be like drivers having a mutual understanding between them that if one of them has to win the race then the other will let the former through at some point in the race. Or a pit stop can be delayed just enough for drivers to switch grid places.

Article 39.1 in the Formula 1 Constitution , which bans team orders of any kind, should be tweaked to accommodate such cases and let teams to issue such orders if the have a valid reason for it, because Formula 1 at the end of the day , contradictory to views of most fans , is a team sport .

Well, its in this regard that I end this article , leaving you a thought to ponder on . Please comment on the article and about your views on the banning of team orders.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Alonso leads Ferrari to a 1 - 2 Victory in the German GP

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Sebastien Vettel , the man on P1, suffered a slow start which turned out to be a boon for the two Ferrari's behind him. Alonso managed to retain second place despite futile attempts from Vettel to occupy the racing line, while Massa raced on to occupy a comfortable first place as they headed into turn 1. Micheal Schumacher , who lately has been struggling to find pace in the Mercedes , ended up in 8th place as he entered turn 1. An unfortunate collision between the two Torro Rosso drivers resulted in the retirement of Sebastien Buemi.

At about the sixteenth lap, the drivers started pitting mainly to switch onto the harder compound tires as there was still another 51 laps to go.

The most controversial moment of the race came on Lap 50, where in Rob Smedly indirectly hinted at Massa to give way to Fernando Alonso , who was really closing on him. This act which violated the rule stating that team orders as these can never be given to a driver , resulted in a fine of $100,000, albeit strict denials from Stefano Dominicalli and Robert Smedly that it was Massa who decided to give way and they did not order him to do so.

Jenson button pitted on lap 24 and came out ahead of Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg also pitted a lap later and came out in front of his team mate Schumacher in 8th.

It finally ended with Ferrari winning with a 1 - 2 which is the only 1 -2 since s Bahrain at the beginning of the season. All the drivers apart from the top six were lapped.

German Grand Prix, Hockenheim, 67 Laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1h28:38.866

2. Massa Ferrari + 4.196

3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 5.121

4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 26.896

5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 29.482

6. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 43.606

7. Kubica Renault + 1 lap

8. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap

9. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap

10. Petrov Renault + 1 lap

11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap

12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap

13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap

14. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap

15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap

16. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps

17. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 2 laps

18. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps

19. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps