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Thursday, March 31, 2011

James Key to remain at Sauber

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Following the disappointing disqualification of both the Sauber Drivers , Sergio Perez and  Kamui Kobayashi, due to an infringement of a rule restricting the radius of the upper face of the rear wing, many believed that this incident of poor quality control could lead to James Key (Technical Director) being fired in addition to a substantial loss for the company.

It has now been confirmed by Team principal and owner Peter Sauber that James Key will remain at Sauber.

Sauber had a very good weekend with a reasonably competitive car which was very easy on the tyres without any sacrifice on performance. Sergio Perez drove an astonishing race to finish 7th after following a one-stop strategy, something which was unanimously perceived as impossible with the new Pirelli tyres. Kamui Kobayashi finished just one place behind the rookie on 8th.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Karthikeyan - HRT may surprise a few people

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Both drivers of the Hispania Racing Team , failed to qualify for the season opener at Melbourne , falling prey to the newly introduced 107% rule.

The 107% rule states that ,if the fastest lap of a driver exceeds the pole time by 107% , the drivers will not be allowed to race.

But Narain Karthikeyan is positively assuring that they might have just overcome their qualifying woes and will qualify for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix next week.

He quotes :-

“We know it’s a really bad situation but there's no point in complaining about it. For me, it was very difficult because I've driven here (Australia) only once, in 2005, and I had to get back into the rhythm of things, but I never had a chance. Basically, they (FIA) don't want jokers to come in. We respect the 107 percent rule. We are a serious team.” 

“When it all gets kicking off, I think we’re going to surprise a few people. If we get the new front wing...not if, we are going to get it - we are reasonably confident that we will qualify and if all these things happen then we don't have any excuse not to qualify for Malaysia .”

Monday, March 21, 2011

McLaren to race in Melbourne with Simpler Exhaust System

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Martin Whitmarsh, current McLaren Team principal, had recently admitted that McLaren were a little overambitious with their design for this year's MP4-26. The car was nearly a second off-pace and bad weather in addition to lots of reliability issues along with a late launch resulted in very very few testing miles.

Martin Whitmarsh , through a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in conference ,confirmed that McLaren will not be running the complex exhaust system and instead will run a relatively simpler exhaust system consisting of a new floor. This is believed to be more reliable and is expected to boost performance by  1 second.

He quotes,

"We have a completely new floor and a new exhaust system. There are a lot of other bits and pieces, but they're the clear and obvious ones that people will see in Australia."

"I'd say it is a simpler design than we've had before, I think the exhaust systems have become quite extreme on quite a lot of the cars. I think we in particular had very extreme solutions."

"But I think that they were not delivering, in my opinion, sufficient benefits for their complexity.I believe that the car isn't fundamentally a bad car. I believe that we need to unlock the exhaust-blowing potential."

"We had some very creative ideas, some of which could have worked spectacularly well. But if they were to work spectacularly well then they had to be sufficiently durable to be raceable, and frankly some of our solutions weren't, and that's why I think we had to go back on it. But I think in doing so we found some interesting performance."

The 2011 Formula 1 season kicks off at the 27th of this month at Melbourne , Australia.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pirelli Tyre Colour Codes

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Pirelli ,who have replaced Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier for Formula 1 ,have revealed the colour code to differentiate between their tyres.

Orange   - Wet
Blue       -  Intermediate
Red       -  Super-Soft
Yellow  -  Soft
White    -  Medium
Silver    -  Hard

You definitely cannot read the words on the tyres at 200mph, as they will appear like a coloured blur against a black background. It does seem a little hard to distinguish between the Medium and Hard compounds as silver is  not really different from white....

Although these tyres are a second or more slower than the Bridgestone tyres, they degrade much quicker than the Bridgestones. This has been done deliberately in an attempt to "spice up the show" by boosting overtaking .Also as the number of pitstops will increase it becomes all  the more important for the teams to get their tyre strategy right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sebastien Vettel To Stay with Red Bull till 2014

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It has been confirmed that reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has extended his contract till 2014.

Recently Vettel had joked (which was terribly misinterpreted by many) that he would pay Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to go on a holiday so that he could drive the Ferrari. And Bernie Eccelstone himself made comments like "He will drive the red car some day". Well it doesn't look like any of that's going to happen in the near future.

Are we going to have another Schumacher-Ferrari moment ?!?! With a certain Adrian Newey and Sebastian Vettel in their arsenal , it doesnt seem impossible either !!