Friday, April 15, 2016

CHINESE F1 GRAND PRIX 2016 PREVIEW

Goonies anyone?
From the desert of Bahrain Formula One heads to the industrial sprawl of Shanghai for the third round of the world championship and another track which first appeared on the calendar in 2004. But the Shanghai International Circuit is a very different proposition, with longer corners which place the tyres under greater strain. The front-left tyre takes the biggest pounding, especially in turns one/two/three and twelve/thirteen.

The Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, designed by Hermann Tilke, when completed in 2004 was the most expensive Formula One circuit facility, costing $240 million. The track is 5.451 km long and features one of the trickiest corners combinations on the Formula One calendar, comparable to that of Istanbul Park's turn 8, also designed by Tilke. Turn 1 and 2 are a very demanding 270 degree, right-handed corner combination that requires a lot of speed whilst entering and it tightens up towards the end.

Two long straights with the inevitable DRS zones present opportunities for overtaking. The back straight leading to the turn 14 hairpin is one of the longest of the season. Yet despite this drivers are at full throttle for less time than at almost every other circuit. This makes the track less demanding in terms of fuel consumption and brake wear. The cars pass beneath a vast grandstand as they accelerate towards turn one, which is one of the quickest opening turns of the season.

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is always an intriguing race and strategy has played a significant role in the outcome in recent years. Overtaking is easy here because of the longest straight in F1 at 1.17km, so teams can plan for the fastest strategy knowing that traffic will not be a huge problem. That said, the speed differential between cars due to the new hybrid turbo engines, could see cars with less straight line speed struggle to pass midfield cars with good straight line speed.

Track Characteristics

Track length : 5.45 kilometres
Race distance : 56 laps (305 kilometres)
Corner : 16 corners in total, a mixture of slow, medium and fast
Aerodynamic setup : Medium/high downforce
Top speed : 322km/h (with Drag Reduction System on rear wing) – 310km/h without
Full throttle : 55% of the lap
Time spent braking : 15% of the lap. 8 braking zones
Brake wear : Medium
Total time needed for pit stop : 22 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.34 seconds (average)

Weather Forecast

A large band of rain will have reached Shanghai by now and is likely to create wet conditions for Saturday’s qualifying session. Dry and fairly warm conditions are expected for the first two practice sessions at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday. But in the evening rain will arrive from the east and linger for the next 24 hours.

This will be persistent drizzle rather than a downpour. It will build slightly in intensity throughout the day but the 3pm qualifying session is expected to miss the heaviest rainfall. The dull, cloudy conditions will persist into Sunday but the drivers will be spared any further rain. Temperatures for race day will be slightly lower, peaking at around 20C, some two degrees cooler than Saturday.

Although the air temperature will be only slightly cooler than during last year’s race the cloud cover should keep the track temperatures from reaching the 47C high seen in this race 12 months ago.

Tyres

Pirelli tyre choice for Shanghai: Medium, soft, super-soft. As in the opening two rounds, the Super Soft, Soft and Medium tyre compounds will be used at Shanghai. Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have opted for different choices, with the Briton selecting an extra set of Medium tyres compared to his team-mate. While both Ferrari drivers have selected the same number of each tyres, the pair have chosen an extra set of the Super Soft tyres compared to their Mercedes counterparts. Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso and Haas drivers have all made slightly different choices compared to their respective team-mates.


The front tyres are the limitation, especially the left front which gets hammered by the two long corners T1 and T13. With the three different tyre options available for the race, we’ll see a mixture of different strategies again. We can see already who tends to be aggressive (Red Bull, Haas) and it should be another fascinating his speed chess game.

Weather conditions are nearly always unpredictable, which have a big effect on tyre behaviour. Key tyre info for Shanghai from Pirelli:
  • As a result, graining is sometimes an issue when it's cool: especially in the early sessions.
  • Around 80% of the lap is spent cornering, meaning that lateral loads are a crucial factor.
  • The track is front limited, because of all the turns and high-energy corners.
  • The crucial corners are Turn 1, which is almost a full circle, and Turn 13, which is banked.
  • Drivers also have to avoid wheelspin out of the corners, in order to minimise rear degradation.
Safety Car

The chance of a safety car at Shanghai is reasonably high, at 43% and there is an average of 0.7 safety cars per race. In the 2005 and 2010 races there were 2 safety car periods.

DRS

The DRS sectors at the Shanghai International Circuit will be as last year. The detection point of
the first zone is at Turn 12 and the activation point is 752m before Turn 14. The second zone’s
detection point is 35m before Turn 16, with activation occurring 98m after Turn 16.


Conclusion

Lewis Hamilton has an enviable qualifying record in China with five pole positions to his name including the last three in a row. But he’s unlikely to extend that run this weekend as he arrives carrying a five-place grid penalty for an expected gearbox change.

That will hand the initiate to his team mate Nico Rosberg who arrives looking for his sixth win in a row – something only three drivers have achieved in F1 history. More importantly, Rosberg could increase his 17-point championship lead – especially if Hamilton makes another poor start.

Race strategy will again be crucial, as will qualifying. Sebastian Vettel was in touching distance of the Mercedes after the first runs in Q3 in Bahrain, but then they opened out a half second margin in the second runs. They denied that it had anything to do with advanced engine modes, saying that the cars were at the maximum from Q2 onwards.

But the Ferrari’s end of sector time speeds were encouraging, especially in the race and give grounds for hope. They still have a reliability concern, especially on the turbo, but new fixes are on the way.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

WILL DRONE RACING BE THE SPORT OF THE FUTURE?

500 million  human lives disrupted on April 17th, 2016. The survivors of the nuclear race called the race Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war using the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, FIAnet, sent two ideas through. Their mission: to destroy any semblance of family life in young adults by getting them hooked onto racing with machines. The leader of the resistance..uh wuh whut? Yeah! Yeah! I'm awake! Shut yer trap.

These are strange times we live in. We have all sorts of sports where people physically partake in the testosterone drenched quest of greatness but somehow we still can't get out of our seats or throw down that controller. Racing by proxy has arrived folks. And it's no XBOX.

Drone racing they call it. And to tell you all about is Joshua Madisson, our regular guest writer.

Drones is a word we all have had to get used to talking about. Whether it is on the news in wars, or Amazon suggesting using a new delivery method it is on everyone’s tongues. 2016 has seen the introduction of something newer. People haven’t thought about Drone in a sporting context yet, but the Drone Racing League is hoping to change that.


Drone Racing is very new, believed to have begun in Australia in 2014. Racers or as their referred to by the Drone Racing League (DRL), Pilots are growing as a population. 2016 has seen the ‘events’ that took place between enthusiasts officially become a sport. The DRL are holding a competition of six events which started on the 22nd February, over the course of 2016. The first race took place in Miami’s Sunlife Stadium and made everyone take notice. Special lit tracks, LED lit drones racing at high speeds and a real world track with obstacles. What was this?

Drone Racing is a very new yet unique sport. Pilots race their drones around real world environments while wearing goggles. These goggles provide First Person Viewing from the drone directly to the pilots. When watching a race, the excitement around its futuristic looks is understandable. In the DRL heats and races take place over a single course and the Pilots rack up points determined on their placing. The drones are provided by the DRL to keep the playing field level, but still the Drones are fine-tuned machines able to travel up to speeds of 120mph. They also have a careful calibration of balancing taking place while it flies, which allows the pilots to stay in control while also performing many manoeuvres. Drones flip, roll and seem to skid around corners whilst all whizzing through the air.


The sport has had the backing of many investors and interested parties. The DRL hopes to become the elite competition in Drone Racing and people have put their money where their belief is. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross invested $1m of his own wealth into the league and Muse lead singer whose last album was even called ‘Drone’ is also said to be backing the sport financially. This all leads to the question of what does the future look like for other racing sports?

Rival racing sports, especially Formula 1 are in constant argument over mundane elements such as qualifying at the moment, and fights over engines that no one quite understands can make the sport look utterly archaic at times. Yes, there is much more involved in racing cars such a pit crews and drivers, but how many people get the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car. With drones anyone can realistically try it. Formula 1 is currently in a battle of the same two drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, from the same team no less, for the Championship. Other teams can sometimes just be cannon fodder to overtake. Could it be possible for Drone Racing to steal away the fans from F1 and could we even maybe see Sebastien Vettel at the hands of a controller?


The only stumbling block for Drone Racing right now is the audiences. Formula 1 fans are the highlight of the sport with their passion and enthusiasm for the sport that has kept it going. Drone Racing will hope to emulate this in some way. With crashing a common occurrence spectators have to be some distance from the drones. The DRL’s ultimate goal is to have fans wearing the same goggles as the pilots to give them a POV view of the racing, but maintaining live feeds are proving problematic. While the rules and technical issues are ironed out Drone Racing may be years from making an impact on its much bigger rivals, but with the looks of Star Wars and the modern powered vehicles, Drone Racing is definitely something to look out for. Meanwhile the league moves on with the next race taking place in an abandoned LA mall, it already sounds awesome!

Written by Joshua Madisson

Think that is cool? How about a super sexy racing car with no driver that drives itself? Apparently that is what Roborace is. Roborace will be the world's first driverless racing series i.e. autonomous racing cars. At least drone racing still has people directly controlling the machines. Roborace is another step closer to Judgement Day. Hasta La Vista Baby!

The organizers have finally unveiled what its custom-made electric cars will look like — and boy do they look wild. The four-wheeled autonomous vehicles appear to be covered in sensors and look wickedly aerodynamic, with bodywork that covers up all the internals and massive openings around each axle. 


That the car looks crazy isn't necessarily a surprise — after all, Roborace hired Daniel Simon, the man who designed the light cycles in Tron: Legacy, to design these cars. In an official release, Simon says his goal was "to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty," and that he worked with racing engineers and aerodynamicists to strike that balance. "Beauty was very high on our agenda," he says, and it shows.

The founders say that the first Roborace "shows" are still on schedule to take place during the 2016/17 Formula E season, though exactly when is still unknown. Does this mean that we'll see something different from the 10-team, 20-car races that were teased when the series was originally announced in November? Or will Roborace host a suite of events, with some looking more like traditional races and others being pure displays of what the teams' algorithms are capable of? Will Formula E pit its drivers against the autonomous cars in a high speed showdown of man versus machine?

One thing is for sure: whatever Roborace winds up becoming will be shaped by the logistical framework already put in place by Formula E. Roborace will be piggybacking on Formula E's infrastructure, performing on the same race days at the same locations. Considering that Formula E teams only have something on the order of half a day to practice, qualify, and race on each street circuit, there won't be a ton of time to squeeze in Roborace. But whatever these cars do, at least now we know they'll be doing it in style.


If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Nico! Amma beat ya! Again!
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a Formula One Championship race in Bahrain sponsored by Gulf Air. The first race took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004. It made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East, and was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA.

The Bahrain International Circuit is holding its 12th round of the world championship this year. A typical modern circuit with wide run-off areas and frequent braking zones, it has nonetheless produced some memorable races in recent years. The purpose-built venue was designed by Hermann Tilke and is characterised by long straights and slow corners. This puts a premium on top speed and traction.

Despite the focus being on the controversial decision to stick with the unloved ‘elimination’ qualifying, the tactical game in the race should once again prove the main attraction.

The opening race in Melbourne showed that the new rule permitting the drivers a choice of three tyre compounds in the race is the most interesting and exciting of the changes to the 2016 regulations, far more than the team radio or qualifying changes. It opens up several viable strategy options and this leads to cars racing each other with performance offsets, enough to promote close battles and more overtaking.

Track Characteristics

Track length : 5.41 kilometres
Race distance : 57 laps (308.23 kilometres)
Corners : 15 corners in total, mostly medium speed, with three long straights. Very tough on brakes.
Aerodynamic setup : Medium downforce
Top speed : 322km/h (with Drag Reduction System on rear wing) – 310km/h without
Full throttle : 64% of the lap
Time spent braking : 16% of the lap. 8 braking zones.
Brake wear : High.
Total time needed for pit stop : 23 seconds.
Pit lane length : 480 metres
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.38 seconds (average/high)

Weather Forecast

One thing Bahrain tends to be very good for is stable weather conditions and this weekend is set to be no different. Following a rain-affected Friday practice in Melbourne, the teams will be pleased with warm and dry representative running, with temperatures expected to be a relatively cool 24C. With some cloud expected too, that should help ensure track temperatures in FP1 and FP3 are closer to the conditions which will be seen during qualifying and the race which take place under floodlights.

Tyres

A glance at last year’s race shows that the soft was the preferred race tyre; the shift to a twilight race means that the track temperature comes down in comparison to the 2pm start we used to have there and that greatly reduces the thermal degradation on the tyres. The temperature is forecast to be around 25 degrees for qualifying and race.

As the supersoft will once again be the preferred qualifying tyre and therefore the starting race tyre, the key to this race will be whether the teams can cover the 57 lap race with two stints on softs after the initial pit stop to get off the supersofts. It will be touch and go and you cannot rely on a safety car as these are pretty rare in Bahrain due to the wide open nature of the track. The alternative is to go supersoft, soft, medium, with a longer stint on mediums. Mercedes will not fear this, as they did not in Melbourne, as they can make the mediums work better than the Ferraris can.

Last year the longest stint for the soft was 21 laps, while the medium was good for 32 laps on Massa’s Williams, so it is tough and go for soft tyres.




DRS

The DRS sectors at the Bahrain International Circuit will be the same as last year. The detection point of the first zone is 10m before turn 9 and the activation point is 50m after turn 10. The second zone's detection point is 108m before turn 14 with activation occuring 270m after turn 15.


Conclusion

Mercedes’ 1-2 finish last time out in Australia was its 24th since the beginning of 2014. Every team that has previously secured a 1-2 in Melbourne has gone on to win both championships and the victorious driver has also won the drivers’ championship on those six occasions, which will be a boost for Nico Rosberg.

There is a sense of status quo at the top of the order, but Ferrari looked clearly closer to Mercedes than it was a year ago in Melbourne, and should have won the opening race had it got its strategy under the red flag right. As it was, Mercedes started with another one-two but will know the gap is closing, while Red Bull similarly made a step towards the front. Realistically the RB12 will only be a major threat later in the year but it looks to have the legs on Williams, while Haas has shown it can mix it with the likes of Force India in the midfield. Toro Rosso has more potential than ninth and tenth in Melbourne showed, while Renault can also target points if it can improve its qualifying pace. Perhaps the biggest unknown surrounds McLaren, with Fernando Alonso spectacularly crashing out early in Australia and Jenson Button suffering from a poor strategy that left him at the back of a midfield pack.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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FORMULA 1 CAR VS AVERAGE ROAD CAR

You've read this before. An F1 car vs a road car. There is really no match here. But still the facts are staggering in the least. So to whet your appetite for the second race of the season, here is an infographic of an F1 car against a road car.


If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

PIRELLI EXPLAINS NEW TYRE RULES

In a bid to spice up racing this year, the tyre rules were tweaked to give teams a choice of three compounds rather than two at a race weekend. Of the 13 sets available to drivers over a weekend, Pirelli sets aside one of each -- leaving 10 sets available for each driver to choose between for the race weekend.

Of the three compounds set aside by Pirelli, the softest will always be the one set aside for qualifying, with one each of the other compounds allocated for Sunday. The regulations state two different compounds must be used during the race, though that does not have to be both of the tyres set aside for use by Pirelli for Sunday.

OK, you've read the explanations; how Pirelli will nominate two mandatory race sets for each car and one set of the softer compound will have to be kept for use in Q3 only, and at least one of the two sets must be used during the race... yadda, yadda, yadda. So what? Do you get it? I still am confused. So many questions. Will the top 10 start on the qualy tyres they used in Q2 like last year? Or is that the top 8 now?

Thankfully, those kind folk at Pirelli have provided a video.



Now that we've seen how this works in a race, I am thankful that it actually works. There was a variety of different tyre strategies employed with some team risking one way and another going in a different route. Although Ferrari who decided not to use the mediums for the last part of the race was probably due to them not having enough information on those tyres because of the lack of testing on Friday and Saturday. Who knows if the race weekend went normally i.e. without rain disruptions, we would probably see a convergence of strategies anyway.

The jury is still out on this one as far as I'm concerned. I'd like to see a few more races to see if the variety in tyre options does have an effect. Bahrain should give us more of an idea how it will work as the chance of rain there is very slim. Although the twilight nature of the race will affect tyre choice as temperature changes could be quite big during sundown. We'll see.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

COMPARE EVERY F1 CAR OF 2016 FROM EVERY ANGLE

F1Fanatic is one of the best, if not THE best F1 sites out there. There I said it. Keith who runs it is a very knowledgeable and connected individual in the world of F1. He may not be right all the time but his site has relevant content that is presented in a way that is easy to consume for us F1 fans.

I'm not paid to rave about him or his site by the way. Although if anybody thinks I should be..thanks! I just wanted to share what a great site F1Fanatic is. And if you're any type of F1 fan, bookmark the place.

So the reason I wanted to post about this today is because F1Fanatic has done such a great job putting together all the information we need about all the new 2016 cars. For those who like to pore over details, this posting from F1Fanatic is excellent. It's interactive, you can put 2 different cars side by side then move the slider to reveal or hide more of one car or the other. You have to see it to understand. And there are views from the top, front, side and rear. Fantastic doesn't even begin to describe this. Fanatastic?

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Monday, March 7, 2016

ELIMINATION QUALIFYING BOGGLE - UPDATED

Have you ever heard of the term "Gobledygook"? It's a term I learnt a long time ago when I was much younger. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the short definition is "speech or writing that is complicated and difficult to understand." The full definition is "wordy and generally unintelligible jargon".

Wikipedia groups gobledygook together with gibberish:
Gibberish and gobbledygook refer to speech or other use of language that is nonsense, or that appears to be nonsense.
Lately the F1 rules by the FIA seems to be nonsense, isn't it? Especially with qualifying. The new rules on qualifying has been bent over so much that I have trouble figuring out what is going on. And that was last year. I finally got around to it and now they've twisted it even more.

Then they said they won't have it by Melbourne but will start at Spain as Bernie Ecclestone claimed the relevant software and broadcast graphics would not be ready in time. Now we have another u-turn and it will start at Melbourne with a 'bastardised' version, one which would use the new format in Q1 and Q2 but revert to the old format for Q3. This, of course, still didn't take into account the concerns raised by Ecclestone.. Of course, whether it runs without a hitch, and whether fans (and drivers) can make sense of it remains to be seen.

At this point the teams and drivers got involved, most, especially the drivers, unhappy with the new format, insisting that the old one worked perfectly well. Duh? Aware that the clock is ticking, the FIA World Motor Sport Council, having been advised by FOM that the software and graphics issues will be sorted, ratified the original format which sees the slowest drivers eliminated in all three phases of qualifying.

And for those fans (and drivers) still as confused as I am:

Q1 will last for 16 minutes. After 7 minutes the slowest driver is eliminated. Subsequently the slowest driver is eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag. 7 drivers eliminated, 15 progress to Q2.

Q2 will last for 15 minutes. After 6 minutes, the slowest driver is eliminated. Subsequently the slowest driver is eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag. 7 drivers eliminated, 8 progress to Q3.

Q3 will last 14 minutes. After 5 minutes, the slowest driver is eliminated. Subsequently the slowest driver is eliminated every 1 minute 30 seconds thereafter until the chequered flag leaving 2 drivers in the final 1 minute 30 seconds.

The final elimination in each session occurs at the chequered flag - not when time is up.

Get it?


I think I need to go now..

UPDATE!! 

Not that it makes much of a difference when you're trying to figure out what's happening and drivers are dropping of like flies.

The FIA has published Formula One's new qualifying regulations for 2016 that will see a live-elimination during the sessions. The proposal was approved by the World Motor Sport Council last week and has been now been included in a redraft of the regulations.

Article 33.1 of the sporting regulations now reads as follows:

"The qualifying practice session will take place on the day before the race from 14.00 to 15.00.

"The session will be run as follows :

"a) From 14.00 to 14.16 (Q1) all cars will be permitted on the track. Seven minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 8m30s, 10m0s, 11m30s, 13m0s and 14m30s leaving sixteen cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. Lap times achieved by the fifteen remaining cars will then be deleted.

"b) From 14.24 to 14.39 (Q2) the fifteen remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Six minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 7m30s, 9m0s, 10m30s, 12m0s and 13m30s leaving nine cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session all drivers on the track may complete the lap they are on and, once these final laps have been completed, the driver last in the classification may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. Lap times achieved by the eight remaining cars will then be deleted.

"c) From 14.46 to 15.00 (Q3) the eight remaining cars will be permitted on the track. Five minutes after the start of the session the driver last in the classification will be eliminated and will no longer be timed, he must then return to the pit lane and may take no further part in the qualifying practice session. The same procedure will then apply after 6m30s, 8m0s, 9m30s, 11m0s and 12m30s leaving two cars eligible to continue. At the end of the session any driver on the track may complete the lap he is on and, once any final lap has been completed, the overall classification will be established. "The above procedure is based upon 22 cars being officially eligible to take part in the Event. If 24 cars are eligible eight will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, if 26 cars are eligible nine cars will be excluded after Q1 and Q2, and so on if fewer cars are eligible. If necessary, the intervals between the sessions and eliminations will be adjusted to ensure Q3 remains unchanged."

Got that??

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Friday, February 19, 2016

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The 2016 season is almost upon us. Launch season is here. The first test session of the season is only next week. All drivers have been confirmed. So what will the cars look like? We can only guess. We'll have to wait till next week at least to have a look when the first test starts in Barcelona.

How will they sound? We've been told that they'll sound louder and better. The main “improvement” in the quality of F1’s sound for 2016 will come from new regulations allowing two exhaust pipes instead of one. Mercedes’ technical chief, Paddy Lowe, is convinced the system will work, although he admits he is unsure of how much louder, exactly, the new 2016-spec. engines will be.

According to Williams technical chief Pat Symonds it will be up to 25 per cent louder. Although Symonds admits the wastegate "doesn't open very much" on modern-day engines, with the turbo units designed to be as efficient as possible, the layout of the exhaust system used in 2014 and 2015 still had a negative impact on the quality of the sound produced - creating a so-called 'dead zone' in the pipe. And even without the changes, Symonds says F1's engine sound would have continued to produce more sound in 2016 as manufacturers continue to make development breakthroughs.

But really, how much louder can it get? On normal street turbo cars they use huge exhausts that make the sound very loud. Well at least for us mortals. Since F1 regulations like to strangle fun, I'm not so sure. Although even a small improvement is still better than nothing.

Although seriously, if you make a direct comparison there is no competition. See the video below.


Amazing isn't it? I really do miss the sounds of the old V8 and V10. Hopefully the new sounds will be better. For your convenience below are the sounds from 4 of the teams for 2016.






To be honest the Ferrari sounds the best so far. It has that unmistakable V8 burble, I like it. We'll know for sure soon enough. Can't wait to hear them at full tilt.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

THE CHOKING OF RACE ATTENDANCE

I read an interesting article today written by Keith of F1Fanatic. I always reads his blog and his views are quite on the spot of things F1. The article was about F1 attendance figures at the live races, on track. We know as F1 fans that attendance figures have dropped due to many factors. One of the fan favorite and most enduring factor is cost.

Every F1 fan would like to attend a live F1 race at least once in their lifetime or maybe even a few. But sad to say the price of admission has prevented us from going. Yes we can buy the cheapest ticket but that is reserved for the hardcore fan who doesn't mind the heat or cold or rain.

Keith commented that:
It’s an unfortunate fact of Formula One that merely being well-attended is not enough for a race to keep its place on the calendar. So many races are now subsidised by governments that promoters cannot expect to cover the hosting fees Ecclestone demands by selling tickets.
A case in point is the United States Grand Prix, which returned to the F1 calendar in 2012 at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas. Despite having had over a hundred thousands fans on race day on each of the four occasions so far, it emerged last year the promoters had fallen behind on their payments to Ecclestone.
The way I look at it and I think this is what many F1 fans think as well, is that the cost of watching F1 live and most of the things that go with it such as food, drinks, merchandise even parking rates are determined by how much Bernie makes from the circuit. I can't blame the circuit because they can hardly cover the race fees, much less make a profit to keep the place going. And Bernie just keeps squeezing every year.

How much does he plan to take with him to the grave anyway? If he made it cheaper for the circuits to hold races, it would filter down to everything and make F1 a more fun event to attend. Look at Nascar. They have so many more races than F1 in a year but every race is filled to the brim. It's overflowing with people. It's crazy!

Personally I've been to the Sepang and Abu Dhabi race live. Both was sponsored so I didn't have to pay. The grandstand seats are nice, much better than the open air, grass lined hills. But to be honest even with a USD1000 seat, I'm not really that interested to watch a race live at the track. Why? Because I'm the kind of fan that needs to know what is happening at every second of the race.

At the track, you only see the cars whizzing by for a few seconds and the positions changing on the leaderboard. The most you can watch on the big screen, which isn't very clear because the circuit can't afford a high tech one because they have to fork out most of the money to Bernie.

Watching at home I can have a high def feed plus live timing plus live chats with other fans worldwide plus telemetry data from some teams. It's nice, cool and dry. The sofa is not made of cement or grass. And I don't have to pay Bernie a cent!

Really I'm not sure how long F1 can go on like this. Sucking the sport dry and ignoring new media and new fans. Even my mad interest in F1 is waning. You can see this in the declining posts that I have on this blog. Some days I just don't know what else to say.

The good news is nobody lives forever.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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Thank you for your support. May you enjoy it with this new season and your favorite team/driver wins!

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Friday, February 12, 2016

GUEST POST - THE YOUNG VIKING RETURNS

Hello everyone. It's been some time since I posted. Been busy and had nothing worthwhile to write about. Too many rehash news to bother. The new season is upon us and some exciting things happening. One of it is that Magnussen is back. The underated Dane didn't have such a good time at McLaren but he may have a second chance to show what he's made of. If it doesn't work out, he can always form a retro 80s boy band. He certainly has the hair for it.

To explain about his potential we have a guest writer this time, Joshua Mason speaking about the Dane.

The Young Viking Returns

1000 years ago the Vikings crossed the seas to pillage our lands and create kingdoms of their own. While those barbaric times are over, the modern equivalent battles, of high end Sport, are experiencing the same thing. Kevin Magnussen of Denmark has returned to Formula 1 and after failing to impress Mercedes enough, he has been given a lifeline in the form of Renault’s return. Will they both benefit from each other’s returns; we hope to find out in 2016!

Renault’s return will be welcomed, as there always seems to be a more competitive edge to F1 when big manufacturers are involved. Kevin Magnussen’s return will be different in comparison. Most, including himself, view this as his last chance to become a great F1 driver. He will have to be calling on all his ancestral Viking courage to battle his way back. To put even more pressure on the young Dane, he is teaming up against a debutant in the form of exciting Brit Jolyon Palmer. Any poor performances against Palmers will be the nail in the coffin, and he will be constantly compared to his rookie colleague in 2016. Of course with his return after only one season, this feels like a second chance at his debut appearance since his unspectacular 2014.

Magnussen had fought up the usual route of Karting as a boy, and then rising up the Formula levels. A place on McLaren’s youth development scheme came and he eventually got his chance in 2014, replacing Sergio Perez. The season could not have got off to a better start. A 3rd place finish in Australia was bumped up to second, due to an engine irregularity from Daniel Ricciardo, making his second place the best by a rookie since Jaques Villeneuve in 1996.

The dream season was not to be however, the next best finish was a 5th place in Russia. 55 points was deemed not good enough for McLaren, and with Alonso available, they had no choice but to replace him. Magnussen’s career looked like it could be crashing and burning like an Anglo-Saxon house. A year on the sidelines must have been excruciating at McLaren, and when his opportunity came, when Alonso missed a race with concussion, in a 2015 McLaren, the engine failed and he must have felt it would never happen for him.

McLaren promised to help him achieve a driving seat this year, but when he lost out on a seat for Haas F1 to Grosjean and Gutierrez, it became apparent he was on his own. When Renault bought out Lotus, they probably planned on Maldonado as their experienced head, next to Palmer’s inexperience. Maldonado however, breached his contract and it seems Magnussen finally found some luck; he was in the right place at the right time for once and took the seat. He reportedly only signed the contract the day before Renaults launch.

Renault has decided to go back into F1, after realising the impact it can have on their brand. Having a successful or notable F1 team will be great marketing, and also lay trust with customers in their sporting ranges. They also hope that any advances in technology their F1 team will produce, will move to their manufacturing too. Renault will be hoping to fight for the constructors Championship in the future, tipsters at bookmakers.tv have said 2016 might be a step too soon. The French car giant will provide engines for Red Bull for one more season, but after this I am sure they will be looking to hold keep it to themselves, like the Ferrari model, and increase the focus on only helping the Renault.

Magnussen will have to find his inner-berserker when he starts the season in Australia. While he deserves another chance in my opinion, the seat he has found will complicate matters. His teammate is a rookie, and the team will be in its infancy in its second stab at F1. It is already not looking positive, with Magnussen tempering Renault’s expectations, saying it will take time for them to compete. This is not good PR, and already shows the Dane’s lack of confidence. But as you have read from this article on BadgerGP, his luck has been lacking and everything has gone against him so far. If he wanted more luck, I can’t help feeling he would have been better off as an Irishman, rather than a Danish Viking.

Written by Joshua Mason

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

1. Hamilton Tees (fixed designs) - http://shop.spreadshirt.com/hamiltontees/
2. Lewis Hamilton T-shirt (design your own) - http://lewishamiltontshirt.spreadshirt.com/

Thank you for your support. May you enjoy it with this new season and your favorite team/driver wins!

Here is a sample.