This is what I am talking about.. Superb Race

In Opinion on May 13, 2011 by shsmani Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

“This is what I am talking about” seem to Seb’s favourite quotes. These words hold true not only for Sebastian Vettel or Red Bull but for Formula One sport as a whole. What a race it was at Istanbul, overtakings, position changes, still no huge accidents. And the other three races in Australia, Malaysia and Shangai were no less in terms of excitement and action.

With about 1/5th of the races for the season behind us, there is no way of predicting the champion of this season. Sebastian Vettel appears to be a strong contender, but last years championship is still fresh in our memories where in Seb came from behind to win the championship while he had never led the points all along in the season. This season, McLaren seem to be very competitive though they missed out in Istanbul because of messy pit stops.

Talking about Ferrari, it is clear they are lacking Genuine pace, both in terms of Engine power and aero dynamic package, but Alonso chauffeuring one of the Red Horses, they are far away from being written off not to forget Ferrari’s technical strength in bouncing back mid season.

Mercedes GP with Rosberg and the Schumacher is a bit of enigma, they seem to be on and off the pace and are lacking consistency. My doubts are that Mercedes lacks the genuine pace and are just carrying out a marketing Gimmick by running lower fuel levels in practice and also in races to get more TV exposure. Look at the standings, they are behind Renault. I think their true pace was at display at the second race in Malaysia, everything else appears to be far from their real pace. The fact that teams lose out in millions in sponsorship for every position they lose seem to support this theory. But it is surprising that Mercedes is adopting this strategy because during the season the truth is likely to come out, maybe they believe they can some how have a miracle with 7 time champion in their team.

Renault with the Lotus branding has been going from strength to strength this year. With the absence of Kubica with a tragic accident they started off the season with uncertainty, however Vitaly Petrov has proved that he has it in him to lead from the front. Renault is a team to watch out for this year.

Force India doesnt seem to be in the reckoning at all, from being a mid fielder to giving Renault a run for their money last season, this year they are at the back of the pack with the fear of losing out to teams like Toro Rosso and Sauber. Not sure what seems to be the problem but they just don’t seem to be getting the setup right. They can depend on tracks like Belgium to always give them an edge, they have to develop their machines to suit the other tracks as well.

Williams have nothing to write home about with the worst starts to a season in a long time. HRT brings up the end of the pack with Indian Narain Karthikeyan ‘Driving’ the car around the track rather than racing…

The biggest difference to this year has been the tyres. Pirelli has done what it was supposed to do which doesnt come as a surprise because its purpose this year was to make sub standard tyres which degrades much faster. This is a funny parody because F1, which is considered the pinnacle of Motor sports and one that strives towards technical advancement and excellence has opted to take a move like this to make it a better sporting spectacle. Agreed, it has delivered the results, increased and renewed interest and excitement on and off the track, but I would think F1 as a sport has taken a step backward rather than forward with the tyre strategy. No wonder Bridgestone wanted to exit the sport as it would be detrimental to their company. On the other hand, for Pirelli, it doesnt matter as they are in their comfort zone 🙂

There a number of other measures that F1 could have taken to increase the competitiveness in the race, like multiple tyre vendors which puts the teams on different strategy and the last time we had this with Bridgestone and Michelin, it was certainly a great season in terms of competition. Another way is to tweak the qualifying format, very simply they could reverse the order in which the competitors start. The winner of the first race starts last and the last position starts first. Some fans would consider this extreme, in which case we can divide the track position into 3 segments 1-8, 9-16, 17-24 based on their championship positions and apply this order within the segments.

The other star of this season has been the DRS – Drag Reduction System. This has not only increased overtaking opportunities in the races, but also reduced the accidents. This has been possible because with the Drag Reduction System activated at the car trying to overtake, the car being overtaken is no match in terms of pace. This has been a major factor because before the straights come to an end the the car has moved over completely from behind to the front of the other car, there by reducing chances of contact between the two cars.

So far this season, while Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are pulling ahead of the pack, the heroes have been the DRS and the Degrading tyres from Pirelli. This season will no doubt be one of the most interesting F1 season in recent times. I wont be surprised to see a two way or  three way tie going into the final race or as a result of the final race itself.

F1 Fans.. This is one season you would not want to miss!!!


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