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F-1 Redux

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Racing people are technology carnivores.

Speed cost money, how fast ya wanna go.

Unlimited budgets, talented people, evolving technology, add in "sport" and you have a recipe to do some really cool things.

Things that benefit all humankind; even though it can be a brutal way to do so (so is space travel).

If I won the big lottery, I'll be sporting a racing team within 3 years.  What a way to retire.

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Ferrari changed its team name and removed a sponsor from is livery.

They have already announced the name/sponsor will return for Bahrain.

 

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A little shocked how much I'm into this already.  I was up until 3AM Thursday watching them practice.  Cue Allen Iverson.

Here are the results from qualifying.

The 10 teams that made it into Q3 must start the race on the set of tires they set their fastest time from in Q2.  The other 10 teams are free to start on any tire they want.

D1w0ciAWwAEQVQm.jpg

Williams is so bad.  A second separates #1 from #18.  Williams is over a second behind #18.

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I picked three teams to follow this season.

Ferrari, which is an obvious choice for me.  

Williams because I'm a Lions fan.  OK not really.  I like that they are the last family run team.  What I mean by that is, the Williams family doesn't have a bunch of outside wealth they dump into F1.  F1 is what they do, F1 is where they make their money.  Of course that is also probably why they suck so bad.  They just don't have the money and resources to be competitive and they probably need to sell the team.  But they are a storied team, with I think 8 world championships to their name.  So it would be nice to see them get it turned around.

Haas is my third and last team.  Mostly because they are the only American owned team.  I think they have a good shot at being the best of the rest.  Which means they would be the first to finish after Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.  

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I finished Drive to Survive on Netflix.  It is a 10 part series about last years F1 season which is basically their version of All or Nothing.

I can't wrap my head around how they handle free agency.  Drivers sign next years contracts right in the middle of the current season.  Daniel Ricciardo signed a new deal with Renault and was leaving Red Bull.  He gave an interview discussing it, dressed head to toe in his Red Bull gear, while talking about how great Renault is and how excited he is to join them next year.

A graphic at the end of the series said this years starting grid will be the youngest since 1950.  Half of the drivers are 25 or under.  Ferrari's #2 driver is 20.  McLaren's #2 is 18.  The oldest driver for Red Bull is 24 while their #1 is only 21.

 

 

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Last week, while on vacation, I drove a high end F1 simulator.  I don't remember the track.  They guy was explaining how it worked, how and when to shift, brake, accelerate; the whole tour so to speak.  I asked what happens when I crash; because I was going to crash.

He said only one person ever made it through the first lap without crashing; Nigel Mansell.  He pointed to a picture on the wall, and there was Nigel, this guy, and his simulator.

I'm not sure I made the second turn.

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What I find fascinating about F1 is how interesting the competition is in the middle of the pack.  American sports train us that winning championships is the only thing that matters and anything less is a moral victory.   Not so in F1.  

The battles for 3rd through 8th this season will probably be more exciting than the fight at the top. Every race will also have a ton of great action with drivers nowhere near the podium fighting to get a top ten for points.   I enjoy the cat and mouse of a 5 lap battle for 8th place with a guy to trying his best to hold off the car behind him and then feeling almost like he won the race when he does.  

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4 hours ago, Deleterious said:

I finished Drive to Survive on Netflix.  It is a 10 part series about last years F1 season which is basically their version of All or Nothing

 

I thought it was really well done.   I guess Ferrari being Ferrari asked for a ton of extra money to be involved and Mercedes chose to follow suit.   They did a great job considering the top two teams had very little airtime.  Definitely some amazing behind the scene soap operas going on with these other teams on their own.

 I did feel bad for Esteban Ocon as he was much more deserving for the other seat with Racing Point but he’s landed as a reserve driver for Mercedes this year and will get a long look if they don’t bring back Bottas next year.

I am also convinced that Max Versteppen would make a great Bond villain.  I will enjoy rooting against him all season long.  Although I think he’s going to fare pretty well this year.  

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Great opener.   I like the fastest lap point and think it will definitely bring more strategy into the last few laps of every race.    I thought Ferrari were in great position to pit and give it a go with LeClerc on the last few laps but they knew they didn’t have the speed today so no point to trying.   Not a good weekend for them. 

Evil Max looked fast. Red Bull should be very happy.  

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I think Leclerc could have given it a run.  

His fastest lap of the race was a 1:26.926 on lap 58.  Bottas did his fastest on lap 57 and it was a 1:25.580.  But Bottas did his on medium tires and Leclerc was on hard.  They showed a graphic during the race and they said the gap from hard to soft tires is about 2.5 seconds.  So if he comes in and goes back out on soft I think he could have done it.  At least close enough to try.

Maybe they determined where he would come out of the pits would be a crowded track.  And he wouldn't have the space to make a run at it.

Biggest loser of the day was obviously Ferrari.  Daniel Ricciardo was the runner up biggest loser.

Honda was the biggest winner of the day IMO.  Bottas was runner up.

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Some interesting tidbits I am picking up as I read about the sport and listen to a podcast.  Shift F1 is the podcast and I highly recommend it.  Technical and informative while still being easy to understand for new people like myself.

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I wondered why they don't just have 20 female drivers.  Having a 115 pound woman drive instead of a 170 pound man would be a huge advantage.  Then I heard there is a minimum driver weight requirement of 80kg.  You can weigh under that, but they will add weight to your car to bring you up to the 80kg.  Which is why you see drivers weigh in right after a race.  I guess teams were asking drivers to lose too much weight and F1 was getting concerned.

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There is also a crew member curfew implemented by F1.  I assume this is only on race weekends at the track.  They were worried teams were not sleeping and spending all night working on their cars.  You can break curfew twice in a season and the third time you start getting penalized.

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For races outside of Europe, teams ship most of their equipment via ocean freighters.  Most pit gear and tools are shipped weeks ahead of time.  The cars and important parts they work on in the factory until the last seconds are shipped via air.  

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No politics on this one.

Brexit is set to happen (or not) at the end of the month, and teams are worried.  Every team except Ferrari is based out of England.  Haas is technically based in North Carolina but has another location in England because coming back to The US every two weeks is just too far.  

Teams are concerned about travel and shipping if/when Brexit happens.

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This is a Williams car in the 2015 Belgium Grand Prix.

They really are The Lions (Two different tire compounds).

vr1BMWH.jpg

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The team boxes arrived in Bahrain.  Seemed a bit fast to sail from the SE side of Australia to the middle east.  But someone said they flew this stuff and you can tell by the curved corners/tops on the boxes, which makes sense.

The logistics behind F1 must be amazing.  10 teams moving gear for 20 cars across 5 different continents every two weeks.  

5iZ8Lkv.jpg

 

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Awesome lid.

Looking forward to this weekend and actually being able to watch the race live.    I think Ferrari will find their groove again and I’ll go out on a limb and say both get on podium.   

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Kind of pathetic.

Kubica has to avoid kerbs due to parts shortage

Quote

Robert Kubica says he will have to stay off the kerbs during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix because Williams is short of parts to repair his car with.

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“It’s not an easy situation from the driver point of view because we will be limited with spare parts and everything,” said Kubica in Bahrain.

“Looking at what happened to me in Friday in Australia in FP1 by going on top of one kerb I get a damaged floor and we didn’t have bits to replace it. It affected probably all weekend. It’s something where you have to have a safe approach.”

Kubica said his floor was damaged on the fifth lap of practice. Williams does not have a replacement floor for his car but has repaired the damage incurred in Melbourne.

 

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It's interesting to see the changes teams make to their cars from race to race.

Mercedes added this double T wing.

That guys page isn't in English.  But he seems to have pictures of every change teams made.

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I think Lance Stroll is my villain this year.  I'm probably just jealous my dad didn't sponsor/buy me an F1 team when I was 19/20 so I could be a driver.

dktuToZ.jpg

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I think Ferrari was top two in all three practice sessions.  But they also said they are running their engines in a more competitive mode than their competitors.  Could be complete BS, we'll see in qualifying which starts at 11AM I think and its on one of the ESPN's.

D26Jc7LW0AA1e3G.jpg

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Very fast!  Leclerc almost a full second better than Mercedes.   In comparison, 1 second is the difference between 3rd and 18th.   

If Vettel and LeClerc can get away clean at the start, it shouldn’t take them long too to run away from the pack.  This is a tough circuit with some difficult turns so they will have to keep focus even if way out front.   It’s easy to spin out here. 

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