Formula One nonsense, ramblings....

Great to see David C. win one! I think no one was as surprised as him!

I’m not too sure about this one lap qualifying stuff, but since nobody hit the track for the first half-hour of the old format, I can’t see that it would be any more boring. However, I will predict that the “no min. time” rule will be abused with teams content to roll around for a lap to make the field, then work on the car the rest of the day. I also predict that soon we will see half the field start from the pit lane as more rules are “bent” and teams essentially loose nothing by deciding between an 18th position on the grid or starting from the pits with last-minute changes, which could put them in the cat-bird seat within a few laps.

I bet Villenueve pitted on top of Button on purpose. Just a “gut feeling”.

Nice to see Schumacher get an order to pit for dragging pieces around the track. I never woulda thunk it would happen. Refreshing that the rules do indeed apply to everyone. After Kimi called called in, I thought I was smelling a rat…

Last prediction: This thread will get 2 reply before dying! :smiley:

Fagjunk Theology: Not just for sodomite propagandists anymore.

I think that rules loophole will be closed before the next race. Good to see Minardi trying a little harder, though. This new procedure is still being developed.

I do like having the grid jumbled a little to create more passing - one of the most exciting performances in recent years was Hakkinen’s working his way through the entire grid in France (1999) after a bad start.

Everything else that looked bad could have been just first-race jitters. BAR won’t have comm problems like that again.

This season may be more interesting than the last few, with so little points margin for a win - Michael may have to go more than halfway through before clinching this time. Eliminating traction control after Silverstone may help him, though, letting his superior driving skills make more difference, not that he needs it.

Sounds real competitive.


I, too, am hoping the Driver’s Championship will be closer this year than last…the only drama (at least at the top) was whether Montoya or R. Schumacher would take 3rd. That was a bit ridiculous…1-2 Ferrari, 3-4 Williams, 5-6 McLaren…come on!
IIRC, one of the announcers made a comment that M. Schumacher was still driving last years F2002, and the F2003 will make an appearance later in the season. The fact that Schumi could take 4th in a semi-outdated car says, to me anyhow, that when he gets in the new one, things will be more similar to last year.

The McLaren Team also uses last year’s car. The new MP-18 will come later this season.

I’m not convinced that the “new cars” are always going to be better right off the bat. Recall last year, Ferrari was running the previous years car and winning. When Rebens (both of them!) debuted the 2002 it was just “okay” and not a dramatic improvement. Of course, the cars are so damn good now, how much better can they get? Only incrementally, I would think. Heck, Michael didn’t even get slowed down too awful much when his barge-boards got ripped off. How useful were they in the real world?

I am not up to speed on all the other rule changes, but heard that after Brazil, they will evulauate the changes made so far and look at some options. I was not aware they were shitcanning traction control after Silverstone. Only 5 races remain at that point.

I figured that the mixed grid would make the racing more exciting, but after a few laps it was alot like watching CART. The weather did more to mix it up than anything else.

I figure that the top 3-4 teams will be (for the most part) at the front of the grid, since all they need to do is one decent, safe lap without going off. They are faster than all the 2nd tier teams and I doubt that Minardi could post a flyer even with empty tanks to get anywhere near the front. I predict the qualifying will become not much more than parade laps. The fast guys will stay bunched up and lead changes will take place in the pits if a slower car manages to outqualify them and they can’t get by on the track in short order (think Monaco).

Ah well. Its still fun to watch and there is always World Rally! (I may decide I actually like it better!)

Somebodys gotta go back and git a shitload of dimes!

Can we all agree that Kimi Raikonnen is the least charismatic F1 driver in years? All the volubility of a tired Mika Hakkinen, with the weepy schoolboy pout of (annoying TV chef) Jamie Kennedy!

Other impressions of this race:

BAR, as usual, promised much and delivered little.

The safety car - amounts to restarting the race every time it comes out; throws away any advantage gained by the leading driver when it comes out. Pitting while the safety car is out shouldn’t be allowed either.

Of course, I meant Jamie Oliver. Jamie Kennedy is an annoying TV comedian.

Just wait until after the UK race - no more traction control, launch control etc, we may actually get to see what Formula One should be about…racing!! It’s become too much of a parade ground for new technology and while there’s a place for some new improvements they should always be balanced against the ability of drivers to actually race. Of course the ultimate change would be to get rid of wings - no more downforce (but no mobile advertising billboards either so I can’t see it happening!)

I’ve never understood Formula One racing. Can anyone explain it to me?

Until then, NASCAR and IRL all the way.

If you get IRL, what don’t you get about F1?

Swagman I agree things will be much more interesting, more of a contest of driver skill when TC gets shitcanned, but abandoning aerodynamics? Come now, that’s just silly. Especially if traction control was gone too.
Burntsand you are dead on about Raikonnen…and to boot, I (for one) couldn’t decipher 2/3 of what he was saying, and I’m usually pretty good with accents. I also agree about the safety car being a load of crap. I was pissed about that…my main man JP Montoya about to show everyone what’s up and then the [can’t think of appropriate expletive] saftey car comes out. These guys are pros! They don’t need no stinking safety car! :wink:
Stepping up for BAR though, IIRC they were running an engine which was actually lower spec than last years. That doesn’t account for their poor showing, but didn’t help matters at all.
Asterionhere’s F1 in a nutshell:
[li]There are numerous manufacturers (10 at the moment)[/li][li]Each manufacturer has two drivers[/li][li]Each driver tries to do as good as possible during the race[/li][li]At the end of the race, points are awarded to the top 8 drivers[/li][li]Points from a manufacturer’s two drivers are combined, whichever manufacturer has the most at the end of the season wins the Constructor’s Championship[/li][li]Whichever driver has the most points at the end of the season wins the Driver’s Championship[/li][/ul]There’s a bunch of strategy and rules, but that’s the basic premise, and I’m sure I’ll get railed on for my oversimplification.

Too many right turns? Not enough Americans? Traditionally, F1 is the “purest” form of auto racing…the highest technology, the best drivers, the most money spent. One can argue that F1 has reversed course pretty severely this year. And it seems to me that F1 is heading down the same road that American open wheel racing took in the '90s…namely a split that benefits neither party.

And it mostly takes place in Europe (another tradition that is changing) so its profile in the United States has never been very high. Races are generally finished by the time most people get out of bed on Sunday mornings. Michael Schumacher is probably more famous world-wide than Tiger Woods, yet Schumacher can enjoy vacations in America without fear of being recognized.

Screw the safety car! Ruins the racing and turns it into a CART event. With the run-off areas of a modern F1 track, it is completely unnecessary. The yellow flag works fine. If it is too severe for the yellow, bring out the red.

Agree on Kimi. What the hell was he mumbling about?

Actually, Ender Will, you did okay with the limited time and space you had. Well done. The only thing you forgot to mention was that each team builds there own car. No fields full of Marchs or Lolas.

She said I was awfully handsome. Was I insulted?

Michael Schumacher is probably more famous world-wide than Tiger Woods, yet Schumacher can enjoy vacations in America without fear of being recognized.

According to Maxim, Schumacher is the world’s highest paid athlete (something like US$70M/year between salary and endorsements). When I read that (in high school in the USA), I was absolutely blown away, and mentioned it to numerous people. Almost everyone said “Who?” with the one exception being a Finnish exchange student who replied with “Yes, but only Ferrari can afford to pay him so much” I liked the contrast…Americans had no idea who he was, much less his sport, European knew him, his sport, his team and some other background.
Gatopescado actually, I’m unclear about how much each team does when it comes to building their vehicle. I know that Ferrari, for instance, designs and builds the chassis as well as the engine, but other teams, lets just use BAR, have other engine suppliers…correct? Honda builds BAR’s engine, BMW builds Williams’, etc…can you enlighten me at all?

May I offer my own observations and knowledge please, asterion?

Up until 1994, there was no such thing as a “safety car” in Formula One - they raced what was known as “flag to flag”. If there was a wicked part of the circuit - they’d extend yellow flags and the drivers kept racing but weren’t allowed to pass during the “yellow flagged” section. If there was an incident making it too dangerous to run under “yellow flags”, and IF the race was still under half distance… the race would be red flagged and temporarily stopped and then restarted. Personally, I liked that system far more than the “safety car” option. The “safety car” tends to come out TOO easily it seems to me. There was a greater sense of daring and “driver etiquette” in years gone by when they raced flag to flag.

Nonetheless, Formula One is indeed a very, VERY special sport - due to it’s astonishing history. Most importantly of all, during the 1930’s, Grand Prix racing (the true Grand Prix racing, not just the name which has been hi jacked most improperly in the USA’s IRL and CART seasons) was a momentous thing. And it was amazingly political - a lot of countries placed epic amounts of importance on THEIR cars and drivers being able to win a true international Grand Prix. Remember the V16 Auto Union anyone from 1937?

Also, and most endearingly to me, the 1930’s was the era when the genuinely CLASSIC Grand Prix curcuits were built - and each country in Europe had their own, astonishing monster circuit. And they were long! Really, really long - over hill over dale featuring amazingly high speed long stretches thru thick forest and open cliffs and shit. The epicly famous Nurburgring was 22 kilometers in length - and it still exists too! It was possible on such circuits to be in blazing sunshine on one part of the lap and in torrential rain at the other end. Moroever, the average speeds were breathtaking. Circuits like the old Spa Francorchamps - even in Jack Brabham’s day averaged over 140 mph for the 14 km through the Eiffel Mountains. Just magnificent stuff.

Even as recently as 20 years ago, some of those CLASSIC circuits were still being used, and they were awesome races to watch on television. I lovingly recall the old Osterreichring in the Austrian alps. A 6.8 kilometer circuit which averaged 150 mph - and the run off areas were huge - hundreds of yards of wide open grassy meadows like Steve McQueen in the motorbike scene at the end of “The Great Escape”.

Sadly though, last year, for me, was a very sad year for me as a lover of Formula One. Last year was the last time we’ll ever see them race at Spa Francorchamps - and worst of all - no more Eau Rouge.

Now in case you don’t know… Eau Rouge is a very special place in motor racing folklore. I used to be a national rep in road cycling and I raced on the 14km circuit in the late 1980’s - as a cyclist - and man, it was tough. That circuit dropped from top to bottom most point by 800 meters a lap. A number of times! There were some parts on that circuit so steep it was real Tour de France mountain stage stuff. And what a buzz to hit Eau Rouge - even on a racing bike it was glorious.

And what made Eau Rouge so famous? And why is it so sad that it no longer exists in Formula One? Because it was the last remaining, truly epic test of driver skill and bravery. Here’s my description. After the la Source hairpin where two wide open country roads split to follow either side of a steep mountain valley, the track drops for a kilometer to a trough - where a side road enters the circuit. Which are all open roads for the rest of the year by the way. Anyways, the track kinks to the left - but remember you’ve been going down hill for a kilometer flat out on a straight OK? You’ve built up some serious motherfucker speed by this stage in an F1 car!

Then, the kink to the left - 100 yards later - followed by a slightly tighter kink to the right. However, at this point the track begins climbing back up hill - at first, very steeply - and then, after the right hand kink, about 200 meters, the track levels off quite abrubtly and kinks to the left again - whereupon you climb dead straight through thick forest straight up into the sky - or so it seems. Well, the thing is, that last left hand kink which happens at the levelling off point is the killer - even as recently as 2001 - at least half of the F1 cars in the field would still go light at that point - even with their amazing downforce and wings.

You see, if you were an F1 driver, you would ALWAYS be going into Eau Rouge at least doing 185mph - but the following series of kinks and astonsighing attitude changes in the track resulted in almost EVERY driver having to lift off at some point. Some would lift off for the right kink. Others the first left kink, and others again the last left kink. Very, very few ever had the guts to go through there flat. Schumacher was the first I ever saw do it - in 1993 in his Bennetton. Even Alain Prost in his then World Championship winning Williams backed off momentarily at some point - as did Senna. Such was the fear and uncertainty attached to the legendary Eau Rouge.

But last year? Every single driver, regardless of talent, went through there flat out. Not a single driver lifted off all weekend long. 70 years of motor racing history was eventually tamed by the relentless march of technology.

Worse yet, Spa was dropped from the F1 calendar this year. Now, for the first time in my memory, there is no longer a circuit over 6km in length on the F1 calendar. This is a really sad thing for me. It means F1 is now a corporatised “entertainment package” which has seen fit to cast off the traditions of what made Formula One so charming in the first place.

As an Australian, I’m particularly incensed by the fact that our Grand Prix races on that shitty “quasi street” circuit in Melbourne, when a far, far better race would be at the 6.8 km legendary Mount Panorama circuit (an Aussie version of the Nurburgring featuring huge steep climbs and scary off camber mountain descents etc).

It’s a bummer for me… I truly miss the Formula One I grew up with and fell in love with. The tradition… the tracks… the bravery… it’s all too perfect now. The tracks are designed by computers and it’s just plain fucking dull as dishwater…

Why anyone watches the World’s Most Expensive Parade anymore. The rule changes may help, but F1 is still is serious trouble. Last year was a farce.

Sigh, hopefully they will get it worked out before the sport is mortally wounded.

Wow, that sounded a bit harse.

I guess its because I used to avidly follow the sport before itowas ruined. Here is my take on the above list:

-There are numerous manufacturers (10 at the moment)

Many of whom are in financial straights. Also, 7 of them will never get a sniff of the checkered flag. For the last 5-10 years one manufacturer will have the “magic” set-up and dominate most of the races.

-Each manufacturer has two drivers.

These drivers are not equals, and some of the best dirt comes from the relative backbiting to be the #1 driver.

-Each driver tries to do as good as possible during the race.

LOL- unless the team orders him differently (i.e. let your team mate by, or slow down a competitor). See last year’s Ferrari debacle for a small taste of this.

-At the end of the race, points are awarded to the top 8 drivers.

Often by the mid-point of the season, these points are close to meaningless, as the dominant car has taken over the races. If not, the points system often leads to the problems listed above.

Points from a manufacturer’s two drivers are combined, whichever manufacturer has the most at the end of the season wins the Constructor’s Championship

Whichever driver has the most points at the end of the season wins the Driver’s Championship
---- Its sad, what was once the greatest racing series is now a boring parade manned by computer controlled cars. The racing often stinks now, and the drivers too often are over-paid, under skilled prima donnas.

Of course, open wheel racing in the US is actually worst. Thank youTony George you self-important moron.

Even the epic 24 hour events are nearly dead.

Sad to say, the most competitive racing is NASCAR in the US, and Rallycar in Europe. Love them rallycars. . . .


In fairness, those glory years when cars left the track also had a couple of drivers killed every year - and that was considered normal, too. That’s in the past as well, and not only by coincidence.

No Spa = No fun

At least we won’t have to hear the idiot announcers drone on about the damn bus-stop and the Battle of the Bulge.

What the hell happened here?