2013 March 24 – Vettel wins ugly, and gracelessly, further complicating the intrigue…

It’s pretty ugly.
I have to say, after finally understanding and admiring Sebastian Vettel from his performances from Budapest, in 2012, my opinion of him is really bad now.
‘Fuck you’ to anyone comparing Vettel to the best driver of all time, (a Brazilian, born March 21, 1960, according to Wikipedia), and justifying Vettel’s actions; that is sick, in the good old-fashioned, messed-up-in-the-head, kind of way.
Neither do I buy the argument that the points difference in this race, between first and second, being greater than the margin between Vettel’s points total and the runner up, Alonso in 2012, justifies what Vettel did. If this was close to the end of the season, and the points landscape was similar to last season’s, I might feel differently about it. But this is the second of 19 races. Vettel has three world championships, fully deserved, but can’t he win it and be gracious at the same time? Also, the team component makes a difference down the stretch; I believe, ultimately, the cost for this cunning stuntery, will be much more than seven points. I think it will cost Vettel the championship; and it should!
I hope Mark works dedicated to himself for the rest of the season, and goes for it! Then, whatever happens, likely out of the ride at Red Bull, he’ll know that he took his best shot. It’s now or never Mark, go for it, knowing you’ve more than earned the right to focus on looking after yourself. Go for it, otherwise, you’ll be finished in Formula One never knowing… You are feral Mark. Stop repressing it. It’s time to let it out, and you just got the license to do it! Good luck mate.
Lewis and Nico did the right thing and I Mercedes is now looking pretty strong. Lewis is Lewis, but in a fair fight, if such a thing exists, I really don’t see too much between them; definitely within the distance of random chance playing a decisive role in the final outcome. I don’t think Lewis did anything wrong, at all! And I’d bet, that in a similar, but reversed situation, Hamilton will hold. He might not have done it before, but we’ll never know, because he’ll do it now, if it happensm at least one pay back time; who knows, maybe more. So I think Rosberg earned a lot with this payment of points. Rosberg could win the title this year.
I think Red Bull has opened the door for Mercedes to win the 2013 Formula One championship!
Sure it was Sebastian Vettel who actually made the move. But the attitude required to make such a move has surely been fostered by the ridiculous coddling of Vettel in the RB stable.
I’m loving the tires, by the way. Good job Pirelli!

The Red Bull controversy is really, really handy for Ferrari. For Red Bull, did ultimately come away from the race with first and second.
At Ferrari, we need the person who made the call to stay out, to stand up, and wear the ‘stupid’ hat; so we can all see who it is, before he or she gets rightly fired. No ifs, ands, or buts, there is no way around it, it was definitely only a matter of time the wing on Alonso’s car was going to break and go under the car; they were fortunate to get all of the way around TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE PIT STOP! In fact, the gaping unforgivable defect of this call, in every way surpasses the Vettel decision, in the heat of the moment. but since I don’t want to lessen the outrageousness of that call, I’ll let the comparison slide. But make no mistake, it was THE WORST DECISION that I have knowledge of, in Formula One history.

Elsewhere, where was Lotus?
Is it more the case that Australia is more anomalous, or Malaysia is more anomalous?
Could Malaysia simply be a blip on the screen?
Hard to tell right now, but both their single lap pace and race set up looked like it was right up there with Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari. I think they may have gambled on dry, and got hung out when it turned out damp in Q3 and at the start of the race. I’m hoping.

Whatever Shanghai shows us, the complexity of the season before us has increased with the obvious strife at Red Bull, and the likelihood of points-affecting manouvres now very high, there.

2013 March 23 – Malaysia Grand Prix – post Qualifying Analysis

Interesting!
The crystal ball is pretty muddy; that’s because there are so many significant variables.
I get the feeling that the four permutations of:
1. a. qualifying set up versus b. race set up
and
2. c. dry set up versus d. wet set up
yield very different car capability.
Specific observations:
i. Mercedes is fast in one lap, dry
ii. Lotus is comparatively slower in the wet
iii. Red Bull are comparatively fastest over a single lap, wet or dry
iv. Ferrari are quite quick in wet and dry, single lap and race pace, but not the fastest in anything
v. Vettel-Red Bull is the fastest package over a single lap, MASSIVELY
vi. Ferrari start very close to the front with two cars together
vii. Lotus start together at the back of the top ten

Here’s the qualifying positions, as presented by James Allen on his excellent F1 web site:
“MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX, Qualifying
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m49.674s
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m50.587s + 0.913s
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m50.727s + 1.053s
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m51.699s + 2.025s
5. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m52.244s + 2.570s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m52.519s + 2.845s
7. Kimi Raikkonen * Lotus 1m52.970s + 3.296s
8. Jenson Button McLaren 1m53.175s + 3.501s
9. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m53.439s + 3.765s
10. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m54.136s + 4.462s

11. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m37.636s + 1.446s
12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m38.125s + 1.935s
13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m38.822s + 2.632s
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m39.221s + 3.031s
15. Paul di Resta Force India 1m44.509s + 8.319s
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams no time

17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m38.157s + 1.348s
18. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m38.207s + 1.398s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m38.434s + 1.625s
20. Charles Pic Caterham 1m39.314s + 2.505s
21. Max Chilton Marussia 1m39.672s + 2.863s
22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m39.932s + 3.123s

* Three place grid drop for blocking Rosberg”

It’s very difficult to tell how the race might pan out, but here are some of the things I’d like to see:
A. Kimi will start well, pass three to four cars in front, and steadily work his way to the front, likely requiring one less pit stop than any other team*
B. Hamilton will aggressively pass Alonso at the start and have an intense dual with Massa.
C. Red Bull will require one more tire change than Ferrari*
D. One Mercedes driver will take one less stop than the other one*
E. Bianchi will score a point
F. It will rain and the race order will get drastically shaken up
G. Vettel will not win
H. It will dry, after a rain, and the race order will get drastically shaken up,
I. Tires delaminating, fine chaos and mayhem

(*assuming dry race)

Kimi – Victory in Victoria – 2013 Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix race winner!

Sweet.
The only talk that counts.
That’s two race wins in the past five races, isn’t it?
Celebrating the victory of who I believe is the best driver is fun, but what is going on, in the championship?
Are there already any discernible trends?
As stated, repeatedly, in previous posts, “Tire management will determine this race outcome.” (see most recent, at: 2013 March 14, below).
Lotus has the best tire management, at least for the conditions in Melbourne, on 2013 March 17.
It looks like the trend is, Lotus have continued, as aggressively as any other team, to develop their tire management capability from a base of having the best tire management, overall, in 2012.
The Red Bull has continued the trend of being the fastest car.
Ferrari have a much faster car which has improved upon its tire management capability relative to most teams.
Mercedes has improved all areas of their car, relative to most teams, including tire management; at least considering a two-stop strategy suggests to me that they have much, much more confidence in their tire management capabilities, compared to last year. But they are still chowing their tires.
But Red Bull? Probably made a sound strategic decision to get the speed first, and push on tire management through the season; maybe they have a game-changing concept that is easy to copy, say, in three or four races; maybe they don’t want to show it before the summer break is over. How could they (AD) not have foreseen the priority of tire management capability? I don’t think it is a viable supposition.
It is good to see Massa look strong; I don’t know if I buy the Alonso get-by so?!?
Speaking on the object of adoration of the Alonso Media Corporation, he looks strong.
Woe to the team that decides to work the revolution rather than evolve last years fastest car on the grid. Cursed, however, are they that then bemoan it on and on to the Brit-o-centric F1 media circus.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll write it again, Jenson, shut up! Maybe you’re not such a wus, but if you are not, then you sure are presenting the world with your best wus side. Just drive, and do your best. Put your head down, and keep working, even if it doesn’t do too much.

Speaking of working and driving, and shutting up, you got to love that Kimi.

Here is an interesting pattern, from my post on the James Allen site:

AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Melbourne, 58 laps, Dry throughout
1. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1h30m03.225s
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 12.451s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull + 22.346s
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 33.577s
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 45.561s
6. Mark Webber Red Bull + 46.800s
7. Adrian Sutil Force India + 1m05.068s
8. Paul di Resta Force India + 1m08.449s
9. Jenson Button McLaren + 1m21.630s
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 1m22.759s

Look at the pattern of time between the cars:
12, 10, 11, 12, (then anomally) 1, 20 (then similar cars) 3, 12.
10-12 seconds between positions in the top nine!
I don’t know what this means, but it seems significant.
I’ll be tracking.

Last year the Lotus was comparatively weakest on cold circuits. Mercedes’ weakness in tire management was minimized in the cold, like Shanghai, last year. Lotus had its greatest comparative advantage in the hot and dry.

Sepang will be hot and wet. I expect that we’ll see if Red Bull have really fallen back on their tire management against the likes of Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari.
Will Ferrari be able to be the second fastest qualifying, and the fastest in the race?
How will the hotter conditions affect the apparent Mercedes advancement?

Or can Lotus, again, use one less set of tires, come from behind on the grid, and also get the fastest lap of the race on tires that they’ve driven further than any other team would dare?

Somebody will be working their program, paying attention, and driving better than anybody else.
I hope that guy wins… again.

MotoGP! Game-changer; called Marquez!

I know we are in the midst of the first Formula One weekend; wet weather, postponed qualifying, and much whinging about it (that means: complaining, in Australian).
BUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MotoGP?!?
They had a somewhat limited test, in terms participation of teams, at the Circuit of the AMericas in Austin, Texas; and a good time to be there, too!
I know people paying attention expected Marc Marquez to be strong coming into his first season in MotoGP, and the Honda does seem to have the edge over the Yamaha, this year, but topping: Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi, and of course everybody else (Stefan Bradl is looking strong for LCR Honda)!
It reminds me of Stoner; so aggressive, delivering a performance edge.
Incredible!
I predict a Marquez 2013 world championship, here, in Toronto, and now 2013 March 16 12h36 EDT.

2013 March 14 22h24 EDT – Here we go! F1 2013 BEGINS!!!

The first practice session, in Melbourne, is now well underway. Kimi has five laps in.
The Lotus looks very good, but only Button, of the other top guns, has gone out.
Webber goes second.
Rosberg bumps him.
It could be even more than ten drivers have a good chance of winning. All drivers on top five teams are extremely good; the competition has reached a very high level.
Good for us!
Tire management will determine this race outcome.
Would have liked to see Bianchi racing DiResta in similar machinery.
Hoping for spectacle matching last year’s high level from Sauber team; if they maintain their 2012 tire management comparative to other teams, then those drivers will be outside shots to win!
Vettel now taking charge of the top spot on the timing board.
Go Filipe; trounce the Alonso Media Corporation; I would mind one bit if you won the championship; or Webber.
Enjoy.

2013 March 09th – A word on MotoGP

It is good to see Rossi back to a piece of machinery that can win, the Yamaha, even if the only one who may be able to win on it is Jorge Lorenzo.

I’m a big Valentino Rossi fan, but Lorenzo is the best rider at the moment in MotoGP.

Almost indistinguishably, another Spaniard, Dani Pedrosa, riding factory Honda.

The Honda looks like it has a slight edge over the Yamaha, at the moment.

I have a feeling about Marquez; I believe he could win the whole shebang.  It is the style; it looks like an emulation of Casey Stoner, and it works like n emulation of Casey Stoner on a HONDA!

It’s going to be an interesting season with these four riders close; combined the four of them should win over 95% of the races this year; the only question is, the spread.  The current pecking order: Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Marquez, Rossi.

We’ll get a better read on the machinery, and comparatives of the players as they get more experience on the bikes.  If Rossi and Marquez can’t start to make up deficits to their team mates at Austin, this coming week, it could be a season of number two to the incredibly strong Lorenzo and Pedrosa.  Maybe Pedrosa is on the ascendancy against his gifted countryman?

I’d like to see Stoner move to Formula One by 2014.  I’d like to see what he could do.  I have a feeling that it would be impressive, if in machinery capable of winning.

2013 March 02 – Good old Ross Brawn sandbagging?

I admit it here, to all that read these posts, none but myself probably, that when Lewis Hamilton decided to make the move to Mercedes, to elevate the team like his idol, a German with the initials MS, I thought it was laughable.  Lewis is just not that kind of guy!

Well, I’m not backing off that thought, though I thought he move was bad for Lewis, and good for Mercedes.  Now, there has been quite a bit of shit happening at Mercedes F1 these days, and it looked like they were ‘in the weeds’; but now I’m not so sure.

Besides by differentiating itself as the ugliest car on the grid, second year running (though I think the Caterham is challenging this year), I thought they had gone down a dead end route.  I thought, incredulously, Ross Brawn had finally lost the Midas touch.

Since Lewis is the racing pride of most among the POM, we, the Formula One fans, have been inundated with the most minute reports of how Lewis and Mercedes are doing, one minute, very poorly, then the next, inspiring.  Well, we’re at a inspired moment, in the long stream of uni-directional time flow.  Could it be that the old limey has one more sandbag up his sleeves.

Obviously, I’m a big believer.  Mercedes have gone to the bank to ‘get serious’ about improving their standing in F1, hiring a raft of top F1 cronies, in an attempt to redress the unbalance Adrian Newey makes to all other teams.  I have thought this approach inefficient, if not ineffective, and with the seemingly almost self-appointment of the perpetually criticizing Austrian, non-executive chairman (I wonder how much money they spent on the consultants coming up with that title – lol?), I really thought Mercedes was completely losing their marbles.

But as the great Murray Walker is reportedly to have said, “I’m applying intelligence and observation to the situation…”, and I am realizing the truth in his saying, “Anything happens in Grand Prix racing and it usually does”.

It will be interesting if one or more of the Mercedes drivers can haul it up on to the podium.

I still think that Red Bull are quietly, and assuredly constructing a right bower, left bower, (they definitely have an) Ace (up their sleeve), king and queen (the personages of which I leave to your discretion; though one might keep in mind a board game, in which the queen is the most powerful player).

In other words, though I hope for a very interesting season, with closely fought battles, butteri with proper mounts, fast and crashing flowers, winning Spanish-speaking silver arrows, and coloured three point stars, the bulls will gore.