Engine performance comparisons

There’s an interesting piece in Auto Motor un Sport (the german Autocar) about engine performance this year.  James Allen has commented further and given his contacts in the paddocks seems to ratify the conclusions as being accurate.

More importantly it nicely sets up a great rock-paper-scissors season next year with teams either having power, or fuel efficiency, but probably not both.

The two most notable paragraphs are concerning how much time difference the engine performance actually makes:

“Most teams reached the conclusion, based on acoustic analysis and GPS, that the spread of engine power from the best to the worst engines was less than 2.5% this year. This means that, if the Mercedes is believed to have had 755hp, the least powerful engine was 18hp down, which is worth just under 3/10ths of a second per lap.”

“The Renault won out this year on fuel efficiency, however, which was pretty important this year and will be much more important next year with no refuellling. Compared to the Mercedes, the Renault would go four laps longer on a full tank of fuel, which is worth about 3/10ths of a second per lap next year.”

So although Mercedes has the best engine this year, it’s likely to be even-stevens over a whole race distance next year.  Add in Cosworth with more power and even worse fuel consumption and it could get very interesting, especially if the new teams produce half decent chassis so they qualify up front.

I can’t wait and there’s still 5 months to go!


BBC F1 intro wins award

I quite liked the first part of the advert which is slightly Guiness-esque in its style.  I like the way they try to get the voiceover to sound like the bass in The Chain but the part that's also used as the intro for the highlights coverage just doesn't do it for me.  At least they went back to F1's real soundtrack instead of that Jamiroquai abomination that ITV used before they went to the slightly better Apollo 440, Bachman Turner Overdrive and Moby tunes.  Just need the Georgio Moroder grid music back!

I still remember the old intros which used coverage from the races to give a bit more spice but I guess they didn't have any available.  Hopefully they'll use some nice clips from this year of cars driving and oversteering through corners.  Anything of the McLaren in the first half of the year should do it 🙂

from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2009/11/award_for_bbc_f1_tv_coverage.html

Buttongate – the aftermath #f1

Now we know that Jenson has signed for McLaren, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive trying to work out who Mercedes will take on.

It's pretty certain that Rosberg has left Williams in order to move to Brawn.  As a German driver he's been closely watched and was considered in the early part of the year as a replacement for Kovalainen at McLaren until the option of buying up Brawn came along.

The second slot could prove more interesting.  The safest option is Nick Heidfeld.  He was a product of the Mercedes young driver programme and was helped through F3000 into F1, only to be overlooked as the replacement for Hakinnen in favour of Kimi.  While never regarded as having stunning pace in the mould of Lewis, Kimi or Alonso, he always manages to grab a haul of points, and a few podiums when the opportunity arises such as in the rain in Malaysia this year.  Hardly a declaration of intent from a new manufacturer team though.

Ironically his main competition could end up being the man who took away the McLaren drive.  Will lightning strike twice.  Kimi is reported to be earning £17m for sitting on his sofa (that's alot of partying!) and will only get £10m in severance from Ferrari should he find another drive in F1, so it's going to have to be worth his while to sign a new contract.  It's hard to know whether he's in it for the money, or in it for the wins having not been picked up at McLaren.  One would expect a driver desperate to win races and titles to jump at the chance at McLaren regardless of salary, so maybe he had another agenda.  He worked with Haug, the Mercedes F1 boss, during his stint at McLaren so maybe there was a long term plan to get him into Brawcerdes

However there's another outside bet that might have legs. Mercedes want an experienced big name star German driver, that Ross Brawn rates highly and is highly motivated.  What was that guy called, drove for Ferrari a few years back and won a race or 91…

The end of the road for Donington Park Circuit?

Simon Gillet could go down in history as the man that not only killed the British Grand Prix, but also killed Donington Park Circuit.

His firm, Donnington Ventures Leisure Ltd, seems to have gone the way of his previous venture, Innovate Motorsport and gone into administration.  With the circuit dug up and reportedly unusable, where will the money come from to get it going again.

Still, at least his salary of £250k will keep him warm over the winter.

Button signs for McLaren #f1

Well it looks to be all but officially announced, Jenson's signed for McLaren on a 3 year deal.  But is it really a good idea?  Sure he's getting the Spondoolicks, but surely moving to a team where Hamilton is established is asking for trouble.  However you've got to admire his willingness to go to a team with an established star in a way that Schumacher would never have countenanced with his contract demanding teammates finish behind him.  It shows a confidence that probably only comes with a world title and we, the audience, will benefit next year.

Expect tears and tantrums at some point though!