23 June 2012


Another week, another discussion about which circuits we should run at. This time Lee McKenzie of the BBC interviewed Bernie and amongst other things they discussed:
  • Delays at the New Jersey race scheduled for next year (Bernie sounding skeptical over its appearance on next year's calendar)
  • Possible London race around the Olympics site which would be from 2014/5 onward, maybe but NOT at the expense of Silverstone
  • Valencia and Barcelona sharing the Spanish GP (or rather, that Bernie actually likes Valencia)
This lead me back to my long held thought that Bernie should categorise about 4 types of races:
  • Classics - the 5 races with the longest heritage, given a cheaper hosting fee (Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, Spa and Montreal)
  • Heartland - 5 races from Europe, possibly on a rotational basis to afford a "moderate" fee (Nurburgring/Hockenheim, Magny-Cours/Barcelona, Hungaroring/Imola, Istanbul/Valencia, A1-Ring/Estoril?)
  • Continents - 1 from each non-Europe region (N America - USA [1 of several], S America - Interlagos, Africa - Kyalami, Asia - Suzuka, Oceania - Melbourne) each charged a "moderate" fee
  • New races - each new race given 5 years to prove itself (2008 - Singapore, 2009 - Abu Dhabi, 2010 - Korea, 2011 - India, 2012 - Texas) or looking forwards (2013 - New Jersey, 2014 - Sochi, Russia, 2015 - London?)
Having said that, the sport is shifting to Asia, so perhaps the categories need adjusting:

Classics: Monza, Monaco, Silverstone, Spa
Europe: Germany, Spain, France/Hungary, Imola/Turkey
Asia: Suzuka, Sepang, Singapore, Shanghai
Continents: Montreal, Interlagos, Kyalami, Melbourne
New: Abu Dhabi, Korea, India, Texas.

In either case I appear to have dropped Bahrain (oops - not that hosting the worst race of 2010 and its politics entitle it to much sympathy) and Hungary (at least as full time) and replaced them with Kyalami (my ignorance of other African tracks being the main reason) and the part time return of Turkey. Simply speaking, if new tracks prove themselves, they should replace another track from their category (ie Abu Dhabi should prove itself better than say Shanghai to survive another year, but Korea would most likely be dropped).

Assuming I've followed the second group's logic my 2013 calendar would be:

Melbourne (continent - Oceania)
Sepang (Asia - #1)
Shanghai (Asia - #2)
Turkey (Europe - #1)
Barcelona (Europe - #2)
Monaco (Classic - #1)
Montreal (N America)
New Jersey (New - 2013)
Silverstone (Classic - #2)
Nurburgring (Europe - #3) followed by the summer break
Hungaroring (Europe - #4)
Spa (Classic - #3)
Monza (Classic - #4)
Kyalami (Africa) - technically not new
India (New - 2011)
Singapore (Asia - #3)
Korea (New - 2010)
Suzuka (Asia - #4)
Texas (New - 2012)
Interlagos (S America)

03 September 2011

2012 likely and wishlist

Self-explanatory title to this post, so straight to the grid predictions:

Red Bull: Vettel, Webber
McLaren: Hamilton, Button
Ferrari: Alonso, Massa
Mercedes: Rosberg, Schumacher
(quick note: when did the top 4 teams last run identical lineups 3 years running?)
Renault: Kubica, Petrov (unless Kubica unfit, otherwise Senna or Grosjean)
Sauber: Kobayashi, Perez
Force India: Sutil, Di Resta
Toro Rosso: Ricciardo, Alguersuari
Williams: Maldonado, Senna (or Sutil if Senna at Renault)
Lotus: Kovaleinen, Trulli
Hispania: Liuzzi, Grosjean
Virgin: Glock, van der Garde

Put simply, not many changes. Having made that set of predictions, below I'll list my preferred grid:

Red Bull: Vettel, Rosberg
McLaren: Hamilton, Button
Ferrari: Alonso, Kobayashi
Mercedes: Schumacher, Di Resta
Renault: Kubica, Webber
Sauber: Massa, Perez
Force India: Kovaleinen, Hulkenberg
Toro Rosso: Ricciardo, Senna
Williams: Barrichello, Maldonado
Lotus: Massa, Vergne
Hispania: Alguersuari, Sutil
Virgin: Glock, Grosjean

22 November 2010

2011 test/reserve drivers

There is naturally less information and speculation about reserve drivers, but for at least two teams it could be an interesting prospect, namely Mercedes (in case Schumacher retires/doesn't like Pirelli tyres) and Toro Rosso (whose drivers are rumoured to have 6 month contracts with performance targets to stay in the sport).

With this in mind, I thought I'd list the drivers in the frame:

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo (current reserve, did all the "young driver" tests for the team)
McLaren: Gary Paffett, Oliver Turvey (Paffet, 29, has been in this role for several years)
Ferrari: Jules Bianchi (highly rated and shares a manager with Felipe Massa)
Mercedes: Nico Hulkenberg/Anthony Davidson (rumours that the German could find a job, if no seat is forthcoming, otherwise Davidson might resume the role he first held since the BAR days)
Renault: Jerome D'Ambrosio (if he doesn't get a Virgin drive)
Williams: presumably someone rich (or Dean Stoneman, winner of Formula 2 this year)
Force India: Paul di Resta (if they don't give him a drive, perhaps Liuzzi if he's dropped)
Sauber: Esteban Gutierrez (brings Carlos Slim's money with him, alongside race driver Sergio Perez)
Toro Rosso: Daniel Ricciardo (presumably)
Louts: Money McDollar
Virgin: see Lotus (or Jerome D'Ambrosio)
Hispania: see Virgin (or Christian Klien)

21 November 2010

2011 grid - 21/11/2010 edition

Car numbers tbc, drivers in CAPS confirmed in their teams.

Red Bull: 1 VETTEL, 2 WEBBER
Ferrari: 5 ALONSO, 6 MASSA
Mercedes: 7 SCHUMACHER, 8 ROSBERG (assuming Schumi's odd-number superstition holds)
Renault: 9 KUBICA, 10 Petrov (Rumours also of Sutil, Heidfeld, Glock and Ricciardo)
Williams: 11 BARRICHELLO, 12 Maldonado (tbc but almost certain)
Force India: 14 Sutil 15 Di Resta (Sutil looking elsewhere, Liuzzi, Chandhok and Hulkenberg also linked)
Sauber: 16 KOBAYASHI, 17 PEREZ
Toro Rosso: 18 BUEMI, 19 ALGUERSUARI
Lotus: 20 KOVALEINEN, 21 Trulli (possibly Heidfeld or Hulkenberg)
Hispania: 22 De La Rosa, 23 Senna (no certainties here, possibly Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Petrov, Yamamoto, Klien, Chandhok or anyone with enough sponsorship)
Virgin: 24 Glock, 25 D'Ambrosio (Di Grassi, Petrov, Hulkenberg or any of the above who still need a drive.

That leaves 9 unconfirmed seats, but only 4 in good cars. 2 of these look likely to go to Di Resta and Maldonado and another (Renault or Force India) to Sutil, leaving the other Renault or Force India seat between Petrov (money), Liuzzi (2011 contract, supposedly), Glock (best unsigned of the new team drivers), Chandhok (Indian) or Hulkenberg (best prospect amongst the group). Your guess, however, is as good as mine.

For the 5 remaining "new team" seats we have all the drivers listed above, the drivers currently in the seats, any number of GP2 graduates with financial backing and the potential for Hispania to pick a Spaniard.

10 November 2010

This weekends battles

You may have heard about the fight for the drivers' title and I detail a short version of the permutations below, but that isn't the only thing up for grabs. The prize money in F1 is determined by constructors' championship position and there are some places up for grabs, some more so than others.

Realistically, drivers only care about winning titles. Having a 4th, an 8th or a 14th on your CV doesn't matter much, compared to one place higher or lower. Therefore I will only analyse the title hunt:

Alonso will win if:
  • He finishes 1st or 2nd
  • Webber finishes 2nd and Alonso finishes 4th (assuming Vettel wins) or 5th (otherwise)

Webber will win if:

  • He finishes 1st AND Alonso does not finish 2nd
  • He finishes 2nd AND Vettel does not win AND Alonso finishes 6th or lower

Vettel will win if:

  • He finishes 1st AND Alonso finishes 5th or lower
  • He finishes 2nd AND Alonso finishes 9th or lower AND Webber finishes 5th or lower

Hamilton will win if:

  • He wins AND Alonso does not score AND Webber finishes 6th or lower AND Vettel finishes 3rd or lower


  • Ferrari need to gain 32 points on McLaren (assuming a win) or a 2-3 finish with McLaren scoring no points at all to finish 2nd
  • Force India must outscore Williams by 2 points or by 1 if they achieve a 4th place finish to secure 6th, UNLESS
  • Sauber must outscore Force India by 24 points and Williams by 25 to join the battle for 6th
  • Toro Rosso must outscore Sauber by 33 points to finish 8th
  • Lotus, Virgin or Hispania must outscore Toro Rosso by 11 points to finish 9th
  • In the fight for 10th place Lotus will win UNLESS either Virgin or Hispania secure a top 11 finish
  • There is no prize money for 11th, so it doesn't matter much that Virgin require a 13th place finish or better to overtake Hispania