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    2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    After 4 dramatic and close races, with 4 different winners, this season looks like it will be close all the way to the wire.

    At last, F1 reaches Europe :)

    I expect the teams will be making some significant upgrades to their cars.

    Button enjoyed McLaren's early season advantage in Australia. Alonso took full advantage of the severe weather in Malaysia. Rosberg was sublime in China where the Mercedes operated within its performance window. However, in Bahrain, the RBR (in the hands of Vettel) was too strong.

    I think it is very ominous that Vettel is once again in the quickest car on race day. The chances of a third consecutive world title just went up significantly. The name of the game is all about in-season development and RBR are as good as any other team at that. I somehow feel that McLaren has been overshadowed since Australia.

    The dark horse is Lotus. Both Raikkonen and Grosjean were extremely strong in Bahrain. But so far, Lotus has not performed to its best in every race so it would be a brave bet to think they can perform as consistently as RBR for the rest of the season.

    I think this season will play out as follows:

    At the front, it is a battle between RBR, Lotus (and McLaren if the track temperature is warm enough). McLaren's weakness is tyre temperature. When the temperatures cooled in Bahrain, their performance vanished and they were very weak by the end of the race. The catastrophic pit stops simply added salt to the wound but the more worrying factor IMO is underlying speed in cooler conditions.

    Mercedes and/or Sauber may occasionally steal some points from them too (but this depends on everything going their way and that all factors are within their limited performance windows).

    But fundamentally, IMvHO, this title battle is between Vettel, Hamilton, Button and Raikkonen. Sadly for him, Alonso doesn't have the car to challenge for the title.

    Of course, there are rumours that Ferrari will effectively launch a brand new chassis mid-season. Let's see if that happens and, if they do, how quickly Ferrari can make it work. Even then, it may be too late by then to challenge for the title. It all depends on whether the points are evenly distributed or whether one driver (eg Vettel) can rack up lots of points before Ferrari launches a new chassis. If that is the case, it will be harder to catch up.

    Barcelona should be a great indicator of where the teams stand. They tested there twice pre-season and it's a very familiar circuit. It will be interesting to compare lap times with the pre-season tests to see how much faster the cars have become since the season began.

    Looking forward to the race! :)


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    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Great preview! Also, as the season progresses, I expect that RBR and McL to pull out as regular competitors for the top spot. Lotus as strong as they have been, probably they won't be able to keep the R&D at the same level as those two. Mercedes could make up for some interesting mix here and there though. Ferrari - hmm, I just think they need to change more than just a car. Seems like they are lacking in HR department as well...


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    More news on European F1 races in future

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/04/europe-clinging-on-to-its-f1-venues/

    Ferrari seeks long term improvement

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/04/ferrari-embarks-on-long-term-project-with-aim-of-setting-the-standard-again/
     


    --


    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Andrew Benson's views on the season so far

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/04/four_different_winners_-_now_p.html
     


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    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Excelent read as usual from Benson  wink


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    I second that. Hoping for more Mercedes and Lotus on the podiums to really mix things up kiss


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Apparently a spanish newspaper just reported that according to completely trustworthy sources, Webber will be taking Massa's seat in 2013, its not signed yet on paper but the sources said its a done deal. Alonso supported the deal  given his great personal relationship with Webber, and will be a driver in Ferrari at least until Perez is available and signs with Ferrari. And will bring experience and consistency to the team.

    http://www.elconfidencial.com/deportes/formula1/2012/04/29/mark-webber-sera-el-companero-de-alonso-en-ferrari-en-2013-97090/

     


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Good news (riddance)! Really hope it's true! I expect Ferrari to benefit from his knowledge from RB.


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Still a rumour but could be true ...

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7719342/-Webber-to-Ferrari-as-Perez-stop-gap-


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    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Well, the question then who will fill the spot at RBR? Someone from the junior team?


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Atzporsche:

    Well, the question then who will fill the spot at RBR? Someone from the junior team?

    Massa? Smiley


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Or noone?! Vettel is good for two! ;)


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    easy_rider911:

    Still a rumour but could be true ...

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7719342/-Webber-to-Ferrari-as-Perez-stop-gap-

    IMO its very likely; Webber's contract is up, Ferrari in the current situation may preffer a driver with the experience and consistency as Webber and info on RBR, instead of an aspiring young driver like Perez that right now brings nothing to the team that they need right now, Webber would not miss a chance to race for Ferrari before he retires and have that in his curriculum, Webber and Alonso are great friends and go way back and Alonso with what he is doing for the team has the ability to veto or not any coming driver, Webber is not a young driver so he would be willing to sign a contract for one or two years only...


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    What I found particularly interesting this season is the fact that in Qualifying the top teams are being forced to put "soft" tires on for a quick run to make it to Q2 or Q3 - as the slower teams make up more than 1.5 seconds compared to the "hard" ones - I was laughing when some of the top drivers got kicked out by their arroganz and kept their time on hard-tires (to safe soft for Q2&Q3) but did not made it......Vettel and Schumacher the last examples. This shuffling is highly amusing for us to watch wink


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Great post - I am enjoying the variability of the season, I really hope that one manufacturer does not 'get it rich' during this or mid-season testing and run away with the title.  There is not only incredible racing up front, but there is incredible racing in the middle of the pack.  The days of hamilton coming out from a pit and being ushered back to the front do not appear to hold true this year with the back of the pack cars having enough pace to force the front runners to race there way back to the front.  a real delight.  Pirelli should get kudos for putting such a product out.  I can imagine the Pirelli engineers are stressing out every race.  As someone mentioned above, these tires are very temperature sensitive, more interestingly each car is reacting differently to the temperature.  That is beyond the control of Pirelli and adds a great unknown variable to each race.


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Unfortunately, I will miss this race weekend ... I am due to be on a flight while qualification is taking place at 2pm (European Central Time) on 12 May. I am expecting to be in Hawaii at 2am on the night of 12 May (since it is 12 hours behind Monaco where the race will be held at 2pm on Sun 13 May). So, it's pretty unlikely I can watch it. I assume watching F1 online in the USA is problematic so I suppose I just have to record it on my Sky+HD box.

    http://www.formula1.com/races/in_detail/spain_868/circuit_diagram.html
     


    --


    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Major new upgrade to Ferrari design at Mugello

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17937295


    --


    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Interesting analysis from James Allen on the rumoured move of Webber to Ferrari

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/05/mark-webber-and-ferrari/

    Most drivers & most teams think Mugello was a waste of time and money

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/05/teams-brand-mugello-test-a-waste-of-time-and-money-as-alonso-crashes/
     


    --


    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Practice lap times

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/9713519.stm

    It will be fascinating to see if Ferrari's upgrades really work (or not) and whether they have caught up some of the gap in lap time at all or simply improved somewhat to stay relatively where they were in the pecking order (since one assumes that other teams will have also improved as well) ...

    I will miss qualification tomorrow (while travelling) and it's unlikely that I will wake up during the middle of the night to watch the race.

    Hope you enjoy the race weekend :)

    Cheers!


    --


    997.1 C2S
     GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Definately did not expect this to happen, with Massa only managing 17th! angry how did Alonso get into 3rd? yes

    And Webber and Button out of Q3? laughlaugh Yet Hamilton manages Pole?

    and Vettel in 8th must not be a very happy camper today with his temper...

    And were the heck did Maldonado come from? 

    .... this season is really strange and mixed up, definately the best season in the last years! kiss


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    I agree, best season in a long time . Not much makes sense , but it is definitely entertaining !


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    You would have thought that McLaren would have learned from their fine in 2010 in Canada...heart

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/18047760

     


    --

    "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    You took the words right out of my mouth John, and the worst part is how they decievingly tried to cover it up saying it was a technical problem and force majeure so as to try to not get penalised for not having enough fuel for the after qualification sample... Whitmarsh when asked what the problem even went as far as saying "I don't know, we've just going to look at that - hopefully it's not too serious. But a problem arose and we had to turn off (the car)."... what a bunch of liers!! enlightenedenlightened absolutely disgraceful...


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    On this occasion, I feel really sad for Lewis Hamilton..  He surely knew nothing about the fuel shortage and, in fact, produced a fantastic fastest lap in Q3, by over half a second, which would have secured pole position even if he was carrying the correct amount of fuel...mail

    Relegation to to last on the grid seems a trifle harsh!!  cheeky

     

     


    --

    "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out."


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    I think that Alonso put in a superb showing for his home GP. Ripping Hamilton for this technicality taints the entire show. enlightened

     


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Sad for Hamilton , he does not deserve last on the grid after his superb final lap surprise

    McLaren is for the moment killing every effort Hamilton makes. Last race with the bad change of tires and now this . 


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    haha McLaren made a critical error again, that is so bitter for Hamilton who did outstanding in Q.

    I think because of the fact that things are so tight we've seen a lot of race strategy within the Q session. That means not everyone bothered going out.. this is especially true in Q3 where Vettel just went out to run in his tires. The Q times are therefore not at all respective of the various speeds of the cars on the track. We will see a lot of overtaking and probably the best race of the season!!! Let's hope Maldonado does not mess it up up front and oh yeah GOOOOOO VETTEL!!!!!!!!!


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    John H:

    On this occasion, I feel really sad for Lewis Hamilton..  He surely knew nothing about the fuel shortage and, in fact, produced a fantastic fastest lap in Q3, by over half a second, which would have secured pole position even if he was carrying the correct amount of fuel...mail

    I agree with you John, the victim here is Hamilton, and as Gnil points out once again a victim of his team's mistakes this season. Unfortunately when the team gets punished, the whole team has to suffer the consecuences. But the team actions are a disgrace (save Hamilton, he just stopped the car as he was ordered), not so much the problem with not putting enough fuel in but how they tried to lie to everybody's face, really looks bad for the sport. 

    And another victim of McLaren is Maldonado, that thanks to McLaren keeping the lies all the way through until they were found out, instead of just saying what happened when it happened, stripped Maldonado of the celebration of his first ever Pole, the photo, presss conference, etc. and all that comes with it.

    Personally for all that I think they deserve that penalty though.


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    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Yes true, that was typical McLaren BS. mail


    Re: 2012 Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Barcelona

    Why is that harsh to Hamilton? As far as I read, he drove the most laps yesterday, it is not rocketscience to figure how many litres an F1 car needs on the track. Maybe he drove more laps than the team advised him to do but if he would have returned to the pits properly he would have had less fuel than required in the car. They obviously tried to cover that up with a more than suspicious reasoning.

    It might be obvious that I am not a fan of Hamilton's way of bending the rules but in the most objective attempt I can only say you win some, you lose some.

     


     
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