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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Lotus has steering problems ... this doesn't sound good ... live text commentary from the BBC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17243875

    A pic of the revised RBR rear

    http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/13291168

    I'm curious to see how much difference it can make ...


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    997.1 C2S
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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Ferrari seems to be struggling just as they did before Schumi joined them and took in his leadership role there. Say what you want about the guy, he picked up Ferrari when it was cruising around in 4th place and turned it to their most successful era ever in racing. Those days are unfortunately over, as everything is one day, but I think they can/should find back to some more wins this upcoming season.

    There is Mercedes, they seem to be pretty serious about taking the championship. Let's see how they can improve.


    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    IMO this season is about RBR vs McLaren at the front.

    Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus are competing for 3rd and 4th.


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    997.1 C2S
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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Atzporsche:

    Ferrari seems to be struggling just as they did before Schumi joined them and took in his leadership role there. Say what you want about the guy, he picked up Ferrari when it was cruising around in 4th place and turned it to their most successful era ever in racing. Those days are unfortunately over, as everything is one day, but I think they can/should find back to some more wins this upcoming season.

    There is Mercedes, they seem to be pretty serious about taking the championship. Let's see how they can improve.

    Thinking that the technical success of Ferrari was down to a driver is at best missguided. It was all about Rory Byrne, Paolo Martinelli and their teams. Schumi was the star driver that would rally the team around him and extract the maximum out of the car. This is evident now that he is at Merceded; there is no revival there. Technical excellence comes from technical people! Smiley


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    FERRARI RULES!!!


    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    easy_rider911:

    Gauss, just curious, which team do you, as a Lotus fan, regard as the real Lotus?

    Is it Caterham that was originally Lotus Racing before briefly being called Team Lotus? This is really Tony Fernandes's private team as part of his Air Asia/QPR airline/sports brand.

    Or is it Lotus Renault that is merely sponsored by Lotus but owned by Genii Capital? IMO this is still really the Renault works team and it is very French in character.

    Honestly, I don't regard either of them as being true successors to Colin Chapman ... nowadays, it's all just about branding for new teams like this.

    You have pretty much summed everything up, Easy. Smiley That's exactly how I see it too. Neither is clearly Lotus, that's a thing of the past. There are currently rumours about Genii eventually buying into Lotus (not sure how much of this is really true), so we'll see how this will turn out.


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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    I think Lotus has some real problems to sort out. Raikkonen did only 43 laps - which is v low considering that they have 4 days of missed testing to catch up - and his best time was over 3 seconds slower than the quickest car today.

    IMO Lotus is in trouble. I no longer put them in the same bracket as Ferrari and Mercedes on current form.


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    Live text commentary from the final day of the final test in Barcelona

    http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/446

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17249454

    RBR unveiled so many bodywork upgrades that it preferred to make a new chassis rather than bolt on the new parts ... but Webber says the car doesn't feel massively different

    Smoke and mirrors IMO .... 

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/03/barcelona-day-3-red-bulls-piece-of-theatre/

    I like Webber as a person but he is bad at making excuses ... what he says here makes no sense to me

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97832

    He says he expects to make a much better start in 2012 than in 2011. What evidence is there for this? He won 1 race in Brazil in 2011 (so what platform does he now have at the start of 2012 for being confident he can outperform Vettel?) whereas in 2010 he was in contention for the title until the last race (so he had a much better basis at the start of 2011 for feeling confident that he could continue to take the fight to Vettel and we all know how 2011 turned out between Vettel and Webber). His basis for his confidence doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

    Anyway, what matters is how they actually perform ...  not the pre-season words ... so let's see what he actually manages ...

    Kovalainen says Caterham is in sight of the midfield ... yes, I agree, Caterham is in sight of the back of the midfield ... i.e. Sauber and Williams ... not Toro Rosso and Force India

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97833

    HRT won't make it in time to test in Barcelona so a filming day on Monday with demo tyres and limited mileage is all they will be allowed. I suppose it's better than nothing. They could have done this in 1st Practice in Melbourne but the advantage is that discovering problems now will give them time to address them before Melbourne .... having said that, the cars need to be flown to the race pretty soon ... so the logistical timing is tight.

    But PDLR said he didn't expect to do any kilometres before Australia ... very frank but how's that for confidence in your new team? I would never have said that publicly.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97831

    Rosberg sounds in a feisty mood :) He says Mercedes can 'annoy' RBR and McLaren ... good! It's about time Mercedes spiced things up at the front of the grid.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97819

    Button seems happy with the upgrades that McLaren put on the car on Saturday ...but a hydraulic problem limited running in the morning and rain cut things short in the afternoon. I think he seems quietly pleased with the car. Can McLaren really match RBR this season? I think they might at certain tracks.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97826

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7565626/Button-laments-lost-track-time

    Meanwhile power steering problems dogged Raikkonen's test day on Saturday. Things need to improve at Lotus if they are to mount any challenge to the leading teams.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7565869/Raikkonen-At-least-we-got-some-runs

    Senna says the Williams car is very easy on its tyres. Interesting point about how each car is managing the new Pirelli compounds.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97823

    And today is the final day before Melbourne :)


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    I just got the SKY HD Sports package and a new TV specially for the upcoming F1 season.. though by the way they look I may watch without my glasses on smiley

    Thanks for the updates, so teams really have a lot of work ahead of them. Hoping things at the front will be very tight.


    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    easy_rider911:

    I think Lotus has some real problems to sort out. Raikkonen did only 43 laps - which is v low considering that they have 4 days of missed testing to catch up - and his best time was over 3 seconds slower than the quickest car today.

    IMO Lotus is in trouble. I no longer put them in the same bracket as Ferrari and Mercedes on current form.

    It's going to be a suspenseful season for Lotus, Raikkonen quickest today :

    http://planetf1.com/news/3213/7568790/Kimi-Ends-Pre-Season-Testing-On-Top


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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Yeah, Lotus managed to turn things around today ... do you know if they were low fuel runs on super soft tyres?

    Lotus may be doing that to boost morale ...


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    easy_rider911:

    Yeah, Lotus managed to turn things around today ... do you know if they were low fuel runs on super soft tyres?

    Lotus may be doing that to boost morale ...

    Sorry, I can't find any info on that. But he did the most laps of all the drivers.

    Pos  Fahrer         Teams           Zeit   Runden
     1.  Räikkönen      Lotus           1:22.030  121
     2.  Alonso         Ferrari         1:22.250  115
     3.  Senna          Williams        1:22.296   53
     4.  Hülkenberg     Force India     1:22.312  101
     5.  Kobayashi      Sauber          1:22.386   72
     6.  Hamilton       McLaren         1:22.430  115
     7.  Petrov         Caterham        1:22.795  101
     8.  Schumacher     Mercedes        1:22.939  100
     9.  Maldonado      Williams        1:23.347   48
    10.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso      1:23.393  100
    11.  Vettel         RBR             1:23.608   23

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    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Andrew Benson's analysis at the end of the Barcelona test. It's also clear Ferrari has some major problems. The car can be quick but it is very tough on its tyres. Ferrari appears unable to predict its performance.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/03/kimi_raikkonen_was_to_the_poin.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17252539

    I'm not surprised that Pat Fry is so pessimistic. Ferrari doesn't expect a podium finish in Melbourne. The strange thing was that Ferrari prevented Alonso and Massa from speaking to the media. Clearly they want to control the negative information flow but not speaking to the media is bound to achieve the opposite. It spreads a sense of panic. Alonso was quoted at a football match saying that he thought it would be very difficult at Melbourne. Alonso would not say something like that lightly.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17252719

    Meanwhile Raikkonen had a much better day today ... 

    Brawn expects a very close season ... the leading teams are much closer to each other. I agree.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17252666

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97839

    Schumi is confident that Mercedes is much stronger than last year. And he doesn't think tyre degradation is a problem. The facts though indicate that the Mercedes loses performance more than other leading cars.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7569176/Schumi-Merc-are-well-prepared

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97842

    RBR did not have a trouble-free day today. Limited running for Vettel. Off track, then gearbox problems. Not ideal but no reason to worry IMO.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97837

    HRT will shakedown the car at tomorrow's filming day ...

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97840

    Karthikeyan says HRT is not a mickey mouse team. Yeah right ... even GP2 teams are better organised.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7568557/Karthikeyan-Not-a-Mickey-Mouse-team

    Quite touching that Senna wants to do well to honour his uncle's legacy and connection with Williams.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7568016/Bruno-Important-not-to-damage-legacy

    Sauber looks quite impressive to me ...

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7568890/-Sauber-are-looking-fine-

    Ricciardo thinks it's good that the midfield is close together. Why? :)

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97835
     


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    James Allen's blog summarising where things stand at the end of testing. Ferrari certainly has a lot of work to do in order to catch the leaders. It's worrying to see that Ferrari has not been able to make its rear exhaust design work but that RBR introduced it halfway through the final test and it worked straight away.

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/03/barcelona-day-4-ferrari-disappointed-as-testing-comes-to-an-end/

    Looks like both Force India drivers will have a good car at the first race. Things are looking up for the team.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7570062/Hulkenberg-pleased-with-pre-season-tests

    PDLR resumes role as Chair of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association. Good, he is a great choice for the role. He is a mature and sensible guy who can represent drivers' interests to FOTA, the FIA etc.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97845
     


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    I am afraid that Ferrari are in a dire situation. Heads will surely roll after a second disastrous season.


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    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Pat Fry is new ... I doubt Ferrari will fire him before giving him the chance to fix this.


    --


    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 F1 Pre-Season

    I was thinking more along the lines of Tombazis...


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    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: 2012 F1 Pre-Season

    Horner is upbeat about RBR following less than perfect winter tests. I agree with him. A few problems here and there are normal and it's better to resolve them now. But RBR has no major issues AFAIK.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97853

    Vettel seems to carry the extra pressure of being the pre-season favourite very lightly on his shoulders.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97865

    Finally, Marussia launches its car. I suppose we should take a good look since it is hardly going to be shown on TV :)

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/03/marussia-herald-fresh-start-as-2012-car-finally-hits-the-track/

    And HRT shows its new car as well. Same story. Another back marker team that we may only see on TV when it is being lapped by one of the leading cars.

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/03/hrt-reveals-first-images-of-car-following-barcelona-shakedown/

    Perez-Sala is 'proud' that HRT has reached this far. Really? It's been touch and go whether their car would be ready in time for Melbourne. IMO the reality is that this is such an amateurish outfit. Karthikeyan said it is not a 'mickey mouse team' but that is exactly what this denial and the delay to launch made me think.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97861

    Karthikeyan did the shakedown during a 100km filming day at Barcelona. No problems reported. But how much of an improvement is this car compared to 2011? He says it's a big step up. Really? Let's see what kind of lap times they can manage in Q1 in Melbourne. My view is that they will be aiming to meet the 107% target. Anything more than that is a bonus.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97868

    I think Max Mosley's desire to see more teams on the grid by dramatically cutting the cost of entering F1 has been a mixed legacy. Caterham has really justified its place. HRT (previously Campos Meta) and Marussia (previously Virgin Racing) have been one disaster after another. And the US GP Racing team never made it to the grid. It folded before it even got going.

    I'm glad Alguersuari has found a way to stay connected with F1. He is commentating for BBC Radio 5 Live. It's actually a smart move. It means he will travel to every race with a reason to be there. And it means he can keep talking to the relevant people about finding an opening in one of the teams.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97863

    Button seems much happier with the car this year. It should enable McLaren to mount a serious challenge to RBR. I think the time for talk is nearly over ... thank goodness ... we all want to see what the cars can actually do.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7573940/Button-We-re-better-placed-this-year

    Bouillier is optimistic about Lotus this year. I agree - they seem to have designed a very good car.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97866

    The interesting thing IMO is that with Heidfeld and Petrov and Senna last year, Lotus seemed leaderless. They were keen to see Kubica back in F1 as soon as possible. Now, all talk of Kubica returning to Lotus is forgotten. They have Raikkonen. I suppose they are thinking who needs Kubica?

    It will be at least June or July before Kubica can even consider driving a F1 car again. This is going to be a very long journey back to F1 for Kubica. Does he still maintain his view that driving that rally car was OK? I hope not. He has paid a very high price and should be man enough to admit his foolish mistake. This was a lot worse than Webber breaking his legs or Raikkonen having an accident during a skiing trip. Kubica's hand was almost totally severed. I still think it is 50/50 whether he will make it back to the grid but IMO it is virtually certain that he will not be the same driver he once was.

    Brawn expects a tight grouping of leading cars at the front. BUT we just don't know how much fuel teams are carrying. It's just impossible to say this.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7570664/Brawn-Tight-group-at-the-front

    I don't believe the rumours that Mercedes may try to get Hamilton if Schumi does not remain beyond 2012. The teams and drivers are naturally focussed on Melbourne. It doesn't surprise me that Haug rubbished this rumour.

    http://www.planetf1.com/driver/18227/7570355/Haug-denies-Lewis-to-replace-Schumi

    Alonso says it is too soon to write off Ferrari's chances. I agree. We just don't know where the teams actually stand vis a vis each other.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97859

    Domenicali says much the same thing too. Agreed. Ferrari should not be downhearted even before the season has begun.

    http://www.planetf1.com/news/3213/7573992/Alonso-And-Domenicali-Remain-Hopeful

    A nice round up from Planet F1 of the more concrete things that were learnt from testing.

    http://www.planetf1.com/editorial/7569454/What-We-Learnt-From-Barcelona


    --


    997.1 C2S
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