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    2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    And F1 is back Smiley The winter off-season felt like it would never end ... Smiley

    Plenty of developments in testing and regarding driver changes ... all covered in the 2011 F1 Pre-season thread Smiley

    Sadly, still no concrete news on how long Robert Kubica will be out ... it's going to be a long, slow recovery. Whether he will ever be the same again is still uncertain.

    As for Melbourne, I think on paper it's a straight fight between Red Bull and Ferrari with Mercedes close behind ... but winter testing form is deceptive. We'll only know for sure on Sunday ...

    Can't wait Smiley F1 is back Smiley


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    RT Moderator 
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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    I think McLaren looks to be all at sea right now ... a pity - it would be good to see them competitive at the start of the season


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    RT Moderator 
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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    McLaren are trying hard.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/90078

    I hope this year the title is not a two team contest. I'd like to see RB, Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren fighting it out with their 8 drivers all challenging.


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    "Form follows function"


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    McLaren often express optimism and say all the right things (such as, we've managed to find some time versus our rivals etc) but once on track, these statements have often proven to be unfounded in the past couple of years.

    I suspect they will be playing catch up for the first half of the season ... so I expect more frustration for Hamilton and Button ...

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    RT Moderator - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    If Mercedes catch up, I dream of Schumacher vs. Vettel in a classic old master vs new kid contest.


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    "Form follows function"


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    easy_rider911:


    Can't wait Smiley F1 is back Smiley


    I too hope Mercedes will be competing for wins right away. Vettel vs. Schumi has potential for great stuff.
     


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    indeed shifting is ancient technology - so is a fuel burning engine..  I happen to like both :) 


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    If the car is good enough Shumi will prove (again) who's the REAL champ in F1!


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

     The fact is that Rosberg had the same car, and likely less support from the team since he wasn't the "star", and Schumi wasn't even near his rookie teammate the past season, imagine trying to hang with the likes of Vettel-Hamilton-Alonso... Schumi's time has passed, the sad thing is that he doesn't want to accept it.


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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    I agree with you Carlos - except one thing: Schumi has been faster in the final test than Rosberg ...

    Anyway, for us, it's all good - the suspense is exciting  


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    RT Moderator 
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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    @ CfS please keep in mind that Shuey was off the competition for 3 years, and in my opinion it would be lovely to see where the other contendants (SV, FA, LH, NR,...) would have been after such a long break?!

    Let's se how long RK will take to be at the spot again, hopefully he'll be back soon in good health!

    Anyways, I also think., that MS is not back on the same level as when he left F1 for good...


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Lord_Driftalot:

    @ CfS please keep in mind that Shuey was off the competition for 3 years, and in my opinion it would be lovely to see where the other contendants (SV, FA, LH, NR,...) would have been after such a long break?!

     

    I'm not disagreeing with you at all, they would be on the same situation as Schumacher save for the slight advantage that they are much younger still, but they would still suffer the consecuences of being parked for 3 years, its not a Schumi thing, its a human thing. 

    I wasn't mentioning it to demerit Schumacher, his CV in F1 speaks for itself, but just pointing out a fact of life that affects all humans, and Schumacher is no less, he was the all round best driver in his prime no doubt, but he's been off a F1 seat for too long, and on top of it he is is "old" for F1 standards which make it imposible for him to regain his previous form of his best years by now since every year that passes his psysiology will make it even harder. 

    IMO the divide with the top drivers in F1 will only grow bigger and bigger as he is on the other side of the hill compared to those young drivers who are still improving. A faster car will help close the gap a bit, since F1 is 90% car, 5% luck and only 5% driver, but it will be a fictitious improvement, and his teammate, while not being a top driver, may prove that once again this season, although I predict that the team will revolve around Schumacher and his teammate will be at a disadvantage with respect to parts, customisation of the car and its development, race tactics, etc. Last season should have already made all this more than evident for him, his performance wans't even close to give any hope, and the incident with Baricelo against the wall should how fustrated he was, so either he is in denial or the people close to him are not giving him good honest advice, personally I think its the latter and that people around him maybe for personal gain have filled his ears with clouds and influenced him out of retirement. Either way its not a nice sight to see a driver so used to winning to be in that situation because of not accepting when its time to retire, its not like he hasn't achieved enough goals in F1.


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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh says his team has found a second by modifying the floor and the exhaust package

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2011/03/weve-made-mclaren-a-second-a-lap-faster-says-whitmarsh/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9428957.stm

    And Martin Brundle expects Button v Hamilton to flare up if it gets close between them in the championship

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9423107.stm


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Fri 1st and 2nd Practice laptimes

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/9417651.stm

    McLaren were quickest in 2nd practice

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9435589.stm

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2011/03/mclaren-and-pirelli-in-better-shape-than-expected/

    http://www.planetf1.com/news/3213/6833935/Button-Not-Going-To-Get-Carried-Away-


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Hamilton reassures McLaren that he is not thinking about leaving McLaren

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9435601.stm
     


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Not that you can tell much from the friday time, but i am pleasantly surprised by the McLarens pace


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    The FIA gets its way. Key staff (in team management and engineers etc) will need to get FIA licences. This means they can be regulated properly (in the light of the Briatore scandal).

    http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2011/03/f1-key-men-will-have-to-get-licences/


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Watching this race will be murder this weekend ... clocks go forward 1 hour on Sun at 0200 plus there are Cricket highlights late on Sat night. Sleep will be a rare commodity this weekend ...

    But it's worth it - F1 is back


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Looking at the 1st and 2nd practice lap times, it looks like Virgin Racing may not qualify for the race under the 107% rule (which has now been reintroduced for 2011). I think it looks virtually certain that HRT won't qualify. They launched the car and haven't even tested it yet. They have yet to set a lap time in it. How is it safe for them to be allowed into qualification and the race?

    Massa seems to be consistently slower than Alonso - looks like it could be a repeat of 2010 ... but it's still much too early to form a definitive view. I just can't help feeling that Ferrari is now Alonso's kingdom since the scandal at Hockenheim last year.

    Heidfeld and Petrov seem evenly matched at the moment - Heidfeld needs to step it up in qualification tomorrow.

    Di Resta seems to be matching Sutil straightaway - good for him

    Can't wait for tomorrow Smiley

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    RT Moderator - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    easy_rider911:

    Watching this race will be murder this weekend ... clocks go forward 1 hour on Sun at 0200 plus there are Cricket highlights late on Sat night. Sleep will be a rare commodity this weekend ...

    But it's worth it - F1 is back


    Well, better don't go to bed at all this Saturday. Smiley
     


    --

    The secret of life is to admire without desiring.


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Wish I could manage that - after you turn 40, you can still stay awake all night but the next day ... you feel dead tired ...


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Vettel is super quick in Saturday Practice

    news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/9417651.stm 


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Somehow I managed to wake up on time without my alarm clock .... are any of you guys awake too? 


    --


    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    easy_rider911:

    Looking at the 1st and 2nd practice lap times, it looks like Virgin Racing may not qualify for the race under the 107% rule (which has now been reintroduced for 2011). I think it looks virtually certain that HRT won't qualify. They launched the car and haven't even tested it yet. They have yet to set a lap time in it. How is it safe for them to be allowed into qualification and the race?

    Massa seems to be consistently slower than Alonso - looks like it could be a repeat of 2010 ... but it's still much too early to form a definitive view. I just can't help feeling that Ferrari is now Alonso's kingdom since the scandal at Hockenheim last year.

    Heidfeld and Petrov seem evenly matched at the moment - Heidfeld needs to step it up in qualification tomorrow.

    Di Resta seems to be matching Sutil straightaway - good for him

    Can't wait for tomorrow Smiley

     
    After Q1, these observations are all holding true - what happened to Heidfeld? He looks so slow - Petrov is outqualifying him by miles ...

    Massa is still struggling compared to Alonso ... how come they needed soft tyres in Q1? Strange ...

    HRT should not be allowed to race ... they are outside the 107% time and IMO no discretion should be exercised to let them race - it's just dangerous to have such enormous speed differentials in the race.

    --

    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    After Q2, Rosberg outqualifies Schumi making it through to Q3 whereas Schumi doesn't make it. Rosberg is again doing his talking on the track ...

    Di Resta, the rookie, outqualifies Sutil - well done to him  Sutil would have made it to Q3 if he didn't spin on his final hot lap ... triggered the DRS too soon before finishing the exit on the corner ...

    Barrichello made a bad mistake losing it because he drifted too far wide to the left ... 

    But Vettel looks immense ... if he drives like this all this year, this season will be decided about three quarters of the way through ... he looks utterly dominant.


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Following Q3, Vettel is in his own race - no one can touch him. Hamilton was extremely quick considering that he had a KERS failure. Vettel didn't even use KERS ... not sure why Button was so slow in Q3.

    Surprised how much slower Webber was. And Ferrari is slower than I was expecting ...


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    RT Moderator 
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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Looking forward to the race tomorrow  


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    RT Moderator 
    - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

    An IMPERIAL Vettel Smiley I am sooooo happy for him.

    And the car! OMG! Smiley Look at the other cars suspension when they go over a kerb and look at Vettel's car. It looks like they have "air-suspension" Smiley

    Last year from the start I was cheering for Vettel and Kubica. I am glad for one and so sad not seeing the other Smiley

    And my beloved Michael... I weep for him... Niko beat him again... It hurts me to see such a great champion like that... Perhaps he will find his pace but even me I start to doubt that...

    And what's up with Sauber???!!!! But  I don't mind Smiley I like to see competition

    Ferrari was simply put, disappointing.

     


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    There is no try. Just do.


    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Dissapointing to see so much difference between the car's performance again, guess will will se another F1 parade in order of which team they are in Smiley


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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    I don't think so Carlos - we've only seen qualification performance on a street circuit like Melbourne.

    But we have yet to see how different cars handle these new Pirelli tyres over a race distance and also how different drivers handle these tyres.

    I think there's plenty of potential for different drivers needing a different number of pitstops. Let's see - it's too early to write off this race IMHO. 


    --


    RT Moderator 
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    Re: 2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

    Does Red Bull have a mini-KERS system which is lighter and is only used once at the start? Does this explain why they are so much faster than everyone else? Interesting questions ...

    news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9436936.stm 


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    RT Moderator 
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