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    2009 F1 - latest situation

    So, Toro Rosso has finally chosen Sebastien Bourdais as team mate for Sebastien Buemi.

    Bourdais was comprehensively outperformed last year by Vettel. From winter testing, it really looks like Buemi is a bright new talent who is genuinely quick. I predict Buemi will outshine Bourdais this year and that Bourdais will either be sacked during the season or that 2009 will be his last year in a race seat.

    But for Toro Rosso to delay the announcement till now was really heartless and needlessly cruel. They didn't give a damn about the anxiety they put the potential drivers through making them wait till Feb. It's short-sighted - now Bourdais has only 3-4 weeks to test, get used to the car and provide input on the set up he likes. Not enough really. In this year, this is even more important since there will be NO testing between races all season AFAIK. The only testing possible is at the race locations themselves. These new rule changes for 2009 are going to cause any unreliability issues to fester till late in the season IMO.

    Toro Rosso tested Sato, Bourdais and many others. There was even speculation that they were considering Jenson Button.

    Poor Jenson looks lost now - like the music just stopped while they were all playing musical chairs and there's no seat left for him to sit on. He's a better driver IMHO than Sutil, Fisichella, Nakajima, Rosberg, Webber, Bourdais, Buemi, Glock, Trulli, Piquet, Heidfeld, Kovalainen and even Massa. The only drivers I rate more highly are: Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Kubica and young Vettel. And yet, Button has nowhere to go. It's a real pity to waste such a talent.

    His only hope is if Honda Racing is bought - all that talk about 12 potential buyers was just pie in the sky. They may have had 12 enquiries but how many were actually realisitically prepared to stump up the cash? Even if Honda racing can find a buyer, get engines from Mercedes and make it to the grid in Melbourne, the last team to do such a lastminute thing was Super Aguri. And we all know what happened to them!

    The writing is on the wall. Honda pulled the plug on Super Aguri and then pulled the plug on its own involvement in F1. I don't see a way back. No one wants to back an uncompetitive team - and that's what Honda Racing are right now - I cannot believe they have been able to develop their car much over the winter without proper funding.

    I also can't believe that Renault actually kept Nelsinho Piquet. He is patently out of his depth in F1.

    I am really unahppy about sons of famous drivers getting seats through their dad's famous name:

    Piquet
    Rosberg
    Nakajima

    Few of them ever really achieve much. Only Damon Hill actually managed to become F1 champ like his dad BUT Damon really had to sweat to get there. His dad OTOH was a legend.

    I don't rate Rosberg as highly as people say. He is inconsistent and is no longer a rookie so he shouldn't blow hot and cold like that.

    As the new season approaches, I have to say, I am really excited by all the rule changes in 2009. It will mix things up v nicely.


    --

    997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection: I love this car!!!


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Good summary Easy.....we'll be on the grid before you know it. Smiley

    I too think it's a shame about Jenson and agree with your pecking order.  I've been saying for a while...it would be great to see him join Hamilton in the McLaren.  An all British team (apart from the engine, of course) would be a first... and he deserves it more than Kovalainen anyway.

    Toro Rosso seem very keen on the name Sebastian?  Vettel last year and now these two..Smiley



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

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Thanks easy, I share your unhappiness about the sons of famous drivers. (or brothers for that matter).

    It really looks like they have an advantage over others, which points to the closed circle F1 has become Smiley

    Let's just hope for some good races, I have to admit I'll follow them anyway..



    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Red Bull´s web animation


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    There's some stuff I like about the new rules:

    - Slicks are back
    - The rear wing should supposedly ease overtaking for cars behind (less turbulences)
    - They can regain brake energy, store it in a battery and then use it with a "boost" button

    I'm already getting excited to see the first race!


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    It's interesting to read David Coulthard's thoughts - not too different from my own!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7881013.stm

     


    --

    997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection: I love this car!!!


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Eunice:

    There's some stuff I like about the new rules:

    - Slicks are back
    - The rear wing should supposedly ease overtaking for cars behind (less turbulences)
    - They can regain brake energy, store it in a battery and then use it with a "boost" button

    I'm already getting excited to see the first race!


    Same here - very excited! Especially this boost button sounds promising for great races and technical defects Smiley - guess, the quality will not be that predictable any more. In the last year we haven't seen many technical problems anymore.


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Maybe we'll see hot duels of constant overtaking like in the early days of F1.

    But then agin, if the driver needs to request a written permission by the team before pressing the button, that won't happen...


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    HAHA... you are right! The FIA will for sure come up with such a stupid idea! 


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    I read in City AM this morning that Virgin Group's Richard Branson has made an offer to buy Honda F1 Racing for £1. Of course, the eventual buyer also needs to undertake to pay the annual running costs of the team so it's not as cheap as it seems!


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Spyderidol:

    So much for KERS:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/motor-racing/williams-rule-out-using-kers-in-melbourne-1625247.html


            I think a lot of teams haven't figured out how to use KERS yet, so why chance it.

    Who remembers this BMW F1 engineer who got the shock of his life last year when pitting a car with KERS installed.



    --
    ...the only thing stopping you, is you!

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Yes, and many pundits are betting that KERS will be dropped by the end of the season.

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    More news about Honda F1:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7900302.stm

    -- 

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Re KERS, I think it's been a huge mistake to introduce it this year. Why? Because it is a technology that is designed to save lost energy from braking in order to provide an extra power boost BUT it has cost millions for each team to develop this new technology (or buy it from another team - as some of the smaller teams have chosen to do - rather than develop their own KERS system). In the current economic situation, spending so much money to develop a technology that saves some energy is hugely wasteful. We have all been hearing how Max Mosley (FIA President) has been trying to save operating costs so introducing KERS at such huge cost this year runs totally against that aim.

    What is even more crazy is that the millions that teams are spending this year will be totally wasted. There will be a standard KERS for all teams in 2010 (like the standard ECU that all teams are already using). Therefore whatever millions they spend on developing KERS in 2009 will be totally wasted for 2010 onwards. This is surely crazy!


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    My bet is, only few teams will have KERS, at the start of the season, if any, because of the huge development task.

    But I do not follow the argument that it's too expensive.

    They'll invest millions anyway, why not for something that increases fun for the audience AND could lead to interesting real-world applications?


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    ...furthermore, it is also interesting to know that the ACO's version (for sportscar racing) of a "energy recovery system" does not allow  for the capturing of energy to be used as a "power" boost, but it must rather be channeled towards reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

    This is in complete contrast to the F1style KERS, so  any system developed for one particular series, cannot be used in another. One would have to develop a "multi-purpose" system and Peugeot are working with Ferrari on this.


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Really bad news about Honda F1 Racing Team:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7905235.stm

    Just as I thought, the fact that there were 12 potential enquiries has not translated into an actual sale of the team to a new owner. I gather the deadline is the end of this week i.e. 1 month before Melbourne. It will take a miracle now to save this team from oblivion.

    Jenson Button had better start looking around for another job ... perhaps even as a test driver. What a sad thing to happen to such a talented driver.


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    I'm sure NASCAR or INDY would open it's arms to Jensen.

    They'd love to say they snookered away another F1 driver because of all the wacky politics and obscene costs.


    --
    ...the only thing stopping you, is you!

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Nick Fry (Honda F1 Racing CEO) is saying that a deal has been done so the F1 team has been saved and will race in 2009:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7911490.stm

     


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    An article speculating about the teams' respective form following winter testing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7925333.stm

     


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Ross Brawn has led a management buy out of the Honda F1 Racing Team creating Brawn F1:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7927488.stm

    I'm never optimistic about such startups in F1. Look at what happened to Super Aguri.

    F1 teams are either:

    1) major manufacturers with deep pockets (despite the global downturn in production car sales) (e.g. Toyota, Renault, BMW Sauber) OR

    2) small teams owned by major manufacturers (e.g. Ferrari which is owned by Fiat) OR

    3) small teams that are very well funded by third party sponsors (e.g. McLaren) OR

    4) newer teams that are funded by extremely wealthy individuals who can bear the cost of F1 (e.g. Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Force India) OR

    5) small teams that are struggling financially (e.g. Williams - especially with the imminent withdrawal of sponsorship from RBS)

    Brawn F1 will join category 5. Merely surviving in F1 will be a major achievement for them. I hope Brawn does succeed but, more realistically, I think the team could easily perish within its first or second year. Sponsors IMO (understandably) favour successful teams disproportionately so success breeds success. If teams struggle to gain points in the championship then successful brands don't normally want to be associated with them. So failure becomes self-fulfilling.

    I think Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will be breathing big sighs of relief. Rubens won't drive for any other team at his age so this allows him to enjoy F1 for another year and earn a little more money for retirement. Jenson Button, on the other hand, IMO will be even more relieved. He is a young(ish) man with some years in F1 ahead of him. If he had not secured a race seat for 2009, it would have been very hard for him to keep his career going.

    I think he will no doubt want to see what his options will be for 2010 and beyond and, in the meantime, at least Brawn F1 keeps him in F1 and still within people's view. Without a race seat, it could easily have been a case of "out of sight, out of mind" for him, curtailing his career IMHO prematurely.

    Ross Brawn is a smart man. I am sure he will try to lock Jenson Button into a longer contract. If Jenson has any sense, he will make sure there is a break clause dependent on points performance. That way, he won't be accused of disloyalty if he wants to leave. Instead, he can say that the team didn't provide him with a car capable of earning championship points.

    However, the fact that Jenson Button is rumoured to have taken a pay cut from GBP8m to GBP4m obviously shows just how desperate Jenson was to secure a race seat just as long as it was a race seat in F1. With less bargaining power, maybe Jenson wasn't able to insist on a break clause so he may be locked into yet another under-performing team with no way out.

    It's sad on a personal level for Jenson. He really made a catastrophically bad choice in signing up with BAR Honda that eventually became Honda F1. AFAIK he had opportunities (when he was in greater demand) to stay at/or go to teams like Williams, Renault and Red Bull. He must be regretting the choices he has made. As John H said, wouldn't it be great if the very amiable but under-performing Heikki Kovaleinen were to be replaced by Jenson Button at the end of 2010? There would be an all-British driver line up in a British team albeit powered by Mercedes engines.

    Still, overall, I'm just glad F1 hasn't been reduced to 9 teams. Losing Super Aguri was tragic enough. Haemorrhaging more teams during this global economic recession (with F1 costs diminishing only slowly) could have brought F1's very future existence into doubt.


    --

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Ross Brawn's interview:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2009/3/8991.html

     


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Thanks for keeping us posted Smiley

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    Sadly, another creditable Force India competitor. It was a one way street though, as this was the only way to keep the team afloat. Not that as a Honda it would have done much... Smiley
    --
    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    From the latest news reports on testing in Barcelona, McLaren appear to be struggling for pace with problems with the way their rear wing is working with the rear diffuser:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/f1mole/2009/03/troubled-times-at-mclaren.html

    Ron Dennis has however downplayed the importance of these gremlins:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7937487.stm

    How come Ron Dennis made this statement instead of Martin Whitmarsh? We were all told that Ron Dennis is no longer running the McLaren F1 racing team but is now focussed on the McLaren Group of companies as a whole. Surely Martin Whitmarsh should be making media statements on matters pertaining to McLaren F1 racing?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7833402.stm

    I guess Ron is just having trouble letting go of the reins ....

    More views on the team's respective form during winter testing:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7925333.stm

     


    --

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    easy_rider911:

    Ross Brawn's interview:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2009/3/8991.html


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    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection

    Poor Brawn he is bound to lose his savings and his retirement fund! I cannot see why he got into this trap of running a condemned F1 team. Many tried it before him and failed and lost substantial amounts of money in the process.

    A pity to wind up a successful career in F1 with a loss. Remember Alain Prost's silly venture?


    --
    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    While I would love to see Brawn GP doing well, realistically, I tend to agree with your pessimism. What has surprised me is how well Brawn GP's new BGP001 car is doing in testing in Barcelona. Jenson Button has been very quick. It's been the real surprise story of all.
    --

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    I also want to see new teams coming up and winning.

    The Ferrari-McLaren duel got boring and then Alonso with Renault came along. But last two seasons it was more of the same again.

    I wish Red Bull do something this season with Newey in the design office and Vettel at the wheel.


    --
    It's not where you're going, it's how you get there that counts

    Re: 2009 F1 - latest situation

    easy_rider911:
    While I would love to see Brawn GP doing well, realistically, I tend to agree with your pessimism. What has surprised me is how well Brawn GP's new BGP001 car is doing in testing in Barcelona. Jenson Button has been very quick. It's been the real surprise story of all.
    --

    Rennteam Moderator - 997S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


            Pre-season testing times tells nothing. Today BrawnGP was first, McLaren last. Does anyone believe that this is realistic ? On first race McLaren will be on top three and BrawnGP much lower. I think BrawnGP is looking for sponsors and they are trying to find them with very quick laps, but how do we know that car doesn't have 50 kg less than it must have on race ? Smiley

    And one example about pre-season testing times... BAR Supertec (Villeneuve, Zonta) was in season 1999 the fastest team on winter testing , but then they finished season on last position without a single point. 


     
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