Monday, 28 May 2012

Monaco 2012 - What We Learnt

By David Galton-Fenzi

Maldonado has forgotten how to drive...

After emphatically winning in Spain, many were talking up Maldonado’s chances around the Principality, (cough) but he quickly silenced all his believers with a couple bonehead moves in the final practice session. First by swerving into Sergio Perez and then wiping off a couple corners from his car on his very next tour.

Whichever story you want to believe about Maldonado’s swiping story it doesn’t look good. He either threw his car at another driver out of frustration then blatantly lied about it, or he was telling the truth about his cold tyres and he’s proven himself unable to keep the thing pointing in a straight line as if he was a rank amateur, two weeks after displaying immaculate car control to win fantastically in Spain. The fact is Maldonado has form in this area before, taking a swipe at Lewis in Spa last year. The truth is out there, and I dare say the telemetry revealed it when the stewards decided on his 10 place penalty. I just wonder how many more times he is going to weaponize his car before they take a harder line?


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Torque Point Qualifying - Monaco 2012

By Jem Ruggera

Another qualifying session, another bunch of questions. Wasn’t Lotus supposed to be looking good around here? Wasn’t Hamilton the favourite for pole position? Wasn’t the Mercedes going to struggle around here with such limited chance to use the double-DRS?

Instead, like many Saturday afternoons, the expected form book has been shredded, set on fire and the ashes scattered into Monaco harbour. This is mainly a function of just how close the field is running these days. In Q2 the top sixteen were covered by just 0.9 of a second. This meant missing a braking point by a couple of metres, not quite clipping an apex you normally hit lap after lap, means the difference between eight and twelfth. Just ask Jenson Button.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Torque Points - Monaco 2012

By David Galton-Fenzi
If anyone says they have any idea who is going to win at Monaco they’re either a liar or a witch. For the first time since 1983 we’ve had five different winners from the first five races. There has never been a season that started with six, but when you think that this year’s victors do not include Hamilton, Webber or Raikkonen, all previous Monaco winners, then you realize there is every chance we could see history this weekend, and the most wide open championship in F1 history.
 Rosberg Snr making it five out of five at Monaco in ‘83

Monday, 14 May 2012

Barcelona 2012 - What We Learnt

By David Galton-Fenzi

McLaren need to have a word...

After costing Lewis a brace of points in Bahrain with two bodged pit stops, they were at it again in Spain. Firstly, not putting enough fuel in his car that meant he lost his amazing pole position, and then at his first stop the left rear crew, despite being overhauled from Bahrain, was at it again. How hard is it to move the tyre you’ve just removed from the car out of the way

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Torque Points - Barcelona 2012

Barcelona will be the first race this year with a double gap in Pirelli’s tyre compounds, with the hard and soft tyres allocated. The first four races of 2012 have all been run on adjoining compounds, contrasted against last years championship where we had the double gap in the first five races, but then only twice more throughout the season (British and Indian Grands Prix) as Pirelli adapted to their first year in the sport.

Despite the well reported recent criticism of the 2012 tyres by Michael Schumacher, Pirelli are confident their decision will result in another thrilling race, “There is a whole step in between our two nominations for the first time this year and this should allow the teams to come up with a number of different tyre strategies that could make a big difference to the final outcome.” Explained Pirelli’s motorsport director, Paul Hembery, “With many teams having expanded their knowledge of our tyre range and tested new components at Mugello, we’re expecting a closely-fought Spanish Grand Prix – and maybe even the fifth different winner in five races.”

Literally - black art

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Modern Classics - Belgium 1998

The Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps 1998

In this column we’ll take a look at the epic races of the modern era. Races that were so unforgettable that they deserve to be retold and re-lived,  and what better place to start than with the Granddaddy of them all.

The Story so Far

It’s August 1998. Armageddon is top of the box office and Steve Tyler’s band Aerosmith have a smash hit from the soundtrack with a love song about his own daughter. You know the one. The Formula One season is heading towards a thrilling conclusion with four races to go with Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher locked in a vicious battle for the ultimate prize.