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iGav
Jul 23, 2004, 09:48 AM
So after a 2 week break after the back-to-back races of France and Britain we come to the (once) mighty Hockenheim in Germany. :D

A track that was along with Monza arguably the fastest track on F1 calendar with top speeds in excess of 220mph. :D Sadly like many of the great tracks (Spa, Monza, Nurburgring, Silverstone, Imola) it's been watered down in the name of safety, but with exception of the Nurburgring I can't think of any track that has been butchered as much as this track has! :( truly unforgivable.

This is looking like it could be a very competitive race, there's places to overtake and with the resurgent McLaren team, it could possibly be the 2nd race this season that Schumi just might not win, he's never gone especially well at his home GP (that said he's won it twice, and the most a driver has ever won the German GP is 3 times, Fangio, Senna, Piquet and Stewart) and this year the Ferraristone team is so competitive that it's difficult to imagine any other winner.

The McLaren MP4-19B had a quite stunning debut at Silverstone, closing the performance difference to the Ferrari by about half a second, but still about .8 off the pace per lap in the race. Either way, McLaren are making some big noises about further improvements since Silverstone and judging by the Schumacher Vs. Räikkönen duel we've just had in 2nd Practice it looks like it could be an exciting quali and race. :D

As for notable changes, well Gene has been replaced by Pizzonia at BMW Williams and seems to be bang on the pace of Montoya so far. It'll be interesting to see how he copes with the pressures of the race though, something that let him down last year when he was racing with Jaguar.

Toyota launch a heavily revised car here, with the much vaunted input of new Technical Director Mike Gascogyne, but so far, they've failed to show pace in the first 2 practice sessions and I can't imagine them seeing any big increase in performance especially when Sauber now have their new Wind Tunnel doing the biz!

So then... predictions. Quali will be a close one, but here we go...

1. Räikkönen
2. Schumacher
3. Montoya
4. Barrichello
5. Button
6. Pizzonia

Race.

1. Schumacher
2. Räikkönen
3. Barrichello
4. Montoya
5. Button
6. Alonso

Thoughts??

emdotdee
Jul 23, 2004, 11:07 AM
i hope kimi wins it, i hate shumacher so much, bast ard

JFreak
Jul 23, 2004, 11:59 AM
i hope kimi wins it

me too. go finland!

ps.
have you heard of the rumors about hakkinen returning to F1? :D

iGav
Jul 23, 2004, 12:07 PM
have you heard of the rumors about hakkinen returning to F1? :D

Yep... but I don't think he will be back. There's only one competitive drive left and that's at BMW Williams and I think it'll likely be Webber and Fisi who will drive for them.

I can't imagine Mika wanting to duel it out in the middle of the grid in uncompetitive machinery.

JFreak
Jul 23, 2004, 12:17 PM
yep, but it is williams who is rumoured to want mika back ;) even ron dennis has admitted that hakkinen has asked him a permission to test williams' car, but mika's responsibilities with mercedes will likely prevent that.

(the contract ends last day this year, so it might be too little time to make it happen... strange, if these rumors are true, this would be the second time that others have prevented mika from driving for williams. the first time was back in 1993 when lotus chief peter collins didn't want to let mika go. imagine what would have been if mika would have driven williams back then...)

iGav
Jul 23, 2004, 01:14 PM
yep, but it is williams who is rumoured to want mika back ;) even ron dennis has admitted that hakkinen has asked him a permission to test williams' car, but mika's responsibilities with mercedes will likely prevent that.

Ron's already said he wouldn't stop Mika testing regardless of what his contract says.

But Mika's been out for 3 seasons, his last season was very poor and he isn't getting any younger (some reviewers I've seen have said that he's young enough to make a comeback, yet for 2 years have been saying Schumachers getting on abit and should retire even though Mika is only a couple of months younger than Schu :rolleyes: heheheh)

I still can't see him getting a drive at Williams, Webber is rumoured to be a cert, if not already signed, and that leaves 1 seat left. I think Fisi is the likely candidate. He's arguably the 2nd best driver on the grid, who has unfortunately being hampered by poor team choice, but has dominated every teammate he has had, is superb in the rain and has proven that he can compete in poor cars and still get amazing results.

If Williams do what they have threatened to do which is to have a shoot out for the last seat, I wouldn't bet on Mika being able to beat Fisi in a test.



(the contract ends last day this year, so it might be too little time to make it happen... strange, if these rumors are true, this would be the second time that others have prevented mika from driving for williams. the first time was back in 1993 when lotus chief peter collins didn't want to let mika go. imagine what would have been if mika would have driven williams back then...)

Instead he went to McLaren as their test driver. :p

MacRy
Jul 24, 2004, 09:22 AM
I can't see Mika coming back either but I would love to see him back in a competitive F1 seat. I used to love his little jokey comments that always fell flat in interviews. :)

iGav
Jul 24, 2004, 12:40 PM
That was a most competitive Quali session, Schu was particularly awesome (especially in the last sector) claiming his 61st Pole Position, only 4 behind matching Senna's record of 65 now. :D I'd love to see him get that and also try for 100 wins, that'd be a staggering achievement to look back on in your twilight years!

Behind Schu it's very, very tight with Montoya just edging out out Kimi for 2nd, DC having his best quali of the season in 4th and was unfortunate not to beat Kimi, only losing out in the last sector.

Button should have been 3rd, had it not been for an engine failure yesterday resulting in him losing 10 places on the grid for an engine change, but atleast showing that BAR do have some good pace here.

The 2 Renaults are up there, ahead of a totally out of position Barrichello, who I guess is on a different strat (2 stops) to everybody elses 3 stop... that has served him well in other races though, notably Barcelona where he finished 2nd from 8th on the grid??.


Qualifying results.

1 M Schumacher 1:13.306
2 JP Montoya 1:13.668
3 K Raikkonen 1:13.690
4 D Coulthard 1:13.821
5 F Alonso 1:13.874
6 J Trulli 1:14.134
7 R Barrichello 1:14.278
8 T Sato 1:14.287
9 O Panis 1:14.368


Revised race prediction.

1. Schumacher
2. Raikkonen
3. Barrichello
4. Coulthard
5. Montoya
6. Alonso

Thoughts??

craigdawg
Jul 24, 2004, 05:26 PM
Qualifying results.

1 M Schumacher 1:13.306
2 JP Montoya 1:13.668
3 K Raikkonen 1:13.690
4 D Coulthard 1:13.821
5 F Alonso 1:13.874
6 J Trulli 1:14.134
7 R Barrichello 1:14.278
8 T Sato 1:14.287
9 O Panis 1:14.368


Revised race prediction.

1. Schumacher
2. Raikkonen
3. Barrichello
4. Coulthard
5. Montoya
6. Alonso

Thoughts??
Looks like the 19B is a winner eh? Toyota didn't get quite the bounce from their new car that McLaren did though. Out of curiosity, did they mention anything about the Honda's aborted attempt to run with a front diff on your telecast?

iGav
Jul 25, 2004, 05:55 AM
Looks like the 19B is a winner eh? Toyota didn't get quite the bounce from their new car that McLaren did though. Out of curiosity, did they mention anything about the Honda's aborted attempt to run with a front diff on your telecast?

The 19B is a huge step from the 19A by about half a second, it's still about .8 off the Ferrari's pace (even then, I don't believe we've seen the absolute pace of the Ferrari once so far this season).

Is it any better than the BAR?? Button should have been ahead of Kimi yesterday, so I'll be interested to see who stops first out of Montoya, Kimi and Button. I do think Schu is running lighter to guarantee pole and to off set the significant one lap advantage of the Michelin, but after 2 laps Schu should drive off into the distance. The 19B was heavily flattered at Silverstone by several factors, Schu was always heavier than Kimi, and was never running at optimum pace when both he and Kimi were on track, and with Schu backing Kimi into Barrichello at every opportunity. Otherwise had Schu got pole, and driven at his pace, he'd have been a minute clear of the McLaren easily.

The Toyota seems to have some improved pace, especially in the hands of Panis, but De Matta really is a donkey (which surprised me), and not worthy of a seat in F1, I'm expecting him to end back up in CART or IRL whichever one he came from next season.

BAR front diff was mentioned on our coverage, something to do with a torque splitting diff or something, but all the teams have objected to it, and it's been banned, abit like BAR 3 element plus rear wing they were hoping to run earlier this season that is rumoured to have been objected by BMW Williams.

I don't understand exactly how this diff works on the front wheels?? there's no axle or driveshafts at the front, so I can't imagine how they'd have a diff, I'm wondering whether it's somekind of localised element for each front wheel??

I've just checked, actually it's some kind of Torque transfer system not a diff.

According to a poster on one of the F1 sites it works like this...

Wheel that has grip will spin the wheel that has no grip. Wheel that has no grip's brake energy goes to the wheel that has grip, not wasting its energy and increasing brake energy towards more grip. One wheel doesn't have to lock up drasticly under heavy braking when the other wheel has a lot more grip. Tyre wear and grip advantage. Previously done before by Renaut with understeering complaints.

Difference pictures can be seen here...

http://www.crash.ne.jp/individ/sawada/gprpt/images/r12/072408L.jpg
http://www.crash.ne.jp/individ/sawada/gprpt/images/r12/072409L.jpg

Innovative that's for sure. ;)

iGav
Jul 25, 2004, 10:02 AM
Corr blimey.... yet another race with a ton of overtaking moves! :D

I can't help but feel alittle short changed though, it was looking like we were going to have a storming race between Schu and Kimi with them both pretty much equally matched during the first stint, until the McLaren's rear wing failed flat out on the home straight.... and here lies the problem, as much as we moan about the lack of racing in F1, when teams continue to throw away chances of taking the race to Ferrari it really doesn't help matters at all and has to be laid squarely at their feet.

It looked like we were in for a really good race between the 2, Kimi was quicker at the start of the stints and Schu towards the end of them, I still think Schu would have had the edge during the 2nd and 3rd stints because of their duration (20+laps as opposed to the Michelin friendly 7-10 laps) but we can only imagine what might have happened.

I also still can't believe that Kimi is called 'the Iceman'.... afraid not matey... this is the 3rd time this season he's demonstrated he's anything but, in Malaysia he assaulted a marshall, Bahrain he took his frustration out on the car and now in Germany once again losing his cool... definitely not the 'Iceman'... he's a ********* great driver... and I can't wait to see him drive for Ferrari in a couple of years time, but he's no 'Iceman' that's for sure, and I really wish James Allen would stop calling him that... he's got fire in his belly and that should be recognised! ;)

Button had a storming race... the race of his life, some great driving and demonstrates exactly what he can do with a properly set up car under him. This is one of the races where's he's actually raced for position... again his final result was the result of 'lucking' in what with Kimi and Rubens suffering... but one could also argue that his engine failure on Friday really ******** up his weekend, and he was definitely going to be bang up there had he not being relegated to 13th on the grid! Without doubt though he's definitely my driver of the day!

Montoya had a scrappy day, with a poor start and mistakes on track, some good overtaking and racing though... I've just being reading that he's been frozen out of development and testing now because of his move to McLaren next year, so his performance is quite impressive that's he's now just turing up to the races and doing the biz, I still can't wait to see who's going to be quicker between him and Kimi next year though... :D

The disturbing bit of news I've just heard is that Ferrari has cancelled it's development of the F2004 chassis, pretty much leaving only bodywork aero, engine and tyre development for the rest of the season... that could definitely hurt them later on, Ross Brawn has also said that they've scrapped work on the F2005 as well, because of the rule changes, so next year looks like it could be really, really open up the grid.

Anyway, next race Hungary in 3 weeks.... quite possibly the worst race at the worst track of the season!

Thoughts??

kettle
Jul 25, 2004, 12:09 PM
This is one of the races where's he's actually raced for position... again his final result was the result of 'lucking' in what with Kimi and Rubens suffering...
Thoughts??

iGav, I really enjoy reading your F1 coverage, problem is though, now you're starting to sound like a proper pundit. The use of the "Lucking in" judgment should be applied evenly across all observation to provide a balanced view. I think Button would have shown Ruby BarrowJelly and Kimi "I'm no Mika Hakkinen" Raikkonen a thing or two.

Anyone starting between 13th and Pole on the grid this weekend did some serious "lucking in". Even Shu thought Button was on a two stopper, that's a very heavy car to qualify.

keep up the good work iGav. :)

iGav
Jul 25, 2004, 12:36 PM
iGav, I really enjoy reading your F1 coverage, problem is though, now you're starting to sound like a proper pundit.

A pundit!! :eek: :eek: :p :p hahahahahaha!

When I was typing in the 'lucking' in bit I was thinking along similar lines but I thought it was an honest opinion, but I did counter it, :) that had he not being penalised then he'd have been well on the pace and fighting for the win. ;) He was also my driver of the race, with some excellent moves. ;)

Arguably his best race by far, but his result was flattered somewhat by 2 main competitors going out, as it turns out he likely would've been 3rd if Kimi hadn't have suffered his wing failure as Rubens suffered a puncture on the last lap, but many of his podiums have been the result of other drivers been taken out or suffering a mechanical failure, admitedly many drivers have gained superb results along similar circumstances, Schu, Senna etc etc they've all experienced the luck of the draw, but they've also won without that luck.

This season off the top of my head, Button has only genuinely deserved to be on the podium at 1 race from race pace alone and that was Imola. I'd also add today to that list... but he did benefit from circumstances, just like he did at Monaco.... there's nothing wrong with that, and I don't see 'lucking' in as a negative term, :) it's more than safe to say that Schu has experienced more than his fair share over the years. heheh.

He drove a stunning race though and his quali time was pukka, I don't think he had the pace to beat Schu even if he had been on pole, his fastest lap was still .5+ off Schu and Kimi and we never got to see exactly what Schu needed to do win the race (Schu generally matches or exceeds quali times in the race, so he likely had another .3 to .4 in the pocket had he needed it).

The one good thing to come out of the last couple of races is that we've had LOTS of racing and overtaking, admitedly Schu is still winning, but behind him, it's looking tight and for the last 2 races I thinks it's been quite tight.

Unfortunately it's Hungary next... a race which is usually pants, a couple of exceptions though.... '89 when Mansell won from 12th on the grid to thrash Senna in a straight fight... and '98 when Schu needed 20+ seconds in 20 laps, in the second best car, he delivered and is one of the greatest moments I can remember of any race I've watched! ;)

craigdawg
Jul 25, 2004, 01:01 PM
Yes! I agree with kettle, your coverage is outstanding iGav, I learn something every time I read your posts. (Albeit I have a lot to learn about F1 :)).

Anyhoo, luck or no, Button had a tremendous race. I don't think he could have done any better had he started from the #3 position though.

And did you see the fans cheering when Kimi crashed into the tire barrier? I couldn't believe it. All of those idiots would have wet their pants had they been in Kimi's situation.

MacRy
Jul 25, 2004, 02:03 PM
Top race! Shame that it was Shuey dominated again but never mind. Button drove a blinder as did Webber - can't wait to see him driving with Williams next year although I would have rather seen Villeneuve back there.

Nspace
Jul 25, 2004, 02:12 PM
WHOOO Schumacher!

Glad to see Montoya did not make the podium :D

Forget Villneuve though, I hope he never comes back and I am Canadian. Ever since that guy left and all the money is not draining into his pocket BAR has been doing awesome.

Any word on Da Matta staying with Toyota? I missed alot of the pre-race stuff.

virividox
Jul 25, 2004, 05:58 PM
i also dont think mika h will return to f1. what i realy wanna know is who will ferrari get once schumi calls it quits, i dont think they will ever find a more dominant driver than him, at least not with the curren crop