The Australian GP Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by iGav, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. iGav macrumors G3

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    #1
    Is it just me, or has this off season just flown by? doesn't seem like 5 months since the Brazilian GP!

    So then, we come to the Australian GP after one of the most politically charged off seasons in recent memory, which whilst making what is usually a dull time... a little more interesting has certainly negatively affected F1's already battered image.

    Anyway, I'm not going to dwell on the changes and events since the end of last season, there's been a number of threads created which have pretty much covered or evolved to cover any interesting news worth noting and such has probably been discussed in relative depth, so I'll go straight to this weekends Australian GP.

    I've held off creating this thread until after first practice, mainly because I do enjoy predicting the results of qualifying and the race, but such has been the rule changes, and coupled to the fact that this is the first race, I wanted to have a little more time to gauge performances during practice so that I could make a better guess/prediction about the outcome of quali and the race.

    Unsurprisingly, none of the teams, except McLaren have shown their hand yet. After 2nd practice, the McLarens look very, very strong with del la Rosa putting in a strong run in the 3rd McLaren (they're allowed to run a 3rd car on Friday because of their final position in last years championship) and Räikkönen finishing a strong 2nd after knocking in a quick one towards the end of his session and claiming first blood against Montoya.

    The biggest surprise so far is Heidfelds performance for Williams, only finishing less than 3 tenths behind Kimi, and well clear of his teammate Webber, of course this is only first practice but his time was exceptional considering the circumstances.

    Schumacher finished in 4th, after electrical problems in first practice stopped him from setting a time. Montoya finished in 5th position, over half a second behind his teammate, but I'm expecting that to be significantly closer come 1st and 2nd qualifying.

    A big surprise has been the Renaults lack of pace so far, so I understand Alonso is concerned with reliability and as such it's likely they're conserving their package, but I'm expecting them to be fighting with McLaren come qualifying.

    BAR Honda are looking in mixed shape, with Jenson looking reasonable in 8th, but Sato languishing back in 18th place... taking into account their difficulties during winter testing, and the strength of their competitors this season, I'm personally not expecting them to enjoy the same success as last season or atleast not during the first half of this season.

    And lastly, Red Bull Racing are looking suitably strong consider the performance of Jaguar over the last few seasons. My favourite of the upcoming drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi looked very impressive in first practice, indeed setting the fastest time during the first session with an impressive 1m.25.967 demonstrating that the car as suspected with the new 910bhp Cosworth engine looking to be on the pace, and should certainly be hassling the Toyota's, Sauber's and quite possibly the BAR Honda's over the duration of the season.

    The big news of the day though is Minardi not being allowed to participate in first practice. Even though the car passed scrutineering, and ALL of the teams have consented to Minardi running their 2004 spec car, the Stewards (that's right NOT Ferrari ;)) have deemed that the cars were not within regulations and thus not allowed to participate in the sessions.

    Paul Stoddart has since gained a court injunction to allow Minardi to participate in tomorrows session however and he's likely to appeal again to the court to allow them to race on Sunday. Personally I'm expecting them to run under protest, but I find it difficult to accept that they should be allowed to run outside of the regulations, we shall see though how this pans out, because Minardi are not due to use their 2005 spec car until Imola and I can't imagine (actually I probably can) that Stoddart will continue with such tactics at every race until the new 2005 spec Minardi is launched.

    Anyway, I come to the predictions... first practice is never a good guide of true performance, but such has been the rules changes, and driver changes that I've needed a bit more information before I can make a more informed guess.

    So here goes.

    Qualifying top 8

    1. Räikkönen
    2. Montoya
    3. Fisichella
    4. Schumacher
    5. Alonso
    5. Barrichello
    6. Heidfeld
    7. Webber
    8. Button


    Race top 8.

    1. Räikkönen
    2. Montoya
    3. Schumacher
    4. Barrichello
    5. Heidfeld
    6. Webber
    7. Button
    8. Massa


    Final World Drivers Championship top 8.

    1. Räikkönen (yep, I think he's got the car from the start to do it)
    2. Schumacher (will be playing catch up because of having to start the season with F2004M)
    3. Montoya
    4. Barrichello
    5. Fisichella
    6. Webber
    7. Heidfeld
    8. Alonso


    Final World Constructors Championship.

    1. McLaren
    2. Ferrari
    3. Renault
    4. Williams
    5. BAR Honda
    6. Sauber
    7. Toyota
    8. Red Bull Racing
    9. Jordan
    10. Minardi


    And so begins my coverage of the 2005 F1 season, judging by some of the off season F1 threads we've a few F1 fans on MR, so I look forward to discussing, debating, sparring and arguing over the coming months. ;) :) :p

    G
     
  2. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #2
    I was wondering if this will be the year that the battle to remove Ecclestone from the helm begins. I'm not sure how this will happen but this just seems to be the worst possible start for the sport I love. There are control freaks involved who seem to to miss the whole point of racing cars. I want to see heroic drivers who risk their all to come first. I don't want regulation off the track to decide the racing. I want bubble wrapped spectators for safety and no limits racing for the pinnacle of motor sport to actually be the pinnacle.
    It won't happen like that, but we have to head that way if the sport is to recover from this bureaucratic nose dive.

    on another topic, has anyone else been out doing the ton in the early hours whilst playing Dakota by the Stereophonics at so loud "I can just hear the engine note" volume.
     
  3. Symtex macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thanks for the posting. Very good information. I'm wondering which excuse Jacques Villeneuve will come up with for the lack of competive lap time for the Australian GP.

    We will see the dominance of Ferrari in about 4 GP when they roll out their new F1 car.
     
  4. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #4
    That's just it, if we're gonna have pages of regulation let's have a few more to balance the race.
    Ferrari are running last years car because they "didn't have enough money" to throw at getting a new car out in time, but at the same time don't want Manardi to race last years car because they didn't have enough money to to finish a new one in time or modify the old one.

    Why not make both teams run the new one however unfinished it is.

    Best of all lets just get rid of the stupid regulation that makes having last years car an advantage of some sort. IMO there really has to be a complete rethink before the sport dies on its feet. It really hurts just thinking how this got so messed up. :(
     
  5. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #5
    Just to clarify, there's no evidence that Ferrari ever took that stance. Stoddarts claim that Ferrari were the only team not willing to allow Minardi to run is also cast in doubt, now that it's become known that both Red Bull Racing and Jordan were also against Minardi.

    According to Pitpass, Stoddart has unconditionally withdrawn his complaint from the Court, and is now building 2005 spec Minardi's ready for the race on Sunday, which of course begs the question... what the f**k was he playing at in the first place?

    Rinky dink link
     
  6. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    #6
     
  7. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #7
    :eek:

    Button not in the top 8 for drivers? Don't think Williams will do anywhere near as well as they hope - car looks very conservative. My predictions are...

    Race:

    1. Raikonnen
    2. Fisichella (got a hunch...)
    3. Montoya
    4. M Schumacher
    5. Button
    6. Barrichello
    7. Heidfield
    8. Alonso

    Heidfield and Fisichella done very well in the past with very bad cars (Jordans!) and BAR great last year. I agree that Ferrari will be off the boil a bit because of their old car.

    Final Championship standings:

    1. Raikonnen
    2. Fisichella (steady driver in a good car)
    3. M Schumacher
    4. Montoya
    5. Button
    6. Alonso
    7. Barrichello
    8. Heidfield
    9. Webber
    10. Sato

    I think most of those drivers will win a race this year (Mclaren normally struggle for raw speed, BAR not quite as great aerodynamics, Renault nice aerodynamically too, Williams average, Ferrari closest to equal all round).
    Toyota will come close in some races too later this season. Minardi, Red Bull and Minardi will be lucky to scrape some points.
     
  8. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I personally have no interest in the Formula One cars that will be screaming around the track, next weekend, but I will be following the V8 Supercars with close intent, and hoping Marcos Ambrose can make it 3 in a row for Ford.

    The Formula One cars are a European event, and here in Australia, there is a very minimal following, but the V8's from Ford and holden (General Motors) which are the 2 local best selling cars, go head to head, through a myriad of tracks, and then on to the best event of the year, the Bathurst 1000, a greuling 1000 Km race, where strategy is the best.


    V8 Supercars
     
  9. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #9
    I'm not sure... I think the BAR and Williams packages are pretty evenly matched to be honest, both have their problems... BAR with reliability, and Williams with dodgy aero.

    Out of the two though, I'd rather have iffy aero because over the course of the season you'll pick up points, and with the new engine rule, the last thing you want is slightly iffy engine reliability and that's what Honda currently has.

    When you sit down and think about it, this season really is shaping up to be seriously competitive, at the moment it's hard to gauge who has the upper hand (unlike last year when Schu popped out, did one lap and was straight away a second + faster than everyone else) this year it's not playing out that way at all.

    One things for certain though, if Schu and Ferrari suffer badly for these first 4 races with the F2004M, it's going to be fascinating to watch him try and pull it back in the F2005, could be a vintage Schu year this, regardless of whether he wins the title or not. :D
     
  10. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #10
    i dont think ferrari will perform as poorly as everyone thinks!!!
     
  11. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #11
    Anyone stay up to watch qualifying?

    Pretty much my worst fears realised... :eek: :p a grid decided in the first session, in changeable conditions.

    Now can you imagine the protesting that would be going on if Minardi were running illegal cars?? :eek: :p :p

    1 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault one minute 33.171 seconds
    2. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:35.270
    3. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams 1:36.717
    4. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber 1:36.984
    5. Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull 1:37.486
    6. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull 1:38.320
    7. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Williams 1:39.717
    8. Jenson Button (GB) BAR 1:41.512
    9. Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan 1:44.357
    10. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren 1:44.997
    11. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren 1:45.325
    12. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Ferrari 1:45.481
    13. Tiago Monterio (Por) Jordan 1:46.846
    14. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:47.708
    15. Christijan Albers (Net) Minardi 1:49.230
    16. Patrick Friesacher (Aut) Minardi 1:50.864
    17. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:51.495
    18. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:57.931
    19. Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR no time
    20. Felipe Massa (Brz) Sauber no time


    Depending on conditions I think we'll see some slight changes to the grid positions, if it's dry I'm expecting to see the McLarens and Barrichello gain a couple of positions, as well as Alonso, but any changes will be few and far between unless we see really changeable conditions.

    Either way, this is going to test the new rules to see if they've helped improve overtaking. :D
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Wow, that intermittent rain really mixed the order up, didn't it!

    It's crazy how Villeneuve spun (without hitting anything) and still managed fourth, and then Schuey went out in a downpour about 5 minutes later with no chance of doing anything. Bloody weather. :D
     
  13. brap macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Wow. Didn't realise quite how screwed up things had got, watching the ITV blurb on the rule changes... really not knowing what to expect now. Well, other than a completely ****'d up race.

    ...
    So anyway, that rule we dreamt up? It might not, y'know, work out. I mean, what if some guy drives the tyre to bursting point? Then, uh, crashes? Woah! Didn't think of that!

    Making vague policy decisions on race morning sounds so very... fitting.
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #14
    So, they can change one tire during the race (except for fitting wet tires). Weird.

    So why do you all think the new qualifying rule is so bad? Is it because the weather can determine the order rather than the drivers' times? Just curious, haven't been a fan long enough to spout opinions with confidence yet. :D

    Renault is looking really strong in this race.
     
  15. brap macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Mmm, fuzzy! I wonder whether having one grippy tyre, and three wasted ones could be, you know, dangerous?
    Meh, tbh it makes no difference to me. Last year's quali rules were whack anyway.
    Yeah. I'd hardly call it exciting, though.

    edit: I'm sat in front of the TV with my Powerbook, posting on MR. Is this a new low?
     
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #16
    They didn't talk too much about it, but Ferrari could hardly be said to be lagging yet this year - Barrichello was very strong in the Ferrari 2004M, and really saved Ferrari's face after Schuey got shafted by the rain. But Michael will have a new engine next race now anyway. I expect to see at least one Ferrari on the podium again in two weeks time.

    And how about Red Bull? not a bad deal for DC to beat both McLarens and both Williams.

    EDIT: Looks like MOFS was on track about Fisichella - if the Renault stays strong he could be a real contender.
     
  17. Toeknee macrumors regular

    Toeknee

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    #17
    Yeah I was watching with a couple friends and had a pool goin to see who would win... I picked Kimi. I was horrified to see him call off the start of the race. I felt better once he got goin but when I realized that he couldnt pass Michael I knew it was going to be hard for him to get to the front. Team Red Bull for me is the underdog team of the year and we should all keep and eye out for this team, wouldnt be surprised if they win a couple down the road.
     
  18. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #18
    shame about schumi but at least we know the ferrari can still keep up good race
     
  19. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #19
    :eek:

    Well, I suppose when I did get the top 3 they were in the right order...just not in the right positions. Didn't expect BAR and Williams to do so badly, or Red Bull so well!

    Looking forward to Malaysia - should be a better indication of the teams' fortunes.
     
  20. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #20
    Not what I expected either to be honest.

    First off congratulations to Fisi, he drove a textbook race, quick when he needed to be, and then preserved the car for the rest of the race, classic Schumacher infact. :eek:

    Massive shame about Kimi stalling like that, he had some serious speed in that McLaren at the beginning of the race, and the duel with Schumacher for the first 10 laps was (when it was shown) quality racing, he's still my favourite for the title though. ;)

    Hugely impressed by DC's performance in the Red Bull, certainly kept the Williams honest, I bet he was laughing his head off beating the 2 McLarens, I was amazed when Allen reported that Cosworth had gained in the region of 80bhp since last season :eek: and there's more to come by mid season... certainly looks like a decent enough car though and I think they'll benefit from DC's development skills over the duration of the season.

    Schu had one of those races, whilst not looking hugely fast, was deceptively quick...you need to be to get from 19th to 8th :) and in that respect he was just as impressive as Alonso, and that was looking more like a 7th had he not had that incident with Heidfeld.

    My take on that was that is was racing incident with both parties to a degree at fault. I think Schumacher was harsh in his closing of the door on Heidfeld, but there was also no way that quick Nick would've made that corner (a 90 degree one at that) on the line he had. I have the feeling though that had either Schu or Nick being able to carry on, whilst the other had retired they would probably have received a drive-through penalty, and IMHO rightly so, as it stands both paid the price for clumsy racing.

    Barrichello surprised me, he seemed to spend the race doing absolutely nothing... yet finishes 2nd :eek: :p brilliantly effortless drive, and just as impressive as Alonso's considering the car disadvantage they currently have.

    General observations... well with the exception of a few overtaking moves (mostly the result of Schumacher and Kimi during the first handful of laps) I was a bit disappointed that overtaking wasn't easier, I know Oz isn't the easiest of places to overtake, but there's atleast 2-3 places a lap but it just wasn't happening, it was even noted on ITV the trouble Fisi had overtaking the Minardi on the straight the first time he came to lap them.

    Still not sure on the single set of tyres per race rule, and coupled to the 2 race engine rule, even Ron Dennis said that they just turned everything down to preserve the engine, rather than try and race till the end in the hope of gaining an extra position.

    I preferred the old sprint set up, I'd much rather see drivers drive flat out throughout a race, as opposed to holding back all race because they're trying to conserve their tyres, but also not shaft their engines. It's not racing to me and I think the spectacle has suffered as a result, it's certainly not made an improvement in any case.

    Lets not mention qualifying either... :rolleyes: the only thing I have to say on that topic is 12 laps, 1 hour, 4 sets of tyres. ;)

    Anyway... that's the F1 2005 season underway, Renault look very, very strong... and judging by the race laptimes Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, BAR are all very close together.
     
  21. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #21
    I think it is gonna be very close. In all honesty, the Renaults looked very good because of their consistent qualifying and their magnificent starting system - don't know how they do it. The Williams look OK, Sato and JP were nothing special, and Button, M Schumacher and Raikonnen had their races ruined by traffic. Told ya about Fisi! ;) :D
     
  22. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #22
    That could be the best line to take statistically. Barrichello has had a lot of practice at just driving around under performing, so it doesn't surprise me that he is one of the first drivers to take advantage of this "new" skill.

    FUBAR

    also, glad to see the Shu being in charge of his own destiny. he he. What did think would happen if he forced a driver onto the grass where he should be braking?
     
  23. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #23
    The move was harsh that's for sure, but is well within the rules (he moved once, and then took his line), if you see the incident again Heidfeld isn't anywhere near alongside when Schu closes the door, but it was a firm move and when you execute such a maneuver the chances are something could happen.

    Heidfeld didn't back down nor back off, and why should he... but the line he was on, there was absolutely no chance that he would've made that corner (Schu was in the usual place a car overtaking would be :eek:)) unless Schu had of taken evasive action like he had to with Webber at roughly the same place earlier in the race, then an accident was all but inevitable.

    A proper racing incident though, both had a hand in it... and as such it's difficult to apportion blame, just a shame it ruined what had up to that point being a superb, if understated (Brundle's anti-schu stance is irritating to say the least) drive.
     
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #24
    And what happenend to Trulli anyway? He looked good on the start, next thing I know he's dropped 5 places or so. :confused:
     
  25. MOFS macrumors 65816

    MOFS

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    #25
    Well he 3 stopped. Guess he did his normal thing and disappeared after a good start.
     

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