Formula 1 - 2012 Season

Discussion in 'Automotive' started by ChaChaFut, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. ChaChaFut

    ChaChaFut Member

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  2. Tom_Heywood

    Tom_Heywood New Member

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    I wish the teams would stop changing their names every season. Renault are now Lotus, Lotus are Caterham, Virgin are now Dirty Slag F1, HRT will change to Sombrero Racing..........

    I hope more companies produce engines in coming years too. I miss the 90's where you had small companies like Hart, or other major companies like Peurgeot having a crack. I guess it is seen as too expensive, even if it was to be an engine supplier rather than own a team.

    Is this the first season Williams will reunite with Renault?
  3. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    First scream of this year 2012 goes to the Force India VJM 05.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8RCo1tPxRY"]Force India VJM05 on-track at Silverstone - YouTube[/ame]

    And yes, the trend this year seems to be the dreaded...Duckface

    [​IMG]

    "Kwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak !"

    [​IMG]
  4. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    With the car launches well on their way, it's time to have a first look at this years contenders.

    Ferrari:
    [​IMG]

    McLaren:
    [​IMG]

    Force India:
    [​IMG]


  5. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    Lotus:
    [​IMG]

    Sauber:
    [​IMG]

    The others are soon to follow. So far, the trend clearly does toward the duck face. Only McLaren has presented an alternative solution to the new rules, which incidentally is by far the most attractive design at this point. Red Bull will reveal their car in about an hour, it will be interesting to see what Adrian Newey came up with.
    The ugliest shape so far is the Ferrari IMHO. But at the end of the day, you need a fast car, not a pretty one.
  6. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    Since testing has officially begun today, we can finally see all the cars on the track:

    Lotus:
    [​IMG]

    Toro Rosso:
    [​IMG]

    Caterham:
    [​IMG]
  7. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    Force India:
    [​IMG]

    Ferrari:
    [​IMG]

    Red Bull:
    [​IMG]
  8. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    Sauber:
    [​IMG]

    HRT:
    [​IMG]

    Mercedes:
    [​IMG]

    Mercedes is still running their 2011 car and I think HRT is as well. Mercedes will unveil their new car at the next testing event in Barcelona.
  9. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    Direct comparison on the track - especially the nose - between the Mc Laren MP4-27 and the Lotus E20.

    [​IMG]
  10. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    Pirelli's Paul Hembery fears ugly F1 cars a turn-off for spectators

    I wouldn't be too surprised if the FIA issues new rules about the monocoque to force a smoother transition to the nose...

    Not this year though, given the cost of redesigning a new monocoque ; it's usually the one part of the car that doesn't change through the season unless the team really has to do a "B car" for which it has to be crash tested again. I don't see the sanctioning body imposing such a fuss for every team mid season just because of aesthetics, but you never know when the money drain is attained...
  11. kronic160

    kronic160 Member

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    These step noses are an interesting look to say the least. It will be interesting to see if McLaren got it right by not going that route.

    Good to see Kimi up to speed. Let's hope that Lotus could step it up this year and fight for 4th spot.

    Caterham needs a new driver pair. I see they lined up with Renault engines and Redbull gearbox which is a positive move and should hopefully push them up to capturing a few points this season. However, unless they grab some young hungry blood these 2 stale drivers won't do much.:mad:
  12. Tom_Heywood

    Tom_Heywood New Member

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    With regards to the step noses, I think the designers should do whatever they believe will help, and within the rules. McLaren's design will be interesting as it is different to the latest trend.

    Anyway, I hope it is closer than last year, and Red Bull are not quite so dominant. And that Williams revive their fortunes.
    Nacional Tijuana repped this.
  13. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    So the first test is over and done with. Of course testing never gives the full picture but there are some indicators as to where the various teams are.

    Of course we have to remember the story of McLaren last year, when their testing performance was absolutely atrocious but when the season started, they found the magic bullet by copying the Red Bull exhaust and all of a sudden they had a car that was able to beat Red Bull on merit. So things can certainly change drastically.

    So with that in mind, let's look at the first test:

    Red Bull: A solid performance as ever. Despite some technical issues, they had some of the best and most consistent lap times. And that even though they're known to be sandbagging. So watch out, Red Bull might be as good as ever.

    McLaren: McLaren with overall poor times. It wasn't all intentional, and there are apparently some issues with the car, but the overall mood in the team is good and spectators at the track also said that the car looks solid on the track with plenty of grip. So my guess is that McLaren will be up there.

    Ferrari: Now the story here is different. Ferrari seems to have serious problems. Except for a glory lap from Alonso, the times have been poor, the car has lacked grip and and the mood in the team appears to be down. On the positive side, unlike last year the aerodynamics of the car seem to be working. But the problems lie with the mechanics. Ferrari managed to produce an innovative pull rod front suspension which brings down the center of gravity, but apparently there are still a lot of kinks in the system. In general, their approach of completely revamping the car might backfire as there are too many new parts they need to learn to understand. On the other hand, should they eventually get everything straight, the car might be a title contender. So far, it doesn't look too good though.

    Mercedes: Not much to say here, as Mercedes brought their old 2011 car. They were the fastest on the track, but of course that's not worth very much. Their approach was to first learn about the new tires (and maybe some individual parts under the hood) before they bring in the new car. We'll see if that works out.

    Lotus: This team is probably the biggest surprise so far. Their times have been amazing. Lotus had the fastest 2012 car in Jerez. Everything seems to work out. Very positive outlook here.

    Force India/Sauber/Toro Rosso/Williams: The mid pack teams are again doing pretty well overall. They again appear to be close. Toro Rosso has made the best impression of the lot, but all of those teams are optimistic...of course most of them will be wrong by definition.

    Caterham: There still seems to be a ago to the mid pack, but this team is also very upbeat and hopeful that it can eventually close that gap this season. Personally, I wouldn't count on it, even though the team seems to be on the right track.

    HRT: HRT also didn't have their 2012 car ready and ran their 2011 car...with bad results though. Again, these figures mean absolutely nothing, but unlike Mercedes, I think HRT isn't following a plan, but acting out of necessity. So I expect them to be at the bottom once again.

    Marussia: Marussia didn't even show up...not a good sign...
  14. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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  15. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    It happens quite frequently, let's not forget that Red bull Racing was initially Stewart and Mercedes GP was... Tyrrell.

    The soon to be 1.8 L V6 turbo is said to be cheaper and therefore should entice more manufacturers especially since designing a small V6 block should not be too hard for most of them. On paper, a lot of companies should be able to provide that base.

    There have been rumours of the PURE engine getting closer to Peugeot at least through using their factory in Vélizy near Paris. Actually, I'd like the Lion brand to be back through providing a competitive engine but that's not likely given the financial hardships they're going through and that led them to depart the endurance series while having a fresh new diesel hybrid LMP1 to enter.

    Besides that, the Sochaux firm always seemed to be at odds with the F1 world and culture ; if they come back, I can rather imagine them enter rallying (they still have the customer 207 S2000 program), endurance again or even WTCC.

    Having said that, I think having an F1 engine should be a good bargain for exposure even if you don't dominate, as long as the performance aren't embarrassing. Peugeot has won the 2 last endurance titles but nobody cares because Audi was more successful at the one race that matters : Le Mans...Pretty big bucks to pay to exist just for one race as emblematic as it is.

    Other manufacturers may be interested though. Honda is almost sure to come back and there's the frequent talks about a VAG (Volkswagen-Audi) program coming. As for now, we'll have Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes, Cosworth and PURE. I wonder if a company like Chevrolet would be interested since the Indycar series will use a V6 turbo too starting from this very year even if the technical parameters are different from the F1 engine.

    Yes since 1997. They had the discount Renault-Mecachrome engine afterwards and then in 2000 the BMW until 2005 ; the Cosworth followed for one season in 2006 and then the Toyota years till 2009 before returning to Cosworth power.
  16. Prawn Sandwich

    Prawn Sandwich Member

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    Thanks for your valuable input - I'll look forward to reading your updates as the season progresses
  17. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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  18. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    With testing over and the teams preparing to fly to Australia, it's time to look at where everybody stands. Of course it's impossible to draw exact conclusions from testing, as everybody tries to hide their true pace. The smaller teams try to look strong in order to attract some more sponsors, while the bigger teams try to hide their true strength in order not to give anything avay. So with that massive grain of salt, let's get into this (it's a lot of fun after all).

    First, let's look at the conventional wisdom. After testing, pretty much everybody agrees that Ferrari has lost while Lotus is closing in on the top. So I guess that most people would rank the teams like this:
    1. Red Bull
    2. McLaren
    3. Mercedes
    4. Ferrari
    5. Lotus
    6. Force India / Sauber / Toro Rosso / Williams
    10. Caterham
    11. HRT / Marussia

    And this would be a very reasonable list indeed. Though there are some indications and rumors that things might be slightly different.

    One rumor is that the big surprise might be Mercedes. They seem to have built a very competitive car. Some insiders say that Mercedes might be Red Bull#s biggest threat in Australia. Now I would still think that Red Bull has an advantage, but I think it'll be very close up front. There won't be much between Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes.

    The next rumor isn't really a rumor and that is the fact that Force India was very impressive. They have certainly produced a very good car this time around, as have Sauber. Adrian Newey has in fact picked out the Sauber as a specifically well designed car. If he sees potential there it must be there.

    Then, while one should never underestimate Ferrari, the situation there might be even worse than it appears at first. Ferrari certainly is the kind of team that can muster a massive catch-up campaign, but for the time being, they look very average. Lotus on the other hand is very hard to judge as they missed one test and appeared to be mostly running light.

    So a more daring ranking would look like this:
    1. Red Bull / McLaren / Mercedes
    4. Force India / Sauber
    6. Ferrari / Lotus
    8. Toro Rosso / Williams
    10. Caterham
    11. HRT / Marussia

    Both Ferrari and Lotus are in a sense wild cards. Ferrari because it might already have caught up by the time the Australian GP is about to start, Lotus because their testing performance is the most difficult one to judge.
  19. dapip

    dapip Member+

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  20. Tom_Heywood

    Tom_Heywood New Member

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    I still think that Red Bull (i.e. Vettel) will probably steam away with it, McLaren will bee mediocre but get better and Mercedes, Force India and Ferrari will spring the odd surprise.

    I think Ferrari will do the same as last season-pretty poor by their high standards, and largely fighting for a podium or 4th.

    Hopefully Lewis won't be too preoccupied with being balls deep in Nicole Shirtlifter and get back to his best.

    As for the team names, thanks for reminding me who Red Bull were, I couldn't remember that one. It seems much more common now then it did in the 90's or in previous eras.
  21. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    OK, first race in Melbourne is looming. The wait is over, woooh !

    BTW, here's the 2012 calendar.

    Also, the "Cosworth League" have presented their challengers :

    HRT

    [​IMG]

    Marussia

    [​IMG]

    Good luck to them, they'll need it...

    Speaking about Marussia, they've signed a new test driver in the person of Maria de Villota and they did so almost on the international woman day...Coincidence ?

    What makes it sound like a big PR stunt is that Ms. de Villota has never really set the racing world alight and she's not really a young hope since she is 32. I have nothing against a lady F1 racer - quite the contrary - but I'm sure there are better qualified drivers and some GP2 race winners must be wondering what to do to get a crack at F1.

    Yet, it's true that I don't see much female drivers being available right now for F1. Danica Patrick is off to lucrative NASCAR racing and road races are not really her forte, she tended to thrive on ovals. Simona de Silvestro on the other hand might settle in grand prix racing but she's understandably trying to cement her career in Indycar and she would need something more attractive than a test seat at Marussia when she can fight for big points in the US ; the same could be said for Katherine Legge who returns to the American open wheel series as Bourdais' team-mate.

    For the future, if everything goes well for her, we may hear about Vicky Piria, the young Italo-English girl will be part of this season's GP3 championship and who knows, she could be among the much needed Italian F1 renaissance. No Italian drivers on the grid ? What a shock ! Our transalpine neighbours seems to go through the same hardships as the French have gone for so long. Anyway, the answer to that is rather well known, you have to cram as much prospects as you can in all the feeder championships and support the best to walk on that final step should you be a woman, and Italian, both or an US driver...Oh, BTW, Alexander Rossi has just signed to be Caterham test driver !

    Maria de Villota, happy to be there !
    [​IMG]

    But let's not ask Sébastien Bourdais what he thinks about her...

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJZKhvJurno"]Superleague Formula - Jarama - Course 2 - YouTube[/ame]

    She already drove an F1 car though, a Lotus Renault GP last year.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=oMZixegjUaM
  22. benztown

    benztown Member+

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    F1 has arrived in Australia...I can't wait for the season to begin...

    [​IMG]
  23. Nanbawan

    Nanbawan Member

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    He ! He !

    Reminds me of this picture when the Pescarolo team just received their Dome prototype from Japan earlier this year which they will enter in the Le Mans 24 2012...

    Yes, it does come in a big box ! :eek:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.pescarolo.com/multimedia.asp?galerie=64
  24. nuclearpower redded

    nuclearpower redded Red Card

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    Red Bull Renault. Simply the fastest in the world.
  25. Tom_Heywood

    Tom_Heywood New Member

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    Red carded already?

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