July 29, 2011

F1 Practice: Hungary 2011

Welcome to the Hungaroring, the circuit of milk and honey! 

No, I can't do it.  There's just no way I can keep up the happy-go-lucky attitude about the Hungarian Grand Prix.  It's slow, it's twisty, there's only one passing point, argh.  There was even less going on in 2nd Practice than normal.  We did get a look at the new version super-soft tires from Pirelli, and they do seem like they'll last slightly longer than the six or eight laps they used to do.  Yay?

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton led both practice sessions on Friday, second practice with a 1:21 and change.  If my math is correct, the 107% rule would take out four cars: O'Glockenspiel, d'Ambrosio, Ricciardo, and Liuzzi.  In other words, both Virgins and both HRTs.  Which is weird, because slower tracks like this one should be better for the slower teams, not worse... unless the miserable twistybits are just kneecapping the less-than-nimble new teams (minus Lotus, of course).  While you've gotta go slow to go fast, there's such a thing as going too slow.  We'll find out the ultimate result during Quals on Saturday morning, of course.

In other news, Jarno Trulli is back in the Lotus after a one-race vacation, and shock of shocks, he's praising the team for the improvements they've made to the power steering!  Of course, this has nothing to do with his incessant complaining earning him that one-race vacation.

Unfortunately, it looks like we're to have a dry race on Sunday.  Alas.

In other important news, F1 has released a revised calendar for the 2012 season.  Instead of the 21 races originally scheduled, it's now going to be 20 as Turkey is to be axed.  That's a shame, because it's a fun circuit, but nobody ever went to the race and rising fees seem to be pricing the race out of F1.  The good news is that the United States Grand Prix has been moved.  No longer are they going to Austin Texas at the end of June/beginning of July!  Now it'll be November 18th, which makes MUCH more sense: it won't be 215 degrees during race weekend.  For what it's worth, that removes the second biggest obstacle to F1U! taking a fieldtrip (the biggest obstacle is fundage).

As mentioned, Quals in the morning, we'll see you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:18 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 What's the date of the 2012 Montreal race? I'm wondering if this means they're going to visit North America twice.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 29, 2011 10:30 PM (+rSRq)

2 Yeah, if it's in November, I'll go for sure.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 29, 2011 10:31 PM (pWQz4)

3 Steven, I don't want to look it up right now, since I'm still watching Quals, but if memory serves, the Montreal race was still going to be in June.  So yes, they'd be coming to NA twice.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 30, 2011 08:38 AM (KBBJ+)

4 Montreal was right before (or maybe after) the original June date for Austin.  The new date for the race in Austin is right before the Brazil race.  So they're still not adding another trip across the Atlantic.

Posted by: David at July 30, 2011 06:52 PM (Kn54v)

5 Wonder how much tickets will cost? Austin's not too expensive to stay at...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 30, 2011 07:26 PM (pWQz4)

6 Hold onto your stetson, Av ("I wear a stetson now.  Stetsons are cool.")... I did some looking on the F1 home site, and while they don't show prices for 2012 races yet, they're doozies.

For the remaining races, prices range from €475 (Monza) to just shy of €1000 (Japan), with most looking around the €600-ish range.  That's for a weekend pass to the grandstands directly opposite the pitlane/starting grid.

€600 is about $800, very roughly.  PER TICKET.  Now, at Monza there were "stadium seating" tickets for the race at about $60, find a place to spread your blanket amidst the trees and have a watch on Sunday, but I know that if I attend a F1 race, it'd be the whole Friday/Saturday/Sunday gig, three practices, quals, the race, and all the support races to boot. 

But hey, if you buy the ticket from the F1 website, you get a free lanyard, ticket wallet and pair of earplugs!

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 30, 2011 07:45 PM (KBBJ+)

7 I can't wear a Stetson, my head's too damn big. (Ego ALSO too damn big, but my actual physical skull is too.)

That's pricey but not impossible. You oughta see what I spend on the orks...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at July 31, 2011 03:11 AM (mRjOr)

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