March 18, 2011

Last F1 News 'n' Notes For The 2011 Preseason

As we head into the last weekend before the F1 Circus gets going in earnest, let us take a final look at the preseason goings-on, shall we?

First up, good news coming from the doctors of Robert Kubica!  They're saying that he'll be up and around on crutches within a few weeks.  While the worst damage the Pole suffered was to his right hand and arm, his right leg and foot were also badly injured in his rally car crash some weeks ago.  Eric Bouiller, team principal for Renault, told reporters today that "(Kubica) is ahead of schedule on all the forecasts, whether to do with rehabilitation or recovery.  He is proving to be an example to the hospital.  He is extremely motivated, he has the morale, even if it's not rosy every day overall he is maintaining exceptional spirits."  Still no word on if he'll ever be able to drive a F1 car again, but that's of little consequence in the grand scheme of things; picking up a fork looked like it may very well have been beyond him after the crash.  Obviously we here at F1Update! wish him the best of luck.

Next, anybody who's watched a Formula 1 race will be able to testify to the difficulty of figuring out just exactly what tires any particular car was running at any given time during a race.  The softer tire had a green stripe on the sidewall, the harder tire had nothing, and the only way to tell the difference between the intermediate and wet weather tires was the tread pattern... difficult to spot when a car is moving at 140mph.  Pirelli, the new tire manufacturer for F1, has figured out a way to get rid of that problem, and unveiled it today.

Color-coding!  Brilliant!  The color/tire combinations are as follows: 

Orange: Full Wet   Blue: Intermediates   Red: Super-softs  
Yellow: Softs   White: Medium  Silver: Hard
The tires are proving to be somewhere between one and two seconds slower than last year's Bridgestones.  They're also much less sturdy.  We won't be seeing someone going almost the entire race on a single set of tires, like Seb Vettel did at Monza last year.  In fact, Pirelli is thinking three stops for tires per race.  This isn't a bug, it's a feature, a feature the FIA asked for.  Forget about KERS or the movable rear wing, tires are going to be the biggest technical change this year.

Finally, Sauber's Gandalf Kobayashi spoke to the press today about the terrible earthquake and tsunami that his his homeland of Japan a week ago. "Of course I was very worried about my country and so went to Japan after the Barcelona test. I must say the situation is really, really bad," said Gandalf, whose family lives in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.  "I am worried the whole country could disappear – it is just too awful. Since the earthquake and the tsunami news is getting worse every day, there is nothing positive to look forward to at the moment."  Continuing on, Kobayashi said "I feel I have to do something, I want to help – but in fact there is nothing I can do by myself. I think at least for the time being what I can do is to be focused and fully concentrate on the season’s opening race in Melbourne. Originally I was looking forward to this with great joy. Now what I really want to do is my very best to achieve a good result, which perhaps can at least give the people in Japan a little bit of hope and positive news."

HRT will race in Australia with the flag of Japan on their cars in tribute.  Meanwhile, Swiss team Sauber will have the following banner on their cars:

The translation reads "May our prayers reach the people in Japan."  A nice gesture.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:28 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Your News-n-Notes have been wonderful during the offseason!  :-)

That's encouraging news about Kubica.



Posted by: Mallory at March 19, 2011 03:06 PM (WJ2qy)

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