May 11, 2007

F1 Practice: Spain!

Wow... even for a Friday practice, this wasn't exciting stuff. There were three interesting things that occurred or were revealed today:

1) The track at ("Don't mind him, he's from...") Barcelona has had a change to it's layout. They've added a bloody tight chicane (or "chicken" as one of the Legendary Announce Team members was calling it, for reasons unknown) prior to the final turn. Originally, said final turn could be taken at speed; now, however, drivers have to stand on the brake (and drag their feet, not to mention throw an anchor out of the cockpit) to make it through. Still, all it managed to do was add about 10 seconds to the laptimes. Cars still hit right around 200mph by the time they reach turn 1. THANKS, FIA!

2) Now that the teams are back in Europe, there's a lot of new aerobits showing up, particularly on the nose elements. McLaren has a new top wing that flies OVER the nose of the car, "which doesn't move at all under load, oh no."

SPEEDchannel, of course, showed pictures of the thing flexing. Expect wails of protest from the teams that didn't think of it first.

3) We might get one of those spectacularly frightening accidents this weekend. Amongst the new aerobits was a three-element tail on the Toyotas. Within 10 minutes of the start of practice, Ralfy-boy was back in the garage; his engineers went on the radio saying "We're going to go back to the old tail for now. One of the elements on the new one broke."

I'm not fond of using smileys and the like, but one suspects that Ralf's expression under his visor was this: o_O

So. Quals in about 8 hours from now. I'm doing Mother's Day early, taking me mum out to India Hut for lunch, so I'll get to watch quals after that, and the report will be up immediately afterwards. Talk to you then!

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