March 09, 2011

Yet Even Still More F1 News 'n' Notes

We're now two days into the final preseason test at Barcalounger, Spain, and we've got some information coming out. 

First off, HRT has finally named the driver for the second seat.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Vitantonio Liuzzi completes the field for the 2011 season, teaming up with Narain Kittylitter.  Of course last season he drove for Force India so this is certainly a step down for Liuzzi, but then again, he's still driving in F1.  That's gotta count for something, right?

Next, we're going to stick with HRT as they've announced that they'll be debuting their new chassis on Friday.  Prior to this, they've been running last year's car to get tire data on the new Pirellis.  You may remember that they were the last team to bring out their car for the 2010 season as well.  Last year's hold-up was financial, and it's likely that money is the problem this time around as well.  I'm beginning to wonder if they'll even finish the season at this rate... but then, I said the same thing last year.

Good news from Japan, as Suzuka was confirmed for the 2012 season, ending speculation as to whether it would be dropped from the calendar after the track's current deal expired this year.  While the Great Suzuka Boat Races would be missed, I think the track would be missed even more if it was gone.  It's probably my third-favorite course on the calendar, behind Spa-Francopants and Silverstone, and Japan has a rich history in F1.  I'm glad it's sticking around, is what I'm saying.

Of course, one can't really judge anything from pre-season testing, but evidence is building that Red Bull is still the fastest car out there, followed by Ferrari.  After that, things get muddled, but one thing that's becoming clear is that both Mercedes and McLaren are in serious trouble, at least as the first race of the year goes.  Mercedes has been trending almost a second per lap slower than the leaders, while McLaren has had problems with both pace and reliability.  After today's test session ended, Lewis Hamilton was interviewed by reporters. "Do I believe I have a car to win the world championship at the moment? I don't. No," said Hamilton.  "But that doesn't mean it won't become a world championship-winning car."  Where everybody else were turning in 100-lap runs, McLaren had two major malfunctions that limited Hamilton to just over 50 laps today.  Teammate Jenson Button was equally pessimistic.  "I will be surprised if we can match the Red Bull or Ferrari when we get to Melbourne, that’s a big ask considering the mileage we’ve had compared to them and the pace from the last test. It’s going to be tricky but never say never.

Finally, in an e-mail to Ph.Duck regarding the upcoming Grand Prix of India, I mentioned that I'd seen a line drawing of the circuit's layout.  It looked pretty decent, but I had no idea if there were to be any elevation change involved.  Ph.Duck, who is going to India for two weeks on Friday, then went searching the interwebs for more information on the new JayPee circuit.  What he found was much, much better than a simple map.

Sure it's a promotional piece, and therefore open to speculation as to just how much of it is truth and how much fiction, but it at least seems promising.  Gotta love the elephants.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:23 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Great report!  :-)  

Posted by: Mallory at March 10, 2011 08:45 AM (WJ2qy)

2 Isn't it wonderful how well the track complements that *amazing* media center?

Posted by: Ben at March 10, 2011 07:50 PM (gze3w)

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