Archive for October, 2008

Interlagos: Probable outcomes

October 28, 2008

Alrighty, here’s my thoughts on the Brazilian GP and the probable finishers in order of their current position in points.

1.  Lewis Hamilton:  Has a good shot at victory, though since he’s on his second race for his engine he may take it nice and easy.  McLaren can be quick around Interlagos.

2.  Felipe Massa:  Probable winner.  He’s been massively quick around Brazil the past two years(think Will Power at Surfers Paradise or Nigel Mansell at Silverstone), and is in the Ferrari with a brand new, run-it-to-death engine.

3.  Robert Kubica:  Has been relatively pretty quick around most of the tracks this year if not all.  Excels in the rain.  Can finish top three if Raikkonen or Hamilton hits trouble, though is probably not with much of a chance for the win.

4.  Kimi Raikkonen:  Coming off a “let Massa past” move in Shanghai.  If he’s in the lead and Hamilton is not looking good for many points, he’ll let Massa by.  Combine that with his driving in the past few races, I don’t believe he has much of a chance for the win.

5.  Nick Heidfeld:  No chance for a victory.  He’s been totally decimated in qualifying this year, but if he hooks it up and gets a top seven or so in qualifying, he’s easily in for a top five.  One of the best “racers” out there.

6.  Fernando Alonso:  Could get a podium.  Renault’s looking good lately, and if anyone else makes a mistake, he will surely pounce on their misfortune.  Always fighting.

7.  Heikki Kovalainen:  Possible podium contender, though can never be sure.  He’s either right up behind Hamilton or absolutely nowhere.  Unpredictable.

8.  Sebastian Vettel:  Good for a decent haul of points.  Currently tied with Trulli, but Toyota’s on the downslope of their season, so he should end up eighth if he scores anything.

9.  Jarno Trulli:  Tied with Vettel.  Could get eighth, as Toyotas have run well at Interlagos in the past, but they’ve also had reliability issues and other problems this year.  Rear suspension is ALWAYS a worry after their double retirement in Brazil in 2006 and, more recently, Glock’s spectacular Hockenheim crash.

10.  Timo Glock:  Probably good for some points.  He’s been up there several times, most spectacularly with his dominating podium in Hungary.  I’d guess 6th would not be a shock considering his form on medium downforce and high downforce tracks.

11.  Mark Webber:  Started the season with a bunch of 7th places, and given Red Bull’s current speed, I’d say that seventh is as high as he will go.  A point would be useful, but not likely.

12.  Nelson Piquet:  Possible points contender.  Way slower than Alonso in the same car, but does want his drive next year, so could pull something huge out of his pocket.

13.  Nico Rosberg:  Seventh or eighth place if that.  Williams unreliability plus seemingly random slowness will probably bugger up his day.

14.  Rubens Barrichello:  On home soil, home race advantage could help him get a surprise point or two with his absolute rubbish Honda.  Could also just crash it as he’s done so many times in the past.

15.  Kazuki Nakajima:  No points unless it becomes a crashfest.  Relatively slow, but I don’t think he’s actually crashed all year.

16.  David Coulthard:  Maybe a point or two in his last race if he qualifies up there.  Motivated even in his old age, and does brilliantly well in any battle with another car on the track.

17.  Sebastien Bourdais:  Low points do not reflect talent or speed.  Could pick up a very good haul of points if the weekend goes well for him.

18.  Jenson Button:  Nowhere.

19.  Giancarlo Fisichella:  Perhaps a point if everybody else crashes.  Quick at times, but on average slow and wreck-happy.

20.  Adrian Sutil:  Unpredictable.  Could pull a fantastic drive out of his pocket and score an eighth, but almost impossible given the current speed of everybody else.

We shall see how my guesses are in only FIVE DAYS!

Constructors Standings

October 28, 2008

Alrighty–one race to go, two teams in for first in constructors and two possibilities for second.

Current constructors points:

1.  Ferrari.                156 points

2.  McLaren              145 points

3.  BMW                    135 points

4.  Renault                72  points

5.  Toyota                 52 points

6.  Toro Rosso          34 points

7.  Red Bull               29 points

8.  Williams              26 points

9.  Honda                 14 points

10.  Force India        0  points

How things stand:

Ferrari: Probably has the constructor’s title locked up tight.  With a eleven point disadvantage, McLaren needs to finish first and second (18 points) and Ferrari to finish with at most seven points, i.e. a single third place, a fourth and an eighth, or a fifth and a seventh.  Not too likely at the moment, given Heikki Kovalainen’s inability to put together a perfect race weekend and Ferrari’s two relatively quick drivers, along with their dominance at Brazil.

McLaren:  Previously mentioned small shot at first, but has a genuine possibility of losing their 2nd place to BMW.

BMW:  Guaranteed at least third place and therefore has everything to win, nothing to lose.  Can gain second place if they:

1.  Win and second place, McLaren gets seven points

2.  2nd and third place, McLaren scores three points

3.  Third and fourth places, McLaren scores none

Not too likely, but still possible.  I suspect they’ll get near McLaren, but given Heidfeld’s struggling as of late, I doubt they’ll gain ten points.

Renault:  Guaranteed fourth.  Toyota can get within two points of them(win+2nd), but even in a tie Renault would come out ahead by virtue of their two victories.

Toyota:  Fifth place, virtually guaranteed.  Toro Rosso needs to finish first and second while Toyota scores no points to tie for fifth(and win the place thanks to Vettel’s Monza victory).

Toro Rosso:  Six place, main Red Bull team only five points back.  If DC and Webber can pull off a good weekend, they could move up and displace the junior team, but the ever-improving Bourdais and the stunning Vettel should make that impossible.  Red Bull needs to gain six points to displace them(and they’ve never gone well at Interlagos in the past).

Red Bull:  Only three points ahead of the absolutely back-and-forth Williams team.  Has a genuine shot at sixth if they manage a good weekend for a change.

Williams:  Topsy turvy season.  Several podiums for Rosberg in strange races, so if the race turns out to be a crashfest, he’s definitely in line for some points.  Nakajima’s not really good, but typically holds the car on the road while everybody else buries their cars in the gravel.  A wet race would really suit Williams, therefore, but if it’s dry, even the three point gap to Red Bull is most likely unobtainable.

Honda:  14 points.  Barring a 1-2 finish for them, they’ll be ninth, though still with many more points than 2007.  Even though the car is, on average, even slower.

Force India:  Same as Honda.  Pretty much locked into 10th, though Mike Gascoyne’s engineering focus and inherent suspension work may aid them on the relatively high downforce Interlagos track as it did at Monaco.  Remember, they won with Fisichella(as Jordan) back in ’03 at the Brazilian GP!

So, who has to do what to win the championship?

October 27, 2008

Lewis Hamilton will enter this weekend’s Brazilian GP with a lead of 7 points over 2nd place Felipe Massa, while many people have written of Massa’s title hopes, ‘ol Phil still has a mathmatical shot to win the world championship in his home race at Interlagos.

Possible Scenarios for Hamilton:

  • Clinches with a finish of 5th or better, regardless where Massa finishes
  • Clinches with a finish of 7th or better provided Massa doesn’t win the race
  • Clinches with a finish of 8th or better provided Massa doesn’t finish on the podium
  • Can surprisingly clinch if he scores no points and Massa doesn’t finish 1st or 2nd

Possible Scenarios for Massa:

  • Clinches with a victory and if Hamilton finishes 6th or worse
  • Clinches with a 1st or 2nd place finish and Hamilton fails to score points

Indycar Surfers Paradise semi liveblog

October 25, 2008

Yeah, yeah, I know; it’s not F1. And it’s also nine laps in. But here comes the Indycar Lexmark 300(or whatever it’s called now) from Surfers Paradise, Australia, courtesy of ESPN’s internet stream.

Great track, fast chicanes, many wrecks, good racing.

Will Power currently in the lead followed by Ryan Briscoe and (I think) Scott Dixon.

GREEN FLAG.

Briscoe got caught off guard by Power’s good jump on the green. Will’s already done gone and vanished.

Ryan Hunter-Reay in 4th.

Ryan’s quicker than Dixon. He should be able to get by at some point providing he can keep up the speed.

Helio is apparently out for unknown reasons–oops, Danica whacked him going into a corner. Nice racing. Not.

Danican’t’s wing is TOAST. Helio is getting tires.

Danica’s wing stuck on for a moment. Cue circus music for the pit guys.

She’s now running 22nd or something. Duh?

Mario Moraes being interviewed by Jan Beekhuis. Doesn’t know what happened. Car evidently must have just crashed itself. Even though the video feed shows him going wide in one of the chicanes.

Lap 13: EJ Viso in 7th. Pyrotechnics MAY result when(not if, when) he wrecks it, probably into about thirty other cars.

Commercial break.

Return. This track is AWESOME. Massive onboard with Briscoe. I really enjoy watching this–huge high-speed chicane action with concrete walls about two inches off each side. The cars look like they’re at Mach 1.

Servia past Vitor Meira.

Danica gets air. 22nd place. Out of 24. She has UBER SKILLZ DUDEZ!

Get off of the DaniCam PLEASE ESPN!

Lap 17: Marco Andretti in 10th? You’re kidding, right?

Briscoe catching Power. AND POWER HITS THE WALL!

Everybody goes past. OMG. Yet again Power is screwed at Surfers. Looks as though a wheel may have broken.

Evidently Power whacked the INSIDE wall and then whacked the same side when he couldn’t turn into the next corner. He isn’t even bothering to make it to the pits.

Briscoe is leading. And the crowd goes wild. Or not.

Commercial break. Looks like about lap 20.

Briscoe appears to be lapping Danica. Nope. Briscoe pits!

As does Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Good stop for Briscoe. Short stop. Ryan’s stuck behind Marco Andretti now. This cannot be good.

YELLOW FLAG. What happened?

Oh wow–three car crash. Graham Rahal, AJ Foyt IV, Ed Carpenter, and possibly other cars may be involved. Vitor Meira missed the crash by a hair’s width if not less. And apparently Danica’s stopped now. Much hand-waving occurs. It appears that she is WAY annoyed. Smacking the steering wheel. This is a future Youtube classic in the making! Now she’s stalled it. FANTASTIC.

Lap 23: Commercial break.

Return. Franchitti pits. To the back of the pack. Back with DANICA. Oh noez.

Lap 25: Back to green. Briscoe leading over Dixon and some orange car that I don’t recognize. It’s rumored it could be a Conquest car. Could even be Servia in the top three. Hell freezes over.

Running order: Briscoe, Dixon, Tagliani, Ryan, Kanaan, Viso(!), Junqueira, Servia, Wilson, Mutoh.

Briscoe “loves coming to Surfers.” FANTASTICALLY fascinating video of him talking about going to watch the race as a kid. I suddenly feel an urge to vomit.

Jan Beekhuis with Will Power. Will admits he screwed up. Five billion brownie points to him! Anyone who can admit their mistake in racing earns my instant admiration. No BS, just what happened.

Lap 28: Franchitti onboard. Sideways into T1 YOWZA.

Commercial break. Again.

Franchitti is TOAST! Spun and out. Turn 5. No idea which that is, could be anywhere depending on whether they count the chicanes as turns or not. Whacked a inner kerb marker and is OUT.

Lap 29: Commercial break. This is EXTREMELY tedious.

Franchitti somehow makes it into the pits. THREE WIDE out of the pits. Holy cow, no wrecks–That was scary.

He apparently is good to race–no big car damage. Hopefully we go back green soon, I’m getting bored of seeing Honda Civic keister.

Green green green!

Ryan Hunter-Reay AGAIN on somebody’s tail. He is brilliant on restarts from yellow. Has a look inside Tagliani into the back chicane. Doesn’t make it.

Reminder from the ESPN guys that Ryan won back in ’03 with CART.

Helio passes Wilson. CLOSE as all get out. Wilson in the pits. Or he just made the pitstop. Or who knows what.

Lap 33: Discussion of Helio’s legal problems. How exactly does that apply to the race? GET BACK TO THE CAR YOU IDIOTS!

Lap 34: Commercial break.

Return to discover that Tony Kanaan has buried it in the wall. Rear suspension is BUSTED.

Jan Beekhuis with Tony: Doesn’t know what happened. Suspension snapped on its own. Alrighty, I suppose he didn’t bury it in the wall. Discussion of next year. Apparently AGR is working hard on next year. Surprise? Not really.

EJ Viso and Servia are having an EPIC battle. Servia keeps getting alongside but can’t pull it off. Fantastic driving here. Viso in 5th, Servia 6th.

“Godaddy.com trivia question: How many drivers have won the Indy 500 and the Indycar championship in the same year?” Duh. Dan Wheldon, Sam Hornish, Dario, and…uhoh. Three only?

Commercial break. Will get answer when the guys return.

DIXON AND BRISCOE PIT. Briscoe gets back out in the lead.
Tagliani DOESN’T pit. That apparently is a big deal.

TAGLIANI AND HUNTER-REAY pit. Ryan apparently whacked Tagliani in the rear. GETS OUT AHEAD OF ALEX!

Oh my.

Ryan passes…either Franchitti or Dixon. I suspect it’s Franchitti. IT’S DIXON!

Oh wait. It’s Franchitti after all. Forget whatever I’m saying.

Trivia answer. SHOOT, Dixon this year. I forgot that. Ok, three out of four isn’t TOO bad?

Lap 44: Viso ordered to let Servia by. Don’t know why. 16 to go!

…And my stream goes to football and won’t go away. NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

That’s evidently it for now!  I’ll update this with a replay when I can.

Goodbye from Surfers Paradise!

Eddie Jordan works for the FIA

October 25, 2008

(Thanks to Autosport for this wonderful piece of idiocy)

Alrighty, Eddie.  Hamilton should take action against another driver?

After supposedly PUSHING A CAR off in Japan(which he had no contact with,

and also everybody goes off at the start–especially if there’s a concrete apron) and receiving a penalty, pushing Massa out even if he himself was toast would earn him a penalty of eight points or so–just enough to lose to Massa.  Eddie must work for the FIA and want Massa to win.  Or perhaps he works for Ferrari.

(Thanks to sniffpetrol.com for the image)

Kubica vs. Alonso at Shanghai

October 21, 2008

The audio is in Chinese and the video quality is rubbish but it’s funny! credits to darkfinal of GTP Forums for the find!

Rubinho to IndyCars?

October 18, 2008

With the continuing rumors of Rubens Barrichello’s exit from Honda Racing F1 next year, speculation regarding the Brazilian’s future has been rampant in the South American country’s national media.

Originally most scenarios pointed to the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history returning home to race in Copa Nextel Stock Car, the top racing series in Brazil, which already features ex-F1 men Antonio Pizzonia, Luciano Burti and Tarso Marques on its grid. Both Stock Car and F1 are Globo TV products in the country, and the media giant would be keen to have Barrichello’s popularity helping to boost Stock Car’s TV ratings.

A different possibility has emerged, however. According to motorsports portal Grande Premio, Barrichello is now set to test an Indy car in November, possibly at the Homestead road course.

Arranged by IndyCar engine supplier Honda, the test would put Barrichello in a Team Penske car– Roger Penske’s outfit has yet to announce its 2009 lineup, and given the uncertainty regarding Helio Castroneves’ future in the wake of the two-time Indy 500 winner’s tax indictment, it’s likely to be among the last to confirm its drivers for next year.

Honda F1’s ’09 lineup also remains up in the air. Team CEO Nick Fry has made no secret of his desire to woo Fernando Alonso to partner Jenson Button, but even if he’s unsuccessful, other names are apparently ahead of Barrichello in the fight for the second seat, including Bruno Senna and, if Renault indeed drops him, Nelson Piquet. Longtime Williams sponsor Petrobras will migrate to Honda next year, raising the likelihood that Button’s ’09 teammate will be a Brazilian national.

Barrichello, meanwhile, is a lifetime friend of Florida residents Tony Kanaan and Christian Fittipaldi, and has spent vacation time with the duo in Miami on several occasions in the past.

So, are Rubens’ days as a Formula 1 driver numbered? Will the proposed test of an IndyCar go well?

Do you want to be a hero?

October 18, 2008

savethecanadiangrandprix.com

The owners are striving to get at least 10,000 signatures to convince the FIA and the Canadian Government to bring back the Canadian Grand Prix for next season. 5323 signatures when I signed it.

Kubica has his money on Massa

October 18, 2008

Robert Kubica, the man who finds himself 3rd in championship points says that he hopes Massa would win the title even though Hamilton is the odds on favorite.

“Friday is always a different day, and it’s always difficult to judge, as always I said I think Hamilton has better chances, but I hope Massa will win.”

However, the pole still has a mathematical shot to win the championship, he is only 12 points (72) behind Hamilton who has 84 points.

And the Captain Obvious award goes to…

October 13, 2008

Lewis Hamilton for unleashing this piece of obviousness upon the world shortly after Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“I did the corner normally and he came back very aggressively and hit me. I think that was pretty much as deliberate as can be,”

Well no shit sherlock, anybody who was watching the race saw that Massa had plenty of room and time to get back to the inside but when he realized that your McLaren was dead ahead of him he did what probably most NASCAR drivers would do when the encounter a championship competitor and that’s run right up their rear end.

Don’t bitch about how you were deliberately spun, it’s not like you’ve lost the championship over it (not yet anyway) you still have the points lead with 2 races to go and you can actually clinch the title if you finish on the podium and Massa doesn’t score any points in Shanghai.