Archive for March, 2009

Jenson and Friends: episode 3 – Party in Melbourne

March 29, 2009

(image courtesy of

(image courtesy of

I think after the race in Melbourne, the above image needs no caption. Bravo Jenson &  Brawn GP!


Post 101

March 28, 2009

Liveblog postponed until further notice due to lack of sleep on the part of the blogger.

Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Liveblog

March 27, 2009

Greetings!  In about 45 minutes’ time, I’m going to start liveblogging the FIRST qualifying session of the 2009 Formula One season.  This is also CTTR’s ONE HUNDREDTH post–I’ll make it good!

A few points from the practice sessions:

  • Lewis is nowhere; Heikki, with the experience from Renault in 2007, is doing rather well in a dog of a car.
  • Red Bull: Webber’s quick; Vettel’s quicker but goes off track rather frequently.
  • Ferrari.  Not many laps in FP3, but Kimi can always be counted on for some excitement.
  • Force India may be looking at a point this weekend–kudos to them for turning out a great car on a miniscule budget.
  • Brawn, Toyota, Williams are all mega-quick.
  • Renault are in for a serious keister kicking.
  • Toro Rosso is nowhere.  Not even a whisper of potential results.
  • And finally……
  • Rosberg has topped all three practices but will lose.  Why?  Because I say so.

I will see you in forty minutes for the race!

Alrighty–it’s three minutes til the start of the session.

Hamilton’s getting in–BBC guys don’t think he’s going to do very well.  Duh.

Q1 starts!

18:40 to go:  Fisichella out.  Rosberg out.  Buemi out.

BBC guys wax lyrical over Rosberg.  Seriously, guys?  Rosberg?!?!

Big deal over Mercedes engines in the Force India.

Fisi sets the first time–1:28.8.

15:43 to go: Rosberg sets a 1:27.8.  Quick.

Massa goes second.  Sutil goes QUICKER than Massa.

Gratuitous shot of Vitantonio Liuzzi looking ticked off.

14:10:  Rosberg has a “moment”.  Goes .75 seconds quicker.

Buemi goes to P2.

Nakajima: 1:26.7!

Quote from a chatroom: “NIPPON BANZAI”

Raikkonen to third after losing the 3rd practice and his qualifying simulation–well done Kimi!

12:00:  Kimi goes P1!  1:26.615!

Barrichello to P4.

Webber to P3 with a 1:26.7.

Alonso to P1–1:26.47.  Where did THAT come from?!?!?!

Massa all over–off the track and more.

Barrichello to P1–1:26.2.  Looking VERY smooth and fast.

9:30 to go.

Hamilton to P2–1:26.454!  Woooooow.

Button to P2–1:26.5.

Barrichello QUICKER–1:25.8.  Amazing.

Rosberg to P2.  Glock out and looking good.

7:40 to go.

Bourdais to P12–nice lap.

Massa is 17th, nowhere.

Heidfeld does a 1:26.7–good for 11th.

Piquet is 19th and absolutely screwed.

Quote from chat:  “Piquet needs to go to the toilet and remove the **** from the car”

Kubica 6th.  Massa on a hot lap with 4:20 to go.

Massa 2nd, 1:25.84.

Kimi going fast–two tenths quicker than Button at S2.

Kimi to P4 with a grass-mowing lap.

Trulli has a car problem and is stuck in last–can’t get out.  Huge blow considering they’ve been quick all weekend.

Local boy Webber is looking good for the top three, maybe even P1 with 1:30 to go.

P1–1:25.4!  Brilliant lap by Webber.  Hamilton to 10th.

Vettel to 6th.  Trulli is OUT.  Quali master at work.

Clock ends.

Buemi to 15th.  Kovalainen to 8th!

Fisi to 18th.

Alonso is 15th–he comes across the line….and sets a time good enough for NINTH.  Good job.

Kubica to 8th.

Buemi, Piquet, Fisi, Sutil, Bourdais are out.

Button to P1, 1:25.2, Barrichello to P1 with a 1:25.0!

P16: Buemi

P17: Piquet

P18: Fisichella

P19:  Sutil

P20:  Bourdais

Q2 will resume in five minutes.

Q2 is go!  Fifteen minute session to follow.

Kimi is first out with 13:50 to go.

Kimi begins his lap.

12:15 to go.

Kimi’s using a LOT of KERS–I really like the new graphic.

Some sort of news about Lewis according to the BBC guys.

Kimi goes 1st, 1:23.3.

10:45 to go.


Holy cow, this is unexpected–some sort of drivetrain issue.  Driveshaft, perhaps?

Glock to P1, 1:25.281.

9:20 to go.

Button to P1, 1:25.205.

8:55 to go.

Webber to P2 with a 1:25.241.

Vettel to P1!  1:25.121.

Rosberg to P2–1:25.123.

0.002 time difference–this is intense!

6:20 to go.

Heidfeld–P11.  Not good enough, dude!

Kubica to P3.  Excellent lap.

3:40 to go.

Kovalainen to P14.  Out for another lap–he’s gotta make this one count.

Button and Barrichello out for another hotlap each.

Massa is 8th and pushing hard.

Massa stays 8th.

Barrichello to P1, Button to P2.

Both in the 1:24s!!!!!!!

Heidfeld to tenth, Nakajima on a last ditch attempt.

He goes to 12th.  Not enough.

Trulli to 7th!

So, out:

11th:  Heidfeld

12th: Alonso

13th: Nakajima

14th: Kovalainen

15th:  Hamilton

And Q3 will return in another five minutes!  As the BBC feed completely dies and returns.

Q3 begins.

9:30 to go and nobody’s out.

Kimi is out, as is one of the Brawn cars.

Vettel being told that the Red Bull is understeery on heavy fuel.

Button on soft tires.  Smooth, seriously smooth.  We’ll have to see which Brawn is quicker.

7:20 to go.

6:40 to go–Button sets a 1:26.600.

Barrichello goes P2 with a 1:27.161.

Rosberg, 1:28.1.

Raikkonen to P4, behind all the other cars.

Trulli to P4, 1:28.464.

Massa 6th with a 1:29.

5:00 to go.

Kubica to P4. 1:27.9.

Webber to P3.

Vettel to P4.

Trulli stays 8th.

Kimi 9th, Massa 10th.

3:50 to go; Button and Barrichello in the garage.

EVERYBODY in the pits–one lap’s worth of time and we’ll know who’s on pole.

Webber and Vettel stack in the pits.  Traffic jam.

Button out.  Massa in; he was complaining of a puncture, but the team says the tires are fine.  Whiner.

Barrichello looking good for perhaps a pole.

.5 quickest in the first sector.

Good job in S2.

And comes across the line in….1:26.505.  Pole at the moment.

Glock comes across and….P3.  And immediately to P5.

Webber to 6th.  Button comes across…and….1:26.292!  POLE!

Vettel comes across in….1:26.83.  3rd.

Massa to P7.

Onboard with Button:  “YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Careful Jense, don’t explode….that’d be messy inside the helmet…


P1. Button

P2. Barrichello

P3. Vettel

P4. Kubica

P5. Rosberg

P6. Glock

P7. Massa

P8. Trulli

P9. Raikkonen

P10. Webber(!)

So Brawn 1-2.  History in the making.  I’m going to head for bed(it’s 2:03 AM here) and will see you tomorrow for the race!

Jenson and Friends: episode 2 – Jenson tries to redeem himself

March 22, 2009
"Yeah, now you look me in the eyes"

"Yeah, now you look me in the eyes"

I can’t go for that (not this year)

March 22, 2009

  The video has nothing to do with this post, other than the play on words in the title.

Remember earlier this week that there was an announcement that there was a new rule that future F1 champions would be the driver who won the most races, well that didn’t go very well with many of the drivers. Bernie Ecclestone decided this weekend to hold off on this idea until next season.

“It will be supported by the FIA and it will be in the regulations, so when the people enter the (2010) championship, that’s what the regulation will be,”  Ecclestone told the BBC Radio 5 Live Sportsweek programme.

“To make any changes when the entries have closed, you have to get a unanimous agreement between all the people that have entered, and it would appear that some of the teams didn’t like the idea,” said Ecclestone.

Megasupernews post

March 18, 2009

Let’s take it slow, first of all, yesterday news broke of the new scoring system (check the post below this one for more) and there was some mixed reactions throughout the paddock.

Our buddy Jenson Button said that the new system to be confusing for fans, and that the  new rules are “an incentive to always go for the win” but added that it could “be risky because, after nine races, we could find ourselves with a driver that has already won the title while the guy who’s second is only 18 points behind”.

While one of the proponents of the rules, Bernie Ecclestone said that the idea behind this changes is to “get the drivers racing and the guy running second has a reason to go for the win instead of just saynd that ‘it’s only 2 more points’ that’s  the real motivation to get past someone”.

Also, we found out today that long time Ferrari team principal Jean Todt is leaving the team, resigning not only from his position as team principal but also from his spot on the team’s board of directors. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo had this to say about Todt:

“Jean Todt has been one of the leading protagonists of the Ferrari story of the last 15 years, skill and passion have always characterised his work and have won him my persona respect and affection, the one of the Company as a whole and of the Prancing Horse enthusiasts everywhere. I would like to wish him the very best for the future which I hope will prove extremely satisfying both personally and professionally. All of these years we’ve spent together – victories and tough times included – have forged a link between Jean Todt and Ferrari that will never be broken.”

And finally, Renault confirms that they will have their variant of the KERS system in place on both its cars at Melbourne, as will  Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber.

Victory Medallions

March 17, 2009

After many rumors about adopting a medal system similar to the olympics or modifying the points to better reward drivers who win races, the FOM and WMSC have agreed that future F1 champions will be the driver who wins the most races, starting this season.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The driver who wins the most races will win the world champioship, even if they have less points than another driver
  • The current points system (10, 8, 6 etc.) will still be in effect and will decide the other points positions
  • If two drivers win the same number of races that is more than anyone else, the total points that they have accumulated will be the first tiebreaker
  • The constructors championship will not be affected

Scuderia Toro Rosso – Sebastien & Sebastien show returns

March 16, 2009

Toro Rosso’s latest contender, the STR4, has been unveiled to the press at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya this morning. The Ferrari-powered car was revealed by Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais and F1 newcomer Sebastien Buemi.

Having finished sixth in the 2008 standings after taking a pole and win with Vettel at Monza, the team is looking to improve further up the grid this year. Team manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi stressed the effort that has gone into their latest model: “For the first time ever, we have made the actual chassis in-house, whereas last year it was produced by Carbotec in Austria. This has been a big challenge for us and the chassis took up 100 percent of our energy up to the start of the season. We also had to take on more staff with good qualifications in the fields of laminating and trimming. Infact, before tackling the STR4, we actually made a 2008 STR3 chassis to see how it would work out and that proved to be a very valuable experience.”

Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director
Giorgio Ascanelli, Technical Director

Technical Director Giorgio Ascanelli stresses that the STR4 is a solely Italian-built product: “Red Bull technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution and its basic metric characteristics. However, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, our car is completely different that of Red Bull Racing and is designed here by us.” The Italian has confidence in the ex-Minardi squad from Faenza: “It’s going to be an interesting season. I think it’s good that the guys here get the chance to control their own destiny in a way, but at the moment we only have about a dozen people on the design side so we’re a decade out in terms of manpower!”

What Jenson was doing while waiting for his Brawn GP ride

March 16, 2009


Ronspeak Translation of the week

March 16, 2009

Ron’s made some pretty interesting comments on McLaren’s testing pace.  I figured I’d translate it into English for you.

“It is certainly not as fast as we would like it to be, but it’s early days and we’ve still got quite a bit of testing to do and quite a bit of development to reflect through into our pace.”

Translation:  It’s slow, we don’t know why, and we’re going to need all the testing we can get to figure out why, much less actually fix the problem.

“At this time of the year all our testing is centred around optimising the car for the race. But the inevitable publicity that surrounds test performance sees some of the less experienced teams or some of the teams that are seeking money actually running their cars with the objective of doing one fast lap.  Of course, one fast lap is very important when it comes to qualifying but it is relatively unimportant when it comes to the race. And the disciplined teams are working hard on a sustainable pace.”

Translation:  Brawn cannot, POSSIBLY be that quick.  They’re quicker than my superteam.  We’re just saying we’re working with race fuel in an attempt to make ourselves look good.

“The performance of McLaren and its competitors isn’t really going to be known until probably two or three races into the season, even Australia isn’t going to be a strong indicator because of course everybody has got gremlins in their car.

“So really it is three or four races before you can really determine who is competitive and who is going to be fighting for the world championship.”

Translation:  We’re screwed.

“We had a strategy for this year to leave it to the last possible moment to produce our aerodynamic

package for the Australian Grand Prix. “That in itself gave us some production challenges and we have really only started to run the car in the last day with the Australian aero package. “We ran the 2008 rear wing because it was more relevant in its performance to the wing that we are going to have in Australia. It doesn’t mean you are lost or that you don’t know what you are doing.”

Translation:  We ARE lost but we don’t want our sponsors to know that.  We waited til the last minute because we wasted too much time and money getting a championship for Lewis and our performance this year will suffer.  Our new style rear wing doesn’t have enough downforce, so we used the old one until we had no choice.  We’re basically screwed.

McLaren probably IS screwed–now we just have to wait and see…