The start of the new season is looming large with the first of the 3 winter tests starting this weekend. Last year I was out in Jerez, with my ‘Godspeed Jenson’ banner, to get an early look at the new cars. Given the lack of reliability at the test the teams did well to get so many to the end of the race in Australia.
A season dominated by Mercedes to the extent that it made the driver championship a 2 horse race. Given that any of the 22 drivers on the grid would have finished in the top 2 if they had been in a Mercedes car, was it really a World Championship. To win a race of 2 hardly seems to justify the title of World Champion – a little like the ‘World Series’ baseball tournament, played only in North America.
Until they get each driver to drive each car then the claim to be World Champion is a little hollow. Wouldn’t it produce a closer and therefore more exciting championship if each driver got equal opportunity to be in the best car. The drivers, perhaps employed by the FIA, would be all paid the same basic and then so much a point. They could also arrange their own sponsorship but this approach would mean that the best drivers would compete not the best financially backed.
As a big JB (Jenson Button) supporter I’m hoping that Honda and McLaren have sorted the car out so that he has a chance at repeating his 2009 triumph. Obviously Fernando Alonso will have something to say about that but JB’s team mates often end up coming second best.
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Are decisions made under extreme time constraints easier or harder? If you had to give an instant answer to whether your favourite colour was red or blue it would be easy – subconsciously you would have worked this out over your life and anyway there would be no consequences if you get it wrong. So what makes a team decide to put wet tyres onto Jenson Button’s car instead of the slicks that is on everyone elses? A safety car in the Hungarian Grand Prix gave Jenson the opportunity to grab a huge advantage. The first decision – come in and change tyres or not – was made in an instant … come in – CORRECT.
From entering the pit lane to reaching his pit box would take about 15 seconds – so dry or wet tyres …. wets – INCORRECT. Of course it’s easy to be wise after the event but unfortunately for the person making the decision there is more time to analyse its correctness than there was to make it. Why does this justify a post? Well before you make any decision you gather background information – even in an instant decision like this there is a huge amount of ‘inherent’ knowledge.
Jenson had won twice at this track before – in very similar conditions – by being quickest on a drying track – on slicks. Everyone said that ‘twinkle toes’ Jenson’s best chance of a good result was if it rained and then dried. The track had dried sufficiently to be on slicks. The radar of 10 of the 11 teams said no more rain. The answer to question, slicks or wets, was obviously slicks so why did McLaren convince themselves to go for wets and effectively write-off any chance of a good result?
No idea …. unless they want to get rid of JB at the end of the season and don’t want him to outperform / score his team-mate. F1 loves a good conspiracy!
The race was full of incident with crucial decisions being made up and down the pit lane. Cars were crashing into barriers and each other, drivers ignored team orders, there were different tyre strategies, huge variances in lap times and as a result the finishing order was in doubt until the last corner. Fantastic …… unless you had made the decision to put wet tyres on Jenson’s car!
Not a great start to the weekend with Andy Murray being crushed by Nadal. After a very strange quarter final, where Andy let a 2 set lead slip in dramatic fashion only to find a new lease of … Continue reading