This week it was announced that Austin, Texas will hold a GP in 2012, however I can't help feeling that this is another load of deciet and false promises by the american's involved, at the moment the only figures mentioned is a ballpark of $200m - £300m no i'm no expert but i'd be impressed if they managed to build a 3 Mile circut complete with pit paddocks and grand stands especially since the average pit paddock these days costs upwards of $80m and the recent addition to silverstone cost about £7.25m for 900 meters so it''s costing around $125m just to lay the track and paddock, and thats based on the cost for silverstone it could be a lot higher over there (it could also be lower).
As yet there is no news of any backers though and that is the worrying part as they have around two years to build the track, in that time they need the sale of land to go through, planning permissions and the consruction of the track, sale of land is likely to take around a month, planning permissions if they can rush it through 1 - 2 months (in reality upto 6 months) and construction from beginning to completion takes about 12 months so best case senario they will still be finishing the track at the start of the 2012 season in my guess.
The race in China was anything but simple which for fans was brilliant, for the strategists of formula one though it meant they definitely earned their money today.
The race started in conditions that to my eyes left only the choice between hard or soft tyres to start, even after lap three when the safety car came out and everyone piled in to change to intermediates to me the only sensible option was to stay out like Button, Kubica and a few other drivers did.
Those that changed tyres were only able to make them last for a few laps and then had to pile back into the pits to change again, as they came into the pits Vettel and Hamilton were side by side with Hamilton just getting the edge, as the two left the pits they were released at exactly the same time and proceeded to race down the pit lane with Hamilton very nearly in the pit boxes of the other teams. Vettel was able to get ahead oh Hamilton into the first corner though, the incident has since been investigated and as of this moment there is to be no punishment for either driver. In my opinion though the Mclaren lollypop man and Vettel were both to blame, the lollypop man for letting Hamilton go and Vettel for moving to the left slightly and pushing Hamilton over further than was necessary.
On lap 19 with badly degraded tyres Rosberg was struggling with the car and went off the track allowing Button now in second to close the gap at the start of the back straight, in all reality there was absolutely no way that Rosberg was ever going to fight him off due to lack of tyres as well as the Mclaren F duct and the headwind, the combination of which meant it was pretty much up to Button to decided when he would get passed him.
While all of this was going on Hamilton was starting to charge and hard. He passed Webber, Kovalainen, Sutil, Vettel and Schumacher. In his little charge Hamilton got caught behind Sutil and Vettel who were battling over track position and as the three came up to the hairpin Vettel went wide and was nearly collected by Sutil who looked like he might have had an easier time driving a truck than his Force India as he slid wide leaving the door open for Hamilton to pass both cars in the same corner. As they pulled away from the corner it looked like Vettel might get passed as well but the Mercedes powered Force India at the hands of Sutil in one of his better drives was a good match for the Red Bull.
Not long after Hamilton passed Schumacher though the rain started and pit stops came round again, Though in a lap or two of the pitstops the safety car was deployed as a Toro Rosso deposited part of it’s wing on the track and in the entrance to the pit lane, this bunched all the cars back up. As the safety car went in Button backed up the field a bit too much in the last corner and Hamilton and Webber touched causing the Red Bull driver off the track at the entrance to the first corner.
Hamilton was not put off by the contact and charged on again passing Schumacher before moving on to the Renaults of Petrov and Kubica but all this charging round had cost him grip and cost massive wear to his tyres forcing him to pit. Luckily for Hamilton Rosberg pitted the following lap and let Hamilton free to get on after Button, Lewis went straight back to charging round the track, however by now he was struggling to match Button’s lap times and the pair ended with a 1 ? 2 only about 1 second apart.
Rosberg managed to hold of Alonso and got his Mercedes in third ahead of the Spaniard who had made the best of a bad race having been penalised for jumping the start. His team ? mate Massa had a pretty mediocre race apart from his pass on old team ? mate Schumacher which must have been very satisfying for the Brazillian. Though I wonder if it would have been as easy had Schumacher had some amount of traction.
Away from the front runners Sutil managed only 11th after the early promise he showed and Kovalainen finished 14th despite running 6th at one point although I don’t think anyone really expected that to last. Another big round of applause goes to HRT for getting both cars to the finish something neither Lotus or Virgin managed to do.
August 16, 1930 - March 24, 2010
Robert Culp died on March 24, 2010 after falling and hitting his head in a Los Angeles park, his publicist said. Culp came to gaming fame through Half-Life 2 and HL2: Episode 1, as Dr Breen where he wrestled headcrabs, and generally messed around with Gordon Freeman's life.
As well as appearing in Half-Life 2 and HL2: Episode 1 Robert Culp also appeared in many TV series and films including:
Everybody Loves Raymond
The Pelican Brief
and four episodes of Columbo to name but a few
This is indeed very sad news and my heart goes out to his family.
In this day and age F1 is all about how to make your car pass through the air as efficiently as possible, this came about when the FIA in all it's wisdom decided to ban engine development. in the late 90's early 00's front wings started to get little side wings, then there were wings for the front wing, i think it's now gotten to the point where the mini wings on a front wing are getting wings of thier own.
All of this helps the cars slip through the air, this is all amazingly brilliant if your the first car or there is a copule of seconds between you and the car in front, if however you get within about one second of a modern F1 car the air coming of the back of the leading car is so messed up that the following car may as well have no aerodynamics at all, for example if you take two pieces of string and lay them side by side the slide you figners between them you can move as quickly as you want, now take those piecces of string and mess them up, you can't really follow them as well as you could when they were straight.
All this adds up to drivers getting within about a second of a car and then being able to get no further, unless there is a massive speed difference, I therefore think that maybe the FIA should step in and change the rulings on Aerodynamics so that the front wings dont have wings and they tell the teams to remove most of thier Aerodynamics and maybe even restart engine development.
The only way to get the cars following each other again is to get rid of all the Aerodynamic gadgets, but to do this the FIA would have to step in and force the teams to do it, as was said in the build up to this weekend's GP the teams themselves had agreed to reduce it by 50% but because it meant they would lose thier competitive edge no one actually did it, partly in case the others didn't.
The FIA need to get thier act together on this one and make it happen.
I must admit that while this week's race was more interesting than Bahrain I still feel let down by the start to the season. I believe in the pre season we were promised as always more overtaking a wheel to wheel racing that would make this year the most exciting F1 season to date. while there was much more going on this weekend I feel that more needs to be done to aid overtaking.
The start of the race saw Button getting into the back of Alonso and pushing Schumacher down to last pre-retirement this would of spurred Schumacher into a heroic chase through the pack to probably still win the race, today however with all the new and in some cases stupid rules he didn't get much further.
There were few other incidents, apart from Hulkenburg, Buemi and Kobayashi's coming together which nearly saw the front tyre and tose taken off the Sauber. To make his season get off to a worse start Sebastian Vettle's Brake failure put him off just two corners from the pit lane entrance.
Lewis towards the end despite making two tyre stops for who knows what reason (he certainly didn't seem to know why) managed to catch Alonso at over a second per lap catching him with about 10 laps to go. Now this is what really gets me, in 90's his biggest problem would be getting past the Ferrari, he would of been all over the gearbox lap after lap until Alonso gave up or one of the drivers made a mistake, not now.
Due to the aerodynamics which have spoilt F1 especially in the last 5 years Lewis would of been lucky to have gotten to within 10 feet of his gearbox. this meant that the last few laps saw lewis sat anywhere between three tenths of a second to a full second behind Alonso. In the end Lewis got fed up and tried a move that was (from outside the car) obviously never going to work, this was compounded with MArk Webber following so closely that when things did go wrong he couldn't do anything but slide into the back of the Mclaren.
In the end it finished like this:
1 Jenson Button McLaren
2 Robert Kubica Renault
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
6 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
7 Tonio Liuzzi Force India
8 Rubens Barrichello Williams
9 Mark Webber Red Bull
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso
12 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber
13 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus
14 Karun Chandhok HRT F1
lap 41 Timo Glock Virgin - "handling issues"
Lap 1 and lap 26 Lucas di Grassi Virgin - Hydraulic problems/overheating gearbox
Lap 25 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull - Brake Failure
Lap 9 Adrian Sutil Force India - Engine problems
Lap 9 Vitaly Petrov Renault - Spun
Lap 4 Bruno Senna HRT - Hydraulics
Lap 1 Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso - Kobayashi
Lap 1 Nico Hülkenberg Williams - Kobayashi
Lap 1 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber - Accident
Did Not Start Jarno Trulli Lotus - Hydraulics
A hearty round of applause to Karun Chandhok for completing HRT's first race, well done to HRT for completing a race before Virgin Racing did.