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Post 22.03.2015., 20:59 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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Ovogodišnji F1 Racing UK, od najnovijeg do najstarijeg (3,2,1mj.)

F1 Racing UK- March 2015 .pdf

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F1 Racing UK - February 2015 .pdf

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F1 Racing UK 1 January 2015 .pdf

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:klopa:
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Post 03.04.2015., 11:22 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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Autosport - 26 March 2015 .pdf

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F1 Racing UK 2015-04 .pdf

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Autosport - 02 April 2015 .pdf

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Post 03.04.2015., 19:52 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

zekohonda
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fala hatt po 165. put!
drink in peace

Post 03.04.2015., 22:04 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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Zeko, uvjek na usluzi.. i drugi put.. :trep:
Nekako su mi ova zadnja izdanja baš super.. pitam se zašto. :D :klopa:
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Post 04.04.2015., 12:23 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT

How Vettel stole Hamilton's thunder

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Sebastian Vettel has split the Mercedes drivers by qualifying on the front row for each of the last two Malaysian Grands Prix. Last year - as a Red Bull racer - he inevitably slipped back to third as Lewis Hamilton drove off into the distance.

Vettel repeated his qualifying trick as a Ferrari man in 2015, but again no one expected him to win. We all thought he might - if he got everything right - give the Mercedes drivers something to worry about, and - maybe - finish second.

It is clear Ferrari has made a massive step over the winter under the blossoming technical directorship of James Allison, but not the sort of step that puts the Scuderia on a par with Mercedes. Best-of-the-rest maybe, but winning potential so early in the season? Forget it.

Although Vettel came within a tenth of a second of snatching pole from Hamilton in the wet on Saturday, Mercedes still had a clear pace advantage in the dry - and Hamilton did actually secure pole. The race looked Hamilton's and Mercedes' to lose.

And lose it they did. Or did they? Would Ferrari have won this race regardless of an early safety car intervention to retrieve Marcus Ericsson's overly ambitious Sauber?

Would Mercedes have beaten Ferrari if it had not elected to pit both its drivers under that safety car and switch to the (slower) harder tyre?

Or was Ferrari and its new star signing simply so good at managing their Pirelli rubber as to render Vettel's 40th career victory a mere formality?

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Ericsson's spin was the catalyst for the early shake-up LAT

Everything we saw during Friday practice suggested Ferrari had the edge over Mercedes on longer runs. Kimi Raikkonen managed to lap on average a tenth faster than Hamilton and three tenths quicker than Nico Rosberg per lap over comparable stints on the medium tyre.

Vettel did his longer running on the hard tyre, and perhaps this fact is crucial. By not splitting their Friday strategies in the searing 56-degrees Celsius heat, perhaps Mercedes lacked crucial knowledge of the harder rubber heading into race day, where track temperatures soared as high as 62C.
Things started routinely enough, with Hamilton leading the race away from pole while Vettel braked deep into Turn 1 to fend off Rosberg.

Vettel remained within a second of Hamilton over the first three laps, before the safety car came out. Mercedes took this opportunity to pit both its drivers, stacking Hamilton and Rosberg one behind the other and switching them both onto the harder tyre.

This seemed a strange move so early in the race, given the harder tyre is slower and (although Mercedes didn't complete long runs with it on Friday) didn't appear to be particularly more durable than the medium.

When you add in the fact both Hamilton and Rosberg then had to slice their way through traffic after the restart, to get back on terms with Vettel, choosing the harder tyre for this task seemed even stranger.

Perhaps - knowing it couldn't match Ferrari on the medium - Mercedes simply gambled on the hard balancing out what team chief Toto Wolff later described as an "aggressive" set-up.

But in doing this Hamilton lost the advantage of track position over Vettel. Hamilton rejoined sixth, but it took him four laps to clear the slower cars and get back into clean air.

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Hamilton had to clear traffic while Vettel pulled away XPB

In total, he lost 4.115s during this sequence. Vettel's exuberant weaving at the finish means the end-of-race gap is best judged from the penultimate lap mark of 10.094s. Hand that traffic loss back to Hamilton under a normal racing scenario and he still winds up 5.979s behind Vettel in the final deficit, so safety car strategy is not enough to explain his defeat.

Perhaps Mercedes simply underestimated how fast and consistent Vettel's Ferrari would be in race rim. After all, the SF15-T was designed under the influence of Allison, who produced cars for Lotus that allowed it to score top results by often stopping fewer times than rivals.

Vettel's 17-lap first stint on used mediums pretty much matched Hamilton's equivalent early stint on new hards for pace - once Hamilton was in clear air. Hamilton was 9.995s adrift of Vettel once he'd finally cleared the queue on lap 10, and Vettel was still 8.791s clear of Hamilton before he made his own first stop on lap 17.

Mercedes probably expected Hamilton to be quicker on new hard tyres than Vettel was on old mediums, but it simply didn't work out that way.
"We were not expecting them to be as quick as they were today," conceded Hamilton, who said he spent the race "do everything I could" with the controls to combat understeer in his W06. "I don't know whether if I stayed out with him that would have made much of a difference.

"They were probably just as good if not a little better in terms of tyre deg, so it would have been very close. After the first stop I just had so much ground to catch up, it was pretty much impossible."

It looks as though Mercedes could not have completed this race on two stops under any circumstances, so was already at a strategic disadvantage given Ferrari came into Sunday with what team principal Maurizio Arrivabene described as a "clear" plan.

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Overtake Vettel, but it was the Ferrari doing the passing LAT

Hamilton's third stint on new medium tyres only lasted 14 laps before he headed back to the pits, and his pace dropped off significantly after 10 of those.

Vettel managed an equivalent stint (slightly earlier in the race and thus with more fuel on board) of 20 laps, with the last 12 of those all comparable to Hamilton's final four but with a heavier car. If you compare their final stints on the harder tyre, Vettel managed 19 laps, Hamilton 18. Hamilton gained 4.4s on Vettel across the balance of that final stint. Still not enough to overturn the final result.

In short, even if Mercedes hadn't pitted Hamilton under the safety car, he would likely still have finished behind Vettel, despite having the advantage of track position. In fact, even if the race had run normally (ie: without a safety car) Vettel would have been quick enough - and his Ferrari kind enough on its tyres - to overturn Hamilton's early advantage.

The flexibility Ferrari's superior tyre management gave Vettel meant even if Hamilton had completed two 'normal' stints on mediums in the early part of the race, Vettel would still have overtaken him in the pits eventually - just much later than he actually did. The race would have been closer, but ultimately - as Toto Wolff conceded afterwards - the Ferrari was just a bit too good in these conditions.

"Remember last year we were struggling against Vettel in the race and one of the explanations is the extremely high ambient and Tarmac temperatures that probably we have gone a bit too aggressive on set-ups and that pushed us into a direction of three stops," he explained. "Then we were stuck in traffic after pitstops, we damaged the tyres following cars, and you are not able to catch up any more.

"We need to find out why we were struggling for long-run pace in these hot conditions because I think that is the main point to look at. In terms of long-run pace, we were not the fastest car today."

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Hamilton didn't expect to find himself on the second step XPB

But Mercedes still had the fastest car over a single lap, which suggests perhaps it should have left Hamilton out under the safety car. From there he could have at least enjoyed the advantage of superior track position for longer - perhaps backing Vettel into the pack as the tyres went off?

The point is Mercedes - whether it felt backed into a corner or not - could have made Ferrari work harder than it had to for its first victory since the 2013 Spanish GP. Certainly Vettel suggested after the race that Mercedes had given Ferrari a helping hand by pitting so soon.

"When they pulled in, I think we were a bit surprised," he said. "We saw on Friday they weren't too happy on the medium compound, they probably struggled a bit with the heat more than expected.

"We didn't struggle as much as we probably expected. Both things made us competitive and able to beat them fair and square. But they are the ones who usually set the pace. Today we capitalised on their weakness a bit."

But the events of this race suggest tyre management in hot conditions is not the only potential weakness in the Mercedes package. Those questionable strategic calls made its race more difficult than it needed to be, and led to some tense exchanges over the radio between the team and its drivers.

Hamilton for one couldn't understand why he'd been switched onto the hard tyre so early in the race, but Mercedes told him its calculations said it was the faster choice. Ultimately that looked like an error of judgment, but Wolff defended the call.

"Normally it is good - the more fuel you run, the harder the tyre . You have to put the prime on once and it makes sense with a heavier car. What we have seen is a variant. We have seen an impressive run from Kimi and Sebastian with the option - more than 15 laps - and on the second option they did 20 laps, which we were unable to match.

"We put the option on Lewis to see what was possible in the third stint, and after lap 14 the pace dropped massively, so we were unable to put another option on at the end. It needed to be a prime because it was 23 or 24 laps to go."

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Rosberg had no answer for Vettel LAT

Wolff was prepared to concede that Mercedes should have handled its radio communications better. Hamilton complained about being spoken to while driving through corners, while Rosberg felt his messages were too "conversational". There was also one incident where Mercedes miscommunicated a message intended for Rosberg to Hamilton instead.

"We weren't particularly good on radio messaging today; we had a couple of weird calls," Wolff admitted. "Lots of action on the radio internally is something we need to look at. I guess if you see you are not able to catch up, there is a certain frustration that grows on you."

It did look as though Mercedes cracked slightly under the pressure being applied by Ferrari. This could be a consequence of spending the past 12 months with the fastest car, mostly racing by itself.

It tried a different strategy on Rosberg's car (running two hard-tyre stints before switching to the medium again for the closing stages), which allowed the German to regain some of the ground he lost early on, but he could only finish third.

Mercedes told both its drivers at one stage that they were on course to beat Vettel, by overtaking him on track. That was never even close to happening. In fact, Vettel was the one who did the on-track overtaking - passing Hamilton just as the reigning world champion dived into the pits for his second stop on lap 24.

"It is always easy afterwards to regret and say in hindsight we could have done this or that better, but we are taking these decisions together," explained Wolff. "We haven't done any strategic mistakes in last two years and this is why it doesn't make sense to point the finger to a single event.

"There is no panic. We had a new situation that we haven't had for a while that we were not in control of things. Things didn't pan out the way we expected them to pan out. It is clear the winning streak is not going to go on forever. Today beaten fair and square."

After a dominant one-two finish in first race of the season in Australia, no one would have predicted Wolff uttering those words just two weeks later. The question now is whether Ferrari can maintain the form it showed here and make a real race of this world championship.

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Post 21.04.2015., 11:33 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT


Raikkonen shows Ferrari is coming


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Kimi Raikkonen's Formula 1 career has been in something of a tailspin since he rejoined Ferrari.

Last year was easily his least impressive since he first arrived at motorsport's pinnacle in 2001: he struggled with the handling characteristics of the F14-T, he was usually nowhere near team-mate Fernando Alonso, and he looked lost and unhappy.

But things are different this year. The Ferrari team has been through a substantial makeover, the SF15-T is a far more accomplished package than its predecessor, and Raikkonen is suddenly looking a much happier man.

Up until the Bahrain Grand Prix that happiness hadn't quite translated into results. Raikkonen is undoubtedly driving better than at any time since he returned to Maranello, but he's still struggled to put it together in qualifying (he's 0-4 against team-mate Sebastian Vettel so far on Saturdays), and his first two races of 2015 were both compromised in an all-too-familiar way: contact on the first lap and thus always on the comeback trail.

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The late safety car had halted Raikkonen's pursuit of Vettel in China © LAT

But signs that Raikkonen was getting back to his best were evident in China a fortnight ago.

He recovered from qualifying a disappointing fifth with a feisty (and clean) first lap to get back up to fourth, and was closing down Vettel for the final podium spot before a safety-car finish halted his charge.

Raikkonen's ace in the hole since he returned to Formula 1 from a brief stint in the World Rally Championship has been his supreme ability to carefully manage the delicate Pirelli tyres. That was in evidence in China, as he ran a longer middle stint than his fellow frontrunners in the hope of a payoff at the end of the race, which very nearly came.

In Bahrain there was no late-race safety car (which meant this race was far tamer than the thriller seen at Sakhir 12 months ago), and no pesky Williams drivers between Raikkonen, his team-mate and the silver Mercedes.

He started fourth, but was up to third within two turns of the start after going round the outside of Nico Rosberg as the German tried to challenge countryman Vettel for second into Turn 1.

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Rosberg trailed both Ferraris early © LAT

Ferrari's long-run pace during Friday practice was better than Mercedes, which left everyone wondering whether that meant the Scuderia could be a genuine contender for victory here. With both red cars tracking Lewis Hamilton through the opening laps those expectations were raised.

But Mercedes still has fundamentally the fastest car in the field, and 'corrections' were made to the set-up of the W06 after practice to improve its performance over longer stints (following a discovery that the bulk and surface temperatures of the rear tyres were going in opposite directions) so this race was always Hamilton's (and Mercedes') to lose.

The fastest car in the field starting on pole should be a shoo-in, and in reality neither Ferrari looked a genuine contender after the early stages.

When Rosberg breezed back past Raikkonen using DRS into Turn 1 on lap four, and then pulled a similar move on Vettel at the start of lap nine to grab second, Ferrari's chances of challenging Mercedes looked over. This was going to be China all over again...

Ferrari's only hope of coming back at Mercedes was to be aggressive on strategy. Pirelli estimated the soft tyre needed to do 18-20 laps for a two-stop race, but Ferrari pitted Vettel on lap 13 (his tyres were 16 laps old, including his Saturday qualifying run) in an attempt to force its rival's hand.

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Vettel and Rosberg's undercut compressed the top three momentarily © XPB

Mercedes reacted, pitting Rosberg and Hamilton consecutively on the next two laps, which led to a momentary thrill as the three converged together at Turn 1 when Hamilton rejoined - the result of the significant performance boost both Vettel and Rosberg received from bolting on a new set of softs.

Hamilton held firm, while Rosberg had used his DRS at the start of the lap to forge back ahead of Vettel.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen briefly assumed the lead before making his own first stop on lap 17. It was at this point that Raikkonen's race came alive. Ferrari opted to put Raikkonen on an alternative strategy - fitting his car with a set of medium tyres.

This looked a strange move initially, for Pirelli's practice data suggested the medium rubber was almost two seconds per lap slower than the soft, with a degradation advantage of only 0.2s per lap.

Yes Raikkonen would get the payback of the quicker tyre at the end of the race (on lower fuel), but surely he would lose far too much time driving around on the slower tyre for it to matter? There was no hint from the first stint that this would prove the masterstroke it was.

Pastor Maldonado's Lotus started the race on the mediums, but was buried in traffic and pitted to get off them after just 10 laps. The others who chose mediums at their first stops (Fernando Alonso's McLaren and the two Toro Rossos) were all chancers - with nothing to lose and nothing really to gain. Their initial pace looked reasonable compared with those extending stints on used softs, but nothing particularly special.

Raikkonen rejoined with a 14s deficit to Hamilton's Mercedes, but instead of getting bigger that gap stabilised between 12 and 14s for the next 14 laps, before Hamilton made his second (and final) stop on lap 33.

Raikkonen was somehow able to match Hamilton's pace on a theoretically slower compound of tyre, and this meant he was simultaneously catching Vettel and Rosberg in third and second.

The 'Iceman's' race was starting to shape up nicely.

PACE COMPARISON: RAIKKONEN VS HAMILTON

Code: Select all

LAP RAIKKONEN HAMILTON
19 1m38.403s 1m39.284s
20 1m38.688s 1m39.364s
21 1m39.193s 1m38.819s
22 1m39.013s 1m39.023s
23 1m38.986s 1m39.085s
24 1m39.017s 1m39.161s
25 1m39.101s 1m38.919s
26 1m39.171s 1m39.185s
27 1m39.398s 1m39.408s
28 1m39.389s 1m39.365s
29 1m39.606s 1m39.453s
30 1m39.733s 1m39.533s
31 1m39.995s 1m39.451s
32 1m39.565s 1m39.551s
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Raikkonen's middle stint on the medium Pirellis set up his late charge © LAT

"I think we had a few different approaches of how to run the race and obviously this was one of them and it depended where we were," explained Raikkonen. "I think we did a very good job out of it. On the medium tyre it was quite easy to keep up with them and catch them."

Raikkonen's speed at this point in the race certainly caught the eye of Mercedes, with team chief Toto Wolff suggesting Raikkonen probably "surprised himself" with his pace on the medium.

"We could see that the prime wasn't any slower at all, if not quicker," he said. "If you compared it to qualifying, where the prime was two seconds slower than the option it was quite an interesting result.

"We were monitoring his pace and it was flat curve - his times weren't getting any worse, so I think from his point of view it was an aggressive strategy, and it worked for them."

While Raikkonen was turning heads on the pitwall, Vettel again forged ahead of Rosberg by pitting earlier (on lap 32), but understeered off at the final corner on lap 35 (Rosberg's out-lap) and damaged his front wing. This necessitated an unscheduled third stop on the next lap and ended any hope of a fourth consecutive podium finish since he became a Ferrari driver.

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Hamilton used his fresh mediums to pass Raikkonen and build a margin © LAT

Meanwhile, Hamilton (armed with a fresh set of mediums) closed down Raikkonen at a rate of almost two seconds per lap, breezing past at Turn 1 on lap 40. Ferrari promptly pitted its man at the end of that lap, giving Raikkonen 17 laps to make some magic happen on the soft tyre.

"Some felt Kimi should have gone on mediums , but it was getting colder and the working range comes into play," explained Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery.

"We could see there were signs of graining that we hadn't seen in practice. We attributed that to the temperatures going below 30C.
"He had the choice, but I figured if he stuck with the soft and eased them in... It was quite a long-ish stint to be going that quickly and we thought he might have a big deg at the end of it - but he didn't."

Raikkonen rejoined with a 23.641s deficit to leader Hamilton at the end of his out-lap, and immediately began lapping two seconds quicker. By the end of lap 45 the gap was down to 15.180s. By the end of lap 48 it was 11.7s.

By now Raikkonen was pegging back Hamilton at roughly one second per lap. With nine to go this was going to be tight...

But Hamilton reacted, arresting the slide a little with a couple of low 1m38s laps. With seven laps to go Raikkonen was 10.6s adrift, so Hamilton could afford to be 1s per lap slower and still win the race. This was not to be a heroic triumph against the odds for Ferrari.

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The world champion had the race to himself until the brake-by-wire scare © XPB

Or so we thought. Hamilton had the extra protection of team-mate Rosberg between himself and Raikkonen, but Nico's brake temperatures had run out of control - a legacy of those 'corrections' Mercedes made to improve its race pace after struggling on Friday.

By the end of lap 54 Raikkonen was just 1.1s behind Rosberg, and on the penultimate lap the Mercedes' brake-by-wire system failed, causing Rosberg to run off the track at Turn 1 and hand second place to Raikkonen.

On the final lap Hamilton's BBW also failed. Entering that final lap he led Raikkonen by 6.2s. Across the line the gap was just 3.380s. Looking at the pace Rosberg had on the final lap (after adjusting to his problem), if the race had been just two laps longer, Kimi Raikkonen would very likely have won the Bahrain GP.

"We saw very hot brakes on Nico's car in traffic following Kimi, Sebastian first, and then lots of fighting and hard braking, so we monitored that, but at the end with lapping backmarkers those brake temperatures went through the roof and we had brake-by-wire failures on both cars at the same corner," explained Wolff.

"When that happens the brake by wire switches into the conventional system and then you are without weapons to defend.

"We knew the changes we made on the car were compromising a little bit the brake temperatures, but then it was hard race with lots of overtaking - especially on Nico's side - and both cars struggled to make it through some of the backmarkers at the end. And when you follow another car, or a couple of cars, the air stream collapses and this is what made the brakes go.

"In hindsight, knowing that this caused the problem and nearly lost us the race, and lost us P2, we will probably look to do things differently in the future."

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It was Raikkonen's first visit to the podium in 560 days © LAT

Hamilton survived the scare to top the podium, and rightly received plaudits for chalking up his third victory in four races (and extending his championship lead to 33 points over team-mate Rosberg), but Raikkonen's performance really stood out.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene came on the radio at the end of the race to say: "Hey Iceman! I'm proud of you". But Raikkonen's first podium since the 2013 Korean GP characteristically failed to impress the man himself.

"Obviously it's much nicer than being out of it, but to come second, quite close to Mercedes, it's a bit disappointing," he said. "I'd rather take this one than something else, but you cannot feel happy. We are happy about second, but still disappointed. We want to win."

In Bahrain he almost did. Mercedes still has the fastest car in Formula 1, but it's now under serious pressure from behind, and is having to push the W06 to breaking point to keep the emerging red tide at bay. Big upgrades are expected ahead of the next round in Spain.

If Ferrari can out-develop Mercedes, we could be set for a very interesting season indeed. And in those circumstances, Kimi Raikkonen's second Ferrari career could be set for a glorious upturn in fortune.

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Bolje pet do dvanaest nego ni jednu poslje jedan. Image

Post 02.05.2015., 12:21 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

zekohonda
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može ovo hatt?
http://plus.autosport.com/premium/featu ... 1429397317
unaprijed zahvaljujem.
drink in peace

Post 02.05.2015., 16:12 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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Zeko, bit će uskoro.. no do tada imaš ovaj tekstić:

The demise of Caterham and Marussia explained

..malo sam se ulijenio. :D
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Post 07.05.2015., 13:40 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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Bolje pet do dvanaest nego ni jednu poslje jedan. Image

Post 22.05.2015., 09:49 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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drink in peace

Post 26.05.2015., 23:30 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT

How did Mercedes get it so wrong?

Mercedes' logic for pitting Monaco Grand Prix leader Lewis Hamilton seemed inexplicable from the outset. BEN ANDERSON considers how it could've come to the decision that cost Hamilton victory

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Lewis Hamilton might be starting to feel as though the Monaco Grand Prix has something against him. Arguably the most able Formula 1 driver of his generation has competed in nine F1 events around the streets of the Principality, but has only one win (in 2008) to his name.

By rights that statistic should have changed in Monte Carlo this year, but Hamilton was left to rue yet another missed Monaco opportunity, thanks to a strategic blunder by his Mercedes team that handed a third consecutive triumph in this race to his team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton has a disappointing record here for a driver of his obvious ability. And no matter what he does he cannot seem to shake the habit. In fact, the only time he's really managed to catch a 'lucky' break around this circuit was in 2008, when he claimed his only Monaco win for McLaren despite hitting the barriers at Tabac early in the race and puncturing his right-rear tyre.

Otherwise his Monaco record has been stymied, sometimes by matters of his own making, others by situations outside his control.

In 2007 he had the pace to challenge for victory, but was forced to concede strategic advantage to his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, and thus settle for second. In 2009 he crashed into the Mirabeau barriers in the first segment of qualifying and thus could finish no higher than a lapped 12th.

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When he won in 2008, even a puncture couldn't stop Hamilton © XPB

In 2010 he finished a fifth in a car that wasn't capable of winning. In the following season's race he copped a double penalty for colliding with Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado (before his infamously ill-advised "maybe it's because I'm black" Ali G reference with regard to being 'picked on' by the stewards).

The year after that he went backwards after struggling to keep Pirelli's delicate tyres in shape, while in 2013 he was running a close second behind Rosberg but dropped too far back before Mercedes made a double pitstop under the safety car, so lost places.

Last season, of course, he trailed Rosberg after their first runs in Q3 before his team-mate's 'off' at Mirabeau sealed pole position, and Hamilton's ultimate fate...

Various factors have contributed to making Lewis Hamilton's Monaco results far less than they might be, but the main reason he hasn't won much in Monte Carlo is because of a mediocre qualifying record. Staggeringly, Hamilton had never sat on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix until this season. And everyone knows, winning from anywhere other than pole here usually requires, well, the opposite of bad luck...

The galling thing for Hamilton this time is that he did everything right - beating Rosberg to pole by over three tenths of a second, acing the start, and then controlling the race from the front. As Hamilton crossed the line to begin his 64th of 78 laps, it looked as if he was finally set to break his Monte Carlo F1 hoodoo.

He led by more than 19 seconds from Rosberg, who had spent most of his race preoccupied with the challenge of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari behind. Everything was under control, it seemed.

Then Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso flew over the back of Romain Grosjean's Lotus and crashed heavily at Sainte Devote. FIA race director Charlie Whiting deployed the virtual safety car immediately, before calling for the real thing when it became clear the severity of the impact necessitated deployment of the medical car to the scene as a precaution.

It was at this point that certain victory slipped through Hamilton's fingers. Mercedes reacted by pitting Hamilton for a second time and switching him back on to the faster super-soft tyre. The trouble was Hamilton did not have a big enough advantage to get in and out of the pits without conceding the lead.

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Hamilton was in a class of his own for most of the race © XPB

He led Rosberg by 19.349s at the moment the virtual safety car was deployed, but needed more than 24s in hand to resume the race in front of the pack. The fastest pitstop duration of the entire race was Kimi Raikkonen's sole stop on lap 37, which took 24.177s, meaning Hamilton was already 4.826s shy of the gap he needed - even without the fact his extra stop was another 1.318s slower than Ferrari's benchmark (on account of having to wait for Felipe Nasr's Sauber to drive past in the pitlane).

So the question on everyone's lips after seeing Rosberg, not Hamilton, win the 62nd running of the Monaco Grand Prix was: why on Earth did Mercedes decide to make that extra stop?

"The simple answer is we got the math, the calculation wrong," explained team boss Toto Wolff, during a packed media briefing in the Mercedes motorhome. "We thought we had a gap which we didn't have when the safety car came out. In Monaco, you have no GPS and that makes the whole exercise more difficult - this is why we got it wrong when it switched from the virtual safety into the safety car.

"The potential risk [of not pitting] could have been that Sebastian switched on to a softer tyre behind us, and coming up behind Nico he could have been a risk at the end. Now, very simply from a common-sense overview I agree it [the pitstop] looks like a risk. But the simple answer was the numbers were wrong. The calculation was simply wrong."

The incorrect calculation Wolff refers to may have been the result of a piece of temporary misinformation. When the virtual safety car was deployed, Hamilton's lead ballooned momentarily from 19s to 26s on the live timing loops. So it's possible Mercedes misread that as Hamilton's true advantage, which would have been enough (even with a slow pitstop) to get in and out if the pits with his lead intact.

The FIA later clarified that GPS is available in Monaco, but notwithstanding the specific gaps, pitting Hamilton still seemed an unnecessary strategic gamble. He'd been comfortably stretching away before the safety car (virtual or otherwise) was deployed, and even though that lead would have evaporated if he'd stayed out, he would have continued to enjoy the double advantage of track position (more crucial around this circuit than anywhere else) and the buffer of his team-mate (on the same tyre) to protect him from Vettel.

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Verstappen's crash turned the race upside down © XPB

Sure, everyone had struggled to generate sufficient tyre temperature and grip on rubber that Pirelli admitted was too hard for this circuit, so there was a risk Hamilton might become stuck in the vicious cycle of cold tyres once racing resumed, but the track was rubbered in, its surface temperature was substantially hotter than previously, and the W06 is far better at generating tyre temperature than any other car in the field anyway.

It looked as though this might have been a case of Mercedes over-thinking (and thus over-complicating) matters for itself, but it seemed Hamilton also played his part in the confusion.

"I saw a screen; it looked like the team was out and I thought that Nico and the guys behind were pitting," he explained. "The team said to stay out, I said: 'these tyres are going to drop in temperature,' and what I was assuming was that these guys [behind] would be on options [super-softs] and I was on the harder tyre. So, they [the team] said to pit. Without thinking I came in with full confidence that the others had done the same."

But Wolff insisted afterwards that Hamilton's message about the tyre temperatures had not been the significant factor in the decision.

"We talked about it and there was the message [from Hamilton] that the temperatures dropped a lot and there was no grip anymore in the soft tyre, but that is still not the reason why we did it," Wolff explained. "The numbers just added up.

"The final decision was made 50 metres before the pit entry. The decisions are being made jointly with a lot of information at the same time. Within a fraction of a second you need to make a call. We tried to get as much input as possible from the engineers, from the management, from the driver, and then take a decision. In that case, the algorithm was wrong."

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Wolff had to explain how Mercedes' strategy went awry © LAT

Talk of incorrect 'calculations' and 'algorithms' is all well and good, but Mercedes had already learned the hard way in Malaysia about the cost of conceding track position unnecessarily. On a circuit like Monaco, conceding this advantage is suicidal. As Hamilton's great idol Ayrton Senna proved back in 1992, it is possible to defend the lead from a much faster car on far fresher tyres around Monaco.

Even the circumstances of Verstappen's accident (as he fruitlessly pressured Grosjean's soft-tyred Lotus with his own super-soft shod Toro Rosso) was instructive as to just how difficult it is to make a genuine passing move here without the aid of being lapped yourself by a faster car, a trick Verstappen employed to gain some places.

Perhaps the lesson here is that sometimes too much information can be a bad thing in racing. "I think if you would count the probability, you would rather stick with the data," countered Wolff. "We have to follow the data, that's how the sport works."

But by doing that on one side of the garage, Mercedes gifted Hamilton's victory to Rosberg. To add insult to injury, Hamilton also came out of the pits just behind Vettel's Ferrari, which turned certain victory into third place for the erstwhile leader. Hamilton tried to muscle his way back ahead, but Vettel insisted over the radio that he was "in front at the safety car line". He was. Just. And Hamilton had to concede second place as well.

Knowing Hamilton was now right behind on a softer (and younger) set of tyres, Vettel was keen for the safety car to go quicker in order to help him maintain temperature in his own rubber before the restart. "It's like sending swimmers to swim with weight on their legs!" he cried over the radio.

Ultimately it mattered not. Hamilton tried to apply pressure to the Ferrari in what became an eight-lap sprint to the flag, but to no avail. Rosberg escaped to record his third Monaco victory, joining an elite group that includes Jackie Stewart, Stirling Moss, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Graham Hill, and - of course - Hamilton's idol Senna.

Hamilton was left to rue what might have been, and the world champion was visibly and understandably distressed afterwards - even stopping briefly at Portier on the slowing down lap, in what seemed like an attempt to gather his thoughts.

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Hamilton struggled to contain his emotions © LAT

"I can't really express the way I feel, so I won't even attempt to," he told reporters after the race. "This is a race that has been very special... close to my heart for many years and so it was very important.

"It was a great feeling leading the race. I had so much pace I didn't really have to push too much - I could have doubled the lead if I needed it.
"So on the one hand it's a good thing that I had that pace and I'm grateful for that. You live to fight another day."

He does indeed, but with his championship lead now slashed to just 10 points as Rosberg gratefully gathered the spoils of glory. To his credit, Rosberg was magnanimous in accepting what he knew to be a slightly hollow victory.

"Lewis did a great job, he deserved to win, I'm very well aware of that, and I also feel for him - it's a horrible way to lose a race," said Rosberg, who revealed the possibility of pitting under the safety car had not even entered his head. "On the other side, a win is a win, and in sport luck plays a big factor, so I've learned to just take it.

"I still thought Lewis would win because he was on fresh super-softs and we were on stone-cold soft tyres - it was going to be a massive mission to not hit the wall after the restart. But I went for it, the temperature came back quick and I could do some good lap times.

"I'm aware I got lucky, very lucky, probably the luckiest I've ever been in my career, but I'll take it and enjoy it. I'm very happy, because winning Monaco is winning Monaco. It's just awesome."

Unfortunately for Hamilton, that experience is one he just can't recapture for himself, no matter how hard he tries.

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Post 26.05.2015., 23:40 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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gornji tekst (How did Mercedes get it so wrong?)

AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT

How impressive was Verstappen?

On his Monaco debut, Max Verstappen was second to Lewis Hamilton in first practice. BEN ANDERSON analyses how the rookie achieved that feat and explains why it wasn't just a low fuel load

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Rain curtailed any hope of seeing this year's field use Pirelli's new super-soft tyre and go for a fast laptime around the streets of the Principality, so the most interesting aspect of the opening free practice sessions for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix was the performance of a certain 17-year-old driver who many outsiders argue is too young to even be in Formula 1.

If any more proof were needed that Max Verstappen belongs at this level he produced some more of it in practice one in Monaco.
The Dutchman was the only driver in the field who had no prior experience of this unique circuit (in any category), yet he lapped his Toro Rosso second fastest in his first outing here, slower only than the Mercedes of reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Of course achieving such a feat - even if it was only in free practice - generated a lot of attention, and will generate a lot of positive headlines, but how impressive was Verstappen's performance really?
Clearly Toro Rosso had a strategy to send its drivers out ea
rly and complete as many laps as possible. Hamilton even spoke ahead of the event (when he wasn't being asked about his new three-year deal with Mercedes) about the need to build up a rhythm around this track and generate the confidence to attack the circuit and go quicker.

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Verstappen's growing confidence was visible through the chicane © XPB

Ultimately it's your qualifying performance around here (more than anywhere else) that will likely define how well you end up doing on Sunday, so you cannot afford to get left behind in vital track time. Verstappen and team-mate Carlos Sainz completed 82 laps between them in first practice; only the Mercedes drivers managed more.

After a round of installation laps on intermediate tyres (on a damp circuit), Hamilton was the first to venture out on slicks and from my vantage point on the outside of the Nouvelle Chicane, he was clearly pushing hard immediately - leaning heavily on the rear end of his W06 and trying (not always successfully) to dance it through this tight sequence of turns.

The Toro Rossos were not far behind on-track, and Verstappen actually looked a lot more cautious than both Hamilton and Sainz initially, the telltale being a requirement of a squirt of throttle between the left and right-handers while he worked out how much speed he could carry through this section of track. But it only took a handful of laps before Verstappen began to look more comfortable - at least matching his team-mate, who has raced here before in Formula Renault 3.5.

After half-a-dozen laps Verstappen's approach changed and he began carrying much more speed through the first part of the chicane, building up quickly but gradually, and being careful not to overdrive.

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat and Sainz were running close together, a short distance behind Verstappen, and as these first dry runs came to end they were not catching him. At this stage he was slightly slower than Sainz overall (to the tune of 0.243s), but marginally more consistent.

The track obviously rubbered in as the session wore on and the laptimes tumbled towards the end as a result, though drivers estimated it was taking as many as 10 consecutive laps to work the soft tyre up to a decent temperature.

After Verstappen leapt to second in the times on his final flying lap of the session, some onlookers suggested he'd been helped to look good by a light fuel load. That is certainly partly true, but it does not explain everything.

Examining the runs of all the eventual top-10 drivers the two Ferraris, Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and Felipe Massa's Williams set their fastest times midway through the session, so arguably could/should have gone quicker later on.

Of those, it's reasonable to expect that Verstappen would not ordinarily have been quicker than Rosberg or the Ferraris, which would put him fifth rather than second. The Williams is difficult to read because the FW37 is not expected to go well at Monaco anyway and the team usually doesn't show much performance on the first day of running at a grand prix.

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Verstappen's rivals were also impressed © XPB

Nevertheless Verstappen's final result in FP1 surprised many, (including him), and although it's always dangerous to read too much into practice form, certainly his accomplished performance attracted praise in the paddock.

Lotus's Romain Grosjean said: "I didn't see him finish P2. That's quite impressive, to be fair.

"It's a tricky track and when you get the confidence, you can dance around. If you don't, you have more trouble with your pants!
"When he jumped in for Fridays last year he was pushing hard and going to the limit, so that's impressive."

McLaren reserve driver Kevin Magnussen also reckoned Verstappen had done a "good job", but the Dane suggested learning this circuit in a Formula 1 car might actually have been easier on the Dutchman, because the technology at his disposal is so much more refined than any available in the junior formulae.

"I was here two times in World Series [FR3.5] and that was much more difficult," Magnussen told AUTOSPORT. "In World Series you really have to build up, because the car is heavy and if you make a mistake it's much easier to hit the wall.

"In Formula 1 you can catch it better, because the car is more balanced and better and easier to drive - it takes the kerbs better. I found it was easier in Formula 1, you could just push straightaway.

"Simulators nowadays are very good, so that will have helped [him too]."

This last point is very apt, for both Toro Rosso drivers praised the quality of the simulator programme that meant they each completed more than 200 laps of virtual driving before coming to Monaco.

Sainz, who ended up 0.335s slower than his team-mate at the end of the first session, reckoned that discipline has helped them both do well in the early stages of GP weekends so far this year.

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Verstappen's previous street circuit experience came from Pau and Macau © XPB

"We have shown, Max and myself, that it's a very decent tool," explained Sainz, who is also receiving a lot of deserved praise for the way he is driving this year - and whose own performances are also helping push his team-mate forward.

"When we get to FP1 and two rookies, against all these guys that have been driving for 10 years, are in the top five, it shows that the team is preparing us well and we are doing a good job."

Verstappen clearly feels at home on street circuits, as his performances in Formula 3 last season (narrowly achieving the second fastest time in qualifying at Pau, and fastest lap at the Macau Grand Prix) highlight.

His driving style is highly dynamic and leans heavily on the rear end of the car, which helps make him rapid through the slow corners that predominate circuits like Monaco. But perhaps the most impressive element of Verstappen's performance was his consistency. Certainly it was the lack of errors in his driving that impressed STR team boss Franz Tost.

"We all know that Max is a very, very high-skilled driver, [but] what I was impressed [by] was how he achieved this really, really good time in FP1," Tost said.
"From run to run he improved his laptime without making any mistake - no locking, nothing. His car control and his feedback during the run was really, really extraordinary."

You can argue the toss over fuel loads, track conditions, tyre warm-up and traffic all day long, but you can't argue with what Pirelli's Paul Hembery described as an "obviously exceptional" performance on Verstappen's first visit to Monte Carlo.

It certainly looked that way trackside, and on a day where the weather interrupted running before anything truly meaningful could be learned for the rest of the weekend, it was certainly worth all the high praise afterwards.

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Post 06.07.2015., 18:46 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

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Jedan vrlo zanimljiv Autosportov članak u stilu ŠBBKBB, o tome kakve bi komentare o F1 čitali po internetu da je on postojao malo ranije...Zanimljiv sarkastičan osvrt na današnje F1 "kritičare" :thumbs:

===================

How would F1's past look in 2015?

Many people look back on Formula 1's history with rose-tinted glasses. EDD STRAW says it is too dangerous to operate with a better-back-then philosophy

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Suppose history took a very different tack, with the social media revolution happening half-a-century earlier than it did.

How might that affect the public discussion of Formula 1?

It's a valid question simply because every aspect of the debate over F1's direction is rooted in such criticism - often based on harking back to a golden age.

What follows is an imagined critique of F1 at roughly 10-year intervals. And while fictional, it is very much based on real attitudes.

Having spent many a happy hour reading archive copies of AUTOSPORT and other publications, there's invariably strong criticism of grand prix racing of the time.

More often than not, that too tends to result in declarations that things simply ain't what they used to be.

Trouble is, they very often are...

2004

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Another bloody Michael Schumacher win. Bespoke tyres, best car, best engine, infinite testing, a number-two team-mate. So what if the F1 cars are as fast as they have ever been, this season has been plain boring with little overtaking and the same team winning almost every race.

Schumacher is a great driver, but I'd love to see someone else winning for once. He won the title with four races to spare in Belgium - that's five straight years.

Something needs to be done to stop Ferrari dominating. Other than Jarno Trulli in Monaco, there have been hardly any surprising results.

As for refueling, it artificially mixes up the grid and Schumacher just always comes through. Let's have proper, balls-out qualifying again!

Bring back the turbo era and ban refueling!

1998

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These cars look ridiculous - is this Formula 3? These stupid narrow cars with grooved tyres look absurd. This is not Formula 1.

OK, it's great McLaren is winning championships again and it's not just all about Williams for once. But they've won nine races - only Schumacher in the Ferrari can get near them.
Mika Hakkinen just has it easy in the best car. It's as if he doesn't have to try. What did he win before '98? One gifted win at the end of '97.

What we need is bigger cars, proper tyres and drivers who are willing to put it on the line like Gilles Villeneuve did 20 years ago.

1988

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Yawn. Another McLaren win. That's 15 out of 16 this year. If it wasn't for Ferrari's one-two at Monza after Jean-Louis Schlesser collided with Ayrton Senna while being lapped, we
wouldn't have seen any variety.

I can't wait for normally-aspirated engines to return next year. What's the point of the current rules with 2.5 bar of pressure and just 150 litres per race? It means Senna and Prost are just on an economy run all the time.

With that Honda engine advantage, the only place Ferrari could even get close in qualifying was Silverstone. So you always know it's going to be a red and white front row.

As for overtaking, there's hardly any of it. Just cars driving off into the distance and everyone watching hoping they will break.

The only time things get interesting is when Ivan Capelli in that March does something. Wonder if that young technical director Adrian Newey will ever come to much?

1978

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Last year Ferrari, this year Lotus. I just want to see a proper battle at the front between teams and drivers.

Then, in Sweden, Brabham turns up with the fan car and Niki Lauda wins. So what happens? It gets banned. OK, not officially banned, but to all intents and purposes.

Where's the innovation, the ideas. All of the cars look the same nowadays with Cosworth engines and Hewland gearboxes. Ground effect is fine, but just means Lotus dominates. I can't see anyone beating it next year.

As for Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson, give me Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart any day. Now those were real drivers.

1965

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Yawn. Jim Clark again. He either wins or the car breaks. He didn't even have to do all the races to win the championship, doing the Indianapolis 500 rather than the Monaco Grand Prix. Still, he'll have plenty of chances to win that race in the future.

The only person with the car to challenge him is Mike Spence in the other car. But he's not up to it - does Colin Chapman just want Clark to win and no-one else have a chance? Clark's nothing compared to Juan Manuel Fangio.

And these tiny, pathetic engines. One-and-a-half litres? You are joking. These cars have less power than my lawnmower and sound about as good to boot.

Grand prix cars should be big and imposing - these just aren't grand prix cars as we know them. I fear for the future.

At least the engines are getting bigger next year. Can't see anyone beating Lotus anyway, though.

1952

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What the hell has happened to Formula 1? OK, so there aren't enough proper F1 cars around so the world championship is for Formula 2 cars, but what is the point?

Alberto Ascari wins every race. He's not even that good. If Juan-Manuel Fangio hadn't missed the season after his crash, he'd definitely have beaten him. A good driver in the second best car can still win.

At least, they could in the 1930s. Remember Tazio Nuvolari and Rudolf Caracciola - now those were drivers worthy of being called world champions. It's hard to care for races around these new circuits - what I want to see is proper road racing every weekend.

Bring back the great races of the past like Paris-Madrid. Now that was a race.

I can't see grand prix racing having a future beyond the next five or six years with these crazy rules.

BACK TO TODAY...

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OK, the above is very much an off-the-cuff fantasy. But it's easy to imagine those sorts of opinions being espoused in a social-media world in its time.

The moral of this story isn't that F1 is perfect as it demonstrably isn't. But the desire to complain about how terrible everything is now compared to the past is desperately unhelpful.

It's a universal rule in humanity that the past somehow seems like a better place. Sometimes it's just because we were younger then (after all, it's easier for a 10-year-old to hero worship a driver than a world-weary 45-year-old).

The lesson is that the ongoing debate about grand prix racing's future is not helped by constantly living in the past.

Yes, the spirit and ethos that has characterised it over the years must be maintained, but the world changes.

That's why, amid F1's current identity crisis, it's essential that the debate focuses not on this imagined past - which in itself often had flaws and weaknesses - and instead concentrated on making grand prix cars and grand prix racing as good as they can be.

It's about the 21st century, not the 20th. Attempts to recreate the past usually fail. The great achievements are always delivered by those who see the future, not what has happened.

Learn from the past, don't aspire to return to it.

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Post 28.07.2015., 20:38 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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Malo sam zapustio ovu temu.. vrijeme je da je malo osvježim.
______

AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT

A Ferrari resurgence or a Mercedes gift?


Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel dominated the Hungarian Grand Prix throughout, but was this a turnaround in form or Mercedes throwing the race away with errors? BEN ANDERSON investigates

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In the end this was a smash and grab of the sort Williams couldn't quite manage at Silverstone last time out.

Once again the two Mercedes were the class of the Formula 1 field, but yet again they threw away a formidable advantage with extremely poor starts.

Unlike at Silverstone, where Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg recovered to finish one-two, Mercedes wasn't able to bounce back in the Hungarian Grand Prix, allowing Sebastian Vettel to record his second win of the season for Ferrari and match the late Ayrton Senna's tally of 41 F1 career victories.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted after the Hungaroring race that his drivers' recent bad getaways were starting to become a major concern. Hamilton and Rosberg comfortably locked out the front row in qualifying, but within seconds of the race getting under way (at the second attempt thanks to Felipe Massa forming up out of position first time around), the duo found themselves running third and fourth.

"We were jumped by the two Williams last time, jumped by the two Ferraris this time - we need to get on top of the situation, because it is unacceptable," Wolff said.

"It's very difficult to get the calibration right, but from what I heard on the radio we had two very good practice starts, and then when it mattered we had too much wheelspin and [were] overtaken in a way you can't recover."

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Ferrari quickly took charge of the race after Mercedes' slow start XPB

Vettel forced his way around Hamilton off the line, while Raikkonen followed his team-mate past as the field rounded Turn 1 for the first time.

Rosberg made a slightly better start than Hamilton and dived down the inside of his title rival, but he then locked up trying to prevent Raikkonen taking second spot into Turn 2, so had to concede to the second SF15-T.
Ferrari thus found itself in a winning position, a situation that looked unthinkable after a terrible practice on Friday.

The Scuderia has struggled to keep pace with Mercedes since May's Spanish GP, and looked in danger of slipping into the clutches of Williams and Red Bull, especially after a British GP in which the rain saved Ferrari from being beaten by Williams, and possibly Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull too.

Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said his squad expected to be better at the Hungaroring, but Ferrari lost its way badly on Friday.

Both drivers complained of awful understeer, which saps laptime on a circuit that features consecutive sequences of corners. Vettel suffered several spins as Ferrari's set-up changes shifted the balance too far the other way.

"On Friday we were struggling a lot and at one stage James Allison said to me 'if I have to think about the worst day, today is the worst day in my career,'" Arrivabene revealed.

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There were a lot of frowns at Ferrari earlier in the weekend LAT

"But we put together everything, we were working with determination, and we were using FP3 to adjust the car.

"After that, on Saturday evening, they said: 'OK, we think we are in a good way,' not thinking about this result, but at least to say we are in a good way."

Ferrari's pace in the grand prix was therefore quite strong, and it looked closer to the sort of form it showed at the beginning of the season, when Raikkonen and Vettel were regularly bothering Hamilton and Rosberg in races.

Arrivabene suggested Ferrari's true speed had been 'hidden' recently, by being forced to run behind other cars.

"Before Friday we were reading our data and we thought that in Hungary it could be a good race," Arrivabene added. "Of course we were not thinking to win the race, but at least to fight.

"Then everything happened on Friday, so on Saturday the first thought was 'guys, calm down, we need to do our analysis, we need to put everything together'.

"We had FP3 to work on the car and we were testing certain solutions, and in the end we had good pace during the race.

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Vettel had an untroubled run at the front for his second Ferrari win XPB

"It's also true that when you start as we started today, in the open air, the car is giving you more chance, and for the guys at the back conserving the tyres is quite hard.

"It happens sometimes that we are [further] back and our consumption is higher. Today we were in front and it was OK."

"It makes a difference if you find yourself in clean air," added Vettel. "When following the top two cars, we either don't see them for long, or in other races we are stuck behind so you can't show the true pace.

"But the whole race the pace was really good. Lewis was probably quicker, but he didn't have a smooth grand prix, but this is how it goes sometimes."

Vettel's win was a perfect tribute to former Ferrari junior Jules Bianchi, who passed away in the week building up to the race. The only shame for Ferrari was the MGU-K failure that cost Raikkonen his chance to finish second.

But in truth, however well Ferrari performed at the Hungaroring on Sunday, Mercedes should still have won this grand prix.

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Hamilton skitters off on the first lap, believing Rosberg was at fault LAT

Hamilton was on supreme form on Friday and Saturday, on a circuit he loves, that suits his dynamic style, and at which he has been extraordinarily successful throughout his career.

But he made two significant mistakes at key moments, which cost him his chance of recovering from his poor start to challenge Vettel's Sunday supremacy.

First he locked up under braking for the chicane at Turn 6 on lap one, which forced him to run through the gravel and fall back to 10th.

Hamilton complained on the radio about Rosberg changing lines just ahead, but in truth he had already lost control all on his own and was never going to make the corner.

That costly error meant the faster Mercedes was always running in traffic. By lap 41 of 69 he was back up to fourth and closing down Rosberg (who was running the slower medium tyre at that stage), but then another crucial error came.

When the front wing failed on Nico Hulkenberg's Force India, causing him to crash heavily at Turn 1 on lap 42, the FIA deployed the virtual safety car and both Mercedes dived for the pits to make their final scheduled stops.

Then the safety car proper was deployed, to allow marshals to clear the substantial debris on the pit straight, so Hamilton prepared to resume racing in a tight pack, sandwiched between Rosberg ahead and Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull behind.

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Hulkenberg's crash triggered another big shake-up LAT

While Rosberg breezed past the hobbled Ferrari of Raikkonen at the restart, Hamilton was slow to react and found himself under attack from Ricciardo.

Hamilton clattered into the Red Bull at Turn 1 as he attempted to defend position, damaging the Mercedes' front wing.

"I just had no front end and understeered into him", rued Hamilton, who soldiered on in sixth for two more laps, before diving into the pits for a replacement.

Once again the faster Mercedes was mired in traffic, instead of being in a position to challenge at the front, and to make matters worse Hamilton also had to serve a drive-through penalty for causing the collision.

After charging back through to sixth over the final 15 laps, he apologised to his team for what he described as "a bad day at the office".

"It was one of the worst races I think I've had, and all I can do is apologise to the team and work hard to make amends at the next race," Hamilton said.

"A day like today, when you make mistakes and it affects the team, it hurts."

With Hamilton taking himself out of the equation by dint of easily his clumsiest drive of the season, Rosberg was presented with a perfect opportunity to strike back in the championship race, but the German felt he was simply too slow, on both compounds of tyre, to be a serious threat.

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Rosberg was off the pace all weekend LAT

He was therefore more concerned with protecting himself from Hamilton than chasing after the Ferraris.

Raikkonen's problem gifted Rosberg second, but he then found himself on the wrong tyre and under attack from Ricciardo's soft-rubbered Red Bull late in the race.

When the pair collided as Ricciardo attempted to wrest second away from Rosberg at Turn 1 with six laps to run, the resultant puncture turned a certain podium into a meagre eighth place for Rosberg.

The German thus found the points gap to title rival Hamilton extended by four, instead of slashed dramatically.

Like his Ferrari rivals, Rosberg suffered a difficult Friday, but unlike them he couldn't recover a decent balance on his car.

"I don't have any explanation," he said.

"On the prime [medium] the pace was a lot better compared to the Ferrari, but on the option [soft] they were quick.

"My balance was also wrong, which was a repercussion of it being so wrong in qualifying. I tried to get it right for the race, but went too far in the other direction with the front wing."

But even with his W06 misbehaving, Rosberg should still have been able to win this race.

His desire to run two stints on the medium tyre, which ran contrary to the team's plan, seemed strange considering how much faster the soft tyre was.

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Rosberg's puncture meant he couldn't even salvage a podium LAT

Wolff suggested Rosberg was actually better off on the harder tyre, and his pace relative to Vettel's Ferrari was better when both ran that tyre, but it was still the wrong tyre to want to be on for that last part of the race.

Rosberg's approach seemed too focused on avoiding being outmanoeuvred by Hamilton's recovery, rather than focusing on his own chances to win. Both Rosberg and Wolff conceded afterwards that was the case.

"I was keen to hold my position because Ferrari was too quick," explained Rosberg.

"I got the message he [Hamilton] would stop earlier than me, but it's difficult to judge in that situation. We need to review that.

"I just wanted to make sure I finished third at that point in time, because it was the best I could hope for.

"We then got it wrong at the safety car stop, because surely the soft tyre would have been the better one."

The timing of the virtual safety car rendered this a moot point. There is no doubt Rosberg would have been in a better position to attack Vettel and defend from Ricciardo had he taken a set of soft tyres at his final stop, but Wolff said the virtual safety car came too early for Mercedes to react accordingly.

"It was a very unlucky situation, because you put a tyre under the pod to heat it as an alternative if you break a wing or have an accident and the car comes in, and because it was 27 or 28 laps to the end [when the virtual safety car deployed] the prime [medium] tyre was still under the pod," Wolff explained.

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Mercedes wasn't ready to put Rosberg on the soft at the safety car stops LAT

"The virtual safety car came out, he was two corners before the pit, we called him in, and the only tyre available was the prime.

"If he had done the lap under the virtual safety car then we would have switched from the prime to the option [soft] as the final tyre. If the right tyre had been under the heater then that would have been a race to win."

Both Mercedes bouncing off Ricciardo's improved Red Bull ultimately meant neither even made the podium, which was gratefully filled by the cars from Milton Keynes, Kvyat taking a career-best second thanks to Ricciardo's need to pit for a new front wing after colliding with Rosberg.

"This race was definitely for Jules; I left everything on the track," said Ricciardo, who felt the RB11 was finally working properly on a circuit that it was always expected to suit.

"I was inspired today. It's been an emotional week. It's nice to have his family here. This one is definitely for him."

Ricciardo survived three separate contact incidents, in a race in which the FIA handed out eight separate penalties for various misdemeanours.

The nature of the race ultimately helped Fernando Alonso score an "unbelievable" season's best fifth place for McLaren.

Ferrari winning from nowhere, Mercedes nowhere near the podium, a double rostrum for Red Bull, a top-six finish for McLaren, and a group of marshals doing a can-can as Vettel dedicated his victory to Bianchi and his family on the slowing down lap.

It was a crazy race, an enthralling spectacle, Formula 1 at its most exciting and unpredictable.

Jules Bianchi would have loved it.

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Post 28.07.2015., 21:40 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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predhodni tekst (28.7.): A Ferrari resurgence or a Mercedes gift? :SC:

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Hungarian GP driver ratings

While some superb Hungarian GP performances earn BEN ANDERSON's praise in our driver ratings, there are low scores for the some big names and one driver declared "infuriating"

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6 NICO ROSBERG
Mercedes F1 W06

Start: 2nd
Finish: 8th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/medium/medium/soft)

Rating: 3

This was a poor race for Rosberg. A Mercedes team set-up error ruined Friday, but he couldn't explain the massive gap to team-mate Hamilton in qualifying, nor the baffling lack of pace compared to Ferrari in the race.

His desire to remain on the slower tyre, despite the fact he was no faster on it than Ricciardo's Red Bull, was misguided. Rosberg should have been fighting for victory, not battling (unsuccessfully) to hang on to a podium.

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Mercedes didn't even manage a podium finish in Hungary on a day to forget © LAT

44 LEWIS HAMILTON
Mercedes F1 W06

Start: 1st
Finish: 6th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 5

This was easily Hamilton's most dominant Friday and Saturday of the season, yet he somehow contrived to turn what looked like certain victory into sixth place. His start was poor, and made significant errors at key points in the race, which meant he was always on the back foot.

The champion showed formidable pace, but was the architect of his own downfall. Hamilton will be relived to have extended his points lead after a race that messy.

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Ricciardo had a chance to win but had to settle for a first podium of 2015 © LAT

3 DANIEL RICCIARDO
Red Bull-Renault RB11

Start: 4th
Finish: 3rd
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/medium/soft/soft)

Rating: 8

Ricciardo felt the recently updated RB11 would work well on this circuit and was proved right. He showed formidable high-fuel pace on Friday and did superbly to qualify within 0.035s of Vettel's Ferrari.

He was prodigiously fast in the race too, but fortunate to finish after getting involved in so much contact (he bounced off Bottas and both Mercedes!). Great to watch, but perhaps a little over-zealous, which turned a possible second place into third.


26 DANIIL KVYAT
Red Bull-Renault RB11

Start: 7th
Finish: 2nd
Strategy: 2 stops (soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 6

Kvyat has generally been pushing Ricciardo harder recently and looked quick on Friday, but he felt far less comfortable on Saturday and ended up well adrift in qualifying (0.548s) after a "dirty" session.

A vibration from locking up at Turn 1 hampered his race pace, but he deserves credit for regrouping. He admitted to being off the pace this weekend, though, and he only finished so high up because of his rivals' misfortunes.


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After its Silverstone surge, Williams had one of its worst races of the year © LAT

19 FELIPE MASSA
Williams-Mercedes FW37

Start: 8th
Finish: 12th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/medium/soft/soft)

Rating: 4

Massa must wait until Spa for Williams's new front wing, on account of being behind Bottas in the points, and that probably partly explained the three-tenth gap between them in qualifying.

He endured a messy race, which began with a penalty for lining up on the grid incorrectly, which he blamed on not being able to see the yellow marker line. He accepted his pace was poor in a race in which decent points were there for the taking.


77 VALTTERI BOTTAS
Williams-Mercedes FW37

Start: 6th
Finish: 13th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 8

Williams introduced its latest new front wing a race earlier than planned, which delivered a small gain on a track where the FW37 wasn't as strong as Ferrari or Red Bull.

Bottas did well to outqualify Kvyat on Saturday and the Finn also drove well in the race, fighting with the Red Bulls until getting tagged by Verstappen's Toro Rosso shortly after the restart. The resultant puncture crushed a certain points finish into dust.


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Vettel and Ferrari celebrated victory for the first time since March © XPB

5 SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Ferrari SF15-T

Start: 3rd
Finish: 1st
Strategy: 2 stops (soft/soft/medium)

Rating: 10 :trep:

Vettel bounced back brilliantly from a messy Friday, which featured several spins as Ferrari lost its way on set-up, to qualify in his customary best-of-the-rest position behind Mercedes. He made an excellent start and showed steel to muscle his way into the lead on the run down to Turn 1.

The German's race was relatively straightforward from there, as the Mercedes fightback imploded, but he showed excellent speed and expertly managed the slender gap to Rosberg late-on.


7 KIMI RAIKKONEN
Ferrari SF15-T

Start: 5th
Finish: Retired
Strategy: (soft/soft/medium/soft/retired)

Rating: 8

Raikkonen admitted he should have done better in qualifying, even allowing for the wing failure on Friday morning and the water leak in third practice that compromised his build-up. He made up for that with a brilliantly feisty opening to the race to pass Ricciardo and the two Mercedes.

Thereafter he played wingman to Vettel, not quite able to live with his team-mate, but looking good for second until his MGU-K failed. A much better performance after his recent run of difficult weekends.


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Alonso took an unlikely top five finish for McLaren on Sunday © XPB

14 FERNANDO ALONSO
McLaren-Honda MP4-30

Start: 15th
Finish: 5th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 9

Alonso came to Hungary expecting a good result, on a circuit that limited the effects of Honda's power disadvantage, but those hopes looked dashed by a problem in the electrical harness that shut his car down in Q2.

He drove a fine race, in which he split the Toro Rossos until Hulkenberg's shunt disrupted events. Alonso lost touch with Verstappen late on, but he was quick enough on fresh rubber to claim McLaren's best result of the season.


22 JENSON BUTTON
McLaren-Honda MP4-30

Start: 16th
Finish: 9th
Strategy: 2 stops (soft/soft/medium)

Rating: 7

Button fancied his chances of making Q3 here, having enjoyed a largely trouble free build-up in practice, but a temporary failure of his car's ERS to deploy (thanks to a problem with the software on the steering wheel) at a crucial moment in qualifying meant an unfortunate Q1 exit.

He wasn't far behind Alonso for most of the race, but not making an extra stop for fresh tyres under the safety car proved costly.


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Perez's crash on Friday set both Force India drivers back © XPB

11 SERGIO PEREZ
Force India-Mercedes VJM08

Start: 13th
Finish: Retired
Strategy: (soft/soft/medium/soft/retired)

Rating: 6

The spectacular free practice shunt - that ended with him upside down - ruined Perez's weekend. He missed practice two while the team investigated the suspension failure, and the crash also destroyed new parts of which there were no spares. Force India said this accounted for roughly half of Perez's 0.635s gap to team-mate Hulkenberg in qualifying.

He ran eighth after an excellent first lap, but the race unravelled thanks to contact with Maldonado, a precautionary wing change after Hulkenberg's crash, and brake fade which led to Force India calling time on his race.



27 NICO HULKENBERG
Force India-Mercedes VJM08

Start: 11th
Finish: Retired
Strategy: (soft/soft/medium/retired)

Rating: 8

Hulkenberg probably should have bumped Grosjean's Lotus out of the top 10 in qualifying, given the updated Force India is good enough to be a Q3 regular, but his preparation was hampered by missing practice two as a precaution while the team investigated Perez's suspension failure.

He recovered with a brilliant first lap in the race to run fifth, and was driving well enough to keep pace with the Williams of Bottas until a front wing failure on the main straight sent him into the wall.


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Verstappen celebrated a career-best fourth place finish © XPB

33 MAX VERSTAPPEN
Toro Rosso-Renault STR10

Start: 9th
Finish: 4th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 9

Friday practice was ruined by electrical problems, but Verstappen recovered superbly and executed his cleanest qualifying session of the season to lap within 0.150s of Massa's Williams.

He started the race badly, but a blend of fast driving, good strategy and a little luck carried him back into contention on a weekend in which he was the stronger of the two Toro Rosso drivers. Speeding under the safety car was careless, but it didn't cost him a better result.



55 CARLOS SAINZ JR
Toro Rosso-Renault STR10

Start: 12th
Finish: Retired
Strategy: (soft/soft/medium/retired)

Rating: 7

Normally so strong on Saturdays, Sainz struggled in qualifying, and was fortunate not get bumped out by Button's McLaren in Q1. He wasn't happy with his brakes and lost confidence after practice three when the changing conditions shifted his car's balance to oversteer.

He drove much better in the race, despite losing the strategic advantage to his team-mate, and deserved to score points but for a faulty hose clip that robbed his engine of boost pressure.


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Maldonado's clash with Perez was one of many incidents in the race © LAT

8 ROMAIN GROSJEAN
Lotus-Mercedes E23

Start: 10th
Finish: 7th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 7

Grosjean admitted ongoing money trouble at Lotus is hurting the E23's rate of development and he didn't expect to make Q3 after practice, so 10th in qualifying was a great effort given the car's limitations.

The race began badly when he got forced off track on the first lap, and he failed to make much of an impression on Button's McLaren until running fresher tyres at the end. He salvaged points, but it was not one of his finest races.



13 PASTOR MALDONADO
Lotus-Mercedes E23

Start: 14th
Finish: 14th
Strategy: 2 stops (medium/soft/soft)

Rating: 2

Maldonado is an infuriating driver, capable of blistering speed and silly mistakes in equal measure. Witness qualifying here, where the Venezuelan delivered a top-10 laptime in Q1 in a difficult car, only to mess up in Q2 and finish almost eight tenths adrift of his team-mate.

He drove poorly in the race and picked up three separate penalties for various misdemeanours. Without the time lost as a result he would have finished in the points.


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At the back Merhi had the upper hand at Manor this time © LAT

28 WILL STEVENS
Marussia-Ferrari MR-03B

Start: 20th
Finish: Retired
Strategy: (soft/soft/medium/soft/retired)

Rating: 5

This was not one of Stevens' best weekends since he became a grand prix driver. He has enjoyed an edge over team-mate Merhi for most of the season, but that wasn't in evidence here.

Stevens qualified more than half a second adrift of Merhi, but he was more competitive (though still not as strong) in the race. Manor felt the circuit layout and struggling with the medium tyre all weekend accounted for a below-par performance.



98 ROBERTO MERHI
Marussia-Ferrari MR-03B

Start: 19th
Finish: 15th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 8

Merhi felt his Silverstone performance was clouded by using an old engine, following a failure at the Red Bull Ring, but he was stronger here with a fresh unit fitted. Racing in the recent Formula Renault 3.5 Hungaroring round negated the effect of missing first practice so Fabio Leimer could drive, Merhi suggested, and the team reckoned this "lairy" track suited his style.

The race comparison to Stevens was hindered by an early stop to fix a loose headrest, but there's no doubt Merhi was better than his team-mate here.


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Sauber was off the pace but still scored a point with Ericsson © LAT

9 MARCUS ERICSSON
Sauber-Ferrari C34

Start: 17th
Finish: 10th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 8

Ericsson felt he might have an edge on his team-mate at this circuit and that proved to be so, as he qualified and finished best of the two Saubers. He reckons some new-found mental strength is helping him and this was arguably his most consistent display since joining the team.

He dropped behind Merhi's Manor on the first lap, but kept ahead of Nasr throughout the race and capitalised on rivals' troubles to bag the final point.



12 FELIPE NASR
Sauber-Ferrari C34

Start: 18th
Finish: 11th
Strategy: 3 stops (soft/soft/medium/soft)

Rating: 6

Nasr knew he'd be in for a tough time at this race, thanks to a bumpy circuit layout that the C34 is a bit too lazy to negotiate quickly.

He reckoned an alternative blanket strategy for pre-heating the tyres accounted for his qualifying deficit to Ericsson, and was frustrated at not being able to try a divergent strategy to beat his team-mate in the race. It was close, but Nasr was ultimately second best this weekend.
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Post 01.08.2015., 17:10 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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Secret Mechanic: Why an F1 summer break became essential


F1's summer break can be frustrating for fans starved of race action, but changes over the years to how teams are run mean it has to be kept, our SECRET MECHANIC explains


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Some of you might well be asking, "Why on Earth does F1 need a summer break?", frustrated that you've got another agonising wait until the next grand prix. Here's why: we're all knackered!

I've been in this game for quite a few years now and it never used to be like this. There were no such thing as summer holidays in F1 and I'm sure I can hear some of you muttering under your breath, "So why now?".

Lots has changed in the world of grand prix racing and the demands on its teams over recent years. And whether you think it's better or worse, the role as mechanics and engineers has become less 'seasonal' and more 'all year round'.

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Specific test teams used to take care of all the winter running in F1 © LAT

When I first started out as a cheeky young race team new boy, the season began in late March, after our dedicated test teams had spent the entire winter running around Spain, Italy and France preparing the new cars for the first race.

The race teams would pop out for the final test, do a bit of pitstop practice and come back to turn the cars around for Melbourne. The test team would, at that point, get some respite after their gruelling pre-season as we headed off for the first three or four races.

For the race team crews, GP weekends tended to come in a relatively manageable schedule of more or less fortnightly gaps, meaning we might even get to grab a few days on a beach here and there at some of the more popular locations, before heading on to the next one for when the cars arrived.

We worked bloody hard, don't get me wrong. The hours were long when we were at work, there was certainly no such thing as a 'curfew' or even much in the way of health and safety back then. But the down time in between races seemed more structured, so we knew what we were doing.

If we finished preparing the cars in the factory by Friday, a week ahead of the race, we'd load them up into the trucks and go home until we had to head to the airport the following Wednesday.

By mid October it was all over and we were gallivanting around Bali or Phuket after the Japanese GP, enjoying ourselves and looking forward to a long winter break before returning in the new year to think about doing it all again.

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The F1 crews have been on a non-stop schedule since December © LAT

That kind of work/life balance, if you can call it that, seems to be a distant memory today.

The season's gone from 16 or 17 races to 20 (and potentially beyond) and now stretches between early March and late November. Not only that, but with test teams a thing of the past, the race team crews are needed from December onwards to prepare for and then do any pre-season testing.

Similarly for any mid-season tests, the same guys and girls you see doing pitstops on a Sunday are staying out to run the cars at the mid-week test days after certain races, instead of being able to go home.

Teams have found ways to transport the cars to races later, meaning they can be worked on up until the last minute in the factory. Because we can work on them longer, we do, and that means less time at home for the crews.

More races, fewer people, more long-haul events, less turnaround time between them, more complicated cars, and reduced team budgets in many cases. All things that mean the mid-season enforced shutdown comes as welcome relief.

Having said that, we all approach it from different perspectives depending on how the first half of the season went for each of us.

If it's all too clear you've got a dog of a car and little hope of improving it, this break can't come soon enough, but trying to re-motivate yourself afterwards can be very tough. I've been there before.

If you've ended part one on a high like the guys at Ferrari did at the weekend and rekindled glimmers of hope, then that's motivation enough to get straight back into it all in Belgium in a few weeks' time.

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In-form teams will be keen to get back to action at Spa © LAT

The break gives the team some time to rest and recuperate, but also to hone plans for the next attack and that belief that the title's not over yet will be there for that entire period. It can be a really positive energy around the factory when the doors reopen.

Whatever state your season's in at this point, the downtime's crucial in today's F1. We used to scoff at talk of 'fatigue' and 'burnout' a few years ago, when the macho consensus was you weren't a 'real man' unless you'd done at least three all-nighters in a week.

Now though, it's reality. I've seen people fall apart, I've seen their families and relationships fall apart, in no small way because of the excessive demands of an F1 season.

Finally that leads me onto something I couldn't ignore in this month's column.

Jules Bianchi's death, following his horrendous accident in Japan last year, stirs up a number of feelings inside me, aside from the obvious overwhelming sadness.

It comes as a stark reminder to those of us building and working on racing cars at this level that this is a dangerous sport. As mechanics, just like with the young drivers on occasion, it can be all too easy to forget that in today's relatively safe era.

We're creating vehicles in very tight timeframes, under huge pressure, that race at over 200mph wheel-to-wheel in many conditions and they have a human being inside them.

I've been in top level motor racing long enough to have witnessed deaths before, both of drivers and marshals, and for all the fun the sport can be, the serious side has to be taken incredibly seriously.

When it comes to tiredness and fatigue, there's nothing much more instantly awakening than a tragic incident like this.
As mechanics, just like with the drivers, we have to be at the very top of our game at all times, so a couple of weeks to reset the mind and body can only be a good thing in my opinion.

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Post 04.08.2015., 09:11 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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Autosport - 30 July 2015 .pdf

Eto malo beletristike za ove ljetne dane...

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Mercedes needs to sharpen-up under pressure


After a mixed-up Hungarian Grand Prix, GARY ANDERSON believes Mercedes heads into F1's summer break with plenty to think about as the challenge from its rivals increases

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What a race the Hungarian Grand Prix was.

If we are trying to understand what has made the last two races interesting, arguably the key factor is that they were livened up by cars being out-of-position, with Williams ahead at Silverstone and Ferrari at the Hungaroring.

Had the Mercedes drivers ended the first lap first and second, it would probably have gone down as another straightforward race.

This again points towards the idea of developing some kind of reverse-grid format because it stands to reason that when the fastest cars get away at the start, it is all over.

If you put the best car at the front automatically, why expect slower cars to get ahead? Overtaking is always a result of a faster car, or a car on the same pace, being behind another one.

But when drivers have to make their way through traffic, everything becomes a lot tougher. Some will think I'm mad to suggest this, but it's worth thinking seriously about.

Up until the lights went out on Sunday afternoon it looked like business as usual for the Mercedes team. Lewis Hamilton had his advantage over Nico Rosberg and the rest were going to be left to squabble for that last step on the podium.

But that's when it all changed; fantastic starts from both Ferraris, and a bit of erratic driving - especially from Hamilton - meant at the end of lap one we had a Ferrari one-two with the championship leader among the midfielders.

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Mercedes lost out at the start for the second race in a row LAT

From there it looked like the only drivers that wanted to win the race were Vettel and Raikkonen in their Ferraris. Everyone else seemed to want to throw it all away and Rosberg in third simply didn't have the speed to attack.

We saw at Silverstone that when the Mercedes drivers got behind the Williams cars after a poor start it was no easy task to overtake them. You would imagine that a car with the pace of the Mercedes would just have swept past but that didn't happen and it was the same story in Hungary.

It wasn't only catching the Ferraris that Mercedes was struggling with - the pitstop strategy calls were fairly questionable too.

The team always says it puts both cars on the same strategy and won't give either driver strategy priority. But I don't understand why, as a two-car team, you would do that because many times two different strategies come out as more or less the same. So why not run each car differently and see what happens?

If it is because the drivers are too selfish to allow whichever strategy does work out best on the day to go through and win - and I think this is the case from what we have seen in the past - then the drivers really run the team.

That's a very dangerous position to be in. It is time for the big bosses to make sure the drivers know where they stand.

And if the team is determined to run both cars to the same strategy, why did it put Rosberg on the slower tyre at his first stop and Hamilton on the faster tyre?

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It was a surprise that Mercedes put Rosberg back on to the hard tyres LAT

What really surprised me was Mercedes putting Rosberg on the slower tyre again at his second stop during the safety car period. The safety car was going to close everything up and if Mercedes had put him on the faster tyre he could have attacked for the win with race leader Vettel on the harder compound.

To me Mercedes has everything and it's a winning team, but it is not yet a team that knows how to win when things start to go wrong. Both drivers are far too selfish and self-centred, and it needs to be explained to them that the team comes first.

Also if I was Rosberg I would be asking some questions because, from what I saw on Sunday, I am pretty sure the team knows exactly who it wants to win the drivers' championship.

While I am on about Mercedes, what has happened to its starts? The last two races have shown that pole is one thing but if you can't get off the line on Sunday afternoon it is very easy to throw everything away.

As we know there are a lot of changes on startline strategy coming for Spa and this was being discussed and detailed before the British Grand Prix.

I wonder if it is just a coincidence that Mercedes' starts have dropped off since then? Perhaps it decided to back things off a bit while the FIA was snooping around.

Either way, it should make for an interesting second half of the season. Mercedes has comfortably held the advantage but, with Ferrari not too far behind, the championship-leading team has to sharpen up its operations.

As the chasing pack closes in, you inevitably get punished more for errors and even though the Ferrari is still half-a-second off the pace on a good day in normal conditions, Mercedes has got plenty to think about over the break.

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Perez and Maldonado collide - just one of the many incidents during the race LAT

Another thing that surprised me in Hungary on Sunday was how much contact we saw in the race. Do we really want Formula 1 to become a destruction derby every weekend?

It seems to me many drivers forgot that they need to respect each other and give the other car room.

If they don't do that then, as we saw, the FIA will step in with more penalties. So even if you do get away with contact without damage, it's still in the drivers' interest not to hit each other.

F1, as with any open-wheel formula, should not be a contact sport because it is too dangerous. We saw plenty of clashes both up front and in the mid-pack, which played a big part in the race ending with mixed-up result.

The Hungaroring was once famous as a circuit where overtaking was impossible. But the track has always had the potential to create incidents and there have been some famous passing moves in its 30-year history.

It has also produced a few upsets - even in the first year of Jordan, Bertrand Gachot took fastest lap for us there!

The corner layout through Turns 1, 2 and 3, plus the fact that the road drops away under braking into Turn 1 and 2, means that it is very easy to make a mistake, run a little wide and allow another car to get alongside you through this section.

And once cars are alongside each other, the sequence of corners means there is the chance for people to fight back. It's a track that has produced plenty of action during the past few years.

We also had the tyre factor. At Silverstone in the previous race, the tyres were very conservative, and in Hungary they were also reasonably conservative. So this points to the racing being better when the tyres don't degrade as much as we have often seen during the Pirelli era.

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Post 12.08.2015., 21:21 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

Felipe
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hat čim nađeš ovo postavljaj :D

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Obrigado Felipe

Post 13.08.2015., 01:35 Re: AUTOSPORT + (i ostala publicistika)

hattrick
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AUTOSPORT+ PREMIUM CONTENT


Behind the scenes of America's new F1 team


Formula 1's newest team, American outfit Haas F1, is ramping up preparations for its 2016 debut. DIETER RENCKEN got a look at the facilities, and some reasons for its link with Ferrari

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As far as serendipity goes, it simply can't get better: as AUTOSPORT flew over Virginia and into Charlotte, North Carolina for a first-ever media visit to Haas F1 Team's virgin facility, the somewhat controversial Kurt Busch celebrated his first NASCAR win of the 2015 campaign, with team-mate Kevin Harvick second.

The top three in Richmond, Virginia was completed by Jimmie Johnson, also driving a Chevrolet.

What, though, does this result in a steel-body series in a neighbouring state have in common with our exclusive visit to the nascent Formula 1 team's now-completed base in Kannapolis, 30-odd miles north-east of Charlotte in NASCAR's heartland?

In a nutshell, Busch and Harvick make up half of Stewart-Haas Racing's line-up and Johnson drives for Hendrick Motorsports, which supplies the majority of SHR's hardware, including front/rear chassis frames (to SHR specifications) and engines.

This philosophy of outsourcing whatever componentry is permitted by regulations, then internally "adding value to the basic package" - as Haas COO Joe Custer terms it - provides the blueprint for Haas F1.

In addition to the complete engine, transmission and electronics package, Ferrari is also supplying "all the suspension, all non-listed parts" to Haas, explains Gunther Steiner, the former Ford rally and Jaguar F1/Red Bull Racing technical director who devised the programme over a three-year period before persuading machine tool magnate Gene Haas to back the project.

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NASCAR efforts are the team's sole focus - but not for long © LAT

"You can look at appendix six of the sporting regulations*, and say 'this is what Haas gets from Ferrari'. The things we have to make by regulation, and we will make, are chassis monocoque and what they call 'wet' surfaces - everything outside the car, the bodywork, including radiators. This is what we design ourselves and we make ourselves.

"The wings are part of the bodywork. We have to make the [exhaust] tailpipe ourselves; you can go to a certain point, then have to make your own."
Despite Steiner majority-owning a composite business (Fibreworks) in Charlotte, composites will initially be sourced in Europe "to ensure we establish a good relationship with people. In [Charlotte] we're making pit equipment, and we've started that process already. We also machine [metal] parts for the windtunnel model, then ship them over."

Ferrari sourcing means suspension mounting points will be as per Maranello, as will be brakes, suspension uprights, pedal box, steering rack and fuel cell.
The monocoque will be very similar to Ferrari's but, stresses composites expert Steiner, "the trick in the chassis is mainly in lay-up, how composites are made, how structures are made. It's not only the geometry. The geometry is obvious: if you've got the battery box and fuel tank from Ferrari you can't do much different. But it's completely legal."

"We get the mounting points, we get the steering rack, we need to bolt it to a chassis. If we want the same suspension, we'd better put it in the same place, otherwise it won't work. It'll look similar [to Ferrari], yes."

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Relationship with fellow US operation Hendrick will help the team with parts manufacture © LAT

All this is matter-of-factly explained in one of five conference rooms - named after F1 circuits - contained within the pristine 140,000 sq. foot double-deck building situated at 4001 Haas Way (SHR is situated next door, at 6001).

Half the ground floor (i.e. a quarter of the total area, which equates to one-and-a-half rugby fields) is allocated to SHR to supplement its main facility.
"It was half completed last summer, but only half of it," says Steiner. "Not the F1 side because we were still planning the interior. It was started early last year, before we received the go-ahead [from the FIA], which shows real commitment...

"I think we'll end up with about 50 people here, depending on the way we go after a few years. We have to see how we get on in the beginning with producing the car in Europe, how much will gradually move here."

As befits an offshoot of one of the world's largest machine-tool operations, "the plan is to machine parts here, not for the whole car, just parts. At the moment we are doing the scale model and our pit equipment. That started two months ago," explains Steiner.

"In Banbury we will have a bit more people - 50 or 60. In Italy the total working with our people, including Dallara people, is about 70. About seven or eight of them are on our payroll."

Dallara? Steiner explains that design and development of the car has been outsourced to the Italian race car constructor, which dabbled in F1 over the years, most recently as supplier to the ill-fated Campos/HRT project.

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Ferrari link is crucial for Haas and Steiner (right) says Arrivabene is on board © XPB

But, he stresses, this one is different: Haas has control over the project, with Haas chief designer Rob Taylorhaving overall responsibility for the car, not Dallara.

"So, we have about 170 people, including 70 at Dallara. They work solely for us. They are contracted, like they would be employees, but instead of setting up our own design office with the infrastructure, we made a deal with Dallara, but our chief designer manages them.

"They have their own project manager, a Dallara guy, but technically they are managed by us. To me they are like our employees."

We compare the total with Ferrari customer Marussia before its restructure and reincarnation as Manor. "It is fewer people than Marussia had," acknowledges the German-speaking Italian from the country's south Tyrol area, "but Marussia did everything themselves. We are buying most of the stuff.

"If you take the amount of work we do compared with Marussia, it's a lot less than they did, because they designed everything themselves - every suspension [part]. That takes 40, 50 people, so we are more than them. Plus all the stuff we get from Ferrari is proven stuff, designed by qualified F1 people. On that basis we have a lot more people than Marussia had."

Although Gene Haas owns one of motorsport's best windtunnels in the Windshear facility situated 15 minutes from Haas Way, the F1 programme uses Ferrari's windtunnel on a project basis, simply as it would have required too much by way of adaptation to cater for F1's 60 per cent scale-model stipulation. However, Windshear GM Brian Nelson does not rule out adapting the tunnel in future.

"We're more than ready to help when and if they need us," he told AUTOSPORT.

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The high-profile USF1 project ultimately failed to get going © LAT

Some have suggested Ferrari is developing its car by the back door via Haas, which Steiner refutes: "We rent windtunnel time from Ferrari and it's our people who run the tests.

"We have no interest in developing Ferrari's car. That does not make us good, and does not help our project...

"We are working every second week, we do two shifts a day; every other week is Ferrari's. They are restricted [by regulations] to 30 hours per week. They are complying; they are using the maximum they are allowed by the FIA. I don't even know what they are doing."

Steiner adds that the team's 60 per cent model has been in the tunnel since December - "so we know what the car is going to look like" - but adds "our model doesn't stay at Ferrari. It's taken out, goes back to Dallara when it's not running in the tunnel."

Haas F1 recently acquired the ex-Marussia facility in Banbury as a European base, and in an unrelated deal purchased the troubled team's supercomputer for CFD purposes. The mainframe is a year old after the original machine, used by Nick Wirth to develop the CFD-only 2010 Marussia (then Virgin), suffered fire damage.

"The CFD department is based [in Kannapolis] even if the CFD supercomputer is in England, but the engineers are sitting here. At the moment we have four people. By the end of this year we'll have about 10 or 12, because they can work anywhere as long as they've got a connection to the supercomputer."

Although Haas F1 could theoretically run a test car until/if its 2016 entry is accepted by the FIA - usually November - the team has no such plans as "It would cost too much just to go testing, and then you would have an old car anyway. We'll start testing when testing opens in February next year or whenever, and do simulations before then."

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Team boss Gene Haas is investing heavily in new F1 operation © LAT

For the first time since the project became public knowledge in January 2014, Steiner provides some history to the Ferrari relationship:

"[It] was agreed last year quite early, because they were part of the first plan before we were even granted the entrant licence in April 2014. The contract was signed sometime in the middle of last year. We discussed it before we applied for a licence because you can't go to the FIA and say, 'We have got a nice idea, but we do not know how we are going to do it.'

"Then they send you away. So we said 'Ferrari, if we get the licence, will you be a partner of us?' and they said, 'Yes, we will be'.

"We made the first approach [to ex-Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, a personal friend of Steiner's] a few years back to see if our plan could work, because Gene never wanted to start from nothing like a lot of other people did." Marussia, Caterham and HRT, plus USF1 - stillborn up the road - spring immediately to mind...

Does it not, though, perturb Steiner that virtually every Ferrari individual they negotiated with - from former president Luca Montezemolo through Domenicali and his replacement Marco Mattiacci to engine and chassis technical directors - have all since left its employ?

"[The fact that so many people left] doesn't really complicate matters, because they all didn't go at once. When [technical director] James Allison came in he was immediately part of the negotiating team, then Mattia Binotto, the engine guy. He's a good friend as well, a personal friend whom I've known since Red Bull Racing, where we used Ferrari engines. He's a good point of contact for this programme."

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US base is impressive but Haas is outsourcing work to Italy and Britain as well © LAT

Steiner has yet to hold formal meetings with current Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, but is confident of the backing of the Italian charged with turning around the Scuderia's fortunes.

"The programme was set up professionally from the beginning; it was always above board. Luca di Montezemolo, then Mattiacci came, he saw this as a good thing. It helps everybody, helps Formula 1 as well to get an American team. Now Maurizio, he's on board, and he said, 'You have got the support of us here, not just of me but of all of us, so just keep on doing what you're doing'."

One of the burning questions is that of drivers, particularly with F1's current push for both US and female drivers (preferably all in one helmet...) and with IndyCar turned NASCAR star Danica Patrick being a SHR driver. (The other member of SHR's NASCAR racing quartet is its part-owner Tony Stewart, who has no involvement in the F1 operation).

Where does Haas F1 stand on drivers, and Patrick in particular?

He does not foresee IndyCar winner and Indianapolis 500 podium finisher Patrick (33) switching to a new single-seater discipline given her commitment to NASCAR, but admits that she follows the project keenly.

"Our plan is to have something cleared in August/September, then announce them later. It's getting clearer, and a lot of people are getting into contact with us now. We are in no hurry, because we have to see who is on the market and who is doing good, who wants to move. And drivers want to see who we are actually, and now they can see and touch us," is Steiner's part answer.

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Steiner is keeping F1 expectations in check despite the team's NASCAR pedigree

Finally, what are the team's first-year objectives? "To be respectable. Qualifying lower to mid-grid...12th, 14th, something like this, and knocking on the door of points initially. Then who knows?

"We want to score as many points as possible next year. I can give you one stupid answer, I've got the freedom of one stupid answer without facts!" he says with a slow smile.

Then Steiner goes all serious: "We'll review those objectives every year..."

*LISTED PARTS
  1. Monocoque
  2. Survival cell as defined in Article 1.14 of the F1 Technical Regulations
  3. Front impact structures used to meet the requirements of Articles 16.2 and 16.3 of the F1 Technical Regulations
  4. Roll over structures - roll structures as regulated by Article 15.2 of the F1 Technical Regulations
  5. Bodywork as defined in Article 1.4 of the F1Technical Regulations and regulated by Article 3 of the F1 Technical Regulations with the exception of airboxes, engine exhausts and any prescribed bodywork geometries
  6. Wings
  7. Floor
  8. Diffuser
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