Wednesday, September 29, 2010

[F1] Singapore GP and Ferrari

I would like to take a minuet to talk about Fernando Alonso and the "grand slam" of racing he performed. From lights to flag he ran, never going faster then he had to and even at the end when Vettel turned up the heat so did he. This was Alonso's day again and truly the new man in red that was subject to so many question marks after Ferrari fell off the pace after Bahrain has show what the prancing pony has to offer at the end of the season. If you had told me Ferrari would come back with a vengeance at the end of the season I would have to laugh and asked you "how?" but Alonso has done just that. The new man in red has set the stakes that he is truly a force to be reckoned with and to NEVER count him out, but what about the other man in red?

Felipe Massa did not have the same great day that Alonso did but a little bit of safety car luck paid off his way. An early gamble paid for for Masa in what is considered a difficult track to pass on (unless your name in Robert Kubica) after changing tiers after the mandatory two laps he had to spend on his first set. It was a super smart gamble considering he wouldn't lose much because he would very quickly catch the back of the field and the time that he lost and with the safety car coming out he gained a lot more then just a 22 second delta time (time to pit in and pit out lost in the pits compared to track) and gained a lot of positions under caution. He finished 8th with a new engine that he can hopefully use for another race, although there is some question on to whether or not being held up in traffic damaged that new engine. All and all Masa has done a decent job this season but not great with the exception of Hockenheimringin and the season opener of Bahrain. With Masa's over all sub par performance as far as the prancing pony goes it makes me wonder if they are going to pull a Kimi(have you sit out a whole paid season) and try and find someone else for that seat next year?

[Indy Car] What lies ahead this weekend at Homestead-Miami

Going into the last race of the season we have a very interesting situation, not just how close the championship is but the two men who are racing for it and the situation they are in. I will begin by outlining the situations below.

If Dario gets pole, wins, and leads the most laps no matter where Will finishes, Dario wins the series championship.

If Dario wins and Will finish second without Dario winning pole AND leading the most laps Will wins the series championship.

If Dario comes in second without leading the most laps or winning the pole Will must finish 6th or higher to to win the series championship. However if Dario finishes second and leads the most laps OR wins pole will must finish 5th or better.

If Dario finishes 3rd Will must place 8th or better unless Dario for some reason leads the most laps, then he must place 7th or better regardless of pole...

...and from there it gets less significant, but the real interesting thing comes down to these two men. Will Power is a master on the street and road courses taking all of his wins there this season and only finishing a career best 3rd on a oval last race. Dario is a seasoned veteran of Indy Car clinching the AJ Foyt Trophy for oval racing this year and still being quite formidable on the street and road courses as well. He has finished 1st 5th and 2nd on the past three ovals while Will has struggled and cut Will's massive lead going into these ovals down to almost nothing.

The technical advantage goes to Will Power with a slight points lead that puts the pressure on Dario however experience advantage goes to Dario with his two prior championships and his mastery of the ovals. The way its stacked up I am actually inclined to say the advantage goes to Dario with one exception, team mates.

I would not dream of dogging the Iceman (Dixon) however he has not been nearly as much help to Dario as Heilo and Ryan have been to Powers. If Heilo and Ryan can continue to perform as they have and keep Dario from the front of the field its going to make Wills job a LOT easier. In the past 3 Races Ryan has held one pole and was able to yield a position to Powers in a race allowing him to finish third to reduce damage. Heilo has finished ahead of Dario twice denying him at least 12 points. Dixon has only placed above Powers once denying him only 2 points.

Bottom line, its going to be interesting this weekend. Will has to perform enough to put the pressure on Dario, so its anyone call who has the advantage.

[F1] The peoples choice for WDC, Webber

Last year I don't think I will ever forget Mark Webber crossing the finish line at the Nurburgring robbing the win from his young favored teammate and home town favorite Vettel. Hearing his yelling over the radio after his first F1 win after 130 starts and 7 years I became a Webber fan.  He claimed the pole in the wet for that race and also over came a drive through penalty to win that day, it was truly Mark Webber's day and a break through for the Aussie.

2010 has an amazing season for red bull, showing their abilities last year and truly flexing their muscle this year with what looked like Vettel and fast became Webber at the front of that charge with 4 race wins and 4 other podiums. This well liked Aussie has really come into his own this season.

Up and down the paddock you can hear the peoples choice for WDC (World Drivers Championship) and its Webber.  The Aussie with a 11 point lead in the championship right now with 4 (maybe 3 -.-) races to go has a lot of people backing for him. He is a team player, a gentleman, and a classy guy.  He has over come the obstacles of his team, he has fended off past WDC, and has been consistent.

My pick for the 2010 WDC

[Indy Car] A look to future of the series

So many events and announcements have happened this year in Indy. For many years the series seemed as if it were just scrapping by, using the same equipment and struggling to have even 20 cars in the field on your average race. Over the years there has been minor improvements on the current equipment as far as weight of the cars and power output of the Honda motors but nothing major and definitely nothing we would classify as new.

In the last few years Indy has begun to turn the heads of motor spot enthusiast all over the world once again. The sport has begun to return to its roots and further from the bastardized but necessary dream that was the IRL(I will write about why I believe this over the off season). Even the name IRL will be removed in 2011 and we will simply call the series Indy Car. The sport desperately needed to be split among road and street courses and ovals and super speedways to be respected in the world of racing and not just another version of Nascar.

With the sport being the most competitive its been in almost two decades on the on track battles really spicing up the season on both the ovals and road and street courses the interest is back and growing. With this new interest we are seeing the return of historic venues such as Michigan and New Hampshire for 2011 as well as a radical and long over due change to the chassis and engines in 2012. The new Dallara chassis allows for each team to purchase or build their own custom aerodynamic(aero) trim allowing each car to sport a unique look. I believe this is a brilliant and cost effective way to keep the sport competitive and unique.

With these announcements manufactures such as Lotus have chimed in announcing they will design a custom aero trim for their 2012 car's (Yes cars, rumors are Lotus will have a two car Indy team 2011). Honda is the only supplier who has thrown in their commitment to building 800hp twin turbo V6 engines for the 2012 season but I hope more are to follow. These new cars will be lighter and significantly more powerful with a modification to today's push to pass that should instead of giving an extra 10hp give an extra 100hp.

As formula one comes to terms with the cost of their sport that almost tore them apart in 2009 I see Indy making smart, educated decisions that keep the cost of the sport down while making the series faster, unique, and more competitive.

[Indy Car] The series comes to a close with at least one new super star

This year in Indy (Izod Indy Car Series) has shown us more excitement then many in memory. Last year we got to see and exciting title race between three drivers with a great finally but no one was surprised who the fight was between. This year Will has thrown a wild sucker punch into the world of racing dominating the the start of the season and the majority of the road and street courses this year. After his performance last year it probably didn't come as a huge shock but many drivers have had less severe accidents and lost that edge. We all saw his skill last year but not only did he not lose that edge but he returned with vengeance. This Sunday will be an interesting show on wether or not the new super star of this season can over come his continued frustration on the ovals. Last week was a personal best of third but even that wont be enough if Dario wins.