Hamilton’s Maturity

Has Hamilton become a more mature drive in 2012?

Has the “senna esque” driver morphed into the Characteristic’s of the 4 time champion Alain Prost?

Hamilton has consitantly come through in 3rd this season to lead the championship by two points to his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.
With Hamiltons idea of playing it consistent this season by “playing the long game”, it appears that he has his head in the right place.

his safer overtaking manouvers in the Chinese grand prix reflected a lesson well learned from a troubled 2011.
Or is it the direction of a new manager in the form of Didier Coton.

Didier Coton, a well renound driver manager, with a porfolio of drivers such as Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Oliver Turvey and James Rossiter,
but is perhaps better known for his management of former McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and Olivier Panis. So he also knows the team well.

was 2011 a reflection of his managementbat the time by XIX entertainment & the lack of his father Anthony Hamilton that prepeled him to his 2008 world championship.

In my opinion, Hmailton is the best example of a grand prix racer & a great example of raw speed, outclassing the entire grid when he holds it all together.
If he can maintain this mature outlook to his craft this season, we`will all be blessed a spectacle of racing once lost to the achives.

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The Great Debate, Hamilton Vs Button

Let’s take Albert Park as reference point. Button started 4th lost track position early in the race due to the turn one tangle, however, he never really starts well when he isn’t on the front row unless he has a serious advantage in terms of car performance. The second half of 2009 was evidence of that. Do any of you recall any daring overtaking manoeuvres, any wheel to wheel action from the reigning world champion? He did, however, make the call to pit and chance the slicks, I think this was luck rather than judgement as he was in a sh*t or bust situation as his inters had dropped off. His options were, take on another set of inters and risk dropping back even further or gamble slicks when the track was still in the inter phase and perhaps stick it in to the unforgiving barriers of Melbourne. Lucky for Button the gamble paid off.

Hamilton, however, climbed up the field from 11th on the grid made some daring passing manoeuvres that made the race exciting. One example of this was the overtaking manoeuvre past Nico Rosberg on the outside of turn 11. We then saw the attack on Webber while at the same time trying to avoid the sloppy driving of the Australian. Hamilton does take risks some times and they don’t always pay off but when they do its amazing to watch and, they do pay off more often than not. If you watch a driver that doesn’t take risks then i’m sorry but its makes for a very dull race distance. When we look back to 2009 Hamilton finished 5th in the drivers title with a seriously uncompetitive car, winning two race’s and denied of victory at Abu Dhabi due to a failed right rear brake disk. For me this made the driver of the championship. When things went wrong at the Brawn camp mid way through the season Button didn’t have an answer and didn’t win a race after the Turkish Grand Prix but his machinery was still ahead in terms of overall down force. In my opinion Button’s fate was in the lap of the gods in Melbourne and they were feeling very generous on Sunday, lets see how he qualifies at Sepang next week. We must remember there are 17 more races left in the season and one Swallow doesn’t make a summer.

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Australian Grand Prix

Jenson Button claimed victory at Albert Park, Jenson, the only driver who dared a risky strategy to pit and gamble it all on the slick tyres, a strategy that in the end paid dividends.

With rain affecting the start and a calamity at turn one that saw championship leader Fernando Alonso staring the wrong way down the race track.

For me, the Australian Grand Prix was much more of a demonstration of exactly what we were all promised of this being the greatest season in decades. The Melbourne venue never seems to let us down, with most drivers seeing their debut here you can see why this event has a lasting impression on the drivers.

One of those driver would be the young German Sebastian Vetel who I’m sure would be happy to put this race behind him. Yet again the promising young driver had his victory snatched away due the reliability of his machinery. This is something that I believe is  becoming a trend within the Red Bull team.

Let’s not forget Lewis Hamilton with his charge up the field taking his team-mate Jenson Button early in that race, fighting all the way to 3rd and challenging Kubica for 2nd only to be dropped back down the field due to a pit stop that he feels was unnecessary. This could be the beginning of what we all saw during the Senna/Prost era. To top this all off, as Hamilton closed in on the Ferrari of Alonso and managing to get the aero tow, Webber stacks into the rear of Hamilton forcing him into a spin and letting Rosberg passed dropping him down to 6th.

Schumacher once again left a minimal impact on his F1 comeback, getting tangled up in the turn one mess and needing to return to the pit for a new nose cone effectively dropping him to last on the grid. He did, however, push back up the field only to be help up by 21 year old Jaime Alguersuari for 20 laps.

With all this wheel to wheel action i don’t think that we can talk of boring races, at least not for a week anyway.

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Australian Grand Prix Preview

Albert Park is just around the corner now, with many drivers upbeat about the race, sure that the racing will be much better & overtaking will be a definite.

McLarens Lewis Hamilton returns to Albert park a year on from the lie-gate scandal that almost saw him walk away from the sport after admitting that he deliberately misled the race stewards; this he believes made him a better man.

The 2008 world champion looks back to his debut grand prix in 2007 taking pole position on his 1st F1 outing, along with his 2008 victory, lets not forget a fantastic drive in 2009 coming from dead last to finish in 4th only to be stripped after the race one the lie-gate saga emerged.

Hamilton is bullish that his McLaren team can improve on his 3rd place finish at Bahrain, with Albert Park more suited to the characteristics of his McLaren Machinery & believes there is a good chance of victory for the team.

Hamilton said; “Sometimes your car suits it better than others – this circuit should work to the strengths of our car,” he added. “We feel stronger coming in to this race and hopefully we can get more points – for myself and Jenson. We do have a chance of winning this weekend. And hopefully we’ll be able to get that edge.

Sutil

Sutil

Sutil is one other driver that believes’ the racing spectacle is going to be much better at the Australian circuit, however,  he is also one of the drivers that proved there were overtaking opportunities at Bahrain as he managed to climb to 12th right back from 21st, albeit passing new comer teams Virgin, Lotus & HRT. Sutil does believe, however, that the teams at the front of the field in Bahrain may have been driving cautiously and as a result provided us with the uninteresting racing that we are all talking of. This is a pattern that he is not expecting to be repeated in Australia.

Sutil said: “I think every drivers were a bit cautious as it was the first race and we had to go a long distance on the soft tyre and nobody really knew the best way to call it.

“Now we will go to Australia and tweak it a bit more to the limit and start to be a more aggressive.

Fernando

Fernando

Ferrari Driver & Bahrain winner Fernando Alonso has called upon F1’s rule makers to resist pushing ahead with further rule changes in the wake of a dull 1st race.

The Spaniard believes some of his rivals were “hot-headed” in their criticism of the grand prix.

“I think that many of us have given some hot headed comments immediately

after the race in Bahrain,” Alonso said on Ferrari’s website.

“It’s true that the race in Sakhir wasn’t especially spectacular – although for us Ferrari it was great and exciting – but it’s too early to talk about changing the rules.

“We have to wait and see different races and check the situation, without being emotional. Something that confuses the fans is changing the rules all the time.”

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Diffuser Loophole Now Closed.

The FIA has now closed the loophole of the double diffuser

McLaren, Mercedes GP and at least two other teams have to make modifications to their diffuser prior to the Australian GP. The FIA is clamping down on teams exploiting the grey areas of the device, ironically Mercedes being one of these teams, in their former guise (Brawn) effetely introduced & won the championship with the same device.

This I feel is outrageous, all the development that went on through the winter and the FIA feel that now they should implement an embargo against innovative use of the said device. The FIA constantly talk of cost reductions in F1, all that I can see in this situation is that now these four teams will have to spend unnecessary money now to modify these cars.

I believe it is the FIA that is manufacturing escalated spending in F1. For example, two seasons in a row now all the teams have had to develop a car from scratch. 2009, full technical overhaul of the regulation, 2010, ban on in-race refuelling. This meant that both seasons none of the teams could bring an evolution of their respective cars, spending tens of millions on development of new machinery.

McLaren, Mercedes GP & Renault along with Force India will have to make these modifications prior to attending  Albert park, with the later of those teams holding a significantly smaller budget than the prior three, we will all see who will be hit hardest. This is a team that was just showing real promise in there motor-sport campaign.

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The Double Diffuser Drama MKII

The FIA are set to clarify the legality of the double diffuser’s of at least three teams prior to the Australian GP.

I find this absolutely outrageous! With Homologation already clarified of each and every chassis on the grid how can there be any dispute moving into the second race of the season & where does that leave the results of the first race.

The FIA, quite a well resourced organization should have had this clear cut prior to the season getting underway, especially as they are in direct communication with the teams all the way through winter development. Leaving issues until scrutineering pre-race is just stupid, much like the controversy of the McLaren rear wing before Bahrain. The FIA could clearly hold a pre-season meet where all the teams bring their cars for examination in order to elevate any concerns of other teams prior to the racing season kicks off.

McLaren team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said about the situation: “I think Charlie came down and looked at all the cars in that area, but I am not aware that anyone had any action taken against them over it. There were some concerns expressed.

“There is a discussion between all the teams about what we are going to do. There are holes in the diffuser for the starter; the hole in ours is no bigger than the one on the championship winning car last year, also no bigger than it is on four other cars.”

With the FIA in discussion with at least 3 teams including McLaren & Mercedes GP – to sort out the matter. The FIA Believe that these outfits are exploiting the rules with what they are doing – even if they are not strictly going against the regulations.

Clarity is indeed needed.

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Bahrain Grand Prix 2010

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

With the 1st race of the season over and victory clinched by Ferrari due to the demise of Sebastian Vettel. We had some action further down the grid; however, the racing was very processional and not what we were promised as the best season for decades.

The cars still seem as though they can’t over take, a good example of this was the battle for 4th with Lewis Hamilton trailing the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg throughout the 1st stint and only managing to vault him on the 1st tyre stop.  The F vent in the McLaren seems to do the job of giving a speed advantage on the straights but once in the turbulent air of the car in front there is pretty much nothing they can do to overtake short of the car in front making a mistake.

This problem was also apparent with the Ferrari’s as the engineers on the pit wall were concerned once in the turbulent dirty air of Vettel.

Vettel had his own problems 16 laps from the end of the race, with a faulty spark plug effectively ruining his chance of a race win & podium. The young German looks in good shape to fight for the title in 2010, however, RBR need to take a strong look at their reliability, a major factor that took Vettel out of contention for 2009 title.

Schumacher had a lacklustre return to F1 finishing behind team-mate Nico Rosberg and unable to make much progress up the field.

One team that impressed, albeit the slowest on the grid was Lotus Racing. With virgin looking as though they had the jump on them in terms of race pace, Lotus actually managed to achieve their goal of reaching the chequered flag & watching fellow new boys Virgin & Hispania fall off one by one. Mike Gascoyne can feel proud of the teams achievements in their debut, giving them clear reliability advantage bearing in mind they only had 6 months to design and build a new car from a blank canvas. This positions them well to learn from the 2010 season and come into the 2011 season much stronger.

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