Finally, the wait is over, Formula 1 is back! And with a blast. Today, Kimi Räikönnen won the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
After qualifying 7th at the grid this morning, the Finnish driver managed to step up the ladder to the first place. After the start, the battle was fought between Vettel, Massa and Alonso. Behind this trio, Kimi was keeping up pretty well. But it was after the second series of pitstops where everyone became surprised: Kimi was not stopping like the others. He took the lead, hold onto it and thus “easily” won the race. Amazing performance.
Alonso and Massa
The Ferrari performed really well, and this will certainly satisfy the Italian fans. Alonso was very quick from the start and was perhaps the only real threat for Kimi, till the end. Massa also had a great beginning of his season by qualifying in front of his teammate, and by being able to keep up with the fast drivers in front of him.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the race was Marc Webber who once again had a terrible start. He lost 5 places and couldn’t really get into his home-race. While struggling for space, the Australian decided to go into the pit for fresh rubber twice, mainly because he was stuck behind traffic.
McLaren, what were you doing!?
The biggest surprise for me is McLaren. I think Button was very professional and he did everything he could, but in a sensible way. This morning during the qualifications my jaw dropped when I saw Perez on slicks. There just wasn’t a dry line visible anywhere on the track. Other teams informed the driver 5 minutes before time “the options are for sure the way to go” but poor Perez kept on trying. Also Button took his shot at driving with dry-weather tires, in the rain. However, with 4 minutes to go he got in for the option tire. And Perez? He just stayed out. Why? I really don’t know. It was bloody obvious this wasn’t the right tire and they just kept him trying on track. After the session his engineer said “Sorry mate, perhaps…. this wasn’t the right choice”. OH REALLY? Thank you captain obvious.
Anyway can’t wait for Malaysia, the cars are VERY close together and the drivers seem very hungry for victories.
The teams are presenting their 2013 cars one by one, and we’re almost complete. I’ve put all teams, and drivers, on several teampages so you can see what team came up with what car, and who will be driving them.
Check out the teams so far.
Everyone, the time is here: Lotus will be the first to reveal it’s E21 2013 F1 contender. What more is there to say? One word: ENJOY!
Formula one is having it’s winter break, so what do we do? We game! I personally love Codemaster’s Formula 1 2012, but I always found it a hassle to attach my wheel to the desk. Until I spontaneously bought SteelSeries’ SRW-S1 steering wheel…
After buying F1 2012 at the release date, I haven’t played the game that often. I did some quick races and the first career race. Then it stalled. I like social media a lot, and that means checking Facebook every 10-20 minutes (addict, I know). But I also check Formula 1 news websites on an hourly basis. My desk is so small, attaching my wheel needs my keyboard to leave my moving range. So you can imagine I didn’t play the game very often.
Then, winter came…
Winter came and I wanted to play F1 2012 again. So I played it twice, and my old wheel kinda stopped working. Even while re-adjusting it, it would go everywhere on the track. Bad connections I guess. Then I saw this awesomely designed wheel, the SRW-S1. While being very skeptic at first, I thought of HD Racing 2 on the iPad. You’re steering with the iPad mid-air and I really enjoyed that game. Screw it, let’s just get it.
You can fire up your racing game and grab the wheel, that’s all you need. Are you between Q1, Q2 and you want to check your e-mail? Just alt-tab back to windows and put the wheel aside. It rocks, and made me play F1 2012 for the first time in ages. And again, and again…
The driving experience
Racing with this wheel is pure fun. The gears have a nice click and steering your way around the track is amazingly accurate. I hoped for good accurate but they produced GREAT accuracy. It’s great to also have so many buttons on the wheel, with matching labels. I was able to assign all buttons I needed, and still have some empty buttons left. For the first time ever I also started using some buttons (and navigation) I was never able to use before on other wheels. Excellent
LED light RPM indicators
The wheel also features the red-green-blue LED indicators on the wheel (no gear/KERS numbers, but hey now I’m really acting spoiled, haha!). When you go to the SteelSeries website, you can download a small exe file and after just installing, these LED’s will work perfect with Codemasters F1 2012. They are bright and very very cool. Get the software quickly and for free at their official website.
Well, there are a 3rd and 4th flap at the rear of the wheel. These are very very accurate for throttle and gas, but I never tried to get used to them. I’ve heard stories of people racing 10-15 minutes and they fully adjusted to them. However, I still have my old ground pedals connected to the pc so I just use those. They can be combined without any problem. I’d say no pedals is the only bad side but once again: I’ve heard many stories of people who got used to racing without pedals on the ground. So if it’s your first wheel: no problem. Also you can probably get pedals second hand for like $10, especially if the wheel is broken and only the pedals work.
Out of the box thinking, pure fun, quality, accuracy and great design. This wheel has made me smile since I drove my first lap at Spa in F1 2012. 9/10 for me. It would’ve been 10/10 if there was a version with pedals but hey, this is personal preference.
Don’t have it yet? Go get it. Now.
Official website: SteelSeries S1 wheel product page
Mike Gascoyne has said the points system should be modified in Formula 1. And he does have a valid point.
“[Petrov's move was] massively important – there were about £7million good reasons to do it,” Gascoyne told Sky Sports, “It was a fantastic job from Vitaly to do that, but it is what we deserved as the team was in front of Marussia for the whole year.
“We were a better team than they were, and it would have been an anomaly if we hadn’t finished tenth because it is just on that one [race] position.
“I think you have to look at putting points all the way down [the field] because, when you [decide championship positions] from your best race, we out performed them at every race and could have lost a huge amount of money on one race. That is not what it should be about.”
There are two important aspects of the point system.
How well did everyone perform?
First, it should clearly indicate the winner, and who’s behind him in order of the fastest to the slowest car on the grid. Back in the days, only the first up to sixth place would get points. After that, no-one had an exact idea of where they stood.
giving points to all places would fix this problem. Finishing 20th would be better than 21th, while now it doesn’t matter that much.
Push push push!
The second aspect is the motivator to perform. When you’re 18th with one more lap to go, you won’t push that hard. Who cares between 18th and 17th? Just keep the car in one piece and bring it home. But when it means more points, drivers are more likely to take some more risk.
This year the gap between first, second and third is quite big. I think that’s a very good thing. When you can get 25 points as first and 24 as second, it won’t matter that much what place you end up. However, when 50 is the highest, and the second place only gets 30, it might be worth it to break a little bit later in that last corner in that last lap.
What would be a good point-system?
Here’s my suggestion, where the higher you end up, the more it will matter. After 19 races I’m pretty confident no team will have an equal number of points.
While other drivers have already unbottled champagne for their first Formula 1 contract, two seats are yet to be filled by Formula 1 pilots. At Caterham the battle seemed to go between it’s current drivers Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen. But I wouldn’t write “seemed” in the intro if that was true.
Heikki has been honest during the season that he feels like stepping up the ladder. After a very challenging and thus difficult entré at Renault F1 and after that McLaren, the Fin finally found a place where he could develop his skills within Formula one. After having proven to be very reliable and fast, he wanted more. In the eyes of Gascoyne, this was seen as too arrogant. Result? Heikki is out. Also, he doesn’t seem to find another seat so odds are 2012 was Heikki’s last Formula 1 show, for now.
So what about our comrad Petrov? Vitaly has proven to be fast and Formula one worthy, even tho he has been seen as a paydriver from day one. Well ask Alonso if that’s true and he will probably scream in your face “THE MAN IS A BLOODY KING OF BLOCKING!!!”. And he surely did a nice job in his last performance at Renault. Where was he next year? Out. At Caterham he also had a nice last performance in Brazil where he ensured the team finishing 10th in front of Marussia. Big deal? Yes, according to various sources this made Caterham receive about US $30.000.000. Quite a big deal.
But that money will not pay his 2013 seat since he still has to bring money. And can he? His manager Oksana Kosachenko however, said they didn’t have the needed fundings so far.
So, who else?
“There are different options. One is someone who he (Pic) can learn from,” Abiteboul told Eastern Daily Press.
“Another, more radical, is to accept the fact 2013 is a transition year we use to continue building the team before a period of greater stability in 2014, when a lot of other things in the package will change.
So who is Abiteboul aiming at? Obviously at least one experienced driver. Heikki seems to be out, or isn’t he? You can’t call a driver arrogant and then offer him a contract. That’s just weird. Now what about de la Rosa? Indeed Pic can learn from him… and that’s about it. Now what about the more radical option? This could be either Guido or even Kamui. Tho I do not think this will be the Dutchman. Guido would run across Russia, to China and back on bare feet to get that seat. So why would he have to “understand” this is a transition year to a more successful 2014? Doesn’t make sense. Kamui is a radical choice, is a fast driver with some risk, has said not to race in 2013 and said he wanted to go to a topteam. So *he* should indeed understand 2013 will be a bridge to Caterham being a top team. Wise choice? I think it is important for Kamui to be out there on track simply to stay in form. Until the first tests at Jerez: time will tell.
Lately, rumors have been quite strong about Kamui Kobayashi joining the Lotus Renault F1 team. While other drivers look for sponsors, the Japanese driver collected over €1.600.000 from donating fans alone.
But more good news came for the Japanese driver and Renault, that Honeywell wants to sponsor the team by a rough $30.000.000. If that deal goes through, the team can focus a bit more on bringing talent in the team instead of a paydriver.
The choice is now for Renault between Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi. The team has stated to be looking for more consistency, something the Japanse driver has. He is pretty fast, an amazing fighter during the race but he can also score points even when the car has damage. During the race in Abu Dabi Kamui’s KERS was failing him, and he still managed to hold off some other fast drivers.
Romain Grosjean on the other hand is a very fast talent. But he’s not only a rocket because of his speed, he also explodes from time to time. He was actually the first driver in 18 years to be banned from a race, and facts like those aren’t really in line with being consistent. From various podiums to a large number of (first lap) crashes and a ban, the guy truly is an unguided rocket.
Personally I think Grosjean needs to be in Formula 1. He has proven himself to be competitive and fast, but needs to mature a bit. Perhaps Force India is the way to go for him? Great car and the midfield is a good challenge. Kamui on the other hand would look perfect in that Lotus Renault F1 car. Next to Kimi it would be an epic team, especially if the car is even faster.
Kamui, you have my vow of confidence. Go for it.
After a very exciting and entertaining 2012, the teams and drivers are preparing for 2013. But not everyone is doing just that. The HRT team has failed to sign up for the 2013 season and there are also some drivers switching to other teams, kicking others out. So which team is still looking for a driver? Let’s create some overview.
Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Fernando Alonso and Felippe Massa.
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.
Kimi Räikkönen. 2nd seat available.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Paul di Resta, 2nd seat available.
Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez.
Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado
Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne
Charles Pic, 2nd seat available.
Timo Glock, 2nd seat available.
Title says it all. I watched the whole race again and I must say, wow. So sit back, get a drink, get a snack (or 2) and enjoy.