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October 05, 2009


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Leigh O'Gorman

Wasn't the worst race I've ever seen, but I have seen a lot better.

It's true about the cars and overtaking though.
I heard a report on the BBC during the Singapore race weekend that ever since the rest of the field introduced their double-diffusers at around 1/3rd point in the season, overtaking is at 20% of what it was beforehand.

Shocking. Just hope it's not there next year...

Also surprised so few were at Suzuka - the place is normally packed out


So I made it a point to be up before 6:30a.m. Sunday (typical start time for F1 for me) to watch the race. So what's on Speed? F1? No. I see some guy stuffing what looks like a big block chevy V-8 into a Mazda Miata. okaaaayyyy, whatever. Anyway, after reading your notes, I'm not disappointed about missing the race after all.


Leigh: You must have seen some fugly races in your time if this wasn't toward the bottom. Rob: the race was actually on at 12:30 a.m. or so. My DVR failed to record it for some reason, so I had to watch the replay at 9 p.m. Central Sunday. Sorry I bothered.

Filip Cleeren

"You must have seen some fugly races in your time if this wasn't toward the bottom."

Remember the Schumacher years?

Leigh O'Gorman


Spain 1999 (the first pass of the race was on lap 63 of 65), Hungary 2005 (no passes at any stage - not on track or in the pits) and Valencia 2008 (just a festival of boredom on and off track) instantly spring to mind as notable duds...

Something got me thinking during the race though. Near the start Barrichello was following Raikkonen and asked over the team radio "will I try to pass him?"
The reply from Jock Clear (Ruben's race engineer) was "don't bother, we should get him at the pit-stops" (they didn't).

As far as I'm concerned, this represents, not just F1, but motor-racing at its laziest; however it has unfortunately become the norm.
For this reason I'm happy the fuel stops are banned next year. On the other hand, the fuel strategies were kind of interesting, but they should add to the race, not take away from it.


Valencia in general. Good point. Never watched Shumacher bitchslap the field. Didn't follow F1 back then, partially because the same guy won everything and nobody passed. I'm mixed on no refueling. On the one hand, it kills all the light/heavy pit strategies which in many races are all the excitement there is. On the other hand, as you say, it forces people to actually race. You know, on the track. We'll see, I guess, unless I lose interest before then.

Leigh O'Gorman

If anything, no fuel stops makes tyre choices more critical.
The side effect could be drivers make more stops to constantly rotate fresh tyres that are more easily destroyed by heavier machinery.

The last time there were no fuel stops, the cars only weighed 500kg - now they are to weigh 620kg.
Tyre wear as a result will increase massively.

Gary P

Dog, didn't Hammy get Trulli at the start? And Trulli didn't get the position back until the second stops when he was able to go a couple laps longer? Can't really remember; I was ironing work clothes for the week and that was more exciting than the race.

As for the booth guys bagging on Kimmi for not trying, he earned that reputation last year when he regularly qualified and ran down in the pack only to come alive in the last half dozen laps and "go purple."

Leigh O'Gorman

Slightly off topic, but McLaren boss - Martin Whitmarsh - has laid down some smackdown about F1 going to the US and Canada.

In a nutshell, he says that trips to the new and exotic venues should subsidise the American races as that's where actual racing fans are.
Good on you Martin

Travis R

After the crashfest on Saturday and the grid rearranging, I had high hopes for this race. I thought there might be some good fighting (at least in the midfield) and the potential for a safety car or two to mix up the strategies a bit. I was even hoping for some rain. It turned out pretty boring, but at least I did well in my fantasy F1 league...

I agree with Leigh on Valencia being more boring (although this year's was a bit better than last year). I also agree on the point about the tyre wear caused by the fuel weight - even though I'm thoroughly enjoying 2009, I'm already excited about 2010!

Leigh O'Gorman

Saw an article with Ross Brawn today where he was talking about the need to further massively reduce downforce again to help enable passing.
It's interesting that he's referring to the fact that the cars are simply too aerodynamically efficient as opposed to pointing out the difficulties of dirty air.

Suzuka is an old style track and could really do with downforce being lessened somewhat. Corners like 130R are supposed to be "balls-to-the-wall" type turns rather than just plain flat-out bends.

In other news, Kubica has officially signed for Renault and Trulli is doing a N****R test "for fun"

Brian McKay

NAPCAR trucks worked out so well for Jacques Villeneuve... I guess that's Piquet's way of leaving Europe with his tail 'tween his legs rather than going sports car racing or GT racing or touring car racing...

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