Could Rosberg Be the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix Champion in Waiting?

 Drivers  Comments Off on Could Rosberg Be the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix Champion in Waiting?
May 112016
 

Nico-Rosberg-F1-Australian-Grand-PrixIt is a game every fan likes to play once a new Formula One season kicks in. The guessing game starts right from the first race and for the 2016 season, the Australian GP provided quite the chance to point out who was driving like a champion. Well, Nico Rosberg snatched a win after his teammate and closest challenger for the title Lewis Hamilton fluffed his chances.

So, is it possible that the three races Rosberg has won can actually provide the impetus to make him a champion? Well, you just have to look at other factors that are making his winning style so remarkably easy to answer this. Here you go:

1.      The Luck Factor

However much every F1 driver wants to discredit the aspect of luck, it is obvious that some situations just align to give a particular driver victory. Take, for instance, Rosberg’s win in China and Bahrain and you realize that he was guaranteed a win despite the chaos behind him. In China particularly, Ricciardo was just unlucky to get that puncture and probably might have fought for a podium finish if not a win.

2.      Spectacular Driving

While Hamilton is known for his dare devil driving commonly compared to that of Senna’s, Rosberg makes it cool. For the last six races, the German has fought his own battles without concentrating too much on Lewis Hamilton. This has been attributed to his perfect form and if he keeps this up you can bet this season’s champion is already being molded.

3.      Hamilton’s Woes

Lewis Hamilton has experienced a woeful start to his title defense and it seems to be rattling his nerves. For all his showmanship, every F1 driver understands that catch-up is never easy. His slow starts coupled with his car problems have consigned him to fight backs and in Shanghai, he was not even on the podium. With a gap of 36 points already being opened Hamilton might be forced to make more errors as he tries to catch-up just like Rosberg did in the later stages of the 2015 F1 season.

4.      The Title Championship Hunger

For two years, Nico Rosberg has seen the title snatched by Hamilton. In the 2014 season, the situation got acrimonious to a point where the two almost jeopardized their team’s chances.  The incidents at the Hungary and Monaco GPs in 2014 highlight Rosberg’s thirst for a first title. He is older in F1 than Lewis and definitely knows this is the perfect car to give him the title. The bottom-line is that Rosberg is going to try and pull away from the rest of the field as fast as possible.

Image25.      Team Support

The fact that Mercedes is allowing the rival drivers to enjoy their races and giving them public support is just perfect for fans. Forget the claims by Hamilton in the 2015 F1 season that Rosberg was being treated specially. This year, the Toto Wolff and the rest of the team have vowed to allow the two to race all-out as long as it doesn’t compromise the team’s long-term strategy.

It might be too early to say Nico Rosberg will be 2016 Formula One champion, but one thing is clear; the stars just seem to be perfectly aligned for him.

New F1 Rules for 2015

 F1 Rules  Comments Off on New F1 Rules for 2015
Jan 052015
 

The F1 Commission met on Thursday 17th October in Munich to go over a host of suggestions made by the Formula One Strategy Group for F1 racing seasons going forward. A few changes made include reductions in the usage of wind tunnels; in-season testing regulations as well as standing re-starts. Stakeholders believe that the idea behind these changes is to save costs as well as enliven the performances for better spectator experience.

A few of the changes

1.      Introduction of standing restarts will be present in some scenarios of the F1 races. This follows the introduction of the Safety Car to be present in races, though not all of them. The change passed despite a largely negative response from the drivers, pundit and even fans.

2.      In addition, the number of in-session testing has reduced to two from four. Only European Grand Prix venues will be subject to the three tests pre-season.

3.      During race weekends, parc ferme conditions will start during Saturday morning’s third Practice session, rather than during the qualifying session in the afternoon.

4.      Mechanics’ curfew on Friday nights has seen an extension to seven hours from six in 2015, with another hour’s increase come 2016.

5.      There will be further restrictions on the teams’ wind tunnel usage as well as CFD technology. The former will be reduced to 65 hours from 80 hours weekly, even though the new rules allow for two periods of tunnel occupancy on the same day, as opposed to the single one provided by current regulations. Changes will allow teams to nominate a single wind tunnel for every complete F1 season.

6.      Every car that has a complete change in the power unit will have to begin the race at the back in the grid, as opposed to the pit lane, which is what current regulations stipulate.

7.      Drivers only have freedom to use four engines penalty-free for the campaign period. However, they may get a chance to use five if the 2015 calendar schedules 20 races or more.

Change in the Technical Regulations

Regulations changing the nose design of vehicles are universally welcome, since the new regulations aim at improving the safety and aesthetic appeal of competing vehicles. In order to meet the 2014 low-nose regulations, this year’s cars had to have quite unseemly exteriors.

In addition, the commission approved changes to lighten the skid blocks under the cars, as well as also set mandatory two-stage wheel fastener retaining systems.

The changes, which have in large part been driven by a bid to increase affordability of the F1 race for smaller teams, have still yet to come close to the levels that satisfy the smaller competing teams.

The current practice is for drivers to run at lowered speeds in files behind the Safety Car. Marshals are responsible for clearing the tracks of any incidents. Once the circuit is clear, rolling restarts can take place.

With the new regulations for 2015, drivers will have to realign themselves on the grid for restart following the pattern of a traditional race starting. Rolling starts will only be where there has been use of the Safety Car within two laps of a start or restart or where five laps or less left in the race.

Pre-season testing

The changes ban pre-season testings outside of Europe. Europe will have 3-4 day tests carried out next season, with a reduction to just two tests in 2016. The in-season schedule, which saw reintroduction this season after six years, will also only be in Europe, where the timing is halved to four days – two two-day testings. Completion of half of the running will be by the younger drivers.

Most importantly, changes in Sporting and Technical Regulations for the 2016 season without unanimity has been changed from June 30th to March 1st.

 Posted by at 6:15 pm

Looking Back at the Impact of Monaco Grand Prix 2014

 Monaco  Comments Off on Looking Back at the Impact of Monaco Grand Prix 2014
Nov 272014
 

monaco 2014It was Mika Hakkinen who exclaimed that winning at Monaco GP is better than winning the championship. Well, you just have to look at all previous winners on this circuit to appreciate the impact that Monaco has on the title. From Senna to Hamilton, winners on the Monte Carlo streets end up becoming legends.

Monaco 2014 and Title Win

So, did the 2014 Monaco impact on the title? Pundits have different opinions on this but a cursory glance at events during practice and qualifying paint a clearer picture. Hamilton was three points ahead of Rosberg going into the race and already there was some tension between the two drivers.

In qualifying Rosberg was already fastest but locked a front wheel and went into an escape route at Mirabeau. With that action, caution flags came out and Hamilton could not complete a final lap. It seemed like an innocuous issue but Hamilton was adamant that this was all gamesmanship to prevent him from taking pole position.

From that point, the stage was set for one of the most thrilling races of the season. Eventually Hamilton persevered to win on the Monte Carlo streets. With that, the title race was now open and the two drivers were going for each other’s jugular.

Nico Rosberg went on to cement his lead with second place in Canada, first in Spielberg, Austria, home win in Germany eventually leading to the Hungarian and later Spa-Francorchamps debacle. By this time, the events of Monaco GP had ruined any camaraderie between the childhood friends.

At the Hungaroring in Hungary, Rosberg was livid about Hamilton’s decision to ignore team orders to let him pass. Hamilton went on to finish third but things were about to get nasty. At the Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Rosberg was behind and in a move that perplexed fans and pundits alike he drove into the Briton effectively puncturing his tire and ending his race.

Rosberg received a heavy fine from the team and from that point, speculation was rife about which driver was to leave the team at season end. It seems like Hamilton decided to up his game and revel in the sympathy from fans. Rosberg on the other hand seemed cowed by boos from fans in later races.

In essence the events of Monaco GP 2014 brought a change in both drivers’ character and Hamilton went ahead to win at Monza Italy, Singapore, Suzuka Japan, Sochi Russia, the U.S.A, and eventually Yas Marina Abu Dhabi which sealed the title.

Well, Monte Carlo has always offered drama including the infamous Schumacher’s parking move to deny Renault’s Fernando Alonso pole position. In the Monaco 2015 GP, you can expect even more drama as drivers angle themselves to win on the legendary track and join history books.

The ingredients are all there for one of the most exciting seasons in Formula One; the drama, tension, thrill, twists and turns and of course conspiracy theories. See you at Monaco GP 2015; nothing beats such fun.