Negative Camber’s European GP Review

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The European grand prix was exciting but allows me the chance to launch into what I feel is a very bad regulation. I have stated this many times before but today’s events bring it to full light. The current tire rules are dangerous and should be changed for next year.

No team is there to fight for tire preservation; they are there to go as fast as possible and win points. Kimi had this race in hand. He could have seriously injured himself and Jenson Button in the final lap. Massa could have been in the points but instead nearly ripped the front of his car off. Many on this forum have said it’s up to Michelin to make a tire that doesn’t wear out or blow up putting lives at risk. F1 is about engineering and they should be able to make a tire that lasts. I understand but find this dismissive and not very realistic when trying to achieve the WC with average speeds of 120-150mph mark. The level of competitiveness and money behind this sport will always insure us that they will push the limit. If the FIA was truly concerned about safety and cost reduction concerning tires perhaps a spec tire would reduce testing costs and changing them as often as you like would insure safety. MHO.

Renault- Fernando drove a good race even with a mistake and was in the right place on the last lap. Their race pace was impressive and the strategy played into their hands perfectly. He will be very hard to stop. Fisi is a bit of a mystery to me. I have thought that Fisi is among the top drivers in F1 but lacked the equipment. At times, like today, he shines like a diamond and other times seem adrift of his teammate. I really like Fisi; I just wish he could find the consistency that would insure results like todays.

McLaren- Kim had it won. If I am Ron, I would have made the same decision to keep him out although if they had changed the tire on the last 2 or 3 laps he may have still finished 3-5th. McLaren are there to win and take Fernando down not look to 5th place finishes. Ron does not strike me as a man who seeks top 10 finishes for his team or sponsors and one might garner respect for that competitiveness. It would be crass to place blame at JPM’s feet on the first corner events that dropped him back. In actuality he made good pace and caught up with the pack to finish respectably even though he was punted by Webber. I say it was a good drive that showed patience and that’s a word the Columbian is not always coterminous with.

Williams- Great job Nick! I wonder if the two-stopper would have had any better results? Nick drove an intelligent race and was included with the class of the field. Mario said today he is worth every single dollar they pay him. I couldn’t agree more. Mark on the other hand has got to put the hype of his persona behind him and start driving. The pressure he must feel as being the #1 at Williams and slowly decaying in front of his under-paid teammate would be hard to handle. The hype of his Minardi days and qualifying the Jag better than the car deserved was good but its memories. I think Mark is capable. I think he is the real thing but he suffers from questionable judgment at times that are critical. Mark was very dismissive of Nick in the beginning but the little German has definitely go this attention now and when Jenson comes over; Nick may not be the guy packing his bags.

Toyota- Jarno said he could have won today. I’m not sure I could doubt that but sadly it didn’t pan out. When Ralf crashes; the whole team suffers. When the team is in pit lane too long; the whole team suffers. It’s a team effort come what may. I think Jarno has really proven himself this year and I hope Toyota is patient enough to wait for consistency to find Jarno’s address. Ralf may be in trouble regardless of the length of his contract. The shame being that Ralf has it in him; I’ve seen it many times. The first corner was not his fault but he seems to be a magnate for trouble this season.

Ferrari- Kudos to Rubens. A good drive and his 3 stop strategy worked well. It was refreshing to see Ferrari back on the podium in a surge of competitiveness. MS on the other hand was good to come from back and finish in the points but I may have put a pound or two on him running a one-stop. Boy was I wrong. No heavy fuel to impede qualy; just no pace on B’Stones. For my feelings on Ferrari’s disarray with B’Stone; see above intro.

Honda- The blurb today was that Honda was flummoxed by the lack of pace and a smart arse might say that’s what happens when you are regulation weight. On the other hand; I too am flummoxed at 10th and 12th. I think Honda has better pace. I kick myself wondering what they would be doing this year with Dave Richards. Honda knows how to win this series. One might argue the old engines had an effect and I would not disagree but one might also argue that the teams made some critical adjustment to the lumps for the new qualifying while Honda was caught out. Regardless; Honda need to regroup and find the speed they had last year. Or Dave Richards phone number.

Red Bull- Good job DC. Proving that while you didn’t win the WC with McLaren’ you are a deserved driver in F1 an capable of doing good things in inferior equipment. Apparently the case of Red Bull my office buys each week is paying off. ;) I say good for DC. Good bloke and while everyone thought he would fade into obscurity; he has proven us all a bunch of hacks. Liuzzi? For crying out loud someone call Christian and get his arse back in the car. And another thing; Scott Speed is not going to make this American watch any more F1 or be any more enthused about the series. I don’t need US participation in the sport to make me a fan. I think this premise is overrated and while some folks won’t watch unless there is an American in it; I say lets at least give Christian the chance to show what he’s made of. He did very well at the beginning of the year and doesn’t wear those ridiculous hats.

Sauber- Massa and the current tire regulations. He could have made some precious points for Peter but instead tore his nose off trying to limp around with a delaminating front left. That’s just sad. JV on the other hand was just slow. I am lost as to why he had to fight with the Jordan’s. Surely a Sauber could make quick work of a Jordan. Oddly enough he spent the day fighting with both Jordan’s and being associated with Kimi’s flat-spot. He did say it was a boring race. Nice. Perhaps an Indy seat would feel better on your bum JV.

Jordan- They were both happy to have beaten up on JV but Tiago needs to check the crayon box. Blue is blue. That means move over. Apparently Nick struggled with them trying to lap them and cost him time. I miss Eddie. Anyone else?

Minardi- They both made it to the Checkered flag! Yeah. Progress as promised by Mr. Mouth & Trousers.

Michelin- Good tire boys, how about using some liquid nails on the sidewalls to keep the things together? ;)

Bridgestone- Guys; we need to look at qualy. No race pace is going to cure 15th on the grid every race. Race trim is one thing but perhaps a fin or sawbuck to a course worker might produce some used Michelin rubber for you to study. ;)

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