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Old 03-12-2015, 08:09 AM
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2015 Australian Grand Prix (March 13 - 15)

It has been a particularly eventful off season with many of the stories having little to do with the actual racing. The biggest racing related story was of course the return of the Honda/McLaren partnership. Pre-season testing was not without troubles, so it will be a tough debut this weekend. The tests also revealed that Mercedes still holds an advantage, so going into the weekend the German team is the big favourite, closely followed by the similarly powered Williams team.

Right now the biggest question marks concern the Sauber vs Giedo van der Garde lawsuit and the doubts over Manor F1's participation. As it stands, the judge has ruled Van der Gard has a right to a seat in one of the Saubers but the team is still pushing ahead with running Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericson. If the matter is not resolved, it could very well spell the end for the Swiss team as it needs the funding supplied by Nasr and Ericson to survive. Manor made a last-minute appearance but software issues may rule the cars out from participating.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:16 PM
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The first free practice saw business at usual at the sharp end of the grid while McLaren struggled, and Manor and Sauber did not run at all. The Swiss team's legal problems are ongoing but they did go out during practice two with Nasr and Ericson driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Practice 1
P Name
Team Best Time Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.557 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.586 19
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:30.748 20
4 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:31.014 32
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.029 13
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:31.067 31
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:31.188 19
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:31.310 14
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:31.451 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.570 9
11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:32.073 18
12 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.247 22
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:32.261 19
14 Jenson Button McLaren 1:34.542 6
15 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:34.785 7
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus 2:17.782 5

FP1 - Mercedes set dominant Melbourne pace
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:39 AM
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Both Saubers ran in FP2 as Magnussen crashed out. Rosberg continues his stellar form:

Quote:
P Name
Team Best Time Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.697 29
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.797 25
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:28.412 33
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:28.842 33
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:29.265 32
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:30.016 27
7 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:30.071 41
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:30.104 11
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:30.205 37
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:30.473 30
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:30.755 33
12 Sergio Perez Force India 1:30.980 32
13 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.387 21
14 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:31.395 6
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.303 14
16 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:33.289 4

FP2 - Rosberg top as Magnussen crashes out
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:11 PM
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Looks like MB is the team to beat.

What surprised me is how well Ferrari has done as well as how well Lotus has done.
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Old 03-14-2015, 07:12 AM
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Qualifying revealed that the Mercedes and more particularly the Mercedes power-unit is still the one to beat. Ferrari have made good progress but McLaren and Honda can only improve. The Manor/Marussia cars did not run due to software issues and will not race tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qualifying
P Name Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.586 1:26.894 1:26.327 16
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.906 1:27.097 1:26.921 14
3 Felipe Massa Williams 1:29.246 1:27.895 1:27.718 21
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.307 1:27.742 1:27.757 12
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.754 1:27.807 1:27.790 17
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:29.641 1:27.796 1:28.087 16
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.788 1:28.679 1:28.329 22
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:29.597 1:28.601 1:28.510 22
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.537 1:28.589 1:28.560 20
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:29.847 1:28.726 1:29.480 20
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:30.430 1:28.800 17
12 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:29.248 1:28.868 15
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:30.402 1:29.070 9
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:29.651 1:29.208 14
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:29.990 1:29.209 13
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:31.376 10
17 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.422 7
18 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:32.037 8
DNS Will Stevens Marussia No time
DNS Roberto Merhi Marussia No time

Qualifying - brilliant Hamilton beats Rosberg to Melbourne pole
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:38 PM
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McLaren is going to have a rough year. It would be nice to think that they can compete this year, but it is very unlikely.

Not the best showing from Red Bull, but Sauber and Lotus did well given their circumstances. Credit to Ferrari so far. This seemed like a particularly bush-league start to an F1 season, with several teams getting very little resting in, Caterham dead, Manor a big maybe, Sauber being litigated against, and McLaren looking quite slow.

My "out on a limb" title guess will be Hamilton for the double.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:18 AM
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15 cars on the grid, 11 finished; a bit sad.

McLaren does have a problem. And Mercedes is going to win all over again.

I also fell asleep at lap 15.

This is my analysis of the race.
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:30 PM
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Sauber ended up doing fairly well. The kids made a decent showings for themselves, in general. Seb being 30s behind the two Mercs when they were surely cruising is very bad news for neutral fans, and the other manufacturers. Some hiccups need to be ironed out by a bunch of cars on the grid. Red Bull were slower than I expected but can develop.

Can anyone see anyone developing enough to challenge for the WDC/WCC from Benz though?
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post


Sauber ended up doing fairly well. The kids made a decent showings for themselves, in general. Seb being 30s behind the two Mercs when they were surely cruising is very bad news for neutral fans, and the other manufacturers. Some hiccups need to be ironed out by a bunch of cars on the grid. Red Bull were slower than I expected but can develop.

Can anyone see anyone developing enough to challenge for the WDC/WCC from Benz though?
No. The Merc powered cars will have the grunt but none of them had the chassis budget that Merc had. Ferrari will have a solid year and likely end up best of the rest, and their engine customers will duke it out with the Merc customers. Red Bull will again have a nicely handling car with no power, only have even less compared to last year so will need Renault to be allowed to do some dev work on it before they can compete for third. The Mercs (at least Hamilton) were ultimately only driving as fast as they needed to to win the race, so count on them being able to kick it up a notch or two in their current states before factoring in any allowed development.

Edit: Oh, I forgot about McLaren. I imagine they're trying to do the same at the moment.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
McLaren does have a problem.
Its name is Honda.
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
Can anyone see anyone developing enough to challenge for the WDC/WCC from Benz though?
Nope, it'll be Milton and Benz all the way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by roosterjuicer View Post
Its name is Honda.
Indeed. It's strange that the biggest motor manufacturer in the world has missed the mark so badly with their F1 engine.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:36 PM
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This points out problems when there are heavier reg freezes; coming back is harder to do both in and out of season.
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:51 AM
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Indeed. It's strange that the biggest motor manufacturer in the world has missed the mark so badly with their F1 engine.
Not surprising. Formula 1 demands near perfection to even be competitive. Furthermore, its not like Honda is the master of forced induction.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:56 PM
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I don't think being good at forced induction at the production level has much or anything to do with prototype engines. It's a whole different kettle of fish and the parameters are so different.

Having good engineers, resources, and leadership is vital. Being about a year behind your rivals doesn't help.
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:12 PM
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I don't think being a year behind your rivals is as important as "Having good engineers, resources, and leadership".

Apparently, what Daimler did when designing the F1 V6 was assemble six different teams of engineers each working on different solutions for the engine, and then they chose the one that was the best.

Even with a 2014-spec, Mercedes-Benz-type of engine Honda would surely be in front of Renault and possibly Ferrari too.

Honda's attempt looks a bit half-assed...
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