2011 Australian Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by prisonermonkeys, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    I know, I know ... normally, we don't start the race discussion thread until the Tuesday before race day. But with the cancellation of Bahrain, we've been without our Formula 1 fix for nearly four months now, so I think a thread created two hours before Tuesday can be excused.

    Round I of the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the ...


    2011 QANTAS AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX
    from the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit in Melbourne


    [​IMG]

    One lap with Jenson Button

    Seven-day forecast:
    Isolated showers on Tuesday, becoming scattered from Wednesday to Saturday.
    Clear weather expected on Sunday.
    Consistently low temperatures expected all week.


    Lap Record ~ 1:24.125
    (Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari, 2004)

    2010 Results:
    1st ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)
    2nd ~ Robert Kubica (Renault)
    3rd ~ Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari)


    2010 final season standings:
    1st ~ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 256 points
    2nd ~ Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari) ~ 252 points
    3rd ~ Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 242 points
    4th ~ Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 240 points
    5th ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 214 points
    6th ~ Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari) ~ 144 points
    7th ~ Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) ~ 142 points
    8th ~ Robert Kubica (Renault) ~ 136 points
    9th ~ Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) ~ 72 points
    10th ~ Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth) ~ 47 points
    =10th ~ Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes) ~ 47 points

    They're ba-aack! After an extended break, the Formula 1 circus returns to what many believe to be the spiritual beginning of the season, the Australian Grand Prix. And we've never quite had a build-up like this: after the intensity of the final run of the 2010 season, with Sebastian Vettel only leading the championship for the first time when he clinched his maiden World Drivers' Championship, the drivers will have to contend with controversial new regulations in the Drag Reduction System, as well as new tyres that threaten to upset the established order with most teams resigned to having to make at least two - and possibly as many as four - stops over a full race distance. I can't for the life of me remember a pre-season build-up with so many variables that could easily produce an unexpected result (like Kubica's second place in 2010) as this one.

    Read what you will into testing; we're not going to know who is where until Saturday evening.
     
  2. granturismite

    granturismite

    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Australia
    I am so very excited for the start of the formula 1 season, I might burst come race time. After reading and hearing some analysis, I predict Vettel to win, Alonso 2nd, perhaps Massa or Heidfeld 3rd. Webber DNF or mid pack, probably 7th
     
  3. Bram Turismo

    Bram Turismo Premium

    Messages:
    10,684
    Location:
    Belgium
    Red Bull will dominate the weekend. There, I said it.

    Other than that, I'm exited to see how my boys Kobayashi and Rosberg will perform. And especially Lotus. I really hope they've closed the gap to Toro Rosso and Sauber and can compete in the midfield.
     
  4. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    Judging by comments made by the likes of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Toro Rosso have built a real weapon of a car and could be this season's dark horse (though Jaime Alguersuari reckons podiums are out of the question).
     
  5. nissman

    nissman

    Messages:
    2,431
    Location:
    Slovenia
    So Schumacher was quite fast in testing. You guys think he's got any chance for a good result in Australia?
     
  6. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Premium

    Messages:
    9,784
    Location:
    Australia
    About damn time the season gets underway! I'll be in agony at work on Friday, waiting to get home to watch the day's action. Hopefully the season opener is an action packed one with lots of surprises. As a McLaren fan, I'm also hoping their performance is better than we've been lead to believe throughout testing.
     
  7. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    Impossible to say, nissman. The W02 only came good in the final day of testing when Mercedes put the full aero package on. While it was quick for that one day, we've seen cars - Sauber in 2010 spring to mind - that have been quick in testing and rubbish in the racing.
     
  8. nissman

    nissman

    Messages:
    2,431
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Yes I agree, we cant know the true pace of cars till the end of qualifying on Saturday.
     
  9. Sureboss

    Sureboss Premium

    Messages:
    15,308
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I don't think we'll know anything about the cars until qualifying. Pre-season testing has just too many variables to make any kind of judgement on it (unless they're constantly on fire).

    That said, I think everyone is expecting Red Bull to be the cars to beat again this year. I can't wait for next weekend, should be a corker.
     
  10. Lizard

    Lizard Premium

    Messages:
    15,973
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    My prediction for Mclaren. They will eather struggle horribly or win.
     
  11. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    They've got a new exhaust system. Speculation was that they were using a device nicknamed the "octopus", a ceramic box mounted behind the gearbox with several small exhaust outlets designed to disperse exhaust gases across the diffuser. They had originally wanted to use pyrosic - a ceramic/carbon fibre "alloy" - to manufacture the part, but the FIA said no as it was far too expensive (upwards of 20,000 Euros for a single exhaust manifold). So they resorted to conventional materials, but it seems that the pipes stemming from the octopus were too long and too thin and deforming under the heat and strain of the superheated exhaust gases, which caused the gases to be streamed over the diffuser in ways that they were not intended to be, thus creating odd and unintended aerodynamic effects. The "octopus" device, however, appears to have been shelved.

    For the time being.
     
  12. napanoyhta

    napanoyhta

    Messages:
    27
    glad to see another Kobayashi fan :)
     
  13. Anghammarad

    Anghammarad Premium

    Messages:
    2,375
    Location:
    Sweden
    Alonso will win comfortably. The only question is whether it will be a Grand Chelem or not.






















    :D

    Seriously. I would like to see a bit more maturity from Vettel. Both on and off the track (the index finger when he wins annoys the hell out of me.) When that happens, as it's bound to do, and when he is in a car that is not clearly superior and still manages to win, I will gladly root for him.
     
  14. Lizard

    Lizard Premium

    Messages:
    15,973
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    There is a growing number of them. If he keeps up his form I see him in at least a renault in 3 years.
     
  15. KobayashiFan

    KobayashiFan

    Messages:
    81
    Toro Rosso, Monza 2008? ;)
     
  16. Ardius

    Ardius

    Messages:
    10,373
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Kobayashi is the definition of a Ferrari driver to me, if they sign him I will certainly return to the tifosi once again after a 12+ year absence.
     
  17. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    I wouldn't be surprised if others are watching him with interest this season. Namely Red Bull, who might be in need of a replacement for Webber. And McLaren, should Button or Hamilton be released a year early. Ferrari appear to be concentrating on Jules Bianchi for the time being, but I suspect their idea of promoting him to Formula 1 is putting him in a Sauber.

    Either way, if he impresses - and if some of the potential Sergio Perez showed in testing is down to the car - watch him become hotter property than the orange squares in Monopoly.
     
  18. Ardius

    Ardius

    Messages:
    10,373
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Although obviously I would like to see it, the Sauber connection for Ferrari makes it more likely in my eyes. Replace Massa with Kobayashi and Kobayashi with Bianchi or whomever at Sauber.
    I think Red Bull have made it clear they will promote from Toro Rosso to replace Webber whenever that is.
    McLaren are unlikely to replace either driver right now as Hamilton has nowhere to go that is better at the moment and Button is still doing his job pretty damn well.
    Renault are unknown, they are still on uncertain ground with regards to their future, as long as Petrov is there I don't see them hiring anyone else without offering substantially more cash.
    Mercedes may be likely but they don't look like much of a better proposition than Sauber right now.
     
  19. Anghammarad

    Anghammarad Premium

    Messages:
    2,375
    Location:
    Sweden
    Yes yes, but that was special circumstances and a one off at that time. Even though he is the reigning champion I still don't think that he would have beaten Hamilton over the full season had they both been driving the 2010 McLaren for instance. A few more years (or possibly even this year) will give him the maturity and experience to be one of the very greats. He improved a lot in only the last season, the Sebastian Vettel we saw in the second half of last year was a much much better championship driver than the one that started the season. Who knows, he may already have arrived. Just lose the index finger Sebastian, please ( well not lose but... you know what I mean)
     
  20. Ardius

    Ardius

    Messages:
    10,373
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I don't think he is lacking maturity and experience now, I just feel Vettel is weak in certain areas. He's a little like Schumacher where he can be amazing on his day but he can frequently make some significant errors of judgement and its debatable whether his wheel-to-wheel racing skills are all that.
    I wasn't too surprised at Melbourne 2009 when Vettel made that mistake as it was his first time properly running at the front in a great car. But 2 seasons on and I don't think he is making such mistakes through inexperience or immaturity, but simply because he is a little weak in reading racing situations.

    This is one of the reasons Kobayashi is so far quite impressive in that he appears to read his racing very well. Hamilton, Webber, Vettel...they seem to not know their limits (to varying degrees) and try to overtake where they shouldn't and defend like crazy when it might be better to hold back.
     
  21. Muzaffar

    Muzaffar Premium

    Messages:
    5,627
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Hah, I'm glad the F1 season is gonna start again in the next few days... :D
    After the cancellation of Bahrain GP the season anticipation gets bigger and bigger as the days go by...
    Also I can't wait to hear the cars screaming across Albert Park on TV. :p
     
  22. J-PaP

    J-PaP

    Messages:
    2,573
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm so excited the season is finally starting. I've taken time off work and will be practically living there through to Sunday.
     
  23. KobayashiFan

    KobayashiFan

    Messages:
    81
    Oh yeah, I agree that he needs more maturity to win in an unsuperior machine. I'm just thinking then the pressure wasn't really on him as he wasn't in the title fight. That and I don't think he was as arrogant then as he still hadn't achieved much. So when he won that race I think he had a much cooler head. But I agree that to see more performances like that he needs to mature more.
     
  24. PeterJB

    PeterJB Premium

    Messages:
    7,660
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Vettel will win. HRT will suck. 'nuff said. :D
     
  25. Furi

    Furi Premium

    Messages:
    43,896
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Heidfield to surprise. Don't forget he has experience of Pirelli's from testing last year. Also, Lotus to get up in Q2.
     
  26. Wiegert

    Wiegert Premium

    Messages:
    13,171
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Finally, just a few days left to wait until the opening race. I hope Kobayashi does well in Australia and that Heidfeld does a good job for Renault in the absence of Kubica.

    It seems likely, but I don't know how good the HRT is compared to the Marussia Virgin car. I'm guessing that the HRT will be the slowest car again this season. At least it looks better than last years car.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  27. BlacqueJacques

    BlacqueJacques

    Messages:
    3,509
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes!

    Looking forward to Melbourne!

    Go Webber :tup:
     
  28. Robin

    Robin Premium

    Messages:
    16,443
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I'm interested to see how Mercedes perform now that they had time to fully develop their own car. But apparently this one also sucks so... :lol: I have a feeling it might be a rinse and repeat of last year (Red Bull winning the championship and constructors).

    Robin.
     
  29. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

    Messages:
    33,155
    Location:
    Peru
    But they're not obligated to. A lot of people seem to thik that because Toro Rosso is the Red Bull junior team, the only people who can drive for Red Bull must first go through Toro Rosso. Red Bull have to take the best driver available to them, especially if they want more Constructors' crowns. If Alguersuari and Buemi squander the STR6's potential, why should Red Bull reward them with a car that is likely to be worthy of championships?
     
  30. Rossticles

    Rossticles

    Messages:
    2,183
    Location:
    United States
    I can't wait to see Rosberg outperform Schumacher throughout the season again. It's going to be a long, tired weekend with qualifying and the race starting at 1am. I can't wait.

    Massa and Webber are the two drivers, in my opinion, that have the most to prove or they will not be at the same team in 2012. In that sense only. I know there are other drivers that have something to prove, but they are the 2 drivers who need wins the most. I only care to see Massa get them as Webber is on the decline.

    For me the beginning of the season many think it will be another winning season for the title holders. I do believe Red Bull have the edge, but we shall see.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011