It’s been a while, in fact a very long while, since I last made a post on my blog, so I thought it time to make another. As I’ve mentioned before I am a great fan of Formula 1, so I’ve been watching the first 5 Grand Prix of this 2011 season very closely and have developed some opinions in multiple areas of the sport.
Firstly, I think I should mention how much I prefer the commentary with David Coulthard as opposed to Jonathan Legard alongside Martin Brundle. However, I do think that Ted Kravitz should have a go in the commentary box next season, as I feel his technical know-how, joined with this exuberant enthusiasm for the sport, could add another level to the commentary, which sadly, DC and Brundle cannot reach.
Next, it has to be about tyres and pit stops. This year Pirelli are the sole supplier of tyres for all of the Formula 1 teams and they certainly have had a huge impact. So far we’ve seen the soft and the hard tyre compounds in play (the soft is quicker, but with high degradation it requires more pit stops and the hard is a bit slower but requires fewer stops). Combined with the rule that all drivers must use each compound at least once, I think team strategies this year will play more part than they ever have done. Team managers are required to get their drivers to the end as quick as possible, but this year, they have to cover other drivers. This basically means when your closest competitor pits, you follow soon after. Teams do this so that both drivers are on a similar level of tyre wear so there’s less risk of being ‘jumped’ at a pit stop. So overall, I think the new tyres definitely make the sport more exciting; the strategists have to strategise more, the mechanics get more action and there’s more risk involved in staying out on older tyres.
Next, I feel DRS (Drag Reduction System) is a hot topic in Formula 1 at the moment. The whole idea of it is to increase overtaking – done by allowing drivers close to a car in front to reduce their drag by opening up their rear wing. They are only allowed to do so at a certain point in each race, specifically chosen so both cars have to brake close to together, with the aim of having more braking and overtaking contests. So far this feature has had mixed outcomes. The last Grand Prix, in Spain, although having the longest DRS zone of all GP’s, made little to no effect. But, in Turkey a few weeks ago, DRS helped give the track the record for the most overtaking moves in made in a single GP (79!) since 1983. Despite this, I think that overtaking became too easy with the DRS at Turkey. So, overall, I get the feeling that at each Grand Prix this season, DRS will have dramatically different effects while the optimum position for allowing the DRS to kick in is worked out at each track.
Finally, I should say who I think will win and who I’d like to win this year’s championship. It’d be too easy to say Vettel will win it just like that – even though it’s looking very promising for him. But, I think Redbull’s advantage over other teams such as Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren is starting it fall away. Despite this, I predict that Vettel will win the Championship, but not with a run-away title that some are assuming will happen. Who would I like to win? Well, weird as it sounds, Alsono. Personally, I think he has the drive quality of a World Champion which I don’t think Vettel has and purely on that merit deserves a third World Championship.
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