Monday, March 16, 2015

Here We (well some of us) Go!

Boy F1 looked absolutely terrible in Australia, didn't they? Let's tot it up:
  • Bottas gets hurt, forcing Williams to withdraw a car;
  • Kvyat and Magnusson blow up on the out-lap to the grid;
  • and two Manor cars never turn a wheel all weekend.
Fifteen cars take the green light.  And then in the first lap we lose the two Lotus cars.  And then -- and then! -- McLaren almost limp home into the points with a hamster-on-a-wheel engine.  Eleven finishers, and it wasn't even raining.

F1 in general needs to get their acts together or they are going to be in trouble.

The entire farce just about makes me want to look into this WEC thing.

What we learned, Misadventure-Down-Under edition:
  • Mercedes has resumed normal service after doing something else during winter testing.  The World Championship celebratory parties are scheduled back at the factory for the same time this year as last.  Thank you for standing by.
  • Ferrari has made a huge step forward.  Whether it is real will have to wait for a sustained effort from Williams, plus deferred judgement on Lotus, but podiums don't look impossible this year.
  • Vettel looked pretty good in the car all weekend.
  • Raikkonen can't buy luck.   A first corner squeeze and then two messed up pit stops.  Apart from those problems the weekend suggests 2015 will be better than last year.
  • The McLaren-Honda is just as miserable as testing suggested it would be and it isn't clear that there is enough change available to fix the problem.  Honda really got screwed by coming into the formula a year late, although if they'd done it properly and made a rocket everyone would be saying how much of an advantage being out the extra year was.  One wonders if Alonso's symptoms will perhaps linger a little as there are probably no points on offer for him this year.
  • The Ferrari revival is all-around -- Sauber's performance with the same motor in the back shows that this year they have it together.
  • Speaking about Sauber, I still don't care who does or does not drive for them.
  • Hopefully once Renault shows up their cars will make it to the grid without ingesting engines.  Riccardo and Sainz both seem to have used up one of their four engines for the year, as has Magnusson.  All told, between Renault and Honda, this is the kind of "reliability" we were afraid of last year, and last year it turned out incredibly well.
  • At this point, Manor isn't a real F1 team -- they just seem to have some pit/paddock passes they've stolen from somewhere.