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April 29, 2009

F1 2009 So Far

The Brawn team have won 3 of the first 4 races. But the other teams are closing the gap, and it's going to be a heck of a year.

The teams that develop KERS this year are going to be in an advantageous position later in the year and next season. Unless the "low budget" rules option goes into play next year and turns out to be better. So maybe the designs aren't going to
converge on the new diffuser and KERS.

Sebastian Vettel is doing rather well at the moment and his team (Red Bull) are on the up and up. They're already very competitive running a good, straightforward car without either KERS or a trick diffuser. When their new aero package is ready they should make another good step forward.

Renault is another team that will likely progress steadily. They'll probably pick up a few tenths of a second just as soon as they replace Nelson Piquet, Jr. How he's made it this long is a mystery to many.

A couple of innovations seen in the opening races are the driver adjustable front wing flaps are great for passing. Trim the tabs to lower drag and raise them up to increase front end downforce when following another car.

Toyota also used a nifty trolley for changing the front nosecone and wing assembly. Since many on track incidents cause front end damage which ends up requiring a front wing change, this trolley allows the team to quickly pull the old assembly off and slide the new one on. It's already at the right height and all the attachments just snap right in. Brilliant.

Coerced by his team or not, Lewis Hamilton is twice a liar; once for lying about the racing move in Australia. And then for lying about not lying. Quite shameful - especially for a reigning World champion. The McLaren team has shown over the past 2 years it is anything but a straight arrow. But the same could be said about the FIA. The whole concept of a legal system within motor racing is questionable. The way it's run is simply absurd. F1 somehow succeeds (for now) in spite of itself.

The pecking order has been turned upside down. Expect several new teams next year. The on-track racing has been awesome.

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