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June 6, 2009

F1 Ramblings

The showdown is yet to come and FIA president "Mad" Max Mosley may yet prevail. It will likely get ugly.

The FOTA teams submitted their entries as a block with conditions (though it's fragmenting with Williams, and now Force India breaking ranks and entering unconditionally for next year.) The FIA does not have to accept those entries, and thus could bar the FOTA teams from competing in F1 next year.

A number of new teams have announced their intention to enter F1 next year, and the recent Formula 2 arrive-and-drive series (for about 1/5 the cost of GP2) races were succesful. It looks like Mosley's plan may bear fruit.

However, the longer this soap opera drags on the longer all the teams, FOTA or not, are forced to compromise their preparations for next season because no one knows what's going to happen. The lack of stability is appauling.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix after being fastest in all three qualifying sessions. Teammate Mark Webber was 4th so the car has definitely improved, and the Brawns were also very competitive in 2nd and 3rd. Ferrari is climbing back toward the front (6th and 7th), while McLaren lost the plot.

Lewis Hamilton failed to make it out of Q3 as the car was very nervous. While McLaren still have Pedro de la Rosa as test driver to help develop the car, they are now being outpaced on occasion by Force India to whom they supply engines.

Hamilton is extremely fast and usually makes blistering starts, but it's clear that he does not now possess the added dimension for developing a car in the way that Prost, Senna, Schumacher and Alonso could. When things don't go well he is no
more competitive than other drivers that have not received the kind of accolades or backing that Hamilton has enjoyed. He is now paying his dues after having the path to F1 paved with a red carpet, and the climb is that much steeper. I'm not convinced he's got the will to do it.

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