All entries for Monday 21 March 2005

March 21, 2005

Mike's F1 Championship: Round 2 – Malaysian Grand Prix

That was an alright Grand Prix; it even featured the novel concept of overtaking. I’m going to give a tentative thumbs-up to the new tyre rules – for now. I quite like how the race builds now, whereas before it seemed to be a case of the race being decided at the first pit stops and then just plodding on. Now we seem to at least have some uncertainty over whether cars are going to be going quick enough nearer the end of the race. Well in this one at least, as ITV told us about fifty times Malaysia is hard on tyres. Whatever the case it was nice to see some actual racing, see it’s not impossible! I especially liked the Webber-Ralf-Heidfeld battle; that was pretty cool. Indeed whilst thinking who to give points to and take them off from I could hardly think of anyone who deserved negative points. Other highlights included Martin Brundle using the word ironically five hundred times and the little love story in the Sauber garage: after Raikkonen passed Massa did you see the shot of a male and female mechanic/whatever sat watching the screen and then turning and exchanging a glance. It was a look that said more than a thousand words ever could. On to the points:

Drivers

10pts Jarno Trulli That was bloody brilliant. Does he not realise he’s driving for Toyota now? Toyota’s don’t qualify on the front row and finish on the podium – it just doesn’t happen. If only he’d get a hair cut…

8pts Kimi Raikkonen I’m not exactly sure what it is, but somehow you get the feeling that Kimi’s the best guy out there at the moment. I know Alonso’s been absolutely sensational in the first two races, but Raikkonen seems so (Warning: Major cliché imminent) “hooked up” in the races, though not so much qualifying, but that may be the car. The best way I can put it is that Alonso’s pace seems astonishing, but you expect Raikkonen to be mega. I know he’s already 15 points off the championship lead; still he’s (Warning: Second cliché imminent) where I’d put my money if I were a betting man (Which I’m not anyway). He also deserves major credit for the move he put on Massa; that was genius; perhaps Mark Webber ought to take a look at a video of it. Also I was accused of being anti-Kimi, so I needed to even up the balance.

6pts Fernando Alonso Anyone who needs explaining why he gets a good score go stand in the corner for an hour.

5pts Nick Heidfeld Quick Nick getting a car worthy of his ability at last! I felt a bit sorry for him as James Allen kept describing Mark Webber as the team leader, when to be honest Heidfeld’s probably shown more potential than Webber anyway. Y’know, things like actually winning the F3000 championship, having finished higher than fifth in a Grand Prix, having to contend with team-mates (i.e. Jaguar only ever brought one real car to a Grand Prix and Alex Yoong(And Davidson, but two Grands Prix don’t count) and fairing well…ish.

4pts Ralf Schumacher He can race! Unbelievable, I had to rub my eyes when he tried to shove his Toyota up the inside of Webber, I thought I had fallen back asleep and was having a dream about some kind of parallel universe where Ralf Schumacher is good. Apparently it was real.

3pts Patrick Friesacher It’s a well known fact that to get the most out of a Minardi drive, all a driver can do is blow the doors off his team mate. Okay this wasn’t an Alonso-Marques scenario, but Friesacher made Albers look poor (well maybe he is?), until he spun off at least, but we’ll blame BAR for that.

2pts Christian Klien Another impressive performance. Out qualifying Coulthard and not too far behind him in the race either. See, he is good!

1pt Narain Karthikeyan He really is starting to look a decent little driver, well from what little we’ve seen of him anyway, it’s amost as if Jordan have started using invisible paint.

-10pts Jacques Villeneuve It’s so sad watching a former champion do so badly. It’s all well and good suggesting that he needs time to settle at Sauber, that it’s only two Grands Prix, but factor in the ones he drove (which in all honesty is an insult to the word drove) for Renault last year and he ought to be doing better. Utter rubbish.

Constructors

10pts Toyota I can’t believe I’m doing this, but they looked really quick all through the weekend, it’s quite impressive, surely for them fourth (behind Ferrari, Renault and McLaren) in the constructors championship has to be the target. I’m not saying they will be fourth, but they should be setting their sights there.

8pts Renault It’s so boring giving such a high score to a team doing so well in the real championship, but I don’t see any way round it. They’ve just done a fantastic job, they’ve signed great drivers, seemingly improved the engine. Aside from that there’s all this fuss about how to win races, how to beat everybody else. F1 Racing magazine goes on and on about it so much. But Renault have won the first two Grands Prix simply by being quicker than everyone else – easy peasy.

6pts Red Bull Huh, it wasn’t flash in the pan. All of a sudden their in danger of becoming a decent little team.

4pts Jordan I absolutely love the rear wing on that car. If a ten year old had designed it, then that’s exactly how it would look. Magic.

3pts Williams So far Williams have been beaten by Toyota and Red Bull, but they seem to have done it quite well if you know what I mean. Put it this way, apparently their main rivals are supposed to be BAR, let’s face it, they’re kicking serious ass there! Besides they showed some decent(ish) pace in Malaysia.

1pt Minardi After taking points of them last week for that Australia nonsense I felt a bit guilty.

-3pts Mclaren They’re a bit disappointing. I was expecting much more. Okay I guess the pace is there and it’s just not come together, blah blah blah, Still not impressed though.

-6pts Sauber Pretty poor performance. It was almost as though they managed to forget that they’d switched to Michelin tyres and were thinking they had to run at Bridgestone levels of pace. Aside from this I read an article in this month’s F1 Racing about how the Sauber is “the sexiest car on the grid”. Unfortunately it’s painted in the equivalent of a floral dress. That livery just makes me want to puke.

-8pts Ferrari It’s not often that you can say that Ferrari sucked. Okay I suppose it was mostly down to the tyres, but they’re the one’s who have allowed themselves to become so isolated from the rest, so it’s their fault if they have rubbish tyres.

-10pts BAR I think both engines expiring is karma for their cynical exploitation of the rules. However I don’t see why the drivers should suffer, especially poor Anthony Davidson. Plus a friend suggested that the McLaren had horns, raising the suggestion that it was modelled on a moose or some other creature. Perhaps BAR should have followed this lead, because their car is clearly a dog.

Drivers Standings

20pts Fernando Alonso
13pts Giancarlo Fisichella
12pts Jarno Trulli
11pts Nick Heidfeld
10pts David Coulthard
10pts Simon Young
10pts Rob Margeit
10pts Glen Crompton
5pts Takuma Sato
5pts Mark Webber
5pts Christian Klien
4pts Rubens Barrichello
2pts Juan Pablo Montoya
2pts Narain Karthikeyan
1pt Patrick Friesacher
0pts Felipe Massa
0pts Christian Albers
0pts Anthony Davidson
-4pts Tiago Monteiro
-4pts Ralf Schumacher
-6pts Jenson Button
-7pts Michael Schumacher
-8pts Kimi Raikkonen
-10pts Me
-24pts Jacques Villeneuve

Constructors Standings

26pts Renault
15pts Red Bull
10pts Warwick BUKC
5pts Jordan
3pts Williams
1pt Minardi
-3pts Toyota
-5pts McLaren
-6pts Sauber
-6pts ITV
-16pts Ferrari
-22pts BAR


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