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F1 2011 - The Official Thread


Rob.

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So you accuse me, and Rob for that matter, of being xenophobic, without actually answering the points we are making. I strongly advise you to grow up and refrain from resorting to the sort of desperation mudslinging your recent comments appear to be exposing.

However you want to see it, you cannot argue that Vettel has had the best machinery at his disposal for two years now and has not, until this season, made the most of it. You say that Button wasn't a worthy champion in 09. If you go back and look at the results from 2009 one thing is clear - Button won the title because he made far fewer mistakes than Vettel. Button failed to score only once. Vettel failed to score five times, including twice in the second half of the season when he was acknowledged to have the best car. You cannot do that if you want to win a championship.

Then look at last year. Again, Vettel was acknowledged to have the best package consistently throughout the season. Yet his failings let others in. Turkey stands out a mile. It may be that Vettel has learnt from those mistakes and grown as champion this year, but you cannot reasonably allow your personal liking of a driver to stand in the way of a reasonable analysis of his achievements and otherwise.

Then you talk about 07 as if it is some sort of addition to this charge sheet of your mind. Are you seriously telling me it is not reasonable to argue that Hamilton and McLaren lost that championship (remember China) to a much larger extent than Raikkonen and Ferrari won it?

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He'll get time penalties for both because they were silly but he didn't do anything dangerous that's worthy of a DQ. This is Monaco, you get something slightly wrong and there's no margin for error; accidents always look more dramatic around this track.

I take it you're in favour of DQing Alguersuari, Di Resta and Sutil as well. They all caused crashes which caused a lot of damage as well.

Lewis was clumsy a couple of times today, not dangerous. I think you're letting your Massa-tinted glasses get in the way of what happened which was, in truth, two mis-timed overtakes, nothing more. He didn't slam anyone into a wall like Shcumacher did to Rubens last year, or deliberately shunt someone off the track, or do anything dangerous. Talk of a DQ is ridiculous.

I think the punishment in the incident with Massa was fair, but not on the accident with Maldonado. In this case, Hamilton not even lost positions, while a young pilot who would win his first points on a team with no points in the championship was harmed. In my opinion, if a driver was punished for an infraction and then commits the same infraction, the new punishment should be higher. In the case of Hamilton, if the race lasted longer, he could have taken out another two or three drivers in the race. He is a dangerous driver from the moment he does not recognize that he is wrong. He will continue doing those stupid things on track and talking on the radio that his opponent is crazy for leaving the car in front of him just because it is faster and after the race, call them dumb and commissioners of racist.

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I think the punishment in the incident with Massa was fair, but not on the accident with Maldonado. In this case, Hamilton not even lost positions, while a young pilot who would win his first points on a team with no points in the championship was harmed.

So stewards should hand out punishments based on sentimentality and position rather than the rulebook? I don't see what Maldonado's rookie status or Williams' problems have to do with this.

This wasn't the first time, nor will it be the last, that a time penalty has resulted in no change in position. If he'd mis-timed his overtake on Maldanado earlier in the race and got a drive-through - as would have been warranted - and that drive-through lost him no places then that would just be part and parcel of the race. But because it's afterwards you think the time-penalty should be adjusted so he loses position? Based on what precedent? The reason the time-penalty was applied after the race was because there weren't enough laps to investigate and punish him with a drive-through; it's as simple as that.

You're getting into seriously dodgy territory if, as it seems, you're advocting stewards hading out punishments based on what they think the outcome of the race should be. <_<

In my opinion, if a driver was punished for an infraction and then commits the same infraction, the new punishment should be higher. In the case of Hamilton, if the race lasted longer, he could have taken out another two or three drivers in the race. He is a dangerous driver from the moment he does not recognize that he is wrong. He will continue doing those stupid things on track and talking on the radio that his opponent is crazy for leaving the car in front of him just because it is faster and after the race, call them dumb and commissioners of racist.

Fair enough - increased infractions based on frequency of events makes sense. Though I disagree anything he did was dangerous per se, just mis-timed and, as I said before, mis-timed overtakes always look worse at Monaco than at other tracks.

The rules were applied as they currently exist. You want a DQ but again I ask, based on what precedent? Schumacher wasn't even DQed for nearly slamming Rubens into a concrete wall on-purpose last season! I can't remember the last DQ in F1 and I've seen far more dangerous moves than either of Hamilton's at Monaco in the last few years. So why pick on Hamilton for a DQ? I wonder what your agenda is.

His interview afterwards was cringeworthy and horrible to watch, but I don't think he actually said anyone was racist (his joke was in incredibly poor taste but not serious, though he has had to deal with racism from spectators in the past so it's not surprising it's on his mind a bit).

More serious and worrying is his belief that the stewards are picking on him. Now, there have been instances where he has been treated badly by stewards (Spa 2008 springs to mind), but this race and this season I can't think of any. I hope the rant on the BBC was heat of the moment stuff rather than what he really thinks because if it wasn't that's not a good sign.

We really need the Hamilton of China and Turkey back because he is one of the few - if any - who can catch Vettel in this title race.

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So you accuse me, and Rob for that matter, of being xenophobic, without actually answering the points we are making. I strongly advise you to grow up and refrain from resorting to the sort of desperation mudslinging your recent comments appear to be exposing.

However you want to see it, you cannot argue that Vettel has had the best machinery at his disposal for two years now and has not, until this season, made the most of it. You say that Button wasn't a worthy champion in 09. If you go back and look at the results from 2009 one thing is clear - Button won the title because he made far fewer mistakes than Vettel. Button failed to score only once. Vettel failed to score five times, including twice in the second half of the season when he was acknowledged to have the best car. You cannot do that if you want to win a championship.

Then look at last year. Again, Vettel was acknowledged to have the best package consistently throughout the season. Yet his failings let others in. Turkey stands out a mile. It may be that Vettel has learnt from those mistakes and grown as champion this year, but you cannot reasonably allow your personal liking of a driver to stand in the way of a reasonable analysis of his achievements and otherwise.

Then you talk about 07 as if it is some sort of addition to this charge sheet of your mind. Are you seriously telling me it is not reasonable to argue that Hamilton and McLaren lost that championship (remember China) to a much larger extent than Raikkonen and Ferrari won it?

So you would Button or Hamiltion over Vettel when it comes to driving skills?

Vettel has won his first GP in a Toro Rosso!

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Same, though I think it's close between him and Alonso, and in actual fact I think Alonso is the more-rounded of the two, a more complete package. He said last season if he got podiums in the remaining races he'd be in contention at the final race for the WDC. He plugged away and did just that and he was favourite for the title by the final race. It's a different attitude to Hamilton's which is to win at all costs.

I've already given my ranking of the drivers in post #73.

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In the case of Hamilton, if the race lasted longer, he could have taken out another two or three drivers in the race. He is a dangerous driver from the moment he does not recognize that he is wrong. He will continue doing those stupid things on track and talking on the radio that his opponent is crazy for leaving the car in front of him just because it is faster and after the race, call them dumb and commissioners of racist.

I don't see how you can remotely justify that comment. When a driver has already made a similar passing move to the one attempted in the incident with Maldonado, the driver has every right to go for it if he believes he can make it. You appear to be attempting to imply that Hamilton deliberately sought to take Maldonado out, something which I believe is based on your inherent bias rather than any logical analysis of the race.

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FIA reinstates Bahrain Grand Prix

The Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead this year after Formula 1's ruling body, the FIA, voted in favour of reinstating the race on Friday.

The race was scheduled to open the 2011 season in March, but was postponed due to the unrest in the country.

A decision was expected on May 1, but the FIA decided to give Bahrain until today before making a decision on the future of this year's race.

On Friday, the governing body's World Motor Sport Council met in Barcelona to vote, and gave the green light for the Bahrain Grand Prix to take place this year.

The event has been given an October 30 date, which is likely to mean the Indian Grand Prix moves to December 4 or December 11, the latest finish to a season since 1963, although the FIA did not confirm the date for the race.

Indian GP officials said they welcomed the season finale slot.

The season will also comprise a record 20 races.

...

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91955

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FIA has confirmed the 2012 F1 calendar with 21 races scheduled.

2012 calendar

The 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar is confirmed as follows:

11/03 BHR Bahrain

18/03 AUS Australia

01/04 MYS Malaysia

08/04 CHN China

22/04 KOR Korea

06/05 TUR Turkey *

20/05 ESP Spain

27/05 MCO Monaco

10/06 CAN Canada

17/06 USA United States

01/07 ESP Valencia, Spain

15/07 GBR Great Britain

29/07 DEU Germany

05/08 HUN Hungary

02/09 BEL Belgium

09/09 ITA Italy

30/09 SGP Singapore

14/10 JPN Japan

28/10 IND India

11/11 ARE Abu Dhabi

25/11 BRA Brazil

* Subject to confirmation

http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/wmsc/2011/Pages/wmsc-030611.aspx

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Nobody would miss Valencia and Spain oughtn't have two GPs anyway. But of today's announcements, the reinstatement of Bahrain in this year's calendar is the most ridiculous.

Here's the reaction in Bahrain:

"Already they have called the day of that race 'a day of rage', where they're going to come out everywhere, in every city of Bahrain, to show anger to what the Bahrain government, the Bahrain regime, is doing towards their own people."

NABEEL RAJAB - BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PRESIDENT

I wouldn't be at all surprised if people got onto the circuit, and certainly outside of the circuit it's going to be scary. People aren't going to visit out of fear so we'll have empty stands, teams are uncomfortable and not only because it means they'll have more than a month less for developing their 2012 cars, sponsors surely won't touch this with a barge pole, Mark Webber has tweeted that this is the wrong decision...

This can't go ahead surely?

_53218937_bahrainad466getty.jpg

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Nobody would miss Valencia and Spain oughtn't have two GPs anyway. But of today's announcements, the reinstatement of Bahrain in this year's calendar is the most ridiculous.

Here's the reaction in Bahrain:

"Already they have called the day of that race 'a day of rage', where they're going to come out everywhere, in every city of Bahrain, to show anger to what the Bahrain government, the Bahrain regime, is doing towards their own people."

NABEEL RAJAB - BAHRAIN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PRESIDENT

I wouldn't be at all surprised if people got onto the circuit, and certainly outside of the circuit it's going to be scary. People aren't going to visit out of fear so we'll have empty stands, teams are uncomfortable and not only because it means they'll have more than a month less for developing their 2012 cars, sponsors surely won't touch this with a barge pole, Mark Webber has tweeted that this is the wrong decision...

This can't go ahead surely?

_53218937_bahrainad466getty.jpg

I agree on both accounts. No country should have two races. And wasn`t that the reason the two races in Germany would consolidated into one? And add in South Africa and Russia and what's next? Dumping Belgium? or Hungary? or Monaco?

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Am I the only one not happy with 21 races?

No. I'm not keen either. It just seems that Ecclestone is determined to squeeze in as many races as he can regardless of whether they are really wanted within the sport or are embraced by the public within the territories where he ends up taking it. 20 races is, just about, managable, but we have already seen with the issues surrounding Bahrain, which I'll come onto in more detail later, what headaches any sort of delay or rescheduling can bring. To bring any more races in, with far more back to back weekends than I can ever remember, is just too much and too far for me.

Dealing in more detail with the decision to reschedule Bahrain, I'm not remotely surprised we have reached this position. The fact that it has been allowed to drift into June before any sort of resolution showed me that the authorities were determined to get this race on if they possibly could. I agree with Martin Brundle that the move is a mistake and I feel the teams, if they really believe it should not happen, should fight it. That said, it wouldn't be the biggest shock of all time to see the final decision taken out of their hands yet.

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I agree on both accounts. No country should have two races. And wasn`t that the reason the two races in Germany would consolidated into one? And add in South Africa and Russia and what's next? Dumping Belgium? or Hungary? or Monaco?

I wish Germany would lose its GP. Ecclestone is squeezing the circuit owners here and they make a lost with every F1 race although Germany has one team and 5 drivers including the current World Champion in the mix.

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Webber critical of Bahrain decision

Red Bull driver Mark Webber has expressed his disappointment at the decision to reinstate the Bahrain Grand Prix on the 2011 Formula 1 calendar, and says he 'does not feel comfortable' with the prospect of racing in the country in October.

The FIA announced yesterday that the race - postponed from March due to the political situation in the Gulf state - would take place on 30 October, with the inaugural Indian GP moved to the season finale slot in a new December date to make space for it.

But Webber is still sceptical over whether the Sakhir race will even go ahead.

"My opinion is unchanged since I was first asked about this in late February," he wrote on his personal website.

"Even though a decision has been made, I'll be highly surprised if the Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead this year."

On the eve of the FIA's meeting, Webber had expressed his concern on his Twitter feed, writing: "When people in a country are being hurt, the issues are bigger than sport. Let's hope the right decision is made."

And in his website column, he reasserted this position, saying returning to Bahrain this year did not reflect well on the sport's morals.

"In my personal opinion, the sport should have taken a much firmer stance earlier this year rather than constantly delaying its decision in hope of being able to re-schedule it in 2011," Webber said.

"It would have sent a very clear message about F1's position on something as fundamental as human rights and how it deals with moral issues.

"It's obvious that the parties involved have struggled to reach a decision but sadly I feel that they still haven't made the right one. Like it or not, F1 and sport in general isn't above having a social responsibility and conscience. I hope F1 is able to return to Bahrain eventually but now isn't the right time."

The Australian added that he fears F1's presence in the country will only exacerbate the political tensions.

"As a competitor I do not feel at all comfortable going there to compete in an event when, despite reassurances to the contrary, it seems inevitable that it will cause more tension for the people of that country," he said.

"I don't understand why my sport wishes to place itself in a position to be a catalyst for that."

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91981

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Sebastian Buemi was busy minding his own business as he performed for the fans in Japan as part of Red Bull demo, unfortunately, a spectator decides it would be a clever idea to run across the track as a Formula One car hurtles toward him.

Thankfully neither Buemi nor the unnamed spectator were harmed as it was a relatively slow collison.

http://www.thef1times.com/community/display/00245

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I agree on both accounts. No country should have two races. And wasn`t that the reason the two races in Germany would consolidated into one? And add in South Africa and Russia and what's next? Dumping Belgium? or Hungary? or Monaco?

I don't think Hungary would be missed all that much. Monaco will never be dropped and the outcry if they tried to get rid of Belgium would be massive.

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Can you remember one exciting race in Hungary? I'm certainly struggling. You can't surely compare the Hungaroring to Spa or Monaco, can you?

I don't necessarily think its about excitement but support. Hungary is a well supported Grand Prix and I would be sad to see it go because of that. Whereas Turkey has a bright shiny new track that is rather good, but very little support. And I think Bahrain and Abu Dhabi over-serve the Gulf Region.

And most Monegasque races are rather dull.

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Todt: Twenty races in 2012, not 21

FIA president Jean Todt says there is "absolutely" no way the 2012 season will have 21 races, despite the provisional calendar published by the governing body.

"Absolutely not," Todt told Diario Sport in an interview when asked if there would be 21 races in 2012.

"There are 21 dates, but the championship will be 20 grands prix."

The ruling body's World Motor Sport Council revealed a calendar with 21 events last week, but the Turkish Grand Prix appeared with an asterisk and a "subject to confirmation" note.

Despite that, Todt admitted it was still not clear which event would be dropped from the calendar.

"We don't know which one will go, but the championship will be 20 races," he said.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/07062011/58/todt-twenty-races-2012-21.html

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Formula 1 teams demand Bahrain Grand Prix cancellation

The Formula 1 teams have called on motorsport's governing body the FIA to abandon its plan to hold a rescheduled Bahrain Grand Prix this year.

The race, due to be held in March but called off in February because of civil unrest, was reinstated last Friday and has been rescheduled for 30 October.

But in a letter to the FIA, the teams say they are implacably opposed to the race happening in 2011.

They say it is not practical to add the race at the end of a long season.

The teams wrote to the FIA on Tuesday under the auspices of their umbrella group Fota.

They want the inaugural Indian Grand Prix moved back to 30 October, its original date.

And contrary to reports earlier on Tuesday, they do not want the Bahrain race to be added in on the new date - 11 December - the FIA gave India last week.

A Fota spokesman would not officially give details of the contents of the letter, saying simply: "The teams expressed their views in a letter."

But BBC Sport understands that Fota - which represents all the F1 teams bar back-of-the-grid Hispania - has expressed their objections to Bahrain being rescheduled on logistical grounds.

The letter says that the idea of adding a 20th race in December would be "unbearable to our staff".

The letter does not register any moral or ethical objections to the idea of a race in Bahrain, where human rights groups say abuses are continuing following a crackdown on unrest.

But sources say the teams do have such concerns.

Nevertheless, the letter emphasises how much the teams have enjoyed racing in Bahrain since 2004 and that they appreciate the circuit and the efforts the country has made to welcome F1.

The FIA effectively has no choice but to accede to the teams' demands - although its World Council voted through the date changes last week, it did so without the full written agreement of the teams, which is constitutionally required.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/13689029.stm

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Bahrain gives up on 2011 race

Bahrain Grand Prix organisers have now given up on their hopes of holding a Formula 1 race this year, leaving the way open for India to have its October 30 date reinstated.

After a dramatic six days since last Friday's decision by the FIA to slot the Bahrain GP back in the calendar and push India to December 11, chiefs at the Sakhir circuit acknowledged on Thursday night that the race was now definitely off.

Earlier in the day FIA president Jean Todt said he had asked Bernie Ecclestone to resubmit a calendar in the wake of complaints from teams about the logistical problems of racing in Bahrain and extending the season into December.

With that decision leaving the way open for Ecclestone to remove Bahrain from the calendar, chiefs from the Gulf island state acknowledged that there was no chance of the race taking place this year.

...

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/92109

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Sergio Perez has pulled out of the rest of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend after feeling unwell following the first practice session.

With Sauber test driver Esteban Gutierrez not present in Montreal, McLaren reserve Pedro de la Rosa has been drafted in to fill the gap.

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12478_6980179,00.html

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Canada GP qualifying:

Vettel secures 6th pole

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m13.014s

2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m13.199s

3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.217s

4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m13.429s

5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m13.565s

6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.814s

7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m13.838s

8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m13.864s

9. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m14.062s

10. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.085s

11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m14.752s

12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m15.043s

13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.285s

14. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m15.287s

15. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.334s

16. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m15.361s

17. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.587s

18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.294s

19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m16.745s

20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m16.786s

21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m18.424s

22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m18.537s

23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m18.574s

24. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m19.414s

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