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Mandzipop

F1 2016

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Is it still Mercedes on top?

Does anyone understand the new tyre rules?

Why have they changed quali? It was fine before?

Radio changes.

Is mat better than gloss?

Bring back NA. I haven't been to a race since the new PU's have been introduced. My last race was Spa 2013.

Toto "And now it begins."

Post Australia after Hamilton first and Rosberg second

All non Lewis/Rosberg/Mercedes fans

"Now it ends/over."

Edited by Mandzipop

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we're clearly all really excited about it given a thread has only just been created (unless there is one floating around)

It's going to be a tough season for me as I don't have access to sky F1 (don't see why I'd have to buy all the other packages just to get f1) and the BBC have lost the coverage to channel 4. Two things upset me about channel 4 getting it - they have a crappy on demand set up and if this weekend is to go by seem set on showing highlights quite a bit after the actual race. I'll give it a go though as that's the only option currently available. It's probably the best time to not have much access to the sport as it's pretty dull at the moment.

I'm hoping Rosberg can put up a fight and that Ferarri are close enough to cause problems almost every race. Ideally Kimi will step up as I think it has to be more than just Vettel applying the pressure.

I think the new qualifying is something I'm just going to have to see. I don't really agree with the changes as I thought quali actually worked well. Trying to complicate it just so Hamilton isn't in pole feels artificial to me. They could have just done away with quali alltogether and draw names out of hats or just put the winnerof every race at the back (although you'd get all the cars out of the points fighting to finish last then - maybe could have given pole on some arbitrary function like most overtakes or fastest lap). Like I said, I'll see how it plays out but not overly convinced.

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The new qualifying format felt a bit farcical, with more sessions ending with no cars on the track, I think there was about 3 or 4 minutes at the end of the final session where nothing happened because none of the drivers had the tyres to do another run. A few teams did mess up the timing and be eliminated while midway through their fastest lap, which I suppose is part of what the organisers were hoping for, but it mostly didn't happen to the top drivers. The rumour seems to already be that the format will be quickly dropped, although I don't know whether they'll go back to the old system (I don't think there was anything particularly wrong with it).

Unsurprisingly, Mercedes still seem to be on top although I don't think we'll really know how far they are ahead of Ferrari until the race.

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qualifying didn't make much sense. No one seemed to grasp what was going on and I always thought the countdown thing was too short to be effective. They should go back to the old format or try something else.

The race was better at least but still not amazing. Ferrari might be closer than we think given their strategy was odd. Mercedes need to get their starts sorted out (unless this race was a fluke) because Vettel is usually going to be on the second row and if he keeps getting those starts it could be an ongoing problem for mercedes (but entertaining for us). Shame Kimi's car died on him (only he could be so cool about sitting in a car on fire)

I'm hoping Red Bull's performance was real and not circumstancial as Ricciardo deserves to be closer to the main fight.

Alonso's crash was spectacular. It's amazing he walked away from it and it's always terrfiying when cars end up in the air. Surely incidents like this must have him wonder if it's worth turning up any more? I'd be thinking as much but then again I'm not a racing champion - I'm sure their minds work differently.

Verstappen was acting more his age in this race than he did all of last season. He needs to get that in check because there was a hint of football diva sneaking in there and it was definitely affecting his performance. He should have a chat with Hamilton - he's been through that phase. That said, I've become a little suspicious of radio broadcasts now. It's a bit like a reality tv show where the producers can pick the feeds that fit a story. Still, no smoke without fire.

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Didn't watch the qualifying but looks like I didn't miss much. And the new format is history already. They're going back to the old one. The reason why they messed around with it is obvious. The promoters are unhappy with the TV ratings. And since they have no clue whatsoever why people are watching F1, they keep throwing random stuff against the wall hoping some of it might stick. 

As for the race, it was more interesting than most because of the different strategies. In theory we should see more of that this year because the teams have a real choice regarding the tyres now, but I guess everybody will be back on the same strategy after a couple of races, when they have tried out all the tyres. 

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I think the first two races really felt pointless because the qualifying format was artificial and weird. Now it's gone, this race actually felt more substantial than the previous ones. The takeaway so far:

Rosberg has to be favourite for the title, which should be a nice change, but it's also a little too soon to call it. A single DNF for him and a couple of wins for Hamilton and Hamilton will be right back up there.

Ferrari should be doing a lot better than they are. The car is clearly superior to last year's in performance, but seems to have taken a backseat in reliability. If they can get on top of reliability, they should romp home comfortably in 2nd. They don't look like they have the firepower to challenge Mercedes all season long, but in a few races should be able to match or beat them.

Red Bull have clearly stepped since last year. Renault have delivered above and beyond on the goods you might be expecting. Good job.

Strong start from Haas, but it looks like Grosjean might have been doing an Alonso-in-2012 in those first two races by simply dragging that car into positions it might otherwise struggle to reach. Very impressive from a new team.

McLaren have clearly improved significantly over last year, but not quite enough. They're clearly superior to Renault and Manor (and Manor have stepped up in a big way as well) but may be a bit behind Williams and Force India. They're probably knocking around the same level as Sauber, maybe just a nudge behind Haas. That's a good sign for them getting more points this season, but in the first couple of races they're clearly suffering from reliability issues and bad luck. The two veteran racers being outdriven by the rookie in his own race of the season so far is a bit embarrassing.

Channel 4's coverage so far has been solid. Getting experienced drivers onto the commentary team and having more people to call upon, like Susie Wolff and Mark Webber, is a good idea because drivers immediately seem to relax more when they're talking to people they were having a beer with a year or two back after a race. However, adverts in the highlights show are annoying and they are leaving it far too long after the race ends just to get the highlights show out at an arbirtary lunchtime airdate. Still, they're doing better than expected.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

I think the first two races really felt pointless because the qualifying format was artificial and weird. Now it's gone, this race actually felt more substantial than the previous ones.

I think the races so far have been entertaining. Obviously, the solution to last year's tedium wasn't to do something to the qualifying format, all we need is for bad things to happen to Hamilton's car at the start and the race suddenly becomes more interesting.

 

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The race was good. It's also a relief that Hamilton is having problems because this way around it seems plausible that he can still catch Rosberg. Hamilton can chase wins whereas Rosberg can't - but Rosberg has shown before he's excellent when leading from the front. A bit like Vettel in that sense although Vettel has since shown he's good at chasing too. Although he can definitely get a bit pissy.

It was also great to see Ricciardo in the mix. I'm guessing it's track specific but it does feel like the other teams are starting to catch up. Shame they'll probably completely overhaul the rules and create another blank slate just as things get competitive again.

Channel 4 do a decent job of their show but their online services are terrible. With BBC you could stream the race from any point live (so if i decided to get up at 8 I could watch it at 8) but Channel 4 make you wait. It's really frustrating.

They are still killing the sport with moving it almost entirely to pay-per-view. I guess Ecclestone doesn't care as long as it makes him money while he's alive.

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31 minutes ago, red snow said:

A bit like Vettel in that sense although Vettel has since shown he's good at chasing too. Although he can definitely get a bit pissy.

The conversation between Vettel and Kvyat before going out onto the podium was extremely awkward, Vettel seemed really angry while Kvyat didn't really seem to know what Vettel was talking about. Looking at the replays it looked like a typical racing incident at the start, Kvyat seemed to be going for a standard overtaking manoeuvre, it's just unfortunate that the position of Kimi's car meant Vettel ran out of space.

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The view from the BBC and C4 seems to be that Ferrari's boss goes ballistic when his cars collide and pulls them in for a personal "chat" about it. Vettel may have been taking early emergency pre-emptive action by pouring all the blame of Kvyat. Although as Kvyat points out, they both ended up on the podium so they did get the result they wanted, and neither looked like they could catch Rosberg.

Also, big sigh of relief for Kvyat just as his seat was coming into question and with Verstappen looking like a possible candidate for it.

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I don't blame Kvyat for making that move. Vettel left the door open on the inside and Kvyat took it. I didn't help things when Raikkonen came down on Vettel, not realizing that they were three wide.

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Kvyat is still under pressure. he only finished 7 seconds in front of Ricciardo who lost plenty. Ricciardo's drive was much more impressive imo

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9 hours ago, 6649er said:

Kvyat is still under pressure. he only finished 7 seconds in front of Ricciardo who lost plenty. Ricciardo's drive was much more impressive imo

Kyvat feels reminiscent of WEbber in that he's a solid driver and occasionally better than Ricciardo but he lacks that spark that Ricciardo (or Vettel) had. Plus Red Bull have a surplus of options and I think of Max Verstappen can look like less of an uncontrollable brat they'd have him on the team. The problem is whether Max can play the team game. I think he can but so far this season his behaviour has been a lot more petulant.

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Carlos Sainz is looking pretty impressive as well, more consistent than Verstappen, not with quite the same highs but not as flaky either. I think he'd be a safer option for a solid #2 driver to support Riccardio. My concern with Verstappen would be him trying to hog all the glory and refusing to play the team game at a vital moment.

Kvyat I think shows a lot of promise and Bernie would likely want to keep him on board as his presence has also pushed up interest in the sport in Russia, but I wonder if a move to another team might be more helpful for him. The roster is full at the moment, but Alonso, Raikkonnen, Massa and Button only have a few years each left in the sport so who knows.

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6 hours ago, red snow said:

Kyvat feels reminiscent of WEbber in that he's a solid driver and occasionally better than Ricciardo but he lacks that spark that Ricciardo (or Vettel) had. Plus Red Bull have a surplus of options and I think of Max Verstappen can look like less of an uncontrollable brat they'd have him on the team. The problem is whether Max can play the team game. I think he can but so far this season his behaviour has been a lot more petulant.

I think Red Bull are looking for potential future World Champions (assuming they can one day manage to make up their engine deficit compared to Mercedes), and I'm not convinced Kvyat is quite that good, he feels more like the sort of driver who'll spend most of his career delivering respectable results in a Force India or a Sauber. I think Verstappen might be a better long-term prospect.

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2 hours ago, williamjm said:

I think Red Bull are looking for potential future World Champions (assuming they can one day manage to make up their engine deficit compared to Mercedes), and I'm not convinced Kvyat is quite that good, he feels more like the sort of driver who'll spend most of his career delivering respectable results in a Force India or a Sauber. I think Verstappen might be a better long-term prospect.

Like Wert says, it probably depends a lot on whether Red Bull keeps Ricciardo. Max might be a bit volatile with Ricciardo (although I wonder if Kvyat was showing he could be ballsy too at the weekend). The question is whether Red Bull are actually quicker than Toro Rosso at the moment. The previous races seemed to be in TR favour. Can't remember if China is a unique track or not but I'm guessing it's one where aerodynamics come more into play than grunt speed.

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Red Bull have switched Kyvat for Verstappen. Pretty ruthless move considering he had one bad race. I'm guessing there's more politics and money involved too.

Looks like the new season isn't generating much interest here this year.

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It should be, because the races themselves have actually been pretty good and there's actually a bit more of a battle this year for the championship. But I am slightly worn out with all the politics of it and the stupid things Bernie keeps doing. It's detracting from the on-track action.

The swap is surprising. Button went on Twitter and castigated Red Bull, pointing out that everyone makes mistakes. Kvyat got a really good result the race before and squared off against Vettel and won, which should have seen him showered with respect and plaudits. His mistake the next race was silly, but the magnitude of it was nowhere near what happened between Webber and Vettel in Turkey a few years ago.

I do suspect there was a desperate need to make sure they keep hold of Verstappen since apparently both Ferrari and Mercedes had some sniffing around (Mercedes are much more likely to retain Rosbeg though, based on his current form, but Ferrari I think are unlikely to retain Kimi unless he keeps up this current form).

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55 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It should be, because the races themselves have actually been pretty good and there's actually a bit more of a battle this year for the championship. But I am slightly worn out with all the politics of it and the stupid things Bernie keeps doing. It's detracting from the on-track action.

The swap is surprising. Button went on Twitter and castigated Red Bull, pointing out that everyone makes mistakes. Kvyat got a really good result the race before and squared off against Vettel and won, which should have seen him showered with respect and plaudits. His mistake the next race was silly, but the magnitude of it was nowhere near what happened between Webber and Vettel in Turkey a few years ago.

I do suspect there was a desperate need to make sure they keep hold of Verstappen since apparently both Ferrari and Mercedes had some sniffing around (Mercedes are much more likely to retain Rosbeg though, based on his current form, but Ferrari I think are unlikely to retain Kimi unless he keeps up this current form).

If it was a british forum I'd put it down to BBC no longer covering it and while Channel 4 aren't bad at the actual coverage their accessibility is poor. Maybe other territories have also switched to pay per view?

Doing the swap as a means of preventing Verstappen being poached by Ferrari. mercedes or mclaren makes some sense in motivating factors. There doesn't seem to be any new blood in the sport looking as promising as Verstappen at the moment. Making a mistake at the russian GP in front of Helmut Marko probably didn't help either.

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8 hours ago, red snow said:

Red Bull have switched Kyvat for Verstappen. Pretty ruthless move considering he had one bad race. I'm guessing there's more politics and money involved too.

I would have thought the politics and money might be more likely to favour Kvyat, since he probably attracts quite a lot of sponsorship from Russia. It did seem a bit ruthless even if it might be a reasonable move in the long-term, he may have had an awful first lap in Russia but most drivers have done worse at some point.

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