Friday Thoughts – Are the New Teams Welcome?

Branson and Fernandes

Branson, Fernandes and the flight attendant uniform

If I am to participate in the Thursday Thoughts adventure it seems the only way is to convert it to Friday ones. Blame the time difference.

Anyway, here is the topic for this week, Thursday of Friday:

The three new teams made quite an impression on F1 this year. What do you think they brought to the sport? How would the year have been without them? Better or worse?

Maybe the question should be rephrased – Are the new teams welcome and is it OK to have on the grid teams several seconds off the pace ?

And few more questions to follow up – Was F1 better with Toyota after the car maker joined the sport in 2002 ? Were we better off with Minardi and Jordan on the grid (not Eddie himself but the team) or without them after the former was turned into Toro Rosso by Red Bull and the latter metamorphosed to Midland, Spyker and finally Force India ? Was F1 better with or without Super Aguri ?

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2010 Macau GP – Photos from Lisboa Corner

I was little bit less camera crazy this time in Macau, here are few shots from Saturday and Sunday action at the Lisboa Corner of the Guia Circuit. As you can see from first two photos, Macau offers proper wheel-to-wheel racing (courtesy of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Juncadella):

(click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images)

Mortara becomes the first driver to win the Macau GP F3 race twice

Edoardo Mortara celebrating his second Macau GP win in a row

Edoardo Mortara celebrating his second Macau GP win in a row

Edoardo Mortara won the 2010 Macau GP Formula 3 race and made history by becoming the first driver to win this race twice. The 23-year-old Italian driver made a strong start from pole position. However, a start line crash resulted in two laps of the safety car and at the restart both Daniel Abt and Laurens Vanthoor slipstreamed Mortara on the long straight. They passed their team-mate before Lisboa corner. Abt however haven’t spent much time inthe lead. He crashed only seconds later and safety car was out for the second time. When it came in, it was Mortara who took advantage and slipstreamed Vanthoor to re-gain the lead. He pulled away and never looked back. Valtteri Bottas closed on Vanthoor but the order at the top hasn’t changed.

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2010 Macau GP – Formula 3 – Friday free practice

The delayed and shortened F3 practice session (due to crashes and track repairs in the previous event) ended with Valtteri Bottas on top ahead of Edoardo Mortara.

2010 Macau GP – Friday morning times:

1. Valtteri BOTTAS – Prema Powerteam – 2:11.080
2. Edoardo MORTARA – Signature +0.614
3. Marco WITTMANN – Signature +1.431
4. Carlos HUERTAS – Hitech Racing +1.864
5. Roberto MERHI – Prema Powerteam +1.984
6. Jean-Eric VERGNE – Carlin +2.134
7. Renger VAN DER ZANDE – Motopark Academy +2.201
8. Laurens VANTHOOR – Signature +2.237
9. Alexander SIMS – Raikkonen Robertson Racing +2.473
10. Antonio DA COSTA – Carlin +2.563
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2010 Macau GP – Formula 3 – Qualifying 1

Edoardo Mortara Macau Friday

Edoardo Mortara - Friday in Macau

Edoardo Mortara and Valtteri Bottas emerged as early favourites after Thursday action in Macau. Following almost identical times in first free practice the gap between them remained very close also in the first F3 qualifying session. This time the positions were reversed, Mortara edged Bottas by 0.113 and claimed provisional pole position.

2010 Macau GP – Qualifying 1 Times:

1. Edoardo MORTARA – 2:13.068
2. Valtteri BOTTAS +0.113
3. Marco WITTMANN +0.525
4. Laurens VANTHOOR +0.857
5. Carlos HUERTA +0.975
6. Renger VAN DER ZANDE +0.994
7. Felipe NASR +1.149
8. James CALADO +1.198
9. Alexandre IMPERATORI +1.247
10. Daniel ABT +1.444
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2010 Macau GP – Formula 3 – Free practice 1

2010 Macau GP begins today. The F3 line up includes Jean-Eric Vergne, Ryo Haryanto and Felix da Costa who only day or two ago tested F1 cars for Toro Rosso, Virgin Racing and Force India in Abu Dhabi during the young driver test. Fastest time in FP1 belong to Valtteri Bottas only who finished the session only 0.01s ahead of last year winner and 2009 runner up Edoardo Mortara.

There were two red flags during the practice, one inevitably caused by Japanese driver called Sato :-) . See the video.

2010 Macau GP – FP1 Times:

1. Valtteri BOTTAS – FIN – Prema Powerteam – 2:14.578
2. Edoardo MORTARA – ITA – Signature +0.010
3. Laurens VANTHOOR – BEL – Signature +0.767
4. Roberto MERHI – ESP – Prema Powerteam +0.805
5. Carlos HUERTAS – COL – Hitech Racing +1.197
6. Renger VAN DER ZANDE – NED – Motopark Academy +1.575
7. Daniel ABT – GER – Signature +1.665
8. Yuji KUNIMOTO – JPN – Tom’s +1.754
9. Marco WITTMANN – GER – Signature +2.058
10. Daniel JUNCADELLA – ESP – Prema Powerteam +2.083
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2010 Macau GP – Track introduction by Edoardo Mortara

Edoardo Mortara

Edoardo Mortara - 2009 Macau GP Winner

While people keep on bragging about the 2010 F1 season and follow the young driver tests in Abu Dhabi I am already turning my attention to the 2010 Macau GP that is on this weekend. The racing season is not over for me until all the debris is swept from the twisty curvy Macau street track on Sunday evening :-) . I will be in Macau this weekend enjoying what likely will yet again be an action packed crashfest.

The star event of the weekend is the Formula 3 race with Edoardo Mortara back in the former Portuguese enclave to defend his 2009 title. Nobody has ever won the Macau F3 race back-to-back, in fact nobody has ever managed to win it twice. Mortara came close – he was the runner up in 2008 before winning the race in 2009. I found last night in my mailbox press release including Q&A with Edoardo Mortara. I decided to post the questions and answers here as they offer a Macau race winner’s view of this exciting and challenging street circuit (plus yet another hint that without pile of money in the pocket it is hard to graduate to F1 these days):
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2010 Prediction Game – Abu Dhabi and The Final Scores

2010 prediction game abu dhabi

Here are the results of round 19 of the prediction game and further down this post the final standings. The highest one belongs to DaniGo 24 points, still short of 25 – the highest score of the season achieved by Enigma in the round one of our game.

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result – Sebastian Vettel – the new F1 champion

Sebastian Vettel Abu Dhabi champagne

Sebastian Vettel - 2010 F1 Champion

Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP and became the youngest ever Formula One champion. Lewis Hamilton finished the race in second place ahead of Jenson Button.

Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber became victims of their strategies. Both dropped down to the midfield after their pitstops and spent better part of race behind Vitaly Petrov (who pitted on lap one during safety car period).

2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Race result

1. Vettel
2. Hamilton +10.1
3. Button +11.0
4. Rosberg +30.7
5. Kubica +39.0
6. Petrov +43.5
7. Alonso +43.7
8. Webber +44.2
9. Alguersuari +50.2
10. Massa +50.8
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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Qualifying – P1 for Vettel

Vettel Abu Dhabi Pole

10th pole of the season for Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel will start the title deciding race from the pole position after qualifying 3 hundreds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso secured P3 ahead of Button and more importantly ahead of Webber in P5.

1. Vettel – 1:39.394
2. Hamilton – 1:39.425
3. Alonso – 1:39.792
4. Button – 1:39.823
5. Webber – 1:39.925
6. Massa – 1:40.202
7. Barrichello – 1:40.203
8. Schumacher – 1:40.516
9. Rosberg – 1:40.589
10. Petrov – 1:40.901

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Saturday Practice

Vettel Saturday Practice Abu Dhabi

Sebastian Vettel - Saturday Practice 2010 Abu Dhabi GP

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were fastest in final practice session of 2010 season ahead of Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Petrov.

1. Vettel – 1:40.696
2. Webber +0.133
3. Hamilton +0.584
4. Alonso +0.794
5. Button +0.882
6. Petrov +0.993
7. Schumacher +0.994
8. Rosberg +1.033
9. Kubica +1.181
10. Heidfeld +1.197

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2010 Abu Dhabi GP – Friday Practice

Abu Dhabi Friday

2010 Abu Dhabi GP - Friday Practice

Fastest time of the first Abu Dhabi practice session belongs to Sebastian Vettel, six tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Button, Webber, Kubica and Alonso were all over a second slower than Vettel. The session started on the wet track following earlier rain. Yes, it can rain in Abu Dhabi…

Friday Practice 1 Times:

1. Vettel – 1:42.760
2. Hamilton + 0.609
3. Button + 1.025
4. Webber +1.080
5. Kubica +1.320
6. Alonso +1.361
7. Schumacher +1.439
8. Kobayashi +1.844
9. Rosberg +1.958
10. Heidfeld +1.977

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2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi

Archives

2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise
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