Formula One will move to Abu Dhabi – the only new on track on the calendar – for the 2009 season finale. This post brings you a video introduction of the Yas Marina Circuit, onboard lap with Bruno Senna (in double seater F1 car), track map and a photogallery from this new F1 circuit.
After rather quiet F1 week the racing is about to return. The fifth Turkish F1 Grand Prix is on this weekend. The inaugural race in 2005 was won by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren that time). But from then on it was all about Felipe Massa who went on to win the Istanbul Park race in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Following Ferrari’s recent return to form there is every chance that the monopoly the current Ferrari drivers have on the Turkish GP wins may continue.
Besides all the politics and negotiations and courts there is still F1 racing going on. It is Monaco weekend. Let’s start with a reminder that unlike the other GPs, the Monaco weekend starts on Thursday with the first two practice sessions, Friday is day off.
Usually the teams arrive in Monaco with heavily revised, much more downforce generating aero package. The new regulations however restrict the teams in what they can do with the downforce and as a result we may not see as many obvious changes as in the past few years.
The European F1 season starts this weekend in Barcelona. Many teams plan to bring updated and upgraded cars to this Grand Prix and as a result we may (or may not) see some shake up in the order. Here is very quick overview of who plans to bring what to Spain:
The 2009 Formula 1 season continues with Bahrain GP. Most teams plan major developments only for the Spanish Grand Prix so there should not be too many suprises this weekend. But one never knows …
With the fuel loads taken in consideration the Brawn GP cars were still the fastest ones around in China on the dry track while Red Bulls were the class of the field in wet conditions. Both teams should be fighting for the podium in Bahrain too, as well as the “diffuser gang” teams Toyota and Williams.
Toyota spent quite a lot of their winter testing time in Bahrain and that may play to their advantage. Williams have the pace to challenge for the points and podium but they will need to start making the right calls during the races if they also want to get some results before the rest of the field catches up …
This week F1 circus moves to Shanghai for the 6th Chinese F1 GP. This will be the first time the Shanghai race is happening at the beginning of the F1 season instead of the usual end of season October date.
Following the Australian Grand Prix we all now have a bit better picture about the form of the teams. Sepang however is a very different track and not always were the Australian GP results mirrored by outcome of the Malaysian GP. Since 2001 when Malaysian GP moved to their 2nd race of the season slot only Michael Schumacher (2001, 2004) managed to win in Melbourne and then went on to win also the next race in Malaysia. (Check the end of this post for the top three stats). Most observers expect the differences between cars to be even more obvious in Malaysia then they were in Melbourne. That sounds like good news for Brawn, bad news for McLaren and Ferrari. However the Malaysian GP is not only about the track characteristics but also about the heat, humidity and rain. Heat and humidity can have effect on relaibility of the cars and those with least testing mileage may be the most vulnerable ones. The rain (that thanks to 5pm start is rather likely to come) may throw all the predictions out of the window and benefit the rain masters.
It is time to move on from Australia to Malaysia. Here is short video preview of 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Here is 8 minutes video preview of 2009 F1 season and 2009 Australian GP. This was a very quick edit as I needed to get it all together before leaving for Australia. Included is the awesome animated footage from Red Bull that you might have already seen – the older with Sebastien Vettel explaining the new rules as well as the very recent one showing us how the F1 car comes to life. The animations are great, they explain the changes in F1 ahead of 2009 season quite well and so they made it to this video edit . Then of course the virtual lap of Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, few shots of Toyota, McLaren and Red Bull, one engine blow up, sound of Mercedes F1 V8 engine and introduction of all 2009 F1 cars and drivers.
The new F1 season is just around the corner, time to start with Australian GP previews. There is only one rookie on the grid this year so we already know, or should know, what we can expect from the drivers. The big unknown however are the teams. Before they show us their true pace this Saturday and Sunday we can only guess where they are based on their winter testing form. I attempted to rank them after Barcelona test, and here is how I see them after the final test in Jerez. I decided to divide the teams into 4 groups – top, in between, midfield and back of the grid.
And here comes the last race and the last race preview of the 2008 Formula 1 season. The honour to host the season finale goes again to Brazilian Grand Prix. And same as was the case in previous 2 seasons the result of the final race will decide the championships. Worth mentioning is that with the exception of the Super Aguri guys all the drivers that started the 2008 season back in Melbourne will be on the grid with the same teams in Sao Paulo. I do not really remember when was the last time no driver got fired or replaced during the F1 season …
The main attention will of course be on the Hamilton vs Massa title fight. Lewis Hamilton may be leading the championship race by 7 points but as last year proved that may not mean much. And after the unpredictable season we have had so far with all the surprising results and all the points and races thrown away by both Hamilton and Massa I would not take anything for certain.
Here comes the final race video preview of the 2008 F1 season – video preview of 2008 Brazilian F1 GP:
This edit includes:
– look back at some recent races
– the 2007 3 way title fight
– road to Brazil
– preview of the Interlagos track
– and some Brazilian tunes