F1 2015.

What Can We Expect From F1 In 2015?

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Now that we’ve entered 2015 it’s now time to look forward the coming season instead of looking back on the old, we have plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

Revival of McLaren-Honda

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In 2013 McLaren announced that they would be re-uniting with legendary engine partners Honda, after their abrupt retreat from the sport at the end of 2008 it was hard to imagine them returning to the sport so soon, with the new hybrid engine regulations it seems that they’ve been tempted back into the fray of F1, It also appears that they are not coming back to just make up numbers on the grid. Honda have invested heavily into their new engine program as well as the McLaren team and have stated that they want to be winning upon their return, signing Fernando Alonso and keeping Jenson Button is the best line-up possible to do the job as well as I have said in a previous article. Honda wanted a big name signing to join the team and in bringing Fernando in certain has done that. We’ll have to see in winter testing if there are any signs of improvement from the Woking outfit.

Vettel’s move to Ferrari

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Towards the end of 2013 we found out Sebastian was leaving Red Bull Racing, his home since he was a young boy, it was confirmed nearer the end of the season that the poorest secret of all was that he was joining the Ferrari team alongside Kimi Raikkonen. With Ferrari in a massive state of rebuilding it would be hard pressed to imagine Ferrari fighting up the sharp end of the field, but with James Allison the chief designer finally developing the new car all the way through and massive restructurings in personnel with a new team principal in Maurizio Arrivabene and including poaching Jock Clear from Mercedes, Ferrari’s position on the grid this season will be a massive mystery, Sebastian’s idol was Michael Schumacher and he has said he would love to emulate him by helping rebuild Ferrari, question is. How long if at all will we see a Ferrari revival?

Continued Mercedes domination

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2014 saw Mercedes take the grid by storm in the all conquering W05, it was an engineering masterpiece that finally broke McLaren’s record of 15wins in a season, had Mercedes not have reliability issues they could have easily won all 19 races. It has been reported the Mercedes engine developers have said that they can find up to 60-100hp in the winter break for the new hybrid engines, this is an astonishing amount given the short time they have to achieve this. The W05 will also be evolved into the W06 this year, with any team always looking to improve the cars can the gap to them be closed down by anyone else or will the gap widen even more and leave Lewis and Nico to fight out the title once again?

Mexico’s Comeback On The Calendar

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In 2013 we heard rumblings that the sport may once again return the to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, in 2014 we finally had it confirmed, the last race we saw here was in 1992 (see picture above) with Nigel Mansell won it from Ricardo Patrese and Michael Schumacher following him up to the rostrum. The circuit is very fast and flowing but was renowned for being very bumpy, with some funds being invested into the circuit to bring up to modern standards. I’m also hoping that while improvements have been made, the circuit will keep it’s traits and give the drivers a great challenge when we arrive for the event in the autumn. With Sergio Perez being the only Mexican on the grid for the race as Esteban Guttierez was ousted from Sauber, I would like to hope that Ferrari will give Esteban a Friday outing but with it being a new circuit I doubt that it may happen. It’ll be great to get all nostalgic once we arrive ready to begin a new future in Central America.

Overview

With winter testing not very far away, like me I’m sure you’re all very keen for the action to get started once more, we can breathe a sigh of relief that the phallic noses are banned but we can also hold our breathe because the teams are only allowed to use 4 engines this season instead of 5 this means a huge undertaking for the engineers and designers, but it’s all part of the magical and wonderful world of F1 we all come back for time and time again.

69 days and counting until Australia.. Time is ticking!

@lilgodf1

 

 

Guttierez announced as Ferrari reserve driver

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It was announced today that Esteban Guttierez will become Ferrari’s test and reserve driver.

With Sauber not having scored any points in their worst season since they joined Formula 1 in 1993, it was announced at the Brazilian Grand Prix that Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were going to drive for the swiss outfit in 2015; this left Sutil and Guttierez heading for exit door.

The 23 year old will now line up with four time world champion Sebastian Vettel, 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari.

Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said Gutierrez:

“Although young, has plenty of experience relating to the new generation of Formula 1 cars.

I am sure that, with his experience, he will make an important contribution to the development work of the team in the simulator.”

In my opinion Esteban didn’t really shine in his second season of F1, admittedly Sauber produced a poor car this season and it can be difficult to prove yourself in poor machinery, but there were no real stand out performances from the Mexican.

Shortly after the announcement Esteban Gutierrez said:

“It is for me the beginning of a new path for my future and I’m going to do my utmost to contribute to the achievement of the targets set by the Scuderia”

@SteveF1C

McLaren’s D-day

IMG_1500.JPGToday we were told that McLaren are inviting the media to a conference at their technology centre in Woking, the teams home base.

It appears, Spanish, Danish and British media will all be in attendance, one press team is surely going home disappointed.

There are many ways this could pan out, lots of media outlets are placing their skepticisms as to who will get the 2 race seats available.

I wouldn’t want to hedge my bets as to who will race for the Woking outfit next season, but it’s one story we’re all watching with matchsticks in our eyes!!

@SteveF1C

Performance Clauses, Right Or Wrong?

IMG_1498.JPGDo Performance Clauses have a place in F1? Of course they do, Teams have expectations of their drivers and drivers of their teams, but one driver in particular seems to have so much standing that he has these clauses in his contracts every time he signs.

Fernando Alonso in 2007 when he first signed for McLaren appeared to have a clause in his contract that he was a number one driver, this has been denied for a very long time and I no doubt that it will be evermore.

Rumblings throughout 2007 had upset Fernando and it came to a hilt at the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying it appeared to have opened the rift in McLaren that seemed irreparable, with the two McLaren’s squabbling it left Kimi Raikkonen to score the title that year.

But in 2014 it became apparent that with Ferrari’s stuttering start with the new Hybrid formula Alonso had his own performance clause in his contract that if Ferrari were or finished outside the top 3 in the constructors championship he could leave the team. It appears that he activated that clause and negotiated his exit.

In 2015 it has appeared that again he has stated a performance clause in his contract with McLaren-Honda (Still no
Official confirmation of his arrival I might add.) the details aren’t known as to what they are, but it could be similar to his Ferrari clause.

We wait with interest as to what the ramifications of the McLaren decision are and how they perform in 2015. But I’m sure the whole paddock and fan collective are keen to see how it pans out.

I am always keen to hear your thoughts!

@SteveF1C

McLaren’s indecision

IMG_1470.JPGEver since the Japanese Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel announced he was leaving Red Bull, the team he had been with since he was 12 years old, Fernando Alonso has been linked with leaving the Scuderia since the halfway point in the season, but all rumours point to his return at McLaren, the team he had a massive falling out with in 2007 costing the team over €100m and disqualification from the constructor’s championship because of the spy scandal.

Now for 2015 Fernando is all but confirmed to head back to the Woking outfit once more, but there seems to be a massive indecision within the board as to who will fill the other seat.

3 contenders seem to be in play, Jenson Button veteran of 15 years in F1 and a world championship to his name, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren young driver who had a unsteady first season but seems to show good promise and Stoffel Vandoorne, another McLaren young driver who seems to be very quick also, grabbing 2nd in his rookie season in GP2 he has certainly turned some heads in his direction.

But who will they choose to partner the spaniard? If rumours are to be believed he has signed the biggest contract in the sport’s history, Honda no doubt have had some push into signing him as they want a winning start in 2015 on their return to F1.

The board will reconvene during the week to again try and find the best driver to fill that seat for 2015 and beyond.

Who will get the seat? Time will tell.