News and views on motorsports

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Melbourne Qualy Notes

Despite a clear victory for Ferrari in the winter, qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix confirms what many have suspected. Its going to be close.


I would have liked to have seen Filipe Massa complete his flyer for the second part of qualifying. I would like to have seen how he would perform when its game time. Alas, his Ferrari would let him down. I suspect though that when the chips are down, Kimi Raikkonen still has that edge on him. But for sheer value for money, Massa seems like a rock bottom bargain. Massa paycheck being USD 8 million a year compared to Kimi's reported USD 51 million.


In bloody good form I think. Alonso it seems has transitioned very well at Woking and showing the young pup just who carries the world title. Nevertheless, I am impressed by Lewis Hamilton for his very mature debut. Alonso is a dependable driver and you can bet that he is in with a very great chance in tomorrow's race.


The dark horse. Has been quick all winter and nice to see them translate that to big game performance. People have been impressed by their long run performance during testing and this should make these guys quite a dangerous proposition this weekend.

Super Aguri

The story of the weekend if you ask me. Both Sato and Davidson were considered surplus to the factory Honda team's requirements. And see here, they are both ahead of the works team. Superb! When it was first announced that from 2008, teams would be able to purchase chassis, this was the sort of situation that I had hoped would happen. Think RBM vs Schnitzer or Joest Racing vs Porsche or Team Green vs Ganassi. Its great to watch.

Now this won't happen every year or as this very season progresses I suspect. If we look back into the past, I think this is similar to the case of the McLaren MP4/17D of 2003. A year old design suitably updated turned good. But the difference is the MP4/17D had the whole winter. The new Super Aguri had its first run during the practice session.

But given Super Aguri's performance today, you can bet that Frank Williams and Spyker would have been on the phone to the solicitors even before qualifying had ended.

Oh and Clive? Its ahem... Sato not Davidson. But still I think Ant is doing a great job.


Rubbish. Losing Alonso is obviously hitting the Enstone based team really hard. Has been so all winter and so it is today. Say that Alonso is half a second quicker than Fisi on average, and Alonso is still driving the Renault. That would only put him fifth on the grid today and about a second away from Raikkonen's Ferrari. The car is suffering because it now runs on Japanese rubber. This is good if only to shut that perma tanned thrash talking gigolo up. He's been mouthing off during the winter against his former driver and his former driver's new team. Well, eat shit Flav.

Given that the engine freeze has started this year, the only way Renault will catch up is through aero and mechanical development. Well, if Flav and the FIA had their way, there would even be an aero freeze in the future. All very nice if your team is on top but if you want to catch up you're shafted. Well, the Renault is no longer on top and you can bet that Flav will not be so vociferous in his support for Mosley's madness.

Toyota and Williams

I'm a bit surprised by these guys. All weekend the Williams have looked quicker. But on low fuel qualifying they've proven quicker. Just what is up? We'd need to see what happens during the race but I suspect it should be a lot closer between Toyota and Williams. However, the factory team making it into the top 10 is totally unexpected. Lets see if they last the race.


Drop the cynical corporate paint job and call Aguri Suzuki. And start acting like a racing team again rather than simply another corporate department.

Red Bull

Inconclusive but I'm hoping Adrian Newey's design will come good as the year progresses. Still not as quick as the works Renaults but its close.

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