Friday, April 13, 2007

Bahrain Practise

To parrot Bob Varsha’s really bad impression of Martin Sheen, “I love the smell of Bridgestone’s in the morning…” As the camera focused upon Jarno Trulli locking up a set of the “soft” tires in Friday practice.

Varsha: Welcome to the Bahrain Grand Prix, now in its fourth running. Bahrain’s an interesting country. With less than 700,000 residents of which 1/3 are foreigners. And the tiny Island nation is smaller then neighboring Saudi Arabia’s airport…

Peter Winsor brought up the disappointing story about David Coulthard’s retirement in Malaysia which was due to a binding brake pedal against the steering rack.

Winsor noted that DC had complained about this very issue to the team on Friday and apparently nothing had been done about it, which is why DC was a bit curt with the team on Sunday.

David Hobbs rightly pointed out that this seemed quite illogical and that perhaps the team’s focuse was a bit skewed? As they’d reported last week about how Adrian Newey had requested Mark Webber switch over to Arai helmets as he claimed they gave better aerodynamic results…

Steve Matchett chimed in how that was inexcusable. These are the very top professional teams in motorsports. Ok if it happened on race day, but there’s NO excuse for not curing this immediately after a practice session. They have everything available to modify the cars with them…

(C’mon guys! All they need to do is drink a few Red bulls and get on with it!)

Matchett: Talking to Renault’s chief engineer Alan Fermat, he told me that last year’s R26 was generating 5.1 G’s braking at the end of the straight entering turn 1! This is approx. 350 kilos of force being applied to the driver…

Panning to an in-car camera of “Jense” (Button) Varsha noted that the G-Meter graphics seemed awfully light?

Matchett: I don’t think the meter’s wired in.

Hobbs: Or that explains why the Honda’s are so SLOW? (OUCH!)

Varsha:”Having a “senior” moment, oh what’s that driver’s name? My favourite memory about G Forces is that Ferrari driver. French-Sicilian... Professor Matchett: Alesi! Yeah how could I forget Jean Alesi.

Anyhow when he was coming into the corner for his last lap of the one and only race he won at Canada. He said as he started crying tears of joy while braking they splattered upon his visor…

Matchett: I’ve just done some calculations. Assuming the Driver is 75 kilos, with a G force of 5.1 there’s approx. 845lbs of force being applied to the drivers seat belts entering turn 1…

Hobbs: Now that G-Meter’s working. 3.8 G’s while turning into a corner. And 5 G’s going into turn 8!

Varsha: And there’s still journalists out there who claim that race car drivers AREN’T athletes!

Varsha: Cristjian Albers is having an absolutely miserable time getting to grips with the Bridgestone tires (recall last weeks massive tire blow out during practice) as he’s stone last. He’s 3.86 seconds behind Fernando Alonso’s leading time…

(Albers may regret his slam against “Quick Nick” Heidfeld last year as if he keeps plowing along he may wind up on the beach playing volleyball himself?)

The Spyker team tried a novel sponsorship idea over the past week. They put sponsorship opportunities on eBay. For $500,000 Euros you could put your logo on the nose. “What’s that Hobbs? About $650,000.” Three million euros would get you the engine cover! As of this past Thursday there had been no bidders. Perhaps they’ll want to think about dropping the price?

Hobbs: Now that is amazing! Young Adrian Sutil is leading not only his teammate, he’s ahead of Ralf Schumacher in the factory Toyota and poor ‘ol Rubens Barrichello in the factory Honda… I mean that’s embarrassing as Ralf gets paid $20 million by Toyota while Sutil probably has to pay around $5 million to drive the Spyker…

Coming back from commercial Varsha noted that there’s a driverless Honda rolling backwards on the track… Then showing team boss Nick Fry in excruciating misery in the pits!

Next they showed multiple views of the reason why. “KABLAMOE!” said Matchett as the camera showed first pieces of schrapnel flying everywhere along with a massive fireball… Err flames and oil smoke spewing everywhere… And even more exciting was the onboard view from Felipe Massa’s Ferrari as he got showered by “Jense” as he came upon the hapless Honda…

Yet in the waning laps of practice while the boys slobered on about the dress code portion of various F1 Team Bosses… i.e.; Flavio and Jean Todt. Barrichello apparently bolted on another set of “soft” tires, drained the tanks and went on a flyer as he leapt to 10th on the time sheets…

Hobbs: Barrichello has just leapt ahead of Anthony Davidson in the Super Aguri…

Matchett: I always said the Honda’s were quick!

(And although it was only practice, it was interesting to note that both Super Aguri’s outpaced both factory Toyota’s)

3 comments:

  1. Is it just me or do the white striped Bridgestones remind you of some examples of Hot Wheels or slot cars of a couple decades ago?

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  2. Upon further reflection and consulting my dusty memory, I had different thoughts when the idea of color coded tyres was first broached.

    Why not go retro? Lets go to a wide whitewall like ‘57 Desoto’s had? Bridgestone being a Japanese firm, why not imprint a ring of Hello Kittys around the sidewall.

    Gumby images might be appropriate given the tires would have to be made of a very soft and pliable compound to gain any speed advantage?

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  3. Marc,

    You are CRACKING me up!!! I definitely think that Bridgestone should go for the “Hello Kitty” markings on the sidewalls a la Champ Car with its RED “soft” sidewall markings…

    And not to date myself, but growing up the slot cars I played with were of the “original” Tyco brand with “skinny” 1/16th(?) black tyres… So I can’t say that the F1 cars remind me of this.

    Yet I really appreciate the white stripe markings as they’re clearly visible…

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