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2012 Formula One Season - Round 1 - Australian Grand Prix (16-18 March)

Discussion in 'Motor Board' started by Sven, Mar 7, 2012.

Put it out there
  1. Sven

    Sven All Australian

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    2012 Formula One World Championship - Round One - Australian Grand Prix (16-18 January 2012)

    After nearly 4 months without any Formula 1 racing action the 2012 season is about to get underway with the traditional season opener at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne. As usual here is Mark Webber's lap of the track:

    [youtube]ZZMsc5WoOeA[/youtube]

    2012 Teams and drivers:

    Red Bull Racing - 1 Sebastian Vettel/2 Mark Webber

    Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - 3 Jenson Button/4 Lewis Hamilton

    Ferrari - 5 Fernando Alonso/6 Felipe Massa

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team - 7 Michael Schumacher/8 Nico Rosberg

    There are no driver changes in the top four teams, although McLaren have swapped driver numbers for Button and Hamilton as a result of Button finishing 2nd in the 2011 drivers championship.

    Lotus F1 Team - 9 Kimi Raikkonen/10 Romain Grosjean

    Lotus F1 (previously Lotus Renault) have completely revamped their driver lineup with Heidfeld, Senna and Petrov no longer with the team. Raikkonen returns to Formula 1 after his Ferrari contract inspired exile.

    Sahara Force India F1 Team - 11 Paul di Resta/12 Nico Hulkenberg

    Hulkenberg replaces Adrian Sutil at Force India

    Sauber F1 Team - 14 Kamui Kobayashi/15 Sergio Pérez

    No changes at Sauber

    Scuderia Toro Rosso - 16 Daniel Ricciardo/17 Jean-Éric Vergne

    Like Lotus, Toro Rosso have two new drivers after dumping Buemi and Alguersuari

    Williams F1 Team - 18 Pastor Maldonado/19 Bruno Senna

    Senna replaces Barichello at Williams and the car is now Renault powered (previously Cosworth)

    Caterham F1 Team - 20 Heikki Kovalainen/21 Vitaly Petrov

    Petrov comes in for Trulli at Caterham (previously Team Lotus). The Caterham car has KERS this year.

    HRT F1 Team - 22 Narain Karthikeyan/23 Pedro de la Rosa

    Pedro De La Rosa replaces Liuzzi at HRT. The car is rumoured to have KERS at some stage during the year, but will start without KERS.

    Marussia F1 Team - 24 Timo Glock/25 Charles Pic

    Charles Pic replaces d'Ambrosio at Marussia (previously Marussia Virgin).

    The rookie drivers this year are Jean-Éric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Charles Pic (Marussia)

    Last Year

    Qualifying

    Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull were in a class of their own in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, his 0.8 second advantage over Hamilton was an early marker for what was to become a dominating first half of the season for the German. Webber disappointed in third in a car that was clearly way ahead of the rest. After a disappointing testing campaign the McLarens returned to form with some hasty modifications to the rear of the car. The McLarens changes were so new the team did not have enough time to make them from carbon fibre and they were fabricated in titanium instead. Further down the grid Schumacher failed to make it into Q3 and at the back of the pack the HRTs failed to make the grid with a car that had failed to turn a wheel during any of the 2011 pre-season testing days.

    1 Sebastian Vettel 1:23.529
    2 Lewis Hamilton 1:24.307
    3 Mark Webber 1:24.395
    4 Jenson Button 1:24.779
    5 Fernando Alonso 1:24.974
    6 Vitaly Petrov 1:25.247
    7 Nico Rosberg 1:25.421
    8 Felipe Massa 1:25.599
    9 Kamui Kobayashi 1:25.626
    10 Sebastien Buemi 1:27.066
    11 Michael Schumacher
    12 Jaime Alguersuari
    13 Sergio Pérez
    14 Paul di Resta
    15 Pastor Maldonado
    16 Adrian Sutil
    17 Rubens Barrichello
    18 Nick Heidfeld
    19 Heikki Kovalainen
    20 Jarno Trulli
    21 Timo Glock
    22 Jérôme d'Ambrosio
    107% time: 1:31.267
    23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:32.978
    24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:34.293

    Race

    The main question before the start of the 2011 race was whether or not the Red Bulls had KERS or not. Although Vettel had easily qualified in position one it was uncertain whether he had used KERS during qualifying. As the race unfolded it was clear that Vettel in the lead could hold position without KERS and therefore the race came down to tyre strategy. After the race it was revealed that Red Bull had not fitted KERS to either car for qualifying or the race. Vettel, Hamilton and Petrov all went for a two stop strategy and duly ended up on the podium. Webber and Alonso pitted three times and finished 4th and 5th. The one stopping Saubers of Perez and Kobayashi finshed the race in 6th and 7th position but the team was subsequently disqualified due the a rear wing infringement which promoted Button and Massa, who had had an absorbing duel during the race, into 6th and 7th.

    1 Sebastian Vettel 1:29:30.259
    2 Lewis Hamilton +22.297
    3 Vitaly Petrov +30.560
    4 Fernando Alonso +31.772
    5 Mark Webber +38.171
    6 Jenson Button +54.304
    7 Felipe Massa +1:25.186
    8 Sébastien Buemi +1 Lap
    9 Adrian Sutil +1 Lap
    10 Paul di Resta +1 Lap
    11 Jaime Alguersuari +1 Lap
    12 Nick Heidfeld +1 Lap
    13 Jarno Trulli +2 Laps
    14 Jérôme d'Ambrosio +4 Laps
    Not classified Timo Glock
    Retired Rubens Barrichello
    Retired Nico Rosberg
    Retired Heikki Kovalainen
    Retired Michael Schumacher
    Retired Pastor Maldonado
    Disqualified Sergio Pérez
    Disqualified Kamui Kobayashi

    The tyre choices at the Australian Grand Prix are the medium and soft compounds. Last year the choice was between the hard and soft and, as a result, the difference in performance between the two tyres should be smaller. This could have an important effect on the grid with the teams at the back of the grid not getting the performance boost that they got last year during qualifying. This means that some of the back markers may struggle to make the 107% time.

    Significant 2012 Rule Changes

    The most visible change to the 2012 cars is as a result of changes to the height of the nose of the car. The nose height has been reduced to 55 cm from 62.5 centimetres (24.6 in) above the ground to minimise the risk of driver injury in a side impact scenario. The noses were becoming higher than the mandatory head protection around the cockpit, in some areas this is as low as 55cm. It was possible that a high nose tip could easily pass over this area and strike the driver.

    Exhaust blown diffusers are banned in 2012. The exhausts must now sit in small allowable area, too high and far forward to direct the exhausts towards the diffuser. The exhausts must feature just two exits and no other openings in or out are allowed. The final 10cm of the exhaust must point rearwards and slightly up (between 10-30 degrees). Allied to the exhaust position, the system of using the engine to continue driving exhaust when the driver is off the throttle pedal has also been outlawed. Last year teams kept the engine throttles opened even when the driver lifted off the throttle for a corner.

    Pre-season testing.

    All teams have had the opportunity to test their 2012 cars over 12 days of testing at Jerez (4 days) and Barcelona (2 x 4 day sessions). Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Sauber, Force India, Caterham and Williams have all tested on each available test day. Lotus found a chassis problem at the 2nd test session and missed the majority of that test opportunity whereas Mercedes waited until Barcelona to debut their new car. HRT and Marussia did no testing at all and launched their 2012 cars at the start of this week. Launching at a "media" day does not allow any meaningfull testing apart from system checks.

    There has been no clear winner during pre-season testing and the lap times have been relatively close, although tyre choice and fuel loads can make the times pretty meaningless. Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus have all appeared strong and at this stage appear to be the favourites going into the first race of the year. The radical 2012 Ferrari looks like it has potential, but the team has downplayed their chances leading into Melbourne.

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  2. ManWithNoName

    ManWithNoName #ForzaJules

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    What? Have you not been following testing? The Ferrari's rubbish.
  3. Sven

    Sven All Australian

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    Every session, every possible write up. I didn't say the Ferrari was good, as you may have noticed I didn't have them in the top four teams. Don't ever count out Ferrari as they'll always find the budget to develop during the year. I would agree with you though, the Ferrari pre-season was rubbish.
  4. Simple Jack

    Simple Jack All Australian

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    Is it sad that seeing the preview thread with Mark Webber's track video is kind of exciting :p

    Can not wait for P1. I'm blowing off everything to be there.
  5. Dockersman

    Dockersman Senior List

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    Anyone think Ricciardo can pull off a top ten finish on debut for Torro Rosso and the Australian F1 GP? I think that would be a dream start. No doubt he needs everything to go right but i reckon he will be able to showcase his real talent in a car with some genuine pace.
  6. OzBomber

    OzBomber Club Legend

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    Very pumped for this. Got 4 day grandstand tickets so hopefully I'll be going to all 4 days. The dream would be Webber win/Ricciardo top 5. But I'd still be very happy with a Webber podium.
  7. Sven

    Sven All Australian

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    The midfield battle is going to be even greater this year and it's difficult to know which team is currently at the head of the pack. I have a suspicion that Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso will be pretty evenly matched. Exactly where Caterham and Williams are in relation to those three teams is currently unkown, but they could spring a surprise in Melbourne.

    If the assumption is that Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, and Lotus are at the head of the pack, with Ferrari in between them and the likes of Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso next up then you can see that the battle for a top ten position is going to be red hot.

    A strong showing all year by Ricciardo is needed so that he can press for a seat at Red Bull.
  8. Simple Jack

    Simple Jack All Australian

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    Huge crash into turn one and Ricciardo runs it in for a maiden home GP win?

    Maybe a tad optimistic, but I like it.
  9. ManWithNoName

    ManWithNoName #ForzaJules

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  10. Simple Jack

    Simple Jack All Australian

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    His friends call hm Rick.


    Edit: On a side note, the yanks call Montoya 'Juan Montoya.'

    Apparently 3 names is a bit tough for them.

    Jean Vergne?
  11. ManWithNoName

    ManWithNoName #ForzaJules

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    Herald Sun's driver profiles. First they call Lotus "The Renault Formula One team", then they have a picture of Kimi in Ferrari gear, then for the Force India profile they refer to "Delhi set to host the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011".

    Let's play "Spot the newspaper who used last years article".

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  12. Simple Jack

    Simple Jack All Australian

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    I'm looking forward to seeing where South Melbourne and Fitzroy finish in the VFL this year.
  13. Sven

    Sven All Australian

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    The FIA have posted a Q&A with Charlie Whiting about the 2012 rule changes at http://www.fia.com/en-GB/mediacentre/pressreleases/f1releases/2012/Pages/f1-cw-qa.aspx

    One that I wasn't aware of was the change to the front wing deflection test. Whether or not these changes have caused a major redesign to the Red Bull front wing (and all who have copied the concept) is unknown.
  14. DREAM TEAM BUFF

    DREAM TEAM BUFF Moderator

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    The work experience kid must of done it or someone who knows nothing about motor racing.
  15. stmookeyj

    stmookeyj Premium Platinum

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    Coverage on ONE on Friday for Practice sessions 1+2 and simulcast on 10 and ONE on Saturday/Sunday. Anyone want to take a bet on if HRT and/or Marussia (Virgin) will make the race given their lack of testing time?


    In support category land, no celebrity race this year again and V8's are trialling an eliminator format (3 cars dropping out of the race at a determined lap).......
  16. DREAM TEAM BUFF

    DREAM TEAM BUFF Moderator

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    Dam it i love the celebrity race.
  17. larrikin

    larrikin Moderator

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    Really looking forward to this. First time there for me.

    Seems to be a great circuit sor the V8's too, so will be interesting to see that across the 4 races.
  18. Sven

    Sven All Australian

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    Could rain throw the cat amongst the pidgeons this weekend???

    Melbourne Forecast

    Friday 16 March - Min 17, Max 22
    Cloudy. Areas of rain, easing to isolated showers during the afternoon. The chance of thunderstorms until late afternoon. Winds north to northwesterly averaging up to 30 km/h tending southwesterly up to 25 km/h around dawn.

    Saturday 17 March - Min 13, Max 22
    Partly cloudy. Isolated showers, mainly about the southern and eastern suburbs. Winds southwesterly averaging up to 20 km/h.

    Sunday 18 March - Min 15, Max 22
    Partly cloudy. Isolated showers during the morning. Winds southerly and light tending south to southeasterly up to 25 km/h during the morning.
  19. OzBomber

    OzBomber Club Legend

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    I reckon the race should be a dry affair but qualifying could be very interesting. May get the situation where there's a drying track and it comes down to who's on track at the right time. I'm going down to all 4 days. Hopefully get to meet some drivers and do the pit lane walk tomorrow.
  20. Rod Stroker

    Rod Stroker Club Legend

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  21. larrikin

    larrikin Moderator

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    There are train shut downs pretty much every week at the moment.
  22. OzBomber

    OzBomber Club Legend

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  23. Simple Jack

    Simple Jack All Australian

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  24. PAFC_1870

    PAFC_1870 Team Captain

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    even worse... you gotta pay to read this article which is completely false....
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/g...-senna-to-ignore/story-fn7q3txe-1226299758842

    BRUNO Senna will never forget the smile on his uncle's face, as they rolled him back into pit-lane after scoring a heroic home-town pole at the 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Bruno was just 10 and his uncle Ayrton, who had carved out one of the most famous career's in world sport, was dead just 34 days later.

    Senna never won in Brazil in 94, he won in Adelaide in 93, his final race win, I was there too.

    MORONS.

    And to further prove the stupidity, you can read the article on their sister site...
    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport...-senna-to-ignore/story-fn7qiwqj-1226299758842
  25. royboy2

    royboy2 Grumpy Old Bastard

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    It doesn't say he won the GP, It only says he got pole position.
    ;)