Formula 1 10 Aug 2005 01:53 pm

F1 Round 12 (Hungarian GP) Rant

Once we got past the first lap dramas (both RBR cars out, one of them having completed a barrel roll), the race was a pretty ho-hum affair — as is usually the case on the Hungarian go-kart track.

After qualifying (in order: M Schumacher, The Dummy, Trulli, Raikkonen, BGB, Alonso), it was only ever going to be a question as to which McLaren would win. Or, based on recent form, which McLaren would break down allowing the other one to win. Montoya broke down. Raikkonen won. Not really much more to say.

Rather than a complete driver-by-driver run down on the Hungarian GP, let me simply make a few observations:

The Dummy (Montoya, for those just tuning in): lived up to his epithet again. Crashed into another team’s equipment while manoeuvering onto the Grid. Damaged his own front wing (which had to be changed) and may have done more damage that couldn’t be identified or fixed in the minutes prior to the race.

BGB = Big Girl’s Blouse (Ralf Schumacher): squeezed Alonso at the first turn, then admitted later that he didn’t even know the Spaniard was there. “Nothing happened. I turned into the first corner. Was he there? I didn’t realise that. Sorry.”

Williams team: struggled through practice and qualifying (Heidfeld qualified 12th, and Webber, carrying more fuel than any other driver, qualified 16th). Both performed well in the race. Heidfeld made up 6 places (finished 6th); Webber made up 9 places (finished 7th). It’s very telling to watch their performances in the various practice sessions: the Williams cars almost always do fewer laps than just about all the others. I assume that this is because of limitations on engine usage that are enforced by BMW. What a shame that weird rules, poor aerodynamics and a dud donk are tarnishing what should have been a great year for Webber.

Passing opportunities in Hungary: The commentators are wont to say of the Hungaroring circuit that “it’s impossible to overtake”. That’s not completely correct — but it is very close. Detailed perusal of the lap chart (available at the official F1 web site or, in more detail, in Motorsport News magazine) shows that the only one of the top 8 finishers to gain a place at any time during the race other than through first lap carnage, pit stops or mechanical failures was Mark Webber (who overtook Giancarlo Fisichella, Fisi having decided to try driving through a gravel trap).

The next race takes place in Turkey, at the brand new Istanbul Park Otodrom.

I’ve decided to try to check out each circuit before a race using Google Earth. For Istanbul, the coordinates are N40.926deg, E29.375deg. But don’t waste too much time looking — the circuit didn’t exist when the Google photo was taken! I’ll post a complete Google Earth file (containing all F1 circuits) in the Information Pages on this site, for your reference.

Should be an interesting track. Unlike recent Tilke designs, this one has some rise and fall, with various corners having positive and negative camber. Here’s hoping for an exciting race on 21 August.

Caustic comments can be shared during the race via Yahoo Messenger. If you know me, send an email and I’ll let you know how to join in.

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