Now I’m not phoning my mother-in-law down in Glen Carbon IL to get to to give me ALL of her money so I can get a bet down on this before the lads tee it in Melbourne next Sunday, but it’s a wager worth making. If you’re in Vegas, then you really should at least put a fiver on this one…and it will very like be the best $5.00 you’ve ever pissed away in Vegas.
I have a solid line of reasoning to base this on, which I will get to shortly. But for now, let’s a get few things out of the way in regards to this 2nd installment of the war between F1, NASCAR, and the late addition to the fray, the Indy Racing League.
Obviously, I will give you my F1 predictions and assessments for the upcoming seasons….and I will attempt to highlight the massive changes for this season without copying verbatim from the F1 website. Now it probably wouldn’t mater if I did ((except for F1, of-course)) only one of my regular readers here in wonderful Mount Horeb WI even looks at it besides me. You now who I think will win the 2014 F1 Championship, but you don’t why. And like it or not, I am going to tell you.
But the war continues between F1 and NASCAR on the qualification front. I will have my update on that from Vegas ((and no, I’m not in Vegas writing this, though I probably should be)).
And now, IRL has entered the fray. They are installing an F1 inspired qualifying format for the Indy 500!! We’ll see how that goes, but it wont stop me from giving you my thoughts.
So as it stand now after last week’s battles, Formula 1 holds a commanding 3-nil lead. Let’s see if anyone scores a consolation goal this week.
I’m figuring that by the end of the 2014 F1 championship season, that Sebastian Vettel will be transformed into a bitterly unhappy young girl with no sense of presence. He’ll still be playing french horn, of course, but now it will be the saddest music in the world. He will not come even to close to winning the 2014 F1 championship. I’ll .explain why in a moment.
2014 rings in some the biggest and most fascinating changes in F1 history.
Topping the list is the switch from V8 to V6 engines. The old engines were 2.4 litre V8 running 18,000 RPM. The new engines will turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 topping out at 15,000 rpm. At first glance you might think this would mean less power and speed, but that simply will not be the case. The new engines, along with the new powertrain have some significant technological additions that will xxxx power while significantly reducing fuel consumption by 35%. They will be technologically more complex and will require more skill to set up properly for tactics and strategy and higher levels of quality control to avoid engine and powertrain failure.
The new engines, besides being turbocharged with Direct Fuel Injection (DI) as opposed to normally aspirated, will bring two new, more complex, ERS ((Energy Recovery Systems)) into play which are being acronymed MGU ((Motor Generator Units)) . Last years engines had the KERS ((Kinetic Energy Recovery System)) which took kinetic energy from braking/deceleration and converted it into electricity and stored it in a battery.
The first of new ERS, MGU-K takes this to a whole new level. It converts the kinetic energy like the old KERS unit did, but MGU-K can also act like a motor during acceleration by returning energy to the drivetrain.
The 2nd ERS, the MGU-H, is connected to the turbocharger. It converts heat from the exhaust into electricity which can then be sent to the MGU-K for immediate use, or it can be stored in a battery for later use by the MGU-K. Also, the MGU-H will control the speed of the turbo which can prevent turbo lag.
This is amazing stuff!! What it means is the new ERS will produce twice as much power for five times longer than old KERS. The new energy system deploys automatically based on the team’s mapping setup. The driver’s not involved in this, but he now has electronic rear braking to compensate. The energy savings are enormous with the new system. The DI coupled with the new ERS will bring at least a 35% fuel savings.
And according to Nikki Lauda, the new Mercedes engine will deliver 580 horsepower. And that doesn’t include the 160+ horsepower from the two MGUs. Here’s what the powerful sucker looks like:
So much for the powertrain….sorry, I forgot to mention that the transmission is now 8 speed instead of 7 with gear rations homologated ((now THERE’S a word you’ll never hear used in NASCAR)) for the entire season. There. NOW so much for the powertrain. Onward.
The aerodynamics of the new car have some major changes that will make it interesting. First off, the exhaust rule mandate one pipe at a set angle of protrusion. This means that teams can no longer direct exhaust gases off the rear diffuser to create more downforce.
Secondly, the tip of the nose has to be centered at 185mm which puts it just above he front wing. Doing this improves safety while compromising the airflow between the nose and the chassis.
Finally, the front wing dimensions have been changed. The front wing on the new cars is 155mm narrower, which put their edges in front of the front tires instead of flush the with the outside of the tires. Also the rear wing smaller and horizontal mounting beams are banned. To compensate, the rear wing gap now opens to 65mm to reduce drag. The old rear wing wing only opened to 50mm.
With all these changes the cars will be greater challenge to drive. There will be less downforce and greater torque generated but the MGUs will create oversteer.
After all the testing, it’s quite clear that some teams are on the ball and ahead of the curve, and others (Red Bull) are WAY behind. So what thought in mind, let’s get to a few predictions:
Rather than taking the easy way out, I looked up Norwich City hero and legend Ian Crook for his insoight ((pun INTENDED!!)) into the upcoming F1 season. And as luck would have it, Chelsea hero and legend Didier Drogba also showed up to lend a hand.
Here we go:
- MERCEDES — Lewis Hamilton; Nico Rosberg — The Mercedes factory team is way ahead of everyone else with all the new changes. After all, with Nikki Lauda as technical director, you won’t find these lads hanging out at King Kebabs, or a carvery out by the motorway. Chelsea!! Bayern Munchen!! CHAMPIONS!!
- FERRARI — Kimi Räikönnen; Fernando Alonso — Ferrari is pretty close to where Mercedes is at, and with the addition of Kimi Raikonnen, this could be the team to beat. And you won’t find these lads hanging out at King Kebabs, or a carvery out by the motorway. Barcelona!! Paris St.Germain!! CHAMPIONS!!
- WILLIAMS — Felipe Massa; Valtteri Bottas — Williams had a miserable year last year, but this season they’ve switched to Mercedes power but with newly signed Felipe Massa leading the charge and young Finnish driver Valterri Bottas starting show his potential you won’t find these lads hanging out at King Kebabs, or a carvery out by the motorway. Juventus!!? Atletico Madrid!!??
- FORCE INDIA — Nico Hulkenberg; Sergio Perez — Based on past seasons, I’d expect Force India to head straight to King Kebabs and never even make it to the carvery. But this season, with Mercedes engines and with Hulkenberg having something to prove, Hulk and his mate Sergio Perez won’t be hanging out at King Kebabs, or a carvery out by the motorway. Manchester City!!?? AC Roma!?? Ajax!!??
- RED BULL — Sebastian Vettel; Daniel Ricciardo — This team, and all the rest of the focking teams are headed STRAIGHT TO THE CARVERY OUT BY THE MOTORWAY!! YARGHHH!!! ARgggghhhh!! I ‘m putting on a pirates costume and heading straight to the carvery meself! Arrrrrgghhh!! ARGGHHHHHH Maties!! Galatasaray??!! I play for Galatasaray!! I used to play for Chelsea. We play Chelsea this Wednesday at The Bridge.
Oh well….I guess this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Next year, I’ll just have to do it myself…I promise.
With NASCAR making it’s blatantly vague attemp to steal F1’s qualfying thunder, I suppose it was only fair that it would come down to this.
Previously, since the day time began I would imagine, ((actually, it was the past 18 years)) F1 has numbered it’s cars based on where the cars finished in the constructors championship. The reigning F1 champion would always drive the #1 car.
This season, all that has changed.
The drivers were given the opportunity to pick the number they wanted for their cars…a number they would use for the rest of their careers.
Seb, ofcourse was offered the #1 and he took it….but if he wanted to drive, say, the #00 car instead, he could have done that. Seb will drive the #1 this season, but if he doesn’t win, he said he’d revert to his old number, #5. That’s the number he had on his Red Bull sled when he won his first championship. It’s also the number he used when he raced karts. So #5 it will be next season, then.
Lewis Hamilton will be racing the #44 car. That was his number in karts when won the British Karting Cadet Class Championship. His teammate Niko Rosberg will be rocking the #6 which is his fiancee’s and his old man’s lucky number. Sounds reasonable enough to me, and so?
Räikönnen is sporting the #7 and while he hasn’t had the number tattooed on his ass, he has the number 7 incorporated into his helmet design. And Fernando Alonso has such a man crush on Tony Stewart that he’s taken the #14 for his very own.
In NASCAR, the numbers are owned by the team, not the driver. But I’m giving NASCAR the win on this one.
Bloody Hell anyway. First NASCAR goes for the F1 inspired qualifying format ((meh at Phoenix; actually pretty good at Vegas)). And now IRL has jumped into the fray with a brand new qualifying format for the Indy 500 that throws all the traditions out the window ((except for possibly Jim Nabors and the quart of milk)).
No more bump day. You can’t lay down a hot lap on Saturday and relax. It’s all different.
As I said, no more bump day on Sunday. On Saturday, the field of 33 will be set. If you don’t make it to the field of 33 on Saturday, you’re out.
The fastest 9 from Saturday advance to Fast 9 Shootout on Sunday. Their times from Saturday are thrown out and they will make a 4 lap attempt to make the fastest lap. The fastest lap from Sunday sits on the pole and the rest of the top 9 are determined on time.
Drivers 10-33 will also have their Saturday times thrown out and they will make a similar 4 lap attempt. The field will be set based on the Sunday times.
I suppose it might be interesting. But there was always a certain tension and thrill and excitement on Bump Day. If this system had been in place in 2011, none of the Andretti Autosport drivers would have made the Indy 500 ((that would be Danica Patrick, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, and Mike Conway for those of you keeping score and sobbing into your ADNAMS Bitter at The Wig & Pen)).
I’m giving F1 the win on this one. And at The Brickyard no less….it’s the ultimate ironic Fock You to IRL from Bernie Ecclestone and F1.
Unfortunately for F1, though they might have won a lot of battles, I must, based upon the evidence above, declare that they have lost the war. I mean, really now….would something like THAT ever occur in NASCAR Victory Lane? Ever?? I mean, bloody HELL anyway….
NASCAR wins by TKO.
And with that, I’m off the carvery.