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Matthew Roddan

by Matthew Roddan

Matthew Roddan

Matthew Roddan

The 2016 F1 season started with an action packed race in Melbourne and featured a cart-wheeling McClaren which in turn sparked more debate about the halo and it’s safety.

For those who did not watch the event, the results do not tell the tale of the day. Although we ended up with a Mercedes one two, this was by no means a likely outcome before the race was stopped to clear the debris from Alonso’s crash.

At the restart the Mercedes opted to put both cars on the medium compund giving them the ability to go to the end of the race without further stops whilst the Ferrari team opted for the soft tyres in the hope that Vettel could pull away and make a gap sufficient to change tyres and come out ahead.

As it turned out the Mercedes cars were able to keep pace with the Ferrari on soft tyres and it is this fact which gives us the most significant pointer to the rest of the season. If the Mercedes can work the medium tyre this effectively, they are going to be arguably more dominant this season.

Whilst the gap on soft and super soft tyres may be marginal in qualifying the introduction of a third tyre choice this season is going to help Mercedes and now explains why so much track time in testing was done by Mercedes on the medium tyre.

The ability to run a longer stint at a similar pace to the Ferraris on different tyres will make all the difference. Time after time this season we will see the Mercedes start on super soft tyres and then go to the end of the race on the mediums leaving Ferrari with little option than to copy this strategy.

The fact that the Ferrari’s did not use the mediumm tyre at all over the event would suggest that they are not comfortable with their pace on the mediumm tyres – a big worry for Ferrari fans.

by Matthew Roddan

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matthew roddan

The History of Formula One Motor Racing

By Matthew Roddan

matthewroddanf1

Today, F1 or Formula One is considered as the most prestigious single-seat auto racing competition, which is regulated by FIA, short for, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. While Formula One races were in vogue till 1983, FIA Formula One World Championship was the undoubted leader in racing since its inception in 1950.

 

The term “formula” actually refers to the rules adhered to by the participants. The F1 season includes numerous races called the Grand Prix that are held on specially built public roads F1 circuits or public roads, globally. Results are announced based on conclusions arrived using points system for each year, where two World Championships are declared, one each for drivers and constructors. The racing drivers should hold Super Licences, which are the highest racing class license issues by FIA.

 

The Formula One series started with European Grand Prix Motor Racing back in the 1920s and 1930s. Formula One refers to the new sets of rules agreed to post World War II in 1946 and the first non-championship races were held the same year. However, since racing was suspended during this time, World Drivers’ Championship wasn’t formally recognized till 1947. As a result, first championship race was held in 1950 in UK.

 

In the year 1946, Formula One got its definition from Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) of FIA, the forerunner for FISA, as premier single-seater racing in worldwide motorsport and it came to effect in 1948. The two championships, one for drivers and one for constructors was not the norm originally and it was a change brought about later.

 

Cars with front engines typically Mercedez was used during the races until 1957, and rear engines were launched around 1958. The type of racecars underwent constant changes and evolution over the years and regulations were incorporated to ensure safety during the races. By 1970, cars became more sleek and faster and turbocharged cars were in vogue for racing, power and speed.

Numerous deaths and accidents called for desperate measures and changes were made to make the races safer, while also being commercially viable. As a result, turbochargers were banned in 1989. During this time there were issues with FIA accusing participating drivers being irrelevant to racing, though a truce was established two decades later.

 

Senna’s death in 1994 at the wheel during an F1 race brought about new restrictions to further improve car safety and there hasn’t been another death ever since. During the 90s, Ferrari and Michael Schumacher ruled the roost by winning five driver’s championship and six constructor’s championship consecutively, an unparalleled feat. There were accussations of rigging and tinkering of results, which brought on flak and there was uproar about overt commercializing in Formula 1 racing. Even with all these controversies and other issues cropping up from time to time, Formula 1 has upped their ante and kept up with regulations and reformations to ensure the sport remains popular.

Matthew Roddan

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The history of Mercedes in F1

By Matthew Roddan

matthewroddanmercedes

Mercedes motor racing involvement dates back to classic Grand Prix in the early 20th century. Close to World War II, Mercedes was one of the two firms German government lavished with finance so they can build the most advanced and technically unparalleled racing machines.

 

Until mid 50s, German teams weren’t allowed to participate in racing. Juan Manuel Fangio won it for Mercedes in 1954 and also grabbed the second title in 1955. In 1954, Mercedes came in with an advanced Mercedes-Benz W196 and the season was fairly successful. However, there was a setback in 1955 when one of Mercedes drivers, Pierre Levegh, drove and crashed his drive into the spectators leaving 80 dead! That year French, German, Spanish, and Swiss Grands Prix were called off and Mercedes withdrew from racing competitions when the season ended and returned only in 1980. It was in 1993, Mercedes was back with F1.

 

A deal stuck with Brawn team at the last moment for supplying engines resulted in a driver’s and constructor’s championship wins and Mercedes zoomed into F1 in 2010. Though they brought back Michael Schumacher from retirement, it was Nico who got their first win after reentry, in 2012. In 2013, Lewis Hamilton was signed up to replace Schumacher and Mercedes went all out with advanced V6 hybrid turbo engines and Hamilton dominated the series and got a win for them in 2014.

 

Mercedes-Benz manages their team called AMG Petronas Formula One Team, with base in UK and a German license. Though they’ve won pre-war races, their Formula one debut was in 1954. Mercedes has supplied engines for Sauber, McLaren, Force India and Brawn GP teams, though their partnership with McLaren ended recently and they added Lotus F1 team to their supply list.

 

There was a setback in 2009, when an £80m sponsorship arrangement with Henkel was declared as invalid. While Henkel insisted they did not know about the deal and weren’t really invested about F1, and also that a former employee misused their stationeries to strike the deal with Mercedes, it created a lot of furor. However, around December 22nd, Henkel announced the misunderstanding was resolved and a mutual agreement was reached. On December 21st, Petronas, a Malaysian oil supplier joined as a title sponsor. Also, Mercedes agreed to compete as Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team thereafter.

 

With 100 wins as constructor, Mercedes is ranked as fourth best in F1 history. It is also one among the most successful F1 teams winning back-back driver’s and constructor’s title in 2014 & 2015.

Matthew Roddan

 

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The History of the Ferrari Team in F1

By Matthew Roddan

matthewroddanferrari

Enzo Ferrari had a passion for racing and he made a racing debut in 1919. He started as a test driver and became a race driver and eventually moved up the ladder to become the Director of the Alfa Racing Division until 1939. In the year 1929, Scuderia Ferrari was formed to organize racing for members. It went on to have rigorous involvement in motor racing arena and an official racing team was created as a division of Alfa Romeo. However, Scuderia’s tie-up with Alfa Romeo came to an end in 1940 and was established as an individual organization called “Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari”.

 

In 1963, Enzo started Istituto Professionale per l’Industria e l’Artigianato, a training school with base at Maranello. Between 1947 and 1988, Enzo helped Ferrari grab over 5,000 races in different parts of the world and Scuderia won 25 world titles during this time. In 1950, Ferrari won the first British Grand Prix title. In 1988, Ferrari experienced a slump following Enzo Ferrari’s demise. However, things began to look up after signing Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher in 1996 and Ferrari’s racing history was again making waves in the motor racing realm.

 

Though they have competed in races apart from Formula 1, Ferrari’s Scuderria Ferrari is one team that can proudly claim to have competed in all Formula One world championship races since its inception in 1950. It is also the only team to have that honor. Originally Ferrari’s team participated with cars manufactured by Alfa Romeo though they began producing their own cars by 1947. Ferrari team won 16 Constructor’s Championship titles and 15 Driver’s Championships making them the most successful Formula One teams. Schumacher’s period between 1996 – 2004 is considered as the best and most successful season for Scuderia Ferrari.

 

 

Ferrari lauched their F2002 in the year 2002 after a delay and it debuted in Brazil. Schumacher won the driver’s title and his race was completed in record time, faster than any other drivers before. Ferrari also ammased a record margin in points and FIA brought about a sea of changes to hold back Ferrari so racing remains competitive. However, the changes did little to hold back Ferrari’s successful streak, and Schumacher went on to win further titles and Ferrari marked five successive victories in constructor’s title.

 

While many expected Ferrari’s winning streak to come to an end in 2003, it wasn’t the case. Ferrari went on to win double championship in 2005 and their domination continued. Schumacher retired in 2006 and 2007 marked several changes for Ferrari team. In 2008, Ferrari again won the constructor’s title, though they lost the driver’s title by one point. Scuderia Ferrari is known its illustrious history and is one of the most popular teams to participate in Formula One races.

By Matthew Roddan

 

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History of Red Bull in F1 by Matthew Roddan

The History of Red Bull in F1.

By Matthew Roddanmatthewroddanredbull

Red Bull Racing the Austrian Formula One racing team with its base in Milton Keynes, England. The team is owned by Red Bull and has won Constructor’s Championship from 2010 – 2013 and became the first ever, Austrian licensed team to have won this title. The team also won driver championship from 2010 – 2013. Red Bull also owns Scuderia Toro Rosso team.

 

Red Bull team used Renault engines from 2007 and the contract with Renault is till 2016. In 2012 November, an alliance was formed with Infiniti and Red Bull announced them as their Title sponsor, until they split in 2015 after poor results. Following this, Red Bull announced they would be using TAG Heuer adorned Renault engines from 2016.

 

The origins of Red Bull team can be traced back to Stewart Grand Prix outfit where they debuted in 1997. Ford Motors bought Jackie Stewart’s team in 1999 and they rebranded their team as Jaguar Racing, though they did not succeed for about five years. Red Bull was involved in F1 when they sponsored Sauber team.

 

When Jaguar Racing team was up for sale by Ford Motors, Red Bull agreed to buy it. Back in 2004, Ford Motors felt it was no longer feasible for them to participate in F1 without much results, so put up both driver’s and constructor’s team for sale. It was said that Ford asked for $1 and a commitment to invest about $400 million during the next Grand Prix seasons. The team still had access to Cosworth engine and the operations continued under a different title. Christian Horner was appointed as the Team boss and Christian Klien and David Coulthard were appointed to motivate the team.

 

Though this was not how their history begun since they were sponsoring Sauber F1 team earlier, acquiring the team paved way for their entry in their own name. Once they acquired the team from Ford, their partnership with Sauber ended. Red Bull also runs Red Bull Junior Team where they sponsor potential young talents. Individuals who received this sponsorship are Patrick Friesacher, Enrique Bernoldi, Christian Klien, Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi. Besides, they also sponsor other teams and drivers who participate in GP2 series, which is F1’s “feeder” series.

 

Dietrich Mateschitz, one of the founders of Red Bull also roped in Adrian Newey, the key designer who designed wining cars for McLaren and Williams. Their first breakthrough came from Sebastian Vettel in 2009, who, also finished as a driver’s championship runner up that year. However, in 2010, not only Sebastian, with RB6 they won driver’s and constructor’s championships respectively. That marked the beginning of a winning streak for Red Bull.

 

In 2012 Red Bull became the first team to win their first three championship titles, back-to-back. Toro Rosso, the other team Red Bull owns promotes up and coming talent. They promote good talents to Red Bull team from time to time. Over all, Red Bull has been a dominating presence in Formula One Championship.

By Matthew Roddan

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I was struck today by the article of Ben Dirs of BBC Sport written shortly after Hamilton secured the 2015 world title. Using this graphic he sought to place hamilton in a league of World Champions based solely on the number of titles won;

matthewroddan_f1history

Never a wise move !

Worse still he goes on to suggest that there is a view that “F1 is a sport for people who don’t really like sport – in other words, “car people”, people more turned on by engineering than other human beings”.

In my view this couldn’t be further from the truth. As an F1 fan a large part of the enjoyment of F1 is knowing all of the characters involved, the politics and and the rivalries (teams and drivers).

The whole package is actually more of a soap opera enjoyed by many who would actually proclaim they don’t like or watch soap opera’s.

Just a thought by “Matthew Roddan

 

 

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Matthew Roddan

So here we go…………….. Austin Texas.

This is the race that will likely see Lewis Hamilton seal the drivers title and will reveal just how much of a problem Nico Rosberg has on his hands. Losing to Hamilton is one thing but with the very best car on the grid, an inability to secure second place must raise concerns within the Mercedes team if they have the correct line up.

My prediction – Rosberg will come in second but the questions will now begin over his future with the Merc team.

They need to see consistent 1st and 2nd places and if Rosberg continues on the current downward spiral his position is in doubt.

Matthew Roddan_ Nico Rosberg

Matthew Roddan