2008 Formula 1 Season Thread

Most of the great drivers in history have preferred oversteery set-ups. I imagine (especially these days) it is a byproduct of having started in go karts.

Senna, Schuey, Brundle just for some examples, Ronnie Petersen and Gilles Villeneuve took it to the ultimate extreme.

Alonso, Coulthard, Massa and Prost are high profile examples of the understeer club.
Senna, Schuey, Brundle just for some examples, Ronnie Petersen and Gilles Villeneuve took it to the ultimate extreme.

Martin said in his autobiography that he much preferred an understeery car. And I've got the book and the exact quote:

Martin Brundle said:
Some drivers don't like understeer. Keke Rosberg, for example, couldn't drive a car if it wasn't going sideways into a corner, and many drivers are of the same view. Others, like myself, Prost and DC, don't want to fight the machinery. You set up the car to be your friend, not your enemy.
Ah interesting. I WANT THAT BOOK haha. He just mentioned once that he slid the car a LOT more than DC does and I assumed from that he was one of the oversteer club. I stand corrected.

McLaren confirm maiden Algarve test

By Jonathan Noble Friday, October 24th 2008, 11:04 GMT

McLaren are the first team to confirm that they will test at the new Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal in December.

The state-of-the-art facility, which is due to be officially opened on November 2, is to hold a Formula One test from December 15-17.

A number of teams are expected to attend the try out of the 4.692-kilometre track, with a McLaren spokesman confirming on Friday that his team will definitely be joining the December test.

It is understood that teams will use the December test as an evaluation for incorporating the venue on the 2009 Formula One testing schedule. Alternatively, teams could choose to nominate the track as one of their three alternative test venues that run alongside the standard test tracks.

The Algarve circuit is already scheduled to hold major international events, and talk of it trying to lure an F1 race in the future has not been dismissed.

Portugal's deputy sports minister Laurentino Dias said earlier this year: "The Government will do its best for Portugal to become part of the world's main championships. This circuit is prepared to host a range of motor races, from the most modest to Formula One."

As well as multiple circuit configurations, the track features a high-tech water sprinkling system to simulate wet weather running.

2010 Portuguese Grand Prix, Nov. 7 2010, with the championship decided there very much as in 1984? :D
Looks like a good circuit...anyone have any info on whether it is high/low downforce?

Track length: 4.692 km.
That looks like an amazing testing track. Too many curves for a GP though, too much like Valencia...
Most of the great drivers in history have preferred oversteery set-ups. I imagine (especially these days) it is a byproduct of having started in go karts.

Senna, Schuey, Brundle just for some examples, Ronnie Petersen and Gilles Villeneuve took it to the ultimate extreme.

Alonso, Coulthard, Massa and Prost are high profile examples of the understeer club.

Actually, Schuey preferred a completely neutral car more than anything else. He wasn't a fan of oversteer at all, but could deal with mild understeer (extremely mild :p)
Actually, Schuey preferred a completely neutral car more than anything else. He wasn't a fan of oversteer at all, but could deal with mild understeer (extremely mild :p)

Early on in his career, at least, his style was to get the front of the car to bite properly, so that he could point it wherever he wants for excellent turn-in, and the back end could mind its own business. The pointy and aggressive B194 and B195 Benettons suited him well at that early stage.
F1 Live said:
Stepney named by the Modena courts

A Modena court has confirmed that sabotage against Ferrari did take place prior to last year's Monaco Grand Prix.

The development is the latest in the protracted scandal of 2007, involving accused saboteur and spy Nigel Stepney.

British engineer Stepney, who was sacked by Ferrari, was named by the Modena magistrate as most likely to have instigated the sabotage, which involved placing white powder in the fuel tanks of the Monte Carlo-bound F2007 cars.

The court report, referred to by the Spanish newspaper Diario Sport, said the powder put in the cars could have caused an engine failure.

Stepney's lawyer was quoted as saying the accusations are 'vague and inexact'.

Source: GMM
? CAPSIS International

The thing about Kimi is that the Finns' driving style seems to be quite reliant on oversteery behaviour from the cars.
Which is probably why they make excellent rally drivers.

"You mean there is no place for me in the WRC? Perkele! I'll suppose I'll make do with F1..."

that looks a lot like catalunya
My immediate thought was that it was more like a deformed Estoril, which would be far more appropriate...

I reckon they could have built that layout over the old Estoril track. Is it used for anything these days?

And what Grand Prix would they sacrifice to make way for a new Portuguese GP? And would Bernie allow it, given that it's not in an Asian country with no motorsport credentials?
From Formula1.com about the Algarve track:

New Algarve circuit to host Formula One test

Portugal?s new Autodromo Internacional Algarve circuit will stage its first Formula One test in December, with McLaren and Honda among those due to attend.

The 4.7-kilometre track, which gained FIA approval earlier this month, is hoping to become a major F1 testing venue capable of rivalling the popular Jerez and Barcelona circuits in neighbouring Spain.

Situated on Portugal?s southern coast, the Algarve Motor Park (its official English translation) features a variable circuit layout and a high-tech sprinkler system able to simulate a wide range of wet-weather track conditions.

The Formula One circuit is just one element of the venue, whose plans also include a technology park, go-kart track, hotel and apartments and a sports complex.

Its inaugural F1 test is scheduled for December 15-17.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Sure am!

Man Vikirad, what do you do during the off season? Self induced three month coma?

He watches every single season ever of F1 on tape so he can put people down by naming an obscure race from the 70's.
And here I was thinking it was my imagination.......
:lol: Vikirad, our F1-pedia!

Mark Hughes on FIA/FOTA deal

Friday, 24 October 2008 00:00

Last Tuesday?s deal on cost-cutting between Formula 1?s teams and the governing body endorsed a middle way between doing nothing and the radical measures advocated by FIA president Max Mosley.

Itv.com/f1?s expert analyst Mark Hughes says the comparatively modest steps agreed are indicative of a shift in the balance of power in F1 in favour of the teams ? which is likely to last as long as they remain united.

And while the proposal for standardising KERS systems makes financial sense for the teams, it also highlights the tension between the objectives of cutting costs and incentivising the development of ?green? technology through the spur of F1 competition.

The governing body and the teams had a crucial meeting two days after the Chinese Grand Prix to discuss the sport?s future, with particular regard to cost-cutting.

Days earlier, FIA president Max Mosley had put the extreme concept of standard engines on the agenda, a highly provocative move that had the teams very uneasy ? uncertain about whether this was genuinely Mosley?s intent or merely the opening stance in a negotiation process.

It seems as if it was the latter, given the short joint statement that followed Tuesday?s meeting that made no mention of the concept.

What seems to have been agreed is an extension of durability of the current engines from two to three races from next year, an agreed price for a supply of engines to independent teams of 400,000 euros per engine and the possibility of a standardised KERS system from 2010 or 2011.

This is an interesting outcome, for it suggests that the balance of power, which has historically always been with the governing body, has swung in favour of the teams.

Max?s stance has long been that money is being wasted on irrelevant technology with regard to 19,000rpm engines and aerodynamic research, and that if the manufacturers have that much money to spend on F1 then it should be directed at energy-efficient technology such as KERS that has some relevance to the wider world.

The teams have countered that with the engine freeze they are no longer spending money there, that they should be free to dictate their own budgets and how they spend them ? and that KERS technology is costing them a fortune in research, with their own estimates putting the cost at somewhere between $15m and $20m each.

The manufacturers went into this meeting united as never before, through their FOTA association, of which every team is a member ? allowing them to present a united front in negotiations.

The whole matter illustrates neatly two sharply drawn lines of tension: that between the teams and the governing body and that between the concept of green technology and cost-cutting.

Traditionally, Mosley and the sport?s commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone have used the ?divide and conquer? principle among the teams to bulldoze through any changes they deem desirable.

They would frame a perceived problem, announce it to the teams, give them a deadline to come up with a solution and then when they failed to do so ? as they invariably did because of competitive conflicts and differing circumstances ? their own solution would be imposed.

The FIA statutes are set up in such a way as to make this process quite simple for them to achieve.

But this year something has changed.

Mosley?s ultimate vision of F1 as technically sterile, with no competition on aerodynamic or engine fronts, is so diametrically opposed to that of the manufacturers and most of the teams, that the teams have taken measures as a group to counter that groundhog day scenario.

They formed the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) earlier this year, and crucially the Ferrari team is part of it.

Traditionally Ferrari has been used by Mosley and Ecclestone as a key instrument with which to divide and conquer the teams. They would agree a deal with the Italian team, which has by far the biggest pulling power of all of them, leaving the rest to follow in line.

But with Ferrari apparently aligned with all the other teams, a vital tool in the divide and conquer apparatus has gone.

We can be sure that Mosley and Ecclestone between them are looking at ways to break that united front and the teams have one hell of a task trying to stay together when there are so many conflicting points of interest between them.

But for now the teams have the upper hand because with no formal contract tying them either to the owners of the sport, CVC (an entity represented by Ecclestone), or the FIA, they are theoretically free to simply set up their own championship ? one in which 50% of the money would not be leaving the sport as it currently does, and one in which regulations could be framed just as they?d like them to be.

It?s not a threat they have made explicit for a few years but is very much implicit in any negotiations.

The second conflict ? that between green technology and cost-cutting ? is mirrored in the same conflict in the wider world.

Less than a year ago the biggest challenge was perceived to be cutting greenhouse gas emissions for the future health of the planet.

Today, whilst that remains the single biggest challenge facing mankind, it hardly makes the news in a world dominated by the global economic meltdown.

The F1 manufacturers are perfectly aware that their budgets may soon be cut by the parent companies and are generally quite sanguine about that; they will spend whatever their budget is and if it?s smaller than before, so be it.

What they could do without in such an economic climate is a colossal spend on a new technology such as KERS.

So the idea of a standardised KERS system makes much economic sense by eliminating separate research budgets from each team whilst still giving F1 green kudos.

On the other hand, with no competition between the teams on the development of KERS, one of the original justifications for its use in F1 ? that the competition would drive technology forward faster than in the industrial world ? is gone.

Mosley?s ultimate vision of F1 is for standardised cars differentiated only by who makes the best KERS system.

Whilst there?s a superficial logic to that aim, the problem is that it?s not very exciting for the outside world.

Mosley would disagree, but one of the key points of appeal of F1 as the ultimate category of racing has been the technical fight between the teams as well as the human one between the drivers.

F1 fans understand this; those not interested in the sport generally don?t.


I very interesting point he makes about the FOTA having the upper hand.