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Nick_L

The Formula 1 Thread

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So, the 2006 F1 season kicks off this weekend in Bahrain.

Im really looking forward to this season, we have new teams, new drivers, tyre changes are back, V8 engines, a confusing new qualifying format that I dont think anyone understands, and more !

My predictions for this season are :

Qualifying is changed again after Bahrain

Michael Schumacher takes the title before retiring at the end of the season, Rossi and Raikkonen confirmed at Ferrari for '07

McLaren take the Constructors championship, and choose another new driver to partner Alonso in '07

Renault have a solid season before pulling out of F1 at the end of the year

Honda Racing do well, with Barrichello out-performing Button

Williams-Cosworth prove to be the suprise of the season and are very competitive

Super-Aguri are as laughable as everyone predicted <_<

BMW-Sauber are average, Villeneuve proves rubbish once again before retiring

Toyota have another 'average' season

Midland F1 fail to impress, and run around near the back with Toro Rosso

I remember how wrong I was with my 2005 predictions, and im expecting the same this season :lol: Im off to the Canadian GP again, but thats it for me this year.

Any thoughts ?

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I'm mildly excited by this all kicking off this weekend. It will be strange to not have the first race in Oz though!

I fully expect Schumacher to dominate and go out in a blaze of glory.

I think 07 will see some real shake ups, particularly if Schuey throws the towel in at the end of the season.

Roll on Saturday, think this new qualifying could be quite interesting.

PS If you're an F1 fan you owe it yourself to go out right now and pick up today's Guardian for their excellent guide to the coming season. It stays on my coffee table for the whole season!

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Yeah, it is gonna be strange not having to get up at 4am to watch the first race for once !

Not sure about Schumacher totally dominating, but I am usually wrong about these things !

I really want Jenson to have a good season, but I really think that he is going to be a bit outclassed by Barrichello - I hope I am wrong about this one !

Might pop out and grab the Guardian in a bit, cheers for the heads-up :D

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Strangely, I have not been following happenings much since the end of last season. What's this new qualifying then?

Midland are what used to be Jordan, right? That's one thing I think I did see.

Who are Super-Aguri? Totally new or a bought and renamed team?

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go out right now and pick up today's Guardian for their excellent guide to the coming season. It stays on my coffee table for the whole season!

I meant to pick that up. I'll try and ask for it tomorrow.

This explains the NEW Qualifying

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Schumacher won't go out in a blaze of glory. He loves winning and hates losing, so if he does decide to quit, he'll go out on a low. As long as he believes he can win, he'll keep going. This years Ferrari looks a race winner, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him extend his contract.

In terms of predictions:

Renault

Brilliant, reliable car, two amazing drivers. This years car is more suited to Fisi than Alonso, so I expect him to have the edge, especially toward the end of the year as Alonso is frozen out of development so he doesn't take 2007 secrets to McLaren. Either driver could take title.

McLaren

Fast car. Unreliability may be the difference like it was last year. Losing Adrian Newey and Peter Prodromou to Red Bull will hurt, as will the loss of both drivers for 2007. Kimi and Juan Pablo will both want to leave with the world title and both have the capability, although Kimi does have the edge.

Ferrari

Goodness knows what their future holds. Rossi? Raikkonen? Massa? Schumacher? Thinking of now, they have a good car and Schumacher is pumped up. He won't quit without a fight and I reckon this years car will allow him to challenge for wins and the title and he'll still be around in 2007. Massa? 70's gung-ho driving in 00's cars doesn't work. He'll need to pick up the pace to keep his place for next year and his rear gunning will be vital to help secure Schumacher the title.

Williams

Good car, great engine. Could luck into a win this year, but points and podiums will be Williams' best hopes this year. Two potentially brilliant drivers. Webber was made to look a bit rubbish by Heidfeld last year and he'll be wanting to make amends. We haven't seen the best of Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg was stunning in GP2, but this is a learning year and to expect him to be amazing is unfair on the lad. World champion in waiting. Trust me. :)

Honda

Great car, good reliability. Jenson has to deliver this year. He's not just going to have to break his duck - he'll have to fight for the title too. And against a revitalised Barrichello that will be hard. He'll be wanting wins and the championship too. 5th in 2005 means Honda get to run Anthony Davidson in a third car on Friday which is a massive advantage.

Red Bull

Horribly unreliable. I'd expect them to have a fair few retirements early on, but should be looking to score a few points later on in the year. David Coulthard is a new man and Christian Klien is in the car for the whole year. A quality driver pairing and a brilliant technical team makes RBR a team of the future. This year will be disappointing.

BMW Sauber

A transition year for Sauber as they morph into BMW. Heidfeld is excellent and will help with development, as will Villeneuve, although I expect him to end the season as the scapegoat for any woes they might encounter. Possible points, but I expect some dogged mid-field scrapping this year.

MF1

Jordan become MF1 and replace the bright yellow with a hideous grey and red mess. Will run at the back and have 6 drivers on the books paying their way. Albers and Monteiro are pretty good drivers who will bring the car home, their test drivers are a bit of a mixed bag. Mondini is Renault World Series champ, Sutil was made to look pretty ordinary by Lewis Hamilton in Euro F3, Rusinov is... Russian and Winkelhock was a mid-fielder in Renault World Series.

Toro Rosso

Will do pretty well I reckon. Liuzzi is better than he could show in his rare outings in the RBR. Scott Speed has a repuation as a mid-fielder with Red Bull money, but he may yet come good. Last years RBR is a good basis for this years car and the rev limited Cosworth should be OK too. Will probably score a few points.

Super Aguri

Amazing achievement to even be able to get two cars to Bahrain. The two Arrows' have scrubbed up nicely and don't look like the "shit-wagons" everyone was expecting. The back row awaits, but it'll be good for them - nobody is expecting anything so they can get on with the task of building the team up and learning the ropes. But don't expect them to stay at the back forever. Whatever it says on the tin, this is the Honda junior team and the support they provide will be immense. Taku is erratic, Ide is an unknown. Test driver Franck Montagny will be a great help, bringing years of Renault exerience.

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What happened to BAR?

PS If you're an F1 fan you owe it yourself to go out right now and pick up today's Guardian for their excellent guide to the coming season. It stays on my coffee table for the whole season!

Oh cock, wish I'd known about that :(

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What happened to BAR?

Honda bought the entire team, they are now known as 'Honda Racing F1'. But they still have the same livery/colour scheme as last year on the cars, although this may change when BAT stop sponsering.

With regards to Nick's predictions, I would agree on many of them. But I do not expect Shumacher to win the championship, although I do expect him to be somwhere at the sharp end of the grid. And from the winter testing times it would seem Button has most of the time outpaced Barrichello...but I will wait to see whos better over the race distance...

And go Super Aguri! lol! They are insane to race a 2003 chassi, they lap like 3+ seconds slower then the front runners! Haha but gotta love em, they could I guess be the new Minardi....:( Oh and if any of you have the Guardian F1 guide, be sure to check out the Super Aguri Cartoon! It is really rather funny :D

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Will the Guardian guide come online do you think? Has anyone found any other decent preview articles online?

Super-Aguri - love that name!

Is Paul Stoddard involved at all this year? Is he anything to do with Midland?

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I got the Guardian yesterday, I ain't too fussed about F1 to be honest.

If anyone wants the guide from it PM me and I will send it to you. Gratis.

What happened to Minardi?

they have become torro rosso I think

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its bloody steve rider. zzzzzzzzzz...

blundell & jardine also got the axe.

i recon it'll be alonso for the first race, but for the championship its harder to say than it has been for a long time. i see a season a bit like 99 where there are multiple potential championship (& race) winners.

i recon ferrari, honda, williams, mclaren & renault will all be race multiple race winners, prolonging the championship. there are so many potential contenders that the eventual champion might just have a very low points tally. with reliablity of the v8's questionable for many teams, we might just end up with a champ that wins only a couple of races, but has reliablity on his side.

oh & rossi aint ever racing that ferrari. id put my house on it.

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oh & rossi aint ever racing that ferrari. id put my house on it.

I wouldn't be so sure - I think eventually he will go over to F1. But perhaps he will want to be the most sucessful Top class bike rider in history first.

However, F1 will have to get its act together first, it's in decline. MotoGP is in the ascendancy.

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its bloody steve rider. zzzzzzzzzz...

blundell & jardine also got the axe.

To be fair they were often complete cack at doing the commentary. The best bit of commentary they've had for a long time was when Button was suspended for a few races and did some, he could explain what was going on, could tell one car from another, and was entertaining. If his F1 career goes down the pan he has a commentating career ahead of him.

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They should get Murray back, I don't care if he makes 10,000 mistakes per race. And how can they kick out Blundell and Jardine without also kicking that James guy first? He was shite.

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i recon ferrari, honda, williams, mclaren & renault will all be race multiple race winners, prolonging the championship.

Id love this to happen, 95 and 99 were both great seasons as there were a number of different winners. It would be great to see a couple of drivers take their first win this season as well.

They should get Murray back, I don't care if he makes 10,000 mistakes per race. And how can they kick out Blundell and Jardine without also kicking that James guy first? He was shite.

I was really hoping that they got Ben Davies (used to commentate on F1 and CART on Eurosport) to replace Murray, but no.

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I'm still clinging on to a sliver of hope that James Allen has been given the boot as well. Seems he was the only member of the presenting team not to feature in the F1 preview show.

Of course I know this is wishful thinking on my part sadly ;)

But for whoever mentioned it - please god NEVER let Jenson Button become a commentator, that would really finish me off watching F1 forever. The guy loves himself too much. Mansell is right with what he says, Button has been spoilt by becoming rich before actually achieving anything in the sport.

And I mean achieve as in, get a race win. Even the lowly drivers have managed the podium before now.

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Even the lowly drivers have managed the podium before now.

Didn't Aguri Suzuki finish 3rd in Japan once ?

Theres hope for his Super-Aguri team yet ;)

All the negative SA talk aside, its great to have a new team in F1, they have Honda backing, and once they ditch their vintage Arrows chassis and roll out their own, they could be half decent, well, better than Midland and Toro Rosso.

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I wouldn't be so sure - I think eventually he will go over to F1. But perhaps he will want to be the most sucessful Top class bike rider in history first.

However, F1 will have to get its act together first, it's in decline. MotoGP is in the ascendancy.

rossi simply isnt fast enough. id expect ANY F3, GP2, or even a1gp driver to be able to come in & lap as fast as he has. in a car he is nothing special, nothing but a name, & thats not good enough. the only way i could ever see him putting in anything but a few tolken races (which could happen if one on the ferrari drivers for some reason cant race) is if he went & did a full season of GP2 & finished at least in the top 5, or was certainly convincing in both terms of speed & racecraft & then id expect ferrari to farm him out to red bull or more likely, torro rosso. rossi in a ferrari is a publicity stunt i expect ferrari to pull the plug on as soon as the season starts.

MotoGP is in the ascendancy.

;):P:wub:

err, no.

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The thing with Rossi is, Massa is only on a years contract. So i don't think he'll be there next year.

With Ross, Todt, byne and probably Schumacher leaving at the end of the year. Rossi coming in to take over in the new era isn't beyound reason. An Italian in a Ferrari, the fans would love it. I doubt Rossi would get a drive with anyone else, or he'd want to race with anyone else.

But i do think he wants to prove the critic wrong, and win both Bike and Car world championship in the modern era.

Anyway

I think it's going to be an interesting year. No ones really shone in testing. Renault, Honda, Mclaren (when it didn't break down) Ferrai and williams have all gone well.

But, Renault are losing Alonso and i don't think they ewant to be racing for much longer. That's going to hurt them at the end of the season.

Honda, have thrown all this money at the car and drivers, but didn't build on their 2004 succes at all last year. why?

Mclaren, have got to be wondering why Merc can't build them a reliable engine and gearbox. Both drivers know one of them's out on his ear. and Newey gone. I think Ron is a great leader, but he's drop the ball anouncing Alonso so soon

Ferrari, with badoers big crashes for no apparent reason, they have to be woundering if the cars all right. Massa, have never impressed me, so why is he there. There are better drivers driving on friday. why massa ?

Williams, plucky english chaps. But it's a customer Cossie, and i don't think it's going to have the development it needs. the money is tight and the test team are going to suffer. I can see this being Frank and Patricks last year before they sell out to Audi or VW. Who then bring Schumacher in as team leader in 2007/8. ;)

Oh and Toyota. Two rubbish drivers who fall asleep on race day. the odd top 5 ....still no wins.

the rest will be scrapping for 10th.

should be good then.

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I can see this being Frank and Patricks last year before they sell out to Audi or VW. Who then bring Schumacher in as team leader in 2007/8. :)

Eddie Jordan was going on about this in an interview the other week (he didnt actually mention Williams however) Its unlikely that MSC will turn his back on F1 after he hangs up his driving gloves, but with him and all his mates at Ferrari about to be out of contract, there is an opening there to set up a new "Dream Team" if another large German brand was to get involved in the sport which can only be the VAG brand.

So we could see a VW / Audi / Bentley / Lamborghini / Seat / Skoda powered team, run by MSC and the boys in the next few years. Im sure they would be able to attract plenty of other German sponsors as well.

Prodrive are also about to start building an F1-spec factory, hinting that they could be entering a team in the future.

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Is there a set limit on the number of teams? This speculation of possible new teams is just making me curious. I know other teams may fall off the bottom before new teams come along, but if they didn't, is there a maximum?

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They should get Murray back, I don't care if he makes 10,000 mistakes per race. And how can they kick out Blundell and Jardine without also kicking that James guy first? He was shite.

James Allen is really bad at it. Who was the Scottish guy that they got to do some odd jobs with them after he was dropped as a driver a couple of seasons ago? He was good fun to listen to and knew his stuff.

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