Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Qualifying and Racing

I may have given the impression that I'm not looking forward to the new qualifying rules. In fact, the reverse is true. I love the idea, but think it's way too complex. And unnecessarily so.

But come Saturday, I'll be keen to see how it all works. Twenty-two cars on track at the same time for 15 minutes should prove exciting, and there are bound to be a few drivers that get caught up behind a Super Aguri and don't manage to set a blinding lap. But it shouldn't be too hard for most teams to easily outclass the MF1s and SAs, which just leaves the question of whether the STRs will make the first cut. (Interesting that I've just mentioned three teams, and even the most well-informed observer this team last year, would have had no idea who I'm talking about. Perhaps they don't now!).

STR are damned if they do get to the second session, and damned if they don't. If they do get through, demoting, say, a BMW to the final six, that V10 engine and the questionable parentage of the RB1 chassis (that's been cunningly repainted, but is still an RB1) will come back to haunt them. Would Ferrari be allowed to sell their last year's car to MF1? No. So how come Red Bull get away with it? And if they don't get through? How is it possible to be so slow with that budget? (Not that we know what it is of course)

But that's an aside. Last year I had no intention of watching the ludicrous farce that was two-day qualifying. This year I think it'll be more interesting than the race. Mind you, last year's races were made more exciting by the single set of tyres, isn't it a shame that the FIA can't get both right in one year. If the GPMA manufacturers do meet up with Max and Bernie in Bahrain, is it too much to hope that that's the direction they'll choose?


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