Zurich Gnome

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

Friday, July 07, 2006

Standard CPUs

There's been a lot of talk about MES getting the contract to make the standard CPUs for 2008 onwards.

Personally I don't mind the fact that the contract has been awarded to a subsidiary of McLaren. What I object to is the fact that there is a standard CPU at all!

Sure, companies spend a lot of cash developing in this area. But it is trivial compared to the amount they spend building and running wind tunnels. And the aerodynamic advances are so specific to an individual F1 car that it is a complete waste of money.

At least reserach into new engine mappings is something that can vaguely be translated into road cars, or reduces the amount of fuel used, which is the sort of goal the FIA should be looking at.

And a wing is not likely to break. I can imagine how a team will feel, the first time a CPU goes wrong while their car is leading a race.

It's a stupid decision and does nothing for the spirit of competition.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

US GP Forecast

Great to see that we're starting to inspire other people's forecats, but sadly, the combination of incompetence and alcohol fuelled sedation mean that I'll have to wait until tomorrow to write a proper appreciation.

My Forecast?

Well I missed qualifying - it clashed with the ballroom dancing on our local BBC channel, and sadly, that's the way it goes these days. Bernie, take note.

However, I know that there's a Ferrari front row, and stopped reading the times at that point. I assume the Renaults are close behind, and I also know that Rosberg has to start from the back.

Lap 1: Schuey and Massa both get off to a good start, but Massa soon turns into a defensive angel, protecitng Michael from the yellow and blues. There will be a lareish accident after five laps or so, and although I hesitate to predict that Ralf will go into the wall at turn 13, that is what wil happen. Montoya will make up places after the SC goes in, he really undertsands rolling starts. Most GP drivers don't and I ask myself why they don't watch more races on TV.

But Monty is nothing if not a nutter. He will not finish the race, having tried one move too many. Kimi will finish, Ron will wonder why he is letting him go. But I digress.

Lap 12: Schuey pits. Very early and it's a short stop, and he gets out in front of Alonso. Amazing! Massa carries on for another two laps but rejoins way back, his job done. The lamb has been scarificed.

Lap 18: Alonso is in. And out just behind Schuey. Kimi is doing well, having demoted Fisi to third. Sadly, that's about it.

SChuey, Alonso, Kimi, Fisi, Massa make up the first five.

Overall: The Hondas will do better than in previous races. Rubens will finish and Jenson will stop for no apparent reason. The team can only build one decent car, and the dynamic has changed. Rubens gets it now. 3-5 points is my predictiona.

The Aguris provide the most entertainment. Opting for a low downforce setup, Sato is blindingly fast on the straights and all over the shop in the infield. They score their best result ever.

MF1: I simply do not care, end result is that the drivers pay the cash and the team make money.

BMW: JV and Heidfeld drive their hearts out and look like they are starting to make an impression. One point is scant reward.

Williams: Webber moves up the field, has to stop and says good things about the car while showing body language of one who is clearly lying. Rosberg makes fantastic progress from the back, but one move too many at turn one is too much.

Toyota: Ralf hits the wall. Trulli goes backwards. That's all you need to know.

Which just leaves the two Red Bull teams. 10th thru 12th, with one retirement. Liuzzi probably.

25 minutes to the start now, so I'd better get ready to watch...