All posts by Robin

F1Show 113: Canadian Grand Prix 2012

-Mario Andretti named Ambassador for the Circuit of the Americas in Austin
-Holy Holes Red Bull! Red Bull forced to modify design of RB8 floor
-Sebastian Vettel Qualifies like it’s 2011, taking pole position by over 0.3 sec!
-Fantastic strategic and on-track battle between Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren!
-Brilliant race for Lewis Hamilton, winning the Canadian Grand Prix!
-Michael Schumacher, the unluckiest man in Formula 1?
-Jenson Button ends another miserable weekend in 16th place.
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Mark Webber’s Dilemma

Let’s start with the undeniable truth. Red Bull Racing offers Mark Webber the best chance at continued success in F1, by far. By really really far. Consider his options: Let’s say Ferrari calls (unlikely) and offers a ride. Will he have equal opportunities as Fernando Alonso? Sure, and Jim and I will likely get a call from the BBC to replace Brundle and Coulthard and oh, by the way Robin, Perez feels terrible about his early thievery and secedes his Sauber seat. Webber clearly laments number two status, and would no doubt suffer as full Ferrari support heads in Alonso’s direction. Not to mention that the Scuderia insists Massa will stay for 2012.

What about McLaren? Two English world champions that get along famously as teammates and deliver excellent results from two opposite ends of the driving style-o-sphere make up the line up now. Where does Webber fit there? Besides, Button isn’t going anywhere as long as he races in F1 and Hamilton will stay until at least 2013.

And just like that we ruled out the current race winning cars.

The next set of contenders, Mercedes and Renault, are possible but are equally a solid step down in performance, without much promise to rise to championship contender status in the next 12 months. Realistically, both teams require huge gains in performance to compete for race wins, let alone championships. Additionally, Renault places all its hopes on Bobby K (assuming he can return for 2012) and seems pleased with Vitaly’s improvements. As for Mercedes, Nico Rosberg continues to perform and continues to be German, both assets that the Factory Merc team appreciates. Moreover, regardless of anything else, Michael Schumacher remains an icon still in control of his own fate. So I truly doubt either team will look in Webber’s direction.

After that we’re looking at Sauber and STR.

Again, Red Bull Racing remains Mark Webber’s best option for F1 racing. So what can Mark Webber do? His situation would frustrate any driver. To sit in the fastest car on the grid, only to endure subtle yet persistent favoritism of your teammate, must suck! I feel for Mark, very much so. Furthermore, at 34, Mark knows his F1 career is finite. While he now still drives at his peak, that won’t last forever. So he cannot fuss about “maintaining the gap” with what time remains to chase the dream of being World Champion, right?

Wrong.

Mark Webber’s place at Red Bull is akin to Mother Nature, it’s not for him, it’s not against him, it just is. As painful as it is for Webber, he must appreciate the opportunity Red Bull provides: a race winning car and a team that will let him win a championship if he can beat his teammate on their terms. Admittedly that is a very tall order considering that Vettel is monstrously quick. But Webber, when he’s at his best, is capable. His best chance for success is to take a Zen approach when favoritism rears its ugly head; shrug it off and try again. His occasional anger at the team may be justified, but it doesn’t help him towards his goal of winning. It isn’t far. But it is Mark Webber’s best chance to win the Formula 1 World Championship and I, for one, think he can do it.

-Robin Warner

A Jenson Button Fan Boasts and explains why YOU should join the club!

I know that right now seems a tad convenient to speak highly of Mr. Button and his accomplishments in a Formula One car, but coming off the drive he had in Canada is the perfect time to reflect on the benefits of Button fandom. In many ways, his Canadian GP victory represents 10-years worth of lessons learned and an evolution to a talent that McLaren couldn’t be happier to obtain. Similarly, my interest in Jenson as a driver evolved over the years as I learned and witnessed the different attributes that create successful and likeable drivers for the fans.

So let’s start with what I think is his best talent and most likeable feature. Jenson Button knows that Lewis Hamilton is a faster driver. He doesn’t deny it or take it personally. On the contrary he seems quite proud to share a garage with someone he regards as the fastest driver in the sport. Instead of self-pity and anger, he uses this fact as motivation to improve and searches for other ways to win races and championships, vehicle set-up, tire strategy, race strategy among them. And I think that’s freaking cool! Name one other driver in the paddock that knows he’s slower yet manages to avoid the dreaded “number-two driver” moniker? At a minimum, there certainly isn’t another driver out there that manages the situation with such class, composure and success.

Admirable talent number two: Jenson is quite fast in his own right, yet he drives so smoothly that you don’t notice. Very seldom does the car unexpectedly yaw, the in-car camera rarely shows any opposite lock dialed into the steering, and the trackside camera never zooms in on a car drifting an inch from the preferred racing line. This gentle touch, feed-it-in approach reminds me of Dario Franchitti. You wouldn’t know by looking, but the car is maxed out. Why add this to the Button fan tally? Because it results in fewer DNF’s, fewer accidents, cleaner passes (albeit less often) and more points. In other words the driver you root for on the track stays on the track more often. That’s value you can take home with you!

Terrific talent number three: Jenson Button is happy. Wait, wait don’t surf on to the next blog, hear me out. Happy drivers are more fun to cheer on, they require you defending their antics (both on and off track) less often and usually celebrate success with more vigor. The two best “Happy Jenson” moments that come to mind are his championship clinching race in Brazil 2009 and the Canadian GP this past week. In both occasions Jenson leaves no doubt that he is happy to the bone. I mean is it healthy for his eyes to nearly pop out of his helmet visor while screaming for joy? I didn’t think so either, but Happy Jenson can’t help it.

So there you have it, conclusive evidence that Jenson Fandom is both good and good for you. Now, before anyone cracks their knuckles in preparation to write some scathing rebuttal involving the words “crush”, “bro-mance”, or “restraining-order” bear in mind that I am well aware of Mr. Buttons faults, but now isn’t the time for that.

F1Show 067: Australian Grand Prix 2010

Sauber’s Snorkel, pit-lane crawl.
Spaghetti in Australia.
Practice, Qualifying, and Race Results.
Buttons strategy for success.
Red Bull and Reliability to not seem to mix.
Australian Grand Prix excitment.
Listener feedback, trivia, and predictions.

F1Show 055: German Grand Prix 2009

-Introduction

-Last Week Follow-up

-FOTA and FIA come to an agreement, and then squabbl again

-Webber on Pole

-Brawn qualify 2-3, Barichello over Buton

-German Grand Prix Race Report

-Mark Webber wins the German Grand Prix!!!

-Red Bull 1-2

-Nico Rosberg 4th, contines to impress

-Adrian Sutil robbed of a god result

-We’ll miss you in F1 Sebastian Bourdais

-Listern Feedback

-F1 Show trivia. Test your knowledge

-Thank you for your emails, comments, and video responses

-Performance Boxes are sweet!

-Send us email:feedback@f1show.com

-Goto the F1 show page on Facebook

-Sign off

FOTA Threaten to Break Away

Okay, Jim and I simply couldn’t wait until Sunday to talk about the FOTA’s decision to start its own breakaway series. I am very nervous about this, as our all American F1 fans, because we know far too well the consequences of this decision. While I agree with FOTA on principle, I am not convinced that they can govern themselves. It’s this very issue that ultimately led to the demise of CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) here in the states. And Indy Racing still hasn’t recovered from the fallout to this day.

First, a little history. For the bulk of the Indianapolis 500’s life the event was governed by USAC (United States Auto Club) a club basically run by the Hullman family, who also the own the famous brickyard. But in the 1970’s the teams that raced in USAC events got increasingly frustrated and eventually decided to start a breakaway series called CART. CART was the alliance of the racing teams, a democracy of sorts, who thought they could govern themselves better than USAC. In 1979 CART was born and quickly took over as the main open-wheel car series. While they enjoyed some success in the 1980’s and became quite popular in the 1990’s, they never seemed to be able to control themselves. As a result, costs elevated beyond control and their relationship with the Hullman family was tense.

In 1994 a young Tony George wanted to become more involved with CART, when CART refused to work with him, he said, “fine all start my own series!” Thus, in 1996 the IRL (Indy Racing League) was born. CART, full of ego and short on sense, decided to compete against the Indy 500 with the American 500, a race held at Michigan International Speedway on the same day, this act split the fans in two directions and created a rapid downward spiral for American open-wheel racing. As the two series competed against each other, fans precipitously abandoned the sport for NASCAR leaving both series to struggle for survival. Even the Indy 500, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” significantly lost popularity.

When CART split from USAC it ultimately failed, Indy car is now fully controlled by the IRL and Tony George, who himself is a member of the Hullman family. And what exactly does Mr George control? An open-wheel series with one-tenth the popularity of it’s former self. A glorified spec-series with one showcase event.

My point is simply this, the FOTA will not be able to govern itself. There is simply too much ego, people will inevitably act in their self-interest as opposed to what’s best for the group. Without firm decisions, costs will sky rocket, manufacturers will leave and they’ll be left with nothing. Both the FIA and the FOTA need to come to an agreement, or everyone will suffer and we, the fans, will be left to watch the Sprint Cup at the “Pepsi presents the Mobil One Monaco Grand Prix powered by Intel!”

FOTA, please be bluffing…

F1Show 019: Brazilian Grand Prix 2007

-Introduction
-Brazilian Grand Prix Race Report
-Kimi’s Outside chance
-Kimi Raikkonen!!!!
-Send us email: feedback@f1show.com
-Sign off