Chinese whispers

Finally some good news for Lewis Hamilton. The world champion went fastest during today’s first practice in China, doubtless thanks to a whole bunch of aero revisions to his McLaren.

The Ron-less team are running a new front wing in conjunction with an interim rear diffuser, that’s halfway to the full double-deck set-up seen on the Brawn, Williams and Toyota cars.

Lewis topped a Brit one-two in first practice, with Jenson Button going second quickest and teammate Rubens Barrichello in third.

But Lewis was again well off the pace in second practice, dropping outside of the top ten while Button sat in first, followed by Williams Nico Rosberg, Brawn’s Barrichello, and the two Red Bulls of Webber and Vettel closing out the quickest five.

Red Bull chief tech man Adrian Newey is staying home this weekend to work on redesigning the RB5 to incorporate a double-deck rear diffuser set-up. Judging by Red Bull’s pace with their current diffuser, they will be very quick once that’s complete. But it could still be another month or two away before it’s ready.

The ever-outspoken Renault boss Flavio Briatore has questioned the credibility of this season’s title challenge in light of the diffuser row, saying that the fight for this year’s drivers championship is between ‘one who was almost retired’ and a ‘good guy but a paracarro’ – which means ‘slow as a milepost by the side of the road’ in Italian.

Jenson is not happy, saying, “He [Flavio] needs to remember that he tried to employ me for this year, so…”

Apparently Barrichello was just laughing.

Ferrari have decided to run this weekend without KERS, after the problems with the regenerative braking tech in the first two races. However, the team have admitted that the KERS-free car has lost some performance, and that the balance of the car hasn’t improved either. Oh dear.

Kimi Raikkonen, as usual, doesn’t seem bothered though: “The balance of the car isn’t bad and one doesn’t feel the lack of KERS,” he said this morning.

Rumours of Ferrari hanging an ice cream on a stick off the front of Kimi’s car this weekend to speed him up have neither been denied nor confirmed at this stage.

Comments are now closed

It has to be pointed out, Barrichello was only fast when Ferrari were at the height of their powers. and now he’s fast in the Brawn. What does this say? If he’s in the fastest car, he’ll win! Button has been driving well and making the most of rubbish cars the last few seasons, so it’s difficult to say that he’s a bad driver! Have you ever won a GP?

Report this comment

This is a great year for F1.

But to make next year even better they should ban tyre warmers. That would mean every driver would have different levels of grip depending on how long he had had to warm his tyres. This would make for sum very ineresting races.

Report this comment

I am confused. This it to those who say it is a boring season because McLaren and Ferrari are not winning.

How can those 2 teams being on Top be considered the Natural Order. There have been times where Lotus was Dominating. What about the years Williams was on top. The So called Natural Order changes. Usually within 5 years. Not the 10 or so years that we just had.

Let me guess. Most of you complainers only followed McLaren or Ferrari since they spent all that time on Top.

Another question. Why is it that now Button is Winning, alot of complaints are the fact that he is a so-so driver and only doing well because he has the best car.


The same people also say that Hamilton is an fantastic driver because he was winning races since he first started (lets not mention the fact he had the best car by a long shot). Yet this year because he is not doing so well, YOU ALL blame his car.

WE ARE ONLY 2 RACES IN. Stop talking like the season is over. Button is on 15 points which is like getting 2 2nd places. Brawn are strong but they have not broken away from the pack yet.

Report this comment

Yes Jenson has been lucky so far in the Brawn GP, but isn’t Lewis also lucky for being in a car that dominated for 2 years????

This year is exciting because instead of 1 team dominating & another team just playing catch-up & others just being other fishes in the aquarium, we have now 3 teams fighting with other following soon, why is that not interesting? Mclaren (specifically Hamilton’s) & Ferrari fans are just saying that this season is not good just because their team is not winning(Flav to obviously).

To the aforementioned fans, there are other fans who support the other teams too. FYI, of the current set of drivers in F1, with the exception of maybe Alonzo, none is any near the former great F1 drivers (& I am not even a fan of Alonzo’s driving).

Enjoy the race, it will be quite interesting who wins

Report this comment

Those are some pretty silly words by Flavio considering some of his driver choices in recent history (i.e. Nelson Piquet Jr. Yes, I’m calling him “Jr.” even if he wants to be known just as Nelson Piquet. He needs to earn that name).

But at least Renault have taken some black paint to the nose of their cars to give the illusion of a non-ugly nose. ;)

Report this comment

Woo Hoo! Go Lewis Hamilton! I live in Woking and obviously I support him! (Watching the F1 right now;))

Report this comment

Wow, Alonso qualified P2…see that black paint on the nose helped! It even fooled the air into thinking the nose isn’t so bulky ;)

Congrats to Vettel on another pole.

Even so…go Brawn and go McLaren! (Quicker, that is). :|

Report this comment

Well i hate Ferrari and always will so i find it really funny that this year they are actually crap, go brawn, go button, down with Ferrari.

Though Kimi did get into Q3, great.

Report this comment

…………..—————-……………12244526 7345435545675676

Report this comment

On the Kimi. How in gods name did he get that piece of crap into Q3. What a driver!

And congrats Vettel. On an even playing surface, Vettel could be the quickest driver of the lot. Not Hamilton, he isnt looking so special with an ordinary car anymore. It just shows that it was the car that was carrying him the last 2 years.

Report this comment

Nice to have Lewis post a good time but I still get the feeling that it’ll be another 2-3 races before McLaren gets the diffuser sorted out, and that might be “too litlle too late” for them.

As for Mr. Rayz commenting: “It just shows that it was the car that was carrying him the last 2 years”, I’ll only say this: What miracle did Jenson Button manage to pull off, driving his Honda????

Report this comment

With Vettel in P1, Alonso in P2 and Webber in P3 the Renault engines have clinched the podium, and Alonso showed an incredible pace with the new diffuser attached!

Report this comment

Yes Hammy! I think he will win this year as well or at least come 2nd or 3rd. Why can’t McLaren make their road cars like their F1 cars? Same with Toyota as well.

Report this comment

Trick Diffuser? Yeh.

Vettel – Red Bull – Pole – No trick diffuser.

Q2 is the real test for performance setup. Vettel topped Q2. Not warm up like Jamie gets excited about.

Too bad Kubica is down at 18.

Vettel. Yeh. That the future of F1 right there. I think he has it to get the championship this year.

Report this comment

Permission to say ‘I told you so’? (post 28)

Report this comment

I thought Button would be on pole as he was fastest at part of the practice on Friday. Hamilton did OK but not as good as last year. Massa doing rubbish for some reason but i didnt expect Vettel to be at the top!

Report this comment

@ robinsfella, they’d probably do better in the McLaren F1, although, they have pieced it back together again.

Report this comment

What has happened to that Renault. I think that the nose is getting uglier every year!

Report this comment

If you think that nose is ugly. Think back to the BMW Walrus year.

Report this comment

Looking at the weights. I would have to say the Red Bulls are going to start with the Stupid soft tires.

Basically Kubica’s Melbourne stratagy, but hopefully without the crashing 3 laps from the finish.

Report this comment

The BMW walrus nose was awesome, what are you talking about Bruce?!

But nice call on the “Stupid Soft” tires. It must suck to be Bridgestone right now. It’s not their fault. The whole “skipping over compounds” rule is silly. The aero changes, KERS, and slicks were enough to improve the racing. The tire compound skipping rule is a bit much.

There are going to be way too many “yeah, but if’s” at the end of this year.

Report this comment