Xtratime Community banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #1


2006 Australian Grand Prix

Track: Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit
City Melbourne
Nation: Australia
Location: Melbourne
Date: March 31-April 02, 2006.
Map:



Track Length: 5303 m (5.303 km)
Laps: 58
Total Distance: 307.574 km
First Held: 1985
Last Held: 2005
Grand Prixs: 21
Held At: Adelaide (85-95), Melbourne (96- )

First Winner: Damon Hill, Williams, 1:32'50.491 hrs, 1996
Last Winner: Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:24'17.336 hrs, 2005
Pole Position: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1'24.408 min, 2004
Fastest Lap: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1'24:125 min, 2004

Last 5 Winners: 2005 - Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault; 2004 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari; 2003 - David Coulthard, McLaren; 2002 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari; 2001 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari.

2006 Driver Standings (as of Malaysian GP):
Pos. Driver (NAT) Pts
1. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 18
2. Michael Schumacher (GER) 11
3. Jenson Button (GBR) 11
4. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) 10
5. Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) 9
6. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) 6
7. Felipe Massa (BRA) 4
8. Mark Webber (AUS) 3
9. Nico Rosberg (GER) 2
10. Jacques Villeneuve (CAN) 2
11. Ralf Schumacher (GER) 1
12. Christian Klien (AUT) 1

2006 Constructors Standings (as of Malaysian GP):
Pos. Team (DRIVERS) Pts.
1. Renault (FISICHELLA/ALONSO) 28
2. Ferrari (SCHUMACHER/MASSA) 15
3. McLaren (RAIKKONEN/MONTOYA) 15
4. Honda (BUTTON/BARRICHELLO) 11
5. Williams (WEBBER/ROSBERG) 5
6. BMW (HEIDFELD/VILLENEUVE) 2
7. Toyota (TRULLI/SCHUMACHER) 1
8. RedBull (COULTHARD/KLIEN) 17


Track Rating: **1/2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
McLaren upbeat after Ricard tests

McLaren Mercedes concluded an intensive four day test at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track today, in a session affected by damp conditions.

Running for Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett did not get underway until after the lunch break at the French track, with de la Rosa taking to the track at 13:07 and Paffett four minutes later, as the overnight rain that had left the track wet began to dry out.

The focus for de la Rosa was chassis developments for the MP4-21, with Paffett working alongside de la Rosa on the same programme at the wheel of the interim MP4-20. De la Rosa covered 370km over 98 laps and set a fastest time of 1m05.381, which put him second on the timesheets. Paffett completed 61 laps and 230km as he put in a time of 1m05.709.

The test began for the team on Tuesday, which was also affected by bad weather. Heavy rain overnight and continuous drizzle during the day made track conditions difficult. The team took the decision that Paffett would take not part in the day, as his focus was on Michelin development work and the wet circuit would not have provided any meaningful feedback.


Pedro de la Rosa was conducting a shakedown with the fourth chassis of the MP4-21, and was able to complete the initial systems checks over a few short runs in the morning before covering more significant mileage during the afternoon on intermediate tyres. This saw the Spaniard put in 637km over 155 laps of the track, which was in the 4.11km 2E SC configuration.

From Wednesday onwards the track layout changed to the 3.8km 3E SC, and the weather for the Wednesday and Thursday was dry and bright. This allowed both de la Rosa and Paffett to complete long distances as they concluded the tyre selection process for the San Marino Grand Prix with Michelin during the two days. This saw both drivers complete series of short and long runs to evaluate the different compounds. Pedro's morning session ended with six one-lappers as the Spaniard simulated qualifying on the different Michelins as part of the programme.

At the end of play on Thursday, de la Rosa's running for the week saw him reach a total of 1,837km over three consecutive days using one Mercedes-Benz V8 engine for the whole distance. His engine was changed at the end of the day, to allow the unit to return to Brixworth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
'Kimi won't be rushed into making a decision'
Friday March 24 2006

Although the media furore surrounding Kimi Raikkonen's future continues to grow, his manager Steven Robertson says the Finn won't be rushed into deciding who he'll drive for in 2007.

Raikkonen's current McLaren deal expires at the end of this season and although the Woking team are keen to hold on to him, he has been linked to moves to Ferrari, Toyota and more recently Renault.

And a few more names may be added to that list before the 2005 runner-up finally signs on the dotted line.

"Kimi is under no pressure," Robertson told The Guardian newspaper.

"He doesn't need to be hurried into any decision.

"We will evaluate all his options very carefully and ultimately he will make the decision."

That, though, doesn't mean people will stop offering him advice with double World Champion Mika Hakkinen urging him to stick with McLaren as he believes his own career with the Woking squad proves that patience does pay off in the end.

"When I was a test driver in 1993, Ron said to me 'Mika, you are going to race this year'," Hakkinen told Reuters when asked what he believes his compatriot should do.

"I said 'Yes, but I am a test driver.' He kept his promise and I said 'Hey, I can trust this man.'

"In 1994 we continued racing and Ron said 'We are going to do it together, we are going to win a World Championship together. It will take time but we are going to do it.'

"And we did it. So I suppose that answers a bit the question. That was my decision and I did the right thing.

"In my career I had a lot of offers from loads of different teams, naturally, but what I did was the right thing.

"I was committed and confident that the McLaren team would do it. And we did it.

"What Kimi should do, that is for him to decide.

"I don't see why the team cannot do it again, it's just going to take some time.

"It's been close many times and I think if you look at the performance of these couple of races they have been okay."
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

'Red Bull Racing could give Montoya wings'
Thursday March 23 2006

Should Juan Pablo Montoya be in need of a new job at the end of this season, Red Bull Racing intend being the first - and, Christian Horner hopes, also the last - to offer the Colombian employment.

Ever since McLaren announced in December that they'd signed Fernando Alonso for 2007, leaving just one race-seat available, Montoya's future with the Woking-based team has been looking rather bleak.

Not only is he out of contract at the end of the year but it also doesn't seem the team is rushing to prepare a new one, waiting instead to see what Kimi Raikkonen decides to do.

And should the Finn, who McLaren have made it clear is the one they want as Alonso's 2007 team-mate, contradict current rumours by staying where he is, Montoya would then be in need of a new team to race for.

And Red Bull Racing boss Horner believes his team would be the perfect solution to the 30-year-old's dilemma.

"I think if somebody were to give him the right environment and get inside his head, he has so much more ability to exploit," Horner told Motorsport News.

But whether or not Montoya even considers Red Bull at option, he isn't letting on. However, he did admit that he's already looking around to see what options he has.

"I'm talking to Ron a lot about next year and I'm talking to a few other people," Montoya told ITV.

"I think you need to make a decision about what's going to be the best choice in the long term.

"You can't focus on this year or next year, you need to look into the future and say what is going to be your best choice and then make your decision."

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Dennis reveals truth about Alonso capture
Friday March 24 2006

Ron Dennis has finally revealed the details behind McLaren's shock capture of Fernando Alonso.

According to Dennis, despite frantic efforts to contact Flavio Briatore, it took six weeks before Alonso was able to inform the Renault boss that he had signed a deal with McLaren. With a face-to-face meeting "impossible" to arrange, contact was eventually only made via the telephone.

The apparent breakdown in communications between the pair, formerly depicted as having enjoyed a 'father and son relationship', hints at one crucial factor in Alonso's shock defection.

Speaking to F1-Racing magazine, Dennis remained coy on the events leading up to Alonso putting pen to paper on a long-term deal with his team. He refused to say who instigated the talks between the two parties, or when first contact took place.

However, from Dennis' admission that the triumphant press release of 19 December which announced Alonso's capture was issued - against Briatore's wishes - immediately after the Spaniard had spoken to the Renault boss it can be assumed that negotiations were completed in the first week of November.

Briatore has strenuously denied having any role in Alonso's transfer and according to Dennis the driver was represented by "his manager Luis Garcia Abad, his lawyers and family. On our side it involved one key director, which was Martin [Whitmarsh], plus Nobert [Haug] and some other Mercedes-Benz board members. And, after Fernando had signed, but still prior to any public announcement, it also involved a few of our sponsors' senior board members. So, within 24 hours of him having inked his signature, I'd say roughly 25 people knew."

Remarkably, despite the obvious dangers of a leak, the story was kept quiet for the six weeks in which Fernando then failed to make contact with Briatore.

"They all understood the commitment I'd made to Fernando that his signing would have to remain confidential until he'd had the opportunity to inform Flavio," Dennis told the magazine. "Equally, it was understood that, as soon as he'd informed Flavio, I'd inform our drivers - because, obviously, I wanted them to hear it from me, and, equally obviously, one way or another, it would leak. And then, after I'd told our drivers, there would be a press release.

"But four weeks went by, and, owing to factors outside Fernando's control, he couldn't manage to meet Flavio to tell him the news. He tried quite a few times, but a meeting proved impossible to arrange. In the end, after six weeks of trying, and being very keen to inform Flavio before the news was leaked, Fernando had to inform him by telephone."

There's no explanation for why Fernando and Flavio were unable to meet, although the apparent breakdown in their relationship will be inevitably regarded as a partial explanation for Fernando's shock decision to leave Renault.

Once Briatore had been informed, Dennis moved into news-management mode. First to be told of the news were his drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan-Pablo Montoya.

"It was late in the evening when Fernando advised me that'd he broken the news to Flavio. Despite the late hour, I decided that I should telephone our drivers immediately. That was particularly hard on Kimi, because he was in Finland and therefore three hours ahead of UK time. But he took it fine, as it happens."

Kimi's sanguine reaction will no doubt be seized upon by those in the paddock who are already convinced that the Finn has opted to leave McLaren at the end of the season for Ferrari.

The Colombian, on the other hand, appears to have responded with a fiery burst of that famed Latin temper.

"His reaction was, well, predictable. His initial reaction was curt - maybe he thought his 2007 seat had just disappeared. But that isn't necessarily the case, of course."

Yet Montoya's disappointment must have paled alongside that of Briatore's.

"Flavio telephoned me and asked me to delay the press release by a week, but I was in an impossible position," says Dennis. "By that time, a large number of people knew. Keeping it secret was no longer realistic. I didn't want the news to go public via a leak. So the next day we sent out a press release."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Engine freeze could last five years
Tuesday March 28 2006

The FIA's proposed freeze on engine regulations could last up to five years as opposed to the initial three that were suggested.

FIA President Max Mosley recently met with representatives of Ferrari, Renault and engine maker Cosworth during which all parties agreed that F1's engine regulations should be frozen from 2008 to 2012.

The parties present at the Maranello meeting, did, however, concede that certain modifications would be allowed on a yearly basis.

Those modifications, though, would only be permitted if they improved "cost reduction or reliability" and did not "result in a performance gain".

FIA statement said: "The meeting agreed on the following proposals (which should be read in conjunction with Article 86(e) and Appendix 6 of the 2008 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations):

1. The engine will be homologated for 5 years, being 2008-2012 inclusive.

2. Each year modifications to the engine can be homologated. Details will be delivered to the FIA before January 1st of the year in question, and a complete engine delivered before the first of February of that year.

3. The elements of the engine which can be changed in this way on an annual basis, are:

ports;
combustion chamber shape;
valve size, shape, and angle;
piston crown (the weight of the piston must remain the same, as must piston ring position and compression height);
camshaft profiles and valve actuation kinematics;
intake manifolds;
injector nozzles (not injector actuator);
spark plugs;
changes to the cylinder head consequential upon and limited to those resulting from the above;

4. Changes to the engine on the "fair and equitable" principle will be limited to those that the FIA is satisfied are carried out and necessary for cost reduction or reliability. No modification will be permitted which, in the opinion of the FIA, may result in a performance gain. These changes will be published by the FIA.

5. For 2007, those present will endeavour to secure changes to the 2007 Sporting Regulations to incorporate the 2008 engine homologation regulations (Article 86(e) and Appendix 6) into the 2007 Regulations, including a limitation of engine speed."

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Lap of Albert Park with Montoya
Monday March 27 2006

Juan Pablo Montoya describes a lap of the Albert Partk circuit, the venue for the Australian GP weekend...

"Powering up through the gears along the start-finish you reach some 310km/h in sixth gear, before braking hard for the right-left weave of turns one and two. Your speed drops to 132km/h in second gear and then increases through the left weave to some 219km/h. You apply the throttle on the exit for the Aughtie Drive straight, reaching some 295km/h in sixth on the approach to the tight right of turn three, which is taken at 76km/h in first gear, which marks the hardest breaking point on the track as you pull some 1.6G.

"This is again immediately followed by turn four, a sharp left hander which flicks you onto the short Whitford straight. Power on, you reach 240km/h in fifth gear along the straight before dabbing the brakes for the long, flowing right hander of turn five, which sees your speed decrease only slightly to 230km/h in fourth gear. It is one of those corners that you take flat in qualifying.

"You need to maintain as much speed as possible through this sequence of bends to ensure you have a good exit as you power down the short straight that takes you to the tight right of turn six, reaching 285km/h in fifth, before braking for the second gear right hander which is taken at 123km/h. Exiting, you take it completely flat through the sweeping right of the Lauda curve, reaching some 288km/h in sixth gear on the approach to Clark. This sharp right is negotiated at 109km/h in second gear. Hard on the throttle, another long, sweeping bend follows.

"You need to accelerate through the left of turn ten you as your speed increases to some 288km/h in sixth gear, before the fast left-right chicane of eleven and twelve. Maintaining fourth gear through this section of the track, with your speed not dropping below 212km/h, you keep on the throttle as you exit along the short straight that leads to Ascari. Another hard braking point, your speed drops from 298km/h in sixth gear to 122km/h in second for the tight right hander. A short straight leads to Stewart, another right hander, which is taken at 165km/h in third gear.

"Again a short burst of acceleration on the approach to the 90-degree right of Prost, you reach 236km/h in fourth before braking hard for the final two corners. The first of which is a tight left hander and is negotiated in first gear at 74km/h. On the exit, you apply throttle momentarily and shortshift into third gear for the last bumpy right hander that flicks you back onto the start finish straight to begin another lap."

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Toyota expecting tough Ausie GP weekend
Monday March 27 2006

Toyota are expecting another tough weekend in Australia as they strive to prove they are no billion-pound flops.

The Japanese team have the biggest budget in Formula One, having spent more than £1billion on their five years in the sport so far.

But results have been hard to come by - and this season, expected to be Toyota's breakthrough year in which a victory challenge was hoped for, has started dismally.

Ralf Schumacher's eighth place in Malaysia two weeks ago is all they have to show for their efforts so far, and the German is expecting another hard scrap in Melbourne.

"A difficult weekend awaits, but I hope we can continue to push hard and use the data we have collected so far this year to help pushing up the grid," he said.

"We knew the problems we had in Bahrain meant the race did not reflect our level of performance, and so we were always looking for much more in Malaysia.

"We were in better shape, and it was certainly good to open our 2006 points account. But we have much higher ambitions than eighth place."

Team-mate Jarno Trulli, yet to finish in the top eight this season, added: "There is no question about the motivation of the whole team to get back to the level where we can race at the front of the grid."

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Schumi convinced Oz result will be better
Tuesday March 28 2006

Michael Schumacher heads into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix confident that if this season's race will be better than last year's.

Last year's Australian GP signalled the start of a dismal season for Schumacher and his Ferrari squad. Not only did the race end with the first of the German's six retirements that year but it also started a downward spiral that culminated in the loss of both titles to Renault's.

However, this year the situation is looking better for Schumacher and Ferrari even though he admits the previous race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, which he finished in sixth place, did "not go as we would have liked."

Despite that, though, Schumacher is confident that Ferrari "go into the next round in fine form and, to be totally honest, I cannot wait."

"I would like to do well in Melbourne. I have always liked this race and things have always gone well for us."

"I am convinced that the result will be better than last year. We will try to pick up from the good form shown in the first race of the season.

"I think, it is realistic to say that we can obtain a result midway between that of Bahrain and that in Malaysia.

He added: "Obviously, we will be doing all we can to go as far as possible."

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

McLaren preview the Australian GP
Tuesday March 28 2006

Really hoping to have a trouble free weekend in Australia...

Kimi Raikkonen: "After the first two races, I am really hoping to have a trouble free weekend in Australia, as the car feels good and I think that we can get some good results with it. I am aiming to get a solid points finish at this race to take back to Europe."

"Albert Park is a high downforce track and it has pretty low grip, this is because the surface is always dusty as it is old roads that are not used anymore. But this tends to clean up quickly during Friday running and then the track surface is fairly smooth."

"There are some hard braking zones and sharp bends, which can be tough on the brakes and tyres, such as into turn three, and demand good traction to be fast out of the corners. The Australian race is one of the favourites I think with most people in the sport, and there is always such an enthusiastic atmosphere in Melbourne for the event."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It wasn't an ideal weekend for me in Malaysia, but at least I finished fifth and fourth in the last two races. I am now looking forward to racing in Melbourne and hopefully challenging for a podium position. Albert Park is quite a flowing circuit, with long, sweeping bends and quick corners, so it is fun to drive and you can really build up a good rhythm."

"There are some places on the track where you can pass, primarily the right hander of turn one at the end of the main straight, where your speed drops from over 300km/h to around 130km/h, and also as you flow on through the curve of turn two that immediately follows. Another chance is through the left flick of 11, which is taken quite quickly at just over 210km/h in fourth."

Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes: "Following the Malaysian Grand Prix our test team returned to the track last week, completing four intensive days at Paul Ricard and covering over 3280km as we look to push forward with the performance potential we have in the car. The work completed in France has helped us to further improve the MP4-21 package."

"We are racing in Melbourne a month later than usual and as a result we will be further into the Australian Autumn, so we expect to see cooler ambients than normal at the event, and also than those seen at the opening two rounds of the Championship, as a consequence there will be less impact placed on the cars and the personnel from the heat."

Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The Grand Prix in Melbourne will always be a special one for us. Here we celebrated our first Formula One victory together with McLaren in March 1997 and I will always remember it with great pleasure."

"For the engines, the track is even more challenging than the circuits in Bahrain and Malaysia. More than 70 percent of a lap time at Albert Park will be run under full throttle; this means almost three quarters of a lap. However, the climatic conditions in the Australian autumn are not as extreme as previously experienced in Malaysia."

"In the first two Grands Prix Juan Pablo's engine completed 1,162 kilometres in extreme conditions without problems. Unfortunately Kimi was pushed out in Malaysia on the opening lap as a result of a blameless collision."

"During the preparation for Melbourne at Paul Ricard last week, our test team with Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel of the new chassis no. 4 completed a total of 1,837 kilometres on three consecutive days with one engine. On average this was more than two Grands Prix distances per day that the technical package worked reliably."

"Particularly for Kimi I hope for a race without handicaps before or after the start which he unfortunately didn't have in the first two races without his own fault."

So do Super Aguri, Renault, Honda, and Williams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
Honestly, Kimi has better luck when he starts from the back. :rollani: But anyway,

GO KIMI~!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Be prepared for rain. Melbourne usually gets the arse end of our weather in Adelaide, and right now it's raining fairly heavilly. I reckon we'll see a wet race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Kimi and Juan stay quiet on future
Thursday March 30 2006

McLaren pair Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Montoya remain tight-lipped on their plans for the future.

Following the team's shock capture of Fernando Alonso, both drivers have been strongly linked with a move away from McLaren.

A frustrated Montoya even admitted earlier in the week that he would be unable to finalise his plans for 2007 until Raikkonen had decided whether to stay with the team or leave - most probably for Ferrari.

Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, a reticent Kimi refused to divulge when a decision may be made.

"I don't know, a lot of things can happen in the next few years," he told Reuters.

He did, however, insist that he was not fazed by the prospect of partnering Alonso.

"It doesn't make any difference to me at all," the Fin vowed. "I don't care who my team mate is. The team makes the decision and all I do is drive the car."

Montoya was similarly evasive on his plans for the future.

"I'm just concentrating on this year," he commented. "When I was in America and I was moving to Formula One I signed the deal eight months before but I was still pushing as hard as I could for the team and it's the same here.

"I think we have a good chance of winning the championship this year and I need to try to score points every race and have a chance of winning."

.
.
.
.
.
.

Montoya looks to outsmart rivals
Thursday March 30 2006

Juan Pablo Montoya claims his chances winning the Australian Grand Prix rest on McLaren outsmarting Renault, because they are not fast enough to win a straight fight.

The Colombian has a fourth and fifth to his name so far this year, well short of pre-season dreams of a world championship challenge.

He concedes McLaren, on pure speed, are no match for Renault at the moment but believes he can still figure in Melbourne this weekend.

"I think we are a little bit behind," he said.

"I think if the car is competitive and everything goes well we should be able to fight with them.

"The only way to beat them is to be a bit smarter than them in the race."

Montoya, whose McLaren contract expires this year, is putting his future on hold to ensure he does not throw away a rare chance to fight for the title.

The 30-year-old could be the odd man out if McLaren retain Kimi Raikkonen to partner newcomer Fernando Alonso, but he brushed aside any concerns.

"I haven't really cared about it to be honest," he said. "I'm focused on this year.

"When something comes up I'll sign a deal and that's it. I'm driving for McLaren this year, I'll do the best for them.

"I think we have got a good chance of winning the champion this year and we can't waste it.

"You need to score good points and when you've got a chance of winning, you've got to do it."

The former Williams driver expects an improvement on his performances in Bahrain and Malaysia, blaming an engine problem for his average displays.

Team-mate Raikkonen beat him in Bahrain despite starting from the back of the grid but Montoya expects a closer contest in Melbourne.

"This year the performance of the car hasn't been there," he added. "I think here we are going to be quick, the car has great potential.

"We had a big handicap over the first two races because we struggled with the engine but now the engine is running well.

"We were running well within the margins of the engine just to make sure.

"The problem we had in Bahrain was there was a bit of a mistake on the mapping and Kimi was faster than me on the straights."

.
.
.
.
.
.

Jenson seeks consistency

Thursday March 30 2006

Jenson Button plans to take a leaf out of world champion Fernando Alonso's book and become Formula One's Mr Consistency.

Alonso scored a relentless stream of points last season, only missing out three times from 19 attempts, to grind his opposition into submission.

Button believes consistency is the key to winning the world title and he wants to become a permanent fixture on the podium to keep that dream alive as he chases an elusive first win.

The 26-year-old stood on the rostrum for the first time this season in Malaysia two weeks ago and he plans to be a regular visitor.

"It's nice to be back on the podium, that's the place we want to be every race," he said in the build-up to this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

"I want to be winning every race but if we can't do that we always have to be consistently fighting and being on the podium.

"Everyone understands you need to be consistent to win the championship. They are just not big enough points at the moment."

Button has scored points for the last 12 races but has yet to mount a serious challenge for his first win in that time.

The Honda driver admits world champions Renault have a crucial advantage at the moment, which has seen Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella share the wins so far in 2006.

However, Button believes all that could change as Formula One's big-spenders pour millions into improving their cars.

"Things can change," he added. "It's down to who brings their next aerodynamic package out first - that can change the fourth team into the first team.

"It's so close at the front, the smallest change can make a difference.

"It is good for Formula One having so many teams because we have Renault, McLaren, Ferrari, us and I think Williams also.

"I don't think everyone's really got their weekends together like Renault have but when they do I think you are going to see some very good racing."

Button is optimistic he can continue to harass the front-running Renaults and McLarens in Melbourne this weekend, claiming he is better prepared than ever for the fight at the front.

He said: "Hopefully we will be quick here. We had a few issues with the traction control which we are on the way to solving.

"We should be good here. I don't know how much closer we will be to the Renault. But we've got a good car and in Malaysia we saw there's one team that are doing a better job than us.

"I think I'm getting better every year but most drivers are, it's through experience.

"When you sit down at the end of the season you look at the areas you need to improve and you work on them.

"I am sure I'm driving better than last year but I think that's the same for a lot of drivers out there."

.
.
.
.
.
.

Carrots are Renault's secret ingredient
Thursday March 30 2006

Mark Webber has identified carrots as the secret ingredient behind Renault's fast starts.

The sight of both Renault shooting past their rivals when the lights go out for a grand prix has become a familiar one over the past few seasons.

At the Malaysian GP two weeks ago, Fernando Alonso's stellar start saw the World Champion promoted from seventh on the grid to third by the first corner.

Asked to explain Renault's phenomenal starts at Thursday's press conference in Melbourne, the sharp-eyed Mark Webber replied:

"Fernando and Giancarlo eat a lot of carrots to look at the lights."

P-F1, which was also brought up to believe that carrots improve eyesight, can suddenly envisage 'Boy Racers' across the world munching on carrots as they wait for traffic lights to turn green.

.
.
.
.
.
.

Ferrari and McLaren still worry Alonso
Thursday March 30 2006

Despite Renault's blistering start to the 2006 season, Fernando Alonso has insisted that the World Championship could still be contested by eight drivers.

Having won the opening race of the season in Bahrain, World Champion Alonso finished second in Malaysia as Giancarlo Fisichella led the team to an ominously-dominant 1-2 finish.

Yet Alonso remains convinced - publicly, at least - that there four teams and eight drivers who could be crowned World Champions.

"There are eight drivers from the top four teams who can win races and fight for the title," the Spaniard told Reuters. "We will have to wait until the final five or six races of the season until we find out who is still there.

"In Sepang it was a very close fight with Jenson Button and this season is not turning out like last year. Then we were winning races by a 20-25 seconds gap. There is much more competition this year."

Alonso expects an even closer fight this weekend in Melbourne - singling out Ferrari as his team's principal threat.

"Melbourne is a different track to Bahrain and Malaysia," he said. "I expect there will be much more competition from Honda and Ferrari. In fact, especially Ferrari I think. I think Michael Schumacher will be very competitive.

"McLaren will be better here, they have developed, we have to keep moving or we'll be left behind," Fernando added.

--------------

I haven't got the times but prac 1 was this morning - Davidson fastest. Of the Sunday drivers Villeneuve was quickest, then Raikkonen. Schumacher sixth. I missed Alonso's time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Prac 2 is finished. Anthony Davidson fastest, ahead of Wurz and the surprisingly quick Kubica in the BMW. Of the racers Button leads from Alonso and Raikkonen. Williams very slow in comparison. Rosberg and Heideld only came out in the last few minutes. Couple of spins for Super Aguri, Toro Roso and Midland cars.

They're still nowhere near race pace, of course, but it looks like Renault and Honda will battle it out for pole. Raikkonen and Schumacher were slower than both. Montoya sluggish, Barrichello where he was two weeks ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
Results for PRac 2
Formula1.com said:
Pos
No
DriverTeam
Laps
Time/RetiredGrid
Points

1
36
Anthony Davidson
Honda
1:26.822

2
35
Alexander Wurz
Williams-Cosworth
1:26.832

3
38
Robert Kubica
Sauber-BMW
1:27.200

4
12
Jenson Button
Honda
1:27.213

5
1
Fernando Alonso
Renault
1:27.443

6
5
Michael Schumacher
Ferrari
1:27.658

7
3
Kimi Räikkönen
McLaren-Mercedes
1:27.773

8
11
Rubens Barrichello
Honda
1:28.075

9
4
Juan Pablo Montoya
McLaren-Mercedes
1:28.200

10
6
Felipe Massa
Ferrari
1:28.227

11
2
Giancarlo Fisichella
Renault
1:28.280

12
17
Jacques Villeneuve
Sauber-BMW
1:28.440

13
14
David Coulthard
RBR-Ferrari
1:28.531

14
9
Mark Webber
Williams-Cosworth
1:28.860

15
16
Nick Heidfeld
Sauber-BMW
1:29.053

16
8
Jarno Trulli
Toyota
1:29.138

17
21
Scott Speed
STR-Cosworth
1:29.196

18
7
Ralf Schumacher
Toyota
1:29.379

19
18
Tiago Monteiro
MF1-Toyota
1:29.713

20
37
Robert Doornbos
RBR-Ferrari
1:29.876

21
15
Christian Klien
RBR-Ferrari
1:29.879

22
10
Nico Rosberg
Williams-Cosworth
1:29.933

23
40
Neel Jani
STR-Cosworth
1:30.686

24
20
Vitantonio Liuzzi
STR-Cosworth
1:30.734

25
19
Christijan Albers
MF1-Toyota
1:30.830

26
39
Markus Winkelhock
MF1-Toyota
1:31.260

27
22
Takuma Sato
Super Aguri-Honda
1:32.556

28
23
Yuji Ide
Super Aguri-Honda
1:34.224
Sorry for the poor formatting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,798 Posts
Oz Friday: Renault, McLaren & Ferrari

Chasing pole position and the race win...

Renault
Giancarlo Fisichella: It was a bit of a difficult day for me. The cold temperatures meant the car was understeering a lot, and we had just started to improve the balance when I felt something strange with the engine. I brought the car back to the garage slowly, and we found the fuel feed problem after the session. On the positive side, Fernando's times showed that the car is quick at this circuit so I think we will be in a strong position."

Fernando Alonso: We seem to be in good shape. The conditions were quite windy out on the track and the grip levels are poor at the moment, but I am quite happy with the car even so. The grip levels will improve as more rubber goes down on the track, which will give all the drivers the confidence to attack more. But at the moment, the Renault feels nice to drive, and our pace is good. I think we are in a similar position to the other races so far this season - aiming for the top positions in qualifying, and hopefully on Sunday as well."

McLaren
Kimi Raikkonen: A good start to the weekend where we went through everything we wanted to including our tyre evaluation with Michelin. It was a bit cooler than we expected but no problems, and I guess the temperature will stay pretty much the same for the rest of the weekend. I had a small off at one point which is what happens sometimes when you try different things, and I'm expecting the track surface to improve further as more cars run."

Juan Pablo Montoya: We completed our planned programme with no problems, and I'm pleased with the data we have achieved from our Michelin tyre evaluation. However, we still have to see how everything develops during this weekend once the track gets more grip."

Ferrari
Michael Schumacher: Things went pretty well, apart from a bit of traffic stopping us from getting through 100% of our planned programme. One variable was the wind, which occasionally made for unpredictable handling. On one lap, I ended up running a bit wide in a corner when a gust of wind pushed the car from behind, when I had no more room to brake. As for the tyres, it will be important to always ensure they are up to temperature. There are no other problems, partly because over the winter we ran in much colder conditions than this. Tomorrow, I hope to be a front runner and be able to start the race from as near to the lights as possible."

Felipe Massa: It was a good day's work. We concentrated mainly on finding the best setup. My final time does not reflect my real performance level, because on my last run I had a lot of yellow flags in the final sector of track and I had to keep lifting off the throttle. I am satisfied, because the car is well balanced and we improved constantly throughout the day. I am confident for tomorrow and Sunday."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Prac 3 just finished. Very wet this morning in Melbourne, and it only really started to dry in the last five minutes of the session. McLaren barely ran, a combined six laps between Raikkonen and JPM, and that was when it was wet so both McLaren's are running last. BMW did the same with Heidfeld, he only came out in the last few minutes but still went fastest.

Fisichella was quickest when it was wet, and the Toro Rosso of Liuzzi surprisingly was second. Toyota looking improved with both guys in the top six. Williams about where they were yesterday, Honda the same. Renault was iffy - Fisi was quick in the wet but didn't come back out in the last twenty or so. Alonso was first to go on the slicks and made little impression.

Really hard to tell who's going to take pole, it's very open at the moment. I will be shocked if this isn't a wet race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,798 Posts
It was a wet qualifying last year too and Fisi had the luck of doing his qualifying lap at the right time when track conditions were the best, took full advantage and grabbed pole. Though it was dry for the race.

Fisi is a good driver in the wet and Renault at present have a better package than Ferrari, if it's a wet race then my money is on Fisi. As for qualifying, the teams have an hour qualifying session and the track should be dried up by the time the top 10 runners do their qualifying lap during the last 20 minutes. I think it should be a dry qualifying session with the top 10 cars burning fuel as usual for 15 minutes (that should dry the track even more), then do a quick flying lap after tyre changes with 5 minutes left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Watching the fundraising tennis match they do. Alonso, Rosberg, Fisichella, Webber and Heidfeld are actually pretty good tennis players. Thankfully Montoya wasn't playing. :shades:

Just like on the track Alonso beat Fisichella in the final. Bloody Renault.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Eliminated after the first cut off:

17. Barrichello
18. Albers
19. Speed
20. Monteiro
21. Sato
22. Ide

McLaren go 1-2 after the first session.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Eliminated after the second cut off:

11. M Schumacher
12. Coulthard
13. Liuzzi
14. Klien
15. Rosberg
16. Massa

Alonso quickest. Massa crashes out and Schumacher aborts his flying lap during rain and fails to get through! Webber third, splitting the quick McLaren's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,902 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Final session:

1. Button
2. Fisichella
3. Alonso
4. Raikkonen
5. Montoya
6. R Schumacher
7. Webber
8. Heidfeld
9. Villeneuve*
10. Trulli

Grid for the Australian Grand Prix:

1. Button
2. Fisichella
3. Alonso
4. Raikkonen
5. Montoya
6. R Schumacher
7. Webber
8. Heidfeld
9. Villeneuve*
10. Trulli
11. M Schumacher
12. Coulthard
13. Liuzzi
14. Klien
15. Rosberg
16. Massa
17. Barrichello
18. Albers
19. Speed
20. Monteiro
21. Sato
22. Ide
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top