Six hours after the race…

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The Australian Grand Prix was a race meetings of ups and downs. The qualifying day was an utter disaster, but race day produced a stirring race with drama and battles all the way to the flag. Nico Rosberg navigated his way through the chaos to win from Lewis Hamilton, who drove a great recovery after a difficult start. The race proved that Ferrari can be competitive this year. It was a bad day for Scuderia Toro Rosso, which should have scored a lot of points but stumbled and ended up with only ninth and 10th on a day when the new Haas team finished sixth after a remarkable one-stop race by Romain Grosjean. Jolyon Palmer made a very solid F1 debut with Renault, while Fernando Alonso had a sizeable accident after running over the back of the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez.

Also in GP+ this week…

– The Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame
– Lewis Hamilton
– The legend of Rouen
– Aston Martin and Red Bull
– JS ponders change in F1
– DT talks about the Hall of Fame
– The Hack ruminates on age and other matters
– Plus the usual fabulous photography from Peter Nygaard

GP+ is the fastest magazine in the Formula 1 world. The magazine comes to you in PDF format, which means that you can read it and keep it, even if you are not online. It works with computers, tablets and even smartphones, but it’s a racing magazine in the traditional style, telling you what happened and not simply feeding you bite-sized stories. It goes right to the heart of the sport, inside the F1 Paddock.

Our team is at every race and we get to the people that matter.

GP+ is an amazing bargain. This year You get 23 issues for £32.99, covering the entire 2016 Formula 1 season.

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60 thoughts on “Six hours after the race…

  1. Just downloaded mag 183. Adobe Acrobat Reader won’t open it. Message says the file is damaged. Any ideas?

  2. Impressively quick, race is only at half distance on C4s new coverage in the UK. Will try and wait for end before I start reading.

  3. One of the cool things about Rouen was that from the pits one could hear which drivers did not lift going down the hill and which ( in the words of one of our drivers “devout coward”) lifted. The not so good feature was the havoc that the cobblestones at the bottom of the hill wreaked on clutches as they started to accelerate back up the hill

  4. Joe
    Thanks for GP+ – a great e-magazine.
    I just wondered if it would be possible to include higher resolution images… they are the one area where it should be able to improve the quality without increasing the overall file size…
    Better resolution images would really make a huge difference!
    Cheers and I look forward to enjoy the season ‘alongside’ you and the team!

  5. What I want to know is if Alonso has been given the all clear medically (which he has), what on earth happened in testing last year in Spain.

    As in what actually happened.

    1. Alonso spun, hit a wall and was knocked unconscious. Then he woke up. Then a lot of people with a lot of time on their hand started making up stories.

        1. It is about time the Truth came out about that strange incident someone must know in this day of data by the lorry load.

    2. Head injuries are funny. Some impacts you walk from, and others do you in.

      That’s my explanation, and it’s feasible enough to not require a conspiracy as an alternative.

  6. Is it time to ban runoff area gravel traps?

    Many circuits have abandoned them, but a few still remain – and Alonso’s crash was a perfect example of why they should be banned. The alternative is high friction asphalt paved runoff areas.

    Reason one – if a car outbrakes itself or runs wide, a gravel trap often strands the car and it’s out of the race, rather than letting the driver rejoin with a loss of time.

    Much more importantly, reason two – in a genuine accident, with a gravel trap the car often skips across the gravel without much speed reduction, OR worse, catches in the gravel and flips. In Alonso’s case today, the wheel-less McLaren hit the gravel trap and immediately dug in on the edge of the floor and was launched – it wasn’t being slowed, the gravel turned it into a projectile. The bounce just changed the spin of the projectile, until it hit the rear barrier with the top side down. IF that runoff area had been high friction asphalt, the wheel-less McLaren would have just dragged across it, scrubbing speed all the way until possibly having a much smaller upright side impact with the rear barrier.

    Over and over we’ve seen gravel traps prove ineffective, and as today even dangerous. It’s well past time to ban them entirely.

    1. Not sure I agree with you, Gordon. If the car had landed on solid asphalt it would simply have bounced off and continued airborne. At least with gravel the car is accelerating stones and thus losing energy. Yes, if the cars brakes were functioning and the suspension and tires were still there it would have stopped sooner (if it was upright), but at least with the gravel trap it digs in and dissipates energy. This is sort of like skipping a stone …… it just keeps going, bouncing along the surface.

      1. Not really. In this particular case, Alonso’s car would have slid across the paved runoff, without digging in and launching. It would have just slid and slowed down, until it eventually hit the barriers. The impact would have been a side or front or rear impact, which is so much safer than launching, flipping and landing upside down.

        1. Excuse me, but how can you know that? Corrected it for ya:

          “Not really, in this particular case, Alonso’s car would have bounced off the asphalt, launching it until it eventually hit the barriers. The impact would have been an inverted impact, which is much less safe than launching and landing upside down.”

          And you know this with how? As much as I. Don’t be so certain.

          1. I know this from watching dozens of F1 crashes. Cars don’t generally get launched by sliding on concrete. But you are correct in that nobody can know for sure.

    2. /if a car outbrakes itself or runs wide, a gravel trap often strands the car and it’s out of the race/

      That’s why they call it a ‘trap’. You need to avoid it.

      /catches in the gravel and flips/

      A car can as well get through the gravel trap and not flip, as in case of Kvyat at Suzuka, or flip on grass, as in case of Kubica in Canada. And had Bianchi flipped on gravel, he would have not hit this crane…

      Both reasons are invalid, then.

    3. My thoughts exactly Gordon! At least, in that particular case, this gravelbed at Turn 3 has to be removed for next year imo, because it was the sole reason the car got airborne and somersaultet. Look at the video At 0:17, he enters the grass, but still slides upright on four wheels. Then, at 0:19 the car enters the gravel bed and is knocked over by the gravel immediately. As a matter of fact, the car virtually flies over the gravel bed instead being slowed down on rough tarmac Le Mans type and no energy is extracted unless the car lands benaeth the barriers. So, on flat tarmac, no somersault would have been occured and the car probably would have rubbed off its energy.

      Secondly, an accident in an upright F1 car nowadays, in most cases has no serious consequences, but as soon as a F1 car gets airborne it becomes uncalculable.

      So there is need for action for FIA and Charlie Whiting before the next track validation of Melbourne!!

      1. /as soon as a F1 car gets airborne it becomes uncalculable/

        However I do not remember when there was an accident with F1 car getting airborne (Alonso, Kvyat, Gutierrez, Webber – that’s a quick recall) and driver being hurt in last years, while the accidents where car remained on the ground resulted in some medical treatment (Sainz, Alonso, Perez).

  7. So Haas F1…

    While the result was do to a bit of luck falling their way, what is the feeling along the paddock and among the F1 media of The Haas F1 debut?

      1. Yes he did, I’ve long thought of him as underrated since he stopped crashing so often. I was super impressed with the way he and the car kept pace and the Force India of Hulkenberg behind him after the restart. Great drive.

        1. He did. Was he right when he said on Saturday that the car should have been in front of the Renaults on pure pace?

        2. Agreed. Grosjean was great, and has been a driver to watch since he settled down.

          Was really glad to see him take Haas to points straight like that. I would have loved to have been in the Haas camp that night, would be hard to ask for a better start. Let’s hope the team gets a good solid year of experience and points paying finishes – would be a nice change to see a new team not struggle so much. I guess having Ferrari as a technical partner gives them a leg up on the Manor/Caterham debuts. Good on them though.

          Here’s to Grosjean getting a WDC capable car in the next couple of years.

      2. This. Natch we didn’t get to see much of it on the haunted fish tank, though Haas did at least get more screen time than Manor, who, I was surprised to learn, had two cars in the race.

    1. Well, let’s just say the captions are! As is, “…while the multi-talented Colin Bond (below left)…” whereas it is undoubtedly Allan Moffat demonstrating a karate chop lower left.
      A small matter; the mag is a good as ever. Cue s/f of hand clapping. 🙂

      1. Allan Moffat – first driver I ever followed. Still get a little fanboy when I see him these days, and I always shed a tear when he talks about Brock.

          1. Thank you for sharing that Joe. I can imagine you both being mates, Allan does always seem lovely when I see him interviewed, a genuine and warm human being. Even when things weren’t going Allan’s way (rules being changed around him for example) we always saw a human being, their was no artifice or superficiality. When I was growing up, in the early 70’s it was either Moffat, or Brock in my household. Moffat all the way for me, and I followed him through to the end of his career, didn’t care what he drove, would have cheered him on in the Victa Lawnmower series.

            You would know this better than most of us Joe, people like Allan give everything to the sport. He came to Australia and took a competitive yet raw racing scene and dragged it into the professional world. Many important players in the Australian motor scene, some of them arguably better drivers, but the role Allan played as a team owner/manager/engineer/test driver/driver was instrumental in setting new standards. Brock had Harry Firth, Moffat had Moffat.

            Some things never leave you. I wrote to him a few years back, thanking him for all the years of motorsport enjoyment he gave me. I didn’t know if he would be interested but I thought it important to say.

            Sorry, I am a bystander, rambling on about a local era from several decades ago – not even open wheel racing at that. It is a real pleasure to see reference to Allan on this blog, and even nicer to note your friendship with him. A few months ago many of us spoke warmly about the effect on our lives that your influence on David Kaemmer has had. Allan Moffat was responsible for my love of motorsport, yet again we see the world is a much smaller place than we sometimes imagine.

  8. Just wanted to thank you again Joe for a wonderful evening on Friday. Insightful stuff and I personally took on board much of what you said in regards to this business.

  9. Re Ken’s question regarding the photos of Allan Moffat and Colin Bond, they are the right way round (as in not flopped) but the caption is incorrect, so I guess you have lost your marbles, chap. DT

  10. Hi Joe, hope you had a great weekend and wishing you safe passage for the journey onwards.

    Having consumed your blog for many years, ‘An Audience with’ on Friday evening proved an unforgettable experience, I appreciated your ability to cut through the bluster, and as an aspiring F1 journaiist, your advice to do whatever is necessary – no matter the cost, to be there in person to break the news, has resonated powerfully in my endeavours.

    As ever, I look forward to devouring your thoughts for the balance of the season!

  11. Any chance you can look into Haas situation regarding their commercial agreement with FOM or lack of? I read that if a team scores points in a season they get their shipping/logistic bill covered by FOM. Does Haas qualify for that even if they have no agreement.? The whole commercial agreement thing confuses me. Not the figures but the whys and hows of it all.

  12. Regarding qualifying:

    The conspiracy theorist in me suggests that Merc and Ferrari agreed ahead of time to park their cars after the 5th place car was eliminated, because they wanted to do away with the new format.

    1. Steve, I assume you believe the moon landings took place on a back lot at Universal Studios, that Lord Lucan is alive and well and the US Navy captured the Enigma machine.

    2. Steve, there just wasn’t enough time to get the cars in refilled and out on a lap. They had to go out early to set a time or be eliminated and then again when in the middle or be eliminated. So there was always going to be a empty track. If they changed the rule to allow a lap to be completed in the elimination stage then that may help. But it could cause problems with session length as there would be no set elimination time and if someone improves pushing someone to elimination do they get to finish the lap…

      1. Hey, calm yourselves, folks. It was a facetious comment. Perhaps we need an appropriate emoticon for that.

        1. That would be really handy sometimes.
          The “I’m just taking the pi$$” emoticon or something – I think we could all use it..

    1. What more penalisation does Alonso need than destruction of his car, loss of engine, and a trip to the medical centre?
      The loss of the engine alone will cause significant pain (especially as the end of the season approaches) as he now only has four engines for twenty races where everyone else (I think) still has 4.762(-ish) engines left.

      1. I seem to remember they stripped Schumacher off a pole position after he ran into an opponent. Alonso caused an accident that ended someone’s race, the same crime that Schumacher was found guilty of.

  13. Qualifying; It struck me that many people’s perception may have been different had the last 2/3 cars an extra set of tyres for use in the last 3 mins of Q3 only and thereby ensured a showdown.

    The rest of the session wasn’t hugely different to watch from the previous format – it was already the case that some cars in the drop-zone weren’t ready to run when they needed to be. The difference was that focus shifted to them one by one rather than all together. Apparently this is ‘disastrous’.

    It’s unavoidable that there will be some dead-time in an hour long session. As long as everyone knows a climax IS coming, this isn’t really a problem.

    1. I think 2016-style qualifying could be fixed with the following simple detail changes at no cost at all:
      – Shorten elimination intervals to 60 seconds (instead of 90 sec). Then there’s more time for the early laps and a pit stop.
      – Ban refuelling during qualifying. Then pit stops will be much shorter and the more laps you do, the faster you get (theoretically).
      – Instead of returning 2 sets of tyres after Practice 3, return these tyres after Qualifying. Now there are two more sets available, that can’t be used in the race: no need to save them.

    2. I do understand what you are saying but I do not think you find much support amongst F1 fans for the Australian format of qualifying even if it is tweaked and tweaked. Way too much clock watching and not enough watching the cars.

      Last years format worked well and in my opinion, it did not need to be changed.

      I have to be honest and say I think some credit should be given that it was tried (even though you have to question why no one listen to the engineers)but the most credit should be given that it has been (I hope) binned so quickly.

      “If” there is a need to improve the F1 show I am sure there are far better ways of doing it.

  14. Terribly sad news about Rebecca Allison’s sudden death. My thoughts are with James Allison. Unlike you, I don’t know him personally but he seems to be a quite open and likable guy.

  15. Banteamorders… The difference is that Michael did it deliberately, Fernando made a mistake.
    Things such as Becky Allison’s death make all of F1’s bickering over the weekend irrelevant. We are up at stupid o’clock to work on the jetcar today, and I shall be thinking a lot of James, as one does at sad times such as these within the F1 fraternity but also as I remember the helpful advice he gave us in Monaco last year at a time when his head had to be full of all things Ferrari. He’s a very fine fellow, and our thoughts are with him and his family. DT

    1. DT, Joe, and The Hack,
      DT’s eloquent expression of sympathy for Mr. Allison emphasizes the “other” reason I subscribe to GP+. The quality of the writing never fails to impress, regardless of the topic.

      Thank you all.

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