Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai

Episode 53 - They've got the drivers, they've got the money, what can go wrong? // Sidepodcast's annual look at the teams and their season potential

Published by Christine Blachford

Last week we looked at the drivers taking to the grid, these week we look closer at the 2008 contenders - the teams, how they've changed and how they will fare.

Intro

A quick update on the status of my bad luck - this week is better but I have proof that last week was the worst ever.

Good week / Bad week

Bernie Ecclestone gets someone onside, Super Aguri can't find anyone, Fuji are looking to stay in the sport, and which one is Pinocchio Schumacher?

News and views

Alonso has his main sponsor following him around, so does that means he's a pay driver? We're worried about the state of mind of Toyota drivers, they seem unable to stick to an opinion. And we briefly recap a very wet testing session, and discover we're looking forward to the return of a previously disliked figure.

2008 Contenders

A rundown of the 2008 teams with snappy statistics (again Krypton Factor stylee), what's been updated with the launch of their new car, and how we think they will do this year.

Feedback

One voicemail to do with F1 Racing and Skittles, we want you to call us with your predictions. Facebook guest blogging, and the Fantasy F1 Sidepodcast league. A couple of good emails from poorly Steve (feel better!) and Blake who gave up his King of F1 crown too easily.

Housekeeping

Don't forget to visit I Heart Franck, my new website, all about, erm, Franck. I promise that I'm not deserting F1 though, even if he has.




  • If Super Aguri are sandbagging it's a whole new concept but it makes sense to a certain degree, the car (being last year's Honda) had a year of testing so why bother since they know it's going to be the repeat of 2006? But of course Super Aguri can easily follow Prost Grand Prix into eternity if things are REALLY as bad as they seem. Hmm, I'm curious.

    I can exclusively reveal here that I'm ready to sponsor Super Aguri in 2008 - 1€ per Grand Prix, I hope they can give 1 millimitre of space on the rear wing. How can I contact Aguri then? I'm at a loss!!! Help!!!

  • Those looking to join the Sidepodcast league on Fantasy Racers will need the following info (it'd dead simple!):

    League Name: Sidepodcast

    League Number: 118

    League Password: franck

    Any players wishing to join the league need to create a team in the main competition using the link below, and then follow the 'Join New League' link beneath your name in the menu.

    http://www.fantasyracers.com/

  • I think you should have called this episode Trulli Confusing. Poor guy doesn’t know whether to give honest or corporate opinions. I am sure Yamashima-san would have been thrilled to read his driver slagging off his team’s chances before the season starts.

    I love the idea of Super Aguri as the ultimate sandbaggers. I have no doubt they have financial worries but you have to ask if it is worth testing the F107. If I was Aguri I would use the F106 as it was a better car and the team know it and have all the set up data.

    Did Honda really say there new car has a higher centre of gravity??

    I think the big advantage FIF1 has with Fisichella is that he knows what a good F1 car should feel like. Sutil may be a really good driver but he doesn’t have experience of front of the grid cars. He knows how he wants a car to behave but his comparison is against cars from lower formulae or poor F1 cars.

    McLaren had a free fantasy F1 game on their site last year with some good prizes. It hasn’t appeared this year yet so I don’t know if they plan to repeat it.

  • Christine, Me, congratulations on another great and entertaining podcast!

    As far as Toyota and their chances are concerned I think that with Glock in one of the drivers' seats they are much better of than they were with Ralf, who simply wasn't going anywhere anymore. Timo's already attained some F1 experience with Jordan back in the days and his display back then did impress me quite a lot. After becoming the GP2 champ his move to F1 was inevitable and I firmly believe he's here for the long run now. I wouldn't be too surprised if he outshines Trulli this year.

    As for the merger between Champcar and IRL, I've read on both Dutch and Belgian ceefax that it is a done deal. The season I believe is to count 19 races, composed of the 16 IRL-races and the 3 "most important" Champcar races. I'm not aware of any further details at the moment.

    And finally, I can tell you about another F1-management type of game. Go to www.f1-management.nl, no worries, it is available in English (although flawed), subscribe for free and create your team consisting of a chassis, an engine, two drivers and a pitbabe (no cost, somewhat sexist). I shall not bore you with the rules regulations of the competition here, as the website has its own regulations section if you feel like checking it out. Seeing as the English version is not without flaws (literal translations from Dutch into English that do not make any sense at all) you can ask me about anything you do not understand and I'll gladly enlighten you :)

    Have particpiated myself over the last couple of years and quite enjoyed it, hope to see you there!

    Will have a look at FantasyRacers myself tomorrow.

    Cheers!

    Michael

  • How can I contact Aguri then? I’m at a loss!

    the lady you need is aguri's comms manager, ms. emma bearpark, contact details here. she was flat-out rude to us last year, but i'm sure she'll appreciate your call nevertheless :)

    League Name: Sidepodcast

    cheers for all your work dank, damn fine stuff. i think christine's planning a post to plug the league some more too.

    you have to ask if it is worth testing the F107

    are they getting the ra107 then? i thought they were jumping straight from the '06 to the '08 chassis?

    Did Honda really say there new car has a higher centre of gravity??

    will check with girl in morning.

    she was talking about the nose though, so i took it to mean the nose was relatively higher to the car's center of gravity than previous incarnations.

  • it is available in English (although flawed)

    michael, that's guaranteed to upset christine :)

    will check it out in the morning though for sure. cheers.

  • Emma Bearpark already sounds like trouble, she should've changed her surname to Bear-Park. Maybe Super Aguri will take me to court if I announce my plans to them and my dream will come true, I'll be on the first pages of all the tabloids!!!

  • Re the zig-zag 'lego bricks' bargeboard on the Honda. I thought it looked really strange at first as well - but then I noticed that Ferrari have a similar design to their bargeboards, at least in the launch pictures. I don't get it either, but I think it's safe to say that if Ferrari are doing it then Honda haven't completely lost the plot.

    I will check out the Fantasy F1 league in a minute. I've been wanting to join one for ages, but never investigated fully. Sounds like it'll be fun, although I'd rather be able to choose my own chassis and engine as well... Ho hum.

    Incidentally, there is an F1 game on Facebook, although it's not quite Fantasy F1. It's called F1 Picks, and you have to predict the top three drivers in each race. It hasn't been updated for 2008 yet though...

  • but then I noticed that Ferrari have a similar design to their bargeboards

    you're right, although they do look more sculpted than honda's.

    i believe RB knows a thing or two about barge boards. so who am i to argue?

  • I think Super Aguri are doomed. Just checked Autosport and they're missing another test.

    If they are actually there in Australia, I will be amazed.

    As for Trulli, it depresses me. I've always been a fan, and to see his current mental state is alarming to say the least.

    Testing today, over 80 or so laps, Kimi reigned supreme over the German. YAY!

  • As for Trulli, it depresses me. I’ve always been a fan, and to see his current mental state is alarming to say the least.

    he's spent the winter drinking too much of his own wine hasn't he? pickled his poor brain.

  • The VJM01 is an evolution of the F8-VII.

    Source: uk.eurosport.yaho…e-late-start.html

    Funny thing is, going back 15 years or so it wasn't particularly unusual for even a top team to launch their new car at the start of the European season.

    Even if the launch took place before the start of the season, some would try and leave it as late as possible, arguing that time was better spent developing the car back at the factory, rather than focusing on making small refinements out on-track.

    Of course, these days teams enjoy better resources, so most are able to run an extensive development programme alongside a full testing schedule.

  • "he’s spent the winter drinking too much of his own wine hasn’t he?"

    Me,

    Man flu has got to yer brain laddie.

    A Vigneron will put the vino _down_ during the winter, then imbibe il vino collapso during the warm days of summer when the lovely ladies wear less and the vino assists critical appreciation facilities.

    I joined that mad site with a wall today, and two people I've never heard of before sent me a wink, and one I do know sent me a kiss. I don't have a clue wots going on.

    I'm extremely worried about the yoof of today, they should be at work, keeping up the payments on my pension, not phaffing around on a superwall..

    brendan (in beautiful, sunny and 70F Atlanta)

  • there is no nee to go back 15 years for top team to launch a new car at the beginning of European season. At the height of their domination Ferrari were doing it. Now I may mishit by a year or so as I am struggling with an aftermath of unplanned Monday night party, but I think it worked out for Ferrari in 2004, but not so much in 2005 and they had to bring the new car on track one race earlier than planned

  • Remember the OLD old days though? Where teams would run ostensibly the same car for multiple seasons?

    Trulli is a sad case. He's always been one of the good guys in F1. Which I think is what's hamstrung his career a bit. I mean aside from the odd exception (Damon Hill for example), really, only cold, ruthless guys succeed in F1.

  • A Vigneron will put the vino _down_ during the winter, then imbibe il vino collapso during the warm days of summer.

    even if he's driving cars in the summer?

    I’m extremely worried about the yoof of today, they should be at work, keeping up the payments on my pension, not phaffing around on a superwall..

    haha, brilliant. i've no idea what the etiquette is for winking at someone you don't know, but it seems a bit forward if you only joined today ;)

  • Now I may mishit by a year or so as I am struggling with an aftermath of unplanned Monday night party, but I think it worked out for Ferrari in 2004

    I'm fairly sure Ferrari started their 2004 season with the brand new car right away, because I still have some pretty good memories about that race in Australia.

    Nevertheless, your story would be correct for the 2003 season, as they started out with the 2002 car, struggled a bit too much to their liking, and debuted their F2003 GA in Spain, which I think was the fourth race of the season as the Brazilian GP has since 2003 been held at the end of the season.

    Cheers,

    Michael

  • You spoke to scenario of Ferrari being at one end of the garages (pits) and McLaren at the other end. Actually McLaren is in the 5th spot. Bernie actually wanted them in the 3rd spot, but in the end the 5th spot was chosen. Their reasoning was that McLaren is one of the top teams and have earned the right to not be at the end.

    So Ferrari won't be able to look at the start of the pit lane and see McLaren's strategy.

    Cheers,

    Tom - Milwaukee, WI USA

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