Tag Archive: Williams F1

This past weekend provided a variety of action for the sports fan. NCAA tournament, preseason baseball, free agency signings in the NFL, and of course Motorsports. Since motor sport is what we talk about, that’s what we will do.

F1 had its season opener in Melbourne and it was a pretty good race. Button beat his teammate to the first corner and was never headed. But behind him it was wide open. Although the top five were the same characters as last year, the order was jumbled, and a couple got there by attrition. Then you had a pretty exciting race among the mid packers, Maldanado had a solid 6th for Williams until he put it in the barrier with half a lap to go. Kimi’s return went pretty well, salvaged a 7th from a poor starting position and made some great passes.  Michael outqualified his younger team-mate and was lying third when the gearbox decided that less gears would be a better idea.

All in all it looks like a great year ahead, and great entertainment. Six World Champions in the field can’t hurt either.

A last point on F1. The teams want the FIA to start enforcing the Resource Restriction agreement more closely. This is an agreement whereby the teams agreed to limit the amount of money that could be spent by a team during the year. In addition there are limits on testing, as well as a mandatory factory shutdown during the year. Two teams did not sign the letter to the FIA. Red Bull and Torro Rosso, you can make of that what you will.

Nascar was at Bristol, and what can you say. I can’t say much because I didn’t watch it as I had to work. But when I saw the highlights last night I was shocked. Not by the racing but by the crowd.  It appeared to be far from the announced 102,000. Why so small? Gas prices? Hard to believe that’s really the case. Even if you use 50 gallons round trip, and its up .50 a gallon that’s a  $25 increase. So you don’t buy the tee-shirt and cap.   Is it the racing? Or just a general malaise about the sport. I couldn’t say, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

On a more positive note, it appears that every week we are hearing about a new car and driver going to participate in the Trans-Am series this year. Hopefully the folks running it now have the right formula. They certainly have the experience to know what is needed. I think this could be a breakthrough year for the series.


This is going to be a great weekend. The winter is finally over, F1 is back! And in between sessions there is NCAA basketball.

The season opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Australia is underway. The first two practices have been on a damp track, so its hard to tell who has what. However, the usual suspects are on top so far – McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari. Seems like McLaren is as usual pretty good, Mercedes has improved, and Ferrari may not be as bad as we were led to believe. The midfield looks close, and Williams looks better. The question is how good is Red Bull? They havent shown brilliance so far, but that was the pattern last year, nothing on Friday, but come qualifying look out.

More and more manufacturers are entering hybrids in international road racing. Audi and Toyota have entered prototypes in the 24 hours of LeMans. Honda and Toyota will go head to heat in the GT class. Makes sense as more and more hybrids appear on the street. I’m really interested to see the result of this one.

Nascar will be at Bristol, Tenn. this weekend. The first Nascar race I traveled to see was at Bristol back in 71. Used to look forward to it, but haven’t been in years. But I dont think that is why they haven’t had a sell out in 3 years.

Just a thought: What would you think about Nascar loosening up some of their rules, and do this. Allocate every team enough gasoline that the cars would have to get a certain mileage to finish the race. Say, 20 miles per gallon?  Anything you want to do, but this is the mileage you have to get. Put some real world engineering back into it again.  Dont do away with the templates, or safety stuff just mandate a mileage.

Crazy huh? It may take something like that to turn it around.

Lastly, name one major sport, other than Nascar or another form of  auto racing, that isn’t run by a commissioner appointed by the team owners.

For the past several years one of the great sports in road racing has been the one of bemoaning the lack of success of the Trans-Am series. This series, once the best and most competitive road racing series in North America, had fallen on hard times.  There had been several attempts to rescue it from extinction, each perhaps less successful than the last.

And of course it seemed like everybody and his brother had the answer as to why it wasn’t working. No TV, no advertising, too expensive, etc., etc. The SCCA of course got its fair share of criticism for the way they were attempting to run the series as well.

Finally at the end of last year a group of people, all of them experienced in the series, either as racers or administrators took over the series. Now after a slow start it appears they are putting the pieces together to really give the series a fighting chance. They have a new website, a dedicated PR person, and yesterday they made a major announcement. GoRacingTV.com will be providing video vignettes during the race weekend as well as a weekly show on Trans-Am racing.

While some will be dissappointed that this isnt live coverage of the races it has proven to be highly successful in other motorsport venues. Look at “The Flying Lap” with Peter Windsor and his coverage of F1. If they can emulate him it will be up to the racers then.

Now if they can get a emagazine like they do for F1  life will be good!

Speaking of F1, the series starts this weekend in Melbourne and we can see who has what. Is Red Bull still got the dominant car? Or has McLaren caught up?  How much closer to the midfield is Caterham, and have they succeeded in reviving Williams?

Nascar in Bristol this week, not sold out again for the third year in a row I believe. I used to go every year, but no more.

And a question: What would be the reaction if a manufacturer sold you a car where the fuel injection system had as much trouble as the ones that Nascar is using?  Is it the great leap forward they claim?



First my apologies for not having the time to write something this past week. I wont bore you with the details, but over the years I have come to realize what it is about work that I hate so much. It just takes way too much time.

So with that out of the way, just a couple of things to quickly comment on.

The news that two drivers who arguably made their name driving for Roush Racings Trans-Am program are returning to the series. Interestingly enough it will supposedly be in the TA2 class. In addition I had a conversation with a friend who was building a TA1 chassis. I say one because he is going to instead build a TA2 Camaro. As I listened to his reasoning it was hard to find an argument against it. As much as I love the “big” cars, it makes more sense perhaps to go down the TA2 route.

Its good to see that Williams F1 was atop the time sheets yesterday at Barcelona. That team which is has fallen from the top of the sport to mid pack certainly needs to have a good year. A note of caution creeps in though when you remember all the years that they were really fast in winter testing. Unfortunately as soon as the season started reality reared its ugly head, and they went straight to the mid pack. Hopefully this year will be different.

Now that Nascar has returned to Daytona, how do you feel about it? Is it living up to the Barnum and Bailey style hype, or will it quickly return to the ho-hum of recent years?  If you take away the wrecks in the Bud shootout, it was hard to find excitement. I must admit seeing Kyle Busch save it a couple of times was pretty amazing. How much of that was the car high centering on the banking?

Lastly, as most of you know, a fair amount of competitors buy hand me down Nascar parts. With the introduction of EFI the supply of carbs will be finite now. So if you can find a good road racing carb for a reasonable price, you may want to snag it.

As I said a quick burst, but I warn you I should be able to find more to write about this weekend.