13 May 2015

A Spanish yawn

The Spanish F1 Grand Prix was run last Sunday.Another procession.A long Spanish yawn.Again a Mercedes team one/two although this time Rosberg beat Hamilton.Vettel in a Ferrari came a distant third.The first six places were taken by cars with either Ferrari or Mercedes engines.The rest-Honda and Renault powered -were not even in sight.
Vettel definitely made the right decision to leave Red Bull and go to Ferrari this year.Alonso must be in despair that he left what was a dysfunctional Ferrari team to join McLaren only to see Ferrari get their act together and McLaren to be in chaos.
Ron Dennis, McLaren supremo, is a difficult man at the best of times.Now he must be impossible.The Honda power unit is way off being ready to race.He must have thought he had made a smart move enticing Honda back into F1 as they supplied the power for one of Mclaren's purple patches in the late 80s.But this time Honda is all over the show.I cannot help wondering whether Honda is just not the same company as it was then.It was sharp and at the cutting edge then but now it seems to have caught the Japanese disease- slow and conservative.
The atmosphere at Red Bull must also be toxic.They are not used to being backmarkers.Even Aussie Daniel Ricciardo must be finding it difficult to keep smiling as he qualifies way back on the grid.According to Mark Webber Red Bull pay Renault 17m Euro per engine.Gulp.Not good value this year.
The ridiculous rules on engine development /changes are restricting Renault's and Honda's ability to catch up Mercedes -even if they knew how.
Back in1984 McLaren dominated F1 winning 14 of the 18 races.It was another purple patch period.They were powered by 1.5 litre V6 turbocharged TAG Porsche engines.The engine was financed by the Saudi Arabian owned TAG group-who are still major shareholders in Mclaren-and designed and built by Porsche.The Porsche name on the engine is very small.Pictured below is one of the engines in the old Porsche Museum back in 2004.
Porsche did have their own total cock up F1 experience in 1991 when they designed a V12 for the new 3.5 litre rules for the Japanese sponsored Footwork Arrows team.The engine was designed by Porsche's engine guru Hans Metzger who had designed some of Porsche's great engines including the legendary flat 12 fitted to the amazing 917 sports racing car.However he must have lost his touch by 1991 as the V12 was a stinker-way overweight -45kg heavier than the competitors- way too big and way down on power.By mid 1991 Arrows and Porsche parted company.I could not find an example of the V12 in the old or new Porsche Museums but I guess that is not surprising.

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