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Prediction game 2010 – now on Facebook

March 9th, 2010 No comments

Last year we ran the innaugural F1 Buzz Formula One Prediction game.

It was a lot of fun and ended up being very close with the top three players still challenging for the win right up until the last race.

In the end, Andrew took the top prize: a scale model of Jenson Button’s revolutionary BGP001 in the historic Brawn GP livery.

2009 was one of the best and closest F1 seasons ever, which meant that predicting the winners was hard.

With Fernando Alonso in a Red Car and the return of Michael Schumacher, 2010 promises to be just as exciting.

This year the Prediction Game returns for another season, but rather than posting your predictions on blog posts, the game has been fully Facebookified! Just visit and add the application.

The rules are basically the same. Make your predictions for pole, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fastest lap by the start of qualifying for each race. The deadline for each race is listed on the calendar page.

The points have been tweaked slightly to reflect the new points system introduced by the FIA in 2010:

  • Pole position: 10 points
  • 1st: 25 points
  • 2nd: 18 points
  • 3rd: 15 points
  • Correct driver on podium but not in correct position: 8 points for each driver
  • Fastest lap: 10 points

The prize will remain a scale model of the winning car/driver by Minichamps. They are nicely detailed little models. Andrew can tell you. Just look how happy he is up there!

As the countdown timer in the top right shows, there is now less than a week until the first race of 2010. This means to maximise your chances of winning you need to get your predictions in for Bahrain by this Saturday.

The first race is always the hardest to predict. Good luck!

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What’s new in 2010?

February 15th, 2010 4 comments

2009 saw one of the biggest shakeups in the Formula One regulations for many years. New aerodynamic rules changed the shape of the cars dramatically. Slicks made a return after ten years of running on grooved tyres. KERS was introduced along with driver-adjustable bodywork.

Some teams like Brawn GP and Red Bull adapted quickly to the new regulations. Others like Ferrari and McLaren took a while to return to their winning ways.

There are not as many changes for 2010 but some are just as significant.

Perhaps the biggest change is the ban on refuelling. Mid-race refuelling is only a relatively recent tradition, having been re-introduced to the sport in 1994. I’m reserving judgement on this change until we see how the races play out. On the one hand I think refuelling can add excitement to a pit-stop (especially when they get it wrong) and it can also introduce an element of strategy to the race. On the other hand, drivers will still need to stop to change tyres at least once and it may well introduce an exciting new aspect to the race as drivers struggle with a heavy car off the line and also have to manage their tyre wear throughout the race.

We will also see some fantastically fast stops. Who will be the first team to break 3 seconds for a pit stop this year?

The cars will remain basically the same in 2010 although most have grown to accomodate the larger fuel cell. KERS is gone as are those ugly wheel covers but the driver adjustable flaps remain. It would be nice to have some kind of onboard graphic to see when the driver is actually using these as at the moment they really add very little from the viewer’s point of view.

The other big change is the points system. Last year Bernie Ecclestone wanted to introduce a medals scheme to encourage drivers to go for wins instead of points. Thankfully that didn’t come to pass but in 2010 the points system has been modified to give greater emphasis on winning a race. The new points system for both Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles is now like this:

1st : 25 points
2nd : 18 points
3rd : 15 points
4th : 12 points
5th : 10 points
6th : 8 points
7th : 6 points
8th : 4 points
9th : 2 points
10th : 1 point

With 26 cars (hopefully) and four World Champions on the grid, 2010 is shaping up to be one hell of a season. It all kicks off in less than a month in Bahrain.

Can’t wait!

Image: Mercedes GP

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Virgin’s all-digital racing car

February 3rd, 2010 No comments

Virgin Racing launched their 2010 Formula One car – the VR-01 – today. They had originally intended to go with the current trend of launching online but technical difficulties prevented a live online launch.

The VR-01 is the first Formula One car to be designed entirely in the digital domain using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Other teams make use of CFD technology but Virigin is the first team to design and build a car without using any scale models or wind tunnel tests.

Technical Director Nick Wirth admits they won’t know whether the computer got it right until the car takes to the track:

We fully expect to encounter issues along the way; CFD is an approximation – as is scale-model testing. In both cases, it is only when you hit the track that you can really appreciate the effect of factors that are tricky to model with any technology such as the effect that the real stiffness of all bodywork components and joints has on the airflow for example.

It will be fascinating to see how the car performs in real life when it takes part in the test at Jerez next week.

Images: Virgin

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More cars unveiled as first test kicks off

February 1st, 2010 No comments

The first pre-season test of 2010 kicks off at Valencia today which means it is the first chance to see how the different cars perform on track.

On the weekend, BMW Sauber and Renault launched their 2010 machines. The BMW Sauber C29, despite the name of the team, is powered by a Ferrari engine and as Drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi pulled back the covers at the Valencia circuit a car with a very high nose and a long shark fin was revealed.

Shark fins seem to be popular this year as Renault’s new car is also sporting one. The R30, to be piloted by Robert Kubica and Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov, was also unveiled on Sunday. With the departure of sponsor ING, Renault has returned to their historic yellow and black livery which gave the Renault RS01 the nickname ‘Yellow Teapot’.

On Monday morning, Toro Rosso revealed their first car as a fully independent constructor. Team boss Franz Tost said:

After four years of working in collaboration with Red Bull Technology, the STR5 is the first car that is one hundred percent down to our own endeavours.

Although the car looks quite similar to last year’s STR4, it has been designed to take full advantage of running a double-diffuser.

Mercedes GP also revealed their W01 in the pit lane ahead of today’s test (the car presented at the team’s launch last week was a repainted Brawn BGP01). It is a nice looking car with a graceful, swooping nose and a small shark fin engine cover.

Williams are foregoing an official ‘launch’ and will reveal their Cosworth-powered FW32 when it rolls out of the garage for it’s installation lap.

Pictures of the Renault R30 below:

After four years of working in collaboration with Red Bull Technology, the TR5 is the first car that is one hundred percent down to our own endeavours.
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McLaren launch MP4-25

January 29th, 2010 3 comments

McLaren launched their new F1 car, the MP4-25, at Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury today.

2010 marks the first time since the 1989 pairing of Senna and Prost that McLaren will have an all world champion driver lineup and as the 2008 champion and the 2009 champion pulled back the cover, Lewis Hamilton remarked how different the MP4-25 looks from its predecessor.

The significantly larger fuel tank has forced an aerodynamic overhaul, the most noticeable feature of which is the long shark-fin that stretches all the way back to the rear wing – similar to last year’s Red Bull RB5. McLaren’s chief engineer, Tim Goss:

The dorsal fin is partly to accommodate the additional cooling duct and partly a logical development of the high-downforce wing we ran last year at races like Monaco, which feeds air more efficiently to the rear wing upper element.

The car looks stunning; even more like a rocket-ship than last year’s MP4-24. McLaren have retained the striking silver finish, despite Mercedes GP also adopting the same colour. While I like the carbon fiber touches on the Mercedes, I think the McLaren has the better finish of the two.

But the thing I like most about all the cars this year is the uncovered wheels. Can’t wait to see those glowing discs again!

Images: McLaren

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