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Old 09-05-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
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F1 Spa-Francorchamps Predictions

Last year at Spa it was messy. The rain was relentless and the track was less than perfect. It was an absolutely spectacular and thrilling race to watch. I love when it rains hard in F1...

Anyways, BMW Sauber has been talking about their confidence in their abilities for the Belgian GP. The BMWs are built for courses like this where aerodynamics and high-speed stability are key. I think BMW has a good shot of taking a podium spot this weekend. I think that if they do, it'll be Kubica again. I'm predicting that Heidfeld will be in the top 8 to score points.

Ferrari will probably take first in the race with Massa. Massa's on fire right now and he could be surging to be World Champion. Raikkonen will probably finish in the top 5, but I don't see him placing on the podium. He's really off his game right now. Ferrari has the advantage on this track because of their engines and the power advantage. Spa is a faster track, and the power will be key to winning. The only trip-up would be the wet weather, in which case Raikkonen has the advantage. Massa hasn't been very sure-footed this year on wet circuits.

McLaren Mercedes will take second with Hamilton. McLarens don't have the power of the Ferraris, but they seem to have better suspension and aero, so they'll be able to get a bit more speed in the major turns, like Turns 10 and 14. Kovalainen will do okay, and I suspect he'll score points. I just don't see him making the top 5. If the track is wet, Hamilton will probably take 1st. He's more consistent than Massa when the weather shifts.

ING Renault has been iffy lately, but Alonso did great in Friday practice. If it rains or there's moisture, Alonso will be top 5. If it's dry, Alonso will be lucky to score points. Alonso is a phenomenal wet weather driver and I think that'll really be his advantage this weekend if the weather stays bad. Piquet won't score points.

Panasonic Toyota has been really catching on. I suspect that Toyota's success has been directly attributable to the slower tracks with more low-speed turns. I don't think that the Toyotas can hang in the faster tracks. Timo Glock has been stepping up, but he likely won't score points this weekend. If Toyota is going to stand a chance at scoring some points, it'll lie with Jarno Trulli. He's really shown to be an aggressive driver lately. Unfortunately, I don't think Toyota puts down the power or handling needed to hang in the points.

Williams Toyota won't score points. Williams has done decent, but they've really been a disappointment this year. They don't have the power or handling, and I don't think Nakajima or Rosberg have the skill to compete right now.

Red Bull Renault won't do anything special.

Toro Rosso won't do anything spectacular either. Although, kudos to STR for really taking it to Red Bull and showing them up.

Honda won't do anything noteworthy either. They will continue to nothing good until they get a new chassis next year. Why they used the 07 chassis is beyond all of us. But I'm beating a dead horse, there.

Force India won't finish. Either of them.


Finish Standings (dry weather):
1. Massa
2. Hamilton
3. Kubica
4. Raikkonen
5. Kovalainen
6. Heidfeld
7. Trulli
8. Alonso


Finish Standings (wet weather):
1. Hamilton
2. Kubica
3. Alonso
4. Heidfeld
5. Raikkonen
6. Kovalainen
7. Massa
8. Trulli




We'll see how close I get...
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:43 AM   #2
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you don't give raikkonen enough credit, he will surge.

kubica has good chances, but bmw has been out of the points for so long, he needs to shake the negativity to take advantage of the car's better points at this track.

no timo glock in the wet top 8? if its wet, watch him move forward and Massa 1 to 7, dry to wet???
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:57 AM   #3
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you don't give raikkonen enough credit, he will surge.

kubica has good chances, but bmw has been out of the points for so long, he needs to shake the negativity to take advantage of the car's better points at this track.

no timo glock in the wet top 8? if its wet, watch him move forward and Massa 1 to 7, dry to wet???
Well, I think that Raikkonen is in a slump right now and I don't see Spa as being his saving grace. I foresee Raikkonen doing ok, but he won't be on the podium until next race at Monza. Although, if he proves me wrong I won't be too terribly upset..as long as BMW is still in the points.

Kubica is confident, as is Heidfeld, but you're right-they need to shake off the negativity. That said, they've been saying since Valencia ended that they're planning on doing well at Spa because their cars are taylored to tracks like that. I have confidence that BMW will have a good come-back.

Timo Glock is a fine driver, but the Toyotas don't have the power and stability that the top 3 currently have.

As for Massa, need I remind you of Silverstone? He was doing okay, but after his first spin, he just lost his frame of mind and got psyched out. If Massa loses it at all in rain, I have my doubts that he can recover and do as well as he does when it's dry.

Again, just my predictions. I'll probably be lucky to get 25% right.


The driver that's really impressing me right now is Trulli. I hate to cheer for him since he's pretty much competing with BMW, but he's really doing well.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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Great quali!

BMW Kubica But good to see Nick rollin hard.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Terrible result. Lewis Hamilton penalized long after the race, and demoted to 3rd place.

Yes he cut the chicane, but he then let Kimi pass him after he realized he gained an advantage, and then he passed Kimi properly during the race. I'm not even a Hamilton fan, but he was robbed.
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Old 09-07-2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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OMG what a race it was, the stunts that Kimi pulled


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Old 09-07-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Yeah, that was real entertaining at the end. I was cheering for Kimi that whole time. They should have let Hamilton keep the win though.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:23 PM   #8
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Bad call taking that victory away from Hamilton, and yea, not even a big Hamilton fan (but an anti-ferrari guy )

Nick driving around cars on the outside Bourdais losing 3rd, how the heck did he get down to 7th
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:34 PM   #9
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Awesome race to watch, total BS on the late penalty. He got forced outside and cut the corner. One incident. Then, repositioned and passed - separate incident.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:17 AM   #10
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Finish Standings Spa-Francorchamps 2008:
1. Hamilton (I'm still calling this one a win for him, since it's on appeal and the penalty was )
2. Massa
3. Heidfeld
4. Alonso
5. Vettel
6. Kubica
7. Bourdais
8. Webber


Prediction:

Finish Standings (wet weather):
1. Hamilton
2. Kubica
3. Alonso
4. Heidfeld
5. Raikkonen
6. Kovalainen
7. Massa
8. Trulli



I was right with Hamilton (by sheer luck), and damn close with Heidfeld and Alonso. I think that it was a really amazing race, but the rain really messed it up. Then and again, the rain also made it that much more fun and surprising. Overall, a fantastic race to watch.
It sucks for Raikkonen, and I really felt bad for him about losing it in the last couple laps. I think Raikkonen pushed it too much, but it was probably inevitable.
Hamilton deserves the win, because he did not gain any advantage as he gave up the lead to the Iceman fairly and regained it on a separate event. McLaren stated that they plan to appeal the penalty, and I support them and hope they win.
When Alonso went in for wets, I thought it was suicide and the dumbest thing imaginable. Ultimately, it wasn't a terribly bad move, but it may have cost Alonso a podium finish since Alonso is probably one of the best wet weather drivers IMO. For the same reason as BMW, it was ultimately a pretty gutsy, but effective and successful strategy.
Heidfeld getting the intermediates/wets was genius. He posted lap times 20 seconds faster than anyone else on dry tires. Fantastic strategy. This was seriously amazing for BMW and I'm glad to see Heidfeld on the podium again. I like Kubica okay, but Heidfeld is my favorite driver. He seems more consistent, and he's a very good wet weather driver. There should be no more questionable talk about Heidfeld's membership with BMW-Sauber next season.
Bourdais dropped back, and as best as I can figure, he just lost it in traffic. That said, he gets an "A" for effort. STR Ferrari really has been surging these past weeks. Kudos to them on a job well done.

Spa-Francochamps...always interesting and fun! No wonder it's one of my favorite tracks.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:20 AM   #11
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Awesome race to watch, total BS on the late penalty. He got forced outside and cut the corner. One incident. Then, repositioned and passed - separate incident.
It'll be overturned.

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Old 09-08-2008, 08:58 AM   #12
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I've been thinking about this (for no good reason) the past several hours. I can see it both ways. He definitely gained momentum by going straight, and therefore made up ground on track. The question in my mind is if he could have avoided using the runoff. I think he could have.

Having gone into the paved runoff, he had no choice but to stay on the throttle and get back on track as soon as possible. Slowing down would have been dumb from a racing standpoint. He yielded position per the rules, but did get closer to Kimi's transmission because of the straight line shot across the turn.

It comes down to the millisecond decision to drop out of the diving pass by braking or taking the escape route. One is a sure way out of a collision, and the other doesn't guarantee anything other than flat spotted tires.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #13
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The one sure thing is, Kimi wasn't about to take any other line through the bus stop than the racing line, whether or not Hamilton was in that line or not.

Did he need to cut the chicane that badly? Maybe not. A roll over the grass wouldn't have been that bad. But he yielded the position AND the momentum when he lifted to allow Kimi to pass, all of this supported by the McLaren data that has been provided to the FIA.

Anyway, it won't matter, the FIA will probably refuse to hear it, it was a drive-through penalty that was unable to be served, and those are not 'appealable'.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:56 PM   #14
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Hamilton had a good point though that he really was pushed into the run-off by Raikkonen. He had an option of braking, but I think that by the time Hamilton could have dynamited the brakes, there would have been more serious contact. Both cars would have been damaged and possibly DNF.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:53 PM   #15
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Did he need to cut the chicane that badly? Maybe not. A roll over the grass wouldn't have been that bad.
Had he done that, he would of run right into Kimi. Astroturf has zero grip, even at the 30mph or so they were going, he would of gone straight into Kimi. Hamilton did the correct thing.

I am a Kimi, BMW, and McLaren fan. heh. I don't exactly like ferrari for their F1 politics, I love Mario and BMW's philosophy, and I've always been impressed with McLarens under the cover ingenuity... but I digress...

The stewarts and FIA are freakin retarded. I'm absolutely sick of this political garbage in F1. It has always been bad, but over the past 2-3 years it's been out of control. I've been watching F1 for some 10 yrs now, and really, I'm looking for something better now. A1GP is great racing, but I want the technology too. If america could get it's act together after 2010 (when at least turbos will be back!!) then I'd have something good to watch. For now... I still wake up to watch F1, just wish some of the BS would be left out.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:12 AM   #16
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From NIKI freakin LAUDA!!! - "He (Lauda) told Bild newspaper this week. 'But it is clear to me now -- Ferrari does get preference.'"


From HANS STUCK!!! The BMW master - "The pendulum clearly swings in the favor of Ferrari, and that has often been the case."
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:17 AM   #17
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BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM - BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE

Spa-Francorchamps (BE). Due to a perfect decision in the final stages of the Belgian GP, Nick Heidfeld claimed the ninth podium of the season for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. After 42 of the 44 laps Nick changed to wet weather tyres, and moved up from seventh to third. It was his fourth podium of the season. His team-mate, Robert Kubica, had been ahead of him until he was delayed refuelling at his second pit stop. The pole had started from eighth and finished the action packed grand prix sixth. The BMW Sauber F1 Team has now scored 105 championship points. With five races to go in 2008, the team has so far four more points than in the entire 2007 season.

Weather: Overcast, rain at the end of the race. Air: 15°C, Track: 17°C

Nick Heidfeld: 3rd - BMW Sauber F1.08-07 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:49.067 min on lap 36 (7th fastest overall)
“I had a fantastic race weekend and I am very happy today. At the start I got off better than the guys in front of me. Then I decided to go for the outside line, but unfortunately Heikki Kovalainen crashed into my car. This can happen, and I was lucky my car wasn’t damaged. Of course I lost a lot of places. Later on in the race I was able to get some back, but then I got stuck in traffic. When the drizzle set in I was convinced it would be heavier on the next lap and decided to change to wet weather tyres. The team asked me if I meant what I said. When I left the pit lane after the stop I asked on the radio how many laps to go, and my engineer said this one and another one. As I couldn’t see any cars on the track I thought, oh this was probably the wrong decision, but then it paid off. It was a Hero or Zero decision.”

Robert Kubica: 6th - BMW Sauber F1.08-05 / BMW P86/8
Fastest Lap: 1:48.965 min on lap 36 (5th fastest overall)
“I am not happy with the result, as today I had the chance to finish on the podium. We had a problem during the second pit stop. I lost two or three positions and returned to the track behind Nick. When it started raining he went into the pits to change tyres. I could not do the same as it would have cost too much time because I was directly behind Nick, so it would have meant us coming into the pits together. Also I had no information about the weather as I had problems with my radio. We gave away points today. However, that’s racing.”

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director)
“It was a turbulent race – both immediately after the start and during the final laps. Nick was involved in a collision in turn 1 after the turmoil at the start and, like Robert, lost some positions. As a result, both cars dropped out of the points’ positions. After that the pit crew had problems connecting the nozzle during Robert’s second pit stop. Finally we recovered from these problems. Nick, his race engineer and our strategists took the right decision two laps before the end of the race by changing to wet weather tyres. The team’s ninth podium and Robert’s sixth place scored us nine points. With five races to go the team has 105 points, four more than in the entire 2007 season.”

Willy Rampf (Technical Director)
“This was the most amazing race I have ever experienced. Up until two laps from the end everything was quite normal, but then things changed dramatically when it started raining. Nick radioed to the pits that he wanted to change tyres. He was the first driver to take this decision. The pit crew reacted quickly, and from then on he was the fastest man on the track and made up many places. He finally finished third. For Robert things, unfortunately, went wrong during the second pit stop when we had a problem when refuelling, which cost him several positions. However, overall it was a very good result for our team. We scored another podium finish and a total of nine points today.”
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:38 AM   #18
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It clearly obvious that FIA and Ferrari are in bed together. I understand respecting Ferrari, but it's simply just shameless how they think that Ferrari can do no wrong.
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