News On F1 - Formula 1 News, Results, Information and Statistics

Formula 1 Store
F1 Tours, Tickets, Gear
F1 Books
& Biographies

Also Attractions & Concerts

Renault is the team to beat
30 March 2005 Volume 7 - Issue 4

F1 Merchandise
Main Page
Formula 1 News
2016 F1 Schedule
2016 F1 Line-up
2015 F1 Results
F1 Teams
F1 Drivers
NewsOnF1 Mobile
10 'n' Pole
Register - Submit
F1 Regulations
The Forums
Live F1 Coverage
Motorsport Shop
Motorsport Calendar

F1 Merchandise UK
F1 Merchandise USA

F1 Tours
F1 Tickets
F1 Diecast
F1 Videos
F1 Games
F1 Trivia
NewsOnF1 on Twitter
MotoGP Tickets
Past Formula 1 Seasons
2015 F1 Results
2014 F1 Results
2013 F1 Results
2012 F1 Results
2011 F1 Results
2010 F1 Results
2009 F1 Results
2008 F1 Results
2007 F1 Results
2006 F1 Results
2005 F1 Results
2004 F1 Results
2003 F1 Results

2002 F1 Results

2001 F1 Results

2000 F1 Results

1999 F1 Results

1998 F1 Results

1997 F1 Results
2010 World Cup
Contact Us
Your Say
Diagnosis & Prognosis
By the Heretic
Controversy Corner
The Real Race
By the Quali-flyer
F1 Testing
F1 Team Reports
8 'n' Pole
2006 World Cup

Download the
powered by Alexa

related links:

In Sepang Alonso may have been under pressure but it never looked like it. He led the race from the start and soon had a commanding lead. Fisichella, in the other Renault, seemed to have set up problems. The balance of his car did not look right from the start of the race and he rapidly lost ground whilst struggling with a very loose Renault through the corners. His retirement was no surprise, it is just a pity that he took Webber out with him, but as they say: "That is racing"

I was surprised to see that Toyota have finally found pace. For long we have been expecting it and for the last two years I have been commenting that they need to get faster sooner but this was very soon. Admittedly Trulli never looked as if he could challenge for the lead and had Raikkonen's tyre not gone down he may have been challenged for second but to have two cars finish in points with one in second place is a huge step forward for Toyota.

Heidfeld in the Williams also surprised. Williams may not be that slow after all.

At the end of the day I felt that McLaren were much faster than the results showed. Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race and would have finished on the podium if he did not have to change a tyre and Montoya, in his normal style, probably pushed too hard from the start and did not have any rubber left towards the end of the race. It is going to take time for Montoya to learn to manage tyre wear but do not discount him yet. He will get better and tyre development may help him out too.

Ferrari proved conclusively that it was a mistake to start the season in last year's car. It may even have been a mistake to take focus off their new car by preparing the 2004 car for 2005. Now they have to roll out the new car with almost no testing time for Michael and Rubens.

Bahrain is a moderately fast track. It will be hot and the probability of rain is very low.

The pit straight ends in a very slow right-hander followed by almost an S onto the first of the back straights that leads to an almost identical, slow right hander. This section is probably the best for overtaking as it should be possible to set the car up through turns 2 and 3 to gain from the slipstream and as turn 4 is slow, slipping through under brakes could be pulled off. After that is will be processional all the way to turn 13. There may be some slight opportunity to overtake between turns 10 and 11 but as turn 11 is reasonably fast it is unlikely.

The second major back straight ends in turns 14 and 15 (actually a single, double apex corner) which leads on to the main pit straight. Overtaking should also be possible on this back straight.

Although the pit straight is the longest and, all things being equal, should give the best overtaking option the very high speed turn 15 that leads on to the main straight is fast and needs a lot of downforce. It is going to be difficult to match the leading car's exit speed from this corned in turbulence.

We may see cars reach 300km/H (186mph) down the main straight.

Track temperatures are likely to be very high and tyre and brake wear may be a problem.

Renault are likely to be fastest in Bahrain. Their whole package seems to be very balanced and they are certainly no longer down on power. I suspect that their traction control is very superior to other teams (best demonstrated as their start launch control where they inevitably make up a space or two) and this gives them the ability to aggressively attack the exits from corners without too much concern that it will cook their tyres.

Alonso is very fast and Fisichella may lack Alonso's aggression but his car control is excellent. Although it was possibly the set up of his car that spoilt his race in Malaysia I believe that there is a good chance that Fisichella had defective traction control which could explain the looseness of his car (tendency to oversteer under power).

McLaren do not seem to be far behind the Renaults. Raikkonen set the fastest lap in Malaysia and in my opinion has a very good chance of getting onto the podium in Bahrain providing that he is not unlucky again.

Montoya is very fast but his driving style and the new rules are not compatible. To get one race (as well as qualifying) out of a single set of tyres and two races per single engine needs a conservative attitude which is totally against Montoya's nature. He may learn eventually but it is going to take a few more races. I predict that he will either finish off the podium, but still in the points, or slide off and get trapped in the kitty litter because his tyres did not make it. As he will start with a new motor this weekend he will probably not break that.
Montoya sustained an injury and may not race in Bahrain. His replacement will be either de la Rosa or Wurz. Both will struggle on a new track.

Williams are not as fast as McLaren but not that far behind either. They could well come up with an enhancement or two to suddenly be fast enough to compete at the front.

Although both Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld are very competent drivers I do not feel that they are in the same class as the likes of Alonso, Raikkonen and Schumacher. On the other hand it is becoming clear that as formula one cars are developing the flair of the driver matters less and less and the ability of the car is gaining in importance. Given the right car both Webber and Heidfeld can win races.

Toyota managed to find pace in Malaysia. I wonder if this was just a flash in the pan or if it is a sign of things to come. Trulli and Ralf Schumacher drove well and both finished where they started.

This is a rapid rise for Toyota that looked as if they were hardly making progress through all of last year. If they keep this rate of improvement up they could be the team to challenge Renault for the constructors' championship.

Ferrari are in trouble. They are now definitely on the back foot.

Ferrari has told us that they will be competing with their 2005 cars in Bahrain and that is a major gamble. Obviously their 2004 cars are no longer competitive and they had little choice but the cars are hardly tested. Both Michael and Rubens had only a single day each in the new car. A far cry from what we are used to from Ferrari. There are only two cars and if anything happens to either they will only have one so one of the drivers will have to start with the 2004 car (which may mean, because of the engine rule that he will have to do the next two races in the 2004 car). If that happens I wonder who will get the new car?

But that may not be the problem at all. How do we know that it is the 2004 cars? They seemed pretty fast last year and the cars are not that much faster this year. What if the problem is not the car but the tyres?

Are Ferrari hoping for a faster car to make up for slower tyres? Will the 2005 car be fast enough to make up the difference?

Red Bull performed relatively well too. They certainly did not embarrass themselves and again I was amazed at Coulthard who seems to have had an injection of enthusiasm. We have seen more inspiring driving in the last two races from him than in the preceding two seasons.

The rumour mill has it that Red Bull are looking for another engine supplier. If they do so it would be a pity as it is then likely that Cosworth, like Lotus, Brabham and Cooper, will be another traditional name that will no longer be associated with the sport.

On the other hand there is no question that the Cosworth motor is not producing the needed performance.

Honda almost looked as if they were going to overcome a long history of engine failures with BAR in 2004 but if Malaysia in anything to go by they did not start too well this year. Those were fresh engines and they both expired pretty conclusively in two laps.

Sauber are struggling but that is not surprising seeing that Ferrari have proved that the 2004 package does not work.

Jordan and Minardi? Well they make up the numbers.

Agree or disagree ?

You can now discuss this article on NewsOnF1 Forums. The Heretic will post replies there too.

Note: If you are having problems accessing the forum or prefer not to register, you can provide your comments through the form on the Contact Us page.

Other Heretic Issues

Back to Top


F1 Tickets
Spanish F1 GP
Canadian F1 GP
British F1 GP
European F1 GP (Valencia)
Belgian F1 GP
Italian F1 GP
United States F1 GP
Abu Dhabi F1 GP
VIP F1 Paddock Club Tickets
MotoGP Tickets
Netherlands MotoGP
Catalunya MotoGP
Portuguese MotoGP
Valencia MotoGP
MotoGP VIP Village Tickets
more Motorsport Tours & Holidays
Australian F1 Grand Prix Tour package
Clipsal 500 Adelaide package

Official 2006 F1 Season Review

Autocourse 2006 Annual

F1 World Championship Yearbook 2006

Formula 1 Technical Analysis: 2005 New

The Great Encyclopedia of Formula 1: 2007 Edition New

The Official Tribute To Ayrton Senna
1960 To 1994

The Science of
F1 Design

Motorsport Magazines

Formula 1 Titles

Race Driving Titles

Race Car Design Titles

Click Here for Ferrari F1 Model Cars (Diecast)
Ferrari F1 Model Cars (Diecast)
Also Ferrari Road Car Models

Click Here for Williams F1 Model Cars (Diecast)
Williams F1 Model Cars (Diecast)
Also BMW Road Car Models

Formula 1 Model Cars (Diecast)