2015 Formula 1 Season

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2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby darth_timon » 2015-03-04 04:57pm

For any F1 fans here, my own personal preview of the 2015 season - if you go to the site itself there's a gallery of the new cars. http://meerkatmusings.co.uk/the-f1-2015-season-preview-part-1/

Mercedes

The Mercedes W06 is an evolution of last year's dominant car (which would win all but three of 19 races), refining the nose as per the new rules and working on further tightening the rear of the car. Once again the engine is the class of the field, so once again expectations are high that Mercedes will be hard to beat.

In testing the W06 was put through its paces and completed hundreds of laps without too much trouble, demonstrating reliability at an early stage, as well as allowing Mercedes to gather a lot of data about the car. Toward the end of testing, it was also clear that the car is fast - around 0.7 seconds faster than the best times of their rivals. This would suggest a second season of Mercedes championships is very likely.

As with last season, Mercedes line up with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and the two will probably resume the title battle they had last year. Hamilton would win 11 races to Rosberg's five in 2014, but Rosberg was consistent and will be very keen to get one over on his teammate, who has beaten Rosberg two times out of two in their time as teammates. Still, I imagine Hamilton will be fighting fit and determined to retain his title. Hamilton is my pre-season tip to win it in 2015.

Williams

Jumping from 9th in the constructor's championship in 2013 to 3rd in 2014 was a huge transformation for Williams, and they will be desperate to continue making forward progress. The FW37 has been good in testing, enjoying consistency and good pace, developing nicely, and with the same Mercedes power as the Mercedes team, they can expect a horsepower advantage over several other teams.

Bottas and Massa are once again the drivers and they bring a steady combination of experience (Massa) and talent (Bottas). We could well see Williams winning races this year, though of course, it will be a tricky prospect to beat Mercedes.

Red Bull

After winning four consecutive driver and constructor championships from 2010 to 2013, Red Bull were shunted down to second place in 2014, as the rules shifted away from their greatest strength - downforce - and toward engine power. The new RB11 boasts a Renault engine that is still 10% down on horsepower compared to Mercedes, but let's not forget that Red Bull were the only team other than Mercedes to win any races last year - a mark of how good the design was, and with Adrian Newey's design genius, even if he's not at the centre of that process anymore, one would still expect a good car.

Red Bull's golden child Sebastian Vettel left at the end of last year to join Ferrari, so Daniel Ricciardo (who took all three of Red Bull's wins in 2014) is paired with Russian Daniil Kvyat, who is entering only his second year in F1 after debuting with Toro Rosso last year. There have been some raised eyebrows over the swift promotion of Kvyat to the 'A' team, but Ricciardo has proven himself to be competitive in the right circumstances against established talents, and I suspect Red Bull will have a decent car. As good as the more powerful Williams? We shall see.

Ferrari

After a disastrous year for Ferrari, which saw several high-profile sackings and the loss of arguably F1's most talented driver to one of their biggest rivals, the SF15-T is the car that the team hope will begin a revival of fortunes, and with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel joining them, Ferrari will also be hoping he can fill the hole left by Fernando Alonso.

Vettel arrives at Ferrari with something to prove - his detractors have long maintained his success over the past few years has been almost entirely down to the car, and that he will not be seen as a true great until he has won outside of his comfort zone. Well, Vettel took the leap from Red Bull to Ferrari knowing how much Ferrari had struggled in 2014, so kudos to him for being brave enough to do that.

The challenge now of course, will be to deliver results. Ferrari have worked hard over the winter, and the new car has already drawn favourable comments from Kimi Raikkonen, so it would seem they have moved in the right direction.

McLaren

Like Ferrari, McLaren did not enjoy a good 2014. Though they boasted the same engine as Mercedes, the chassis simply wasn't up to scratch, and McLaren nearly lost out to Force India in the constructor's champion (but for Jensen Button's efforts in the final race), which should be a sign of how hard they fell.

For 2015 McLaren have partnered with some old friends. Their engine suppliers are Honda, who famously supplied McLaren with engines during their late-80s/early-90s spell of supremacy. The team have also gone to some lengths to streamline the rear of the car, as they seek to catch up to the aerodynamically strong designs of Mercedes and Red Bull.

Testing of the MP4-30 has not gone well. Whilst most other teams have been able to put together at least 50 or so laps at a time, the best McLaren have managed in any one stint is 36 laps. They have been hindered by engine problems, as well as other issues with the car, so it seems highly likely they will arrive in Melbourne with concerns they won't even complete the race.

To top things off, new driver (and former driver, for that matter) Fernando Alonso wound up in hospital with concussion after a crash in testing, which means he will have even less experience with the new car come race day. For him and Button, the prospects of even a podium seem bleak.

Lotus

Another team to endure a difficult 2014, Lotus have switched from Renault engines to Mercedes power for 2015, with the feedback from drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean being quite positive. Signs are that the new car will be better to drive than the disappointing 2014 edition, which should serve Lotus in good stead. They were getting podiums and even winning races in 2012 and 2013 - it's hard to imagine wins for them, but perhaps a podium?

Force India

Force India were the last team to unveil their new car and get to testing, something which normally would not bode well for their season, though by all accounts the line-up of Perez and Hulkenberg were quite pleased by the car, which completed over 200 laps in testing. Deputy Principal Bob Fernley expects the team to start the year quite slowly, but he believes the extra time spent developing the car will pay off later in the year. The relatively small team have turned into quite a strong midfield outfit since they arrived in F1 and it would be a shame to see them go backwards, but sometimes, you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. This seems to be the approach.

Toro Rosso

Often seen as the Red Bull 'B' team, Toro Rosso have worked hard on their new car, completing over 400 laps over the final weekend of testing alone, so there is optimism that the team has done all they can do to be ready for 2015. The STR10 has been favourably regarded by the drivers, who also happen to represent a completely new line-up.

17 year-old Max Verstappen will become the youngest Formula 1 driver in history when he makes his racing debut in Australia, and he will be joined by 20 year-old Carlos Sainz Jr, who is coming from Formula Renault 3.5. Two young, inexperienced drivers is seen as risky, but the two acquitted themselves quite well in testing, so it would seem they can handle the job. Still, if they make mistakes that hamper other racers, they will not make many friends.

Sauber

2014 was a miserable year for Sauber. They failed to pick up a single point and will be hoping that an improved Ferrari engine will offer them better race pace this time around. Marcus Ericsson (formerly of Caterham) and Felipe Nasr (formerly of GP2) represent a completely new line-up for the team. It's difficult to say if they will enjoy a radical improvement in 2015.

Marussia

For the first time in their brief history Marussia scored points in 2014, thanks to Jules Bianchi's 9th place in Monaco. Sadly, Bianchi remains seriously ill in hospital following his accident in Japan, and we continue to wish him all the best.

His team went into administration last year (along with Caterham), and very nearly folded completely, but they are now back, albeit with two new drivers (Will Stevens is replacing Max Chilton and a second driver is yet to be announced), and running a modified version of their 2014 car whilst they hastily prepare their new car. It would seem likely that they will bring up the rear of the pack once again.
Last edited by Thanas on 2015-03-31 03:14am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed title for better accuracy
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-03-05 06:04pm

Merc will definately be the team to beat again. As a Hamilton fan I'm hoping he can with a third title this year. The battle for second between Red Bull/Ferrari/Williams/Lotus should be great as they all look fairly similar.

McLaren are the big unknown. With Promodrou onboard from Red Bull their aero appears good, but we don't really know the power (and reliability) of the Honda engine. With Alonso out from Australia I would laugh so hard if Magnusson pulls of a miracle win.

As always though we'll only get a clearish picture once the first round is over.
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby SpottedKitty » 2015-03-05 08:33pm

atg wrote:With Alonso out from Australia I would laugh so hard if Magnusson pulls of a miracle win.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount Magnusson; he did surprisingly well in the first few races last year, and managed good performance a few times later in the season. I'd definitely call him one to watch out for.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-03-06 12:44am

SpottedKitty wrote:
atg wrote:With Alonso out from Australia I would laugh so hard if Magnusson pulls of a miracle win.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount Magnusson; he did surprisingly well in the first few races last year, and managed good performance a few times later in the season. I'd definitely call him one to watch out for.



Oh definately. The miracle side of it would be Mercedes not winning the race.
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-03-06 10:41am

Ah, I love this time of year. I'm looking forward to this season; hopefully Ferrari will have something for Mercedes this season, as I'd really like to see Haas F1 have something good to race with next year. And against my better judgement, I will stay up for the live broadcast next week. Oy, I'm getting too old for this.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-03-09 06:11pm

Sauber... wow.

They sign van Der Garde to race for 2015, then promptly sign two other drivers. van Der Garde takes them to court in Europe and wins. Sauber ignore it. Now they're in court in Australia with van Der Garde trying to get the ruling in Europe enforced.

Sauber's arguements? van Der Garde doesn't have an F1 superlicence! (he does...), it takes two weeks to make a seat for him! (expect for where it takes ~3days in the past and you don't have to have a specific seat. Also he was their test driver last year so there should be a seat already...), he's not driven this years car in a race! (neither has any other driver...).

And their team principle is supposedly a lawyer.
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby darth_timon » 2015-03-12 04:40pm

atg wrote:Sauber... wow.

They sign van Der Garde to race for 2015, then promptly sign two other drivers. van Der Garde takes them to court in Europe and wins. Sauber ignore it. Now they're in court in Australia with van Der Garde trying to get the ruling in Europe enforced.

Sauber's arguements? van Der Garde doesn't have an F1 superlicence! (he does...), it takes two weeks to make a seat for him! (expect for where it takes ~3days in the past and you don't have to have a specific seat. Also he was their test driver last year so there should be a seat already...), he's not driven this years car in a race! (neither has any other driver...).

And their team principle is supposedly a lawyer.


It's pretty farcical, and I don't know what the implications will be for Garde or Sauber come tomorrow, when practice is supposed to start for Oz. Sauber can elect to ignore the court - but at what cost (both financial and in terms of being allowed to race).

Anyhew, for those who are interested, I've previewed the drivers as well - the post is too big for the forum, so here's the link:

http://wp.me/p4V4lR-hf
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-03-16 03:03pm

Well, aside from my Felipe Nasr going balls out and getting fifth, and the comically depleted field, that was a rather humdrum season opener. I think Hamilton and Rosberg maybe had two minutes of screen time during the entire GP. Most of it was reminding us that yes, the Mercs are about 30 seconds up the road and yes, Nico sometimes closes from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds, but otherwise does nothing of note.

Definitely not staying up to watch Malaysia live.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Thanas » 2015-03-16 03:08pm

Vettel drove surprisingly well, I thought it would take longer for him to adjust to the Ferrari.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-03-16 03:33pm

Alferd Packer wrote:Well, aside from my Felipe Nasr going balls out and getting fifth, and the comically depleted field, that was a rather humdrum season opener.


I'd add the scrap between JB and Perez to that list.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Irbis » 2015-03-24 04:18pm

Hopefully this weekend will be better than last one.

Also, F1 now drives on 'made in China' tyres. Thanks, ECB :lol:

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-03-24 05:59pm

Thanas wrote:Vettel drove surprisingly well, I thought it would take longer for him to adjust to the Ferrari.


Apparently he and Kimi have similar driving styles so if they've setup a car along the lines of what Kimi wanted then that should follow. Kimi is also much improved from last years issues so the car does seem more to his liking.

Ferrari look much improved in general this year. They'll be like Red Bull were last year, ready to pickup the scraps when Mercedes falter. The battles between them and Williams should be nice to see.
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-03-25 12:28pm

Irbis wrote:Hopefully this weekend will be better than last one.

Also, F1 now drives on 'made in China' tyres. Thanks, ECB :lol:


Unless it rains as promised, it won't be. The Mercs will cruise to a 1-2 victory, Seb or Kimi will round out the podium, and the Manor cars will be lapped. Twice.

Although I do think all 20 cars will make the grid, so that's an improvement, I guess.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-03-30 02:57pm

Man, am I so glad I was wrong on all counts. We might have ourselves a goddamned season after all.

Although, no German GP, so I guess another core European GP bites the dust.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby SpottedKitty » 2015-03-30 05:35pm

<nod> A pretty good race, although it was a pity Hamilton couldn't quite catch up after his last pit stop. At least no-one sent up smoke signals this time... :roll:
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-03-31 02:14am

I'm wondering if the Ferrari's were flattered by the hot temperatures.

The car looks easy on its tyres, which in colder track temps will mean its harder for the car to get up to operating temperature range. On the other hand a car which easily works its tyres up to the right temp range will start chewing through the tyres more - such as what we saw with the Mercs. Look to Melbourne and more 'normal' track temps, and we see a big difference in the car performance and the Mercs tyre wear.

Go back a couple years and the Lotus cars had similar tyre issues, a race winner on higher track temp days, no better than high midfield on average temp days. Both that Lotus and the current Ferrari share the same chief designer in Allison...
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Thanas » 2015-03-31 02:24am

I would caution against seeing this race as a proof of Ferrari being competitive. Mercedes got screwed by hot temps, plus there was their strategy and the safety car. Obviously I am happy to see Vettel winning it and his pace was amazing, but one swallow does not a summer make.
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Re: 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Flagg » 2015-03-31 10:18am

I'm not trying to derail the thread and ruin your guys enjoyment of a motorsport like F1, and this is asking a question more than a request or suggestion: Given the situation in Indiana do you think it would be better to boycott watching the Indianapolis 500? Or would it make no difference and the only people who could really have any meaningful effect would be the ticket holders if they stayed home and watched on TV, thus making the vendors, local businesses, and race organizers put their foot up Mike Pence's ass with their political clout for signing such a fucking regressive, hateful, and bigoted law?
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Re: 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Thanas » 2015-03-31 02:49pm

I think this is off-topic, so please make an own thread for that.
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Re: 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-04-01 07:48am

US Ratings for a GP with a 3 AM EDT start time up 64% over last year.

That's not bad at all. Maybe between Haas F1 coming online next year, possibly getting an American driver into the championship, and the growing TV audience, maybe we can get second GP in the United States after all.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Irbis » 2015-04-01 08:55am

Alferd Packer wrote:We might have ourselves a goddamned season after all.

Meh, not really. Track was 64 degrees C hot, by far warmest this year. If Australia is anything to go by, in China Merc will be 30 seconds faster, again, we can be (slightly) optimistic if this will not be the case. Still, Mercedes will likely win all twisty/easy on tyres tracks with easy 1-2. Hmm, I can see them lobby to keep Sochi on calendar desperately now :lol:

Alternatively, we will have a season if Bernie orders Pirelli to only bring softest tyres or pushes through his sprinklers idea :P

Thanas wrote:the safety car

What about it? If anything, SC handed them free pit stop (~8 seconds lost instead of usual 25) they were supposed to do anyway. If anything, their only error was in not splitting the cars and not telling Rosberg to make two stops, as he was gentler on hard tyres. Though, I saw analysis they didn't do that because Rosberg would have likely been second then and he already looks relegated to #3 driver role. Heck, they ordered him to do third stop timing it to not embarrass themselves with ordering him to let the other car go through without fight.

Alferd Packer wrote:maybe we can get second GP in the United States after all.

I was about to say there were supposed to be two this year but it looks like NJ one was delayed, again...

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Alferd Packer » 2015-04-07 10:05am

Irbis wrote:
Alferd Packer wrote:maybe we can get second GP in the United States after all.

I was about to say there were supposed to be two this year but it looks like NJ one was delayed, again...


Honestly, I doubt that one will ever happen. I would love for it to happen, and would be the first to buy tickets for it, but it's been one year away for the last three years. Still, it's apparently a brilliant circuit, so I'd love to see a race there. Maybe Indycar will use the circuit at some point.

As for F1, I would love to see a GP at Daytona on the road course. It probably would need very little work to bring it up to FIA spec. I just wonder if the F1 cars could handle going around that oval at the truly insane speeds they could reach.
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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-04-08 01:47am

Alferd Packer wrote:As for F1, I would love to see a GP at Daytona on the road course. It probably would need very little work to bring it up to FIA spec. I just wonder if the F1 cars could handle going around that oval at the truly insane speeds they could reach.


Well the oval curve at Indianapolis caused the 2006 fiasco.
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."

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Re: Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-04-08 02:36am

atg wrote:Well the oval curve at Indianapolis caused the 2006 fiasco.


That was caused by shit Michelins. If they were going to race on an oval again you can guarantee that Pirelli would make damn sure the tires they sent would be capable of handling it.
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Re: 2015 Formula 1 Season

Postby atg » 2015-04-08 04:17am

Captain Seafort wrote:
atg wrote:Well the oval curve at Indianapolis caused the 2006 fiasco.


That was caused by shit Michelins. If they were going to race on an oval again you can guarantee that Pirelli would make damn sure the tires they sent would be capable of handling it.


True I should have worded it better.

Though Pirelli would have to make hard and medium tyres that are harder than the current ones unless the regs change. Is the four dry compounds per season a regulation thing or is that self imposed by Pirelli?
Marcus Aurelius: ...the Swedish S-tank; the exception is made mostly because the Swedes insisted really hard that it is a tank rather than a tank destroyer or assault gun
Ilya Muromets: And now I have this image of a massive, stern-looking Swede staring down a bunch of military nerds. "It's a tank." "Uh, yes Sir. Please don't hurt us."


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