#1 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

Of course, what better time to start a thread now! THE SEASON IS ALMOST STARTING, YOU GUYS! :'D Are you excited? Because I sure as hell am!

As of writing this, practice in Albert Park is less than a month away, all the teams have revealed their cars and driver lineups (save for Force India's mystery second seat ಠ_ಠ) and testing at Jerez just completed. Sky was there the whole time covering it and if you haven't watched them, Ted has his usual Ted's Notebook segment every day discussing the events of the day as well as going over some new changes to the teams/cars this season.

Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

So, what are you guys excited about this season?

Personally, amidst the usual being psyched for the season to just start again, I'm really looking forward to seeing how Perez will fare at McLaren and how well Bottas will do at Williams when racing for realsies. Both of them have terrifying amounts of potential behind the wheel of really capable cars.

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#2 Posted by natetodamax (19164 posts) -

I'm excited for just about everything. I'm really curious to see if Pastor Maldonado will be a better driver this season.

#3 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

Bottas looks really good in free practice, and I'm hopeful the kid can come into his own. I wonder if he's pushing himself too early though.To be honest I see Perez and Button having a sour relationship, they say a lot of positive stuff about each other but their body language is not so rosy.

That said hell yeah I'm looking forward to 2013. I look forward to see if Hamilton can finally turn Mercedes around, doubtful but there's a chance. Mercedes really needs to get their heads out of their asses, one win in three years just doesn't cut it.

#4 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@voxel: Here's hoping. Despite the discipline he got for it last year, I think he coasted along on being a far more consistent driver than Senna. Now that he has a teammate with legit skill, though, I don't know. If he takes out Grosjean at the start of Melbourne again I am going to have the biggest of shit fits, I swear.

@thabigred: I think Button and Perez will get along just fine. If anything, I'd like to see a good rivalry develop between the two. Maybe it's because the Mercedes deal was long in the works, but Button and Hamilton seemed to kind of do their own thing and ignore one another last year. And I wish I could say that Mercedes is looking strong from testing at Jerez but man, they spent a whoooooole lot of time in their garage trying to troubleshoot stuff.

Also, I'd like to add:

I hated the Sauber livery last year but it looks SUPER sharp this year. That and now that Hulkenberg is racing for them, I am wicked excited to see how they'll perform this year. Their pace last year was pretty astonishing considering what they had.

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#5 Posted by randiolo (1090 posts) -

Im just about to buy my grandstand tickets for Melbourne, cant fricken wait. McLaren seems to have a good package this year but im just going to say what i say every year, its Ferrari's year.

#6 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@aurahack:Yeah EVERYONE hated Sauber livery last year, god that was a terrible design. Now that I think about it, we should all watch Senna on Netflix and get teary eyed.

I remember that my dad really liked to watch racing when I was really young, but he liked NASCAR & I could never get into NASCAR so we watched F1 together. I started watching F1 the season that Aryton died, and it always stuck with me.

Man I can't wait for F1 this year. Now I'm officially excited, this trailer always gets me.

#7 Posted by 71Ranchero (2668 posts) -

I watched a bunch of the new car reveals over the week. Kinda excited about how the driver shakeup turns out and I hope Kimi takes it this year.

To be honest Im much more interested with Touring Cars(BTCC, V8 Supercars, and I guess a bit of WTCC) these days. F1 has been feeling stale for me for a few years.

#8 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@randiolo: If Ferrari can actually have a car to back up Alonso skill and Massa's improvement this year, easily, yeah. I see no reason why they couldn't pose a real threat to Red Bull this season.

@thabigred: I saw that in theatres. :o Really great documentary, even if I did start following the sport a few years past his death.

@atramentous: As a Lotus fan, I really do hope he takes it this year, too. Assuming the E21 is as good as Lotus promises this year, we could both Kimi and Grosjean on the podium far more often this season and that gets me REALLY excited.

I've always meant to start watching WTCC and stuff, too. :< It's not televised here, though, and I'm not in a bandwidth situation where I can follow all of it either. Is there a good centralised place to keep up with the sport?

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#9 Edited by 71Ranchero (2668 posts) -

@aurahack: They dont cover WTCC or BTCC in America either but fortunately I dont have the bandwidth restrictions and the races always show up on youtube in some way or another. As far as I know, because of licensing deals the only way legally that you can watch WTCC and BTCC is on the official websites but the players are region locked. I would pay them money but they wont give me the option. FIA GT and V8 Supercars are the only ones that upload full races to the official youtube channels so that silly foreigners can watch. Touring Car Times

#10 Posted by 71Ranchero (2668 posts) -

In somewhat related news, Hamilton beat Vettal and took the fasted lap time on the Top Gear test track.

#11 Posted by Optix12 (609 posts) -

@atramentous: So you're saying inside knowledge is Hamilton will be doing the same throughout this year? I hope Mercedes get a decent or at least reliable car behind Hamilton because while I kind of dislike him (standard Ferrari bias in me against Mclaren) I do accept he is a great driver when he can control his tyre wear.
Glad there is a topic for this and should be following with my money on Kimi taking it, maybe Grosjean can help if he doesn't crash any more times.

#12 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@atramentous said:

In somewhat related news, Hamilton beat Vettal and took the fasted lap time on the Top Gear test track.

Haven't watched yesterday's Top Gear yet but yeah, I heard. Excited to see the lap.

@optix12 said:

@atramentous:

So you're saying inside knowledge is Hamilton will be doing the same throughout this year? I hope Mercedes get a decent or at least reliable car behind Hamilton because while I kind of dislike him (standard Ferrari bias in me against Mclaren) I do accept he is a great driver when he can control his tyre wear.

Glad there is a topic for this and should be following with my money on Kimi taking it, maybe Grosjean can help if he doesn't crash any more times.

If Mercedes has a car this year to back Hamilton's skills, he could be the underdog this year. ... Which would be really weird, considering he's a championship holder. :|

Also man, as the self-titled Official Romain Grosjean Giant Bomb Representative™, I sincerely hope he makes less of a farce out of his midseason this year. I love the man to bits but christ, he needs to channel his willingness to go all out into control a little bit more.

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#13 Posted by Optix12 (609 posts) -

@aurahack: For the time that hes been in races hes showed some great skill and validated his position as rookie Formula 1 driver in Lotus. A stable year or two and I could see him move up to the top tier cars if Lotus don't push themselves up there.

#14 Edited by Pr1mus (3772 posts) -

I haven't followed Formula 1 in years but now i kinda want to. My ridiculous sleeping pattern right now would actually allow me to tune in in the middle of the night for the Australian and Asian races. I've never seen the Chinese track.

#15 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@optix12 said:

@aurahack: For the time that hes been in races hes showed some great skill and validated his position as rookie Formula 1 driver in Lotus. A stable year or two and I could see him move up to the top tier cars if Lotus don't push themselves up there.

He really has, which is why he continues to be my favorite current driver. When he's on top form, he has pace unlike anything I've ever seen. That, and he's always got a smile on. It's wonderful. :'D

@pr1mus said:

I haven't followed Formula 1 in years but now i kinda want to. My ridiculous sleeping pattern right now would actually allow me to tune in in the middle of the night for the Australian and Asian races. I've never seen the Chinese track.

The Chinese track is really neat. That back straight is intennnnnnnnnnnnnssssssssssssssse. Worse comes to worse, you can always catch the races later if you PVR them or acquire them "illicitly". Now's a good time to get in, too. Next year will bring new engines and regulations so this is the last time we'll see the F1 cars as they are now.

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#16 Posted by diz (905 posts) -
#17 Posted by DumbFounded (46 posts) -

Cannot wait for this season! More so than usual because im actually going to my first grand prix! *Does Happy Dance*

#18 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@diz said:

Too right - I'm not looking forward to the V6 1.6 turbo era coming in 2014. I'm just getting used to the reduction from 3 to 2.4 litre rule imposed in 2006.

As a big, long-term fan of F1, I can recommend this site for reminiscing over footage of past racing glories, including the glory-days of Lotus with Senna and Fittipaldi.

I'm pretty mixed on it. Realistically, engineering is at a point where the engine size does not necessarily matter when it comes to performance. I mean, look at McLaren's P1. The engine is split into two, with the electric part of it dealing almost 200bhp worth of power instantly. Plus, it means a new engine sound and I'm always down for that.

Cannot wait for this season! More so than usual because im actually going to my first grand prix! *Does Happy Dance*

Radical! Which one? I'm planning on going to the Montreal Grand Prix this year myself. I couldn't go last year because I was in recovery from an operation. :(

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#19 Posted by diz (905 posts) -

@aurahack said:
I'm pretty mixed on it. Realistically, engineering is at a point where the engine size does not necessarily matter when it comes to performance. I mean, look at McLaren's P1. The engine is split into two, with the electric part of it dealing almost 200bhp worth of power instantly. Plus, it means a new engine sound and I'm always down for that.

The performance will be due to the turbo, just like it was in the turbo days of the late 1970's and early-mid 80's. They restricted turbo engines down to 1.5 litres then too. The problems turbo powered F1 will have are similar to the problems that got turbos banned in the late 1980's. They were getting 1400hp in qualifying mode from a 1.5L turbo engine in those days. If there's too much restriction though, then F1 might get overtaken by lesser formulae!

That Maclaren P1 in your link has a 3.8L V8 twin turbo engine and gets most of its horsepower from that. You won't be able to hear much noise from it's electric engine. Personally, I prefer the sound of a V8 to the sound of a turbo V6 any day.

#20 Edited by Optix12 (609 posts) -

@diz: thankyou for that site link.90s F1 was awesome. Only got into it in 1997' so its cool to see some earlier years and remember some of the cars/names of that generation.
@aurahack: How much is tickets to the Canadian GP? in the UK I would have gone already but its pretty pricey

#21 Edited by Sanity (1890 posts) -

As someone who knows nothing about F1 whats the best way to get into it? I used to be big into NASCAR in the 90's before it sucked but its been awhile since i watched any sort of racing besides my own local dirt track stuff i see on occasion. What station are they broadcast on in the US?

#22 Posted by kortex (444 posts) -

Sebastian will kick ass. at least that's what i'm hoping for.

#23 Posted by DumbFounded (46 posts) -

@dumbfounded said:

Cannot wait for this season! More so than usual because im actually going to my first grand prix! *Does Happy Dance*

Radical! Which one? I'm planning on going to the Montreal Grand Prix this year myself. I couldn't go last year because I was in recovery from an operation. :(

Spanish GP, Barcelona! I'm in the UK and its near enough the same price as going to the British GP!

#24 Posted by skittles (156 posts) -

Just checking in! Glad to see there's an F1 thread this year, hopefully it stays active throughout the season.

I'll be at the Australian Grand Prix for the second year in a row this year. Can't wait!

#25 Posted by AndieK (23 posts) -

I'm hoping that Kimi can continue his successful comeback. Lotus are looking pretty good in pre-season testing, so it's definitely not impossible.

#26 Posted by Optix12 (609 posts) -

Seeing as I didnt want to make a completely new thread and it would relate to you guys the most, HUKD pointed me to a steam sale happening all week for F1 2012 at £8.49 (probably around $11) to mark the start of the season. Il probably be getting this tonight or tomorrow as thats a pretty good price.

#27 Posted by Pr1mus (3772 posts) -

Good news! My sleep pattern is still so messed up at the moments that i'll be able to catch the first couple Grand Prix live! Been a couple years since i haven't followed F1 seriously but now seems like a good time to dive back in.

#28 Posted by XenoNick (1390 posts) -

Pretty psyched for this weekend. I hope we have a really good close race in Melbourne. In terms on my hopes for the season, I really hope Vettel doesn't win the tittle again, he is a great driver and seems like a decent guy (when he's getting his way at least) but his dominance has made the last two seasons a bit boring in the final stages. Will be interesting to see how Mercedes do to see if Lewis made the right move. Since I'm a Button fan I would like to see him win too =].

#29 Edited by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

We all fucking know Vettel will win. The question is who is going to get second this season.

F1 got boring as fuck once that kid got in. The fuck is up with this kid? Respect your elders and let them win, the races get boring as shit when Vettel is always in first.

#30 Edited by McShank (1629 posts) -

We all fucking know Vettel will win. The question is who is going to get second this season.

F1 got boring as fuck once that kid got in. The fuck is up with this kid? Respect your elders and let them win, the races get boring as shit when Vettel is always in first.

Respect your elders? Do you honestly understand the sport is about winning and being the best? I would respect my elders by trying to be the best and to become a legend just like many have become before him. Sure, he wins alot but is that not the mark of a great driver / team? I personally would have let schumacher win last year in his retirement race *again* but that is just me. Otherwise I would have gone all out as I dont watch the sport to see someone let others win because they are known by more people or have been around longer. Reason I watch Tour De France.

Also what station is covering it this year as Speed is no longer doing it :(

#31 Posted by Rokkaku (221 posts) -

Although I'm from the UK, and should be wanting Lewis or Jensen to win the championship (I still want them to do well!), I really hope Alonso wins this time around. He really is the best pure driver in the field, combining consistency with a competitive instinct that makes for success that is also entertaining to watch (ahem, Vettel, Schumacher...) He had no business fighting for the title last season, and I really hope Ferrari has done right by him with the car this time around. I think the sport would really benefit from Vettel NOT winning it this year. But it's up to the other teams to build a car that can beat him/Newey I guess...

#32 Edited by Krataur (337 posts) -

@mcshank: NBC Sports Network in the US.

This is only my second year following F1, but I'm already sick of seeing Vettel win. I've been a fan of Kimi since I started watching, though. I hope he and Lotus get some more wins this year. Seeing Grosjean get one would also be great, or even just stop crashing so much...

#33 Posted by Mister_V (1170 posts) -

I wouldn't mind if Alonso won, but I hope they give Massa a fair shot as well. That said, I will be supporting JB and Webber, (and Lewis to a certain extent though it can be hard at times) I can't wait till Sunday!

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#34 Edited by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

@mcshank: Y

ou telling me that last season was just as action packed as the seasons before Vettel started driving? How would you feel if NY Giants won the superbowl ever year? This shit gets boring.

We get it, Vettel has beyond human reflexes and timing. Vettel can see shit seconds before it happens. He proved he's the best F1 racer in the history of the sport more than likely. There won't be another Vettel for maybe a decade or two.

Shit, the kid can retire next season and have more on his wall of awards than the majority of drivers.

EDIT: Watch it online. There's sites up that I can't post here because mods get their feelings hurt.

#35 Posted by Mister_V (1170 posts) -

@kaosangel: The last four seasons have been some of the best i have seen. Back when Schumacher was winning every race, Now that was boring! Sure Vettel has won the last 3 on the bounce, But they have been close. He hasn't been winning them with half of the season left. As for being the best in the sport ever, He has a long way to go to prove that. He is on form and has Adrian Newey making the best cars on the grid. Either one of these things can change.

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#36 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

@mister_v: That is true that anything can happen but if Vettel keeps going at the pace he's going for the next few years...then that kid earned himself some serious shit.

#37 Posted by Mister_V (1170 posts) -

@kaosangel: Well yeah, But only so much of that is down to him. At a certain point it's up the the other teams to build better cars. Look at last year. McLaren probably had the fasted car for most of the season, but where dogged by mechanical issues throughout, And how many pitstops did they fuck up?

If they had there shit together who knows how it would have turned out.

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#38 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

FREE PRACTICE 1! :'D!!! Here's a link to watch if you have no other options right now.

Also my apologies for the absence. :< Been very busy with school. I can't wait to talk with you all though, now that the season has official started!

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#39 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@aurahack: It's alright bro, I've been busy myself with school. Man Melbourne is a beautiful city, I hope the weather stays like this. The track needs some work, I hope they can clean it up some more before the race.

#40 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@granderojo: It does seem mad dirty, doesn't it! Hopefully it does get cleaned up. So many new cars! So many new drivers! So many new performances! Eeeeee this is so exciting.

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#41 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

FP1 over! It seems tire degradation will be as prominent a topic this year as it was at the start of last year. That might be due in partial to the rather dusty condition of the track but a lot of drivers seemed to be struggling to keep their rear tires in control. Especially so for Lotus :( Kimi was fighting, like, every corner past turn 8.

It's also cool to see Hamilton and Rosberg have some kind of decent pace. I'd really like for Mercedes to be at the full performance this season as opposed to the cruel joke they were last season.

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#42 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@aurahack: It might actually be better if there was some rain a day or so before the race just to clean it off lol. Yeah it was pretty bad.

@kaosangel:@mister_v: My biggest problem with Vettel & Red Bull isn't that they're so successful but with the other teams that they've allowed them to get to this point. Really I think Ferrari & Mercedes and a lot of the more traditional teams are too worried about rivalries when they should be worried about the championship. I don't know that's totally the impression I get from the drivers racing & their general attitude.

#43 Edited by cclemon36 (180 posts) -

@granderojo: I guess you get what you ask for sometimes. :)

Excited for the rest of the Qs and race tomorrow. I was happy to see Bottas get into Q2 and above all, best his teammate. Williams looks quite lackluster otherwise.

#44 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -

So I can't say I'm into F1 or anything, but I live in Melbourne and every time I drive back Albert Park - the noise from there is AWESOME.

#45 Edited by Fattony12000 (6948 posts) -

I like brum brums.

#46 Posted by Benny (1947 posts) -

Going to be a pretty crazy race day considering how much racing gets done and how little time they have to analyse and strategise between Qualy and the actual race. This is of course when Formula 1 is at its best.

#47 Posted by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@benny: Considering the pace some just showed in Q2 and Q3, (see: Mercedes) I'm excited to see this as well.

@zero_: You and @buzz_clik should have a party amidst this awful weather!

@cclemon36: I'd really like to see Maldonado be less of an asshole this season. :s He has a lot of skill but I just can't get excited when he shows so little respect for the other drivers. Bottas seems like he's got the talent to make up for Williams' shortcomings though, yeah.

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#48 Posted by Benny (1947 posts) -

@aurahack: Who are your top drivers in terms of skill? I'd say Hamilton / Alonso tied for best, with Robert Kubica and Raikkonen rounding out the mega talented drivers in my opinion. None of them are driving a red bull though, so we'll probably see a Vettel championship again before the big change in engine regulations comes into effect. From that point on it's presumably Hamilton, since he joined Mercedes with the intent of being at the best team for the 2014 season.

#49 Edited by aurahack (2264 posts) -

@benny: Hamilton and Alonso are definitely near the top, along with Kubica, yeah. Vettel is equally as skilled, (if not more) especially in the seat of the RB8/RB9, but has less of an ability to surprise. I think recently, though, Grosjean, Perez, and Hulkenberg are my go-tos for drivers to look out for. When at their best, all three perform astoundingly well.

2014 will be interesting as hell, that's for sure. Funnily enough, though, I'm WAY more excited about the rumors of Honda returning as an engine supplier for McLaren in 2015 over entirely new engines.

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#50 Posted by Icemo (640 posts) -

"I told you it was a good car."