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#9551 Edited by Shindig (4715 posts) -

Yeah, I'm trying to dial it in but it's caught between arcade and sim in an awkward spot. I'm on PS4, sadly so I can't crash into you. So far the reviews have been positive too, which makes me wonder what's up with me. Probably the first racer in a decade where I'm needing to spend time learning the tracks.

EDIT: Yeah, learn the tracks, stay upright and you'll be fine.

McLaren are going to be fun to watch this year. Mercedes have been pretty quiet in testing. Not sure if there's much to gauge from that.

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#9552 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

Here's your annual MotoGP reminder. It all starts this weekend with the night race at Losail, Qatar. Reigning champion Mark Marquez will remain the favourite because he's too scared to try another bike. Probably.

New faces to the grid include Franco Morbidelli who stormed to the Moto2 championship last year with some great race craft. Runner up Tom Luhti also finally moved up after 12 years of Moto2. Hafizh Sayahrin becomes a late replacement for Jonas Folger who has decided to take a year's sabbatical from the sport. Last year saw him reach two Moto2 podiums. Takaaki Nakagami moves up from Moto2 with LCR Honda.

Joan Mir should be fun to watch alongside teammate Alex Marquez in Moto2. Joan was coasting Moto3 last year and barely put a foot wrong. Looking through some of the rider changes, I'm saddened to see Juanfran Guevara hang his gloves up at 22 for family reasons. Sadly, no female representation on the grid, barring wildcard entries.

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#9553 Edited by diz (1394 posts) -

@shindig: I was hoping Stoner would return this year to knock Marquez off his perch. Do you know why 9 out of the 24 are Spanish?

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#9554 Edited by Shindig (4715 posts) -

Spain is where the talent is nurtured. The ones that are good enough stay in the top class and are joined by more who win the smaller classes.

  • Marquez - reigning champion
  • Vinales - former Moto2 champion
  • Lorenzo - multiple world championships
  • Pedrosa - Company man and multiple runner-up
  • Bautista - Former 125cc world champion and 250cc runner-up
  • Pol Espargaro - former Moto2 champion
  • Rins - Moto3 and Moto2 runner-up
  • Rabat - Former Moto2 champion

And then you have Spanish bases, Spanish principals, etc. Testing is always in Spain and there's four races on the calendar. So it's infrastructure too. Let's not discount Italy. Ducati pour big money into bringing bikes to the grid and plenty of riders.

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#9555 Posted by MachoFantastico (6630 posts) -

Finding it so hard to get excited for the new Formula One season. Can't remember the last time I was so uninterested in the sport. Haven't even been keeping up with testing.. what's wrong with me. Probably doesn't help that the cars look absolutely awful this year. Hopefully I'll feel a little more optimistic at some point.

That said I've been really enjoying the Formula E Championship so far. Some great racing and I'm excited for the future of that championship.

This year I might actually watch a lot more Indy Car, plus BTCC rarely disappoints when it comes to great racing so there is some great looking racing to look forward to.

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#9557 Posted by JohnLocke (748 posts) -

@machofantastico: Have you seen the first Indy Car race last weekend, its gets pretty interesting. I will not say more for those who have yet to see it.

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#9558 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

Stadium Super Trucks is daft.

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#9559 Posted by cclemon36 (213 posts) -

Formula 1 posted a 2018 season kickoff video, which is pretty sweet:

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#9560 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

And that's why I'll stick with Liberty Media's highlights.

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#9561 Posted by diz (1394 posts) -

I just saw my first stadium super trucks this week. What a race format!

I'll be watching the F1 season under protest, with a strip of electrical tape running down the middle of my TV screen.

Worryingly (for me), I don't recognise F1 at all from that official video.

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#9562 Posted by Ludditus (11 posts) -

FYI, the league code for #AltF1 Memorial League on FantasyGP.com is 382180.

No phone app this year, everything is on the site.

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#9563 Posted by MachoFantastico (6630 posts) -

Tried watching some FP1 and FP2 this morning. I'll be honest the on-board cameras look absolutely abysmal, how the FIA or whoever couldn't come up with a better camera setup is beyond me. I'll give the Aussie race a go but this might be the first year in a long long time I choose to ignore Formula One. Much more excited for BTCC, Indy Car and V8's this year.

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#9564 Posted by diz (1394 posts) -

@machofantastico: That's hilarious. It shows the careful thought and clear-headed planning that went into the halo and in sexing up F1 in general.

No Caption Provided

Motogp looks like it will be very close this year, judging by Qatar. Don't forget it's only 40 days odd until the TT. Someone's also thrown up a load of full-length F1 (Jim Rosenthal era) on Youtube from the 1990s, so it's not all bad.

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#9565 Posted by Erik (423 posts) -

Well, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his 5th WDC! But seriously though, I'll give it a couple of races but if the qualifier is an indication of the season ahead I'm out...

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#9566 Posted by gkhan (985 posts) -

It's a shame Bottas crashed out, it would have been really interesting to see his time compared to Hamilton's. I'm not worried yet, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were fairly close throughout qualifying until Hamilton's final lap. And that final lap was just a monster performance from Lewis, he beat his previous first sector time by almost half a second. That's not the car, that's Lewis Hamilton (who's pretty decent at this "driving cars" thing) perfectly clicking on every level.

Incidentally: i like the new graphics. The lower-case "a" on the font is an abomination, but I feel like there's a lot more information presented in a clear way. It's also nice that they highlight which driver the camera is following on the board, I can imagine that being very helpful for people new to the sport.

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#9567 Posted by redwing42 (456 posts) -

I feel like the mid-field will be absolutely insane this season, with points based largely around which car suits which track best. 7-16 should all be up for grabs every week. I'm also curious if Hamilton will be able to hold off Ferrari and Red Bull during races, as opposed to just quali, though he certainly has been able to in the past.

The halo doesn't really bother me, aside from the onboard camera. What does bother me is that I can't get on-demand through ESPN like I could through NBC Sports in the past. Apparently they dropped that functionality for DirecTV users a few months ago. That was a disappointing discovery this morning.

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#9568 Posted by Ben_H (4123 posts) -

@erik said:

Well, congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on his 5th WDC! But seriously though, I'll give it a couple of races but if the qualifier is an indication of the season ahead I'm out...

I'd be curious to know how close it would have been had Vettel not made a mistake on his second lap (or if he hadn't made a mistake in the last sector of his first lap). He said in the interviews that he tried late braking a corner and ended up messing the corner up, which would have compromised the rest of his lap. But then again, this just looked like one of those qualifying sessions that happens a few times a season where Hamilton just magically dominated everyone. Even Rosberg said after qualifying that when he was teammates with Hamilton, every once in a while Hamilton would pull off laps so fast that Rosberg couldn't figure out how he did it.

But yeah, this looks kinda ominous. If Mercedes is as dominant this year as they were in 2016, I can't see myself watching every race live. Though, keep in mind Vettel was behind half a second in qualifying last year and he won the race. Also, Red Bull's race pace is pretty good too.

Kimi's qualifying seemed to go way better than I thought it would. He still seems to have it when it comes to qualifying. Now let's see if his race pace is any better than last year. He always seemed to keep up with Vettel in qualifying and then fall behind in the race.

That Haas pace seemed legit. It seems like the midfield is going to be insane this year and that Force India might be in big trouble.

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#9569 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

@diz: Just caught the Qatar races. I'm not used to MotoGP having that many in a leading group. Shows the grid up nicely. Credit to Alex Marquez keeping shit together when his rear brake jammed on in Moto2.

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#9570 Posted by diz (1394 posts) -

@shindig: I'll have to re-watch that - I skipped the moto2 through impatience. The main event has turned into a really tight formula and the season looks great. I was impressed when Dovi said he was anticipating the Marquez lunge at the last corner and had prepared his answer for it. Rossi is still up in there and Cal Crutchlow was showing how fast he is when he doesn't drop it. I've heard rumours of a mass migration of F1 fans to motoGP, through the often hilarious BBC comments section. Come on, Bradders!

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#9571 Posted by blackblade500 (695 posts) -

While I enjoy having F1 in the US on ESPN now, I do miss the crew from NBC Sports Network, they were super good at getting a American audience up to date on F1 stuff. Also K-Mag having engine failure after running good for the first 22 laps really blows

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#9572 Posted by frytup (1088 posts) -

The commercials on ESPN are making this unwatchable. At least with the NBC production they were tailoring their commentary to the breaks so they'd know when to recap, but with ESPN just grabbing Sky's commentary feed you miss a ton of stuff with very little explanation as to what happened.

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#9573 Posted by PDXSonic (531 posts) -

@frytup said:

The commercials on ESPN are making this unwatchable. At least with the NBC production they were tailoring their commentary to the breaks so they'd know when to recap, but with ESPN just grabbing Sky's commentary feed you miss a ton of stuff with very little explanation as to what happened.

This. They should just go commercial free just like their soccer coverage.

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#9574 Posted by blackblade500 (695 posts) -

@pdxsonic: @frytup: Yep there were multiple times were they would come back in mid thought and I would have no idea what the Sky Sports guys were even talking about

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#9575 Posted by Syce300 (244 posts) -

Totally agree with everyone else on the ESPN coverage. It's especially great when you'll see someone's radio graphic come on only to have it cut to commercial before you can hear!

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#9576 Posted by ajamafalous (13781 posts) -

@frytup said:

The commercials on ESPN are making this unwatchable. At least with the NBC production they were tailoring their commentary to the breaks so they'd know when to recap, but with ESPN just grabbing Sky's commentary feed you miss a ton of stuff with very little explanation as to what happened.

Exactly how I felt as well. I also vastly preferred the NBC commentary team to Sky's, but regardless, just missing what happened during the commercial break without it being recapped on return like NBC would is really awful.

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#9577 Posted by TwistedMerc94 (96 posts) -

Yup, the ESPN coverage was terrible. Honestly, there were two Papa Johns commercial in the same break. TWO!

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#9578 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

They should probably just do them banner ad style like Fox do with their MotoGP coverage. The race is interrupted but occasionally you get a distracting Honda advert. Live sport can't be interrupted like that.

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#9579 Posted by Wraithtek (424 posts) -

@frytup said:

The commercials on ESPN are making this unwatchable. At least with the NBC production they were tailoring their commentary to the breaks so they'd know when to recap, but with ESPN just grabbing Sky's commentary feed you miss a ton of stuff with very little explanation as to what happened.

Plus coverage ended immediately after the podium interviews. Cut abruptly to commercial before Webber had left the stage, then back to their regular ESPN programming.

No recap of the race, no drivers/constructors standings, no post-race interviews, nothing. I assume Sky broadcasts all that stuff, but ESPN viewers certainly didn't get any.

While I had no real problem with Sky's content here, ESPN's presentation of it is certainly a step down from what we were getting with NBCSN.

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#9580 Posted by druv (228 posts) -

I honestly got a bit teary-eyed at the final bit of the Best of Team Radio video F1 put up:

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It's Fernando Alonso after getting P5, a better position than he got all last year, sounding downright hopeful.

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#9581 Posted by Phos (56 posts) -

Wow, I know I said I thought Haas would be fast this year, but it seems like they're the fourth fastest team, behind red bull.

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#9582 Posted by TakFR (12 posts) -

Any news on the Shift+F1 podcast for the upcoming Bahrain or Post-Australia race? They're probably busy with their other projects but it'd be nice to get some information about it

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#9583 Edited by diz (1394 posts) -

Has anyone else heard about the business with Scott Speed and iracing? (I may be a bit late to hear this, myself.) Scott was an F1 and NASCAR driver for a while and recently was a figurehead for the iRacing sim, where he also raced a lot. He developed a reputation as quite a vengeful driver and picked on the wrong person a few weeks ago. A Twitch iRacing streamer was set upon by Scott and repeatedly rammed off the track during a race, while being viewed by over 1000 people. In iRacing, crashing is strictly verboten, and you can get disqualified for going off track once too often - the rules are harsh so the racing can be real. This ramming footage went a bit viral, then other clips surfaced over Scott's hot-headed shenanigans. I think the most recent development is that he's put his sim racing stuff up for sale and said he'll return to "real racing" instead!

There are some good races done in iRacing and I've only recently started watching them on Youtube to get my fill of motorsport, now F1's off the boil. I hear the enticing call of an expensive racing wheel singing to me. Anyone else have a nice wheel?

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#9584 Posted by Shindig (4715 posts) -

I heard it a month or two back. Statistically, he seems alright but I think because of his position within iRacing, he's been suspended. Here's one thing I gather from watching hours of sim racing: only 1% of them can actually string together a clean race.

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#9585 Posted by diz (1394 posts) -

True enough, but there are a surprising (to me) number of real racers (i.e. Scott and Nicki Thiim for 2) who also use iRacing for practice. The usual "irace" I watch starts off with best intentions, but soon descends into acrimony, then tight-lipped concentration to recover places lost. I think this format could become a huge "esport" in the future, especially if the entire race could be broadcast and commentated on centrally. Does this ever happen?

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#9586 Posted by TakFR (12 posts) -
Loading Video...

For anyone who wants to see the best video covering his antics on iRacing

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#9587 Posted by druv (228 posts) -

After 49 races without a point, Marcus Eriksson places 9th!

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#9588 Posted by redwing42 (456 posts) -

So, the ESPN coverage was much better today... since they just went commercial free for the full 2 hours. Not sure how they worked that out, but I'm not complaining. Fun race as well. Looking like it may be a fun season throughout.

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#9589 Posted by Ben_H (4123 posts) -

It happened. It finally happened. Mercedes isn't invincible anymore. Two races in a row of getting beat in qualifying. And not just that. Mercedes got beat straight up at one of their strongest tracks. They have got pole at China every year since 2012. This was one of the races I had written off as being a win for Mercedes but now it's hard to say if they'll have a chance. They just didn't look fast. And this was a track they were supposed to be strong at.

Kimi seemed gutted not getting pole again. He's been so close twice in a row now. He had the fastest two first sectors. I imagine he'll get first sometime soon. Off by less than a tenth yet again. I can't see Ferrari not keeping him if he keeps this up. Coming into the season he looked way more fit this year than last year. Verstappen's already under contract, Bottas is inconsistent and sometimes slower, Hamilton wouldn't go to Ferrari with Vettel there. The only person left is Ricciardo, but it's tough to say how he would do. He did beat Vettel in 2014 but he hasn't seemed as strong the last little bit.

It's weird watching new F1 and not knowing roughly what's gonna happen in the race. It's been so predictable the last couple years other than a few races last year.

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#9590 Posted by rethla (3722 posts) -

@ben_h: Kimi is impressive in qualifying at best but i cant really see him delivering the whole package come race and consistency.

Nice to see Marcus finally getting some points in, hes driving is top notch as always but finally he got some points to back it up with.

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#9591 Edited by Ben_H (4123 posts) -

Whatever I said before about Ricciardo, I take it all back. Holy moly.

What an amazing race. It seemed like it would be boring at first but now it's nuts. That Red Bull strategy is absolutely insane.

edit: Verstappen needs to get seriously penalized. He blames everyone else for all his dumb moves. Now he ruined Vettel's race and his own.

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#9592 Edited by MachoFantastico (6630 posts) -

Stupid stupid move by Max, he needs to calm down a bit.

*Edit: 10 second time penalty, right call from the stewards. He needs to learn.

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#9593 Posted by Syce300 (244 posts) -

Oh man this race is super cathartic as a Ricciardo fan these last few years! And yeah Verstappen seems to be having a rough start to the year. Maybe a couple penalties will be enough to change his attitude a bit.

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#9594 Posted by Ben_H (4123 posts) -

@syce300 said:

Oh man this race is super cathartic as a Ricciardo fan these last few years! And yeah Verstappen seems to be having a rough start to the year. Maybe a couple penalties will be enough to change his attitude a bit.

It is. I said he seemed not as strong lately but thinking back to the end of last season and the start of this one, he's had pretty bad luck with engine issues. They said he'd only finished 2 out of the last 6 races.

It feels like some type of more serious penalty needs to be done to Verstappen if he does this. Between all his dumb passing attempts that have ruined not just his own race, but those of others, it feels like something needs to be done to reign him in. When he first moved up to Red Bull it was kinda neat to see him do that stuff, but 2 years later he needs to stop being so reckless. It's one thing to make a questionable pass attempt, but it's another to go for gaps that clearly aren't there and then go on the radio and blame the person you crashed into. He did that last race. He did it several times last year too.

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#9595 Edited by Phos (56 posts) -

And people don't believe me when I rate ricciardo above verstappen.

Seems like Ferrari tried to use Raikkonen to help vettel and it backfired, and that was before verstappen drove into vettel.

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#9596 Posted by PDXSonic (531 posts) -

Red Bull had the perfect combination of luck and strategy to finish 1-2, but Verstappen's impatience and agressiveness cost them.

On the other hand Ferrari gambeled and lost big time. Vettel caused some of his problems by closing off his teammate on Turn 1 and costing them P2 right off the bat.

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#9597 Posted by redwing42 (456 posts) -

Surprised to see Vettel and Verstappen both being pretty understanding about the contact. Ferrari race strategy was bad, even without the safety car. Red Bull with two double stops were really fantastic. Announcers were pretty bad in this race, I thought. They were really harping on Vettel losing out to Bottas because of a poor stop, but he was in and out in 2.8s, while they had called a 3.8s stop by another driver earlier as "very steady."

In any case, more of this please. Great start to the season.

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#9598 Edited by diz (1394 posts) -

No idea why the safety car call came out as the first 2 cars were going past the pits. Yes it's good there was overtaking, but it was all down to strategy, a three tyre choice and an unfair safety car call (over debris on track).

Raikkonen's words after the race were troubling - that the upped aero this year does not allow for close racing. They echo Ross Brawn's assessment after Australia.

If you think what Verstappen did was bad, you should check out Marquez at the thrilling Argentina MotoGP last week!

I read that next year F1 will go fully pay to view, aside from some national races. For UK viewers, the new F1 streaming service (coming soon™) will not be available because of the Sky monopoly. I notice the Channel 4 coverage solicits even more teeth grinding from me now - I'd imagine because the presenters know their game is up and are all demob-happy. I guess it serves me right too.

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#9599 Posted by Ben_H (4123 posts) -

@diz said:

Raikkonen's words after the race were troubling - that the upped aero this year does not allow for close racing. They echo Ross Brawn's assessment after Australia.

If you saw any of the onboard camera shots from his car or anything from when he was near Bottas in corners, it's 100% clear how big of an issue it is. There were several times where they'd show him try and approach Bottas' car going through a medium or higher speed corner and his car looked like it was going to fishtail and the rear would start sliding. Several drivers have said recently that the only way to pass an equal car right now is DRS or a massive difference in tire grip (like Red Bull had).

Horner's dig at Ferrari in response to the question about where Ricciardo will be in future was pretty savage. He's not wrong though.