Monday, 3 November 2008

Lewis Hamilton Wins the F1 Championship

Photo: From

Finally after all the trials and tribulations over the last two years, Lewis Hamilton has won the F1 championship title. It's been a long way coming and is well deserved. In my opinion Hamilton should've won the title several races back and would've had there not been some extremely harsh calls by the FIA and the field marshalls. One does however have to wonder what went on with Timo Glock - the conspiracy theorists will be having a field day with this one - was it because of the tires? Was it because Ron Dennis radioed him to pay him off (no way in hell I think but it's already been suggested) or was it because Timo had nothing to gain by beating Lewis and did a chivalrous thing? We will never know... Either way Lewis deserved the win and I believe the best driver did win. I feel for Filipe Massa as well - a really nice guy that did everything right and that still wasn't enough.

The fact that for the last three years the championship has come down to the final race is both a credit to Bernie Ecclestones orchestration of the show that is F1 and also somewhat damning to the overall fairness to the teams and drivers. Come next year the rules will be changing quite dramatically. All the cars will have the same engines which are designed to run for half the season and they are returning to using full slick tires. A large number of aerodynamic changes are coming into effect as well. This can only be a good thing for the sport as it will close the gap between the teams that had the money and the experience like Ferrari and Mclaren-Mercedes and those that don't like Force-India-Ferrari and Super Aguri-Honda. It will make it much more of a drivers sport and less of a constructors sport.

The old grooved tires - originally designed to slow cars down.
Photo: From

The new slicks - these have significantly more grip than the grooved tires.Photo: From

This is a breakdown of the new rules:

- A change in the size of the cars: The maximum width will increase from 1800mm to 2000mm, with the minimum width being 1980mm. The wheels will also increase in size, from 355mm to 365mm at the front, and from 380mm to 460mm.

- A change to the weight: To accommodate the energy recovery systems, the minimum weight of the cars is increasing from 600kg to 605kg.

- Standard ECUs will be introduced, and Traction Control will therefore be banned. Traction Control made a come back recently because the FIA found it hard to police. But with a standardisation in the Engine Control Units, the stewards can better monitor what electronic gizmos the teams are employing.

- Lights inside the cockpit to warn drivers of flags being shown on parts of the circuits. One issue that has been going on for a while is the difficulty drivers have of seeing flags being waved on the side of the circuit when they are driving at high speed. The lights would corrospond with the flag being waved, and go out when the driver has passed the affected area.

- Pit-to-car radios must no longer be scrambled. This is probably to aid the television companies as the recent introduction of radio messages during live broadcasts has proved popular. Even Fisichella’s colourful language, although the FIA now delay the broadcast to filter out such use of words.

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