Daily: 21st May 2011

21 May, 2011 at 00:01 (GMT+01:00)

By Stuart Taylor

Sidepodcast F1: Waste not, want not - the new ethos os F1

Credit: Stuart Taylor

Waste not, want not - the new ethos os F1

It's Qualifying Saturday! We're at Barcelona and on any normal year we'd expect Saturday to be the most exciting part of the weekend before sleepily watching the cars drive 60 laps stuck behind each other on Sunday. But this year, things are different - people can overtake! People are actually looking forward to the race! No, friends, you are not dreaming - this is really happening.

This Weekend In F1

  • Lewis Hamilton Talks Spanish: In a further attempt to charm Spanish fans, Lewis Hamilton has appeared on a Spanish talk show. Lewis was invited to the fictional village of Crinkley Culo where he was forced into a glass cabinet by the show's mascot, Señor Blobby and gunged by the show's host.
  • Super Long DRS Zone: Despite concerns in Turkey that the DRS zone had been constructed as to make overtaking a little too easy, the Spanish race will have the longest zone of all. The drivers will be allowed to use their DRS for the entire length of the pit straight, though the zone follows a long, fast right-hander so the cars won't be tucked up together as they were in Turkey. If the F1 2010 game is anything to go by, all the cars will have crashed out at turn 15 anyway.
  • Webber on top in Friday Practice: Mark Webber needs to start putting Vettel in his place soon before his "Number Two Driver" status becomes more than just a biting irony. He slammed to the top of both practice sessions to show his speed, but we know Vettel always has something up his sleeve - notably his pointy index finger.
  • Teams could protest blown diffusers: The FIA have made it clear that they still consider the off-throttle blown diffuser to be outside of the regulations, despite not formally revising the regulations. But then, apparently they consider flexing wings outside of the regulations but that hasn't stopped one team...
  • Hard Tyre Debuts: Pirelli have brought their hard tyre to a race for the first time, and the drivers aren't happy. Apparently the tyre is 'hard to drive' and 'a real struggle', so the poor drivers might have to work hard for their million dollar salaries. I'm sure most of the GP2 drivers wouldn't mind being on the hard tyre in an F1 race this weekend if the current pilots aren't ready for it.

This Time Last Year

  • Webber Dominates Monaco: Mark Webber wins brilliantly at Monaco to take the lead of the championship; many are starting to wonder why Vettel yet to establish himself in the championship yet; Button loses his lead in the championship after McLaren leave a bung in his air intake.
  • Tyre Bid down to Michelin and Pirelli: Stefano Domenicali admits that Pirelli and Michelin are the only serious choices for the 2011 tyre supply, dismissing Avon-Cooper. Can you believe they still hadn't sorted the tyre supplier, this time last year? I admit, I was in favour of Michelin at the time, but I'm very happy with Pirelli.
  • Lotus "ready to fight established teams": After a great performance in Monace, Heikki Kovalainen says Lotus were ready to step up and start making moves on the established teams. One year on and they still have yet to make any real headway, though they are getting closer...

This Time Next Year

  • Massa: "HRT Ready to push into Q2": Hispania driver Felipe Massa says the team is ready to start getting through to the second session of qualifying. "We are now only one second away from the Toro Rosso. This could be our season."
  • "Schumacher needs to find his feet": Ross Brawn says people need to give Michael Schumacher time to get into the rhythm of F1. "Don't forget, he was away for three years. You shouldn't expect him to be on winning form straight away." Schumacher is currently 87 points behind championship leader, Rosberg.
  • Williams concerned by lack of pace: Frank Williams has expressed concerns about the pace of the Williams car. He insists that there are fundamental engineering problems with the FW34 and that it has nothing to do with his star drivers, Bill Gates and The Sultan of Brunai.

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