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Old 04-11-2003, 11:44 AM   #1
gtguy
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Default F1: Three races, two first-time winners. Vindication of the rules or not?

I just realized that in this topsy-turvy F1 season, we have had two first-time winners (Fisichella and Raikkonen), and with three races run, Fisichella is leading Michael Schumacher by two points in the drivers' standings.

What an absolute riot.

So, is this a vindication of the new rules, or have the first three races just been so crazy, that anything could have happened even had the old rules been in place.

I have to think not, because had things been the old way, Schumacher would have been on pole, and would have had the opportunity to change tires in Australia, so he would have driven off.

In Malaysia again, he almost certainly would have been on pole, and would have most likely driven off, as Ferrari still has the fastest car, despite driver (and tactical) errors.

In Brazil, the wet conditions would have meant that again, he would have been on pole. The Michelin runners would have closed up, and perhaps even passed him, but once the line began to become less sodden, Schumacher would have passed them, and checked out, rather than having to press so hard that he made an error.

Now, does this mean that the new rules are right? In my opinion, no, because they have made the show better, but artificially. Not to take anything away from this year's winners, but they've won because for whatever reason, Ferrari is having a difficult time dealing with the new rules setup, which is their own fault.

The question now is, what next?

Kevin
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Old 04-11-2003, 12:29 PM   #2
Fred Zaplitny
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IMO there is no real set of 'perfect' rules, but I shure like what I've seen thus far. I cannot wait for the traction control and automatic gearboxes to go away next year. You think this year has been crazy!
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Old 04-11-2003, 03:33 PM   #3
scotto
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It's all vastly more entertaining thus far! Schumi has been an excellent driver in the rain - he just blew it along with many others in Brazil. He has to raise his level on his own, not wait for a challenge from someone else to show others up - in qualifying. Tires seem more equitable this year. Almost seems like Michael isn't as motivated...

Looking forward to the races more than last year!
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by scotto
Almost seems like Michael isn't as motivated...
That's just what I was thinking, Scotto. There was that suggestion raised at the beginning of the season, but Schumacher pooh-poohed it.

I have to admit, it was really funny to see the parking lot when car after car whacked the wall in the same spot. The Pizzonia crash, as he pirouetted and wound up parked right beside Montoya, was hilarious. Wonder if they chatted.

"So, what brings you here?"

Kevin
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:32 PM   #5
10th Warrior
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basic statistics need to be remembered. there is currently a sample size of 3. when one has a small sample size you must be very careful about drawing conclusions with any degree of confidence. one abnormal result can really change the picture. you need a large sample size to reduce the pull of an outlier. for example, after 2 auto-xs here, i find myself at the top of the heap. does this mean i'm the best driver here? no, it means we've only had two events and luck has gone my way. i'm pretty sure that over the course of the next 11 events, my name will drop down the rankings as things normalize. that being said, drawing conclusions about the F1 rules changes is even more confounded thanks to the weather. patience grasshopper
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:34 PM   #6
scotto
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Good place to discuss the merits of Brazilian Biers and where to go get a couple!

Weber saved it beautifully through there!

That crash, yellow flags, and high speed slalom, was a bit unecessary; I thought I was seeing replays, but it was car after car after car. Nascar-ish (ducking)
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:59 PM   #7
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It's very hard to say if the rule changes are the major factor in the results thus far. I believe they certainly have played a role, especially in affecting qualifying positions.

We haven't had a clean race yet though, without other extenuating circumstances aside from the rule changes. It appears the Red cars are still the quickest; remember, even w/ Schumi's crash, Reubens would have likely won without mechanical/fuel problems.

Either way, the first few races this season have been much more entertaining to watch, and I'm saying that as a Ferrari fan. Too bad Fisi didn't get his rightful podium celebration, but a win is a win after all I suppose.

As for the rules being "artificial", I'm not so sure how I feel about that yet. I mean, is the new system any more artificial than cars with special "qualifying engines", qualifying tires, qualifying setup, etc...? Or is it just different? I'm even inclined to consider that it's less artifical now, because qualifying strategy now impacts the race you run to a much greater degree, beyond just where you start on the grid. You could also argue that's not the purpose of qualifying, and I can see that point too.
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:38 PM   #8
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I think it's time to break up McLaren. They've been too dominant this year. Makes the races boring to watch.

Seriously, I think that the new rules have had something to do with the interesting season so far. I think that the biggest deal is leaving the cars in parc fermee after qualifying. Keeps those red mechanics from testing, re-testing, re-testing until their cars are perfect.

I must say, however, that I miss the 12 lap qualifying. Watching Montoya and Schumacher best each other over and over each qualifying last year was far more exciting than the one lappers this year.

You can take this to the bank though: there will be red cars on the top of the podium yet this year.
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