Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Jerez, 2011

Hamilton gets corner named after him

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Welcome to today’s round-up.

This morning I’m off to Goodwood to hear about their plans for the year ahead including the Festival of Speed.

I’m also going to be meeting Mika Hakkinen and being driven around Goodwood Circuit by him in a Caparo T1, which as you can imagine I’m really looking forward to!

(In case you missed it first time around, here’s an interview I did with him in January.)

Updates from Goodwood on the site later today and via Twitter.

In the meantime here’s the rest of the round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Snetterton unveils corner names for new circuit layouts (Snetterton)

Lewis Hamilton, Martin Brundle and MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer – have been honoured on the 2.99 mile 300 layout. Williams F1 founder Frank Williams and legendary commentator Murray Walker have also been included.”

Martin Brundle on Twitter

“Yes I’m made up by Snetterton corner named after me in my beloved Norfolk. Hearing ‘He’s up the inside into Brundle’ will sound painful though.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Ecclestone Faces Questioning Over F1 Bung Probe (Sky News)

“Prosecutors looking into corrupt payments made during the sale of Formula One motor racing five years ago are expected to seek to question the sport?s supremo Bernie Ecclestone as part of their investigation.”

Ecclestone says would ‘hate’ to lose Australia GP (Reuters)

“Australia is as important to us as Monaco. It’s part of the world championship and has been for an awful long time. We’d hate to think that we’re going to lose Australia.”

Sutton Images via Twitter

“The old Becketts corner kerb at the back of the grandstand and now destroyed Why? This is real history at Silverstone: http://yfrog.com/hs5fxnfj

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Donington Park race track plan could bring huge jobs boost (This is Leicestershire)

“It is hoped redevelopment work could help re-ignite ambitions to bring Formula 1 racing back to the 80-year-old circuit. The last F1 event at Donington was the 1993 European Grand Prix.”

Brawn: Exhausts impact will be big (Autosport)

“It is a significant area and maybe more significant than the double diffuser in terms of performance and of course the teams are all working with their engine partners to work out how to get the most out of the exhaust energy so that is the new interesting area of development.”

Bruno Senna, Renault, Silverstone, 2011
Bruno Senna, Renault, Silverstone, 2011

Renault via Twitter

“I just wanted to share my favourite photo of the day with you as Bruno reveals his new look for 2011.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Patrick Head’s Technical Focus (Williams)

“In the end, the six-wheeler was banned after someone in a FOCA meeting said it would drive up costs and cause chaos during pit stops. The regulations were changed to say a car could only have four wheels, of which only two could be driven.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

I tip my hat to DeadManWoking who was bang on the money about the DRS rules. Here’s his opinion on them:

I thought back in January that this is how the regulations would be put into effect which just highlights how much of a video game arcade F1 is about to become.

From the forum

Polishboy808 on innovations that changed F1.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Two years ago the FIA announced a last-minute rules change which would have seen the world championship go to the driver who won the most races.

But the rule change was scrapped just three days later.

Images ?? F1 Fanatic, Renault

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 80 comments on “Hamilton gets corner named after him”

    1. The DRS is really fabricated, but I don’t think we’ll see it being as vital as the tyres this season. Tyres are going to make this season really exciting!

      1. Agreed. I can’t see F1 being any different to last year, really, apart from the tyres. KERS didn’t really do much in 2009 for the two teams that ran it, so why should it be any different this year? Whilst F1 cars still have a front and a rear wing, passing is still going to be reasonably difficult, which is how it should be. The last thing I want to see is F1 becoming like, as mentioned in the COTD, an ‘arcade game’. But I am very confident it won’t be anything like that this year – even if that’s what the FIA wanted.

        1. If anything KERS will have less of an effet, with all the front running teams running it.

        2. Agreed. I don’t really believe the DRS or KERS is really needed. The new Pirelli tyres will not be that bad, I just think the product that Bridgestone delivered was so damn good. If I gave you a Porsche to drive after driving a McLaren F1, you would probably say the Porsche is crap.

          I welcome the Pirellis. Its good to have a variable that isn’t 100% taken care of by some supercomputer.

        3. Concur… if they really wanted to make it like an arcade game, they would do the same thing they do with the top ten cars and punish them by allowing the cars from 11th back to use the rear wing flaps as much as they want to catch up and force a race.

      2. I’m in the minority of people who don’t really mind it. It’s a bit artifical, but until they figure out a way of stopping the turbulent air effect, it’s a decent stopgap.

        It’s pretty tedious- and even slightly unfair- when a driver gets stuck behind a slower car, not through any real fault of his own, but because of a complex aerodynamic process which he can do nothing about

        I think we’ll have to wait and see. If cars can simply breeze past each other down the straights then it’ll be a disaster. But if it merely gives drivers a helping hand to make a pass, I’ll be happy

        1. Well said Ned. Hit the nail on the head.

        2. Hopefully, a balance will be found, or even a better solution to the problem.

          But there is a problem, and at least now something is being done to fix it.

        3. I must admit, I hate the idea of that DRS on the rear wing. But I agree with you Ned, that it does balance out the dirty air problem a bit and might be good.
          I just hope they get rid of it by 2013 as the rules should be good enough not to need it any more.

          The only part where a KERS and the DRS wings would have made another rule change possible is dropping the blue flags. With the 3 backmarker teams not having KERS, it should be a lot easier to kombine KERS and DRS to sail past them without need for a flag to ruin their races.

        4. There is also the fact that it balances out a possible design advantage that some teams may be using. I know if I had a car and I could design it in a way that it would be VERY hard to pass, I would do so if it didn’t compromise my downforce/drag significantly. Therefore, I am certain that some of the teams are doing just that. The DRS taks some of that advantage away and gives it back to the person behind the anti-passing engineered car.

    2. What an awesome round-up. Tomorrow will be awesome Keith I bet you’re so excited.

      Love the Snetterton corner names! Hamilton does have a ring to it. The track layout looks pretty good too.

        1. Nice links there, thanks for posting. I also like Brundles tweet about it.

          It’s always a bit of sad to see a nice circuit change, but I hope this makes it good for another couple of decades of racing.

      1. I personally think it’s a disgrace. Us loyal readers have been coming here every day for years, and yet within a few weeks of Keith meeting Mika Hakkinen they’re best pals and we’re forgotten

        1. Classic Ned! I’ve got Mika coming round for lunch today as it happens, don’t you know him at all??!!

          In other news, I love Snetterton for two reasons:

          1. The name.
          2. It was my favourite track on Geoff Crammond’s ‘Revs’ on my BBC Micro.

      2. The 300 layout in particular is pretty good. If you transplanted the template onto an F1-grade circuit it would make for a pretty good venue.

      3. It’s a pity they had to change t2, it was a bit scruffy but it always produced some errors going onto the back straight and it was great to watch the cars taking different lines through there.

    3. concerning the DRS, without the 600m limit line we could see this situation quite a bit-

      1. I shouldn’t think that would be too much of an issue. The following car will most likely have KERS remember, with the added bonus of a slipstream. They mightn’t be able to repass them on that very straight, but they’ll still be close enough to attack into one of the following corners. I am reserving my DRS and KERS judgements until Spain, I have decided.

        1. But that diagram has got me wondering; how long will the red car be able to keep the slot gap open for? Is it only until he has edged ahead of the blue car, or until he decides to brake?

          1. Until he brakes. The theory though is that 600m will barely be enough distance to make a move before a corner. I gather that the FIA wants to start on the cautious side rather than making it pathetically easy to overtake. They’d rather make the overtaking zone too short and gradually increase the length than have it too long, for exactly the reason illustrated in that diagram. Can’t remember where I read that, but there was some mention of it around the time they announced the 600m distance.

          2. From the JAF1 article:

            He adds that that “the distance over which the Drag Reduction System (DRS) may be used is going to be tuned with the intention of assisting the following driver, not guaranteeing him an overtaking manoeuvre.

            So when are they going to clarify that one? The season opening race begins in a mere 9 days…

            1. They’ve already said that it will be 600m, hoping that that will allow for difficult overtaking moves. That’s what it will be for opening races. If they find that that’s too short and overtaking isn’t aided or that it’s too long and makes overtaking a breeze, they can adjust it. The theory (as I said above) is that 600m will probably be too short to make an overtaking move substantially easier. We really won’t know though until the first few races have passed.

            2. I read somewhere on this, that the DRS rules will be reviewed for fine tuning after the first 3 races (based on experience of its use and impact).

        2. that won’t happen because the red car in the diagram can use the DRS all the way down the straight, whereas the blue car can;t at all. even KERS couldn’t catch him up for a counter attack.

          1. Right. Thanks US_Peter. I am now officially ready for the season opener! :)

          2. Thank you for explaining that US_Peter. I am now officially ready for the season to start! :)

            1. I think we’re all ready!!!!

          3. But the line where the red car can activate it would be quite a stretch from the corner (if the straight is 1000 m and the zone is 600 m from the corner at the end).
            That would make the DRS the thing to really make the pass stick right before the corner, rather than let the red car get a head start for the next corner.

            1. yes very true,
              that’s why i said

              without the 600m limit line

              in my original post :D

    4. It will be a wild ride in the Caparo. Those cars are insanely quick

    5. The Caparo was the open wheeler that kept breaking down on Top Gear right?

      1. and burned Jason Plato during Fifth Gears review…

        1. Hopefully they’ve sorted out all those issues by now!

      2. Keith you are going to have the time of your life in that car :)

        I wish I was you. Have a blast.

    6. Honestly Donington, haven’t you learned your lesson?! The last time you tried to get F1 back you almost self destructed in the process, and even though Silverstone has a contract until 2029, and there is no prospect of two British races in that time, you still want the GP?!

      Having said all that, I don’t actually think they’re aiming for F1 at all, I think that was just typically shoddy local journalism, written for people who neither know nor care of Bernie Ecclestone, CVC, or anything to do with the F1 calendar

      1. I think it’s fair to say Donington Park’s failed attempt to get into the F1 calander is the best thing to happen in UK motorsport in the 21st centuary so far, apart from Hamilton and Button’s World Chapionship years of 2008 and 2009 respectively.

        Had the construction been completed and the project finished we would have had another Grade A circuit in the UK, but because it failed, it meant Silverstone had to really up it’s game in order to get the race contract back for Britain. This resulted in Silverstone starting a long term process of creating a better experience for teams – with the new pitlane – as well as the drivers – by increasing overall average speed of the track, and finally, the fan’s facilities are being improved too which is the most important aspect.

        I think the kick up the backside from Donnington has benefitted UK motorsport because Silverstone finally realised it couldn’t rest on it’s laurels, and competition from any other UK circuit will only increase the benefits.

        1. And with Snetterton tarting itself up somewhat, theres another circuit up to modern(ish) standards in Britain.

          Now if only Thruxton would lose the two chicanes and add some banking…

    7. I think the biggest problem with the DRS is that it was not explained properly to begin with. All we were told is that “The 2011 regualtions have an adjustable rear wing to supplement overtaking”, and that was it. This has led to people havig wild misconceptions about it, most of which were fabricated to be used as an argument against the idea. The DRS does not guarantee an overtake. It is simply designed to assist the driver and negate the two-second-per-lap difference they would normally need to make a pass work.

      1. Exactly. I can only see the tyres making any discernible difference this year, but even then, they’re all in the same boat…

        1. Yep. Drivers still have to drive. I highly doubt that we’ll end up with a situation where it’s better to be 2nd into the final lap…

          1. I agree, and all involved will take care to make the zone for using it smaller if it proves to be to big an advantage to keep overtaking a skill.

      2. Yep. They should have called it “The Wake-Breaker”, or something. Alright maybe not something that cheesey but billed it as a solution to the dirty air problem rather than just saying they need something to make cars go round each other more frequently.

        600m shouldn’t be enough to guarantee a pass. All they need to is to enable the trailing car to get up alongside into the following corner and then under braking the wing closes and it’s down to driver skill.

      3. I think we’ll hear much more about the tyres than the DRS or KERS during this season. I don’t think we’re going to see races won or lost by the deployment of KERS or DRS but tyre management and the strategy it drives will be a dominant factor at a number of circuits this year.

    8. Sad to see Becketts in that state, they should have kept the curb as a little exhibit or something.

      Completely agree with the comments about the DRS, the regulations should have been clarified much earlier, it was clearly a knee jerk reaction to peoples complaints over the lack of over-taking. I really hope this kind of short term fix will not become the norm in the future.

      1. yeah i think it was a knee jerk reaction to the boring Bahrain GP last year!

      2. Sad to see Becketts in that state, they should have kept the curb as a little exhibit or something.

        I didn’t quite understand the significance of that photo. Can someone explain it to me, please?

        1. I guess that instead of it being crushed by bulldozers and equipment like it is, it should be there, brightly painted with a plaque near it saying how this was one of the best F1 corners.

        2. I assume it’s the old Becketts hairpin, which was used from 1950- 1990 until they completely changed the layout:


          1. SouthPawRacer [Stealthman]
            17th March 2011, 11:41

            Yes, it is. That was just about the only part of the pre-1991 circuit left… :(

      3. it was clearly a knee jerk reaction to peoples complaints over the lack of over-taking

        I don’t think so. I think it was just taking the concept of the F-duct – which was originally created to aid overtaking – and adapting it in such a way that everyone could enjoy the same benefits from it. That way, passing would be the result of driver skill rather than whoever had developed the best piece of tech.

        1. I think the real advantage is going to who ever gets their “forward exhausts” nailed. If Brawn is right and he usually… they will be able to get a lot more down force in the high speed corners.

          I’ve read speculation on one site that as the exhaust cools as it blows towards the back of the car it acts as a thermic ground effect.

          I’m not an engineer… so please correct me if I’m wrong.

          1. This is where I started, it’s really worth looking at.


      1. I would love to see more of those next year. Keep it up Kamui, and let Perez join in for a bit as well!

    9. Don’t mean to worry you Keith, but don’t Caparo T1’s have a habit of, well, cathcing fire, a lot?

      1. Don’t worry, I’m sure Mika will drive at an appropriately slow speed to mitigate that risk… Oh wait…

        :D I hope you enjoy the day very much Keith!

        1. Maybe he’ll drive it just fast enough to keep the flames behind!

    10. With all the criticisms of the DRS, people are missing one key point: the device is directly responsible for the banning of shark fins. Because the wing must move, bodywork cannot attach to it without interrupting the process. Thus, bodywork is no longer allowed to be anchored to the rear wing. And with the regulations dictating that the bodywork cannot fill a certain space in front of the rear wing, Hispania are now the only team to be using a shark fin (Red Bull had one – which looked horrible – but it was clearly only a launch thing).

      The end result is that the cars look like Formula 1 cars again.

      1. A bit subjective?
        Who’s to say what a F1 should look like… if they looked like F1 cars again they would look like something from the 1950s surely?

        I’m not that fussed about the DRS but the less gimmicks the better, hopefully it won’t be needed in future seasons.

        In 30 years of watching F1 I can’t remember so much fiddling with the regs as today.

        Overall I do agree the cars look better without sharkfins

        1. I think that’s rather your memory playing on you than an accurate reflection of the rules changes.

          Just yesterday I watched the video of Long Beach Keith posted. As it was the first championship GP of the year Murray Walker and Hunt commented on some of the rule changes.

          I think there were a lot of them each single year I watched and sometimes in the middle of the year (remember fuel buring laps in Qualli?)

          1. Now that you mention it. What was that about again?

            oh, found this site http://formula1.about.com/od/formula1101/a/qualifyin_2.htm that seems to explain it. So I guess that was “fixed” in 2008 by not allowing refueling after quali; and then really by the 2010 change to allow the cars to qualify on low fuel again and then fill the car up for the race.

            You are right that it does seem that in the years after 2002 they tried a lot of stuff to get cars on track during qualifying and make it interesting to follow. The reverse grid ordering of when to start your one lap flying lap stuff was quite bad I thought, and really confusing for people not following F1 closely.

    11. Isn’t Hamilton, together with Schumacher, one of the if not the only driver who got a corner named after them while still active in Formula 1? Because all corners I know of that are named after a driver where named after drivers who already died.
      Quite an achievement for the both of them.

      1. I would say you need to clarify your observation a bit. Though not active as drivers in F1, I don’t think Brundle, Walker and Palmer are quite dead yet – though there are probably some skeptics that might argue that point.

    12. Well, Donington has a fight on it’s hands considering the British GP is at Silverstone for the next 16 years.

    13. I’m shocked!

      “I like exciting races” by somerandomguy isn’t A Comment Of A Day??!?

      Disgrace! ;)

      1. Maybe it got Comment of a lifetime for every fanatic as it was the one thing we all can agree on.

        I really agree with DMW’s COTD though and nicely put!

      2. I couldnt help but chuckle about it in the office either. brilliantly simple.

        1. Well it got the most votes, so in our memories it will be a COTD! :P

    14. This politician actually responsible sounds a lot better for the Australian GP than the last two making the press:

      Seeing out the deal, while working on minimalizing losses and trying to be as hard as possible in the next negotiations with Bernie. Good luck, but it sounds positive.

    15. They named a corner Jumbo? :P

    16. I was playing a bit with Google Earth and track layouts and this is what I concluded: If DRS zone will be at the end of the pit straight in first 3 races it will start like this:

      In Albert Park 600 meters before turn 1 is where pitwall starts,
      in Kuala Lumpur it is right after the start/finish line

      in Shanghai it covers most of the pit straight (it starts 200 meters after the beginning of the straight).

      Just to put a bit of perspective as how big those zones are…

      1. Kuala Lumpur seems like it might not work all that well then – by that time the car in front has had ample time to get out of the corner and accelerate away I would think.

        Thanks for checking this, it will be interesting to compare the effect on those three different tracks.

        1. Well… start with the KERS and finish with the wing thingy.

      2. Good idea to have a look at that. It does support what many drivers have said, that it will not make that big a difference.

        1. I’m not disagreeing. I like what you said, and I like what he did with google maps.

          I was just thinking of how would I do it, to get around a car in front of me.

          So many times we just hear about one thing… like the wing thingy or the KERS or the Pirellis or the forward exhausts. I’m just trying to put the whole package together in my head.

          Yes, it may all balance itself out in the end and we end up with the same sort of racing we have seen for years. I can’t pass!

      3. IMO the overtaking zones should be different for different tracks. It should vary depending on the corner they are exiting and nature of the next corner after the straight. things are not that one dimensional in F1.

      4. HounslowBusGarage
        17th March 2011, 11:51

        Where will it be in Monaco? In the tunnel?

        1. They have said they will modify the zone if necessary and they don’t really have to be before the first corner, Even for a first race it isn’t set in stone that the zone will be 600 meters long, they will dedicate a bit of time in the practice to testing it and reduce it or extend it if necessary.

    17. Happy birthday Italy! 1861 > 2011 >>

    Comments are closed.