The start of the Formula 1 season is just two weeks away, and trouble is already rearing its ugly head. (No I’m not talking about Jacques Villeneuve for once).
Aside from the customer car row that has been bubbling away underneath the surface all winter, several teams have now come to the realisation that their car is really rather rubbish and are frantically pulling all the strings to try to rectify the situation.
Most notably the teams that are not happy with their vehicles’ performance are Honda and Red Bull. In addition Poor Super Aguri haven’t even finished building their car yet…. So they have no idea if it’s rubbish or not.
Honda has confirmed today that they are planning a major revamp to the RA107 in time for the Malaysian Grand Prix, which takes place on 8th April.
A lack of out and out pace has become evident throughout winter testing, with tectonic plate movement on planet Earth recording faster times than the RA107. This has left the technical team at Honda urgently seeking to make upgrades to the car’s aerodynamic package and other mechanical changes including revision to the rear suspension.
Honda’s Senior Technical Director Shuhei Nakamoto has stated that he fears the Honda outfit will struggle in Australia to qualify inside the top 10, claiming to be marginally ahead of Toyota and Red Bull but behind the rest.
Team Boss Nick Fry however has downplayed suggestions that Honda are pants, and reckons that the car has intentionally been built to give room for vast improvements throughout the season. (Pull the other one it has bells on it Nick! who builds a crap car on purpose?).
“With our team over the last seven or eight years it has been an evolutionary process and we evolved our way up to fourth place in the championship last year,” he said.
Can Honda ignore their critics and actually produce a decent car for a change?
“But to get into the top three, we don’t feel you can do it with evolution. It is more minor revolution and a lot of features of this car, especially the cooling package, the exhaust packaging and Coke bottling at the rear of the car are probably more dramatic than any other.
“So the headroom this cars gives us in order to develop through the season is much greater than we have had before. I am not promising we will win in Melbourne, far from it, I think we will be in a points scoring position.
“But as we go through the season this car has the ability to get stronger and stronger, and it will be a race winner.” jabbered Nick…. (Right I’m off down the bookies to put a bet on that one, who will lend me a quid?).
Meanwhile Red Bull who throughout last year gave up on developing their car to concentrate on this season’s vehicle, have come to the realisation that they also have a bit of a turkey on their hands.
The Adrian Newey designed RB3 has not shown impressive pace during winter testing and has had its fair share of reliability issues as well. Although an aerodynamic update is due to be tested on the car next week at Magny-Cours, Red Bull are in a race against time if they want to make any kind of big impression this season.
Can Red Bull manage to save Horner’s bacon, or will he be left looking a bit of a prat? —>
Team Boss Christian Horner who has been recently studying at the Nick Fry Management School of Excuses and Explanations, had this to say:
“It is not an evolutionary car, but a revolutionary one. Of course, we have teething problems to deal with such a new car, and it is hard to know where we are.
“There will be an aggressive development through the season that will move us forward. And I am confident we will stride forward.
“There is going to be a huge fight. Everyone is so tightly packed.” (A big fight to stop everyone else lapping them that is).
So there we have it the Constructor A teams, that promised so much, have so far delivered so little…and are faced with the prospect of getting beaten by their customer car compatriots.(I’m not laughing no honestly I’m not…..much.)
I bet those that were laughing their socks off back in January at Ferrari’s long wheel-based cars aren’t laughing quite so hard now, eh?