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Grand Prix de Magny-Cours 2008 thread


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#1 Nitropower

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:44

After the morning practice we can draw a few conclusions: the Ferrari's look very strong as usual, but so do the Macca's. Massa was probably on the fumes when he topped the times, and if we compared Mclaren times with Raikkonen's, they look pretty competitive this weekend. However we know HAmilton will start from 11th position in the best scenario and Kova is not being very quick in races.

Kubica seems to be right were he was before: just behind the Ferraris and the Maccas. If nothing strange happens he might fight for the podium, and with Hamilton far behind, even for the wind, with a touch of good luck.

Behind him, Alonso seems to have a good pace, but he had an engine failure and that must be worrying especially when he has a new one (if I recall correctly). Heidfeld is struggling again and Vettel looked impressive, top 10 once again. Piquet is 11, while he usually roams behind with "the monkeys", so that shows Renault's pace is good.

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#2 undersquare

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:52

Key weekend for Heikki - Macca have pretty much asked him to step up so I feel he has to deliver a top drive or risk becoming a no 2. Hope he does it!

Also for Piquet, a bad weekend here and the knives will be out.

#3 Clatter

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:25

Originally posted by Nitropower
Behind him, Alonso seems to have a good pace, but he had an engine failure and that must be worrying especially when he has a new one (if I recall correctly). Heidfeld is struggling again and Vettel looked impressive, top 10 once again. Piquet is 11, while he usually roams behind with "the monkeys", so that shows Renault's pace is good.


Why should FA be worried about the engine failure? Other than track time it's not a biggy. Its the friday engine and may not be a new one anyway.

#4 bankoq

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:40

Nice rally driving from Lewis :up: ;)

#5 donald29

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 12:53

Originally posted by bankoq
Nice rally driving from Lewis :up: ;)



yeah :p and nelson;)

#6 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:00

Vettel's doing alright.

#7 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:22

wow Alono's just snuck into first now.

#8 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:26

looks grim for Honda.

#9 Blueray

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:40

Alonso is looking quite potent out there. He was obviously lightish for the final run but he went on to do another 5 laps or so after his P1 so hes still got something in hand. I doubt Massa was heavy when he did the low 15s in FP1 either. Alonso could be in a shot for pole here on a light load, although Hamilton will be doing the same thing. One things for sure, that Renault is getting faster and faster by the race. Clearly the best developing team of the season as expected with Alonso on board.

Piquet looking garbage as usual. Its almost mid season and hes experienced at France, it was supposed to be the weekend he shows what hes made of. Ye right.

#10 undersquare

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:53

Originally posted by Owen
wow Alono's just snuck into first now.


Have to be impressed, even if he was light.

#11 Nicklaus

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:55

Originally posted by Nitropower
Heidfeld is struggling again

:confused:
he was 0.4 faster than Kubica with the hard tires and just 0.1 slower with the soft.

#12 stormshadow

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 13:57

Originally posted by bankoq
Nice rally driving from Lewis :up: ;)

Massa showed us his eagerness to be in next years Dakka :eek:

#13 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:00

Originally posted by Blueray
One things for sure, that Renault is getting faster and faster by the race.

you must be joking

#14 Pep

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:14

Originally posted by MikeTekRacing

you must be joking


I think it's pretty obvious that Renault has made good progress since Barcelona, when Alonso qualified 2nd (alghouth 3 laps lighter or more than others). In Canada he qualified 4th and he was heavy.

If it's true that Alonso kept on lapping for 5 more laps after doing that P1 time, I expect that Alonso could well again mix between McLaren/BMW/Ferrari and qualify in the top 5.

#15 SuperDaan

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:16

Dont think Massa whas very light this morning, in FP1 he's fastest time was in a 8 lap stint I believe.

#16 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:19

that is not probably down to the car...the improvements have been made, but i don't think alonso can run a race at that pace in that car...
he is one of the most consistent drivers, so for him not to capitalize on a faster car is not something usual. probably the car is too nervous, or maybe the optimal setup window is very small
he doesn't look very comfortable with the car, and i have not seen him make so many mistakes in 2 consecutive races.

when i say the car has not improved i meant the possibilities to get a good result with it. that would be an improvement

#17 gaston_foix

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:23

Originally posted by MikeTekRacing

you must be joking


Mike, so is Alonso who makes the Renault faster??? I cant believe that u became a FA fan. :lol:

#18 kNt

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:27

I think Heidfeld should be OKish in Qualy if it's quite hot just as he was in Bahrain and Malaysia.

#19 AFCA

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:28

I think the FIA is evaluating the Safety Car system, tested after FP2, now. There will be a meeting tonight with all the team principles and it will be decided whether or not to introduce the system this GP already...

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#20 as65p

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:34

Originally posted by gaston_foix


Mike, so is Alonso who makes the Renault faster??? I cant believe that u became a FA fan. :lol:


Yeah, that's the tricky bit: to deny that Renault has shown exceptional development pace this season would mean that Fernando is driving a shitbox insanely fast. Or play down his driving, but that would mean that Renault has progressed more than any other team with their car.

Tough choice...;)

#21 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:37

Originally posted by as65p


Yeah, that's the tricky bit: to deny that Renault has shown exceptional development pace this season would mean that Fernando is driving a shitbox insanely fast. Or play down his driving, but that would mean that Renault has progressed more than any other team with their car.

Tough choice...;)


There is no choice involved. It's a mixture of both those factors I'd reckon.

#22 as65p

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:41

Originally posted by Owen


There is no choice involved. It's a mixture of both those factors I'd reckon.


I know.

You did see the smiley? Here it is again...;)

#23 Clatter

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:42

Originally posted by as65p


Yeah, that's the tricky bit: to deny that Renault has shown exceptional development pace this season would mean that Fernando is driving a shitbox insanely fast. Or play down his driving, but that would mean that Renault has progressed more than any other team with their car.

Tough choice...;)


I'd say when you start with crap there is far more room for improvement.

#24 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:43

Originally posted by as65p


I know.

You did see the smiley? Here it is again...;)


very good.

#25 juary

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:43

There are some news about the wheater? many web sites are predicting sunny...here in autosport there are possible t-storms....

#26 as65p

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 14:50

Originally posted by Clatter


I'd say when you start with crap there is far more room for improvement.


Obviously. But that "room" is also there, in some cases even bigger, for Honda, Red Bull and Toyota - (I only choose teams with healthy budgets). You still have to explore it...

Early days anyway, it's only friday practice. It didn't look to me as if driving the car like Alonso did during his last run could work in a race, neither for the car nor the driver.

#27 undersquare

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:03

Ferrari at the end made me wonder if they're preparing to cover a short/each-way first stint by Heikki. They probably don't need to worry about the other teams, so they can concentrate on making sure he doesn't get off in front and control the pace.

#28 Owen

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:06

BBC says rain showers on Sunday.

#29 AFCA

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:29

French GP - Free practice

Magny-Cours, 20th June 2008

Free practice - First session

F. Massa: 1st 1.15.306 22 laps chassis 267
K. Raikkonen: 4th 1.16.073 21 laps chassis 270
Weather: air 22/21 °C, track 23/27 °C, cloudy.

Free Practice - Second session

F. Massa: 2nd 1.15.854 24 laps chassis 267
K. Raikkonen: 3rd 1.15.999 42 laps chassis 270
Weather: air temperature 24 °C, track temperature 36/37 °C, partially cloudy.

A lot of work completed by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in these three hours of free practice on the first day of the French Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa covered around 500 kilometres (64 laps for the Finn and 45 for the Brazilian.) It means the team now has plenty of data to work on with a view to qualifying and especially the race. "Overall, it was a good start to this race weekend," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Both drivers declared themselves pleased with the handling of the F2008 on this track. In evaluating the results, the usual unknowns come into consideration, these being the fuel taken on by the other teams and their work schedule, but we can say we are confident for the rest of the weekend. Coming off the back of two negative results, having not fulfilled our potential, it's time to get back to our usual standards."

Felipe Massa: "It was a good day, apart from a slightly tight neck which I began to feel this morning: so as not to take any risks, I chose to avoid doing too many runs of several laps. I therefore concentrated on the car's set-up, working with both types of tyre. On the softer ones, it seems to be a little bit harder to find the right balance, but we must take into account that today, as usual on a Friday, the track is still dirty. Everyone suffered a bit with graining on the front tyres, but tomorrow the situation should improve. We must study all the data we have gathered to prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race."

Kimi Raikkonen: "I am happy with the way things went during these two free practice sessions. We got through all our usual Friday job list, working mainly towards the race. Of course we don't know how much fuel our main rivals were running, but I get the impression we are very competitive. Maybe I did not get the most out of the first lap, but I am happy with the balance of the car. We tried out this new system for a Safety Car period and I think it could be a good solution because it puts everyone in the same situation and that way,you can't be penalized just by unfortunate circumstances."

Luca Baldisserri: "Because Felipe was suffering with a stiff neck this morning, we slightly modified the two drivers' programmes from the usual ones. The Brazilian concentrated on defining the best set-up on the car, while Kimi also had to tackle the task of evaluating the behaviour of both types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. We are happy with the work we did today: the F2008 seemed to be going well on this track and that means we can be cautiously confident for the rest of the weekend."

#30 Alfisti

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:31

Originally posted by MikeTekRacing

you must be joking


No, no not at all. THe car has been seriously improved from barcelona onwards. The strange nature of Monaco and Canada as well as Fernando over driving hid this a little but they are 4th by a wid emargin IMHO.

#31 pingu666

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:37

the renault has looked a handful all season, not seen practise but im guessing its the same again, so alonso can pull out a quick lap or short stint, but over a race its gonna fade, chewed up tyres and the driver getting worn out

#32 molive

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:41

Nelsinho in 9th isnt too bad, if it wasnt for Alonso, who is obviously on a "glory-run" in front of Renault fans, with very low fuel.

I expect Renault to try and do the same thing tomorrow, so maybe we will see Fernando again with a very short 1st stint, probably going for pole or 1st row. Given the difficulty of passing at this track, he can make Ferrari's life easier.

As for Ferrari, its looking good atm. :up: I expect another tight battle between FM and KR, with the qualifying being the deciding moment for them.

Hamilton looks to be trying too hard to make-up for McL lack of pace, but I expect him to be at least top 4 at the end of the race.

Honda :down::down: Jenson and Rubinho should be the ones to dump them, not the other way around.

#33 Alfisti

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 15:46

Originally posted by pingu666
the renault has looked a handful all season, not seen practise but im guessing its the same again, so alonso can pull out a quick lap or short stint, but over a race its gonna fade, chewed up tyres and the driver getting worn out


But it is stil the 4th fastest car, it's clearly ahead of the RB and the Williams, has been for 3 races.

#34 Nitropower

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:02

Originally posted by Alfisti


But it is stil the 4th fastest car, it's clearly ahead of the RB and the Williams, has been for 3 races.


I don't agree completely, in some areas RB are doing better than Renault, there's not a big gap yet.

#35 pingu666

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:07

yeah, it probably is the 4th fastest, atleast with alonso... i hope they go for pole for the home race, make it interesting..

#36 Laffite

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:12

It will be a 1-2 Ferrari. Anything different will be a partial or full disaster.

Massa seems very strong. If I were Kimi, I would think about a three stop strategy to take the lead at the last stint.

All in all, despite the last exciting races, I expect a 'Barcelona' style race: no overtaking and many pit activies.

#37 Alfisti

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:13

Originally posted by Nitropower
I don't agree completely, in some areas RB are doing better than Renault, there's not a big gap yet.


When i watch a race i really don't care too much about up front as I follow webbo mostly. For the last three races the Renault has been the quicker car and it appears that way again in France.

#38 DLaw

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:25

Alonso did 5 laps after the quick one, not a lap on fume.

#39 MichaelPM

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 16:37

Originally posted by DLaw
Alonso did 5 laps after the quick one, not a lap on fume.

He came out of the pits with 29 laps recorded and came back in at the end of the session with 37 laps in total from my recollection.

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#40 Ricardo F1

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 17:08

Originally posted by Laffite
It will be a 1-2 Ferrari. Anything different will be a partial or full disaster.

Especially given Hamilton's penalty.

#41 morals

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 17:22

Originally posted by Laffite

Massa seems very strong. If I were Kimi, I would think about a three stop strategy to take the lead at the last stint.

Am I the only one who sees going on a 3 stopper and take the lead in the last stint kind of an oximoron?

I don't think Renault is going to go all out for pole, until they get the starts to work better is like putting a rope around your neck, I guess thy'l go reasonably light, though.

Ferrari has a good chance of splitting strategies if their drivers are for it, thy seem superior.

I hope for a good race from Heikki and the usual consistency for Kubica.

Can't wait :)

#42 Francesc

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 17:39

Does anyone have the link to all the lap times from today from FIA? :)

#43 Enkei

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 17:43

Here's hoping for a wet wet race come Sunday :up: Remember 1999?

#44 DoubleWDC

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 18:03

Originally posted by Enkei
Here's hoping for a wet wet race come Sunday :up: Remember 1999?


Hopefully not. Humilton might benefit from a lottery which he doesn't deserve for his actions at Montreal.

#45 Enkei

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 18:14

Originally posted by DoubleWDC


Hopefully not. Humilton might benefit from a lottery which he doesn't deserve for his actions at Montreal.


Exactly, :up: :smoking:

#46 tkulla

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 18:28

Originally posted by DoubleWDC


Hopefully not. Humilton might benefit from a lottery which he doesn't deserve for his actions at Montreal.


Wow, you must really dislike Hamilton. The 1999 French GP was a VERY entertaining race, with H.H. Frentzen coming through for a brilliant win that was very much deserved. Also, there was a lot of passing and the drivers were tough but clean. F1 at its best. Hmm, now I'm itching to dig up the videotape and watch that classic again. :)

#47 Ploert

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 18:57

Stint times

Raikkonen did some mighty stints in FP2.

#48 Francesc

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 19:03

Awesome speed by Kimi, he's the favourite to win

Thanks for the link ;)

#49 Uwe

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 19:04

On a slightly offtopic note: Just saw Bernie Ecclestone with his wife Slavica in the football stadium for Turkey - Croatia. Short trip to Wien for 90 minutes.

#50 reason

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 19:25

Originally posted by molive
[B]Nelsinho in 9th isnt too bad, if it wasnt for Alonso, who is obviously on a "glory-run" in front of Renault fans, with very low fuel.

8 lap stint Alonso had, he was 5 laps on track after the fast lap. Obviously you haven´t read the whole thread.