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Thoughts on the three 'new' teams this year.


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Poll: ? (186 member(s) have cast votes)

Which team has been most impressive so far this season?

  1. Lotus. (144 votes [77.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 77.42%

  2. Virgin. (2 votes [1.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.08%

  3. Hispania. (40 votes [21.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.51%

Which team will be the first to score points (either this season or future)?

  1. Lotus - through sheer pace, in a dry, 'normal' race. (48 votes [25.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.81%

  2. Lotus - in a weird, fluky, rain race. (115 votes [61.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.83%

  3. Virgin - through sheer pace, in a dry, 'normal' race. (1 votes [0.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.54%

  4. Virgin - in a weird, fluky, rain race. (2 votes [1.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.08%

  5. Hispania - through sheer pace, in a dry, 'normal' race. (3 votes [1.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.61%

  6. Hispania - in a weird, fluky, rain race. (17 votes [9.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.14%

Which driver has most impressed you and/or you now have more respect for?

  1. Heikki Kovalainen. (125 votes [67.20%])

    Percentage of vote: 67.20%

  2. Jarno Trulli. (7 votes [3.76%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.76%

  3. Timo Glock. (16 votes [8.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.60%

  4. Jerome d'Ambrosio. (20 votes [10.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.75%

  5. Vitantonio Liuzzi. (13 votes [6.99%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.99%

  6. Narain Karthikeyan. (5 votes [2.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.69%

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#1 Andrew Hope

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 19:23

Even though Hispania finished ahead of Virgin in last year's standings, it would be hard to overstate the fact that the F1 community was not impressed by them, and considered them the worst of the new teams by the end of last year. Most thought Lotus were the best, with Virgin second, and HRT last - that much is beyond dispute. This year, however, despite a shaky offseason and not making the grid in Australia, HRT have put on a much better show. Virgin, in contrast, have made little progress, and possibly are going backwards. Lotus are slow but steady, and always moving forward.

So, the question is - has HRT finally leapfrogged Virgin in the eyes of F1 fans? If so, when did it happen? Have you always felt HRT were more impressive than Virgin, even going back to last year? Have you thought Virgin, for that matter, have done a better job than Lotus? Is Lotus still miles out in front as the most impressive and respectable of the new teams, or are they being caught, slowly but surely, by HRT (or Virgin, for that matter)? Do you favor taking in circumstances in deciding who is the better of the new teams, or do you believe you are what the standings say you are?

I've made a few different polls, so take a bit of time and let's see what the popular opinion is these days. Any and all thoughts on part or whole of the discussion welcome.

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#2 olliek88

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 19:43

Good thread.

Team Lotus were the obvious choice for me in the first two polls, far more professional than the other two, getting Renault engines and RBR gearboxes shows that they are serious about getting further up the grid and the news that they are A) building their own wind tunnel and B) using Williams's until their own tunnel is complete reinforces this for me and i think thats been reflected in each teams pace relative to the established teams.

As for the drivers i was struggling to choose between Timo and Heikki but went for Heikki in the end, he has never moaned or given a hint of being unhappy about the situation he finds himself in and seems completely reinvigorated away from the pressure of Mclaren, not to mention he has been ringing the neck of the car this year, 6-1 vs Trulli (?) is impressive even though i'm aware Jarno's had trouble with power steering.

#3 highdownforce

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 19:46

I've missed some 'none' options.

***

1. Lotus +/-;
2. Lotus in a weird race;
3. I don't know, but I've voted HK;

I would prefer to vote on the opposite way:

Which team has been least impressive so far this season?
Virgin. And for 2012 there's the potential to probably be even worse.
They'll again this year be last in the WCC and next year they will being starting from zero again.

Which team will probably never score points?
Virgin and HRT.

Which driver you now have less respect for?
Trulli.

Edited by highdownforce, 14 June 2011 - 19:55.


#4 phil1993

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 19:49

What is good to see is that all three teams have made developments. Whilst their on-track pace is not necessarily reflective of this, they're making progress - Lotus with the Red Bull rear end and Renault engine, Virgin with the potential McLaren link and Marussia sponsorship, as well as the parting of ways with Wirth and HRT with the use of Mercedes' windtunnel and a clear improvement in the car.

They're not going to be world beaters, but they should get better. I can see Lotus being the first of the teams to score, whilst Virgin should be better next year now they have 9 months to get the car going without Wirth, who was never going to save them.

On the driver front, its gotta be Heikki. He's thumped Trulli this year and I really feel he needs to retire. Glock, as ever, has been outstanding but the car simply doesn't allow this, but I feel that d'Ambrosio is much better than di Grassi, which is plesantly surprising. Liuzzi is really helping HRT whilst Karthikeyan is doing just as expected.

#5 jonnoj

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:03

Wouldn't it be nice, not to have the backmarkers lapped in every race. That's my only interest in them.



#6 BullHead

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:05

What is good to see is that all three teams have made developments.


Yes. For me especially HRT. I was really worried at one point they were going to be a joke. Their progress whilst not necessarily impacting is the most impressive. They really need to rethink the cars' image though.

#7 BullHead

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:06

What Liuzzi is doing with it is also impressive.

#8 Fastcake

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:07

Lotus are certainly the most successful out of the three new teams, they are not only the fastest of the three but also seem to be making positive steps in developing the car. And of course the off-track strides in building up a new base and gaining new sponsorship deals, notably today's announcement with GE, their future is very solid. Virgin have suffered with Wirth's method unfortunately not working out, but they do have considerable backing from Marussia and the Russians, which together with the building up of a new technical team under Pat Symonds, should make their next season more positive. The team will suffer this year, but understandably given that they essentially need to start from scratch.

And Hispania? Well they have managed to stabilise themselves so that the team is not in immediate financial danger, apparently the situation there is far better than it was. However the promises of a proper development programme have not materialised yet, which will leave doubts until we see some evidence of improvement.

As for the drivers, Heikki and Glock are both doing a fine job, as is d'Ambrosio for a rookie (and he does give us custard as a nickname after all).

#9 Starish

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:16

Is this a Lotus Fanboy thread to just showcase how good they are doing against the back of the field? A heikki Fanboy thread? Useess thread in my opinion just here to munger over TL.

#10 phil1993

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:25

Yes. For me especially HRT. I was really worried at one point they were going to be a joke. Their progress whilst not necessarily impacting is the most impressive. They really need to rethink the cars' image though.


This. It'd look so cool without the stupid words :drunk:

It's a tast livery yet 'this is a cool spot' is just a bit lame.

#11 chrisblades85

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:48

If Trulli stops moaning about the steering, it may help the team move forward. But it would take a lot for Jarno not to moan about something.

Also, HRT have impressed me the most. As they looked truly awful and well of the pace in Oz. But are genuinely looking quicker than Virgin.

Edited by chrisblades85, 14 June 2011 - 20:52.


#12 highdownforce

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:50

Is this a Lotus Fanboy thread to just showcase how good they are doing against the back of the field? A heikki Fanboy thread? Useess thread in my opinion just here to munger over TL.

I wouldn't say that, I think that they have been quite disappointing, both when we compare them to Virgin or to Toro Rosso.
I've expected more from all the three new teams, at least Lotus and Virgin, but they could not enhance their gap to HRT, for instance.

#13 cbbcisace

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:51

I'm going to try and sum up my thoughts, I hope you like them:-


Team Lotus:

+ Very good drivers: Heikki and Jarno are big plus points.
+ Very good baseline of a car (T128) to build on for the future.
+ Great sponsorships - Caterham, GE, EQ8 & Dell and more.
+ Strong Renault engine.
+ Established wind tunnel programme.

- No KERS
- Still on average 1.0 second away from the midfield.

Hispania
+ There racing and doing well.
+ They have improved the car over the season so far.
+ Liuzzi - is a BIG improvement to there set up and development programme.
+ They have Mercedes 2nd wind tunnel to use.
+ Setting up a design office a stone throw away from Brackley.

- No major sponsorships apart from TATA (so far...) to keep the team going.
- Cosworth engine - It is the weakest engine on the grid, they would need to move to one of the other manufacturers to improve.
- No KERS.
- Narain - although improved, can he be there long term?
- Still on average 1.5 seconds away from Team Lotus.

Marussia Virgin
+ Glock & D'Ambrosio - Good driving partnership
+ Pat Symonds - great experienced technical guy, who should move MVR forward.
+ eh???? don't know.

- No major sponsorships of note.
- Cosworth engine - It is the weakest engine on the grid, they would need to move to one of the other manufacturers to improve.
- No KERS
- CFD Route, what is that all about?
- Still on average around 2.0 seconds away from Team Lotus.


Edited by cbbcisace, 14 June 2011 - 21:07.


#14 alfa1

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:54

Lotus - certainly the best so far. Looking more 'professional' than the other two.
HRT - certainly the 'worst', coming off a very poor start with a car that didnt even seem to exist in the weeks leading up to the (cancelled) first race. After that, they've improved a lot.
Virgin - in the middle. A team that I think could be so much more if it wasnt for the (now to be dumped) rule of with CFD only design that has held them back.


#15 TFLB

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:57

Most impressed with HRT considering what they've achieved with all their problems. First to score a point will I think be HRT in a weird and flukey race - none of the three have the raw pace in normal conditions, but Hispania is the most reliable. The most impresseve driver for me has been Jarno Trulli - he's had constant car problems, but has usually beaten Kovalainen in the races. i don't understand all the Kovalainen love, all he's done is had better reliability than his team-mate. It was the same last year as well.

#16 sopa

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 20:58

Trulli has been most impressive, because contrary to popular opinion that he is unmotivated, he has actually been outracing Kovalainen this year. Not long ago people were moaning about Trulli being "fast in quali and slow in races". Well, now it is the opposite, especially in an era, when quali doesn't matter, so notice should be taken.

Edited by sopa, 14 June 2011 - 21:00.


#17 Disgrace

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:04

I've made my votes relative to expectations and in that regard, Lotus have failed. Hispania, however, have somehow pulled it together and again, with no testing and a Dallara base, the car is making 107%. Virgin by contrast, have been appalling but most of that due to Mr. Wirth and his company. We can only really judge them next year.

#18 olliek88

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:05

Trulli has been most impressive, because contrary to popular opinion that he is unmotivated, he has actually been outracing Kovalainen this year. Not long ago people were moaning about Trulli being "fast in quali and slow in races". Well, now it is the opposite, especially in an era, when quali doesn't matter, so notice should be taken.


Its far harder to use the race as a barometer for the performance of the slower teams, simply because of the number of blue flags that they have to deal with and the way that it inevitably distorts how they run their race, i've not looked into the race performance of any of the slower teams in detail so i can't give a fully informed opinion but in this situation i think qualifying is the better way to judge the drivers relative performance.

#19 Myrvold

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:07

I never expected HRT to be this good. And Narain, who hasn't raced in F1 since 2005, is not far behind Liuzzi, that is mighty impressing!

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#20 Fastcake

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:09

Most impressed with HRT considering what they've achieved with all their problems. First to score a point will I think be HRT in a weird and flukey race - none of the three have the raw pace in normal conditions, but Hispania is the most reliable. The most impresseve driver for me has been Jarno Trulli - he's had constant car problems, but has usually beaten Kovalainen in the races. i don't understand all the Kovalainen love, all he's done is had better reliability than his team-mate. It was the same last year as well.

Hispania's reliability has been very impressive, better than the other two this year. A solid start at least.

#21 TFLB

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:28

Its far harder to use the race as a barometer for the performance of the slower teams, simply because of the number of blue flags that they have to deal with and the way that it inevitably distorts how they run their race, i've not looked into the race performance of any of the slower teams in detail so i can't give a fully informed opinion but in this situation i think qualifying is the better way to judge the drivers relative performance.

I pay very close attention to the races of the backmarkers (because they're often more interesting than Vettel at the front), and I can tell you that Trulli has usually this year been significantly faster than Kovalainen in the races. In either Spain or China, he was over twenty seconds in front of Kovalainen even before any pitstops or lapping. You can follow this kind of thing using the graphics showing gaps to the car behind which they sometimes show on the bottom of the screen.

#22 BigCHrome

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:31

The 3 new teams are slower than a DRS-less, crap front wing MP4-24.

#23 Myrvold

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 21:34

And Virgin and HRT's budgets added together from 2010 and 2011 is around, if not lower than McLarens Budget for one year...

#24 soarer

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 22:08

Trulli has been most impressive, because contrary to popular opinion that he is unmotivated, he has actually been outracing Kovalainen this year. Not long ago people were moaning about Trulli being "fast in quali and slow in races". Well, now it is the opposite, especially in an era, when quali doesn't matter, so notice should be taken.

You wrote my thoughts
Jarno faster than Heikki in races.
surprisingly that it does not see ...

#25 highdownforce

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 22:18

From F1 Fanatic [ link ]

HK / JT

Qualified ahead: 6 / 1
Average qualifying gap: -0.314s / -
Finished race ahead: 1 / 2
Laps spent ahead: 152 / 161


Now, also from F1 Fanatic:

http://www.f1fanatic...d-prix-lotus-2/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/
http://www.f1fanatic...and-prix-lotus/


Before me or other says HK have being better than JT or vice versa, that's above is all the info we've got.

#26 Andrew Hope

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 23:50

Is this a Lotus Fanboy thread to just showcase how good they are doing against the back of the field? A heikki Fanboy thread? Useess thread in my opinion just here to munger over TL.


I intended it to be a comparison between HRT and Virgin, and halfway through making the poll realized I might as well include Lotus as well to preempt everyone ending their replies with 'but neither are as good as Lotus'.

#27 Dunder

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 00:41

I am still underwhelmed by them all TBH.

In terms of pure speed (as witnessed in qualifying), even Lotus are still 1.3-1.4 seconds off the pace of Williams/Force India/STR.
What's more is that the closer they get, the more difficult it will be to make up the remaining deficit.

HRT have made a bit of progress but Virgin are going nowhere fast.

I suspect that all of these teams will be slightly flattered by the upcoming (likely) ban of off-throttle blowing but in reality they still have a loooooong way to go.

#28 Myrvold

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:00

Why are people being underwhelmed? Look at the other new/"new" teams coming in since 94. Hardly been any truly amazing cars in the first year? And that was with unlimited testing. It takes more time to get a new team, starting from scratch up and running now than before.

#29 Dunder

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 01:21

Why are people being underwhelmed? Look at the other new/"new" teams coming in since 94. Hardly been any truly amazing cars in the first year? And that was with unlimited testing. It takes more time to get a new team, starting from scratch up and running now than before.


Sure but technical regulations are much more restrictive these days.
I am not suggesting Lotus should be up there fighting with Red Bull and McLaren but making it out of Q1 on merit on a regular basis should be a realistic proposition.


#30 pingu666

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 02:01

that would mean they would have to beat a more experienced team, so that would be fifi/williams/sauber/TR would have todo badly

I had no idea that heiki was being outraced, as theres hardly any coverage of whats going on further back during the grand prix. there is a good chunk of coverage for qualy though, interestingly enough

#31 senamic

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:12

Okay, I find them a bit difficult to simply vote on, so here are my rough reports...

Team Lotus Renault: Now that the naming issue is (hopefully) behind them, I can see them going far. Renault engine and RBR gearbox deals are real positives, and TRU/KOV is a solid pairing. Something tells me Fernandes is largely meeting his goals, I see them doing well. But overall I get a little bit of a meh for these guys, its a bit disappointing, I like them, but like Force India, I am just losing interest. Still, they are rather impressive.

Hispania Racing Team Cosworth: Continuing to suprise, I admit to being slightly biased as a fan of the team, but as others have mentioned, they are consistantly improving. After failing to make it in Melbourne, they are qualifying without too many hassles, and have by and large jumped the Virgins. Liuzzi has found his place for the first time since he was at Red Bull/STR (which many forget he scored points on with RBR, and STR's first ever point under that name). Narain is also driving steadily, considering people were expecting Alex Yoong Version 2.0. With their current staff I can see them getting into the lower midfield within 18 months, but they need more backing.

Marussia Virgin Cosworth: Ick, I really want to write something positive here... But everything I go for has a negative to counter it. Wirth's approac was imaginative, and might be the status quo in 15 years, but his refusal to go against it was the end of him. Virgin showed loyalty by sticking with him, but also stretched out a bad saga. Their Russian sponsorship is good, but I have yet to see the gains from it (except perhaps solvency). Timo is outperforming the car, but I see that as more sad for Timo than good for the team... Jerome shows talent... But might fall for the poor team curse (see David Brabham @Simtek). I don't know, with Lotus I am apathetic but impressed, Hispania have managed to exceed even my expectations as a fan of the team, Virgin feels like a bit of a disappointment all around...


Guess those are my rough profiles.

#32 roadie

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 15:37

HRT have no connections to a manufacturer like Maurissa or businessmen with the resources of Fernandez and Branson. What they have managed this year is magnificent and I look forward to seeing how they do at each race.

#33 Sakae

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 15:51

I think "none" option is missing among choices together with one more - do you wish they would put back all as they found it when Prost, Senna and Schumacher were racing? YES would do for me.

#34 Bernoulli

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 16:00

Team Lotus.

Kovailenen deserves to be in a better car.

#35 senamic

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 17:58

I think "none" option is missing among choices together with one more - do you wish they would put back all as they found it when Prost, Senna and Schumacher were racing? YES would do for me.

Yeah, wouldn't that just be swell? Wouldn't it be competitive? RB7 is too dominating, let's get some FW14/15 action going! New teams are too slow... Why can't we have small teams that could really compete, like Coloni, Fondmetal, Rial, Life and Andrea Moda?

Seriously though, and I say this as a massive fan of late 80s/early 90s F1, we need to stop looking through the rose tinteds. Minardi still fell outside of 107% from time to time in the late 90s/early 00s, F1 (with some exceptional seasons like 82, where Prost is the only driver you mentioned in the sport) has always featured backmarkers struggling to remain and proud to get classified finishes, why can't people see that if anything, the mid 00s were an uncharacteristic bump in F1's history? 2007-2009 was crazy close, sure at the front we had 3/4 teams, but we had a field where almost every team could win. That is a rare thing, and is not characteristic of the times of Prost, Senna, Schumacher et al. In fact, even in 82, we had such gems as Theodore, Fittipaldi and Ensign...

Hats off to the new teams, they are slowly but surely improving. As long as they remain in the black financially we should have our superduperhypermegagigacentadeca close grid again, just like we didn't have "back in the day".

#36 highdownforce

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 18:29

Fittipaldi scored 1 point in that season although being 3 laps down.

#37 olliek88

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 19:27

I pay very close attention to the races of the backmarkers (because they're often more interesting than Vettel at the front), and I can tell you that Trulli has usually this year been significantly faster than Kovalainen in the races. In either Spain or China, he was over twenty seconds in front of Kovalainen even before any pitstops or lapping. You can follow this kind of thing using the graphics showing gaps to the car behind which they sometimes show on the bottom of the screen.


Thanks for the advice but i already use the live timing on the formula one website. My point still stands that you can't 100% judge the performance of the back markers because you don't know how much time each driver has lost from the blue flags, it can easily distort the results for a driver, plus i just don't like Jarno because he is a moany, whiney little bitch. :p

#38 TFLB

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 21:38

Thanks for the advice but i already use the live timing on the formula one website. My point still stands that you can't 100% judge the performance of the back markers because you don't know how much time each driver has lost from the blue flags, it can easily distort the results for a driver, plus i just don't like Jarno because he is a moany, whiney little bitch. :p

The example I gave was before the intervention of any blue flags. And I don't think Trulli is more whiney than normal for a racing driver. Wven if he is, it's justified because he always gets the reliability problems which Kovalainen doesn't seem to.