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Old 04-03-13, 05:51 PM   #41
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pastor decides what it is and it isnt!!
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Old 04-03-13, 05:53 PM   #42
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He's not the Norris!
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Old 11-03-13, 07:04 PM   #43
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F1 buildup supplement in the Guardian today...
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Old 15-03-13, 11:17 AM   #44
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Looking at the first couple of practices Red Bull are yet again looking strong but McLaren are way off the pace - 9th & 11th & 11th & 13th for both 1st & 2nd practice

Hopefully they were just getting "to know" the car around Melbourne
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Old 15-03-13, 11:27 AM   #45
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McLaren really not looking strong. Problem is as well Button is a driver that if the car is right he will dominate but he can't get the most out of a bad car. So if they are weak this year it'll show how much they miss Hamilton.

Red Bull & Ferrari look good, Mercedes & Lotus in behind them possibly in the race.
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Old 15-03-13, 11:33 AM   #46
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McLaren are good at in season development, so if it isn't right now (which might be the case, but I can't see them being horrifically off it like in 2009) then I expect they'll close the gap by the time the European season kicks off.

Interesting to see Nico up in 3rd - Gary Anderson has been trumpeting Mercedes since the first testing sessions and tipped Nico to win this race. I thought he was talking out of his arse.
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Old 15-03-13, 11:35 AM   #47
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with regards Button, if the car is perfect he's a great driver if its not he struggles, nowhere near the talent of Hamilton IMO

It will be an interesting race, with the Mercs having to retire in practice we didn't see the best of them and Ferrari I am sure haven't shown their hand quite yet & Lotus, well dark horses for me still not sure what to expect
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Old 15-03-13, 12:02 PM   #48
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Agree on McLaren - for the last 10 years I'd say they've been the strongest team for in season development. Just need to hope they don't lose too much ground in the early part of the season.

Yeah, Hamilton can win with a car that's not quite on song as he takes more risks and goes for it. On the flipside it means he has a lot more close calls and crashes.

Yeah, Gary Anderson has really been backing the Merc's so will be very interesting to see.
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Old 15-03-13, 03:31 PM   #49
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The problem McLaren have this year is the sea change in regs for next year. Its taking a lot of time and resources to get things right for next season for all the teams,if they have to divert any of that in order to sort out this years car it could be a problem for next season too.
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Old 16-03-13, 02:47 PM   #50
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Only just seen that Qualification has been postponed until tomorrow morning because of the rain, they managed to get through Q1 but then Q2 got suspended due to the weather

Busy morning for everyone tomorrow, if someone bins it off the track or has a problem in Qualifying its going to leave the teams with a lot of work to do in a short space of time
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Old 17-03-13, 01:42 AM   #51
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Another McLaren balls up as Vettel continues where he left off last year. Just over a second faster then the two Ferrari's!

Good to see Hamilton get it together and get it on the second row beside his mate Felipe .

Should be a good race.
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Old 17-03-13, 12:32 PM   #52
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Old 17-03-13, 02:04 PM   #53
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Just finished watching it, interesting season ahead
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Old 17-03-13, 02:13 PM   #54
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Kimi is going to be a player this season! He has it all really - speed, ability to conserve tyres, race intelligence. The Lotus looks swift too.

Interesting race - have to say I enjoyed the McLaren balls up - they really have to make some changes.

And the Ozzies booing Vettel, bit crap really innit? Haha
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Old 17-03-13, 02:16 PM   #55
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Yeah I've seen that a few times in these new podium interviews,crowds booing Vettel,happened a couple of times last year too.

Don't know why,seems a nice chap
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Old 17-03-13, 06:33 PM   #56
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They're booing him because of Webber aren't they..

Bit small minded, Webber just isn't anywhere near Seb's standard and was never likely to be.
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Old 17-03-13, 06:37 PM   #57
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They're booing him because of Webber aren't they..

Bit small minded, Webber just isn't anywhere near Seb's standard and was never likely to be.
Never occurred to me that

He has been booed elsewhere though,ridiculously small time
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Old 17-03-13, 06:37 PM   #58
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He's a number 2 driver, a good one but not someone to lead one of the top teams in F1 IMO.

Think Lotus are going to be serious players this season and I fancy we'll see more from Mercedes as well as the season develops.
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Old 17-03-13, 06:39 PM   #59
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Talking of number 2 drivers, how frustrating must it be to be a Massa fan? Awesome at the start, outpacing Nando and then just faded away as per usual...

He made the mistake by staying out, if he had come in when he was supposed to, he might have been a bit more in touch.
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Old 17-03-13, 06:45 PM   #60
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Massa just doesn't get th rub does he, looked like Ferrari were willing to let him race Alonso today as well but a silly judgement call left him scooting around safe in 4th but not in a position to challenge the top 3.

Alonso must love having him there, mentally beaten before they step into the car.
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Old 18-03-13, 12:29 AM   #61
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Wow

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013...ian-grand-prix

When darkness began to encroach on Albert Park shortly after the Australian Grand Prix, the folk at McLaren may have found it profoundly symbolic. The lights have been going out on them all year. In Australia, they have presented an attitude of dogged positivity, especially the splendidly chipper Jenson Button.

However, on a day when Kimi Raikkonen won a tense season-opener in his Lotus, the awful truth for McLaren was inescapable. Button delivered the brutal assessment when he said: "The way the car is at the moment, this package that is sat in the garage right now is not going to win a race."

It was a painful reality check for the senior driver in a leading team, one that is second only to Ferrari in terms of achievement in Formula One. But, for a while at least, McLaren may have to get used to life as an ordinary player; their role in this year's championship may be more voyeuristic than participatory following their wretched performanceon Sunday when Button finished ninth and his team-mate Sergio Pérez 11th.

Lewis Hamilton has recently acquired a dog and so, it seems, has Button; only Button is driving his. McLaren did not rule out going back to last year's car. Button, remember, won the last race of 2012 in Brazil with the fastest car on the grid.

If they do dispense with this year's model they might sell it to a circus clown. The faults are plentiful, like a devil's cornucopia, and not easily corrected, even for a team with McLaren's very deep engineering resources. "They could always use it to deliver milk," someone suggested.

McLaren, deep down, knew the dark truth during testing in Spain in recent weeks, when their only fast times were when their cars were running low fuel levels.

Button saidon Sunday: "In the last day of testing, I was seeing what the car could do. But seeing the times that other people were doing was a surprise for us. We understood it would be difficult, but you arrive excited about the start of the season."

Earlier in the week, during practice, as Button left his car and wandered back to the McLaren motorhome, there was an expression on his face that reminded some observers of his Honda days, when he knew his car was a jalopy.

Button's result on Sunday was about as much as he could have hoped for after he finished 10th in qualifying. He added: "There are many reasons and it makes it tricky. It is not down to changing the suspension.

"We need to bring updates and move this car forward. That is the only way we will see good results and wins. We have been in bad positions before and come back strong. It is just a pity that we have lost out so much at the start of the year.

"In these difficult days, it is important that we make the best of it. We got points and we did not expect that. We have to make the best of what we have got again in Malaysia. Then there is a reasonable gap and we will see what happens then.

"There have been nonstop meetings and discussions. We all know the way things are and there is an understanding that it is not okay. We know there are fundamental things that we have to change. It is not going to be easy but it can happen."

McLaren were not the only people taken aback by the car's performance. Button said: "Everybody is a bit down today. A team like this is so used to winning. I went to the Paddock Club to say hello and everyone was saying, 'What is going on? You are 10th on the grid.' I was saying we were happy with that because we know it was the best we could do. There was shock around the place. But we haven't given up."

What makes the disappointment especially keen for Button is that he could scarcely believe his good fortune when Hamilton left the team for Mercedes. He had, he believed, a very real chance of adding to the world championship he won with Brawn in 2009. Instead, Hamilton's move looks sweetly timed.

Paddy Lowe, McLaren's technical director who is now on gardening leave as he prepares to join Mercedes, had overall responsibility for the design of the new MP4-28 (although it is also covered in his replacement, Tim Goss's, fingerprints). If this is Lowe's idea of a leaving present for his team then he has a macabre sense of humour.

As well as the loss of Hamilton and Lowe, McLaren will also lose Vodafone, their title sponsor, at the end of the year and are likely to split with their engine supplier, Mercedes, in 2015. Their team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, said: "We weren't coming here with masses of confidence but, frankly, it was a little bit worse than we expected."

The car's problems, which include the suspension, balance, understeer and tyres, are so fundamental that Whitmarsh hinted that he does not even know what they are. He said: "Winter testing was very strange this year, so we didn't have a full understanding. You've got to know what the problems are, know how to fix it and then work hard to do so."

If Whitmarsh needed one final kick in the teeth, he received it from his Red Bull opposite number, Christian Horner, who was critical of the ECU, the engine's computerised management system which McLaren supplies to the other teams.

Horner, referring to a disappointing race from Mark Webber, said: "Mark's problems were hugely frustrating because it was an ECU issue. You need to ask McLaren why the ECU didn't work and why it messed up his preparation because he was blind and had no telemetry.

"It is something they need to get on top of because it caused a lot of issues during testing."

Twilight for McLaren had become the darkest and deepest of nights.
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Old 23-03-13, 10:20 AM   #62
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Old 23-03-13, 10:58 AM   #63
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Going to this tomorrow...getting picked up by helicopter, far more excited by that than the race.
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Old 23-03-13, 12:00 PM   #64
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Going to be a very interesting start the way its lined up.

Can't wait.
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Old 23-03-13, 12:01 PM   #65
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Yeah, I think it's going to be a very interesting race, seem to remember from last year this track is pretty hard on tires. Ferrari are looking in good shape to be leading into the first corner with the good starts they usually make.
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Old 23-03-13, 03:13 PM   #66
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Choice of tyres for all the cars adds more spice to the mix.

Think it will be a good race. Good to see Felipe continuing to take the battle to Fernando.
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Old 23-03-13, 03:18 PM   #67
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It is good with the free choice of tires, looks like it could be the harder tires working for this race as the mediums look like they get chewed up very quickly.

Massa seems to be in a good place this season, I still expect him to finish behind Alonso if they both finish though
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Old 23-03-13, 03:32 PM   #68
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Yeah agreed. Alonso seems to have the advantage in race pace.
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Old 23-03-13, 05:09 PM   #69
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Vettel loves those poles - some Red Bull car manipulation going on there to make sure he gets it no doubt!
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Old 23-03-13, 06:43 PM   #70
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Smart move from them getting him onto a new set of inters in P3 but I can't see him winning this tomorrow; if its dry anyway
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Old 23-03-13, 08:52 PM   #71
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I can see it being a Ferrari 1-2 coming out of the 1st corner.

The way they are of the line could easily get last Vettel
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Old 23-03-13, 09:16 PM   #72
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I agree with you, it should be an interesting race and the weather I'd imagine will play some part in the race as well.
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Old 23-03-13, 10:19 PM   #73
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Going to this tomorrow...getting picked up by helicopter, far more excited by that than the race.
How the hell have you managed that? Jammy Sod
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Old 24-03-13, 08:39 AM   #74
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Old 24-03-13, 11:01 AM   #75
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Webber more or less telling Vettel to fuck off
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Old 24-03-13, 11:14 AM   #76
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Old 24-03-13, 12:22 PM   #77
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Vettel was fucking daft in that race, took advantage of team orders to win, I've said this before he's a good driver but he's not the best driver in the paddock and he knows it.

See how he copes with the pressure after that behaviour
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Old 24-03-13, 01:55 PM   #78
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poor from Vettel that.Behaved like a spoilt child.Hamilton and Rosberg showed them how it should be done.

Gutted with Alonso too.Couldnt believe he stayed out at the end of the first lap.
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Old 24-03-13, 02:07 PM   #79
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Yeah it was, no surprise Webber was annoyed with him, petulant display and clearly lying saying he didn't realise - reminds me of a recently retired German

Felt sorry for Rosberg but I don't think Hamilton was overly happy with the team orders to keep him behind, think those two will work well this season.

WTF Alonso was playing at I have no idea sort of daft mistake Maldando or Grosean would make
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Old 24-03-13, 02:11 PM   #80
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Locked up and hit the back of Vettel,bit too eager at the start,rare mistake from him there.

The call on the wing was Ferrari's according to the BBC so yet another poor call from them,which they quickly followed with another one by covering Vettel's pitstop with Massa instead of doing their own thing.

They do that far too often for my liking.
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