Thursday Thoughts

12 11 2009

What is this?

Its a new initiative which began in the comments at sidepodcast to give blogger’s something to write about, Every Thursday there will be a new topic which many f1 blogger’s will all post about, and hopefully it will all come together to be compared, et.c… hopefully using some sort of 21st century webring at some point. Anyhow, more details over here:


This weeks topic is “Who Should Be Awarded Title of 2009 F1 Team Principle of the Year?”
There are a number of good candidates for this role this year, with the emergence of Brawn and Red Bull to the front of the grid putting Ross Brawn and Christian Horner at the forefront. The double world championships at Brawn, make Ross the logical choice in many people eyes, however i will not be giving him this award. He has overseen a miraculous transformation of a team from the lower end of the midfield and worse to the quickest team on the grid, all at the same time as having to rescue the team from disappearing in the wake of Honda’s exit and installing new power plants. However for this post Ross only comes in 3rd, I have massive respect for Ross, and he is an amazing guy, right up there with the best ever in F1 in my mind. however whilst his team did enough to win the championships, there switch to focus on 2010 meant the teams absolute dominance was lost in the 2nd half the season

Similarly one of the youngest principles on the grid, Christian Horner has also done a brilliant job, whith the expertise of Adrien Newye finaly paying dividends as he capitalised on the major rule changes to produce a stunningly quick car which would likely have have topped the field without the double diffuser teams. Christian was able to take the team through a major change in the concept of  the car to laregly dominate the latter half of the season. In my mind he also did a better job of maniging his 2 drivers than Ross, with less ‘convenient position changes’ during tight races, so i have narrowly awarded him 2nd place ahead of Mr Brawn.

In my mind the biggest achivement of the season from the first Free practice in Melbourne to the cheqard flag in Abu Dhabi, and therefore the winner of this contest is Martin Whitmarsh of Mclaren. This may be controversial, but look back to the beginning of the season, and he was put in the position he had waited long and hard for, taking over from the legendary Ron Dennis. The team were fresh from winning the world drivers title and keen to build on that to take the constructors as well. the first car of his reign was 2 seconds off the pace in winter testing, even with the best engine in the field… something was obviously wrong. To top that,  his first race saw the ‘Liegate’ scandel and the team were really on the ropes with there star driver even considering leaving the sport… Despite all this the team were able to move forwards with new parts at virtually every race, a decent performance in Bahrain was almost followed up with another showing at monaco untill Lewis found the wall. The teams perseverance was rewarded when their major upgrades for Germany enabled them to win at the Hungaroring, in a car which had previously been described as a dog, to the worst mclaren ever. Later on in the season, another win at Singapore, and a string of decent showings could easily been followed by another win in Abu Dhabi. Yes he did have massive technical resources at hand, and yes the team should probably not have started the year as it did, but in my mind Martin has done a terrific job, not only taking the team to the front, but also changing the face of Mclaren from a cold, hard hi-tech empire to a friendlier team. He turned one of the worst cars on the grid into a winner, which was a huge achievement. He made KERS work when all around were abandoning it, and in my mind he stepped out of Ron’s shadow. Hats off to him.