Free practice in Australia looking good for McLaren

I couldn’t sleep this morning so I gave up trying and turned on the TV to watch FP2. I was surprised but delighted to see Lewis and Jenson doing so well and when they ended up first and second fastest at the end of the session I wondered if my season was about to get a lot better.

I know you can’t read too much into the practice sessions but the MP4-26 is looking pretty good and capable of competing for podiums, something I didn’t think possible just a few hours ago. Of course we will know more this tomorrow when my world could come crashing down and we have a Red Bull front row, which let’s face it, would be utterly boring. That’s no slight on Vettel and Webber, it would just be nice to mix it up a bit, and yes, have McLaren at the front, particularly Lewis Hamilton!

Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-26

(Photo credit: McLaren.com)

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Filed under Australian, Free Practice

McLaren Predictions for 2011

It’s probably far too early to make a prediction for 2011without seeing the cars on a race weekend but that’s half the fun. I want you to predictthe following:

1. Where Lewis will finish in the Drivers Championship
2. Where Jenson will finish in the Drivers Championship
3. Where Mclaren will finish in the Constructors Championship
4. Who will win the Drivers Championship
5. Who will win the Constructors Championship

At the end of the season there will be a prize for whoever gets closest to getting all 5 questions correct, and in the event of a tie, names will be pulled from a hat. Just leave a comment with your predictions and feel free to add any more predictions for the season – I’ll feature another blog with the best ones!

Here are my predictions:

1. Lewis – 4th
2. Jenson – 6th
3. McLaren – 3rd
4. Sebastian Vettel
5. Red Bull

Over to you!

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What I want from the 2011 Formula 1 Season

Been a while, but I’m back – how have you all been?

  1. First off I’d like to wish Robert Kubica a quick recovery – that’s my number one wish for 2011, that we see Robert back in a his Renault and thrilling us all with his spectacular driving talent once again.
  2. I want Lewis Hamilton to win the Driver’s Championship – did you really expect anything else? If his car is competitive from the start I believe the only thing stopping Hamilton form achieving title number 2 is himself. But then those mistakes that come from being over-zealous is also the mentality that makes him such an exciting driver to watch, and I love his all or nothing attitude. However, he just needs to reign it in once in a while to avoid giving away points needlessly.
  3. If Hamilton can’t win the Driver’s Championship he at least needs to beat Jenson Button, and convincingly from start to finish. I don’t want any of this Button getting race victories before Hamilton like last year – I want total team mate domination from the 2008 Champion, from the very first race and continuing throughout the season.
  4. McLaren to win the Constructor’s Championship. I may be more loyal to Hamilton than the team but I still like McLaren more than any other team and I don’t want them coming in behind the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. Not sure this point and the previous sit well together, but I can dream!
  5. I don’t want a dominant car like the Red Bulls last year. Qualifying was on the whole very predicable and boring and this year I want more people on pole, and more people vying for a pole position during qualifying.
  6. With Hamilton ultimately winning, I want a close race for the Championship like last year. 2009 was a fairytale story for Brawn but it was boring, going down to the last race with 4 people statistically in with a chance made for a great season in 2010 – more of the same please.
  7. Weber to beat Vettel. I actually like Vettel a lot more than I did as I think he’s matured a lot, but I still want to see Weber beat his younger team mate. In fact if Hamilton doesn’t win the Championship, in the absence of Kubica, I want Weber to become 2011 Champion.
  8. Lotus (not the Renault team) to score points, and specifically Kovalainen. Drove brilliantly for a team that couldn’t really compete, but so very nearly did, at the back end of the established teams anyway. Any man that becomes his own fireman deserves at least 1 Championship point

That’s me done for now, there maybe nmore to come later. So, agree, disagree or have your own wishes for the season? To borrow a catchphrase from Sidepodcast; see you in the comments.

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Filed under Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Weber, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Uncategorized

Lewis Hamilton in Italy in Pictures (2010)

So, this is the first dedicated Lewis Hamilton post after yesterday’s epiphany – enjoy the photos!

During Free Practice on Friday 10th September

During Free Practice on Friday 10th September

During Free Practice on Friday 10th September – inside a cloud?

During Qualifying on Saturday 11th September

After Qualifying on Saturday 11th September

Just moments before he retired from the race on Sunday 12th September

Hamilton clashes with Massa – race over

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Filed under Felipe Massa, In Pictures, Italian, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

I think I’m a Hamilton fan, not a McLaren fan!

That’s probably not the post subject you’d expect to see on a blog called McLaren Fan Blog, but I think watching the race in Monza earlier has made me come to that realisation. The epiphany came when Lewis went out on the first lap and my heart sunk seeing Jenson Button in 1st, knowing full well that if it stayed like that then he’d only be a handful of points behind Lewis. There was then a chance that Jenson could end the season with more points than Lewis and possibly as champion, though not that likely. I didn’t like that – I wanted Lewis to be the highest placed McLaren driver, and when Alonso took the lead I was actually relieved that Jenson wouldn’t be as close to Lewis in the Driver’s Championship than I’d previously thought.

As I McLaren fan I should want either driver to win, I don’t.

To the people reading this post, I can imagine this will be a very unpopular opinion but all I can be is honest. It was Lewis Hamilton that first got me really interested in Formula 1 back at Fuji 2007, and it has now become clear that it’s him that I’m still firmly behind, and not the team he’s driving for. I want Lewis to be the number one driver in the team and I want Lewis to be a 2 time champion and not Jenson Button.

I guess this never became an issue before because in 2007 Hamilton was beating team mate Alonso and in 2008 and 2009 he was a long way ahead of Kovalainen. Earlier this season I had similar feelings but it was so early on that it didn’t seem like it could be a reality, not through the eyes of a staunch Lewis supporter. Now however, with just 5 races left, Jenson is a lot closer to Lewis and all it takes is a bit of bad luck and Lewis could be only the 2nd best McLaren driver – that’s something I’m not happy to accept..

I guess the ultimate question is if Lewis Hamilton drove for another team next year would I still support McLaren, and the answer is no. In fact if Lewis left Formula 1 I think my support would probably shift to Robert Kubica – he’s a great talent and my grandparents on my Mother’s side were Polish. Maybe it’s time I started thinking about renaming this Blog Hamilton fan Blog instead?

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Filed under Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Italian, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Robert Kubica

Guest Post: The F1 2010 Game

A bit about me – Hi my name is Matthew Bacon, some of you may remember me from the McLaren Hoody Competition where I was a runner up, well done Melissa. This is my second year in the world of F1 and it’s been a whirlwind of knowledge and excitement. I have always been a avid gamer so what I’m about to blog about is a combination of the two, which I have been looking forward to since I heard it was coming in March this year. Hope you enjoy.

Have you ever thought I would love to have a drive about in a F1 car, well now is your chance to have a drive about in your very own living room. Yep that’s right F1 2010 is coming to console (PC, PS3 and Xbox 360) on September 24th.

McLaren v Ferrari in F1 2010

The team over at Codemasters have pulled out all the stops for the new game, taking thousands of pictures of each track to give the fans the most realistic racing experience. Codemasters have introduced the tagline “be the driver, live the life“. They have cut out the Commentary and all you hear during the race is your engineer. The game features all the licensed drivers, teams and tracks from the 2010 Season, and all the paddocks which will be the hub of the driver with media presence outside your motor home and the hype around you increases then so does the media presence. After races you will attend a after race press conference and what you say to the press will affect the game. There are rumours the non other than David Croft of 5 Live F1 will be asking the questions, but its not confirmed.

During the development process of the game Codemasters have received help and feedback from Anthony Davidson (Former F1 driver and Current Mercedes GP simulation driver) telling them how a car would handle on each track and on different weather conditions. This brings me on to the dynamic weather system which affects the game massively. Be sure to check out some videos on the official website and Youtube.

The game will be playable online with your friends, and the maximum players allowed is 12 in one race, 1 from each team, so I’m sure there will be some fights between who gets the top 3 teams (McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari). In the career mode you will have a choice of 3, 5 or 7 years – the longer you pick the lower the team will be. If you pick 7 years the teams available to you will be HRT, Lotus and Virgin, and you will be fighting your team mate for the championship. If you become the number one drive in the team then you will be able to choose the development of the car for seasons to come. I think that about wraps it up for my first ever blog on here, hopefully I will get invited to write some more.

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Filed under F1 2010, Guest Posts, Video Games

The new McLaren Hoody is available to buy – the one voted for by YOU!

Some time ago I teamed up with the team at McLaren eShop to run a hoody design competition and you can read all about the various stages of that here. Well, the day has come, and that hoody is now for sale over at the McLaren eShop. It looks fantastic, and a certain blog is even mentioned on the product page!

McLaren Hoody

Congratulations to Melissa Nathoo whose winning design was the one chosen and has been made into this great looking hoody. What perfect timing too, now that summer seems to have disappeared for another year. Just look out the window and you’ll see it’s perfect weather for a hoody, especially one that looks as awesome as that.

Now all we need is a victorious weekend in Spa – come on McLaren, let’s get back to winning ways and show those Red Bulls and Ferraris what you’re made of!

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Filed under McLaren eShop, McLaren Hoody Design Competition, McLaren Merchandise