So after just 1.5 hours of the 2010 F1 season, we have a McLaren with a dodgy but extremely clever sounding new aerodynamic device, a Red Bull seemingly with driver adjustable ride height, a Senna officially back in F1 – and Michael Schumacher looking as thunderous as we’ve ever seen him, having been soundly trounced by his team mate in the opening session.
Oh yes, and a Force India at the hands of Adrian Sutil faster than the lot of them – although to be honest the times at such an early stage mean not a lot; none of the teams has yet used the soft tyre, no one has any accurate idea how much fuel each team/driver has been running, and the circuit, like the beautiful but rather slow looking new Lotus, is still, as they say, very green.
Forget the Schuey v Rosberg showdown, that’s just a headline grabber (although Michael did look genuinely cheesed off when he climbed out of the car). The key story is the new scoop that’s appeared o the side of the McLarens.
It’s there, apparently, to “stall” air as it travels towards the rear wing, and it’s operated by the drivers from inside the cockpit. When they want to stall the airflow, Jenson and Lewis just nudge their left knee to the left a bit, by all accounts, and this opens a flap in the sidepod. Doing so reduces airflow to the rear wing, thereby reducing drag on the straights and increasing top speed. Result? Another At another 6mph more than anyone else on the main straights.
The Renault team, amongst others, is hopping mad about McLaren’s interpretation of the rules. But the system has already been approved by the FIA, so it’s legal. For now.
And what of the Ferraris? They look awesome already. Alonso was second quickest in the opening session, but of far more significance was that both Ferraris hardly seemed to touch their front tyres, whereas the Red Bulls, in particular, ate theirs up far more aggressively.
F1 is back, and how.