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Mad-Eric Fantasy F1 2007

16th March 2008

Unfortnately, due to work commitmets, there will be no 2008 mad-eric fantasy f1 championhip. Sorry.

21st October 2007

Well, I just saw my previous comments from 2 races ago - how was I supposed to know that both the McLaren team and Lewis Hamilton would suddenly start making huge mistakes? In the end, Kimi won more races, and concentrated on race days, rather than spending time on doing interviews and giving his opinions to anyone who would listen (I'm not saying that it was Alonso and Hamilton's faults that they got so much attention - however, they also to an extent encouraged it with all the rows). As a quick sideline, I was intrigued at the suggestion on the ITV commentary that Kimi was a bit of an alcoholic - "I've seen it happen a few times, but I expect it will take about 3 people to carry Kimi away from whatever party he ends up at tonight", and then, "Kimi enjoys a few drinks away from the circuits"!

Anyway, I didn't get to see my ideal finish to the season - Kimi winning the race, Alonso in 5th, Hamilton in 6th - meaning that if both McLaren's stay as they are, Kimi wins - so, you assume, Alonso would be asked to move over - and would probably politely refuse.

To the world of Mad-eric, and a fine last day performance from "fast forward" isn't enough to win, but did move them from over 300 points behind to just over 100 - with a bit of wheeling and dealing with Ferrari, they could have snatched a win! "Rascasse" sneaked 3rd place, but the winner of the 2007 mad-eric championship is "cherryaid".

Thankyou all for taking part

30th September 2007

Looks like it's as good as all over then. Lewis Hamilton only needs 9 points from the remaining 2 races to win the driver's championship - and that's only if Alonso wins both. In reality, you can expect Ferrari to take some points off Alonso (and Hamilton) in at least one of the remaining races.

As for the Japanese GP - somewhat strange would be a reasonable description. I have to admit that, having got up at 5:30, I'd have been extremely irritated if the entire race had taken place behind the safety car! As it was, there was some quite entertaining racing in amongst everything else.

Question: who is more likely to be stupid, the Ferrari team, or James Allen?
Well, let's have a look at the evidence. Ferarri start on Intermediate tyres despite all the teams being given a warning that if they did that, they would benn forced to change onto full wets. They are both called in to change. Ferrari give the excuse "We didn't hear that condition". Now, at this point, James Allen suggests that Ferrari are trying to "push the boundaries of the rules". How? Did they think that in a sport where everything is watched by hundreds of cameras, no one would notice? Maybe the rain was so heavy, you couldn't tell. Or, just maybe, Ferrari weren't paying attention and made a mistake? It is possible

Finally, just to confirm - McLaren will be getting mad-eric points for the rest of the season (unless of cause they are actually disqualified from a race). I don't take any notice of the FIA's ruling about McLaren not being involved in this year's constructors championship - if their cars are on the track, they get points.

18th September 2007

Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates to the site for the last 3 races... having said that, I did update the points, and I'm sure no one reads this stuff anyway! It's been a somewhat eventful few weeks - at least off the track. In the McLaren garage, it looks like Ron Dennis and Fernando Alonso have been playing "illegal knowledge chicken" with each other - Dennis coming out the winner - although had they been playing "regular" chicken, he would have got run over (I believe the idea is to see how late you leave it before pulling out, not ploughing on all the way). The result being that McLaren will be at the wrong end of the pitlane next year, having had all their points taken away. this is probably a good point to confirm that all mad-eric points will remain.

What McLaren really need is that good old "undo" button (sometimes referred to as the close-without-saving button). I remember many years ago when I was at Uni, there was an F1 manager game. In this game, one of the options was espionage. I don't remember the exact penalties (I'm not sure I actually ever played it myself - but I know one of my housemates spent hours playing!) but I recall they were quite harsh. However, the trick was that you would always save the game before trying then, if you got caught, quit out and reload from your previous position. If only...

Spy-gate. Why? Why does any scandal have to be suffixed by -gate? Yes, I know where it comes from, I just don't see why it is needed. Hmmmmm - just done a search on wikipedia and found a list of all the times where *gate has been used - not particularly interesting, or F1 related, much like this seasons championship really. Answers on a postcard for more amusing hotel names that they could have ended up with

5th August 2007

Well. Where should I start? I guess the first thing to mention is that the mad-eric points given out for qualifying represent the position at the end of qualifing - any decisions by the steward afterwards (barring disqualification) do not affect the results of qualifying. As a result of this, Alonso is counted as have come in first place in qualifying, despite being relegated to 6th on the grid.

As for the rest of the weekend? The inter-McLaren fighting seemed fairly childish - although a combination of that and the incompetent Ferrari pit crew who forgot to put fuel into Massa's car, gave hope for a good race. In te absense of rain, cars out of their natural place is the best way to get some entertainment. Massa starting in 14th and Alonso in 6th meant that there was plenty of scope for overtaking. As it was, however, Massa didn't bother turning up to the race, and Alonso got stuck behind Schumacher, whilst also having a few off-road excursions.

Oh well. A three week break before the next race. Maybe the McLaren drivers will have some time to grow up - maybe they could take some notes from other sports. Next time, we might see Alonso throwing jelly beans at Hamilton?

22nd July 2007

Whooohooo! A wet race. At last! Given the usual lack of overtaking in F1, there are 2 things that can guarantee a good race - rain and cars out of position. In this race, we had both! Torrential rain made just keeping cars on the track somewhat difficult. Then, once the race had been suspended and restarted, because of the earlier rain, there were quick cars strewn throughout the field!

I know that I probably shouldn't laugh at others misfortune, or at things that could cause injury, but just before the race was stopped was one of the funniest things I've ever seen on an F1 track. Car after car just gliding off the start-finish straight, over the gravel and into the tyre wall. The commentary couldn't keep up - "That's Button in the barrier". "Lewis Hamilton has also gone off". "There's another". "And another"!

8th July 2007

2 weeks, 2 wins for Kimi. In fact, it was lucky for McLaren that Massa stalled on the start, because Ferrari were clearly faster in the race, and Massa having to battle back from the pit lane - which was actually quite entertaining - saved McLaren a few points. It's interesting how expectations for Lewis Hamilton have changed since the start of the season - people seemed to be disappointed with his 3rd place finish. In reality, he has Massa to thank for that!

1st July 2007

After a bad 6 weeks for Ferarri, they finally seem to have actually made some progress. A 1-2 was much needed - although Alonso having a poor qualifying period and then struggling to overtake cars during the race didn't exactly help. The other aid to Ferrari was the appearance of Ross Brawn in the McLaren garage (metaphorically, not literally). Changing Lewis Hamilton onto a 3 stop race to make sure he didn't catch Ferarri was inspired!

All in all, another pretty boring GP. Let's hope that Silverstone next week brings its usual excitment and overtaking. This year's championship needs it.

17th June 2007

Another win for Lewis Hamilton. Another race where the top 4 finished in the same order that they qualified. At least there was some overtaking, and also some attempted overtaking that was skillfully defended. Hurrah - there was some racing! And no safety car. Let's hope that Ferarri and BMW can make enough improvement that we can have some serious racing in Europe. Either that or we could just hope for rain!

There were a couple of things I noticed while watching on ITV. First of all was the over-estimation of their own self-importance - after a painfully embarassing interview between Martin Brundle and Pharell, Steve Ryder announced, "The race will begin as soon as Martin leaves the grid". So, that's how they start the race then is it? Wait for an ITV presenter to leave. I always thought that the presenters were told to leave once the race was about to start. Shows what I know! Then, at the end of the race, we were told several times, "the press conference should be good. Alonso will be fuming". What happened in the press conference? Alonso said it had been a good fight with Hamilton, but that he was unable to keep sustained pressure because of the tyres. Hmmmm, not exactly fuming...

11th June 2007

In case you haven't heard, Lewis Hamilton won his first Grand Prix at the weekend. The general impression seems to be that it was a masterful drive, under conditions "as difficult as it gets without rain"! Now, I'm not trying to say that it wasn't a good drive, or that he isn't a good driver. All I'd like to point out is that for half of the race he didn't actually have to compete and was going at half speed behind a safety car, meanwhile, the only other car on the track capable of matching his for speed, that of Alonso, went off the track several times, and also had a stop-go penalty for entering the pits when it was closed!

Whilst I'm in full flow, could I also point out that all the things Hamilton was credited with - having control of the race, not making mistakes - effectively having a clean, uneventful day at the office, are the same things that over the last 5 years the same people have criticized Michael Schumacher for. So, maybe in 10 years time, there will be people complaining that Hamilton is ruining the sport?

Finally, I'd like to point out the most amusing thing I read about the race from the BBC Sport website:
"Meanwhile, Briton Anthony Davidson was cursing his luck after hitting a beaver on lap 37, while in third place, although he still equalled his highest finish, coming 11th."

28th May 2007

In the annual bore that is the Monaco GP, the top 4 on the grid all finished in the same positions in the race. A second win of the season for Alonso and yet another second place for Lewis Hamilton. Apparently McLaren are being investigated for possible use of team orders. I can't really see that coming to anything...

"So Mr Dennis, you instructed Lewis Hamilton not to overtake Fernando Alonso?"

"At Monaco? Why would I do that? Nothing can overtake at Monaco anyway."

13th May 2007

Another month gone, and the formula 1 season has restarted again. Finally we have reached a stage where the races come fairly regularly. Let's hope that we get something worth watching. Once again, we had a race where, barring some amusing put lane incidents, very little happened after the first lap. Once Alonso had tried to pass/take out Massa at the first corner, the only place changes at the top of the field were due to retirements and pit stops.

The amusing pits stops involved Massa and Heidfeld. Massa left the pits with the side of his car on fire (only for a few seconds though) due to a spot of fuel leakage. Heidfeld left the pits whilst one of the engineers was still attached via a wheel nut gun to the tyre. All credit to Heidfeld who stopped and decided that as nothing seemed to be happening all was ok - despite the fact that a Toyota engineer was waving the missing wheel nut around. Anyway, Heidfeld managed to get the car round the lap without losing the wheel!

A final mention of the points scoring system. So far, we have had 4 races with 3 different winners, yet the championship leader has not won a race. If the winner got 12pts instead of 10, leaving the remaining points as they are, Massa would be leading by 1 point from Alonso and Hamilton. We might also see a bit more effort to win the race as the extra 2 points make it worth trying.

15th April 2007

That week went by pretty quickly! Third race gone, three winners. I suppose that's an improvement on past seasons. However, In those three races, after the first couple of laps in each race, there hasn't been one overtaking manoeuvre between the top 4 drivers. So, whilst it is good that there are 4 drivers all with a genuine claim for the driver's championship title, it would be nice to see a bit of racing between them.

Of cause, in the world of mad-eric, having 4 drivers all sharing the points between themselves is great. Long may it continue. At last, we might get later into the season and see teams trying to out guess each other as to which the better driver/engine/chassis to buy is. There may also be the "holy grail" of no "best possible team" - in past years, the mad-eric title has become a race to see who can get an entirely Renault/Ferarri team first. In summary, variety is good, racing would be better still.

9th April 2007

It's been a long weekend of sport - Davis cup tennis, World Cup cricket, US Master's golf, double premiership football fixtures, and sandwiched inbetween all that was the Malaysian GP. To be perfectly honest, of all the sport on offer, the GP was probably at the bottom in terms of entertainment.

The tennis had the typical "Henman rollercoaster" and the ever more impressive Murray show. The golf had a ridiculously difficult Augusta course - and the site of Tiger breaking a club whilst trying to play a shot from behind a tree is always great. The cricket had a decent performance from England, making the Aussies sweat a bit, and a fantastic win for Bangladesh against South Africa. The football had a terrible Watford performance against Middlesborough, followed by a fantastic win against Portsmounth. The F1 had a comfortable win for Alonso.

Really, the only excitement happened in the first few laps. Alonso and Hamilton got good starts, the Ferarris of Kimi and Massa less so. Whilst Alonso drove off into the sunset, Hamilton was challenged by Massa. On two occasions, Massa got passed Hamilton, and on both occasions out broke himself and ended up losing the place again - the second time, he was overtaken by 2 others as he drove briefly off the track. That was pretty much it. It seems that McLaren and Ferrari could be quite well balanced this year - let's hope that they have a few genuine scraps...

18th March 2007

Well, the season's started. First race over. Three weeks to wait until the next!

6th March 2007

It's here. I made it to the start line. Just. The 7th Mad-eric fantasy F1 championship has launched. Only a week and a half to the first race, so no time to waste in getting in your entries. If you've been here before, you should find everything familiar... or the same in fact ( I've been a bit busy recently!). If you haven't entered before, it's fairly simple - have a look round the site and then enter your team.

Enjoy the season...

Jonathan Owers