Hello, F1 fans. My name is Tim Flannery. I’m a 17 year old American, and I love everything about Formula One. I love the combination of the technical advancements and innovation, mixed with the courageous, creative, and strategic driving techniques used by the drivers. I moved from America to Tokyo, Japan in sixth grade. In Tokyo, I was amazed by the calibre of the cars in Tokyo. Everyday as I walked home from the bus stop I would see Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins. Every ultra-expensive car in the world could be found somewhere in Tokyo. I spent many of my Sunday afternoons walking through the streets just to catch a glimpse of these special machines. It was through my move to Tokyo and new-found fascination of performance cars that I got into F1. I began to look up information about these cars and how they performed, and began to watch videos on the internet. Before I knew it, I was watching race videos of Competition Ferraris and Cup Porsches, which eventually evolved into watching F1 footage. I was astounded by the brutal speed of F1, the sound, and the history of the glamorous sport.
I began to follow the news of the F1 world at the closing stages of the 2008 season (quite exciting stuff!). I began to watch the full length races during the 2009 season, which was made very interesting by the rule changes from 2008 to 2009. I enjoyed all of the different systems that the designers and engineers conjured up with such a radical rule change. I watched as Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello of Brawn GP thrashed the competition, and a late charge by Red Bull with the RB5 car brought the championship closer than most people thought it would be. I knew I was hooked after I saw the 2009 season.
Although I try to stay impartial in my opinions and posts about F1, I do of course have favorite teams and drivers just as anyone else does. My favorite drivers include Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Kamui Kobayashi, and Jenson Button. I am fascinated with the smooth styles of Jenson Button, and especially Fernando Alonso. Alonso amazes me because he looks so composed in the car, he has little wheel input relative to the other drivers, and yet he pushes the car to the ragged edge. The car looks like it’s on fire when he’s on a good drive, even though he is such a calm and collected individual. His ability to be consistent when he needs to but also aggressive when the situation calls for it interests and impresses me. Although Hamilton can be extremely aggressive and is a great overtaker, I don’t think he has the same consistency and overall pace that Alonso has. It seems to me that Alonso is always a threat, even if his car is not the most likely on the field to attack.
Mark Webber is not the most talented driver on the F1 grid. I believe Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are the two most talented drivers at the moment. However, it seems to me that Webber can always find a way to be competitive. He hasn’t had the greatest luck in his career; his spin in Korea in 2010, KERS and gearbox problems in 2011, but he always tries his hardest and I am happy when he succeeds. He is funny, kind, interesting, and determined to succeed in F1, and which makes him very entertaining to watch and follow.
Kamui Kobayashi is definitely the biggest thriller in F1 at the moment. Although he may not be very consistent, especially in his qualifying performances, he never fails to put on a show. He is fearless and will attack at any chance he has. Many give Lewis Hamilton the “best overtaker” crown, but my vote goes to Kamui Kobayashi. No matter what track he is at, or even which corner, he always finds a way around someone. Valencia 2010, Suzuka 2010, even in 2009 he was overtaking the best of them. Kamui Kobayashi is never scared to overtake, and is always strategic and accurate as they come when it comes to passing. Not only is he a great overtaker, but he is also a great defender. He holds to his lines, and he will drive where he wants to drive in order to maintain his position, which I find an admiral trait in a driver.
Robert Kubica is also a great driver in my opinion. I fear for his health after his crash in between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. I’m not sure if he will come back to the same level of performance that he was at earlier, but I hope he does. He is a driver with great potential. He is still young and very fast. His greatest car was in 2008 with BMW F1, which was not a car which was likely to win races. Nevertheless, he secured his first and so far only victory at Montreal in the 2008 season. He also punched above his weight in 2010 in the Renault R30, scoring podium positions at Monaco and Spa. I believe he has never been on a team that is competitive enough for him to show his true talent. There were some rumors of him at Ferrari with his good friend Fernando Alonso (I don’t believe these rumors are true), and if that were to occur I think it would be fascinating to see how he competes with the top drivers on the grid.
I am not a fan of certain drivers on the grid, such as Sebastian Vettel, but I do respect all of them. All drivers are unique in their style, consistency, and strategy, which makes them all interesting. I respect the flat out speed that Sebastian Vettel has. I believe he’ll be at least a triple world champion, but I do not really enjoy watching him race as much as I enjoy the above drivers. That said, I completely understand why he is a special driver, and why other people enjoy watching him race.
As for teams, I am a McLaren fan. I love the history of the team, especially during the late 1980’s with the legendary rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. The team is one which never gives up and always manages to be competitive. McLaren have won 1/4 of the races they have ever competed in, which shows their ability to adapt to different eras and competition in the sport. They are a very respectable team with respectable drivers, designers, and management. Their last constructor’s championship title came in 1998, so I hope they are able to use their resources and skills to design a car that will take them to the top in the 21st century.
Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions of opinions you have on F1. I love discussing the sport and will do my best to reply to each question or comment you may have.