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KDubK414

Open Wheel Racing Chat

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With the abrupt ending to the IndyCar Season last year, a cloud has been cast over the safety of open wheel racing. IndyCar lost two of it's major stars last year to two different things. Heading into Las Vegas, all the talk was that it was Danica Patrick's last race, as she was bolting for "greener" pastures in NASCAR. Then a few hours later the unthinkable happened. A major pile up with less than a few laps to go, and Dan Wheldon's life is cut way to short.

It is 2012 now, as Dan would've been doing and wanted, time to fire up those engines. And get talking about the IndyCar, F1, and anything else Open Wheel related.

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To start on a positive note for IRL :)

Milwaukee was added to the schedule. Let's hope the Andretti group who promotes the race can make it happen.

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Yeah Wolf, I am beyond happy that Andretti stepped up to make it a reality, 2010 was a dark summer here in Milwaukee. Also, it is going to be called Milwaukee IndyFest, which is really cool as it ties into the whole City of Festivals thing the city has. First up on the schedule is the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, set for March 25. The F1 series kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix on St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Update: I replaced all IRL's with IndyCar, as that is what the series is officially called now.

A few questions to ponder fans with more than a few weeks until the seasons kick off...

Will the first F1 race held in the United States since 1980 capture the hearts of open wheel fans to make it a permanent fixture for years to come?

What will be the biggest surprise in either series this year?

Who will be the biggest breakout driver in either?

Who will win at Indy?

Who will win each series points championship?

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A few questions to ponder fans with more than a few weeks until the seasons kick off...

Will the first F1 race held in the United States since 1980 capture the hearts of open wheel fans to make it a permanent fixture for years to come?

What will be the biggest surprise in either series this year?

Who will be the biggest breakout driver in either?

Who will win at Indy?

Who will win each series points championship?

Not true, they had a race at Indy for most of the last decade.

That race seemed like it could have worked though, until it was pretty much sabotaged by the 2005 event were a dispute over the safety of tyres led to only six cars starting, the Ferraris and the two worst teams on the grid. That created a LOT of bad feeling and basically killed it off

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Waltere, I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me. It is hard to believe that was 7 years ago already. Whatever the length of time, F1 is back in America, even fielding an American team. Let's hope it sticks this time around, because this country needs a jolt in the arm to reignite the open wheel format.

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I live in this town, so naturally I'm an open wheel guy. Really miss F1 here, although 2005 did suck. A lot. The free tickets the next year were nice though! :P

Honestly, there's nothing like the 500. Be it qualifying or the actual race, it's just always great to get out to the track during the month of May. Can't wait for it this year.

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I was in Austin last year, around this time, coincidentally during the SXSW festival. Already quite some buzz at that moment about the race. I was surprised that they were already working on it, even without a date set at that moment.

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I will say this, for as much technology as F1 has, they sure as hell build some ugly friggin' cars. Each year F1 cars look uglier and uglier.

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No kidding, with the exception of McLaren's machine, they look awful, but if it makes for good racing, I'm all for it.

But what I love coming up

Indy:

Chevy & Lotus coming to give Honda a run for its money.

The new rule changes

The Indy 500

New & returning tracks

Formula One:

Austin, Texas: I can't wait for F1 to come back

Will someone be able to stop Vettel?

Will Ferrari come back to its glory

What new team or new driver finally gets a break?

Both:

Will we see more engine makers get involved?

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Yeah, you would hope that aestatics would come into play somewhere. I get magazines which concentrate on the old (60s-70s-80s) F1 and they look much better.

Then again, Bernie doesn't care. He would only care if ugly cars lose him sponsordeals.

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Formula One:

Austin, Texas: I can't wait for F1 to come back

Same here, Circuit of the Americas looks like its going to be a stunning facility and will actually have some scenery unlike recent bland additions such as India, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and South Korea.

Will someone be able to stop Vettel?

Yes. Jenson Button. :)

(I hope!!!)

What new team or new driver finally gets a break?

Well I'd like to see a few teams break through, but its one heck of a tough nut to crack.

I'm going out on a limb (before its hit the track) but I think Mercedes-Benz might be able to get a win this season. That is providing the conditions are right and the W03 is not a complete dogs dinner.

Driver wise, I'd love to see Nico finally win. As for new drivers, well I think there's quite a few that need to retire now. Schumacher and Trulli are top of my list. They're just blocking new talent.

Both:

Will we see more engine makers get involved?

Well there was a rumour not so long ago that McLaren were looking to Honda to replace Mercedes when the deal expires. Naturally it's been dismissed.

The other interesting rumour was that Volkswagen were interested in buying Lotus cars. Quick way for them to get on the grid I suppose, even if it would still just be as a sponsor.

Actually combining those rumours would be something interesting. Vodafone McLaren-Audi anyone? ;)

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If VW ever got involved, I'd probably see either Lambo or Porsche engines before Audi or VW, Audi is sadly a pipe dream but I'd love to see it.

After seeing the testing in Jerez, Vettel looks dominate but like Hathaway, I'm rooting for Jenson, what he did in 09 still was very impressive. Its good to see Kimi back in F1 machine & I think McLaren & the Silver Arrows at Mercedes have a good shot to take down Vettel.... Unless Webber blows up again & calls controversy. Alonso looked good but looks can be deceiving.

I'm also still hoping that we can get an American driver in F1, I know Alex Rossi is still working on that dream but I'm hoping in a few years that can happen, maybe even a "legit" American team.

BTW, thoughts on the Platypus nose folks?

Oh well.... 5 weeks til Melbourne.

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Assuming they pull it off logistically and it all follows through as planned, I cannot wait for this (I know, not until 2013, but just so damn cool) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Imperial_Street_Circuit

Not only that the return of France at Paul Rickard test track & rumors following Argentina, South Africa & Mexico.

Bernie, I know your not liked, but at least one of these tracks can replace Bahrain.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120130/F1/120139987

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Even worse than Bahrain, that entirely pointless thing around the port in Valencia. I mean there is so much fail in the concept of that place, and it regularly produces about the worst races of the year.

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Even worse than Bahrain, that entirely pointless thing around the port in Valencia. I mean there is so much fail in the concept of that place, and it regularly produces about the worst races of the year.

I think Jeremy Clarkson said it best about Valencia, he took a nap during that race & once he woke up it was over.

Valencia needs to go, Barcelona needs to stay.

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I'm not a fan of Barcelona either, but of the Spanish tracks I'd take that over Valencia. Whoever thought a race with a container port as a backdrop would look appealing..?

If I had my way the European GP would be held at the Red Bull Ring (nee A1 Ring) in Austria. But I can't see that happening. Shame really as the juxtaposition of an F1 car screaming around the peaceful Styrian mountains had a certain appeal about it.

One things for sure, with Jersey next year and then Sochi, Russia in '14 another track has got to go and sadly its bound to be one of the good ones and not one of these dull Tilkedromes.

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Truth be told, the way I keep hearing about Korea, I'd be surprised if they will still be around. Losing Turkey & the possibility of losing Germany, Hungary & Belgium doesn't sound too promising. Bernie needs to realize that Europe is where most of it needs to be but then again, I kind of want to see what happens this season with the Concorde Agreement's last year.

In the mean time, while we talk about that, who do we all like in IndyCar? The first season without Danica, the new chasis & rulebook, I think Indy make get back to its rightful glory. Plus the main question, can Will Power or anyone else dethrone King Dario?

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