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Just How Radical Are the Changes to the 2009-Spec F1 Cars?

So how crazy and radical are the changes to the 2009-spec Formula 1 race cars? Based on the analysis by the good folks at Formula1.com, the changes are radical indeed.

2009overview

Ferrari F2008 vs F60 (2009-spec)

“The regulation changes for 2009 are some of the most extensive ever introduced to Formula One racing and fall into three main areas – aerodynamics, KERS and tyres. Formulated with help from the Overtaking Working Group’s (OWG) engineers, the new rules aim to (1) reduce the aerodynamic sensitivity of the cars to turbulence; (2) increase overtaking opportunities; and (3) slow the cars in the very quick corners. To compensate for the loss of downforce from the aerodynamic changes, slick tyres have been brought back for the first time since 1997 to boost mechanical grip. As a result of the changes the 2009 cars appear quite different to their predecessors, with the removal of the vast majority of bargeboards (now only allowed in a very small area – see red arrow), winglets, chimneys and cooling gills leading to much cleaner looking designs. Forthcoming Technical news articles will examine each of the key areas of change in detail.”

1-18-scale-118-scale-mclaren-mp4-5-1989-a-senna

McLaren-Honda MP4/5

The 2009 car is very similar to F1 cars of yesteryears, such as the McLaren MP4/5 driven by legendary driver Ayrton Senna. This author, for one, hopes that the new aero regulations will switch the focus from aero grip to mechanical grip, as the FIA intended with the switch to slicks, and will lead to more aggressive, wheel-to-wheel racing.

2009front

Front View

“As part of the aero changes designed to allow cars to be able to follow each other more closely (and hence promote overtaking), the 2009 front wing is both lower (75mm instead of 150mm) and wider (1800mm instead of 1400mm). The wing also features a universal central section (500mm), which all teams’ designs must comply with this season, and a flap section that can be adjusted by the driver twice a lap over a range of six degrees.”

BMW Sauber F1 driver Robert Kubica has already stated that the snowplow-like design of the front wing element, coupled with its rather ungainly width, will result in more race incidents. When looking at tracks with super tight first turns (Monaco being the most obvious), it won’t be uncommon to see sharp carbon shards cutting tires and causing DNFs and crashes. Decreased height of the front aero element should also prevent the cutting the chicane, especially at high curbed tracks / tracks with “sleeping policement” like Monza. Not having that extra “run off” will force drivers ever so tighter into corners. Be on the lookout for some hairy first corner antics. There will be plenty of it in 2009.

2009top

Top View

From overhead, the clearest difference between the 2008 and 2009 designs is the increased width of the front wing, now as wide as the car itself at 1800mm. Gone are the fairings on the front suspension pick-up points (where the suspension attaches to the chassis) and the use of turning vanes is now restricted to a small triangular section (see arrow) in front of the sidepods. Cooling vents, chimneys and winglets are noticeably absent from the top of the sidepods and there is no winglet on top of the rear axle. The rear wing is narrower (750mm instead of 1000mm) and taller (950mm as opposed to 800mm) and the diffuser has been moved further back.”

Again, the analysis from the top shows the absence of the plethora of bargeboards (that often looked like the saw blades), the smoke stacks and the vertical aero element on top of the side pods.

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THESE CARS TO TAKE TO THE TRACK IN A RACE!

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Formula 1, Motorsports | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Know Your Super Stats!!!

Knowledge is King This Super Bowl Sunday.

Knowledge is King This Super Bowl Sunday.

Want to be your own StatDragon this Super Bowl Sunday? Take a look at these interesting trivia facts and impress your fellow Super-Bowl-watching friends during the big game!!!

Most Rushing Yards – Timmy Smith, Washington. 204 YRDS in Super Bowl XXII

Most Passing Yards – Kurt Warner, St. Louis. 414 YRDS in Super Bowl XXXIV

Most Recieving Yards– Jerry Rice, San Francisco. 215 YRDS in Super Bowl

Most Touchdowns– Steve Young, San Francisco. 6 TDs in Super Bowl XXIX

Most Completions– Tom Brady, New England. 32 COMPS in Super Bowl XXXVIII

Most Interceptions– Rod Martin, Oakland. 3 INTs in Super Bowl XV

Most Sacks- Reggie White, Green Bay. 3 Sacks in Super Bowl XXXI

Most Field Goals– Ray Wersching, San Francisco. 4 FGs in Super Bowl XVI

Most Super Bowl Victories– three teams own 5 trophies:  San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Dallas

Most Super Bowl Losses– three teams have been embarrassed 4 times: Buffalo, Denver and Minnesota

Average Cost of 3o Sec. Commercial– $ 3 Million

# of Super Bowls that went into OT– zero

Now that you’re an expert play for free at:

http://www.sportsfly.com/LaunchGame.aspx?type=1&id=4&cmpid=blog_zg 

to win great prizes.

January 30, 2009 Posted by | News, NFL | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RIP Kay Yow

It’s not often that the Sportsfly crew muses on women’s athletics, except to clown or hammer home a point of irrelevance, but today closes the uplifting yet sorrowful saga of North Carolina State Women’s Basketball Coach Kay Yow.  Yow’s Hall of Fame career has some amazing stats.  700+ wins.  Olympic gold medal coach.  Numerous NCAA Tournament appearances.  These stats and career moments pale in comparison to her real contribution to humanity.

Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled the disease over the next 22 years of her life.  Yow’s initial response to being diagnosed was to go out and coach the Olympic team in 1988.  She beat the disease and continued coaching.  In 2004, the cancer returned, yet Yow faced it down again.  Indomitable spirit defined Kay Yow’s life experience.  In December 2008 Coach Yow took a leave of absence and said she would not return this season.  A week later, she checked into the hospital.  A week after that she passed away.  A fitting farewell to an inspirational figure.

All to often the true essence of sports gets lost.  Amongst media blitzes, over-dramaticized hyperbole, and overexposure the nature of sports dwells and unfortunately it takes stories like Kay Yow’s to bring that nature to the fore.  Competition breeds internal fire and that fire can be used to succeed, defy odds, perservere through adversity, stand humble in the face of success, and recognize one’s place in the greater scheme.  It’s fitting that both Kay Yow and her Wolfpack compatriot, Jim Valvano, lived and taught these principles as they faced an opponent that typically drains the spirit just as much as it drains the body.  To the end, Kay Yow remained resolute to not let cancer take her out of the game.  On the court she stood, even as her physical self dwindled away.  When she finally decided the fight was over, it ended.  That is the beauty of free will.  Kay Yow was laid to rest today, but her example and teachings resonate.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

Fight til the Fight is Done

Fight til the Fight is Done

January 30, 2009 Posted by | College Basketball, Features & Opinions, General | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Halftime Show=NFL Punking Out

The NFL needs to grow up.

Janet Jackson in 2004

Janet Jackson in 2004

Or maybe young.

Ever since the infamous moment when Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed for public consumption in 2004, the NFL has become scared.  Terrified, really.

In fact, that 2004 Super Bowl didn’t just feature Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  Nelly, P.Diddy, and Kid Rock performed, too.

Previous years have seen acts such as No Doubt, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, U2 and Queen Latifah.

But since 2004, the NFL has played it safe.  They’ve turned to classic performers who are now carrying AARP cards.  The last four Super Bowls have featured Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

It’s not that we shouldn’t recognize past artists who helped pave the way.  But there are dozens of great acts that deserve to be given the exposure of the world at halftime.  From Alicia Keys to Adele to Kanye West–there is a new generation of musical acts that fans would love to see.  And ones who haven’t already been in the business for four decades.

Even Jennifer Hudson, a young woman who has won an Oscar and has recently been nominated for four Grammy awards due to her debut release this past year, is only singing the National Anthem.  For two brief minutes.

The NFL needs to get its act together.  You can’t market the league, memorabilia, and its products (such as Madden NFL Football) to a demographic that is roughly 35 and under, and yet trumpet out artists who are pushing sixty.  It’s not that Prince or Bruce Springsteen aren’t legends–they are.  But it’s time to showcase new legends for a new generation of fans.

The Super Bowl is the most watched event of the year, and so there’s no doubt that someone is enjoying the choices of halftime performances.  But the league should not be so scarred by the Janet Jackson incident that they’re afraid to let a young woman back on the stage.  Or any woman, at that.

Memo to the NFL:  You don’t have to worry about an orgy breaking out on stage.  No one will spew vulgarity.  Learn from your 2004 mistake, find ways to correct it, and move on.  Don’t hide your product behind an artist whose hey day was during the Nixon administration.

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , | 3 Comments