Designed-to-degrade vs flat-out F1: Time to change tyres? | Debates and Polls

Posted on Jan 31, 2016

This coming week top F1 figures will discuss whether in 2017 the sport should abandon a key belief which has shaped the racing over the past five seasons. The arrival of Pirelli in 2011 coincided with the sport?s powers-that-be demanding the use of ?designed-to-degrade? tyres ? rubber which drivers could only use for a short length of time during races, being forced to pit two or three times for fresh tread. While there is no doubt the amount of pit stops has increased compared to the 2010 season, drivers have grown increasingly unhappy at being forced to operate within their limits. They and others believe it is time to return to performance-orientated compounds. Where do you stand on the debate? Entertainment: ?Designed to degrade? Nothing has done more to increase unpredictability and promote overtaking over the past five years than high-degradation tyres. Particularly before 2014 it gave us several exciting races where drivers who felt they had to make more pit stops than their rivals raced to catch up: China in 2011 and Canada in 2012 are two of several examples. High-degradation tyres are a fairer way of increasing overtaking than something like DRS, which deprives the leading driving of the ability to defend themselves. Every driver has access to the same range of tyres, so if they find themselves on the wrong rubber at the wrong time they cannot blame misfortune. Although the dominance of Mercedes over the last two seasons has made the improvements to the racing harder to appreciate, the challenge offered by the tyres has contributed to some surprise results. Sebastian Vettel?s victories in Malaysia and Singapore were aided by Mercedes making wrong strategic calls or being unable to get the best out of their tyres. Performance: ?Flat-out F1? Although tyre conservation has almost always happened to some extent in F1, it has now become far too prevalent. While ?designed to degrade? tyre have brought some limited improvements to the racing it has come at a serious cost in terms of performance. Formula One cars are visibly slower in corners than they used to be, making for a less impressive spectacle. Furthermore, as drivers spend a greater proportion of the races conserving their tyres, they are less likely to make mistakes. And when a rival looms large in their mirrors they are more likely to hear their race engineer saying ?don?t bother fighting him?, because putting up resistance would waste precious tyre life against an opponent who is on much fresher rubber. The fragility of the tyres also discourages drivers from following closely behind their rivals for long, which is why they are often heard being told to maintain gaps of around two seconds to the car ahead until the pit stops, when they can push hard and finally use the tyres the way they are meant to be. I say Designed-to-degrade tyres were one...

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Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015 | 2015 F1 season

Posted on Jan 31, 2016

The number of penalties being issued to Formula One drivers continues to grow year-on-year. The total number of penalties issued last season exceeded 100 for the first time. This came about largely due to a substantial increase in the number of penalties issued for power unit component changes. The two McLaren drivers collected a total of 310 grid place penalties over the season chiefly for this reason and the Red Bull drivers received 125. The number of penalties issued because of driving infringements was largely unchanged compared to the previous season: F1?s stewards have become much busier over the previous five years. Last season 163 incidents were investigated, more than two-and-a-half times as many as there was during 2011. Unsurprisingly the leading causes of driver penalties is incidents with other drivers: causing a collision or forcing them off the track. Other leading causes of penalties are speeding ? past yellow flags, in the pits or behind the Safety Car ? leaving the track and impeding. Go ad-free for just £1 per month >> Find out more and sign up The rise in penalties has prompted criticism from some, notably Fernando Alonso who at the end of last year compared F1 unfavourably with other motor sports after being penalised in Abu Dhabi. ?I think these kind of decisions they need to make a little bit more sense than what they are doing now,? he said, ?because I don?t see this in WEC, in Moto GP and other categories that are much more fun than us.? However while penalties have become more commonplace they have arguably become more lenient and more consistent as well. In recent seasons stewards have been given new powers to issue more lenient penalties than they used to, and they have increasingly taken advantage of them: This could be seen as a step forward in two respects. The time taken to drive through the pits is much higher at a track like Singapore (24.7 seconds) than Spa (17.4 seconds), so the impact of a drive-through penalty is much greater at some tracks than others. A five or ten-second penalty is not only less damaging to a driver?s race, it is consistent in severity from event to event. And while there will always be complains from drivers, teams and their fans about rulings on specific incidents, there have been fewer alarmingly contentious decisions of late than there was in some late-2000s races before driver stewards were introduced. A good example of this is the rise in incidents being settled informally by drivers being advised by the race director to relinquish a position which was gained by going off the track ? something the previous FIA president insisted was not possible following one especially controversial decision. Over to you Are too many penalties being issued in F1? Should drivers receive penalties due to problems with their cars that are...

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Vegan Recipe: Sliced avocado & homemade mixed bean tapenade on buckwheat crispbreads

Posted on Jan 31, 2016

Photo credit: Vicki Psarias The month of January has seen me embark on Veganuary, an initiative many take part in each year, which aims to reduce the suffering of animals by inspiring and supporting people all over the world to go vegan for the first month of the year.  After a summer of plant-based eating last year, and feeling better than ever, I was excited to rid myself of meat and dairy for the new year, and I must say I?ve felt full of energy and more content than ever. I think I might well go veggie by Feb the 1st because of it and who knows whether I opt to be vegan full time (not just Beyoncé style) in the future. I?ve been creating lots of exciting vegan recipes over on my blog Honest Mum and wanted to share one of my go-to vegan snacks with you guys (which vegans and non-vegans alike will love): Sliced Avocado & Homemade Mixed Bean Tapenade On Buckwheat Crispbreads. They are the perfect way to beat those mid-afternoon munchies without reaching for the biscuit tin and promise to keep you feeling full for hours while packing a healthy punch. Beans are jam packed with nutrients-as well as being high in fibre, iron, magnesium and vitamin B, mixed beans are a great source of protein making them essential food for anyone following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Once made, the tapenade will last for 2-3 days. Simply store in a air tight tupperwear box and refrigerate to keep fresh. Even my kids loved these! Photo credit: Vicki Psarias Check out my recipe below: Sliced Avocado And Homemade Mixed Bean Tapenade, Sprinkled With Smoked Paprika Avocado And Homemade Mixed Bean Tapenade Photo credit: Vicki Psarias Ingredients Crackers of your choice (vegan). Here we use buckwheat crispbreads which are also gluten-free.1 Avocado slicedSmoked paprikaExtra-virgin olive oilFor the mixed bean tapenade (makes 6 servings) 1 x 400g can of mixed beans2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oilJuice and zest of one lemon1 tbsp fresh parsley1/4 tsp of sea salt1/2 tsp of coarse black pepperMethod To make the tapenade, combine mixed beans, oil, lemon juice and zest parsley, salt and pepper in a blender. Blitz until smooth. Serve on the crackers, top with sliced avocado, a light dusting of smoked paprika and a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning. Delicious! Photo credit: Vicki Psarias Will you try them or opt to go vegan for a month like I have? About Vicki Psarias Vicki Psarias blogs at Honest Mum and Mummy’s Got Style Psarias is an award winning writer/director winning the 30 Under 30 Square Mile London Talent Award, The Channel 4 4Talent Award for Best Filmmaker amongst many Best Director film festival awards from LA to India. Vicki features in the Guardian?s Courvoisieur Future 500 and was highly commended at the Red Magazine Red Hot Women Awards for her writing...

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10 Greatest Debuts In WWE NXT History

Posted on Jan 30, 2016

Shinsuke Nakamura will surely have his work cut out for him at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. WWE.com It?s been a whirlwind of a week in the world of wrestling with fans buzzing over the arrivals of AJ Styles, Austin Aries and Shinsuke Nakamura in WWE. Styles made his highly anticipated debut in the 2016 Royal Rumble match while Aries appeared at last Friday?s set of NXT tapings in Orlando. Days later, it was announced that Nakamura will be in action at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. How WWE will treat Nakamura in NXT remains to be seen, but if the way they have utilized Styles so far on the main roster has been any indication, he will be just fine. He dominated the Japanese wrestling scene for over a decade and will now face a new set of challenges in NXT, where he will face some of the greatest wrestlers in the world today. It feels like every signing to the so-called developmental territory is more exciting than the last. Long gone are the days of ?rookies? coming to NXT without being treated like a big deal. Finn Balor, Hideo Itami and Asuka all received heroic homecomings upon their brand debuts, but they are only a few of the many stars to have memorable first appearances. As we await the arrivals of Aries and Nakamura in NXT, let?s look back at the top ten greatest introductions in the show?s near-four year history. 10. Baron Corbin WWE.com Baron Corbin was already a familiar face to longtime NXT viewers by NXT TakeOver; Fatal 4-Way. He spent the first few years of his stint in developmental working as an enhancement talent and losing to the more established stars. Despite his large size, no one ever took him seriously as a threat. Henceforth, everyone expected his match with CJ Parker at said special to be a total squash in Parker?s favor when Corbin was seen standing in the ring without an entrance. But what fans received instead took them by complete surprise. Only mere seconds into the matchup, Corbin scooped up NXT?s resident environmentalist and planted him (no pun intended) with one of the coolest-looking finishing maneuvers fans had seen in some time, later known as the End of Days. As soon as he scored the three count and he was announced as the victor of the match, the audience immediately took notice. Never again would they forget the name of Baron Corbin. He floundered for a time, especially after his feuds with Bull Dempsey and Rhyno flopped, but he finally found his stride in the summer during his rivalry with Samoa Joe. He has really come into his own as a heel over the last six months and has surprisingly suffered only one pinfall defeat at the hands of Neville last February. That loss aside, he has been booked strongly and remains one to watch in the...

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Further rumours point to Magnussen replacing Maldonado | F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on Jan 30, 2016

In the round-up: Further reports claim Pastor Maldonado is about to lose his place at Renault to Kevin Magnussen, as was first reported two weeks ago. Links Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more. Magnussen set to replace Maldonado (Autosport) “Sources have confirmed Magnussen is poised to sign a deal over the next few days, before being officially confirmed at Renault’s launch in Paris next Wednesday.” Kevin Magnussen set to replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault (Sky) “The Venezuelan, reputed to pay almost £20m for his seat, is believed to have been ousted after backing from his sponsors dried up.” Bernie Ecclestone warns teams on engines (BBC) “He added that F1 ‘won’t be there’ unless the Circuit of the Americas pays its sanctioning fee, but said he had ‘no doubts’ the situation would be resolved.” Williams feels like ‘little girl’ in F1, wants to be braver (AP) “I sometimes feel like I’m the little girl in the room … sometimes I wish, when I’m responsible for fighting for my team and my team’s position within our sport, (I’m) perhaps sometimes braver.” FIA wants closed cockpit plan ready for 2017 (Motorsport) “They fired objects at various of the protection methods, from different angles and so on. And the Halo came out as the fastest way to tick most boxes, for debris and heavier objects.” Vic Elford on coaching Juan Pablo Montoya (Motorsport magazine) “I took Pablo (his father) aside and told him, ‘Look after him. If he gets the right breaks and is carefully managed he can be world champion.’ Unfortunately, there was nobody strong enough to be at his side to make it happen.” Former F1 star Eddie Irvine lists luxury mansion on property website Airbnb (The Mirror) “Former Formula 1 star Eddie Irvine has listed his luxury Dublin mansion on property website Airbnb.” rFactor Azerbaijan, Baku (YouTube) A very rough impression of the Baku circuit layout: [embedded content] x Social media This official 1998 #F1 champion cap shouldn’t exist. 100 produced. Most of them destroyed. Not this one. #AMuS #TBT pic.twitter.com/iLniZQT4Rq ? Tobias Grüner (@tgruener) January 28, 2016 Hearing Chandon not be @F1 official bubbly after exit of Mumm, but another brand. Wonder how much TV coverage @mclaren will get in that case ? Fritz-Dieter Rencken (@RacingLines) January 28, 2016 Interesting to note having previously touted an Alfa return to #F1, Marchionne is now again delaying plans to expand their road car line-up. ? F1 Fanatic (@f1fanatic_co_uk) January 28, 2016 On this day in F1 Happy birthday to 1979 world champion Jody Scheckter who is 66 today. More...

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