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“You win some, lose some, and wreck some.”
- Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Welcome to the “Drafting the Circuits” website.

With the best in racing news and commentary, we are the place to be for everything racing.. then and now. Tune into our weekly radio show or float around and read articles from 7 of racing’s best writers. Lead by Chief 187… we are re-defining what a racing channel should be. Tell your friends… shout it from the mountaintops… DRAFTING THE CIRCUITS on the Whoobazoo.com network!

REMEMBER… drive fast, turn left… It’s not just a suggestion… it is a way of life!


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The Shifting Winds Of Ferrari

2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 52

Ferrari Season Review

What are we to make of the legendary Ferrari?

A team in transition or a team that has lost its way in a sport that they have formally mastered?  The past few years have been rough for the Scuderia.  Between 2010 and 2013, Ferrari bounced between 2nd and 3rd in the Constructor’s Championship as Fernando Alonso led the charge with some spirited battles with Sebastian Vettel.

With new engine regulations in 2014, the masterminds from Maranello would have a chance to once again move to the top step of the Formula 1 class.

But 2014 found Ferrari behind the power curve in adapting to the new regulations that favored hybrid technology and V6 engines.  A weak 4th place performance in the Constructors Championship rewarded only two podium finishes for Fernando Alonso and none for Kimi Raikkonen.  With two World Champions piloting for Ferrari, the world expected much, much more!

Evidently, so did Ferrari!

This lack of competitive performance led Ferrari to totally retool their operations.  Some top names in the history of Formula 1 were shown the door and in their place are a new cast who can hopefully bring championships back to the Scuderia.

Out

Stefano Domenicali  (Team Principal)                                                                                       Luca di Montezemolo    (Chairman)                                                                                   Fernando Alonso    (Driver)                                                                                                     Andrea Stella (Race Engineer)                                                                                                   Pat Fry   (Engineering Director)                                                                                               Luca Marmorini (Engine Boss)                                                                                           Nikolas Tombazis (Chief Designer)

In

Sergio Marchionne     (Chairman)                                                                                             Sebastian Vettel (Driver)                                                                                                 Maurizio Arrivabenne  (Team Principal)                                                                                   Jock Clear

In and then Out

Marco Mattiaci

From the outside, Ferrari has the look of a champion team that has lost its punch.

With a massive influx of new personnel, it appears that Ferrari has done what most large corporation do when they need to make sweeping change.  My question is this?  Do the new guys know how to be Ferrari?

Can the new team be the Ferrari that can influence Bernie Ecclestone?  The Ferrari that has the iron willed drivers such as Schumacher, Alonso and Lauda.?  The Ferrari that restores the magic to the Scuderia!

COTA Thursday 9-0751

Fernando Answering Questions At Circuit of the Americas

Personally, I hope so!

To their credit, Marchionne has been wildly successful turning around Fiat and Chrysler.  Arrivabenne is understood to have strong influence and understanding of the inner workings of Formula 1 and Ferrari.  And Vettel is a 4 time World Champion and appears energized and motivated.  Nothing more needs to be said of his value to the team!

The question is have they reached rock bottom.  The engine is slow, and the aero is fair at best on some tracks.  And to boot, they have lost Alonso.  Watching Alonso race this year was like watching a lion that has lost its heart.  It is still an impressive beast, but without that crunching bite.

ALO MAG 15 COTA 2014

Alonso approaching McLaren

Hopefully, Sebastian Vettel will be able to counter some of the pain of losing the Spaniard.  Certainly replacing Alonso with a 4-time champion is a plus.  Vettel has also shown the desire to dedicate himself to Ferrari…something that Alonso seemed to struggle with these last two years.  But Vettel won’t be able to overcome a weak car and it will be interesting to see how he compares to Raikkonen.

Kimi R COTA-1

Kimi Raikkonen

The magic of Formula 1 works best when there is a competitive Ferrari at the point.  The worst part of the 2014 season for Ferrari was the on track performance was NOT the story.  Ferrari, the most successful team in F1 history, needs to get back on track and quickly as the sports is better when the top lion has its teeth!

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me @steve_aibel or check us all out @RacingDTC for Drafting the Circuits.

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Greatest Races Ever: The 1989 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

by Frank Santoroski

longbeach89Greatest Races Ever is a series of articles that looks back on some of the wildest, unpredictable, most competitive or just plain odd races over the years.  This weeks installment takes us back to the heyday of the CART series to have a look at the 1989 Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The CART series first hit the tracks in 1979, formed by a group of team owners in response to lackluster promotion by USAC.  The series quickly gained momentum.  By the end of the 1980s, CART had a strong series with bona fide superstars and a diverse schedule of ovals, road courses and street races.  The series seemed to be on the verge of rivaling Formula One for racing supremacy.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach was conceived as an avenue to bring Formula One to the West Coast of the United States.  After holding a successful F-5000 event in 1975, promoter Chris Pook hosted F-1 on the streets of Long Beach for eight years beginning in 1976.  Unable to reach an amicable agreement with Formula One after 1983, the race was added to the CART schedule.

The festival-like atmosphere complete with Hollywood celebrity sightings, combined with the hard fought racing has made the Long Beach event extremely popular with both drivers and fans.  The race remained with CART through the transition to ChampCar.   In 2008, Long Beach hosted the final ChampCar event during the reunification season.  The venerable race remains on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule to this day and is now the longest-running street race in North America.

Read more

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Williams Formula 1: Most improved team in 2014...BY FAR!

2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 51

Williams Season Review

Winning Grand Prix races is part of the DNA at Williams F1. But the last 12 years have been rather thin for the team from Grove. 2014 should be the first bounce back year as the team finished third in the constructors’ table.  Considering that Williams scored only 5 points  in 2013, the 2014 points haul of 320 salutes massive improvement. With perhaps the fastest top speed, two excellent drivers, and a little engine that could attitude, Williams showed their true heart.

Bottas COTA-1

 

 

 

 

Coupled with a Mercedes power unit for the first time in Williams history, the FW36 design was often fastest through the speed traps. However, their downforce and early season tire wear was not good enough when compared with the Red Bull and Mercedes entries.  Still, Williams was strong enough to be in each week’s conversation for pole position and fastest lap in the majority of races this season.

 

Ricciardo-Bottas 2014 COTA-1403

 

 

 

 

 

 
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