July 19, 2024


Fantasy Formula 1 Management

1993 – The Commentator’s Predictions

The second and final year of technological warfare in FF1M may well favour the top teams and seem like a foregone conclusion on paper. However, judging by the times in the second pre-season test, four teams look like they could challenge for the championship, possibly a fifth depending on how the races and mid-season quiz go. Three new teams also have the potential to throw a spanner in the works as they’re entitled to double development in the quizzes. How will they fare amongst the established runners?

11th – Tildesley GP-Judd

The first of the new teams on the grid look like they’re in for a rough ride as they missed out on the pre-season quiz that took place between the two test sessions. It certainly showed in the second test as they were over a second off of the next team and over 20kph slower on the back straight of Jerez, a circuit not known for top speed. Their drivers, former race winner Roberto Moreno and the debuting Eddie Irvine, will be hoping for a lot of attrition in the fourteen races to score any points.

10th – Goomba Engineering-Yamaha

The first Italian team to race in FF1M since the Maserati team back in the 1950 race are in slightly better shape than Tildesley, even though they didn’t have the best of outcomes from the pre-season quiz. They’re gone for an all British line-up of Martin Brundle and Derek Warwick, and Brundle had an eventful time in the second pre-season test with two engine failures and a stuck throttle causing him to miss the pitlane and create an early nomination for Bandit of the Season. As the season goes on, Goomba could give some of the established teams a run for their money, but points will still be difficult to come by.

9th – Shake ‘n’ Bake Motorsport-Ford

Shake ‘n’ Bake had a massively disappointing season in 1992 with the team having resisted developing technologies in favour of building funds for this season. As a result, they have quite a line-up of Nigel Mansell, who won his only championship so far with the Yorkshire team in 1988, and Jean Alesi, who won his only race with the Yorkshire team in 1989. In a way, it’s Tash ‘n’ Rash reborn! They have a lot of catching up to do however and both drivers will do well to get in the points.

8th – Pedersen-Ilmor

The team that took Michael Schumacher to championship glory in 1992 face a bit of a struggle in 1993 thanks to missing out on many key drivers in the silly season, and they also showed some apprehension about running Ilmor engines for 1993. Their car looks to be a bit quicker on raw pace compared to Shake ‘n’ Bake, but their drivers, Mark Blundell and Christian Fittipaldi, are far less experienced. Expect a few points finishes for the Danish team, but not many.

7th – Mitchell-Renault

Mitchell had a wretched season in 1992 with Erik Comas, Jean Alesi, and then Derek Warwick all failing to score points. They spent much of last season building finances, and they have managed to poach the top two drivers from 1992, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill. However, it’s at the expense of an underdeveloped car as neither driver was particularly quick in testing. Aside from Tildesley, they were the slowest cars in a straight-line, suggesting a lack of semi-automatic gearbox. If they reverse this mid-season, then both drivers could sneak a podium finish, but they should expect a slow start to the season.

6th – Andrew Racing-Lamborghini

Just as in 1991, Andrew Racing have gone all Italian with Pierluigi Martini, the debuting Gianni Morbidelli, and works Lamborghini engines. On paper, it doesn’t seem like a sparkling line-up and after the first test, Andrew Racing were in the middle of nowhere despite already having active suspension and traction control. In the second test however, things looked significantly better with Martini breaking the top ten. It’s likely that a semi-automatic gearbox has been developed, and this could help the team to one or two podium finishes.

5th – CBA Racing-Renault

The third of the brand new teams appears to be by far the strongest with both drivers featuring in the top ten during the second test. The debuting Rubens Barrichello found over two seconds between tests and even headed the timesheets at one point to end up less than two tenths behind the quickest driver. They also have the advantage of double development which could bring them right into play after mid-season. Podiums must be the target for the field’s dark horses, possibly a race win, but both Barrichello and Alessandro Zanardi aren’t the most experienced drivers in the field.

4th – FJR-Honda

The omnipresent Yorkshire team tasted teams championship success last season thanks to a brilliant first half, a bit of luck in the second half, and the combined efforts of Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert, who both won races. The silly season didn’t initially work out great for FJR, but Karl Wendlinger and JJ Lehto have a decent car on their hands. Both can qualify well and win races with works Honda engines, but other teams have more handy drivers to play with.

3rd – Willows Racing-Ferrari

Willows were the glass cannons of 1992 with a competitive but brittle car. They managed two pole positions and a well-earned win for Thierry Boutsen, who set a record for most races before a debut win (76 races), but also a spate of mechanical retirements. Their driver line-up this season is arguably stronger with Alain Prost gunning for his third drivers championship in his final season and Johnny Herbert entering 1993 on a high after winning at Adelaide. Prost was quick in testing, but one weakness could be the customer Ferrari engines, which may hinder the team in qualifying.

2nd – Gojira AutoSport-Ferrari

Despite maintaining works Ferrari engines and pocketing two hugely talented drivers in Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen, championship glory isn’t guaranteed for Gojira. Theoretically, they start the season on the back foot after not developing active suspension during 1992. The second test indicates that they may have gone for it after Senna topped the timesheets, so he can drive round the car’s initial grip deficiencies compared to other teams and go for his fourth drivers championship. Two things however; reliability is a question mark after both drivers suffered engine failures during the test, and if Hakkinen being seven tenths off his teammate is a sign of things to come, then a teams championship may just be out of reach.

1st – Tornado Motorsport-Renault

1992 was a missed opportunity for Tornado with by far the fastest car in the second half, but they couldn’t sustain a championship challenge due to some horrendous fortune. This season, they’re out for revenge, and they have arguably the most complete package in the field with an upgrade to works Renault engines, a fully developed active suspension right off the bat, and two highly experienced and dependable drivers. The team also recorded the highest top speeds in pre-season testing, which suggests a particularly sophisticated traction control system. Gerhard Berger could therefore be in good shape to challenge for the drivers championship, while Riccardo Patrese will be desperate for a long overdue first win in what will be his final FF1M season.