Tag Archives: Michael Schumacher

LEMonsters – Week 1 on the ice

After a week of play, the Monsters sit at the bottom of their division, 2-4-0-1. Last weekend’s road trip started well with a win in Grand Rapids but things went downhill from there…

Aittokallio CPD
photo by Cleveland Plain Dealer

Friday, Oct 24 @ Grand Rapid Griffins 5-4
Thanks to goals from five different Monsters, G Sami Aittokallio won his first start of the season. D Markus Lauridsen got the scoring started in the first period and a goal from LW Michael Shumacher got us off to a 2-0 lead, however the Griffins quickly tied it up at 2-2, their second goal coming off the power-play which has been a problem for the Monsters in the past. In the second period, RW Kenny Ryan put the Monsters back on top 3-2 for the only score before the second intermission. LW Andrew Agozzino got his first goal of the season in the 3rd period to take the 4-3 lead followed by a goal from W Dennis Everberg with the eventual game-winning goal. They held off the Griffins to keep the 5-4 win.

Saturday, Oct 25 @ Milwaukee Admirals 1-2
After a stint with the NHL Avalanche, G Calvin Pickard returned to the crease for the Monsters in Milwaukee. Scoreless near the end of the 2nd period, LW Paul Carey’s goal gave us the 1-0 lead. A quick goal from Admirals Garrett Noonan left us tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. Over Time ensued, seeing the first 3-on-3 action under the new rules for the Monsters this season but despite 8 shots-on-goal we were forced into a shoot out. Milwaukee’s two shoot out goals gave them the victory, 2-1.

Sunday, Oct 26 @ Rockford Icehogs 2-5
An ugly 3rd period – giving up three goals – sent the Monsters heading back home with another loss. With G Pickard again in the net, the Icehogs led 2-0 after the first period. Goals from D Maxim Noreau and Agozzino tied things up at 2-2, the goal from Agozzino coming short-handed! Pickard stopped 26 of 30 shots but, giving up 3 goals in the third sealed the win for Rockford and a tough loss for out Monsters.

Week 1 Stats
Scoring leaders after 7 games


The Monsters return home for a pair of games this weekend. Hopefully home ice will help bring a few points to the W column and get the boys back on track. This is a tough new division and they can’t fall too far behind everyone else this early in the season.

Friday, Oct 31 vs Texas Stars (non-division)- Halloween party, trick-or-treat on the concourse!
Saturday, Nov 1 vs Texas Stars
Tuesday, Nov 4 at Rockford Icehogs
Friday, Nov 12 vs Utica Commets (non-division) – Salute The Troops Night, THUNDERSTICKS GIVEAWAY!

Respectfully Submitted,
Cleveland Kate

Verstappen: Is 17 Too Young For F1?

This is probably on Lap 2 of a race. Max Verstappen celebrates his eventual wins.
This is probably on Lap 2 of a race. Max Verstappen celebrates his eventual wins.

Max Verstappen, a Dutch F3 driver, is currently 16 and will drive in Formula 1 for Toro Rosso next year, smashing the record for the youngest ever driver by nearly two years.

His father, Jos Verstappen, raced in F1 from 1994 to 2003 and is still the Netherlands’ most successful F1 driver with 2 podiums.

Max’s route to the top is nothing less than extraordinary. 2014 is his first year in cars as he won the world karting championships last year. Max is currently 2nd in the F3 championship standings and has turned heads in the F1 paddock. His driving coach claims he’s the best young driver he’s ever seen and that’s quite a statement to make when the same person helped Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen’s driving craft.

Being a prodigy is great but can a 17 year old really stand a chance against the titans of Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel or even his seasoned team-mate in Daniil Kvyat and so on? F1 isn’t just about driving a car fast. It’s about consistency, learning terminology and steering wheel buttons and commands off by heart, providing good feedback for the teams to tune with, dealing with media 10x every day, dealing with the pressure of knowing that a mistake could cost a team half a million pounds – even in practice, knowing every overtake or place lost could eventually decide whether 100 people have jobs next year *cough* Caterham *cough*. In the past, it is not always the best decision to start Formula 1 at the earliest possible point. Recent champions such Hakkinen, Schumacher, Hamilton – and old champions like Lauda all started at least at 22 years old and the maturity and pace they displayed in their rookie season impressed all. Look on the grid today, which of the newer drivers have impressed you? Bottas and Bianchi? Yes, I agree with you. They first raced in F1 at the ancient age of 23 and they look like potential race winners and who knows… champions? F1’s current youngest ever driver, Jaime Alguersuari joined Toro Rosso at 19 and was dropped from the line-up two years later after being blamed for the cars poor performances with Sebastien Buemi.

Donuts aren't mandatory for F1 acceptance but this scene will be prejudged by many.
Donuts aren’t mandatory for F1 acceptance but this scene will be prejudged by many.

Any doubts would’ve been emphasized by a crash in a demo run earlier today in Rotterdam. Max, still 16 was attempting to do some donuts and firstly ended up facing a barrier where Toro Rosso mechanics were required to push him back so he could have another go. Then after a 180 degree err.. half eaten donut, he knocked his front wing off by hitting another section of barrier. Finally we’ve found something this prodigy isn’t good at!

F1 drivers have had their say on the matter. Most current drivers said they weren’t ready at 17 to be in F1 but would’ve liked to. Lewis Hamilton said he wouldn’t still be in F1 if he’d started at 17. Felipe Massa said we should only judge Max on his performances, not on his age… which I agree with. No driver has any issues with racing with a 17 year old, and as Alonso said “As long as his race craft is fine, I have no problem racing alongside him”. I have seen a couple of F3 on TV this year and I didn’t think Max stood out, until I saw his age which then it hit me how fast this driver had matured. It’s hard to comprehend that someone younger than me will be racing in Formula 1 and achieved the ultimate dream at the same time as I am in University learning to one day be at the top haha!

Personally I think there is a risk involved at starting at any age so as long as you have the self belief you can do a impressive job, it is the right time. After all, the 2014 cars are some of the slowest and easiest cars to drive in a long long time so why not join now and develop your driving pace along with the shift in F1 technology and regulation changes in the future? Go Max!

Mercedes W05 – Formula 1's Greatest Engineering Feat?

In terms of pace, sure there have been a hundred F1 cars faster than the current bunch. The lap records for most circuits were set in 2004 where cars had best combination of aerodynamics and V10 engine power. Sure they have been faster in the past but in terms of humiliating the opponent there has never been a car that has dominated the first four races like the 2014 Mercedes W05. A Mercedes has qualified on pole position, set the fastest lap and lead every lap for the first 4 races in 2014. No team has ever done this before, but is it too early to consider the W05 the best designed F1 car ever? Here are some contenders:

McLaren MP4-4McLaren MP4 4

  • Used in the 1988 season.
  • Driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost
  • Won 15 out of 16 Races
  • Qualified on Pole in 15 out of 16 races.
  • Set 10 fastest laps.
  • Ayrton Senna qualified on pole position by 1.4 seconds ahead of Prost at the Monaco GP, and 2.6 seconds faster than 3rd place.
  • Powered by a Honda V6 engine producing 651 BHP, weight: 540Kg

Williams FW14BWilliams Fw14b

  • Competed in the 1992 season.
  • Driven by Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese
  • Designed by Adrian Newey and Patrick Head.
  • Won 10 out of 16 races
  • Qualified on Pole in 15 out of 16 races.
  • Powered by a 3.5 litre V10 engine producing over 700 BHP, Weight: 510Kg

Ferrari F2002

  • Used in the 2002 season
  • Driven by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello
  • Designed by Rory Byrne
  • Won 15 out of 19 races.
  • 11 Pole positions
  • 15 fastest laps
  • Schumacher finished on the podium in every race of the season.

Ferrari F2004

ferrari F2004

  • Used in the 2004 season.
  • Designed by Rory Byrne
  • Driven by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello
  • Designed by Ross Brawn
  • Won 15 out of 20 races.
  • Qualified Pole on 12 occasions.
  • Set 14 fastest laps.
  • Powered by V10 engine producing 885 BHP, Weight: 605Kg
  • Known as the fastest formula car of all time, around 5 seconds a lap faster than today’s breed.

Red Bull RB9

  • Used in the 2013 season.red bull rb9
  • Driven by Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
  • Designed by Adrian Newey.
  • Won 13 out of 20 races. Vettel holds the record for most consecutive race wins (9).
  • Pole on 11 occasions.
  • 13 fastest laps.
  • Powered by a 2.4 litre V8.
  • The engine cut cylinders in traction zones to improve handling.


So you’d have to say that the McLaren MP4-4 is the most outstanding car in history. But with Mercedes current gap behind them to the rest of the field, it would be amazing but not surprising if they won all 19 or 18 races this season. At least this year the leading team have 2 drivers who can compete with each other! The W05’s advantages are hard to copy as they are mostly mechanical and have been planned for years. Engine homologation has  already passed us this year so Red Bull do not stand a chance with their engine power this year but maybe next year there could be more competition at the front of the grid.

w05 bahrain

But its not just the domination which makes me think the W05 car is the best ever, its the promise it brings to the future of Motorsport and automotive engineering. Considering the engine size reduction and aerodynamic limitations, it is staggeringly fast. Technical analysts were saying this year the cars would be 5 seconds slower a lap. In actual fact they are around 2 seconds slower and will only improve. Hybrid power units are the way forward. 2014 WEC (endurance series) cars have around 500-700 BHP coming from the electrical recovery, that is incredible. Soon the internal combustion engine will only provide ignition and noise for the monstrous hybrid cars of tomorrow. And when I say “Hybrid”, I mean 90% electric energy recovery and 10% combustion. Today the engines in your modern road car are 30% efficient. The hybrid systems in 2014 racing cars are 40% efficient. Think how much fuel, money and emissions could be saved around the world if the efficiency of engines increased by 10%…

Is Villeneuve Right to Criticize Modern F1?

I’ll be honest. Nothing exciting has gone on in the world of F1 in the past week. We’ve already seen all the cars, already seen them out on track (bar Lotus) and all driver line-ups have been confirmed. Renault say they’ve fixed the problems with their energy store (that’s battery to you and me); which means Red Bull can now start testing.

Jacques Villeneuve – the 1997 F1 World Champion and also modern F1 critic. He had a rather interesting interview with Sky Sports news UK a couple of days ago. Those that have heard his criticism of the modern way of F1 will have their own opinion of him. He doesn’t follow F1 so much anymore, saying he often gets bored and changes TV channel. Surprising words from an F1 champion but let’s get realistic; watching is hardly exciting for someone who once participated. Jacques takes an outside look on F1 and doesn’t see what he wants to see from F1 races anymore. When he did an overtake, he didn’t have DRS to increase his speed by 10mph, doesn’t think F1 drivers are required to do the work he had to do back in his career, thus why he accused half the field of being pay-drivers with no character. Now I’ll try and decide whether he’s right or not.

Why keeps F1 going? The passion of the drivers and teams? No, it’s the global audience. If F1 isn’t exciting they’ll turn off their TV’s. The TV spectacle in 2014 is set to be huge, with the biggest chance of ending the “Vettel Era” yet, which shall surely increase the sport’s popularity. But there are more variable than ever. MGU-K (The renamed KERS for 2014) is far more powerful than years in the past, with failures costing 3 seconds per lap. There’s a wider spread in engine performance, the DRS opens up the rear wing wider than ever before and the new torque will spin the rear tyres like crazy, requiring new driving habits. F1 has never seen so much change, we are entering an entirely new era of F1. An era where the driver has the least amount of influence on the result. Yes it will be exciting but is it F1?

Villeneuve also said the double points system is a “terrible idea”, and its sole purpose was to justify the money spent on the Abu Dhabi F1 race with increased reward. I completely agree; it makes the race a lottery, especially in 2014. The winner of the championship should be the fastest over 19 races, not the “lucky” one whose car broke down the least.

Now, do drivers still have character and is there the possibility of rivalries like in the past? Villeneuve had a famous rivalry with Michael Schumacher. The 1997 championship was won by Villeneuve after Schumacher looked to have intention to crash into Villeneuve, but instead it was Michael who retired. Well, there are certainly a few drivers who aren’t afraid to speak their mind in the current field. Most noticeable is Kimi Raikkonen who also provides some funny radio transmissions during races. Lewis Hamilton has recently provided some funny radio transmissions but also often uses the hate phrase in F1 along with most drivers. This of course if “For sure…”. This is the result of months of media training, Media training is in my opinion the worst thing than can be given to an athlete. It creates a wall between the truth and what the drivers have been taught to say for the benefit of sponsors and secrecy.

You don’t really get a sense of any psychological warfare between drivers anymore, they hardly ever see each other. During press-conferences they talk so politely and praise each other’s driving. Jacques Villeneuve is correct in saying that the driver’s don’t show as much character as in the past but as idols to children, maybe it’s better that they don’t.

Finally, I don’t agree with Villeneuve when he claims half the field are “pay-drivers” as I feel the level of quality of drivers has never been higher. Even the definite pay drivers can drive a car to a competitive level in Formula 1 so it can only be good for the sport by bringing in the money to sustain it.