Category: Formula 1

Before the Malaysian Grand Prix 0

Before the Malaysian Grand Prix

After a very surprising start to the 2009 season at Melbourne, we are about to see second race of the season at Malaysia. This season the race will start two hours later than past years. There is a %80 chance of rain during the race and since the race will start late, it may be darker and this may cause visibility problems for the drivers.

At Friday during both practice sessions, teams were very closely matched and the competition was very high as expected. Ferrari seemed better than last race and both drivers managed to do very consistent and fast laps during their long stints. RedBull and Williams seemed to be in a good position too whereas Brawn’s and Toyota’s struggled with their cars balance a bit. One thing very clear is that the softer tires offer better durability and less performance drop during the long stints than Melbourne. For example almost all the fastest lap times came during the long stints (13 – 15 laps) with softer compounds. This was not the case at last weekend’s grand prix. Let’s look at the times deeper and try to analyze the practice lap times;

Melbourne Practice 2

Melbourne Practice

2009 season has finally started today with a lot of questions and concerns in mind. Despite these two sessions were only practice sessions, we have surprisingly three teams which are the subject of diffuser protests at the top of the standings. They are closely followed by Red Bull, Ferrari and Renault while BMW and McLaren were near the bottom. As you know practice is only for setup the car and evaluate different options. So, Let’s try to analyze which teams are really fast and which teams are not.

Ferrari seemed better in the first practice whereas they had some difficulties in the second one. They are very consistent over the long runs and Massa was running in low and medium 27’s in one of his ten lap stints. Thinking that most of the fastest times of their rivals have been set during the short stints Ferrari is now in a strong position for the race. As far as race fuel loads concerned, they have a very solid car with the prime tires from the beginning. But their problems started to rise when they opted to softer tires. They were almost without grip and missing brake points at every corner. This is mostly because of the graining at their rear tires. Also as I realized Massa was pressing KERS button a couple of times during a lap. So, they are probably using KERS not just once, but a couple of times during a lap which is logical for the circuits like Melbourne with mpre than one circuits.

Will the new regulations really increase overtaking? 2

Will the new regulations really increase overtaking?

The Overtaking Working Group which is established by the FIA and a lead by Paddy Lowe (McLaren), Pat Symonds (Renault) and Rory Byrne (Ferrari) made a detailed study about how to increase the overtaking in Formula one and FIA has implement new regulations for 2009 in the light of their work. We will see many changes this year especially most of them will be in the aerodynamic area, but will these new regulations really increase the overtaking? Let’s try to find an answer;

Since there weren’t any major changes over the regulations for a very long time and there was an engine freeze, the only chance of gaining an advantage over the other teams was having very different winglets on the cars. This different aerodynamic equipments on the cars caused nothing but the increase in the dirty air flow for the car which is behind. Therefore overtaking has become very difficult. As a result of the new regulations confirmed by FIA the downforce levels were decreased about 50% by the changes made on front and rear wings and diffusers. In addition, the winglets and cranes on the cars are now prohibited. Since the races have not started yet, nobody really knows whether the new regulations will increase the overtaking or not.

As 2009 F1 Season gets underway 0

As 2009 F1 Season gets underway

There is a very little time left for the start of 2009 season and most of the Formula one fans are waiting the first race with a great curiosity because of the new regulations had taken place by FIA. The Overtaking Working Group (OWG) made a very detailed study about how to increase the overtaking in Formula one and has came up with some set of modifications to the regulations and FIA used these modifications as a base of their 2009 rule changes. As you can imagine most of the changes are in the aerodynamic area which enables cars can easily follow the car in the front and have a chance to make a move if it’s faster than the one in the front. As a result many rule changes are applied for 2009 season and both the appearance and the performance of the cars have changed radically according to the F1 cars before.

Fundamental differences are; wider and lower front wings, higher and narrower rear wings, lower and simple diffusers, slick tires, and KERS. Also the drivers are now allowed to change the front wing setting from their steering wheels and all the winglets on the cars are now banned. So Let’s look over the changes in detail if you want;