Tagged: F1

Shanghai: Tech File 1

Shanghai: Tech File

The Shanghai International Circuit is one of the most impressive facilities on the Grand Prix calendar. Like most of the circuits designed by Hermann Tilke, it features a wide variety of corners, both fast and slow, as well as a long straight followed by a tight hairpin which provides an ideal overtaking opportunity. Technically the circuit is a challenge for the drivers and engineers, not least the never-ending first corner which almost takes the cars through a full circle.

Aerodynamics
As with many modern circuits, Shanghai includes a mixture of high-speed corners and long straights which means the level of aerodynamic downforce has to be judged very carefully to protect position on the straights, without compromising grip in the corners. Turns 7 and 8 make up two of the high-speed corners and lead into the tricky double lefthander of turns 9 and 10.

Fernando explains: “Turns 7 and 8 are a fun part of the lap and you can really feel the performance of the cars here as we take these corners in 6th gear and there is plenty of grip. On the exit of turn 8 you’re straight into turn 9 where you have to be very precise as it’s a corner where you can find a lot of time. We take it in third gear and accelerate hard on the exit so that turn 10 is taken flat. Get it right and it’s a really rewarding section of the lap.”

Diffusers declared legal 1

Diffusers declared legal

Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has declared the controversial double-decker diffuser designs on the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars as legal.
After lengthy deliberations overnight, the judges at the International Court of Appeal hearing in Paris rejected protests against the design from Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, and Renault.
The FIA said in a statement: “The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.”

Reshuffle at Ferrari 4

Reshuffle at Ferrari

Apart from the ICA’s decision the Chinese GP must be a turning point for the Scuderia after a bad start to the season. During the days after the return from Malaysia there was an air of retaliation: Montezemolo’s and Domenicali’s calls for each and every person to take responsibility for the parts they play were a great motivation for a group, which knew how to deal with very difficult situations in the past and turning them around.

From a technical and organisational point of view the F60’s development programme received some new stimulus. The goal is to anticipate as much as possible the introduction of new technologies to reduce the performance gap as fast as possible, which, apart from the question of the diffuser, seems to be there. A working party has been set up under the coordination of Aldo Costa, which will follow the development programme at Maranello in close contact with the experience made on the track: a crucial element of this group is Luca Baldisserri. The Scuderia Team Manager will follow the single-seater’s development step by step, while his role at the track will be covered by Chris Dyer.

There will be several new aerodynamic features at Shanghai, which have been tested by Marc Gené last week at the Vairano straight. The front wing will be modified next to the front rims and the deviators. The tyres are the same as in Australia and the main job during the three hours of free practice on Friday will be to understand how the two types will run on the tarmac, which is completely different to the one at Albert Park.

Renault F1 Team explains KERS 0

Renault F1 Team explains KERS

KERS is the new buzzword of Formula 1. We know that it’s supposed to encourage overtaking and lead the sport towards a greener future, but just how does it work and how effective is this new technology? The ING Renault F1 Team is here to explain…

The basics: what exactly is KERS?

Let’s start with a definition: KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System and was introduced by the FIA to direct the Formula 1 engineering community towards developing greener technologies. Kinetic energy is energy stored in motion and can be thought of as the energy that is required to stop that motion. For example, stopping a bicycle, a car or a train is all about removing its kinetic energy.

It’s time to wake up for Ferrari 1

It’s time to wake up for Ferrari

After two back to back races in Melbourne and Sepang, it’s now clear that Ferrari is not the fastest car anymore. In fact they are not even a contender to win the races. But it seems they are still not aware of that. They continue to behave like they are the strongest team as they were before. Yesterday they destroyed Massa’s chances for race, in the first session of Qualifying by not leaving pits for the last time to save tires and today they put extreme wet tires on Raikkonen’s car, while its still bone dry. I cannot believe how Ferrari management came to this point. Even Force India would not do the same in similar conditions. It was clearly a gamble that didn’t work, but usually you gamble when your chances are poor. But it wasn’t the case at that moment. Raikkonen was fifth and he had a good chance of scoring some points or even be at podium with a good strategy call, if you think even Button did four pit stops and still won the race. I could understand if they put the intermediates but it was obvious that the extreme wets cannot survive more than a couple of laps in bone dry conditions. Massa’s case was also a big disappointment. He was on extreme wet tires while everybody was in a hurry to change to intermediates. Only 40 seconds after he changed his tires to intermediates the rain increased and he had to pit again for extreme wets. He would have been in a very strong position if he could wait one more lap. But it was again a wrong call by Ferrari’s pit wall.

This is not the first time that Ferrari doing strategic errors. It’s started to happen just after Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher left the team. Remember Fuji 2007, Silverstone 2008, Hungary 2007, etc. None of these errors were unavoidable and even small teams do not do this kind of basic errors at any time. But it seems like this is becoming a habit for Ferrari. When they find themselves to chose one of the ways in an unpredictable condition no matter what, they always chose the wrong way. This shouldn’t be the case in a team like Ferrari with very high standards.

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.

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;