April 23, 2014

This Ferrari crash probably deserves a medal


Not huge fans of posting gratuitous crash pictures here but, sometimes you come across one of such implied dooshbaggery that it deserves the ridicule.

How this person managed to stuff a 458 Italia over the jersey barriers of the 25 mph speed limited tunnel under the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco is a mystery.    We're guessing it might involve an epic fail in creating yet another "Ferrari blasting in a tunnel" car spotter video?    It certainly deserves a medal for creativity.

Lucky that at the time nobody was on that pedestrian walkway so only egos, wallets, aluminum and some sort of firefighting station were harmed here.

(via TuttoMotori)

Mercedes Power: more than just a split turbo.


With time, more of the secrets giving Mercedes AMG their undeniable advantage are gleamed.
When the split turbo strategy first came to light, some "in the business" we discussed the subject with were not convinced it alone was enough to explain the performance gap.  The big advantage for the Mercs, they argued, is in their energy store charging strategy which allows them to not have to coast at the end of the straights to recover energy, like Renaults for example  ("please match he beeps"  remember that radio message to Daniel Ricciardo?).  If that's not enough, the Mercedes unit also has an advantage in drivability and power.

These two characteristics would seem to be incompatible: If Merc is not coasting, they must get a lot of their charge from the MGU-H,  so a big turbo.  But a big turbo means turbo lag and more energy spent trying to spin it when it is being driven.    And it is here that it's thought Andy Cowell and the team in Brackley came up with another brilliant engineering detail.

According to ex Ferrari engineer Claudio Lombardi in an interview on SkySportsF1 Italy, Mercedes have in place a system which can momentarily de-couple the turbine side from the compressor side.  This allows the compressor to be free of the resistance of the turbine when it is being driven by electric power, making it more responsive when delivering power on corner exit.    

The advantages of a small turbo while using a big turbo to produce more power and energy.


April 21, 2014

Tough Luck.

Lewis Hamilton was happy

Nico, not happy
After the highs of the Bahrain GP,  F1 gave us a bit of a snoozer,  so dull that the race director waved the checkered flag two laps early.    So, not much action on track after lap 1 but plenty of drama happening,  psychological drama.

Lewis growing a mohawk?
Hamilton has dealt Rosberg another big hit and Nico's body language in the pre-podium "green room" spoke volumes.  Yes  the german had no telemetry but he had the fastest lap, he had the higher top speed and he had more fast sector times than Hamilton, yet finished some 18 seconds behind.  
Not much in the way of hugs after this one, perhaps Nico heard those interviews where Hamilton pointed out how he used to wipe the floor with Nico back in their karting days.

Score one more for Hammy.  If he does not win the world championship this year, with that car,  he may as well grow a mohawk...

Cruel, cruel internets!
The other big hit was at Red Bull.

Two aspects to consider.   Vettel is not feeling the RB10,   the RB6 through 9 were pretty much built around him and around his driving style and needs but with the new regulations this could not be done, cars are too different and Ricciardo, coming in as a blank slate of sorts is driving what they give him,  happily without getting hung up on whatever it is that Seb is missing to do his thing.

The other is the team showing him zero respect.  Once gain he got the Felipe Massa treatment.  This would never have happened in previous years so,  despite all the the kumbaya comments after the race, either being a four time world champion means little at Red Bull or perhaps Marko and company know Vettel has a signed contract tucked in his pocket?

Alonso made Mattiacci's day
Either way, man what a beating, tough luck there.

Hamilton may have been faultless but let's face it, Chilton could score points in the Mercedes.  The star of the race has to be Alonso.     Another wicked start and first lap,   a bit of luck surviving Massa's  sideswipe  (Massa's "he crashed me"  will go down in the annals of silly F1 driver whines).  He chased down Vettel and then pounded around fast enough to finish third, after the week Ferrari has had?  Badass.

Poor Stefano Domenicali must wonder, what is Montezemolo had showed up in China rather than Bahrain?     The pace is still not there to take it to Mercedes but, if Ferrari had set the goal of being the next fastest, that they accomplished.  Not bad for a team already written off by most of the press.    I bet Ron Dennis is wishing he had a team principal ready to do what Domenicali did.

The only sour note for the Scuderia was Raikkonen, like Vettel, it seems he's not getting the new cars fully yet.

Next stop, Spain.

April 19, 2014

Easter Hooning.


Stee took big black Bertha and some old Hankooks up to Monticello for a little holiday hoonage.  The tires did not survive the festivities.

Happy hooning everyone!


April 18, 2014

On our scales...


3562 lbs,  full tank, no ceramic.

Frictions with Alonso one of the reasons for Domenicali's early departure.

No comments:

It's useful to look at different sources when the UK centric ones seem to be stuck on surprise, football coach metaphors and national stereotyping when trying to describe what happened last week at Ferrari.

Autosprint is Italy's oldest motorsport publication and historically very close to Ferrari.  Usually they get it right.

Domenicali was going to retire at the end of 2014.

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