April 10, 2011

Tires and wings....


I'll get to the usual race summary later but I was curious as to your thoughts on the Malaysian GP.

For me, it was was one of the more exciting GP's in a while but at the same time the most artificially so. It reminded me more of MotoGP races of a few seasons back when it seemed that tire management was the main factor, except that these tires only last a dozen laps if that, before they turned into the biggest sea of marbles I have ever seen. I wonder what the total weight of the rubber swept from the track after the race is.

Many of the passes were because of the DRS wing and to me, somewhat fake. Ironically it seemed cars don't need DRS to pass each other: for example Alonso would have easily passed Hamilton if Hamilton had not moved over to block and Alonso had not forgotten he has a front wing on the car that needs to be kept intact.

Finally, congratulations to Speed TV for going back to their old tricks and managing to cut to commercial during most of the key moments of the race (like the Alonso-Hamilton doel which lasted two laps before the incident...

end of post


  1. "tire management was the main factor"

    Funny, Vettel was saying just that on a Speed interview.

    I thought it was okay ... moderately chaotic, punctuated by stuff like Petrov (great shot by the by).

  2. I agree, the best battles of the day were when DRS was not able to be used, or when one car had KERS and the other didn't (same effect).

    With the difference in tire grip at points during the race, it was far more exciting to see people battle each other because of tire issues rather then DRS fly by. Like when Nick caught Lewis, there was no battle between the two, he just went cruising on by on the inside.

    But I do like the fact that corner speeds are much slower in these cars with the crappy tire grip, and heavy weight. It enables people to follow closley, and helps with more passing between the cars. I hope with the new car in 2013 they have the same speeds in the corner, but 900hp and more mechanical grip. We would really see some good races then!

  3. There was lots of passing, but nearly all felt artificial to me. Especially late in the race once folks were out of sync on new tires vs old. The DRS/KERS passing business seamed stupidly easy.

    DRS misses the point of why people want more passing in races I think. Its not just to see names jump around on the leader board. I want to see the trailing driver struggle and put pressure and work different lines and finally, maybe pull off a pass. The fact that passing is (or was) a challenge is the point.

    As for the drastically different tires based on wear... more artificial passing if you ask me. Again, no challenge.

    Just leave the rules alone guys, let them engineer, let them race.

  4. Too much fiddling with the rules. The best way to reduce aero-grip is to change back to simple single-plane rear wings, and simple front wings without all the rubbish. Make it so that an F1 car cannot theoretically drive upside down without falling.

  5. Wah wah wah DRS is "fake." Call in the wahmbulance. Or go take a "hotnap." The whole car is a passing device, DRS or not.

    The lamest part of the race? Lewis and FA getting penalized for their battle. Idiotic rules and their implementation hurts this sport more than the design of the car.

  6. @BRB I agree only in part, because the DRS is an arbitrary one sided advantage.

    You could argue that anything the FIA throws at this guys is fair, I mean you set up parameters for a game and you play it. Ideally DRS use would be free but be studied in such a way that using (or better, over using it) would comport real risks to the driver of going off track or wearing out the tires faster.
    Now the Ham-Alonso penalty: HAmilton did the same thing last year to PEtrov and got away with it, I looked at the replays (the ones Speed missed) and it didn't look like much BUT... the marbles last year were nothing compared to now, by the time that fight happened the clean track was like a bobsled run...so it takes little. Again if everyone agrees to a rule you got to play by it. BTW, HAM fans will never admit it but he moved right to block Alonso when they touched, Alonso should have anticipated the block (which was legal out of that turn)....racing incident.

  7. Top 4 cars should be able to use the DRS from race start.

  8. I don't like the Speed feed because of the commercials. I jump on some streaming sites to catch the BBC feed or feeds from Europe (France/Poland/Germany)

  9. I think the most important factor right now are the tires: the Pirelli just couldn't last i more than 10 laps it seems, on a track where the times it takes to make a pit stop is large enough there may be a play where if someone can manage to be easy enough on his tires and use one less set of tires he could get an advantage. But then again it seems once the tires are spent then you really loose a lot of grip (can't otherwise explain Hamilton pulling into the pits 2-3 laps before the end from second position while he's on hards). The amount of marbles on the track was quite ridiculous at the end of the race.

    As for DRS it seems that DRS vs KERS is a draw. As demonstrated by Button failing to pass Masa the first time ever DRS was allowed in the Melbourne race: Masa did not use his KERS during the lap where Button could not pass him in the turns (easier for him to block there), and coming into the straight he was able to use his KERS all the way down to the finish line while Button had pretty much used up all his KERS and using the DRS alone was not enough to be able to catch up, let alone pass, the Ferrari with no DRS but with KERS.

    Petrov I believe did a successful pass once where he used the DRS and had just the right amount of KERS left so that he could use it completely by the time he crosses the line, then it reset and he was able to keep on the KERS down to T1, by that time he had enough speed difference that he was able to pass relatively easily.

  10. I hate the DRS, or at least the way they've executed it. It wouldn't be nearly as bad if they could just do with it as they like, but all the rules about it (only certain places, only certain gaps, only certain laps, not when it's raining, etc) ruin it for me. I'd love to see them get rid of all the gimmicky stuff (KERS and DRS) altogether, but at the very least get rid of all the arbitrary regulations that ruin them.

  11. My big problem with DRS and KERS is that it is artificially limited. If there wasn't a limit on how much KERS you could use, it's become a strategy element. How much extra weight to add to the car for how much advantage. If you could use DRS anywhere it would turn into a game of how much drag reduction vs how much stability do we want to trade.

  12. i got unbelievably tired of the commercials on Speed. there is advertising all over the cars and track, that should suffice...

  13. @ AC. I am a Hamilton fan and it was pretty obvious that he had started to drift across to defend against Alonso but that didnt cause the crash so nothing to 'admit'. :)
    As a Hamilton fan I found the race pretty confusing and worrying. Why was he so slow on the hard tyres? He did put in some good racing on the soft tyres though.

  14. I haven't watched the Speed feed in a couple of years. Bob Varsha is somewhat clueless as is David Hobbes (though I do like him a lot). The commercials are incredibly annoying.

    I wait a few hours and download the 780p BBCE One feed later in the day.

  15. Just all please look at the BBC Iplayer or download/torrent the BBC coverage. They are a-ma-zing.

    About the DRS. IMHO the rules around it make it "artificial". In qualy i think it totally rules. Getting the driver to use it as quickly as possible, etc etc. That's racing for me, a driver who does the thing and not just a car that "does" it.

    I think the kers will stabalize, now, we see teams not having it and having it. Middle of the season and everybody runs it. There will be a lot of evolution in it still.

  16. "The whole car is an overtaking device."

    Yeah? Do the stewards' have a computer and a button that tells the whole car when it can pass?

    It felt artificial from start to finish. I gave it a shot, but it didn't hold my interest enough to keep me from literally falling asleep. Fortunately I woke up before Petrov went off the launch pad.

    I agree entirely with Adian above. I don't think I'll find time to watch many more races like this one.

  17. "The whole car is an overtaking device."

    Yeah? Do the stewards' have a computer and a button that tells the whole car when it can pass?

    No, stewards don't drive the cars...they bring you snakes on an airplane.

    The rules about where/when you can use DRS — yes, that's a bit dumb. But all you whining about KERS and DRS...fun techy stuff — go watch the Star Mazda Series for simple, bare bones racing.

  18. The biggest problem in F1 isn't passing, the problem is a product of the technology and the razor's edge the car is on when being raced. They have taken away the ability of a great driver to take a lesser car and wring out a better performance than a mediocre driver in a great car. Its called the World Driving Championship, but its far more critical for the driver to be on the best team than be the best driver as far as the season is concerned. Watch a MotoGP race and you can see a rider take a bike that is not as good as the guy in front and ride it past by sheer force of will and fearlessness. The World Rally Championship is filled with drivers who can find a way to get their car through the stages faster by their skill alone. Even NASCAR drivers can do this to some degree, just get up on the wheel and drive it to the front. Certainly Alonso did some of this in the wet, but he will not be able to do the same in the dry against the technologically superior MacLarens and Red Bulls, and I think that is a great shame.


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