May 18, 2011

Formula 1 Grand Prix of Spain Preview

Fernando Alonso a bordo di Fiat 500 TwinAir

Forgive me for not keeping up with F1 as fanatically this year but as much as everyone seems to be frantically cheering the rule changes this year, I've been pretty turned off. Turkey's DRS passing reminded me of a Drivers Education track day: "...If someone is right behind you, it means they are faster so let them by". All that was missing were the point bys.
This is the F1 Flavio Briatore had envisioned and while I'm happy Trulli trains may be a thing of the past, it just looks too contrived to me.

At least for this week end's Spanish GP there seems to be something technical to look out for, the banning of the full time blown diffusers. Funny because recently on Twitter I wondered how F1 can pretend to be green, more or less force teams to install a KERS system and then allow them to essentially run around with the throttle wide open all the time, using engine power not for propulsion but for downforce.

Evidently someone had the same thought, or, if you are a "conspiracist", they wanted to take Red Bull's advantage away (but also Renault, MClaren and everyone else how has come up with their own version to various degrees of success). If they go through with the ban there might be some reason to see who relied on it the most and who will simply switch it off, put less gas in the car and trash the opposition anyway....

HOLD THE PRESSES.... FIA delayed stopping teams from blowing gas until Canada... there goes another reason to watch this week end :)

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  1. Interesting comment.
    I'd imagine once they go with the 4 cylinder engines in the name of 'green', things will really shake up the motoring world.
    I always thought F1 was the pinnacle of the motorsports world where ingenuity, design, and competition was the rule?
    All the above rule changes should make for an interesting race.

  2. Shame they postponed the ban for a race. I was looking forward to major grid shake-up and perhaps the most exciting Spanish GP in well over a decade. Guess we'll just rely on the Pirellis and see what DRS has to offer (or take away) this time 'round.

  3. Okay so Turkey was a joke, but you've got to admit when looking at the passing stats that the tires changes have made for a much better race. I was reading the numbers and non-DRS passing is actually more common than DRS-assisted passing, even at Turkey.

    Also at the beginning of the season RBR was having serious problems with their KERS which gave them quite a headache with Webber and Vettel both getting pasted at various points in the races. Obviously the RBR has several other advantages but this is the reason these rule changes were needed:

    Given the multiple points of failure or advantage now back (finally) in F1, and the dramatic drop off of tire performance, the entire backfield is now a part of the action. And it has highlighted the TEAM aspect, considering that a botched pit stop can once again erase any and all gains made on track.

    Frankly I was tired of watching Trulli train races. We'll see the true measure of these 'fabricated' changes in the European races where passing wasn't a given (I read somewhere that the average number of on-track passes at Barcelona for position was roughly 2.5. Per race. Two passes, per race. You cannot tell me that was worth watching - you could easily just watch the quali session and have a good idea who was going to win. Ugh).

  4. I enjoy the tire game to an extent, but I think the DRS should be used anywhere with the game being drivers trading tire durability for speed. The push to pass ( but only when Charie lets you) I'm not so enthusiastic about

  5. fair enough. The next few races should show what kind of tweeks are needed to find a good balance, and I'd rather more passes than fewer as long as they're reasonably competitive. No more races where you can take a leisurely bathroom break and a walk through the park and come back to the same race.

    They'll get it right. In the meantime it's gonna be fun to watch.

  6. I sort of agree with the comment. DRS in Turkey was nonsense. I also feel, pirelli should change the tire durability at this stage. The teams are getting to much knowledge about it and it's too predictable. I'd also like to see a tire that's less degrading in terms of pure speed. Drivers LET somebody pass just because they know they can't put up a fight. IMHO, that should be changed.

    I also think that some drivers (like button) should have had some extra this year, but i haven't seen that, which amazes me. The tire should be more about that IMHO.

  7. What are you talking about the engines being full throttle all the time to produce downforce and not using it for propulsion. When they brake for a corner fuel is essentially shut off and the throttle blades are still open. They aren't burning fuel the entire time the throttle is open so I don't get what you are going on about.

  8. Yeah, sorry about that. I was completely wrong, got my info from a bum source.

    Shame this had to happen. Seems every time something clever is introduced into F1 it gets immediately banned.


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