June 25, 2011

F1 Qualifying Stinks

It's bad enough that it's yet another Red Bull Pole but that teams don't feel it's worth while trying to go for pole, that saving a set of tires from doing ONE hot lap is more important than improving the grid position is, in my view, symptomatic of something very wrong with the formula of Formula 1.

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time          Gap   
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m36.975
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.163 + 0.188
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.380 + 0.405
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.454 + 0.479
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.535 + 0.560
6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.645 + 0.670
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.231 + 1.256
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m38.240 + 1.265
9. Nick Heidfeld Renault No time
10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes No time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m39.034s Gap **
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m39.068s + 1.763
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m39.422s + 2.117
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m39.489s + 2.184
14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.525s + 2.220
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m39.645s + 2.340
16. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.657s + 2.352
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.711s + 2.406
Q1 cut-off time: 1m40.131s Gap *
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.232 + 1.819
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m41.664 + 3.251
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m42.234 + 3.821
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m42.553 + 4.140
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m43.584 + 5.171
23. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m43.735 + 5.322
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m44.363 + 5.950

107% time: 1m45.301s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2



  1. Im starting to get tired at vettel always winning/getting pole. I just feel that if it wasnt for his car he wouldnt be winning as much (and basically many other drivers would be able to win in his car)
    Nothing against vettel though. Im just starting to feel like theres no need to even watch the race when you can basically predict whose gonna win the race, I hope it starts changing though.

  2. I think thats part of the reason they are banning the blown diffusors David.

    They know that when one person keeps winning viewers tend to dwindle. It happened with Schumacher and I think it's happening now with Vettel.

    Personally I think they should:

    - Eliminate spending caps: this is formula 1. The pinnacle of 4 wheel motor racing

    -Adopt a more Moto GP style of racing i.e. once the green flag drops the race lasts for 45-50 laps with no pit stops

    Personally I find the Moto GP formula a lot more interesting to watch. It's more of a battle of riders than pit crews etc.

  3. Forgot to add above:

    Redbull is running an insane amount of rake on their chassis too. I just saw a camera angle during Q1 where I noticed just how low the front of the car is compared to the rear.

    With the flexible front wing too it's not surprising to me at all to see why they are so dominant this season.

  4. I'm sorry but you can't blame Vettel's wins on his car. Yes, his car is very good, but do not forget his first win with Toro Rosso a couple of years ago which was definitely not the best car.

    Everyone was really praising the tires for making better racing, but it looks like the negative side of it is finally showing. It is clearly a tradeoff and just like the DRS, some additional tuning is necessary. Unlike the DRS though, it seems the compounds cannot be changed mid-season.

  5. I have to agree with Anonymous on the spending cap also. There are also so few ways to "get around" the rules and get a little better performance that if one team figures out, it makes it very difficult for others to level the playing field unless they duplicate (with the same performance) what the faster car is doing (highly unlikely). I also think someone should stop with the arbitrary banning of good technologies (F-Duct, active suspension, double diffusor, etc) unless there is some serious safety/environmental issue.

  6. @Saleem

    Vettel in Monza was a great drive. Helped immensely by the fact that he was out front for the start of an extremely wet race and qualified on pole in terrible conditions. Also helping him first win was the fact that the fastest guys started well back from him and he had the only clear view of the race for many many laps. He didn't win on talent alone, the vast majority of his maiden win was because of rain and a few mistakes from the other drivers. It was a great win, but not as great as everyone makes it out to be, there were so very serious mitigating circumstances that got him there.

  7. Ok... gotta call BS.

    Vettle is a terrific driver. If he can keep this up for another year or so, he is going to go down as one of the greats of all time.

    Remember back in 2006 when he was setting fastest lap times on Friday practice as a test driver? In his first drive he got points in the US GP? He got 4th later that year in an absolute dog of a Torro Roso. The next year he scored points in 9 races including his win. That car was very unreliable... with 9 DNFs and only a couple were his fault (see Japan).

    And I am sorry, but that win in Italy was amazing. Much more impressive than Hamiltons first win and up there with Alonso's first.

    He has had one of the best starts of anyone in Formula One history. And unlike Hamilton, he was not dropped into one of the top 4 cars on the grid in his first year.

    True, the car this year is terrific. But Vettel has destroyed Webber in almost every category. Vettle has made very few mistakes this year (uh..ok, Canada) and deserves all the success he has had.

    I am not that big a fan of Vettel. My favorite is Alonso... but you guys are being really hard on the kid.

  8. LOL vettel A great? No way last year he had the fastest car and almost blew it. This year he seems to have an even faster car. While vettel is in no way a bad driver he has yet to prove he is a great. Button had the same problem with brawn. He is a good driver but if the car was on par with the rest if the field he wouldn't be champion.

  9. "...something very wrong with the formula of Formula 1."

    This is the heart of the matter. Say what you will about NASCAR and Indycars, but the racing is close, there's a lot of passing, and the winner is not always a given at the start of the race. Close racing draws spectators, and without them, there's no show, no matter how technologically advanced the cars are.

    F1 likes to think it's "green" now, too, which is a farce. Add up the number of people it takes to get a car to the track and keep it running, and the cost of the cars themselves, and tell me how that's supposed to be in any way environmentally friendly.

    KERS is the most egregious fig leaf in the greenwashing of F1. Sure, it has potential for the street, but if they're really serious about developing technologies for the street, take the wings off the cars, or explain how a system that increases drag at speed is good for fuel economy.

    There's a disconnect between intent and actions in F1 that reminds me very much of the disconnect between politicians and the public. F1 somehow manages to convince us that everything it does is for our good, while pretty much ignoring everything outside its own little bubble. The people who run F1 have too much money and too little regard for the spectators who made it for them, and they seem to think the gravy train will roll on forever.

  10. okay a few things here:

    1) the spending cap is a joke at best, more of a gentleman's agreement than anything. There were rumors the RBR had spent as uch as the entire budget of HRT in the windtunnel and aero dev alone, but it's not like the teams are required to report spending or that it's even enforceable. The only real restrictions are wind tunnel hours and testing, when you get down to it, and those are the two things that keep the backmarker teams from being more effective on raceday. Nothing makes up for the lost track time, especially when you've got drivers that may not have driven an F1 car in many months (reserve drivers). Sacrificing seat time for your race drivers on the weekend just so your reserve drivers can get some laps in is beyond absurd. The teams still have what amounts to two race teams anyways, so the costs involved aren't being saved, just relocated.

    2)KERS is just the same as push to pass, an Indy staple for longer than I can remember. Yet Indy racing is so much closer yada yada. Thing is the regs limit the overall effectiveness of that system by limiting HP and duration per lap. Imagine a finely tuned system allowing for ether faster pace or more energy recovery, leading to less fuel needed to get around the race distance. A truly developed car could drop, who knows, 20, 3, 4 kilos of fuel per race. Less weight-faster cars-longer lasting rubber etc etc. Or in this case better balance, as the engineers would have more options for ballast placement, which is also restricted right now

    3)the RBR is clearly superior in several areas, one noted being the attitude of the car, and the camber they setup. I saw some closeups on the BBC feed after the race today that were very telling. Teams up and down the pitlane wold looove to know what the hell they're up to at RBR.

    4)the blown diffusers have become a joke as well. the big money teams have thrown cash at advanced exhaust systems this year, starting with Renault. Using engine settings to effect aero factors is clearly outside the spirit of the regulations, but the FIA were sleeping on this. They should have expected the eventual outcome but only now have implemented changes.

    Last, Vettels increasingly boring domination of the entire weekend aside, it was Valencia. It is a horrible track and makes for bad racing. HOPEFULLY silverstone will bring some mixing of the stats, as many are predicting. I was hopeful for a change in Valencia with the DRS and Pirelli rubber, but the tire factors are become less an issue as the teams learn how they work. Still, better that they rely on the teams for good pit stops, as this makes it...an actual team sport. The comment about MotoGP is misplaced at best, since teams and manufactures have been bailing the last few years. Spectator numbers and tv figures are down despite the changes motogp has made whereas the opposite is happening in F1, even with Vettel's snooze-fest flag-to-flag win *yawn.

    I can't believe I dragged myself out of bed for quali or the race, but I had hope, which is the key.

  11. Essential synopsis:

    - Kill spending cap (it's F1, for Christ's sake!)
    - Kill mandated "techo-improvements" (KERS, DRS, etc.)
    - Kill current qualifying format; bring back classic, balls-out fastest time = pole.
    - Kill 2014 regs (turbo 1.6L) before that virus even begins to thrive (tough sell)
    - Kill FIA; let FOTA do what they want

    Kill, kill, kill so that F1 may live... ;-)

  12. Until I read this post I didn't realise why qualifying was so boring this year. It's really quite pointless! I started to think maybe it was time to go back to the one hot lap format...


nRelate Posts Only