Monday 28 March 2011

Vettel Wins Again

Sebastian Vettel has secured a win in the first two races of the season which confirms Red Bull's dominance. Whilst this is still early days, Red Bull have done more than any other team on the grid to prove that their winter testing times were based on a solid package. I am not however one of those people that leaps to the conclusion,that after one race, they have it all wrapped up. Red Bull do have the best designer on the grid and a very strong team package, but do they have the drivers and the mechanical reliability to convert every oportunity into maximum points. The team also seem to be doing well without the benefit of KERs. Webber has not done so well at pulling away from the rest of the pack.
The Mclarens look much stronger than in testing and benefited from the late start of the season.The tyres are are also proving a hit with us as the conspire to spice up the action.

Friday 25 March 2011

F1 Round One. Friday Results

An interesting result In the first two practice sessions. Mclaren in the driving seat at the top of the times .Is this more mind games, or are they ready to challenge.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Season Countdown Australia

A return to Australia for the first race of thee season just seems right. The cancellation of the race in Bahrain has provided the ideal location for a bit of good old F1 wild speculation based on no evidence whatsoever. Over optimistic briefings from drivers trying to spook their buddies are lapped up by any one who will listen and are all part of the ovveral F1 experience.

The only real evidence so far is pre-season testing but its difficult to assess the true relative performance when teams and drivers are testing different things We also know from past experience that drivers racing head to head can out perform in an average car.
So am I going to join in with this mad speculation? ....Of course I am, this is F1.

My prediction is that Red Bull will do very well Ferrari are also strong as are Mercedes and Mclaren will out perform their own publicity.

Let the games begin.

Friday 11 March 2011

Red Bull looking good in Pre-season Testing

Preseason testing is now well underway, but the Mclaren boys are suggesting that the car is not yet fast enough. The times suggest that Red Bull are looking very strong but let's not forget that the new tyre degredation rate is far higher and those who look after the tyres will be in a much stronger position. Button is a past master of getting the most from tyres, but Lewis's style could hurt the Italian rubber.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

2011 F1 Countdown: Rule Changes

The Formula 1 governing body, the FIA works closely with teams to ensure that the sort remains fair and safe. There is a continuing game of cat and mouse where the teams develop tweaks that result in faster cars. Often there will be objections such as in the case of double diffusers developed by Brawn in 2009. In reality teams will often consult with the FIA as the risk of being ruled illegal carries with it huge costs.

Here is part one of this years technical update which will being with 2011 changes to the technical regulations and will continue with details of team developments throughout the season.

Rear View Mirrors

FIA Technical Regulation
14.3.3 - All parts of the rear view mirrors, including their housings and mountings, must be situated between 250mm and 500mm from the car centre line and between 550mm and 750mm from the rear edge of the cockpit entry template.
F1atHome Comments
This change ratifies the decision made during the 2010 season

Weight Distribution

FIA Technical Regulation
4.2 - For 2011 only, the weight applied on the front and rear wheels must not be less than 291kg and 342kg respectively at all times during the qualifying practice session. If, when required for checking, a car is not already fitted with dry-weather tyres, it will be weighed on a set of dry-weather tyres selected by the FIA technical delegate.

F1atHome Comments
This change has been imposed to ensure that all teams start on a level playing field with Pirelli tyres. From 2012 they are free to experiment with the wheelbase and weight distribution to find the sweet spot

Double diffuser ban

FIA Technical Regulation
3.12.9 - In an area lying 450mm or less from the car centre line, and from 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit entry template to 350mm rearward of the rear wheel centre line, any intersection of any bodywork visible from beneath the car with a lateral or longitudinal vertical plane should form one continuous line which is visible from beneath the car. When assessing the compliance of bodywork surfaces in this area the aperture referred to in Article 3.12.7 need not be considered.
3.12.10 In an area lying 650mm or less from the car centre line, and from 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit entry template to 350mm forward of the rear wheel centre line, any intersection of any bodywork visible from beneath the car with a lateral or longitudinal vertical plane should form one continuous line which is visible from beneath the car.
3.12.11 Compliance with Article 3.12 must be demonstrated with the panels referred to in Articles 15.4.7 and 15.4.8 and all unsprung parts of the car removed.

F1atHome Comments
Double diffusers were invented by the Brawn team and are now outlawed, but single diffusers are permitted. This is all about managing the flow of air under the car and making the best of the down force. The side effect is that what is good for you has the opposite effect on the car behind as it disrupts the air flow. Together with the rear wings they create a vortex making it difficult to positing for an overtake without punishing the tyres and fuel consumption.

Blade style roll hoops

FIA Technical Regulation
15.2.4 - The principal roll structure must have a minimum enclosed structural cross section of 10000mm², in vertical projection, across a horizontal plane 50mm below its highest point. The area thus established must not exceed 200mm in length or width and may not be less than 10000mm2 below this point.

F1atHome Comments
The Mercedes F1 team introduced this style of fin which extended the fin above and forward of the air intake. This was judged to be dangerous in the case of an incident were they allowed the car to dig into soft ground increasing the risk of injury to the driver.

Wheel Tethers

FIA Technical Regulation
10.3.6 - In order to help prevent a wheel becoming separated in the event of all suspension members connecting it to the car failing provision must be made to accommodate flexible tethers, each with a cross sectional area greater than 110mm². The sole purpose of the tethers is to prevent a wheel becoming separated from the car, they should perform no other function.
The tethers and their attachments must also be designed in order to help prevent a wheel making contact with the driver's head during an accident.
Each wheel must be fitted with two tethers each of which exceed the requirements of 3.1.1 of Test Procedure 03/07.
Each tether must have its own separate attachments at both ends which :
- are able to withstand a tensile force of 70kN in any direction within a cone of 45° (included angle) measured from the load line of the relevant suspension member ;
- on the survival cell or gearbox are separated by at least 100mm measured between the centres of the two attachment points ;
- on each wheel/upright assembly are located on opposite sides of the vertical and horizontal wheel centre lines and are separated by at least 100mm measured between the centres of the two attachment points ;
- are able to accommodate tether end fittings with a minimum inside diameter of 15mm.Furthermore, no suspension member may contain more than one tether.
Each tether must exceed 450mm in length and must utilise end fittings which result in a tether bend radius greater than 7.5mm.

F1atHome Comments
Stronger tethers and tougher load testing will lower the risk of wheels detaching in the case of an impact. This is an area which continues to concern the authorities as despite the introduction of tethers there are still many incidents where the wheels risk causing serious injury

Aero Rims

FIA Technical Regulation
12.4.6 - When viewed perpendicular to the plane formed by the outer face of the wheel and between the diameters of 120mm and 270mm the wheel may have an area of no greater than 24,000mm².’
F1atHome Comments
Aero Rims more commonly known as Frisbees were banned in 2010. However Ferrari introduced a replacement which has now been banned.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Teams and Drivers for the 2011 F1 Season

Robert Kubica remains unfit to take his place in the Renault F1 team and a second draver has not been confirmed for the Hispania racing Team.

The full list of drivers is shown below. Click on the image for a larger version of the table.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Could Rossi be the new Surtees?

MotoGP's Valentino Rossi is the only man alive who could beat John Surtees's record. See more at: