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10:06 11:16 11:31 11:57 12:05 12:42 12:47 (update to “Who will drive) 13:03 (update to “Lotus ‘the device’ not impressive”) 13:53 17:08
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Lotus ‘the device’ not impressive
Lotus have been developing a ‘passive DRS’ system since around the Belgium GP in 2012. The basic concept is that they have 2 apertures either side of the main airbox cooler above the drivers head which gather high-speed air and channel it to stall the rear wing on the straits and improve the top speed of the car.
In 2012 Mercedes had a system which delivered the same kind of rear wing stalling with their double DRS on the W03, however this operated in conjunction with the DRS deployment and these secondary DRS devices have been banned in 2012.
Ross Brawn stated at the launch of the W04 suggested Mercedes believed the development of a passive version of their DRS would produce marginal improvements in straight line speed and was non-committal on whether the team would be attempting to deliver such a solution. Lotus however pressed on.
TJ13 was informed following Lotus’ last test that ‘the device ‘ had been signed off to race at the British GP and this was proved to be correct. However, it was only Kimi whose had ‘the device’ whilst Roman ran the Lotus in its previous specification.
Yet the data coming out of the weekend would suggest that the passive DRS is not delivering much advantage. Kimi and Grosjean’s speed differential through the speed guns were minimal and did not give the consistent certainty that ‘the device’ was delivering much in the way of incremental top speed.
However, Silverstone was as windy as I ever remember it and this may affect the efficient operation of ‘the device’ which relies on the air flow reaching a certain speed and then a valve is opened to allow an alternative route for the airflow. The heavy gusts may have affected the operation of the sensors hence why no speed differential of consistent note was detected.
Alan Parmane comments, “Kimi ran with ‘the Device’ and Romain rain with the new slimline bodywork package. The gains from both were roughly on a par with each other, so once we’ve confirmed everything on the data, combining the two – which have been developed on parallel but separate development paths – could well be the way forward. That won’t be for Germany, where we’ve yet to determine which package we will use”.
In F1 as we know (front wing saga at Red Bull) the best driver gets the best aero options. So unless the slimline bodywork is a master stroke, then ‘the device’ may turn out to be something of a flop.
UPDATE: TJ13 is hearing that the assembly of Grosjeans car today appears to include ‘the device’ – DRD
Who will drive?
Though we’ll never know the reason, teams are beginning to make it clear what their priorities are for the YTD. TJ13 reported yesterday, Sauber will be using 2 days to develop the 2013 car with Frijns and today Ferrari reveal their hand.
Asked who would be running the car at Silverstone Massimo Rivola, sporting director, replied “Obviously this test will be carried out with the actual race drivers. There would be no sense in trying something new with youngsters at the wheel, who do not have the necessary experience to provide the required feedback.”
To be fair to Ferrari, this is the position ‘the softly spoken equine one’ took following the IT decision on Mercedes punishment, so at least they’re being consistent and there is no need for a horses head to become detached from the rest of its parts.
Lotus’ too appear to be following the Ferrari line as Romain Grosjean tells Sport24, “Apparently, I could have a lot of work to do in the young drivers test. Nobody wants to see tyres blowing so I know everyone in the sport is working with Pirelli to fix it.”
TJ13 reported yesterday that Mercedes have not given up hope they will be allowed to participate in this test. Wolff makes it clear today if Pirelli opt for the additional extra 4th day the FIA have allowed that they expect to be allowed to run.
Toto appears to not quite understand what the FIA have specified for the test, he complains “Now we’re being punished more, because the other teams can use their proper drivers, but we accept it for the purposes of safety”. Maybe he doesn’t realise the F1 drivers testing will be restricted to unknown prototype tyres and cars running no new parts and without setup adjustments. Then again maybe he knows something about the proposed test which allows more freedom than Mercedes were given.
No matter, Wolff is though adamant, “But if there is a fourth test day, we will fight to have this day”.
UPDATE: TJ13 is hearing Pirelli will not opt for the 4th day extension at the Silverstone test.
Booing and mind games
There was something about ‘multi 21’ which clearly did Sebastian no favours and we have debated how he could have handled this differently to the nth degree. A straw poll of fans on the grid last Sunday following the trophy presentation was conducted by Martin Brundle. He asked them why they cheered when Vettel’s car broke and reports the replies were mostly about ‘multi 21’.
I’ve heard comment and seen articles since Sunday which have criticised the crowd for its “un-British” and “un-sporting” behaviour. Yet on reflection, I find this critical attitude problematic. Yes, the people around me cheered when Vettel’s car stopped and a I felt a rush of excitement but purely because the race had become a little stale and predictable – this was a game changer.
However, I didn’t sense from those around me any vicious or malicious intent – I guess I would describe it as more akin to amusement or at worst mockery.
I conducted my own ‘survey’ in the village after the race and was surprised at the responses I received. I tried to ask neutral questions about people’s attitude to Vettel and spoke to about 20 or so different people. I would suggest the responses revealed a grudging respect for Vettel and a realisation that he was the biggest threat to anyone else winning.
James Allen recalls how in Senna’s day, when he was driving for McLaren, he only had to appear in his overalls in Italy and the tifosi – to a man – would boo him. This of course was because Senna through his brilliance and dominance had become the arch nemesis of any hope of a Ferrari success.
The apparent dislike of Vettel has been suggested by others to represent a British held anti-German sentiment. Whilst this may be the case for a tiny minority of xenophobic and small-minded people, I don’t accept this argument. In tennis, Boris Becker came and dominated the Holy turf of the All England Club, and was not booed – he was and still is in fact much-loved.
However in both tennis and cricket where sportsmanship is held in high regard, there are times when the dominant champion(s) makes a mistake and the crowd cheer wildly. They are not cheering the genius of the underdog, just being partisan towards the levelling of the competition. No one wants to see a men’s tennis game 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 or even an Ashes whitewash of 5 test wins to 0 – except maybe Ian Botham.
TJ13 reported Alonso’s latest little mind game yesterday, and when asked about such tactics Sebastian replied to the Bild reporter, “Of course I notice, but I won’t let myself be influenced by them. It is not decisive for the world championship whether somebody says something that I like or don’t like. Maybe they believe they gain an advantage, but these games are not for me — I don’t get a kick out of shooting back. I prefer to answer on the track.”
Vettel is the consummate professional and is not distracted by all this, yet you do get the feeling he is unlike Senna who genuinely courted controversy and didn’t care what people thought about him. Vettel may well want to be loved by everyone but some say you cannot be so dominant in sport and be universally liked.
This is clearly untrue. Staying with the tennis analogy Sampras and Federer crushed British hopes for years and indeed there have been many who utterly dominate a sport and are loved by the masses despite the lack of competitive sporting encounters.
Vettel appeared on the stage after the British GP to some 20,000 F1 fans where he made fun of himself and was clever and ironic. He began by telling the crowd how amazed he was by the sight before him and wished that something like this would be possible in Germany – inferring they don’t care as much.
Next he cursed and quickly thanked the audience for they’re forbearance of his language, informing them it was good he could ‘be himself here’ because in Germany they would not tolerate this behaviour. He played the drums and was amusing and funny and compared to Di Resta, Chilton and a few others who had preceded him – he was the star of the show.
You may remember TJ13 was highly critical of Vettel’s handling of multi 21, yet I must say I was genuinely pleased to see him turn around the British crowd who had booed his entrance to the stage. It was not surprising to me that they warmly applauded him as he left.
More of this personality please Sebastian each week at the races. There’s no need to appear moody or partisan because Horner is the master at that. If Vettel can stay out of the ‘petty’ politics and we get more of Sebastian post Silverstone – who in defeat must have been bitterly disappointed – besides being a great F1 driver he can be – if not loved – certainly liked and appreciated.
After all, its only motor racing.
It’s looking good so far, though it can be changeable.
FIA WORLD COUNCIL MEMBER; HONORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SWEDISH AUTOMOBILE SPORT FEDERATION
Swede Lars Österlind is a highly experienced FIA steward who has officiated at more than 100 grands prix and a similar number of World Rally Championship rounds. A social sciences graduate and lifelong motor sport enthusiast, Österlind was President of the Swedish Rally Commission from 1978-1982, then President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation from 1982-1996. He became Honorary President in 1996 and has been a member of the FIA World Council since 1984. Outside motor sport Österlind has specialised in management, working as a consultant and pursuing his own business interests. He is also experienced in local government at city council level.
Radovan Novak has been actively involved in motorsport since 1963 and rose to become Secretary General of the ACCR in 1990.Since 1991 he has held the role of President of the FIA Central Europe Zone and over the past two decades he has acted as a steward and observer in WRC and ERC rallies, EC autocross and rallycross events and WTCC and GT races. He has been a Formula One steward since 1994. From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the FIA Off-road Commission and was made a member of the World Motor Sport Council in 1998. In 2000 he became a member of the Sport Commission at the Ministry of Sport of the Czech Republic. An avid racer and co-driver, Novak has won a number of Czech rallying events.
During a motor sport career spanning almost 40 years, Emanuele Pirro has achieved a huge amount of success, most notably in sportscar racing, with five Le Mans wins, victory at the Daytona 24 Hours and two wins at the Sebring 12 Hours. In addition, the Italian driver has won the German and Italian Touring Car championships (the latter twice) and has twice been American Le Mans Series Champion. Pirro, enjoyed a three-season F1 career from 1989 to 1991, firstly with Benetton and then for Scuderia Italia. His debut as an FIA Steward came at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and he has returned regularly since.
New nose for Mercedes
Quite different from the one in Silverstone
similar to the Ferrari
Alesi doesn’t rate the F1 Nurburgring
Jean Alesi, who managed two 2nd places in F1 at the Nurburgring says, “The Nürburgring is legendary.” Yet the Frenchman is talking about the old Nordschleife and his opinion of the F1 track is less flattering.
“Personally, I never found the modern course particularly challenging, although it has changed significantly over the past few years. It is not a big challenge as the emphasis is on precision driving and not to make mistakes. Drivers that start from the front of the grid and drive a clean race, should easily get a good result. The track is usually quite friendly to the tyre, so the tyre wear and management is not a difficult task. Drivers here can go as aggressive as they want.”
With Mercedes recent 1 lap qualifying performance, Vettel’s hope of breaking his home GP duck may rely on him delivering a perfect qualy lap or the the points gap in the WDC may well be reduced further by Sunday night.
Maranello prefers the old ways
Just as Adrian Newey uses a draftsman’s easel and pencil to design his Red Bull cars, Ferrari too believe they can improve efficiency and solve Alonso’s poorly performing car by turning back the technological tide.
Maranello have released a statement today saying, “Ferrari’s employees as of today are to talk more with their colleagues. In order to intensify a more efficient and direct communication within the company, the decision was made to set more stringent limits on the number of e-mails being sent.
In particular, each Ferrari employee can send from now on the same e-mail to only three other in-house people. Apparently group emails are being sent with gay abandon, where the relevance to a number of the recipients is negligible and this is, “is one of the main reasons for wasted time and inefficiency in daily business. Ferrari has therefore decided to nip the problem in the bud by a very clear and simple instruction issued to its employees. Talk more with each other and write less.”
We’ve had a few debates here on the stereotypical traits of certain nationalities, but the idea of telling a bunch of Italians to talk more is highly amusing. (Splutter…cough…tears rolling down cheeks – ORDER IN COURT! uncontrollable sniggering continues)
(Further amusement arose here from the initial translation TJ13 received which contained the English, “Ferrari has decided to pinch the problem in the butt” – as opposed to bud).
Interestingly, here is the official Ferrari English version (about an hour later than the Italian memo we received)
Ferrari’s employees will be talking to their colleagues more from today forward. To incentivise more efficient and direct communication within the company, the decision has been made to place much stricter limits on the number of emails being sent. Specifically, from now on, each Ferrari employee will only be able to send the same email to three people in-house.
The injudicious sending of emails with dozens of recipients often on subjects with no relevance to most of the latter is one of the main causes of time wastage and inefficiency in the average working day in business.
Ferrari has therefore decided to nip the problem in the bud by issuing a very clear and simple instruction to its employees: talk to each other more and write less.
Selected pit radio messeages you may have missed
Pit Radio: Hamilton to Bonnington (engineer) “My seat was very hot when I got inside. In future we need to keep my seat cool”.
Formation Lap: Bonnington to Hamilton “RS modes cancel. High gear, high speed. We need to be cooling the engine as much as we can. And we need to boost to 20 before turn 15 – we need to boost to 20 at some stage between now and turn 15. So you’re working your tyres, working your brakes, please. And make sure you learn all the gears. We’ll have two burn-outs out of seven – too late, sorry. So you need to remember to back the grid up, they’re stringing out quite a lot”.
Formation Lap: Bonnington to Hamilton “so get your brake balance for the first corner and we need three burn-outs please at the most, with three seconds between. And we’re going to stop on the grid for a bite point find, neutral, and RS modes. Brake balance for the first corner and get your steering straight. We cannot report on the last car, we have no TV feed, we cannot see much at all”.
On the grid: Bonnington to Hamilton “Last car is on the grid”.
Maybe this one was the culprit for Hamilton’s problems 🙂
Lap 3 Bonnington to Hamilton “Suggest tyre mode 11 for exit snap”.
We saw Newey with a note saying 2 Psi higher, well Massa was told this
Lap 18 (under safety car) Smedley to Massa: The issue with the tyres, we’ve had three tyre explosions in the race. They’ve asked to keep the pressures a bit higher. We had a free pit stop there so we did it, we put a new set on with higher pressures and it didn’t cost us anything.
So before Vergne’s tyre explosion, Ferrari put Massa’s first set of tyres on with higher pressures under Pirelli’s instruction.
Here’s one we don’t here often
Lap 20 Rocky to Vettel: “Sebastian, try to burn up some fuel please. Low gear, high revs, burn up the fuel”.
later in the lap again Rocky tells Vettel, “Keep on working on the fuel consumption, you can do better than this. Other cars are doing much better than you”.
Lap 22 (safety car in) Ross to Rosberg : “The pressures are building up nicely, still on the low side so just continue to be cautious”.
Lap 23 Ross to Rossberg : “Target eight at the end of this lap. Rear pressures still coming up nicely, just keep looking after it”.
Lap 26 Ross to Rosberg : “Remember to drink”.
Lap 27 Stella to Alonso : A part-Italian radio message to Alonso indicates his next pit stop will be in three or four laps. He eventually pits on lap 30. “Hard or medium?”
Lap 27 Alonso to Stella : “Hard”
Lap 36 Rocky to Vettel : “The tyre pressures on this set are very high all round, intentionally, to protect the punctures. This might affect the balance as well as rear temperatures, so be careful. 16 laps to go”.
Lap 42 Vettel to Rocky : “I lost drive, lost the gearbox”.
The following is all on lap 42 between Tony Ross and Rosberg – some before Vettel’s puncture and some after
NR – TR : “Vibration left rear”
TR – NR : “copy that we’re looking at it. Let us know if it’s getting worse Nico”
NR – TR : “getting worse”
TR – NR : “Safety car. Keep the delta time positive, just bring it down, you’re ok. The gap behind to Raikkonen is 13 seconds. He has to maintain that gap. So just drive to the safety car time and we’ll box this lap”.
TR – NR : “We’re going to box this lap, Nico we’re going to box this lap
Rosberg managed to come out ahead of Kimi even though he was only 13 seconds behind him. Why was this? Did Raikkonen drive underneath the safety car delta time? A good stop would lose track time of 14 seconds.
Converstaion on lap 43 between Kimi and Mark Slade
KR – MS : “I don’t know if we made the right choice not to pit”
MS – KR : “I don’t know Kimi, but its too late now so stick to the plan”
KR – MS : “I can overtake or not?”
MS – KR : “If the safety car is shjowing the green light you can overtake”
Looks as though neither driver nor team at Lotus considered making a stop and it was all discussed after the event.
Lap 45 Rennie to Webber : “When it does restart just need to pick these cars off one at a time. We should have five or six laps to pick these cars off”.
Lap 45 Rennie to Webber : “Obviously we’re on fresh [mediums], no need to look after the tyres. Do your best to get past all these cars”
Lap 45 Webber to Rennie : “Its going to happen mate”
Lap 48: Ross to Rosberg : Behind Rosberg, Webber has replaced Raikkonen in second place. “Yes, you need to push to keep him behind. There are four laps remaining at the end of this lap, he is on new option tyres”.
Victory Lap Button to Robson : “We either got unlucky there or we made the wrong cal in terms of being on old tyres at the restart”.
Victory Lap Slade to Kimi : “Fantastic drive, mate, sorry about the strategy potential cock-up”.
A Norbert Haug return?
The sacrificial lamb on the alter of Lauda’s accession to the throne of chairman for the Mercedes AMG F1 team hints to Bild he may return to F1.
However, he has no intention of returning to a life which entails, “150 days in the office and 150 days on the road” each year but he does say, “I can imagine supporting or helping or advising a small private team.”
Speaking about the current success of the Mercedes team Haug is clear in where he believes the credit should lie. “My successor Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are doing a really good job, for sure,” but adds, “the car was made by Ross Brawn and his team of engineers since the middle of last year, as success in formula one has a long lead time. For the Silver Arrows it was three years; for Red Bull it was five.”