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OTD Lite: 1965 Clark wins Belgian Grand Prix
The legendary Jim Clark won his fourth consecutive Belgian Grand Prix around the notorious Spa-Francorchamps. After having passed pole winner Graham Hill, Clark completed the 32 laps of the 8 mile circuit with only the BRM of Jackie Stewart on the lead lap.
Jim Clark detested the Belgian track and yet his artistry was perhaps never better demonstrated than around this circuit. Belgium was his second victory of the 1965 season and he would win a further four Grand Prix to secure his second title that year.
Also this day in when?
Bottas top of the pile
In Formula 1, the only thing that matters is the result at the end of the race. As long as you cross the finish line first, no matter how you achieved it, that is all that will matter when it comes to deciding the winner of the championship by the end of the season.
But winning a race isn’t as simple as just driving your car very fast around the circuit for 300km until you take the chequered flag and are handed a lavish trophy. Unfortunately, other drivers tend to have a annoying habit of getting in the way and in order to win, you’ll very often be forced to ‘overtake’ them…
In many ways, overtaking is to Formula 1 what scoring a goal is to Football or a try in Rugby. They require timing and judgement to decide how best to attack as well as adequate skill to execute successfully. When it comes to racecraft, no other skill helps to win a driver fans more effectively than their ability to pull off spectacular overtaking moves.
So which of this year’s drivers has been making the most moves out on track? Well, counting all competitive passes so far this season (counting any competitive on-track move outside of the first lap of races against opponents who attempted to resist being overtaken and excluding any passes made on a driver in the pitlane or against a stricken or recovering cars), it is Valtteri Bottas who has successfully executed the most overtakes in 2014 thus far, having dispatched 21 drivers over seven races at an average of three moves per race.
Next are the two Red Bull drivers of Ricciardo (15) and Vettel (14), who have passed almost thirty rivals between them, with Jenson Button (14) and Sergio Perez (12) rounding out the top five. At the bottom end of the scale, it is perhaps a surprise to see that Lewis Hamilton has currently overtaken fewer rivals than any other driver on the grid, bar Jules Bianchi.
But how telling are these statistics, really? Well, in truth, not very. There are range of factors that influence how many overtaking opportunities a driver faces, such as whether they start a race ‘out of position’ due to a penalty or mechanical issue, while the main reason that Lewis Hamilton has overtaken so few opponents is mainly down to the fact that he has been at the very sharp end of the field all season.
That doesn’t make these figures all completely meaningless, however. When you look at the amount of times a driver has been overtaken himself this season, you start to see a better illustration of certain drivers struggling against their team mates.
For example, at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso has performed nine overtakes so far in 2014 and been overtaken just six times, whereas Kimi Raikkonen has pulled off 11 passes and been overtaken on 16 occasions – ten more than his team mate.
Whether you believe they have meaning or otherwise, here is a list of the most prolific overtakers and most overtaken drivers of the year so far. There’s still along way to go in the 2014 season and a lot of moves to be made – let’s hope we get some truly memorable ones.
Most competitive overtakes in 2014 (as of Canadian GP):
1) Valtteri Bottas – Williams (21)
2) Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull (15)
3) Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull (14)
= Jenson Button – McLaren (14)
5) Sergio Perez – Force India (12)
= Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso (12)
Least competitive overtakes in 2014:
1) Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (1)
= Jules Bianchi – Marussia (1)
3) Marcus Ericsson – Caterham (2)
4) Max Chilton – Marussia (3)
5) Nico Rosberg – Mercedes (3)
Most overtaken drivers in 2014:
1) Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham (23)
2) Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber (19)
3) Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari (16)
4) Marcus Ericsson – Caterham (14)
= Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso (14)
Least overtaken drivers in 2014:
1) Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes (2)
= Nico Rosberg – Mercedes (2)
= Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull (2)
= Sergio Perez – Force India (2)
5) Valtteri Bottas – Williams (4)
(Author: Will, Capreissports)
Mystery of wind tunnels
Try watching some F1 race footage with full commentary from the 1990’s and it is almost shocking the lack of information the viewer receives. The implications of the various number tyre changes and strategy is rarely discussed.
Then again, the average F1 fan I speak to today is significantly more ‘educated’ in matters F1 than at any time I can previously remember.
Even though Ecclestone believes Facebook, YouTube and Twiitter are about to die, it is precisely the advent of the internet and social media which has seen the growth in knowledge of all things F1
The teams can contribute to our education and engage us ore – as Sauber are doing here in the 8 part series they are developing on wind tunnels.
A thankless task
“Ok, so we want you to make tyres for the faste3st racing cars in the world Mr. Hembery. However, the new engines will have 4-5 times the torque as the current engines – but we can’t give you anything to try out and see if your tyres will stand up to these new and somewhat unknown forces.
Oh and by the way, we want the tyres to be grippy, but we need them to degrade forcing the drivers to stop 2-3 times at all the different circuit configurations (and surfaces) for the 2014 F1 calendar”.
After the uproar of 2013 and the persistent complaints (particularly from Red Bull) about the fragile nature of the Pirelli tyres and the pictures beamed around the world which recorded Silverstone race leader, Lewis Hamilton’s tyre explode – this F1` season year did have the potential to be an unmitigated nightmare for Pirelli.
Yet there are not insignificant tyre issues present this year, it’s just they are eclipsed by the impact of the new engine regulations.
The tyre issues are still there for the teams in 2014, it’s just that the new engine regulations are taking all of the focus away.
The recent race weekend in Canada highlighted the problems certain teams are having. Mercedes bizarrely was often quicker on the slower harder yellow (soft) tyre and struggled to make what should have been a quicker tyre work.
Yet despite this, the race was indeed a two stop race, though bPerez worked miracles to still be in the hunt for a podium with less than one lap remaining.
On the whole, given the challenges Pirelli faced for 2014, Paul Hembery is happy with the tyre performance. “Once again, Canada delivered a thrilling grand prix: this time in hot conditions, which led to plenty of interesting tyre strategies. With such an action-packed race, we saw plenty of improvisation from several drivers as they attempted to use tyre strategy to their best advantage.
Congratulations to Daniel Ricciardo for his first win after a truly memorable race. Congratulations also to Force India, which has often taken a different approach to tyre strategy compared to their rivals in all the time we have been involved in Formula One.
In Canada this led to a good result, which could have been even better had it not been for the accident right at the end, demonstrating again how tyre strategy can be used to boost final positions.”
So we can give a Pirelli an 8 out of 10 for this year’s efforts, though with the dedicated in season tyre testing, we can expect a return of ‘the cliff’’ and more consistent operating windows from the next design of F1 tyres for 2015.
A lap of Le Mans
F1 is remarkably quiet today, and many of the internet news sites are catching up with stories TJ13 already ran. Of course Le Mans has some bearing on this, and so for those of you who can’t get Le Mans coverage, here’s a lap in a 2014 LMP2 car.
Austrain GP: The unknown factor
Nico Rosberg is understandably buoyed by his Canadian GP result and reveals he has some experience of driving the old A1 ring in Austria, which is next up.
“I’m looking forward to the next race in Austria and a chance to get back to our winning form once again. Although I’ve driven the circuit before, that was more than ten years ago in F3: back when it was still called the A1 Ring! Of course, it will be very different in a Turbocharged, V6 Hybrid Formula One car, so it’s basically like starting from scratch for everyone on the grid. Personally, I love that kind of challenge, so I’m excited to get back in the car and go for another top result.”
For some, the Red Bull Ring in Styria is something of a micky mouse circuit, with just 7 proper corners. However, one challenge the new F1 powertrains have not yet encountered is altitude. At its highest point the Styrian circuit is over 2,500 ft above sea level, and Paddy Lowe ponders the impact this will have on Mercedes and the rest.
“We’re excited by the prospect of a return to Spielberg after many years away and hoping for a return to form results-wise. It’s a short circuit with a lot of braking and high fuel consumption, so it will be another challenging race. The venue is also at high altitude which, owing to the low atmospheric pressure, places a different kind of duty on the Power Unit to what we’ve seen so far. It will be interesting to see how well both we and the competition respond to that.”
Formula E – onboard lap at Donnington Park
Newey’s day is done
There are those who believe that Adrian Newey’s decision to leave F1 is a petulant reaction to the direction in which the sport’s regulations are heading. Of course a diminished emphasis on aerodynamics which is Newey’s speciality does indeed reduce the impact Adrian can have on producing a winning car design.
However, the tiode3 has turned. Following a disappointing 2011 season, a typically arrogant Luca de Montezemolo had this to say.
“Formula One is still our life, but without Ferrari there is no Formula One, just as without Formula One Ferrari would be different. We can be very patient but there are precise conditions for us to continue with our work. We race not just for the publicity it brings us but above all to carry out advanced research aimed at all aspects of our road cars: engine, chassis, mechanical components, electronics, materials and aerodynamics, to such an extent that the technology transfer from track to road has grown exponentially over the past twenty years.
What is not so good is that 90% of performance is now based exclusively on aerodynamics.
Well here we are in 2014 and Il Padrino is seeing some of his wishes come to pass.
Yet the new engine formula was intended to attract more manufacturers to F1 after the mass walkout in 2009. So far that hasn’t really happened. Yes, Honda will join the fray as an engine only supplier in 2015, but in a way this only replaces the loss of Cosworth.
In another racing dimension, there is a different story being told. Sports car racing had been in decline for a number of years until three years ago when the FIA and the Automobile Club de l‘ouest who run Le Mans agreed to co-promote a global championship sports car series we now know as the World Endurance Series.
2015 will be the fourth season for the WEC and there will be four manufacturers with entries in the top flight LMP1 category, with Nissan declaring they will join Audi, Toyota and Porsche.
Nissan’s global head of marketing Darren Cox explained why the company was enterting the WEC and not F1. “What the ACO and the FIA have done in developing the new regulations for LMP1 is to create something that is both technologically innovative and provides a key platform for manufacturers like Nissan to talk about subjects like fuel efficiency in an exciting way.”
When Porsche announced they would be entering thre WEC, their head of R&D Wolfgang Hatz explained why they had decided on that particular series.
‘We are a sportscar company. Porsche has always lived for the transfer of racing to production cars. ‘For that reason it was clear two or three years ago we had to be back in high-level motorsport, and it was a choice between top-flight sportscars or Formula One.
The final decision was the only logical one. F1 was an alternative, but the road relevance is not there.
Also, there is a lot of publicity around politics and tyres, but not so much about the engines and chassis.
The aero, too, is incredible, but so extreme that it cannot result in any development in our road car understanding.’
The politics to which Hatz refers has been the seemingly never ending drama over the “Ecclestone corruption” allegations. Fans of F1 don’t care much about what Bernie gets up to and even those in the paddock roll their eyes and treat Ecclestone as a loveable rogue. But global corporations don’t react this way and neither do their shareholders.
Clearly, budget is also a consideration. A manufacturer’s LMP1 entry is likely to cost around $100m a year, whereas Mercedes spend on their own car’s engines and chassis development in excess of $300m a year.
Formula 1 needs to decide what it wants to become. The manufacturers have said they don’t want cars whose performance focus is 90% aerodynamics, but the synergy in road car technology development is never likely to be as relevant as it is in the WEC.
Maybe F1 should kick out the car manufacturer’s and stipulate entrants must be private companies building single seater prototype racing cars, designed to be the fastest in the world.
Yeah right. So that’s not going to happen.
F1’s refusal to distribute the spoils of commercialism amongst the teams in a fairer manner together with the larger teams refusing to limit their spending in effect means there is no solution which makes F1’s future look rosy – other suggest it is in fact apocalyptic..
It may be that by 2020 we have just Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Williams racing in the premier series with new incarnations of the rest competing in some kind of second division.
One solution to break the deadlock could be to allow greater freedom within the design regulations to teams signing up to spend less than $100m. Should the freedoms be sufficient for them to challenge the big boys – they just then might think blowing over a quarter of a billion a year is not such a great idea after all.
So whatever the future will be, it is not one where Adrian Newey and his aerodynamicists rule the roost. Those days are over.
For now it is about the raw power of the Mercedes which is beating a shambolic Ferrari outfit who in turn have been overtaken by Renault whose engine didn’t last 250k in February.
Maybe it is time for Ferrari to say good bye to F1 too.
Are F1 tickets expensive?
June 13, 2014 by Joe Saward
TJ13 editor’s note: Again we don’t usually just republish other sites content. However, this was [pointed out to me – and I don’t have time to rebut the at times fascile arguements presented. So over to you…..
“One of the gripes that one always hears from F1 fans is that the tickets are too expensive and that the prices should be reduced. The argument is based on the idea that 200,000 people paying half the price of a crowd of 100,000 equals the same result. This is not strictly true as there are many additional costs created by having larger crowds.
However, the key point in such discussions is whether or not there is a limit to the number of tickets on offer. Most races sell all their race day tickets and thus the price is set by supply and demand. More people want to go to Monaco than want to watch races in Bahrain. The aim of every promoter is to make as much money as possible and so it is important to find the right price point at which the stands are filled with people who were willing to pay what was requested. The fact that ticket prices are high shows that the sport is popular.
When you take a look at what it costs to go to other world class events one has to say that F1′s prices often seem quite reasonable. The reason I mention this is that this evening I am off to the Stade de France in Paris to watch the Rolling Stones in concert. There were 75,000 tickets available for this event and they were all sold within 51 minutes of going on sale. That is impressive marketing power, particularly when you are doing 30 gigs a year. The face value of the tickets we have is about the same kind of cost that one might expect to pay for general access at a Grand Prix and we could have spent a great deal more if we had wanted to be closer to the stage. Unfortunately we were not among the lucky folk to get tickets in those 51 minutes and so we have had to pay the market price. It took a deep breath but it is one of those things that one HAS to do. Bernie Ecclestone always used to say that Formula 1 was like the Bolshoi Ballet and that you have to pay to see quality and he has a point (although tickets to the Bolshoi are not THAT expensive because the number of ballet lovers does not seem to match the number of F1 fans).
Curious about ticket prices, I went on the Web to look at ticket prices for the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, on the same day as the British GP, and found that I could secure one for $8,200. I also looked at the World Cup Final in Brazil and was curious to see that I could get a ticket for between $5,500 and $13,500, not including transportation costs and hotels and so on. The price varies according to the number of seats available for a big event so, for example, a Super Bowl ticket for around $800 is to be expected if one buys directly from the NFL, but the secondary market will bump the price up considerably.
And it is not just sports. If you want to go to the New Year’s Day concert in the Musikverein in Vienna, you have to put your name down for a lottery each year (a year ahead of the next concert) and you must be prepared to pay $1,275 if you want a decent seat. If your number does not come up then the only option is to buy the tickets on the secondary market and the prices multiply accordingly.
So, in the overall scheme of things, F1 tickets are not that expensive. People with normal real world salaries need to save up to be able to afford them but they are not numbers from outer space as is seen in some other events”.
Williams Advance Engineering wins prestigious ‘Renewable’s award
Renewable energy has been gradually increasing in the uk and latest government figures show that renewable electricity grew by 3/5% last year. Renewables account for 15% of the Uk’s needs currently and is a growing sector.
This year celebrated the ninth Renewable Energy Awards which honour those that have developed, innovated and invested in this growing sector. With 11 award categories – which include community, company, finance and installer amongst the groups – one particular award ‘Pioneer’ is for an organisation in a sector that has not previously been associated with renewables and has since created a pathway that others can follow.
The 2014 prize winner is the Williams Advance Engineering division who won the award for its work in taking flywheel energy storage technology which had been developed in its 2009 Formula One car and bringing it to a market in the renewables and transport sectors.
The judging panel awarded the prize based on seeing this flywheel technology installed on two micrograms in the Scottish highlands to help stabilise their power grid, improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.
Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said; “Flywheel energy storage technology really kick started Williams’ diversification programme beyond motor racing and has set the scene for Williams Advanced Engineering’s subsequent expansion into other forms of energy efficient technology. The fact that in less than five years a technology first developed for a racing car is now being installed on a renewable microgrid is testament to the ability we have to accelerate technical innovations that help address important issues such as global warming. It’s is a real honour to be acknowledged for our R&D work in energy efficiency at such a prestigious awards ceremony.”