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F1 2019

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Online rooshooter

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2019, 08:21:05 AM »
MPH: Comparing team-mates at the Australian F1 GP
by Mark Hughes on 22nd March 2019

Think Verstappen trounced Gasly in the Formula 1 season-opener? And Kvyat did similar to Albon? And Norris to Sainz? It’s not that simple...

Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso leads Pierre Galsy in the Red Bull in the 2019 Australian GP

Pierre Gasly's 11th place at the 2019 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, failing in a Red Bull to pierce the defences of his ostensible replacement (and predecessor!) Daniil Kvyat doesn't sound very hot stuff, does it?

Especially when team-mate Max Verstappen passed Sebastian Vettel to secure third place. So Verstappen can overtake a Ferrari for a podium, while Gasly in the same car can't even pass a Toro Rosso for a point.

Yes, that's factually accurate. But means almost nothing. Circumstances very often mean there can be no realistic assessment of a driver's performance regardless of how good he may be.

When so much of how drivers are rated is dependent upon comparison to their team-mates, we should recognise when to disregard any comparison

So if Verstappen had been the Red Bull driver that got caught in Turn One traffic on his second Q1 lap, but had recorded sixth-fastest time on his previous lap, and thus decided not to use up another set of tyres and stayed in the garage, secure that he surely wasn't going to drop from sixth to outside the top 15… but did because the track grip ramped up so fast. Then what?

How would Max have got on from 17th, rather than fourth on the grid? On a circuit where passing is more difficult than anywhere other than Monaco. And against a Toro Rosso that unlike the Ferrari didn't have a particular problem through Turn One.

Maybe he'd have made more progress than did Gasly. But it's really not a given. There are days when circumstances mean that you are simply not able to demonstrate your potential, and this was one of them for Gasly.

He wasn't the only one. Lando Norris made a great debut by qualifying his McLaren eighth – many places better than it deserved, Fernando Alonso-style. So that shades Carlos Sainz, out in Q1, right?

2019 Australian Grand Prix report

Absolutely not. There is no valid comparison. Sainz was about to set a top-10 Q1 time when he had to back off for the limping punctured Robert Kubica two corners from home, thus consigning the second McLaren to be a Q1 casualty. It's entirely feasible he'd have made Q3 together with Norris and fought out position there.

But Norris faded from his sparkling fourth row start to finish out the points. So he wasn't as good in the race as in qualifying, right?

Again, no valid comparison. There was no way of knowing in advance that Antonio Giovinazzi's long-running, medium tyre-starting Alfa was going to take on bodywork damage on the first lap and so form a block to all those, like Norris, who were on softs and exited from their first stops behind the Alfa and lost a heap of time – and many places – to those who'd been able to start on mediums and run longer.

Similarly, Alex Albon. After an impressive rookie qualifying effort put him ahead of team-mate Kvyat, he finished behind him. The latter has absolutely nothing to do with respective merit.

2019 Australian Grand Prix results

Kvyat (who started on mediums, rather than the softs of his team-mate) drove a strong and determined race to fend off Gasly for the final point, but who is to say that wouldn't have been for a couple of places behind Albon had the long-running Giovinazzi not picked up his first lap damage and thereby not cost Albon so much time upon rejoining after his stop?

Kvyat's strategy turned out to be better than Albon's – but not for any reason of merit. That's just how it panned out. Similarly, Sergio Pérez losing out to team-mate Lance Stroll at Racing Point for the exact same reason.

So in this machinery-dominated sport, when so much of how drivers are rated is dependent upon comparison to their team-mates, we should recognise when to disregard any comparison. No matter how well one driver may have done (and it could theoretically have been one of the all-time great performances), if his team-mate has been denied equal opportunities by circumstance, they cannot be compared.

These things tend to get forgotten in the overall assessment of performance over a season. Let's see how Gasly – who was outstanding at Bahrain in the Toro Rosso last year – compares if he can get a more equal opportunity next weekend.
 

 
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Online rooshooter

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While Ferrari was slower than Mercedes in the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas found the W10 to be a handful – and things could change going into Bahrain

Mercedes W10 Australian Grand PRix

“Wow! That looks like he’s having to correct it even on the straight,” said Martin Brundle on reviewing Lewis Hamilton’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix pole lap. And indeed, it’s quite remarkable just how busy the Mercedes W10 looks when being pushed hard.

The Ferrari and Red Bull look like limousines in comparison, as do Mercedes of previous years – yet there can be no denying the W10’s effectiveness. It’s a trait that was made extra visible around the low-grip, bumpy Albert Park but thinking back to Barcelona testing, it was keeping its drivers a lot busier on the wheel there than was the Ferrari, notably through Turn Two and into Turn Three.

What was assumed to be a balance problem there may just be a characteristic.  Because neither Hamilton nor Valtteri Bottas were getting out of the car in Melbourne saying it was easy. They are reporting that it’s hard work – but fast. That it’s a question of getting used to how much it likes to move around, having faith that the downforce is there and will smother the waywardness.

But watch Hamilton’s Australia pole lap from on board and it’s clear that the trait is there only at certain speed ranges – the slow-to-medium corners. Through the faster ones, notably Turn 10 and 11, it’s astonishingly planted and fast. Hamilton turns in to 11 – sixth gear, maybe 150mph, but essentially a 90-degree change of direction – just by steering it. The engine note is unchanged as his foot remains resolutely down and the thing just flies through there. It clearly has masses of downforce at high speed and there’s none of the nervy behaviour seen at lower speeds.

This could all be down to the new aero regulations, specifically how they have impacted upon Mercedes’ chosen design of front wing. As we’ve written about before on here, Mercedes has opted for full depth elements across the full span in contrast to Ferrari which has pared them back at the outboard ends, ahead of the tyre. Mercedes’ philosophy implies it will be capable of generating more load from the wing itself but that turning the airflow around the tyre for the vital ‘outwash’ airflow might be tricky. Paring back the elements at the ends, as on the Ferrari, implies the opposite: less available front wing load but a more robust transition around the tyre to form the outwash airflow.

More

    2019 Australian Grand Prix report
    F1 2019: simple aero, better racing?

Ferrari 2019 Australian GP

The Ferrari arrangement implies a more consistent aero behaviour through the corner, the Mercedes one a greater peak. If we think about how the outer end of the wing works as the wheel is first turned, it suddenly has a whole lot more space behind the elements for the air to flow through to, it no longer being blocked by the tyre. This is happening simultaneously with a change in the direction of the flow (as the car turns). It’s a very volatile split second or so – and the more the wing is loaded up at the outboard ends, the more volatile it tends to be.

Through higher speed corners the wheels are not being steered anything like as much, the space behind the elements therefore remains much less variable, and so the wing should work more consistently. Hence maybe why the Mercedes looks easier and more planted there. It can also be that the vital outwash is being more easily maintained at higher speed flows than through the low speed stuff where it may be switching on and off.

MPH: Who can stop Mercedes?

But comparing where the Ferrari was losing time to the Mercedes in qualifying at Albert Park, it was all slow-to-medium speed. At high speeds it was comparably quick. This is all speculative and theoretical, but what we may have been seeing there was a Ferrari that just could not generate the front wing load necessary on such a low-grip, bumpy track to balance out the greater rear downforce generated by the more powerful 2019 rear wing. But that the Mercedes could, even though that involved giving its drivers a bit of a busy time.

So heading for Bahrain’s much more conventional Sakhir circuit, might we see a Ferrari balanced more like it was in Barcelona? And how will that compare to the fast but feisty Mercedes?
 

 
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Offline ab156

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2019, 09:39:13 PM »
Some pictures from the trip to China















« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 09:42:36 PM by ab156 »

Online Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2019, 09:58:13 PM »
How did you find the Chinese GP experience ab?  I've been looking at going at some stage.

Offline ab156

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2019, 03:45:45 PM »
Take this all in a positive light...  China is it's own world.  If you have been before and were comfortable then I would recommend it, if you haven't and you are looking for an overseas race to try this wouldn't be my first recommendation.  Everything is hard due to the language barrier and no effort made to accommodate Westerners.  More power to them in some ways.  We did a week or so of tourist stops prior to the race (Beijing / Xi'an / Chengdu), getting to Shanghai was a relief, it is a much nicer place to be  ;)

We stayed in the Changning District as we thought the subway to the track would be accessible, it was but was either a long walk or using two lines - on average it took about an hour door to door.  Even after the race the trip home wasn't too bad.  We did get a car on the first day, it is a long drive in traffic.  While taxis are cheap (~$20AUD for a 45 min trip) the combination of cheap subway (~$3 per trip), same travel time and the fact it is hard to get a taxi (even from hotels - they don't want to deal with Westerners) made the subway the preferred option.  If I go back I will probably sort out a private car and driver. 

DiDi didn't work for us, you need a local SIM, I was roaming. Also, you need to carry cash as cards may not always work and the locals all use WeChat Pay which we can't do (need a Chinese account). Even then, they don't like using cash and you have to watch out for counterfeit notes.

We did a F1Experiences package (3 of us), gave us Paddock Club access on Friday and Premium Grandstand (upper) on Saturday and Sunday, I think it was ~$2400 a ticket.
  • Pretty empty on Friday, a few people on Saturday but only for Qualifying, packed on Sunday
  • Paddock Club was great, full access to the pit building roof, a guided pit tour, track tour (on truck), pitlane walk, food, drinks, guest speakers.
  • The view from the top of the grandstand is good, you can see 75% of the track, unfortunately the bits you can't see are the action areas (T3, T11 and T14).  You wouldn't want to be in the low sections as you view would be blocked by the pit building
  • Saturday was a a "dead" day, they only have Asian F4 and China Carrera Cup (1 session each) and F1
  • Sunday was quiet by Melbourne and Silverstone standards but on par with most other races, the 2 support category races and pre-race build-up
  • It was a LONG way up to the seats, all stairs - about 200 - 220 from memory so once you were up there going back down was not really a good idea
  • Food options poor, no where near enough catering (many of the locals bring their own bags of food
  • Almost no trackside entertainment / things to do
  • You couldn't walk to different areas or around the perimeter of the track
  • the Chinese don't give a **** about anyone else, they will just stand and block views, very annoying - it's a cultural thing
  • Facilities were clean but busy (1.8bn ppl will do that!)

I would go back as you can see the cars for most of the lap from your seat, if I did it would be just for the race, get in and get out.  I think the 7 days before had me a little agitated.  I recommend you look at the F1Experience packages options, I think 3 days just in the stand would have been a bit challenging, there are better races to do if you want to do that (Suzuka / Barcelona / Montreal).

In general you can do it pretty cheaply, we saved $ on accommodation and food to balance ticket cost and still had a nice room and decent food.  In general I though pretty much everything was cheap compared to Melbourne prices (except decent coffee which was an issue).

If you have any specific questions let me know, I have just rambled on off the top of my head  ;D
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 05:13:31 PM by ab156 »

Online Guybrush Threepwood

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2019, 04:21:23 PM »
Thanks ab.  Great feedback.  I never knew you could see a lot of the track from one location.  This is what I liked about Sepang.

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2019, 04:27:11 PM »
Great report ab, thanks :).
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Online Phil.8

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Re: F1 2019
« Reply #52 on: April 28, 2019, 07:09:18 PM »
Great report ab, thanks :).

Yes, thanks for all the info
Driving by on my way to somewhere else

youtube.com/watch?v=S3jNwM_q_9s