Formula1 Gator

Chinese GP 2009

Fuel loads revealed

Pre-race weights and provisional grid:

1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 644kg
2. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 637
3. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 646.5
4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 661
5. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 659
6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 664.5
7. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 650.5
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 673.5
9. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 679
10. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 673
11. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 679
12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 697
13. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 690
14. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 682.7
15. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 690
16. Nelson Piquet, Renault, 697.9
17. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 659
18. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 648
19. Timo Glock, Toyota, 652
20. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 679.5

Analysis of the fuel loads

Drivers on the front of the grid with low fuel (have to run very fast and make use of it):
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 644kg
2. Fernando Alonso, Renault, 637
3. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 646.5

Drivers with a good grid position and average fuel load: (The perfect combination):
4. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP, 661
5. Jenson Button, Brawn GP, 659
6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 664.5
7. Nico Rosberg, Williams, 650.5

Drivers at the back grid position, yet they have average fuel load!!!
17. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 659
18. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 648.
19. Timo Glock, Toyota, 652.

Drivers with late start position but a heavy fuel load (After a long first stint, they can check their chances):
8. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 673.5
9. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 679
10. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso, 673
11. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 679
14.Kazuki Nakajima, Williams, 682.7 20.
20.Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India, 679.5

Extremly Heavy Fuel Load:
12. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren, 697.
13.Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 690.
15.Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 690.
16.Nelson Piquet, Renault, 697.9

China: Qualimeter

Thoughts about the qualifiers:

1- Vettel: a fantastic job with a regular diffuser and did it in 1 lap only ion Q3!. Expected to have a slightly lower fuel load for a shorter first stint.

2- Alonso: The Spaniard is back again!. Although now he had a double Decker diffuser but he had only 3 laps to adapt to it and he managed to do so and get the most from the new parts added to his car. Also expected to have a low fuel load

3- Webber: RedBull again!. We shall expect from them alot this season.

4- Barrichello: Finally out qualified his teammate, a step forward for him.

5- Button: He failed to reach his 3rd poll on the row. But let us wait and see the fuel load.

6- Trulli: Good job but not a brilliant one.

7- Rosberg: Again, poor qualifing performance compared to the free practice.

8- Kimi: At least he still managed to reach Q3.

9- Hamilton: First time in top ten this season. Sure Mclaren is improving.

10- Buemi: Another solid performance from the newcomer.

11- Heidfeld: Again his strange qualifing performance like the last season but this time he out qualified his teammate.

12- Kovalainen: Not up or down

13- Massa: Another disappointing qualifier for him and his team. He is lacking concentration.

14- Glock: Very bad day for him especially with the gearbox penalty added.

Worth to mention:

18- Kubcia: It is one of the rare times that he is out qualified by his teammate, Heidfeld. It wasn't his day. May be it's Tommorrow!

China: Updates on the run

*Renualt won't use KERS this time for safety issues

*Kubcia also decided not to use KERS, leaving only 3 cars on the track using it (2 Mclarens + Heidfeld)

*Alonso has got a double decker diffuser installed into his car but no time to try!.

* Glock will face a 5 place grid penalty after changing his gearbox

KERS: Good OR Bad?

With Ferrari deciding to run without KERS in the Chinese GP, it became more confusing; Is KERS good or bad?

KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recycling System. It is a system that saves the energy produced from car braking and store it in a battery to be used later in the form of a horse power boost (about 80HP per lap). The KERS is optional this season but it will be obligatory from 2010.

Only 4 teams used the KERS (Ferrari, Mclaren, Renualt and BMW) while the rest decided not to do so as to reduce expenses required to develop such system while a standard KERS system will be provided next year when it is obligatory.

The KERS was of a little benefit in Australia but that changed to some extent in Malaysia because of the longer straights and it is expected to add more performance in China that have one of the longest straights in the season. Worth to mention that KERS cars have showed amazing acceleration at the race starts.

On the other side, Ferrai had encountered reliability problems with it and decided to drop it in China. Also Nick Hedfield isn't using a one as he faced some problems with the car balance with KERS.

So High cost, Reliability and Difficult car setup are some of the cons of KERS, But what is the good side of KERS other than a few extra hp per lap?

As many of the Formula1 technologies, it is expected to see KERS used in road cars. Formula1 has always been the source of many technologies used nowadays in our cars. We see them as basic things but some time in the past it was a controversial technology used in Formula1. And we have to remember that car companies arn't investing millions in Formula1 just for our entertainment. But it is about branding in the first place and research comes second!.

So may be KERS isn't the best for Formula1 but I am sure it have a bright future. Yes teams are complaining but they agreed to used it in 2010!.

Alonso convinced Renault will improve, Should we Believe?

Alonso said: “I believe in this team and we saw last year that they know how to fight back and find performance from the car."

And that's not strange about Alonso, We have seen how he won 2 back to back world titles before with Renault. We have seen him after moving to Mclaren and how he contributed to the development of their 2007 dominating car, which they announced earlier that season that the car was specially designed to adapt to Alonso driving style.

We have also seen how Renualt struggled in that season without Alonso, their car was pretty slow on most of the occasions. But that changed with Alonso moving back to his home in 2008. yes they were slow in the first half of the season but that was a thing Alonso couldn't help as the development of the car was started eariler in 2007 when Alonso was still in Mclaren, and by the 2nd half of the season we have seen dramatic improvments and eventually Alonso mananged to win 2 races from the last 4 races!!

So as we see Alonso is a very good driver regarding the development of the car, he can tell you the point of weakness and give you a hint on what the car needs. But this time will be more difficult than last year as the new rules have banned unofficial car testing, making the drivers of a little use when it comes to the car development. Teams now have to depend on the virtual results from the wind tunnel and simulators to develop their aerodynamics.

Hope to see Renualt recovering, but they have to do it the hard way

Virtual standings, what if the diffuser appeal is to be accepted

If the diffuser appeal is to be accepted with subsequent disqualification of Brawn gp, Toyota and Williams from the 1st 2 races, the driver and constructor standings will be as follow:

Drivers Standings

1-Alonso 11.5
2-Heidfeld 9
3-Buemi 8
4-Bourdais 8
5-Webber 6
6-Sutil 5
7-Fisichella 3
8-Hamilton 3
9-Massa 2.5
10-Vettel 1
11-Piquet 1
12-Raikonen 0.5

Constructors Standings

1-ToroRoso 16
2-Renault 12.5
3-BMW 9
4-ForceIndia 8
5-RedBull 7
6-Ferrari 3
7-Mclaren 3

The Super Brawns: Is it only about diffusers?

Should we explain the Brawn dominance with their tricky diffuser?

If we look to the 10 teams, we can classify them into 4 categories according to their performance in the first 2 races:

A: Front runners with diffusers
Brawn GP, Toyota & Williams

B: Highly competitive without diffusers
Redbull, ToroRosso, BMW

C: Also no diffusers, but come after group B
Ferrari, Mclaren, Renualt

D: Tail of the grid
Force India

So although, Toyota & Williams ran with the U diffusers, The Brawns outpaced them in the both occasions. On the other side, group B showed a highly competitive performance and nearly an equal pace to group A (except the Brawn GP), yet group B run with the regular diffuser!

Also as we look to that classification we will find that both group B & C run without the Brawn's diffuser yet group B showed a slight to average edge over group C!

So I think that the diffusers play a role but it is not the Brawn's special formula. Button was a whole one second faster than the closest competitor in Malaysia, including other diffuser equipped cars! I think that the Brawn's car has other strength in many areas and may be Ross Brawn is happy about the diffuser issues as it may be misleading for the other teams to focus on the diffusers and forget about other possible stuff.

Anyway, we shall see.
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