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.

The Diffuser Appeal: Random Thoughts

Tuesday, 14th of April. That's the date set by the FIA international court for the diffusers appeal hearing. Ferrari, Mclaren and Renualt protested aganist the U shaped diffuser used by Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota in the Australian GP but the protest was rejected by the race stewards and the teams decided to appeal that decision. But the question is how much do they really count on that appeal?

Most probably the appeal will be rejected too and that is for 2 reasons:

1. The FIA has accepted that diffuser when it was proposed to the FIA technical director before the beganing of the season, even before the teams put it into function.

2. The Stewards have cleared it TWO times (Australia and Malaysia)

3. The appealling teams only protested because the U diffusers are aganist the spirit of the rules (Not aganist the rules itself) as Briatore said:

"The interpretation of the regulations was very clear in the past - the cars need less downforce for safety reasons. Correct?" said Briatore.

"Every time we build a new car it was to be two to three seconds slower than the previous car. Correct? That was always the intention of the Federation (International d'Automobile).

"What happened here is that the three teams are going pretty clearly in the direction of downforce. And as we all knew that we will run on slick tyres from '09 on, it was the intention of FIA president Max Mosley and the Federation to impose new rules to reduce downforce.

"But somebody was going in the downforce direction that was forbidden by the FIA, and that is not following the principles of the rules.

Another issue, The FIA desicion isn't always technical but politics play role!. Let's admit that Brawn is important for Mosley (The Big BOSS) as it is a live proof on the success of his Formula1 vision, a new team with customer engine, low budget but front line performer. So rejecting the diffusers will put an end to a team like Brawn GP because they don't have the budget to build another a totally new car with the regular diffusers. Also they will lose all the points of the first 2 races attracting NO sponsors at all!

The rejection of the diffusers will open the door to the Ferrari/Mclaren age, dominating the formula1 making it less appealing for the crowds and sure that's the least thing the FIA wants.

So why the teams have protested in the first place? That's a tricky question....

Now we knows that they know "The diffusers are technically legal but it is all about ethics", so may be it is just about ethics and that the rules were intended to reduce the downforce and the U diffusers are using a grey area in the rules.

But I can also think that is a media cover!

Imagine a 1 month old team (Brawn GP) hughly outpaced the formula1 big names; Ferrari and Mclaren?! And they can't do anything about that may be until May (Spanish GP) which is the first race that they can have their cars with a U diffuser so they will be in a very bad public situation, it will affect thier image and may reflect on commerical income. The appeal have just opened them a good exit, at least they won some valuable time.

Now, They are officially waiting for the appeal but at the same time working 24/24 to have a one ready.

The Greedy Man: A Story to tell

When I was a child, I have always been told the story of the greedy man that ends with him losing everything because of his greed. I have remembered that story while watching Ecclestone actions and decisions in the Formula1.

The Ecclestone family are the holders of the commerical rights of Formula1. And when talking about commericals then the number of viewers is the principle issue. That was the main problem between him and the organizers of the Australian and Malaysian GPs as due to time differences, the races start at a very unsuitable time in Europe with a minimal number of European viewers and that reflects on the advertising companies (mainly European).

Between moving to night races or cancelling the 2 GPs from the agenda, they agreed to delay the race start until 5pm local time allowing a suitable broadcasting time in Europe. On the first race (Australian GP), with no rain, the race ran smoothly without delays and reached an end before the night time but many of the drivers complained about visibility issues and discouraged the idea of twilight races.

A week from that and on the Malaysian GP, it was expected to face the problem of heavy tropical rain that ususally pours in the afternoon. And that is exactly what happened and finally they had to put the uncompleted race to an end as the sunlight fades in the unequipped Circuit.

I think it was a fair punishment for the greed of Ecclestone, but it was disappointing to millions of F1 fans to see the race ends in that way.

Thrilling but Frustrating!!!

That is excatly how I conclude what happened in Malaysia. It was a really exciting race and showed us how much the new rules have helped to create a highly competitive race. At some parts of the race I was comparing it to the motogp where “taking over” is just a natural outcome of racing unlike the old formula1 where you can count the overtakes on your fingers !!!!.

Except for the dominating Rosberg and Button, the first laps were hot enough to keep you staring at the TV and as the race rhythem began to slow down as the rain started adding more heat to the race especially after the teams used the extreme wet tyres then had moved to the intermediates as the track wasn’t wet enough but nearly after 1 lap of using the intermediates, it started pouring forcing the drivers to pit again for the full wets!!!

Until that the race was thrilling. Unfortunately the rain was above the limits and forced the race control to pause the race and until that I was excited about the restart especially having both KERS and non KERS cars. I had to wait until the rain stops and the track condition improve. But at that point the sunlight was fading and the nighttime was approaching and started to think about the possibilities to continue the race and as the time goes, it seemed to be impossible and they are just waiting for the 2hr (The max. official time for a race) to come to an end to declare the race finished!!!

(The Frustrating part) At the end they had done so with less than 50% of the race remaining so the drivers were awarded half the point only!!

The Final ranking was considered as the lap before the race was stopped handing the win to Button followed by Heidfeld and Glock.

Actually, what is frustrating me is not only that the race came to an premature end but the fact that everyone knows that it rains heavily in the afternoon in tropical Malaysia and with the race set to start at 5pm local time, there will be a very narrow margin to race with a good visibility before the light fades (The drivers had a problem with visibility in Melbourne also because of the late start time). And yet they decided to do so for the sake of Bernie Eclestone who wanted a suitable start time for the TV viewers in the formula1 center (Europe) to make some extra millions of dollars!! Anyway, I will write about that in another post.

Final Race Results

1. BUTTON Brawn
2. HEIDFELD BMW +22.7s
3. GLOCK Toyota +23.5s
4. TRULLI Toyota +46.1
5. BARRICHELLO Brawn +47.3s
6. WEBBER Red Bull +52.3s
7. HAMILTON McLaren +1m00.7s
8. ROSBERG Williams +1m11.5s
9. MASSA Ferrari +1m42.1s
10. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso +1 lap
11. ALONSO Renault +1 lap
12. NAKAJIMA Williams +1 lap
13. PIQUET Renault +1 lap
14. RAIKKONEN Ferrari +1 lap
15. VETTEL Red Bull +1 lap
16. BUEMI Toro Rosso +1 lap
17. SUTIL Force India +1 lap
18. FISICHELLA Force India +2 laps
R. KUBICA BMW +30 laps
R. KOVALAINEN McLaren +31 laps

Fastest lap: Button, 1m36.641s

Created by OnePlusYou

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