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[Formula1]

SparvySparvy Registered User regular
edited September 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
F1-Full.jpg
  • 12 Teams
  • 24 Drivers
  • 20 Races
  • 6 Former Champions
This is the Formula 1 thread

The Teams that can actually win anything
Red Bull Racing
Vettel-Webber-Chinese-GP-qualifying.jpg

The 2011 season saw Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel (on the right), who snatched the 2010 Championship title at the last Grand Prix of the season, continue their rule with a dominant performance leading the championship from Melbourne to São Paulo. But while Vettel became the youngest double champion in the history of Formula1 his teammate, Mark Webber, found himself unable to perform to the same standard. Barely beating Alonso with a single point for 3d place, despite driving one of the most dominant cars of recent years (RBR took 18/19 pole positions in 2011), the rumors say this might be the veteran's last year driving for Red Bull.


McLaren
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The British duo, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, are our former champions #2 and #3. Lewis had a rough year in 2011; he fired his father from the position of manager and had rocky patch with his pop star girlfriend. The result was a frustrated driver who was punished for so many incidents he called the stewards racist after the Monaco GP. Still, he won enough races to make up for it clinching him the 5th place overall.
Button on the other hand did better, despite what many might have thought before he joined McLaren he was the best driver of the team in 2011 and the only driver to beat a Red Bull in the standings. Proving himself to be a wet weather specialist and consistent podium finisher he has become famous as a smooth driver and a smooth talker, one of my favorites.


Ferrari
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Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso (former champion #4) are, though they seem to both wish it wasn't so, teammates at the legendary team Ferrari. Ferrari seem to have lost their edge in the last few years, their engineers have not be able to beat McLaren's or Red Bull's cars, so Alonso has had to drive his heart out to get on the podium at all. Massa didn't even manage that. Placing 4th and 6th respectively they will be hungry for 2012.


Mercedes
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Niko Rosberg and the now 43 year old 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher (#5) drive for Mercedes. Mercedes is a relatively new team with top engineering talent that is likely to be a future top team. Though not quite ready to fight with the big boys yet they held strong against the smaller teams behind them. Took 7th and 8th place.


The rest
Lotus Renault
Showed good speed early in the year last season but was unable to keep up with the constant improvements of the top teams, with returning Kimi Raikkonen (former champion #6) they might have an outside chance at a podium finish or two.

Force India
An interesting team that showed some teeth last year, Paul di Resta could be champion in a few years.

Sauber
Watch out for Kamui Kobayashi, one of the most aggressive overtakers on the grid. Always exciting.

Toro Rosso
Red Bull's little brother.

Williams
Former top team.

Caterham
Previously known as Lotus

HRT

Marussia
Previously known as Virgin


What has changed?
Blown Diffusers are banned
Last year saw the rise of blown diffusers. Essentially it is a way to use exhaust gases to generate down force at the back of the car. The problem was that for it to work well you needed computer controlled valves that would let the car burn fuel (and therefor generate down force) even when the driver takes his foot off the throttle. This required complicated software that the smaller teams couldn't compete with. So in effort to 1) keep computer controlled systems to a bare minimum and 2) even the playing field, they were banned.

This might prove crucial, some experts say the reason Red Bull managed to make such good qualifying laps last year was the huge amount of down force and speed they managed to get through the corners. With that advantage gone Red Bull will have to think very hard to keep their title.

Lower Noses
New safety rules mean the noses of the cars must be lower to reduce the chance of cars climbing over each other in a crash and taking the head of the poor soul who ended up underneath. This will be immediately apparent when we look at this year's cars.

New GP
This year has 20 races which is the most ever. The new track is "Circuit of The Americas" for the American Grand Prix in Austin. The track is not finished yet (as far as I know) so it might not actually happen until next season.


The cars
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mclaren-mp4-27-2012-formula-1-race-car_100380110_m.jpg
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Merc-unveils-2012-car.aspx
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2012-Force-India-VJM05-Formula1-Race-Car.jpg


New to Formula1?
Here is a crash course.
The Grand Prix Weekend
Friday:
Practice 1&2. Completely uninteresting to all but the most die hard fans. Allows the drivers to familiarize themselves with the track and allows the teams to let their young Test Drivers out in a real F1 car so that they at some point in the future can start competing.
Saturday:
Practice 3 & Qualifying. Qualifying is where the fun begins. There are 3 qualifying heats; the first is 20 min, the second 15 min and the third 10 min. In qualifying each driver tries to set the fastest lap time they can, there is no racing against each other just against the clock (though many cars might be running at the same time). After each heat the 7 slowest drivers are given their starting position with the slowest at the back and the times for the cars fast enough to continue are wiped. The 10 fastest drivers, that run in the last final qualifying heat, will have to start the GP with the same tires they set their fastest lap.
Sunday:
The Race: Exactly what it sounds like, the actual race.


Tires/pit stops
Tire choice and pit stop strategy is one of the most integral parts of F1 racing.

All the teams have access to the same 6 kinds of tires: 4 slicks -[Super soft, Soft, Medium and Hard] and 2 treaded -[Intermediate and Wet].
Of the slicks each team has to select 3 sets of 'prime' tires (Medium or Hard) and 3 sets of 'option' tires (super soft or soft) for each driver. These 6 sets are the only tires a car is allowed to use during qualifying and race. As mentioned previously the front 10 on the starting grid has to start with the same tires they set their qualifying lap. Both 'prime' and 'option' must be used during the race.
(If it rains almost all this can be ignored, any car can always use wet or intermediate tires for no penalty)

The different tire types function differently, each one gives its maximum amount of grip when they are at their boiling point (if you will) which means that different tires are better in different weather and on different tracks. On slow speed tracks softer tires are better while at high speed tracks harder tires might be better.

The tires also degrade at different rates, a set of super soft might make you go 3 seconds faster each lap but might only last half as long as a set of hard tires.

Which is where pit stops come in. Choosing the right time pit dependent on things such as changing weather conditions, tire degradation, the traffic on the track etc. can win or lose a race.
Put on super soft to catch up with the cars ahead of you before they pit? If you come out from the pit lane behind a row of slower cars suddenly you can't make up the seconds you wanted and instead sit on a set of fast degrading tires without getting the speed you needed. Do you go for 2 stops or 3 stops? Maybe even 4 or just 1? Different teams and different drivers run different strategies which makes the races dynamic and exciting.

Technology
There are two bits of technology that might be good to have a handle on.

KERS:
"Kinetic Energy Recovery System". A battery that stores energy when the car breaks. That energy can then be used to boost the car with extra power and acceleration when the driver presses a button. That KERS button can only be pressed for a set amount of time each lap.

DRS:
"Drag Reduction System". Its a flap in the rear wing that the driver can open up to reduce drag (and down force) to increase top speed. Is only allowed to be used on certain straights when within 1 second of the car in front. Closes the moment the driver start breaking.
Star your engines
The first Grand Prix of the season will be on this Sunday the 18th of March in Melbourne Australia. The first race is always interesting because it is the first time that the new cars will be run in anger, as they say. There is only a handful of controlled and open sessions in the pre-season for teams to test and revise their new designs outside of a wind tunnel. Which means some teams, particularly at the back of the grid, are holding their thumbs that the car will even finish the race before breaking down. And the top teams are so secretive about their true performance that they can't even be sure how fast they are themselves, and have no idea about their rivals.

In short it is all up in the air right now but this weekend is the moment the rubber meets the road. Will the stepped "platypus" noses work or is McLaren doing the right thing with their traditional design? What are the teams doing with their exhaust gases with the new rules? What is that slot in the step of the Red Bull really for? Why does the Ferrari look like its made of lego? Nobody knows. Yet.

Sparvy on
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Posts

  • either,oreither,or Registered User regular
    We're having a Formula One thread this year? Awesome. I am looking forward to this weekend far too much. The noises coming out of the paddock suggest that this could be a season to remember (for everybody but Ferrari).

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    I thought it would be good idea with a thread. I'm not sure how many are actually interested so it might die in a couple of weeks but we will see.

    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take as someone said.

  • SnicketysnickSnicketysnick The only honest man in WesterosRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    You should probably add



    to the OP.

    No amount of F1 is complete without it!

    Snicketysnick on
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  • jimbo034jimbo034 Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    What's with the channel running down the center of the cars on the Mercedes and a couple others?

    jimbo034 on
    We're growing into a post-scarcity economy?

    I hadn't noticed the build a dyson sphere around the sun component of the stimulus package.
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    jimbo034 wrote: »
    What's with the channel running down the center of the cars on the Mercedes and a couple others?

    I'm going to guess that in wind tunnel and computer model testing it produced the least drag and/or the most downforce

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Veevee wrote: »
    jimbo034 wrote: »
    What's with the channel running down the center of the cars on the Mercedes and a couple others?

    I'm going to guess that in wind tunnel and computer model testing it produced the least drag and/or the most downforce

    Not 100% what you are referring to.

    ROSBERG73_1469887a.jpg

    If it is the concave slope down toward the nose my guess is that it (apart from aero benefit) could be some kind of rigging for the suspension that takes a lot of room on the sides.

    Added the video, though since BBC are sharing the F1 coverage with Sky we might not hear it as often now.

    Sparvy on
  • Uncle_BalsamicUncle_Balsamic Registered User regular
    I can't wait for the start of the season, although I will be ceaselessly moaning about the non-live edited highlights I'm going to have watch for half of the year. Damn Sky!

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  • iguanacusiguanacus Desert PlanetRegistered User regular
    Forget Texas, the real return of F1 in the US is in 2013! New Jersey is the best Jersey !

    I dunno, I take you seriously on some topics and dick rider is your profession
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    I can't wait for the start of the season, although I will be ceaselessly moaning about the non-live edited highlights I'm going to have watch for half of the year. Damn Sky!

    Yeah, I don't know how much of it I'm going to follow this year.

    I remember working out that it would cost something like £350 to get the Sky package that would include the F1, and screw that. There's always MotoGP and the BTCC.

  • either,oreither,or Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    They won't all be non-live highlights. I think the european races that are going to be a standard delayed broadcast... The coverage this year isn't ideal but I don't mind it so much. It's not like the BBC have put them on late at night like other sports highlights, they're right there at 2/4pm(ish).

    either,or on
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  • TehSlothTehSloth this little piggy got a house made of bricksRegistered User regular
    So they're keeping KERS optional and the drop down rear wing zones from last year? I only really followed the first half-ish of the season, might try to be better this year depending on how available it is to me to watch.

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  • Uncle_BalsamicUncle_Balsamic Registered User regular
    To be honest I'm more annoyed that half of the races are only going to be edited highlights. I'd rather the BBC showed it in the middle of the night, I just want the boring bits as well. It's probably a good idea they're not catering to my whims, though.

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    TehSloth wrote: »
    So they're keeping KERS optional and the drop down rear wing zones from last year? I only really followed the first half-ish of the season, might try to be better this year depending on how available it is to me to watch.

    Yeah, the only thing change I have heard is that they might put more than one DRS zone on the same track. Technically they experimented a bit with that last season as well but it should happen more this time around.

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    I may have to stay up until 12:30 in the morning to see the race, but at least I get to see it live in its entirety. Thanks SPEED

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  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    It's probably very wrong to think this, but I'd like there to be a small bloody uprising in Abu Dhabi so we don't have to have that awful race. If Valencia were to burn down or slide into the sea in mid-June that wouldn't be the most awful thing either!

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  • jimbo034jimbo034 Registered User regular
    Sparvy wrote: »
    Veevee wrote: »
    jimbo034 wrote: »
    What's with the channel running down the center of the cars on the Mercedes and a couple others?

    I'm going to guess that in wind tunnel and computer model testing it produced the least drag and/or the most downforce

    Not 100% what you are referring to.

    ROSBERG73_1469887a.jpg

    If it is the concave slope down toward the nose my guess is that it (apart from aero benefit) could be some kind of rigging for the suspension that takes a lot of room on the sides.

    Added the video, though since BBC are sharing the F1 coverage with Sky we might not hear it as often now.

    Yeah, that's what I was talking about. Looking at that picture it's really apparent that it's part of the frame for the suspension. They aren't the prettiest cars this year though.

    We're growing into a post-scarcity economy?

    I hadn't noticed the build a dyson sphere around the sun component of the stimulus package.
  • either,oreither,or Registered User regular
    This is a fairly neat (if brief) article on some of the new features of the cars this year and the pros and cons of the design philosophy employed by a handful of teams.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17350638

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    Here is a pretty good F1 podcast/video show if you want to load up on information and excitement before the weekend.




    And as a bonus here is Heikki Kovalainen's new helmet.
    An_uuaOCMAAYf_K.jpg
    Yes, that is a red Angry Bird. Hopefully he won't be inspired by it.

  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    First couple of practice sessions dealt with. From what I'm reading the weather was constantly changing from torrential rain to sunshine and back again so the actual lap times are more or less useless.

    Some people still think the Ferrari looks like it handles badly in the corners and Felipe Massa spun out and got stuck. A rocky start to the season for them.

    We also might have some nice new camera angles to look forward to:
    frhWo.jpg
    http://h11.abload.de/img/untitled-4hgkyp.gif

    Sparvy on
  • SquirrelmobSquirrelmob Registered User regular
    I'm hoping Webber has a good year. Maybe Vettel will just fall off...

  • mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    Don't know if I actually want to go to the pub to watch the sky races, F1 was a lazy Sunday in the house thing.

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  • izzybizzyb Registered User
    Can I just say that with the current topic, every time I see this thread in the forum list I think "Oh cool, is there a new sports drama series like Friday Night Lights but for professional motor racing? Awesome!" but when I realise its just actual racing I get disappointed. I am a flawed individual.

  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    That helmet cam is so fucking sexy

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  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    Lol red flag three corners into the v8 supercars support race.

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  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    It always annoys me how difficult it is to find F1 coverage in the US.

    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

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  • ueanuean Registered User regular
    Ditto for Canada. I'm cruising all the local motorsport forums and enthusiast sites and I can't find anywhere that will be showing the race live. And no luck so far finding a stream.

    What do you guys do for streaming? I have no problem getting LeMans every year, but individual F1 races are tricky! I'd rather watch it live than have to download it after the fact.

    Guys? Hay guys?
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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    facetious wrote: »
    It always annoys me how difficult it is to find F1 coverage in the US.

    SPEED channel. It is the only place to get F1 coverage, but it does the important shit (qualifying and the actual race) live plus a rebroadcast of the race itself at noon that sunday.

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  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    Holy hell the cars are ugly this year, with the possible exception of the McLaren. I guess I'll be rooting for Button, since Hamilton has annoyed me for years.

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  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    Eh, they're not nearly as bad as the bull-nose Williams from a few years back.

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  • XrddXrdd Registered User regular
    Amazing lap by Hamilton.

  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Yeah I think you misspelled Grosjean, there.

    Giddy about Ferrari's complete failure.

    Major shocker: Ross Brawn accused of bending rules, cheating. Glad that guy is still around and hasn't gotten ass cancer or anything yet.

    yotes on
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  • XrddXrdd Registered User regular
    Grosjean was a hell of a surprise, but look at the gap between the McLarens and ever other top team. Also, I made that comment before Button turned in his final lap, so it was just Hamilton like .7 seconds ahead of everyone else. The accusations towards Mercedes seem much like the whining by Ferrari last year: "We didn't think of that/can't get it to work, so you can't have it either!" instead of any legitimate criticism.

    Agreed about Ferrari's failure - glad to see them outside the top 10.

  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Yeah, the McLarens, especially Linda, are worryingly quick.

    I guess I should be used to it after twenty-odd years of following F1, but this bullshit rules-lawyering (or maybe the FIA's inability to ever write rules that don't invite loopholing) still gets to me. Any decent GM would have dropped rocks and dragons on the heads of Newey, Brawn et al by now.

    yotes on
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  • Safety StickSafety Stick Registered User regular
    Nice to see that the prettiest car got Pole! Also good that Hamilton seems to be a better place this season.

    'course, this means nought on race day.

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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    A very fascinating qualifying I would say, the most surprising thing for me is how it all fits up with the pre season testing and practice sessions.

    Ferrari is absolutely nowhere with their car, even worse than I expected. Lotus has shown surprising speed (though no guarantee they can keep it up), Raikkonen must be disappointed. McLaren and Mercedes has shown stable pace that turned into some great qualifying times. Red Bull has looked a bit mediocre which, as it turns out, wasn't them trying to be secretive but actually a sign of mortality.

    The Ferrari looked quite dangerous out there (as in prone to accidents). My prediction is that even though Alonso might be able the force some good lap time out of it he will do so at a price, they will find themselves in the barriers in many races this season.

    I find it hard not to root for McLaren, they have a beautiful car and two likable drivers. Feel like they deserve some good times after they've had to chase Red Bulls for the last couple of years.

    Sparvy on
  • XrddXrdd Registered User regular
    You really think Hamilton is likeable?

  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    Two likeable drivers?

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  • either,oreither,or Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I think they're both likeable. I don't get the need people seem to have to express their seething hatred for certain F1 personalities, it has turned every other venue for F1 discussion into a cesspool (see: Planet F1 forums) and I really hope that doesn't happen here.

    Anyway qualifying was great. Grosjean's lap was incredible and it's very encouraging that it looks like there are four teams who are there or there abouts at the start this year.

    either,or on
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  • SparvySparvy Registered User regular
    I do in fact. Never understood the hate for Hamilton. Sure he might crack a bit easy when things aren't going his way but I can accept that. He seems to understand when he has been acting like an ass and tries to make up for it. He is very human and I find that likable enough.

    And any driver would have a hard time looking like a good guy next to Button, its like trying to look tall next to Shaq.

  • juggerbotjuggerbot Registered User regular
    Sparvy wrote: »
    Never understood the hate for Hamilton.

    I never understood hate for any F1 drivers. Maybe it's because I came from a NASCAR-loving household, but drivers in F1 seem to be far more cool and collected. Even Hamilton's "outbursts" last season felt like par for the course for any random NASCAR driver. I haven't been following F1 for long, but isn't it more about the teams as a whole?

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