Chinese GP practice 2 interactive chart

Renault are one of the teams trying to find more from their tyres

Renault are one of the teams trying to find more from their tyres

The teams are facing some tricky choices between the hard and soft tyre compounds at Shanghai this weekend.

Take a closer look at how they got in in second practice with our interactive chart:

The chart shows each driver’s lap time (in seconds, on the vertical axis) and when they set them (in minutes, on the horizontal axis):

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Mark Webber thinks the difference in performance between the hard and soft tyres will give teams something to think about:

We have a lot of stuff go through tonight about how the tyres are around here ?ǣ it?s the first track where they are behaving a little differently to other venues.
Mark Webber

His team mate’s times for stints on the hard and soft tyres respectively show the soft tyres start off quicker than the hard tyres, as you’d expect, and nine laps in their degradation still doesn’t seem too bad:

Hard: 100.492, 100.000, 100.189, 99.993, 99.984, 99.760, 99.682, 100.410, 102.689, 99.187, 99.513, 99.408, 99.348, 105.792
Soft: 99.990, 99.811, 99.732, 108.306, 99.588, 99.728, 99.998, 99.850, 99.953, 108.574

The team will be studying the wear on the tyres that came off Sebastian Vettel and Webber’s cars to see how far into the race they think the soft tyre will last.

Ferrari had a busy day, trying to test their F-duct while coping with Fernando Alonso’s engine failure in the first practice session. Their positions in the speed trap rankings make interesting reading:

Practice one

Driver Car Speed
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 316.1kph
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 315.4kph
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 309.8kph
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 309.8kph

In second practice they slipped to fifth and seventh, recording around 311kph. Teams usually turn their engines down for Friday practice, not wishing to waste engine life, but perhaps Ferrari turned theirs down further after Alonso’s failure in the first session?

Michael Schumacher ran a new rear wing on the Mercedes (see pictures here) and pronounced himself happy with it but doesn’t expect the team to suddenly get on terms with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari:

We brought some improvements here including the new rear wing which have helped. So I am quite confident for the rest of the weekend even if the overall ranking will not change much from the first three races.

I was a bit unlucky this morning as I had a puncture on my rear left prime tyre so we had to use one from the afternoon’s allocation. That meant I only had three new tyres in the second session but it worked out fine in the end.
Michael Schumacher

Both Renault drivers complained of a shortage of grip and Kubica is especially concerned to get on top of the team’s qualifying pace:

We still need to improve the overall balance of the car because we are still lacking overall grip, especially on low fuel runs, but the car felt much better on heavy fuel.
Robert Kubica

Sutil said he’s “expecting a similar qualifying and race performance to Malaysia” but without rain in qualifying I can’t see the VJM03 starting fourth on the grid again – with the ‘big four’ and Robert Kubica in the top ten, anything above tenth will be a result.

Liuzzi, meanwhile, struggled with the soft tyres:

The car was behaving well but then after we changed to the soft tyre we were sliding all over the place and struggling to get the temperatures in the tyres. It was a big frustration as the car was not there any more. It was strange as it was such a clear change from hard to soft. We need to look into this problem but I think we can be positive about the rest of the day as on the hard tyres we seem to be quite strong.
Vitantonio Liuzzi

Sebastien Buemi’s agitation was clear for all to see after his horror crash in first practice – and who could blame him? As in Bahrain, Buemi wasn’t able to get a full day’s running in on Friday:

There?s not much to say about what happened in FP1. I braked, the wheels came off and that was it. Physically, I was fine though. But I have to say, I am extremely disappointed that, once again, through no fault of my own, I have been unable to run for almost all of the three hours available.

I will have to try and catch up on Saturday morning and we will be relying on Jaime?s data from today to see which way to go.
Sebastien Buemi

His team mate felt the soft tyre looked a more promising choice than the hard tyre for the race.

On their first visit to Shanghai Lotus changed their gear ratios between the first two practice sessions to improve their trade-off between top speed on the long straight and acceleration in the twisty infield.

Mike Gascoyne said he wasn’t worried about the problem which caused Heikki Kovalainen to stop:

Heikki pulled over after 30 laps as he had a low oil pressure warning and he stopped the car, but it?s not a problem and we?re looking forward to getting out again tomorrow.
Mike Gascoyne

At Virgin, Nick Wirth said Timo Glock’s front wing failure in the first practice session was down to them being too ambitious on their ride height:

Shanghai is the first circuit we?ve come to where we?ve had less than perfect track data for our simulators and along with some of the other teams we were caught out by the huge bump going into turn 1. We had been a bit brave on our initial front ride height, which resulted in Timo?s front wing hitting the ground hard, necessitating a wing change.

However, once we?d allowed for this bump in the set-up, the rest of the day was trouble-free, and our improving reliability allowed us to try a range of tests that we haven?t previously been able to do. The circuit is extremely bumpy and we?ve explored different ways to cope with this using the tools on the car that we have available right now.
Nick Wirth

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23 comments on Chinese GP practice 2 interactive chart

  1. Regarding the speed traps, it’s interesting that the Ferraris were much faster in Q1 on the straight but 1.4+ seconds off the pace. Regardless of what they were doing with the engines, that top speed is not bona fide.

  2. Adam said on 16th April 2010, 20:33

    Hamilton already getting down to last year’s quickest lap in qualifying, give or take a tenth.

  3. martinb said on 16th April 2010, 21:17

    First time I’ve noticed that interactive chart. Very fancy! Must take you hours to set up.

    • Patrickl said on 16th April 2010, 22:00

      Dunno how Keith does it, but I make the same charts in an Access database. Just paste in the lap times sheet and the data rolls out.

      My chart is not that fancy though. Just an Excel type chart

      One step I add is to clean the outliers. I remove the in and out laps and the laps where they are cooling off or are creating a gap (ie the laps with more than a threshold over the fastest laptime of the stint)

      That leaves me generally with two neat sets of lines. The qualy and the race simulations really stand out then.

      BTW I love the Flash charts. We’ve been using php packages for generating charts for our (client’s) websites. I’ll see if we can start using these Flash charts too.

      • Matt said on 16th April 2010, 22:55

        Blimey I wish I had as much time as you!

      • sato113 said on 16th April 2010, 23:34

        what job do you have patrickl?

        • Patrickl said on 17th April 2010, 1:11

          I own a small company that writes custom software and builds/hosts websites, So I can combine hobby and work. Or is that hobby and hobby? :)

          My dream was to use the live data feed to populate charts like these in real time. I “hacked” the live data feed, but then I sort of lost interest.

      • martinb said on 17th April 2010, 10:03

        Any idea what the horizontal axis is? Ends at 93. Can’t be minutes because there are 60 minutes in a session. Can’t be laps because you can’t squeeze more than 40 laps into a session.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 17th April 2010, 10:06

          The chart shows each driver’s lap time (in seconds, on the vertical axis) and when they set them (in minutes, on the horizontal axis)

          There are 90 minutes in practice one and two, but the axis goes beyond 90 because after the chequered flag comes out drivers can still complete laps.

  4. martinb said on 17th April 2010, 13:21

    I’ve just learned something. On the chart, you need to tick the driver’s box to show his times.

    As shown, all the boxes are ticked so the chart looks like confetti. What you should do is untick all the boxes, then tick the boxes of the drivers you are interested in. Only their data will show.

    For instance, compare Schumacher and Rosberg. Schumi did 3 laps, 3 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps, then finally 12 consistently fast laps.

    Nico did 4 laps, 4 laps, 2 laps, 5 laps, 2 laps. His times were all over the place.

    Looks like Schumacher found his settings, then toured around learning the track, while Rosberg battled to find the sweet spot.

  5. These are really modern charts, but I usually print them, but these are impossible to print normally. I want old charts back please

    • Patrickl said on 17th April 2010, 18:43

      These chart print just fine. You can even click on the “Fullpage” link and print the chart full page.

      • I tried, but it prints only 1/4 of chat in one page

        • Patrickl said on 17th April 2010, 21:15

          Odd. I’m using IE8 and it’s printing just fine. It scales to the whole page, so if anything it’s too big.

          Maybe you can change the page setup before you print? Set the page to landscape or set it so that it prints all on one page?

          • I press right button on mouth, then print bu it has only some features like how many copies and so on, but no page setups

          • Patrickl said on 17th April 2010, 22:38

            I used the print preview and print setup of the browser itself. The (full page) flash chart simply scales to the whole page.

            In the print preview you can see what you will get on paper.

            When I right click on the flash chart I get “Printer preferences” though. I’d assume I’d be able to set it there too. At least my printer drivers show a “fit to page” checkbutton on one of the settings tabs

          • Oh, now I understood. Big thanks. But I ill try it later :)

          • But it is styill too small. And does anyone knows why my printscreen doesnt works ?

          • Patrickl said on 18th April 2010, 22:19

            Lol, still didn’t get it to work?

            I’m using IE8 on Windows and what I do is:
            - Click on the “View interactive chart fullscreen” link
            - Then pret CTRL+P (or select “Print” from th e menu)
            - Click on the Preferences button and set “landscape” somewhere in the settings (depends on you rprinter drivers)
            - Click OK a couple of times.
            - One full page print rolls out.

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