Does Alonso have a realistic chance at the title?
5th November 2012, 5:44 at 5:44 am #214029
@kingshark which recent race have Ferrari NOT had big updates? I’m not being sarcastic.
A new front wing in Singapore (to memory)
A slight improvement on that front wing concept in Suzuka,
Rear end updates in Korea
A new diffuser in India (they were pressed for time so only Alonso had it)
A new rear wing in India, and a further refinement on the India diffuser, in Abu Dhabi.
It’s not that they haven’t been upgrading the car, it’s that parts haven’t been working – or has had only tiny effects.5th November 2012, 6:11 at 6:11 am #214030
A critical part of the rear wing, which provides the vast majority of downforce onto the rear of the car will be upgraded ahead of USA; and actually, their updates have given them several tenths throughout the season, but it’s Red Bull that have been a step ahead since Suzuka, although in Abu Dhabi Mclaren were clearly the best car IMO.
If only Rory Byrne was still with Ferrari. :|5th November 2012, 6:48 at 6:48 am #214031
@kingshark For that very reason the F2012 is somewhat surprising, though in another way it’s not. Rory Byrne has been much more involved in the design of the F2012 than most people realise. He is actively working on it on a consultancy basis (though he’s not working on it full time). But at the same time, we need to realise that Rory Byrne has been out of F1 (probably the fastest paced sport in the world) for 8 years. He used to be the only guy around who could beat Newey, but let’s not forget that Newey has kept on changing with the regs – while Byrne has been sipping umbrella cocktails in Thailand. It’s not as easy as simply getting him back and getting him to design the car again.
Several tenths will never be enough. Through a season, development averages to about 2seconds, though obviously as a set of regs enjoys consistency, that upgrade path slows down.
They already had a massive philosophy change of the rear wing in Abu Dhabi – the first such change since the F10. If your sources are indeed correct and we see a new rear wing, it’ll be interesting to see how big the change is. I’d be surprised if it was a bigger change than the one we saw in Abu Dhabi – because.. well… they wouldn’t change it so quickly if they had thought it worked well.5th November 2012, 6:59 at 6:59 am #214032
What is interesting is how I certainly believe Ferrari have clearly had the best car in the rain conditions this season, it has been that way since 2010 to be honest. I remember Alonso saying during 2010 winter testing how the Ferrari is easy to drive in the rain. Pat Fry, who joined the team in 2010, designed the F2012 along with the two Ferrari’s before that.
Before that, I think it’s safe to say that Mclaren were the ones who had the quickest wet weather racing car during 2007-09. Who was the chief designer of the Mclaren’s at that time? Ironically, Pat Fry.
Adrian Newey could learn a thing or two from Pat Fry on how to make racing boats. :P5th November 2012, 7:08 at 7:08 am #214033
@kingshark Pat Fry didn’t design the F10. He joined the team in July 2010. I don’t remember the 2010 car being especially good in the wet though – it’s never really been groundbreaking in that department IMO. Especially looking at a race such as Korea 2010, which is just about the only race the full wets were used, they were getting canned by a second a lap by the Red Bull ahead (Vettel – who is no wet weather slouch himself)
2011, the only wet races were Canada and Hungary. Alonso kept spinning in Hungary, and spun out of the race in a sort-of 50-50 incident with Button.
So it’s a pattern that’s only emerged in 2012, rather than 2010 or 2011.
Actually – it’s ironic you use the term racing boats. Newey is actually (I believe) a racewinning racing boat designer. (He designs racing boats as another hobby outside of F1)
Based on some number crunching and data processing I did (on FP, quali and race data) the advantage the Ferrari had in the wet in Malaysia (which, to be fair, the Sauber was doing too) was that in the wet tyres on the long run they could maintain front tyre heat, whereas the other teams could keep it for a few laps and then their fronts would cool down.
Has to be seen if that trend still is around though. The last competing wet session IIRC was Hockenheim qualifying. Alonso had fresh wets (something he also did in Silverstone, for some odd reason) Vettel had old wets AND made a mistake – and it was still a close run thing for pole.5th November 2012, 7:13 at 7:13 am #214034
Na, Alonso was lapping 2 seconds faster than Hamilton and 3-4 seconds faster than anyone else in the latter stages of Korea 2010. He simply was saving his tyres much better than anyone else. Also, didn’t he effortlessly overtake his way from dead last to 4th in both Australia and China that year?
Alonso did win in Britain 2011. His pace at Hungary that year was very good, but was held back by his own mistakes (admittedly) and being stuck behind Webber for a great portion of the GP.
Massa was also on course for a second place at the very least in Canada, but crashed when trying to lap Karthikeyan with slick tyres on a moist track.
IMO Ferrari have been genuinely quick in the rain since 2010, really.5th November 2012, 7:22 at 7:22 am #214035
1 second faster than Hamilton – in a McLaren that was struggling in the wet. But Vettel was another second faster than that. He was just leaving the field for dead.
A part of his Australia success there was due to a 1-stop strategy, whereas other drivers were on 2-stoppers. Only the two Ferraris, Kubica and Button really managed to pull it off. Looking back at my personal data records they were struggling as hell at the end – with the 2-stoppers reeling them in at up to 1.8s/lap – but the track layout at Australia wasn’t really helping the 2-stoppers.
China was good, I’ll give you that one.
Britain 2011 – let’s be frank though. Alonso was nowhere in the wet part of the race. He was something like 10s down on Vettel after Lap *3*. Where he really made hay was when the Red Bulls were just frying their soft tyres in the sweeping corners, and the kind-on-tyres Ferrari was just streaming away at 8 tenths a lap.
There is no doubt they are good in the wet this year – but in 2010/2011? Not a chance. Besides, with a completely new mechanical philosophy front and back, such characteristics would not carry through anyway.15th November 2012, 21:35 at 9:35 pm #214036
Finally Ferrari have found the right upgrades….now Alonso can win the title15th November 2012, 21:37 at 9:37 pm #214037
@Frain Stermin – fantastic:-)21st November 2012, 5:27 at 5:27 am #214038
Luiz Adriano (Donetsk) = Ferrari28th November 2012, 15:51 at 3:51 pm #214039
Ferrari should have gone with Frain Stermin’s upgrades – more “bang” for the buck for sure;-)
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