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  • #209058
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    MazdaChris
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    That’s how I read it too; Hamilton was frustrated by his lack of pace in qualifying and, in the heat of the moment, decided to show people the telemetry as a way of saying “Hey, look, I wasn’t slow – Jenson was faster than me because of the speed down the straights because he had the low drag wing”. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it making excuses, as ti’s a totally valid point, but it does seem that he was concerned that people might think that Button had simply been faster purely because of driving talent, rather than the setup differences in the cars.

    #207856
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    MazdaChris
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    All energy drinks are horrible. Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll see a car sponsored by PG Tips any time soon.

    #207852
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    MazdaChris
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    @prisoner-monkeys

    I can’t see anything you’ve mentioned which you couldn’t equally level at any other front running team. The flexible front wing is a great example – the part was technically legal. The fact it used clever engineering to get around the tests was precisely the sort of gemesmanship which defines F1. Technically legal are the two most important words when it comes to building an F1 car. You have to look at the technical regs as a set of rules designed to limit the performance of the car. In order to build a fast car, you need to find a way of making the car faster than the rules were meant to make it, while still satisfying the letter of the law. This is certainly nothing new, and designers were doing this while Adrian Newey was still sucking his thumb.

    Red Bull are successful because over the past few years, they’re the ones who have been most effective at doing the above. Every other team were trying to do the same thing, and all were doing it to some extent. A much more blatant example would be Brawn’s introduction of the double diffusor which was a fine example of exploiting technical loopholes. It’s natural that in situations where a team is doing well, that the other teams will try to work out how they’re doing it. In some instances once they work out how it’s being done, they’ll seek a technical clarification. Sometimes it’s upheld and the FIA will clarify the rules which will close a small wording loophole. In other cases, they simply pass it as it’s outside of the scope of the rules. Double diffusors, off throttle exhaust blowing, f-ducts, all recent examples of things which have been technically challenged when the other teams have worked them out, but all were legal within the rules.

    What you won’t find, as far as I know, are any examples of Red Bull actually being found to have directly broken a rule. That is to say, something they’ve done which is illegal and banned under the rules. In that respect, they’ve not cheated. They’ve done the best job of maximising the performance of the car while satisfying the technical requirements of the formula. That’s not cheating, that’s just how you win at F1. They should be congratulated for it, not scorned!

    #207847
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    MazdaChris
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    I’m not sure there are any examples of Red Bull cheating, in fairness. Brinksmanship is the essence of F1; you can’t call it cheating just because you don’t like the team.

    #207831
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    MazdaChris
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    I think there is something about the human psyche which compels us to weave an interesting narrative around things such as sporting competitions. We want there to be good guys and bad guys, people we can cheer for and people we can boo. We also love an underdog, so it’s convenient if the bad guy is the successful one. Look at virtually anyone that’s extremely successful in sport. Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Sebastian Loeb, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and so on. All are seen as controversial characters; celebrated for their prowess, but somehow occupying the position of bad guy. Heroes in sport are those who seem to have almost no hope of beating the top guys. People like Jimmy White.

    Sport has to have a bad guy, and Red Bull seem to be the most suitable candidates. They’re new, so can be seen to be waling all over the history and heritage like young upstarts. They’re very well backed, so they can be seen as having a bit of an advantage in terms of their resources. They’ve bought up a lot of top talent from other teams including Adrian Newey. They have a wonderful, almost pantomime smugness to their Team Principle. They’re almost scientifically designed to be the perfect ‘bad guy’ team. And since Vettel is their protégé, it’s only natural that he’ll be the villain on the track. This is despite the fact he’s really a very nice guy who has a great sense of humour and gives some of the best interviews on the grid. Anything to do with the way he holds his finger, it’s all just justification for the fact that we’ve collectively chosen him to be the bad guy in the narrative we’ve overlaid upon the championship.

    #207811
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    MazdaChris
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    You get this with Alonso as well though don’t you, it’s just that his almost flawless performance this year in something of an underdog of a car has silenced a lot of his doubters. For some reason people assumed that a lot of Vettel’s performance last year was down to the car and that he was slightly undeserving of the praise he received. Something I strongly disagree with. people also seem to feel that there’s something underhand about how Red Bull go about building race cars and winning championships. While I doubt many go so far as to accuse them of outright cheating, I think the way they push the brinksmanship of F1 to its limit does make them a target for some (totally misplaced) ire.

    But in a lot of ways I think this is something that non-native English speaking drivers will have to suffer. If you look at drivers like Button, Webber, Hamilton, etc, being interviewed, they are always very natural and entertaining in front of the camera. As you’d expect from someone speaking their native language. No matter how well someone like Alonso or Vettel learns to speak English, there will always be some slight language barrier which means it’s hard to get a good understanding of their true personality. They can end up coming across as terse, or overly scripted in the way they answer questions which naturally rubs people up the wrong way. Thankfully things like social media are helping to break down this wall to some extent, and show the more human side of these drivers who can otherwise seem quite aloof, but I think in the UK we’ll always have a situation where foreign speaking drivers will never be accepted as warmly as native English speakers.

    #207778
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    MazdaChris
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    I’m well pumped for this race. I reckon it could go down to the wire. 6 hour sprint race. Now that would be something.

    If you run f1flive then I’ll probably tune in :)

    #207728
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    MazdaChris
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    I don’t tend to play F1 sims since I don’t find them too exciting. I know that might be a bit of a contradiction, but in terms of what I find enjoyable, I like a sim where I have a car which moves around a lot underneath me, whereas an F1 car by definition has huge amounts of grip and is very stable. Yes, you can slide it around if you want, but it’ll always kill your laptime, whereas sports car sims often require you to drive the car past the limits of adhesion in order to set the best laptimes. Usually a fairly low specced rear wheel drive car with the engine in the front is my favourite sort of car. I enjoy releasing the brakes a little over speed and turning in on the nose before the weight shifts back to the rear, in order to let the rear slide. This is a great way to counter the initial understeer on turn-in. Then I like to use the throttle to adjust the angle of the rear, with the ultimate goal to be regaining traction at around the point I hit the apex, so that I can then exit the corner at full speed. This doesn’t equate to huge angles, simply allowing the rear to slide naturally into the line of the corner with little to no countersteering and just using the throttle to correct the slide and maintain the line. It’s this style of driving which I find most enjoyable.

    In terms of more exotic machinery, prototypes are generally good fun and I enjoy the twitch experience of keeping them planted while trying to maintain the best possible cornering speed. Timing your braking with these is essential, although it’s probably more critical that you release the brakes at the right moment than trying to brake as late as possible. Braking too deep results in locking and understeer, while releasing the brake at the right moment keeps the car balanced. Sweeping corners where the downforce is really working are the most rewarding, whereas slower corners where the car wants to snap into oversteer are very frustrating since you feel like you’re waiting forever just to get on the throttle. This is why I prefer the lower powered sports cars on road tyres which you can drive on the throttle almost the whole time. 4WD cars are also great for this, since you can unsettle them at the corner entry and then simply keep the throttle planted and the steering straight, to drift the car through the corner with all four wheels sliding. Great fun.

    I think I prefer titting about to full on racing.

    #207701
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    MazdaChris
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    In the ‘olden days’ you used to see varying rim sizes on F1 cars as the teams worked with their tyre manufacturers to develop what they thought was the best solution for the car. This was in the days of chunky tyres everywhere in motorsport. The trend for increasingly low profile tyres in sportscar racing really kicked off in the 80s and 90s when they were still using steel brakes with carbon pads, which required huge brake rotors to effectively brake the cars without suffering huge temperature issues. Look at the nineties super touring cars for the best example of this (and if you’re like me, suffer a small pang of nostalgia and lament the sad state of touring cars these days..)

    F1 cars adopted exotic brake materials before sportscars and GT racing, so a smaller brake was always a reasonable solution. There’s not really any huge technical advantage to having a high sidewall, other than the inherent suspension characteristics which have their disadvantages as well as advantages. As much as anything else, it’s an aesthetic choice since an F1 car with a low profile tyre would look a bit odd now we’re all used to seeing them with the 13” rims. Obviously since control tyres were introduced, it meant that every car had to have the same sized rims, which in turn standardised a lot of things like damper lengths, wishbone configurations, brake designs, and suchlike (though of course subtle variations are present on every car, depending on their own individual design philosophy).

    In order to increase the rim size every car would need to be redesigned for something which would offer virtually no practical benefit other than perhaps reducing the costs of brake materials. Clearly in these days of austerity this doesn’t seem like a particularly attractive solution, though I could see the benefit for the tyre supplier in terms of a greater perception of road-relevance. Perception being the key word here, since clearly an F1 tyre is still going to be an ultra-specialised prototype which would not function correctly on any other type of vehicle.

    #184001
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    MazdaChris
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    As that article alludes, i think one of the best strengths of a site is to have a well written, well informed user base who express their opinions coherently and back up their comments with facts and logical arguments. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy commenting on this site; because I know that if I get into a discussion with one of the other members here, even if that member has a contrary viewpoint, we can enjoy a good debate and will both understand each others’ reasoning. There are of course a few who don’t take the time to do this, or who put up comments which are offhand and disrespectful, but I do think they’re in the minority.

    One of the great things about a site like this is that it is, to a certain extent, self-moderating. When someone does come along with questionable viewpoints, they’re challenged by the regular members who can use good arguing skills to point out where the person is going wrong. I’d much rather be part of a community which tackled the problem in this way, than one which sought to simply exclude anyone who didn’t fit the mold. Don’t hate – educate. As they say.

    As a forum moderator for a couple of sites myself, I know how difficult it can be to strike a balance between allowing people the freedom to say whatever is on their mind, and ensuring that the standard of contributions is kept at a suitable level. Thankfully your task is made significantly easier by the general standard of posting here, compared to somewhere like the BBC’s have your say section. I’d say that motorsport attracts a more educated following, but judging by the comments I’ve seen on Andrew Benson’s blogs, I’d say that’s sadly not really the case. For whatever reason though, F1Fanatic seems to attract a well informed userbase, and I think the quality of the existing members is one of the main reasons for that.

    #135000
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    MazdaChris
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    It’s a picture of my cat

    i love cats

    #206391
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    MazdaChris
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    Where’s the evidence of the superiority of the Lotus? Yes, it has had good stints in a few races, but it doesn’t qualify well and the pace isn’t consistent. It’s getting better, but in a season where the races have been totally open and we’ve had so many different winners, to me the fact that the Lotus is yet to record a victory is rather telling. The Ferrari has won races, and it’s leading the championship. Raikkonen is no slouch, and can be relied upon to demonstrate the potential of the car. So, why would you think that the Lotus is better than the Ferrari when it hasn’t been faster than the Ferrari since probably the second race of the season, and is yet to win a race.

    Fact is, Alonso is showing us what the Ferrari can do. Massa isn’t just miles behind Alonso, he’s miles behind all of his rivals in the cars which others are suggesting he might go into. No matter how you slice it, he’s been by far the worst driver in the top half of the grid, and I don’t see what any reasonably competitive team would stand to gain by employing him.

    #206867
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    MazdaChris
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    I’ve got Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric2s on at the moment. They’re a great tyre, very strong in warm dry conditions, and seem to have reasonable grip in the wet.

    I’ve had the Eagle F1 GSD3s in the past and loved those tyres, really had a nice sharp bite to them with nice feel through the steering. Unfortunately they stopped making them in my size. After that, I switched to Toyo T1-Rs which are a reasonable tyre but seem to be a bit peaky depending on temperature. I found in the winter it was hard to get enough heat into them, and on a frosty road they could be a bit hairy.

    I have had Pirelli tyres in the past, and I didn’t think they were too bad. Bags of grip and a really progressive break in traction. Even when close to the limit the car felt very tractable, and you could really lean on the tyre. The initial turn-in wasn’t sharp from them though, and I felt the sidewall construction was a little too soft.

    Favourite tyres I’ve used were Toyo Proxes R888s. They’re a summer/trackday tyre, with a very soft tyre compound and a semi-slick tread pattern. Being a trackday tyre they were geared towards higher operating temperatures and so needed to be worked a little bit and heat cycled to bring them into their best operating window. Once warm though, the grip was absolutely phenomenal. Very sharp turn-in with virtually no understeer. Steering weighted up nicely as the load increased, and the very stiff sidewalls gave a really communicative feel. Under braking the grip was something else, and since I was using carbon-ceramic trackday brake pads, I felt I could really heave the brake pedal and get virtually no locking or fade. Wet weather performance was surprisingly good, as long as there wasn’t any real standing water and it wasn’t too cold. Easily comparable to a regular tyre in anything other than monsoon conditions. Flipside of course is that you can’t use them on the road once the ambient temperature gets down to around 7 degrees, as the compound becomes too hard and it is almost impossible to warm them up. Driving hard on them while they’re cold does damage them and causes a bit of surface graining, and of course the wear rate is significantly higher than you’d experience from a regular sports tyre. Worth it though if you can afford to have a second set of winter tyres, as the grip really is something else.

    #206386
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    MazdaChris
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    Grosjean has made quite a few errors, but he’s absolutely blown Massa away in an inferior car. Why would they replace Grosjean with a driver who has been unable to score as many points as him, in a car which is capable of winning races and leading the championship? Just on the offchance that he might perform better in the lotus than ferrari. That’s a hell of a chance to take!

    #203839
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    MazdaChris
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    Being better as such was never the point. The point was showing that it can be just as fast as an LMP2 car while using only half the resources; an engine with half the horsepower, tyres lasting twice as long, and using only half the fuel. And it proved that brilliantly at Le Mans, where it was considerably faster than the targets set by the ACO, with a fuel consumption of over 11mpg. Which is absolutely astonishing when traditional cars are having to use twice that.

    Plus, the concept itself was severely restricted so as not to allow it to upset the P1 cars. It was running a tiny fuel tank so its incredible fuel economy didn’t give it a big advantage, it was restricted in terms of its minimum weight (they were using virtually no titanium in the construction, and steel wishbones, rather than carbon fibre), and the power was restricted to 300bhp when the engine could easily have coped with more.

    It did have some transmission issues, but other than that the concept was an absolutely roaring success. I would love to see what it was capable of doing if it wasn’t so restricted.

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