F1 Fanatic round-up: 30/3/2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Apologies to everyone who was looking forward to the Predicitons’ Championship results yesterday. Some problems with the site meant it didn’t get done, but I should have them done for you today.

Here’s the Tuesday round-up:


Should F1 be a drag race? (Motorsport)

“There?s a very narrow view in F1. They need someone to say you have to get away from flat bottoms [on the cars] and put downforce in the underbody and take it out of the wings. If they did that I think it would become much more exciting to watch.”

Lewis Q&A – Australia debrief (Lewis Hamilton)

It’s time for the party line: “The team has explained to me their reasoning behind the second pitstop, and I can understand what they were trying to do intrying to cover both Mark [Webber] and Nico [Rosberg] for later in the race. We are still learning about this year’s tyres and the degradation, and perhaps we over-estimated the wear that the frontrunners were expecting to suffer. It’s something you learn from, and we’ll use that knowledge to help us improve throughout this season.”

Paddock life – Melbourne edition (Autosport)

“In terms of bolshiness with the media, the award of the weekend had to go to Nico Rosberg ?ǣ who went straight for the jugular with one of Fleet Street’s writers who he had seen asking some pretty hard questions in the past. ‘Ahhhh, the man with the aggressive questions sitting opposite me,’ smiled Rosberg as he sat down. ‘He loves it. He takes pleasure, inner pleasure by showing that he has the balls to do it. ‘Nobody else does it, I will do it’… it warms him up. You can feel the adrenaline rush.'”

Comment of the day

Schumi_the_Greatest write a long and considered response to the Hamilton debate – you can read the full thing here, a highlight is below:

I’m surprised by how much attention is being paid to his little rant, he had just driven the race of his life only to finish sixth because of a team error, its frustrating, who can honestly say they’ve never reacted like this in a similar situation?

Lewis always thanks the team after every race and last year he kept the teams spirits up when he was driving a truck at the start of the season!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lee!

On this day in F1

Nelson Piquet scored his first F1 win on this day 30 years ago in the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach. It was his first of 23 Grands Prix victories.

He was one of just two living former champions missing from the gathering of former F1 title winners at Bahrain two weeks ago – most likely due to his and his son’s involvement in the Singapore crash scandal last year.

39 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 30/3/2010”

  1. Didn’t the FIA rule out the Hanford device a few years back. It seems like a good solution, I can’t remember the FIA reasoning for not taking it up.

    1. No don’t think so. Unless your talking way more then a just a few… They did propose a new rear wing design but not the hanford design but the CDG wing.


      1. Maybe it was more than a few years ago. They didn’t really look into it, more dismissed it out of hand if I remember correctly.

      2. Why on earth do we not have the CDG wing’s in place?


        What was the argument against it?

  2. The Hanford device is the very thing I’ve been in sup[port of for a long while, but had no idea that a specific piece of technology of its nature already existed, nor that it could create such a low amount of downforce (can it really be dead zero?).

    F1 has one less excuse today in my eyes.

    1. Another interesting article in regards to the Hanford device.


      1. This is interesting reading. Would the “Hanford device” help racing in F1?

        As the author suggests, it is worth a try. Let the FOTA have one or two of the teams test it during one of the next practice sessions.

        Just as interesting is the authors mention of NASCAR just droning on and IRLs problem in offering exiting racing.
        Maybe it is just a general problem of motorsport to have a lack of racing on track?

        I think NASCAR was testing having a rear wing on the cars to make the racing better (and prevent the cars going airborne).

        1. Maybe they could get the new teams to test it, say in return for a small amount of extra testing.

          1. NomadIndian
            1st April 2010, 13:13

            Thats makes a lot of sense Mike.

    2. I guess the problems with the device Gordon Kirby mentions – the leader being a sitting duck – would be less of an issue on an F1 track with corners. Except maybe Monza – but a 60s-style slipstream-fest would be more than welcome.

      Not sure how well all this slipstreaming would work with rev-limiters, long-life engines, or current driving/weaving standards – but it seems to tick most of the boxes…the teams get to keep their precious advertising space for the sponsors they no longer have!

      1. If the KERS system returns next year, the cars will have the ‘boost’ button too, which would help in these situations.

  3. I really like this article about Lewis case in Australia:

    “…The blogosphere has been bubbling in the last 24 hours with a special kind of anti-Lewis Hamilton article. Some glory in a ”********” quote from a minor Australian politician (see Marca, the Guardian); some still find tabloid inches from his minuscule motoring indiscretion; even respected commentators like James Allen are at the very least calling him “less mature” than Jenson Button. It seems the passion for knocking down those you have built up is not diminished. But Hamilton is still the pick of McLaren’s drivers following Australia, and here’s why.

    There is something to be said for the idea, too, that it is Hamilton’s burning ambition that makes him such an exciting driver to watch. If (and it is a big if) it is an immature Hamilton that sparks such joy in the spectator, may he never grow up…”

    1. Good post. I don’t like the build thsm up knock them down attitude but Aus did highlight the differences between Button and Lewis and although the the issue was blown out of all proportion there was a story there. Lewis may be exciting but he isn’t perfect and I think that is all Allen was saying in my opinion. I was quite happy with Allen as he tends to be very pro-Lewis.

      1. I liked the article as well, it seemed to be a clever analyses of the race weekend for Button and Hamilton.

        I think Allen made the point, that Lewis can actually lear from Jenson, just as Rosberg can gain a lot by being next to Michael (and as Lewis admitted, he could have learnt more from Fernando).
        Lewis is spectacular and Senna like in his drive to win, but he can still improve a lot and be fabulous.

      2. I don’t think Australia really showed much difference except in their driving styles. After all, the result was asymmetric; Button won because of his own choice, Hamilton suffered in the end because he went along with the team, even though it seemed a good idea at the time.

        Had the situations been reversed though, I don’t think Button would have kept cool merely because he has a different personality. On his second race for McLaren, would he really have criticised them?

        In the same sentence (I believe) that Hamilton criticised the team he also praised the guys again for letting him be able to fight in the first place, like he always does. I have seen a discussion on another site where one poster pointed out that a critic was basically saying that Hamilton’s praise of the team is a robotic auto-cue and that his outburst was his “real” side, which as the guy pointed out is kinda having it both ways.

        That said, Hamilton can learn a lot from Button, he always was going to have to if he wants to become a properly mature racing driver, but I don’t think the “outburst” is any indication of what exactly it is he has to learn. What Hamilton really has to learn is to be the last word on his strategy calls, so the responsibility only rests with him. Ironically, his trust of and relationship with the team ended up costing him, the very thing that some are now trying to claim he betrayed with his comments.

    2. Yeah, James Allen wrote a rubbish piece on the situation. I usually don’t care much for his articles which tend to show a lack of insight, but sometimes he really gets it terribly wrong and it’s just embarassing.

  4. Hello, Keith – Why my comments are “awaiting moderation?”

    1. Ask me…lol… some problem mate, I don’t know what it is though. A few of my comments are at the same door, and haven’t appeared for weeks now. Keith said he’d looked into it but no fruit as yet.

    2. Because it had swearing in it.

      1. @Keith – I hope you’re not talking about my comments!

      2. I also had a this problem a few days back, but with no swearing; I presumed it was because it contained a link. Do you have a kind of filter that flags up words like (and this is a genuine example I saw many many years ago) “Nick Hancock” (which was hilariously auto-modified to “Nick Hancheese”)?

  5. FIA could always try and steal the Delta Wing concept from IRL :P

  6. more like rant of the day….

  7. Thank you Keith!

    1. I’ve got a comment “awaiting moderation” too.
      No swearing in that.

  8. I do like Rosberg, actually between the Merc drivers they make quite a witty pair!

    I have never learnt much about Rosberg, but since he has been put in a fast car and ergo we see him interviewed, I am really starting to like him from a personality standpoint. The Britny nickname still sticks though…

  9. Has Pistonheads scooped both Autosport and F1Fanatic?

    I’ve just read on there (first, very unusually) that Heikki will be making way for Fairuz Fauzy to drive in Friday practice – FP1 only, I’m guessing? – having lost a coin toss to see which Lotus race driver would get to drive.


    1. It was reported on some other sites a while ago. I’ve approached Lotus for confirmation but haven’t heard back yet.

      I read in one place they’d done a coin toss between Trulli and Kovalainen to determine who gave up the seat which seems a bit unlikely but you never know…

  10. Letting go of flat bottom cars will re introduce ground effect cars. Ground effect cars are dangerous because there is no warning to suddenly loosing all downforce and catapult the car. We have seen the backflipping F1 cars and it is not good.

    But, what I don’t undertsnad is that the current F1 cars generate about 2700kg downforce. But also they are complaining about the fuel load at the beginning. So I wonder if you make a car with 1300kg downforce that would be much faster ?

    1. Weight and downforce are two totally different forces. Adding weight to a car should generally slow it down, especially at acceleration and deceleration. At a certain speed, the car has a certain amount of kinetic energy. The formula for calculating this energy is: E = ½*m*v^2.
      m being the mass of the car and v being the velocity.
      This kinetic energy has to be produced by the engine, and an increased weight would mean that the engine needed to produce more energy to reach the same speed eqaulling slower acceleration.

      Downforce on the other hand, does not affect the acceleration at lower speeds. If you run a high downforce setup, you will be able to corner faster, because the pressure on the tires will be bigger.
      Though at slower corners downforce will have a minor effect, as the amount of air flowing over the car will be smaller.
      Also a high downforce setup will generate increased drag, and therefore less top speed. This means that lowering the amount of downforce will allow your car to go faster on the straights, but it will struggle at corners.
      This balance between cornering speed and top speed that engineers constantly battle.

      1. Actually during a project I stumbled into a quite interesting site comparing mechanical and aerodynamical grip. You might want to check it out. Quite interesting.


        1. Thanks. Great article and also detailed information on mathematical explanation.

  11. Keith , we are waiting for the championship prediction contest results.

  12. Maybe people now finally realize that the double diffusers should NOT go away. It’s the wings that need to lose even more downforce.

    1. no, they can still have the downforce. it’s the turbulent air created by the car infront that’s the problem!

      1. But, Sato, turbulent and low-pressure air simply can’t work a front wing as hard as undisturbed free air can – there’s less of it contacting the surfaces of the wing! Any car that depends upon significant levels of grip from its front wing will struggle when following close behind any real-world object at speed, especially a big, aerodynamically inefficient racing car.

        I did mean inefficient: the ‘coefficient of drag’ of a single-seater formula car is typically around 1.0, several times that of a modern road car. All those aero bits pushing the air all over the place means there will always be lots of wake turbulence – unless and until cars look like the massively streamlined solar challenge vehicles… but then there’ll be no tow down the straights!

        Patrickl, the double-deck diffuser is good in that it can generate a lot of downforce without being too dependent on a flow of undisturbed air – but the DDD itself works the air so hard that the following car’s front wing is affected. In an ideal world, every car would have very little aero dependency on the front wing (achievable only by making it smaller and/or higher up), and lots of underbody aero, but in the short term (i.e. in time for next year), restricting the complexity of the diffuser will mean less turbulence for the car behind, which should help cars follow more closely. Bahrain 2009 was still a fairly dull race, but the cars there were more like 1 second apart rather than 2 seconds. They mostly had fairly simple, unrefined front wings (and for the most part, no DDD).

  13. Formula One doesn’t need 62 pointless lead changes a race. The fastest driver in the fastest car should win, not the people riding the coat tails of the leaders.

  14. Nice reply of the day, spot on imo!

    Hamilton did drive a very good race, no errors, great overtaking. He deserved more.
    He might need to learn how to read the race and make more decisions by himself… altough why go against a team with more information available.

  15. I’ve never heard of the Handford Device. How intriguing…

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