Hamilton in Spain vs Vettel in Abu Dhabi – Which was better?
7th November 2012, 13:59 at 1:59 pm #214538
As has been thoroughly explained, if you think Vettel’s car was set-up to be the fastest car on track, you do not understand F1. It was set-up for top speed, but that was at the expense of actual fast laps.
Ask yourself, if that set-up was the fastest way to get around the track (i.e. win a race), would they not have used it normally?7th November 2012, 17:48 at 5:48 pm #214539
@mnmracer are you suggesting that Red Bull put Vettel to start from the pits and made the car worse so they could guarantee noone takes the 24th spot from Vettel? Obviously, they put him in the pits for good reason and it was obvious while he was driving.
As for the car being set-up for top speed, did you see Vettel have to overdrive his car to keep up with the other cars? Personally, I never saw the Red Bull twitch at all like the Ferrari and it was keeping up with the other cars.
In fact, it kept up so much that Vettel passed Grosjean then gave back the position and immediately passed him – it would have been very hard to do that in a slower car or equal car. The exchange to me looked like a cat toying with a mouse… Hats off to Newey and to a lesser extent to Vettel!7th November 2012, 18:03 at 6:03 pm #214540
How can you set-up a car to be the fastest? Michael, are you saying that some people might NOT set-up their car to be fastest? For what, to give a chance to the others? (irony)
If you can make your car faster, you do it. I don’t understand this kind of reasoning. You are there to win.7th November 2012, 18:11 at 6:11 pm #214541
Over driving the car isn’t exactly great. If you start twitching and sliding then you are not only destroying the tyres but also going considerably slower then you usually would (in the modern F1 cars that is).
The best drivers can get to the knife-edge limit and stay there for extended periods. That means, especially in the race where tyre life is important, no sliding, no twitching. Just fast driving.
If you start to twitch and slide then you are making mistakes.7th November 2012, 18:30 at 6:30 pm #214542
Spain is an incredibly more difficult track to fight back on, even without having only half the DRS zones. Also, I believe that the general spread of performance across top and midfield cars was much closer at that point in the season. Hamilton also didn’t drive as scrappily, or get treated with with as many top cars dropping out or back. So all in all, it’s difficult due to the extremely difficult circumstances, although I was most impressed with Hamilton myself.7th November 2012, 18:51 at 6:51 pm #214543
@cristian – I don’t know what RB did to make Vettel’s car but I’m sure they did something to make the car ideal for racing from P24 as opposed to pole where they expected him to be. Vettel was pretty serious when he said that P1 was the goal…7th November 2012, 18:58 at 6:58 pm #214544
“Ask yourself, if that set-up was the fastest way to get around the track (i.e. win a race), would they not have used it normally?”
Well every other car on the grid is set up as a compromise between low-fuel qualifying and full race-distance, whereas Vettel did not need that compromise.7th November 2012, 19:09 at 7:09 pm #214545
True, but its still limited what kind of changes they can do, in the sense that, at some point its just too risky to change things too much.
There is a reason they need practice sessions. They use them in order to get the set-ups from the simulator working properly with the track conditions and making the tyres last as well.
Red Bull wouldn’t have a working and tested Race Only set-up prepared for him, therefore they would only be able to change some things mildly because settings which should work ideally with a heavy car in race conditions wouldn’t necessarily do so when they can’t test the thing and can’t get it fine-tuned to Vettel’s driving style.
This year especially, I think that the cars are set-up a lot more for race pace then for qualifying pace as race pace means a lot more now that its possible to overtake. So, without having any evidence to back it up, I think that the compromise is made more towards having a slightly worse car for qualifying and then making it up in the race then the other way around.
That said, making a car that is good for race pace, doesn’t equal a car that is capable of overtaking, and I think that is the main thing that Red Bull focused on. Vettel him self said that the car could overtake quite well, but that he felt that the gearing cost him time when he wasn’t fighting anyone.7th November 2012, 20:16 at 8:16 pm #214546
5.) Lewis made a 2-stopped work in what looked to be at least a 3-4 stop race on the circuit with the worst tyre wear on the calendar.
@kingshark I think you’ve misidentified Barcelona’s history of excessive tyre wear for Barcelona being track where a car’s aerodynamics is tested. For the track with the most demand on tyre wear, it has to be Canada or Singapore.7th November 2012, 21:05 at 9:05 pm #214547
The setup changes, according to the official FIA release (the FIA are always fully aware of setup/parts changes because they always have a spec sheet, and a setup sheet for every competitive session) were: new gearbox, change of gear ratios, and change of suspension setup. Other areas (such as aero) were unchanged.
As such, Vettel would basically have had WORSE DRS-closed top speed, but had BETTER DRS-open top speed. Obviously we don’t know what changes were made to the setup, so we cannot really judge what impact those would have had.
As such, over a lap, Vettel’s clean air laptime would have been hurt, but he would have a better chance of overtaking on the straights due to having a better top speed.
As for the car being set-up for top speed, did you see Vettel have to overdrive his car to keep up with the other cars?
No. Probably the reason he could keep up.
Personally, I never saw the Red Bull twitch at all like the Ferrari and it was keeping up with the other cars.
Yep – that would’ve been the REASON why it would have kept up better.
Like I’ve said over and over again – ask anyone in motorsport. If a car is being driven over a lap twitchy, it’s slow. Even if it’s an HRT, or a Ferrari F2012 – a twitchy lap = slow. This is not to say a tidy lap = quick, but driving a car 99% is WAY quicker than driving a car 101%.7th November 2012, 21:09 at 9:09 pm #214548
raymondu999Participant7th November 2012, 22:14 at 10:14 pm #214549
The fastest way around the circuit (for the Red Bull) is with a high-downforce set-up. That is why they always choose the high-downforce set-up. Agree?
Having a high downforce set-up, means that you’re slower than other cars on the straight, and faster than other cars in the corners. Agree?
Having a car 12kph slower on the straight means that it’s significantly more difficult to overtake other cars. Agree?
Having a high-downforce set-up means that you’re faster than other cars in corners. Agree?
Since you can’t overtake in corners, it means you have to adjust your speed to the car in front of you, since you can’t drive through him. Agree?
So having the fastest set-up means that at best you’re only as fast as the car in front in the corners, and slower on the straight. Agree?
So the only way to have any chance of not losing massive amounts of time behind a car your car is incapable of overtaking, is by going for a low-downforce set-up. Agree?
But as we’ve already established, the fastest way around the track in a Red Bull is with a high-downforce set-up. Remember?
So you either
– have a car that slows you down because you’re stuck behind a car that is faster at the only place you can overtake
– you have a car that allows you to pass the car slowing you down, but is slower overall because of the set-up.
For most other cars, the compromise between being able to race with others, and being fast over a lap, is minimal. Their fastest lap set-up still allows for a straight-line speed that makes overtaking possible. Red Bull in the meantime has a top-speed that is bettered by the HRT and Marussia’s. That’s why Hamilton did not need to change his set-up in Spain: with his fastest lap set-up, he was 5th in the speed trap. With Vettel’s fastest lap set-up, he is 24th in the speed trap.7th November 2012, 22:20 at 10:20 pm #214550
@raymondu999 well, we ALL know two drivers who can deliver very quick laps in twitchy cars so I don’t buy the fact that the Red Bull is being driven at 99%. I think it’s being driven at 95% otherwise we’d see them get closer to to the 100% where Vettel would come close to losing control. You have to flirt with 100% to be fast, otherwise you’re just not a top driver… So, yeah – to quote Vettel;-) – he is not pushing the car, yeah, to the limit.7th November 2012, 22:20 at 10:20 pm #214551
duplicate7th November 2012, 22:31 at 10:31 pm #214552
@jleigh Good question Jake, I think both were excellent drives to be honest, Lewis dispelled the theory that he chews up his tyres quicker than Jenson, and he was pretty close to catching Rosberg towards the dying stages of that race. Seb proved that he can overtake, but he’s done that before, though some people won’t recognise that yet…
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