Category Archives: Drivers

China F1 GP – 2016 Haas F1 team feels the reality

Haas F1 Team didn’t score its third straight point-paying finish in the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit, but it did secure another “first” in its debut season. Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean both finished the race, something that hadn’t been done in the first two races of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship in Australia and Bahrain.

Gutiérrez finished 14th to lead the way for Haas F1 Team in Shanghai, while Grosjean finished 19th. Each driver completed 55 of the 56 laps available, lapped by the lights-out Nico Rosberg, who drove his Mercedes to a massive 37.776 second margin of victory over second-place Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari.

 

Gutiérrez’s solid run came via a three-stop strategy. The 24-year-old started the race in 18th place on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before switching on lap 35 to the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire. Gutiérrez took another set of supersofts on lap 44 that carried him to the finish. It was his first full race distance of the 2016 season, as Gutiérrez suffered retirements in Australia and Bahrain.

 

After celebrating his 30th birthday earlier in the day, Grosjean started 14th and was on the same tire strategy as his teammate. That strategy, however, endured a hiccup when a first-turn skirmish on the opening lap sent Grosjean to the pits for a new front wing. A stack-up involving a number of cars saw the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson cut across the nose of Grosjean’s VF-16. Grosjean was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop after only one lap, with valuable time needed to attach the new wing. Despite returning to the race in 21st, Grosjean employed the same tenaciousness that earned him back-to-back top-six finishes to open the season. He gained back two positions to cross the stripe in 19th when the checkered flag waved.

 

Despite not scoring any points in Shanghai, Haas F1 Team remains fifth in the constructor standings, 11 points behind fourth-place Williams and one point ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.

 

Rosberg’s victory kept him undefeated in 2016 and extended his win streak to six, dating back to last year’s Mexican Grand Prix. His triumph in Shanghai was his second at the 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn circuit, making him only the third driver to have multiple Chinese Grand Prix victories, joining his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. Rosberg leads the championship standings by 36 points over Hamilton.

 

 

“It was a horrific race. The start was terrible when (Marcus) Ericsson turned into me and got my front wing. From there we had the safety car and I thought, ‘OK, we still have a chance to do something.’ But the balance in the car was nowhere near good. I don’t know what happened. Somehow, it’s positive that we had such a difficult race, because we can analyze what we did wrong, what we did right and what we could have done differently. From there, we can come back stronger. It’s a difficult one after the two first races. Not the birthday I was hoping for.”

 

 

“It was fun out there today and to finish the race was a big step. I think we can now build on this performance as we prepare for Russia. I really want to thank the guys because they’re doing a great job. The pit stops were fantastic, really consistent. Unfortunately, we didn’t have DRS (Drag Reduction System), so it was difficult to overtake, but overall it was a solid race. We now need to finish inside the points and that’s what we’ll be focusing on, so I’m really looking forward to the next one.”

“A difficult race for us, but we took two cars to the finish. The drivers did their jobs. Romain was unlucky at the start, losing part of his front wing. He had to come in for a wing change, which lost him track position and time. The car afterward was very difficult to drive. Good for Esteban finishing 14th. He finished his first race for Haas F1 Team. I think we learned a lot this weekend, and all that we’ve learned we’ll take to Russia and see what we can do there.”

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Filed under Drivers, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team, Pirelli F1 Tyres, Race, Technology

F1 – Belgian Grand Prix- Riccardo on a charge

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has won his second consecutive grand prix, from fifth on the grid in Belgium. The Australian used a two-stop strategy, starting with two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre and finishing the grand prix on the P Zero White medium.

Ricciardo’s victory was the 50th for Red Bull and his third in six races. Underlining the consistency of the medium tyre in particular, Ricciardo set his fastest lap on the final tour of the longest circuit in the championship.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg finished just over three seconds behind him, despite using a completely different strategy. Rosberg stopped three times, starting on the soft tyre then completing two middle stints on the medium, before finishing on the soft.

A three-stop strategy was also used by Red Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. Like Rosberg, Vettel decided to use the soft tyre right at the end of the race to boost his pace just when he needed it most to hunt down his closest competitors. With around a 1.6-second time difference per lap between the medium and soft compounds, the P Zero Yellow added an extra element of strategy to one of the most demanding races of the year. As a result, there were some thrilling battles all the way to the flag for the points-scoring places.unnamed

Owing to warmer weather conditions, degradation of both compounds was different to how it had been during free practice. This led to a wide variety of strategies being employed on different cars, depending on the individual ways in which they used the tyres. We definitlewy need to mention that all drivers are really showing what they are worth, from a never say die Alonso, a desperately unlucky Hamilton, an ingenious Adrian Newey having a low down force car to minimize the disadvantage of top speed, a growing Jules Bianch and Kevin Magnusson, even though he was penalized. Looking forward to Monza which definitley will be yet another thriller.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Track and ambient temperatures were higher than they had been up to now during the weekend, which meant that we saw a little less life out of the soft tyre than we had initially predicted. But considering the demands of this circuit and the nature of the soft and medium compounds that we had chosen to bring, wear and degradation was still well within expectations. It was interesting to see the different strategies at work, especially with the extra speed of the soft tyre. In retrospect, there were probably more drivers who wished they had used the soft for a third pit stop, but our calculations from yesterday indicated that two stops was the best way to go – and we got a very exciting race.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:

  Soft Medium Intermediate Wet
First ROS 1m50.511s ROS 1m51.898s N/A N/A
Second SUT 1m52.413s BOT 1m52.716s N/A N/A
Third MAS 1m52.512s RIC 1m52.974s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:

Soft J Bianchi         (22 laps)
Medium K Raikkonen   (23 laps)

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Filed under Alonso, Daniel Riccardo, Drivers, F1 2014

F1 – Montreal – What a thriller

High temperatures in Montreal, and a lengthy safety car period right at the beginning of the race, meant that tyre strategy formed a central part of a thrilling Canadian Grand Prix, with the teams having to assimilate to a new set of tyre characteristics compared to the cooler conditions of free practice and qualifying. j-l-idaurt-pdijikjj-r

The race was won by Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, with the top five separated by just five seconds in the closing stages of the race. Tyre strategy was central, with drivers on younger and fresher tyres using them to gain an advantage as the grand prix drew to a close. Ricciardo took the lead with just two laps to go, from Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel completed the podium. All three adopted a two-stop strategy.

The highest-placed one-stopper was Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg in fifth, who started on the soft tyre and completed a 41-lap stint before his single stop from the soft to the supersoft.

His team mate Sergio Perez also stopped only once: switching from the supersoft to the soft on lap 35; exactly half-distance. An accident on the final lap between him and Williams driver Felipe Massa, while both were fighting for a possible podium, meant that neither could finish the race, which concluded behind the safety car. Nonetheless, both their strategies had launched them into podium contention, with Massa benefitting from the extra speed of tyres that were considerably younger than those of his rivals during the final stint.

Another safety car period, lasting eight laps right at the beginning of the race, altered the strategy, with tyre degradation at the most critical fuel-heavy period minimised. Wear on both compounds was generally low, despite track temperatures that exceeded 45 degrees centigrade and 30 degrees centigrade ambient.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Once again, Canada delivered a thrilling grand prix: this time in hot conditions, which led to plenty of interesting tyre strategies. With such an action-packed race, we saw plenty of improvisation from several drivers as they attempted to use tyre strategy to their best advantage. Congratulations to Daniel Ricciardo for his first win after a truly memorable race. Congratulations also to Force India, which has often taken a different approach to tyre strategy compared to their rivals in all the time we have been involved in Formula One. In Canada this led to a good result, which could have been even better had it not been for the accident right at the end, demonstrating again how tyre strategy can be used to boost final positions.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First HUL – 1m18.936s MAS – 1m18.504s N/A N/A
Second ROS – 1m19.840s RAI – 1m18.529s N/A N/A
Third HAM – 1m19.927s ALO – 1m18.614s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Supersoft 34 laps S Perez
Soft 41 laps N Hulkenberg

Truth-O-Meter:

Our prediction for the quickest strategy was a two-stopper: start on supersoft, then soft on lap 13 and soft again on lap 41. This was more or less correct: Ricciardo stopped on lap 14 for his first set of softs and then again on lap 38. The supersoft-soft-soft strategy was used by all the top 10 apart from Hulkenberg.

Ferrari Challenge: a long-standing relationship with Pirelli

Another highlight of the Canadian Grand Prix was the Ferrari Challenge, which has been supplied by Pirelli since 1993: one of the longest relationships between a tyre manufacturer and a championship that has ever existed. This championship uses specially-prepared Ferrari 458 race cars, which have undergone a further evolution this year. The championship visits some of the most prestigious circuits throughout North America, rejoining the Formula One calendar at Austin in November. Two 16-lap races were held, with Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery presented the prizes on the podium.

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Filed under Drivers, F1 2014, F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix

F1 – Shanghai – And the rains came – So did Hamilton

For the third time in four races, qualifying was held in rainy conditions – making this one of the wettest starts to a season in recent memory. The top 10 drivers all used Pirelli’s Cinturato intermediate tyre to set their fastest times for the pole position shoot-out: the only tyre in the range that has not changed compared to last year. unnamed

With rain persisting throughout the day, the drivers used the final free practice session in the morning to assess the wet conditions. However, with no set-up changes allowed after qualifying, most drivers were using a compromise setting today – in order to be ready for a dry race tomorrow, which is as equally likely as more rain.

Most drivers used both the full wet and intermediate tyre during the day, with low levels of wear in ambient temperatures that did not exceed 16 degrees centigrade all day.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The performance of our intermediate tyre, which clears around 25 litres of water per second at top speed, was clearly shown by Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who reached 316kph – that’s 196mph – on the straight in conditions that were very wet indeed. We saw a crossover time of around 1m56s between the full wet and the intermediate, which underlines the work we have done on the wet tyre over the winter to bring it closer to the intermediate. These haven’t been easy conditions and the circuit is always very demanding on tyres but wear levels have been low: practically non-existent on the rears and just some light abrasion on the front, depending on the team.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:

With wet conditions today, but only a 50% chance of rain tomorrow, strategy is going to have to be reactive. However, if conditions stay dry, theoretically the fastest way of tackling the 56-lap race (with the best compromise between performance and track position) is as follows: start on soft, change to soft again on lap 14 and then to medium on lap 28.

An alternative two-stop strategy is: start on soft, change to medium on lap 12, then medium again on lap 34.

Fastest compounds in FP3:
Ricciardo 1m53.958s Intermediate New
Massa 1m54.492s Intermediate New
Grosjean 1m54.514s Intermediate Used

Top 10 tyre use:
Hamilton 1m53.860s Intermediate New
Ricciardo 1m54.455s Intermediate New
Vettel 1m54.960s Intermediate New
Rosberg 1m55.143s Intermediate New
Alonso 1m55.637s Intermediate Used
Massa 1m56.147s Intermediate Used
Bottas 1m56.282s Intermediate New
Hulkenberg 1m56.366s Intermediate New
Vergne 1m56.773s Intermediate New
Grosjean 1m57.079s Intermediate New

 

 

 

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F1- Shanghai, Mercedes will dominate or will it be the rain

Weather will have a big effect on tyre behaviour throughout the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, with free practice today characterised by cool weather and a possibility of rain for qualifying tomorrow. Ambient and track temperatures dipped to 13 and 15 degrees centigrade respectively during FP1 this morning, before becoming slightly warmer in the afternoon.ppp

As a result, the drivers had to be sure of warming their tyres up properly, in order to extract the best possible performance and guard against graining. In order to warm up the compound, the driver has to gradually put more heat and energy into the tyre during the out lap, so that the compound reacts with the surface to generate grip. Graining happens when the tyre simply skates across the asphalt rather than bonding with it, causing wave-like patterns of wear across the surface of the tread. Graining was seen for some drivers during free practice, but it remained within anticipated levels.

Paul Hembery: “We’ve seen quite a big gap in terms of lap time between the two compounds today: between 1.4 seconds and 1.8 seconds depending on the team. These are exceptional circumstances because temperatures are a lot cooler than we would expect to see over the rest of the season, and with rain expected tomorrow, weather will obviously remain a big factor over the course of this weekend. There’s been some graining, but no more than we would expect under these circumstances. We’ll analyse all the data tonight but so far we would expect the teams to get about 20 laps out of a set of soft tyres and approximately 25 laps out of a set of mediums. Degradation on the medium tyres is about half of what we are seeing on the soft tyres: in terms of performance the medium tyre loses about 0.15 seconds per lap in race trim, whereas the soft tyre loses about 0.3 seconds per lap. We’re looking at between two and three pit stops on Sunday from what we can see so far.”

FP1: FP2:
Alonso 1m39.783s – Medium New Hamilton 1m38.315s – Soft New
Rosberg 1m40.181s – Medium Used Alonso 1m38.456s – Soft New
Ricciardo 1m40.772s – Medium New Rosberg 1m38.726s – Soft New

Tyre statistics of the day:

Medium Soft Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 3,722 1,744 N/A N/A
sets used overall ** 65 22 N/A N/A
highest number of laps ** 27 22 N/A N/A

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

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F1- Shanghai a duel for all

The Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai, where the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres will be used, is a race that has been traditionally been dominated by strategy. Even using several different strategies, drivers have often ended the race in close formation, setting up a thrilling finish. With a smooth surface and some sweeping corners – including the banked Turn 13 – this versatile tyre combination is well suited to the varied demands of the Shanghai circuit.unnamed

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “With this being the third race featuring the combination of medium and soft this year, coming shortly after the Bahrain test, the teams are beginning to accumulate more knowledge of how our tyres work with the complex 2014-specification cars. As a result, tyre strategy is starting to become a bigger factor in the races. China is a circuit that has showcased the effectiveness of a good tyre strategy in the past, so the teams will be hoping to put their data from the first part of the season to good use and explore some of the strategy options available with our latest-generation P Zero tyres. We’ve seen changeable weather at Shanghai before, so as always the ability to assimilate information quickly according to changing circumstances will be the key to getting the most out of them.”

Jean Alesi, Pirelli consultant: “China is not a circuit that I know well but it always seems to provide a lot of entertainment and this is the point of the year when strategy starts to get important, because the teams are beginning to explore the capabilities and potential of their cars after the first development period. For tyres this is very important, because we are seeing already that the teams are getting more and more out of them all the time, as the development accelerates. Bahrain was a fantastic race, so if we can see battles like that all the time we can look forward to a fantastic season.”

How tyres are allocated for each race:

Tyres are allocated to the teams randomly with the help of a bar code, a process carried out by the FIA: the sport’s governing body. The barcode is the tyre’s ‘passport’, which is embedded firmly into the structure during the vulcanisation process and cannot be swapped. The code contains all the details of each tyre, making it traceable throughout the race weekend with Pirelli’s RTS (Racing Tyre System) software. The FIA receives a list of the bar codes and then allocates each bar code – and therefore each tyre – to every team at random. Pirelli itself is not involved in this process at all, meaning that the Italian firm cannot influence which tyres are allocated to which teams – although a rigorous quality control process ensures that all the tyres leaving the factory are entirely identical. Once at the circuit, the tyres are then distributed to the teams in strict compliance with the list that has been previously prepared by the FIA. The bar codes allow both the FIA and Pirelli to ensure that the right teams, according to the regulations, are using the correct tyres.

The circuit from a tyre point of view:

There are a number of fast corners that the drivers accelerate through in Shanghai, meaning that they can make the most of the extra torque this year. In particular, turns 3-4, 7-8, and 12-13 require progressive acceleration but it is also important to have the right engine map in order not to experience too much wheelspin and damage the tyres.

The high levels of downforce used in China mean high speeds through the corners, with forces that can exceed 3.8g. The softer tyres are subjected to greater cornering forces as they generate more grip. Around 80% of the lap is spent cornering.

The Shanghai circuit features a number of long straights, which have an effect on the tyres. The straights actually cool the tyres down, meaning they have to get back up temperature quickly for the corners that follow.

The P Zero White medium is a low working range compound, while the P Zero Yellow soft is a high working range compound. This pairing ensures the capability to work effectively under a wide range of conditions: one reason why the combination has proved to be so effective this year.

China is the most demanding circuit on brakes of the entire year, with the new brake by wire system also having an effect on the tyres. The tyres are subjected to braking forces in Shanghai that peak at 4.3g.

Last year, Fernando Alonso won the race for Ferrari with a three-stop strategy, starting from third on the grid with the soft tyre, then completing three stints on the medium tyre. Jenson Button finished fifth for McLaren with a two-stop strategy.

More information about Shanghai and the demands it places on tyres, as well as information about the characteristics of the 2014 rubber, can be found on a new-look 3D animated video produced by Pirelli. This is copyright-free for media use on Pirelli’s Formula One website: http://www.pirelli.com/f1pressarea

The tyre choices so far:
Australia Soft Medium
Malaysia Medium Hard
Bahrain Soft Medium
China Soft Medium
Spain Medium Hard
Monaco Supersoft Soft
Canada Supersoft Soft

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F1 – 2013 Monaco, a lap to get the feeling

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