Category Archives: Race

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.”

Leave a comment

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

China GP F1 – 2016 Nico pulls a hat-trick

Nico dominates, Lewis battles back on a dramatic afternoon in Shanghai

  • Nico took his 17th career victory today – his second at the Shanghai International Circuit, four years after sealing his first Formula One win at the same venue 1202293_2515971_1024_683_SNE12419
  • Lewis produced a battling drive to finish P7 from the back of the grid – despite incurring significant damage to his car in a first lap incident
  • Today’s result marks the 100th podium finish for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in Formula One
  • Nico (75) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 36 points from Lewis (39) in P2
  • MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (114) lead Ferrari (61) by 53 points in the Constructors’ Championship
Driver
Chassis No.
Grid
Result
Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg
F1 W07 Hybrid/03
P1
P1
1:40.418 (Lap 38)
Lewis Hamilton
F1 W07 Hybrid/01
P22
P7
1:40.662 (Lap 32)
Strategy
Start
Stop 1
Stop 2
Stop 3
Stop 4
Stop 5
No.6
Soft
Soft
(Lap 20)
Medium
(Lap 36)
N/A
N/A
N/A
No.44
Soft
Soft
(Lap 01)
SuperSoft
(Lap 05)
Soft
(Lap 06)
Soft
(Lap 21)
Medium
(Lap 30)
Weather
Clear, dry, mild
Temperatures
Air: 20.3 – 21.9 °C
Track: 37.3 – 45.3 °C

Nico Rosberg
It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China. First of all, the fans have been amazing from the moment I arrived. They’re so enthusiastic, which gives us drivers a very special feeling. Then, racing wise, it was an almost perfect weekend. Only the start could have been better – but luckily I was able to pass Daniel later on the straight and from then on I could build up a gap. I must say, I’ve never had a better balance in my car than I had today. It was really perfect, so a big thanks to everyone who helped me achieve that. I also want to thank all the women in my life – my wife, my daughter and my mother. Their support is unbelievable and that’s really what makes it possible for me to be doing what I’m doing. I’m a very happy man today and, after three races I can be really pleased about how my season has gone so far. But it’s a very long year ahead and there’s a lot of points still on the table, so I’m not losing my focus. Now I look forward to Russia, where I started my good run of qualifying results last year. Hopefully I can get on a nice run like that again.

Lewis Hamilton
That was definitely a difficult weekend. I got a good start – but it’s always tricky being at the back and trying not to get caught up in the domino effect of any contact at the first corner. I tried to avoid whatever happened in front of me but I just got tangled up in it. It was just a bit unfortunate, really. From there it was always going to be a battle – but I had a lot of fun fighting back through! There were plenty of overtakes, from what I can remember! I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit. There was nothing left in the tyres at the end and, although it’s pretty good for overtaking here, I had quite a lot of damage to the car which made it difficult to get close on the brakes. From what I could feel there was definitely some aero loss and possible suspension damage too, as the car seemed to be flexing all over the place. But that’s racing – it happens sometimes and at least I still managed to get a few points on the board. It’s a pretty big hit points-wise today – but I’ll just have to do what I can to make it up over the next few races. Onwards and upwards…

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
That was a rollercoaster race today. Nico enjoyed the perfect weekend: he was totally dominant this afternoon, always in control of his performance and did really a flawless job. For Lewis, the circumstances couldn’t have been more different. He got a great start, tried to stay out of trouble in the first corners and still got collected by a Sauber, who was avoiding another car coming back on track. His front wing was lodged under the car for a while, which damaged the leading edge of the floor and cost him a chunk of downforce for the rest of the race – though it was hard to know exactly how much during the race. We did something different with him under the Safety Car, cycling through the SuperSoft tyre with no loss of position, in order to open up some strategic options later in the race. He put in a great recovery drive and pulled off some great overtakes – but the damage to the car meant the tyres didn’t last as long as we had hoped and made it hard to catch cars through Turn 13 before the back straight. He still did a great job and kept charging to the end – but it was damage limitation again for him this afternoon. We are just three races into the longest season in Formula One history, so this isn’t the time to be looking at Championship tables or points gaps. We just need to keep scoring points right now, continue to work on our reliability after some wobbles this weekend and keep working very hard to bring more performance to the car and Power Unit. Today looked like it could have been a three-way fight with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull if our rivals had a cleaner race – so there is no margin for us to relax.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Starting on Lewis’ side, one of the debates we actually had overnight was whether to do a bit more work to the car and start him from the pit lane, which ironically would have been a better decision in hindsight given what happened at the first corner. Equally, Lewis had by far his best start of the season, which ironically contributed to him being caught up in the cascade of collisions ahead of him. So, a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances all round put him on the back foot straight away. We could see that there were problems with the car – both aerodynamic and mechanical – affecting him through the low-speed corners in particular. Under the safety car, we chose to perform consecutive pit stops with Lewis to get rid of the SuperSoft and enable us to run the rest of the race on the Soft, which was the stronger race tyre. As it transpired, his first set of softs were cut from the first corner incident – something we were unaware of at the time – which meant we were then forced to run the medium at the end of the race, rendering our SuperSoft eliminating tactic redundant. So, overall, Lewis did a great job to recover what he could with a car that was significantly underperforming. On Nico’s side, he actually had a less good start, losing a place into the first corner – although he was obviously running a less grippy tyre compound than the cars around him. He was, however, able to re-pass Daniel quite quickly once DRS became available and went on to have a straightforward race from there – running a soft / soft / medium strategy as intended from the beginning. An uneventful race from his perspective – but that’s not to underestimate the top job he did to manage the car safely within its limits and claim a well-deserved third victory of the season – and the 100th Formula One podium for the Silver Arrows in the process. We now look forward to Russia – targeting a clean and successful weekend on both sides of the garage.

Leave a comment

Filed under Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, Nico Rosberg, Race, Technology

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

 

 

 

Leave a comment

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

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drivers, F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Pirelli F1 Tyres, Race, Technology

F4 – Pirelli to support Italy Formula 4

Pirelli is the inaugural tyre supplier to Formula 4, with Italy leading the way by providing the first national championship for the new FIA-mandated series: designed as an introduction to professional motorsport for young drivers.

Local young driver Keith Camilleri will be racing with Malta Formula  Racing, a recent local team which has been just launched. Young Keith Camilleri is one of Malta’s prime motor sport racers who has shown a sense of dedication and ability inside a racing car. His experience in racing comes from a family’s DNA of motor sport involvement with his dad being one of the island’s most winning hill climb championships. Keith Camilleri has already had his first test this week in Italy and has impressed with his fast ability in adapting to the new race car which on the day was not the current F4.  It gave Keith to get to know the team and adapt himself to the people he will having around him.

The latest addition to Pirelli’s extensive motorsport portfolio, which takes in more than 250 championships worldwide, means that the Italian rubber is now seen at every level of motorsport from the grass roots to the very pinnacle: Formula One.

The first official Formula 4 test will take place next week at Adria, following a shakedown earlier this week at Vairano. unnamed

Pirelli will supply tyres to the new seven-round championship exclusively, with Tatuus building the chassis, Abarth providing the engine and Magneti Marelli in charge of electronics: an all-Italian effort forming a blueprint for entry-level motorsport.

The new tyres for the championship will be available in just two types: dry (medium compound, DM) and wet. Consequently they have to be extremely adaptable to a very wide variety of conditions and circuits: from the tight hairpin bends of Adria to the flat-out straights at Monza.

One of the FIA’s stated aims for the championship is to reduce costs. As a result the new Formula 4 tyre has to be affordable without compromising performance. With the drivers competing on the series all being relatively inexperienced, the tyre must also be easy to drive and provide confidence in marginal conditions.

Pirelli has created a new 13-inch tyre specifically for Formula 4, which is of the same dimensions as this year’s Formula 3 tyres. Italian driver Raffaele Gianmaria, backed by the national motorsport federation, will be the test driver at Adria, having also conducted the initial shakedown. The front tyre size is 200-540-13, the rear is 250-575-13.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “We’ve always made it a priority to support young drivers and help them progress their careers, which is why we also supply the GP3 and GP2 series. Now, we’re delighted to extend that ladder of opportunity to Formula 4, meaning that Pirelli can be a constant in every young driver’s career, from the very beginning all the way to Formula One. With drivers taking less and less time to reach the top of the sport, it’s important to provide them with a cost-effective yet competitive tyre product that showcases the very best of their abilities, which is the intention of the FIA in creating this championship.”

2014 Formula 4 calendar:

8 June: Adria
29 June: Imola
13 July: Mugello
3 August: Magione
14 September: Vallelunga
28 September: Monza
19 October: Barcelona

Leave a comment

Filed under Race, Technology, Test Drive

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Drivers, F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Pirelli F1 Tyres, Race, Technology

F1 – 2013 The art of Braking

Leave a comment

Filed under Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes, Pirelli F1 Tyres, Race, Sporting Regulations