Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

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beken
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Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:45 am

Well....new car reveal season has begun.

Changes in regulation include wider wheels, bigger wings and more aero. Also they have done away with the token system which restricted how much one can upgrade your engine over the course of the season. Of course, reliabity has been mandated. They have cut the number of engines allowed from 5 to 4 over the course of the season before being assessed penalties.

Since the engine rules have not changed, it is assumed Mercedes engines will remain at the top of the pecking order as far as power and driveability is concerned. So Mercedes is once again the favourite. Since the regulations for Aerodynamics have been updated, we probably will see Red Bull catch up and stay ahead of Ferrari and even challenge Mercedes.

For motors, we expect improvements from Renault. Honda in early testing seem to still be down on horsepower from everybody else

Ferrari, after coming off a disappointing season, may remain a disappointment. Good, but probably not as good as Red Bull and Mercedes, even though they appear to have the best driver combination. Note that Sebastian Vettel won the Race of Champions during the off season.

2 things will conspire to prevent me from adding many updates to this thread this year.

1. Mercedes will continue to dominate. we will see after the first race. However, the demise of the engine token system for upgrades might see other times begin to catch up on the horsepower front.
2. The last three years have been so predictable that they have stopped broadcasting races in my area. I will no longer be able to PVR or watch the races. So I will likely have little to contribute.

So anybody else who watches the races here, please contribute your comments to this thread.

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d.yaro
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby d.yaro » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:44 am

Aye, aye.... Predictability has taken a lot of shine off of F1 in terms of interest and excitement. It's to the point that I rarely see any mention of it on the new sites I frequent.
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby d.yaro » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:37 am

There was an article on the CBC mobile website about the Australian Grand Prix...I'd hazard to say it got there by virtue of Cancon (Canadian content). Lance Stroll, an 18 year-old Canadian, made his debut with the Williams team. Didn't finish the race but had an eventful one nonetheless.
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beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:37 pm

The good thing about the Australian and Asian races is they happen at a time I am awake.

Tried watching the race on TV but the key points in the race are usually missed during commercials. Like when Lewis Hamilton pitted early, handing the race lead to Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. Only saw that in the replays.

So I watched the race online. No commercials.

Lance Stroll showed some promise. I think he was only one of very few drivers who managed to make some passes on the track and not strategically in the pitstops. I am hopeful he will develop into a contender.

It was unpredictable for Ferrari winning the first race of the season. We might see an epic battle yet this year. I am hopeful Red Bull will figure out their reliability woes. They could be up there at the front too. Unfortunately, for McLaren, it looks like Honda needs to go back to the drawing board on their motor again. They look to be about 90HP down on the Mercedes and Ferrari motors, being slower by 5 to 10 seconds per lap and the chassis not looking stressed at all.

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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:26 pm

Two races in and we might have a fight this year.
Round 1 in Melbourne won by a strategy blunder on Mercedes part by Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari
Round 2 in Shanghai starting with a rain soaked track and drying rapidly, won by Lewis Hamilton on a failed strategy gamble on Ferrari's part by pitting Vettel for slicks early only to have the safety car pull out just as Vettel emerged from the pits.

Otherwise the races are the usual processional races except for a few brilliant passes.

Of note, Vettel's pass on Ricciardo in Shanghai where they traded tire paint.
Verstappen's passes to from last to 3rd at the end of the race in Shanghai
Some gutsy passes by Lance Stroll in Australia.

Lance Stroll looked pretty good for a rookie. If his car hadn't broke or when he got rear ended off the track in Shanghai, we was probably in position to score points in first races.

The performance of Vettel's Ferrari looks almost (but not quite) equal to this year's Mercedes. I am, however, suspicious that maybe the Mercedes has toned down their car a bit to the point where Ferrari has caught up. Red Bull was expected to be in the mix but it appears they are, surprisingly lacking a bit in the front end downforce department.

Feeling a bit sad for McLaren as it appears the Honda motor is about 70HP down on the other 3 engine manufacturers.

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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:40 pm

I didn't get to watch the Bahrain race (Race 3) as it was not on a channel in my outrageously expensive cable line up.
However, I did watch the highlights and a partial replay of the race.

Mercedes seems to have the speed to be the top team, followed closely by Ferrari. On a single lap, in qualifying, Mercedes once again locked up the front row. However, in a race, it seems the Ferrari does a better job (particularly in hot weather) in managing its tyre wear. Race 3 was won by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari. For the third time in three races, the winner was determined by strategy and a bit of luck.

A strategy error on Mercedes part in pitting both cars on the same lap allowed Vettel to pull away from the pack in the lead. Hamilton got to about 6 seconds behind when he ran out of laps.

Carlos Sainz came out the pits way too fast and t-boned Stroll out of the race and then complained that it was Strolls fault for not giving him enough room at turn 1 to pass him on the inside.

Red Bull was expected to be in the mix at the top but have had some reliability issues. Also, tyre wear appears to a problem for them this year. They have gone back and revamped the car for the next race in Sochi.

So far, the new rules have made DRS pretty useless. The drivers have had to pass each other the old fashion way. With a lot of skill and courage. The real true racers are showing themselves this year. The passing, although fewer, have been much more exciting to watch.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:12 am

Rumours have it that the reason the Honda motor is so bad, is because the motor was developed using Mobil1 fuel and towards the start of the season, just before unveiling the new car, McLaren switched fuel suppliers. :o
Could the engines be that sensitive to fuel type?

Speaking of Honda, in the last race, Fernando Alonso joked about his McLaren begin slowest in the straights but fastest in the turns. He might have a point because, if he car had not broken in the last three races, he was in position to score points. That got heads spinning and Fernando Alonso is now going to skip the Monaco GP and race in the Indianapolis 500 instead. Also powered by.....Honda. But I suspect the Honda motor in Indy cars (V8's) performs much better than their F1 motors (V6 hybrids).

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Mon May 01, 2017 11:50 pm

Race 4 from Sochi Russia is in the books. Looks like we are alternating winner teams this year. Race 1 Ferrari, Race 2 Mercedes, Race 3, Ferrari, Race 4 Mercedes.

However, there is a slight twist. The front row after qualifying was occupied by a pair of Ferraris. Sebastian Vettel beat his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen by a mere .059 seconds. Ferrari has not locked up the front row since August 2008 (that being Raikkonen's last pole position). The second surprise was the race winner was not Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, but Valtteri Bottas with his first ever F1 win.

With the Mercedes motor being slightly more powerful, and the start line to the first corner being about 1 kilometer, the Mercedes of Bottas won the drag race to the first corner. After that, there was very little passing at all in the race. Actually, all the passing down the field happened on the first lap as drivers struggled to heat and grip into their tires.

The race itself was rather boring. However, with 4 laps to go, Bottas locked up his front brakes slightly, and flat spotted his tires. Which slowed hime down. Vettel caught up to .6 seconds at the end of the race for a close finish. But the race was pretty well over after the first lap.

As nice as the "new" track is at Sochi, I would be surprised if F1 does not remove it from their calendar in the future.

Congrats to Bottas on his very first Formula 1 GP win.

The other disappointment is F1 races are no longer on my cable package. They have moved the races to another channel and after seeing my cable bill go up every single year, I am not going to add more channels. In fact, I am looking into ways to reduce my cable bill.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Thu May 04, 2017 5:41 pm

....and for your numerologists with too much time on your hands...

Bottas finished 1st the 1st time, Vettel 2nd the 22nd time & Kimi 3rd the 33rd time.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Mon May 29, 2017 9:13 pm

The race at Monaco happened last weekend. Two things of interest.
1) Honda's motor has been so under powered and unreliable that McLaren sent Alonso overseas to the US to race in the Indy 500 instead of having him be embarrassed in an uncompetitive car. However, Honda motors being in the state they are in right now, Alonso's motor blew up on him during the race while he was leading. Out this experiment, two observations...the quality of F1 drivers. Alonso, who usually drives an F1 car (a back marker at best for his last 4 or 5 seasons) is competitive enough to lead the Indy 500 in his first ever race against more experienced racers in the Indy car series. second, Honda can't seem to provide Alonso with a motor that won't blow up. On a positive note, the car that eventually did win the Indy 500 was running with a Honda motor.
2) The Monaco race itself was a bit of a snoozefest as there was actually very little on track passing during the race. The positions changed mostly through attrition (due to failed passing attempts).
3) this race was won by Ferrari. The first time Ferrari has won at Monaco since 2008. Also, the first Ferrari 1-2 finish since 2010.
4) some controversy as it appeared that Ferrari used some subtle pit strategy for put Sebastian Vettel in front of Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi had pole position by a mere .02 sec in qualifying and during the race, it was pretty clear Vettel was the much faster driver.
5) This was the first race in the Turbo V6 era where no Mercedes car made the podium. Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull came in 3rd. With the limitations on engine development lifted this season, it is finally allowing other teams to develop their cars during the season. We are seeing some intense racing and car development with constructors championship points lead changing throughout the season as well as the drivers points standings.

Next race...Montreal.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:44 pm

Montreal was won by Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton had pole position and let every lap of the race. Sebastian Vettel held the second starting position but at the first corner of the first lap, Max Verstappen had a great start and clipped off Vettel's Ferrari's front wing forcing the Ferrari to pit from last place on the first lap. Driver of the day in Montreal would be Sebastian Vettel who limited the damage to his Championship standing by making it up to 4th at the end of the race. If there was one more lap, he felt he could have made the podium. Red Bull seems to be developing their car very well for the second half of the season as Ricciardo got his Red Bull into 3rd place. The Honda motored McLarens still failed to score points as Alonso has another engine failure on this high power circuit and his team mate finished 1 lap down.

Next up, the tight street circuit of Baku in Azerbaijan.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:08 pm

We all knew the comraderie of the two title contenders couldn't last as eventually, somebody was going to lose it and in the chaotic nature of the Baku circuit, that would be Sebastian Vettel. After a period of following the safety car, and with cold brakes, just before the restart, Hamilton, within the rules, slowed his car right down to about 10kms/hr and Vettel rearended him. In the heat of battle Vettel accused Hamilton of "brake checking" him and pulled beside Hamilton to express his displeasure (half a peace sign salute). In doing so, bumped into Hamilton's car in which Hamilton suggested Vettel rammed him intentionally. Vettel received a dangerous driving penalty (10 second pit stop) and 3 points against his drivers license (yah...they do that in F1 also). This should have been sufficient to hand Hamilton the win for the race. However, it turned out Hamilton's cockpit headrest came lose and he had to pit to get that fixed. This handed 4th place back to Vettel. Two surprises in the race results, Red Bull won the race. Daniel Ricciardo found himself in Third place following the two leaders after the "incident" and ended up leading to the end. Lance Stroll silenced and earned apologies from all his critics by driving a calculated race and was in second place until Bottas (Mercedes) pipped him at the finish line. Stroll is the youngest rookie to win a podium in F1 History. Max Verstappen(Red Bull) was in his second year when he won his race to become the youngest race winner in F1 history.

Also...Alonso drove his heart out (and managed to get his car to the finish line for the first time this year) and collected the first points for McLaren this year by finishing 9th.

Austria is next, and Honda will have a new (and hopefully improved) engine for McLaren. It is hoped the power deficit will be narrowed by the new engine. Austria is not a high power circuit so the McLarens should be more competitive.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:35 pm

Austria had a strange race. I missed most of it, having fell asleep in the middle of the race.

The race started with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) handed a 5 place grid penalty for needing a transmission change before the race. So he came in 3rd in qualifying and was pushed back to start in 8th place. Valterri Bottas (Mercedes) started on pole with Sebastian Vettel(Ferrari) in 2nd.

Bottas got a fantastic start by guessing when the start lights go out and showed a reaction time of 0.2 sec at the start of the race. Lewis Hamilton managed to climb back into 4th place, but other than that, the race pretty well ended the way it started. Bottas won by .6 seconds of Vettel.

Honda's upgraded motor showed promise until Fernando Alonso(McLaren) got taken out of the race on the first lap. That was a short race.

By winning the race, Bottas pulled himself into contention for the overall championship by gaining points to within 15 points of his teammate Lewis Hamilton. Vettel extended his points lead over Hamilton to 20 points.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:07 pm

The British Grand Prix happened last weekend.
Won by Lewis Hamilton. A Mercedes 1-2. I started the season thinking maybe Mercedes was sand bagging a bit at the beginning of the season to make it look like we had some real competition this year and the British Grand Prix, being the halfway mark of the 2017 season seemed to signal that Mercedes will turn up the wick a bit. It was very clear that the Mercedes had pace a full step ahead of anybody else. Ferrari might have been 2nd and 3rd if it were not for both cars having front left tire blow outs on the last lap of the race. Still, Kimi Raikkenon managed to drag his Ferrari into the podium in 3rd, and Sebastion Vettel, who had a pretty spectacular tire shredding blow out after Raikkenon's tire went managed to make it into the pits, change his tire and barely had enough track left to pull his car into 7th place. With that, Lewis Hamilton pull to a point behind Sebastian Vettel in the drivers championship points race.

beken
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Re: Unofficial Formula 1 thread 2017

Postby beken » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:11 pm

The Hungary grand prix was a rather boring affair. The track is narrow and twisty and not a fast track. This make it nearly impossible to pass during the race. So this race is won or lost during qualifying. The two Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkanon blew the doors off of everybody else. Vettel taking pole position. Other than that, a boring race was expected. But there was some drama...

On the second corner of the very first lap, Max Verstappen, in his Red Bull, drove into the radiator of his team mate (Daniel Ricciardo) and took him out of the race. At around lap 30, Sebastian Vettel notices that his steer wheel is progressively moving off center. It is noticeable on television that Vettel's steering wheel is turned left while the car is going straight. Vettel is told to stay off the curbs and to drive as smoothly as possible. He is going slower and backing his teammate into the chasing Mercedes. In the end, nobody passed and the order finished pretty well where everybody was when it started minus Ricciardo and other DNFs. With one noted exception. Alonso in his McLaren Honda finished in 6th (!!!) and got fastest lap of the race. Alonso also demonstrated some great driving with some brilliant passing maneuvers where he schools Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) on passing in a narrow twisty track.

Honda claims they have finally gotten their engine to where they wanted to be at the start of the season. Red Bull has been the other disappointment as the halfway mark of the season as they were expected to be challenging for the championship but find themselves a distant third from Mercedes and Ferrari. Red Bull admitted that there was a problem with their wind tunnel in that the measurements they received did not correlate with what they were finding on the track. They have figured it out but are about 2 months behind in their development of the car.

F1 is taking a mandatory summer break where everything is shut down for 2 weeks.

Vettel leads the drivers championship. Ominous to everybody else, Vettel has never not won the drivers championship in a season he has lead at any point in the year. But there is always a first time, right?

Mercedes leads the constructors championship. The 2nd half of the season has more tracks suited more for the Mercedes cars (fast power circuits) than the Ferraris. Also, Ferrari has not done well compared to others in the 2nd half of the season at developing their car as others. The difference between the cars is marginal, with a slight advantage to Mercedes. But with Red Bull turning up their wick and Honda finally becoming more competitive, the 2nd have might still become exciting to watch.

Still quite pleased that Mercedes haven't run away with the championships after the first race this year. But something in the back of my mind still tells me Mercedes has been sand bagging the first half of the season just to make F1 "more exciting for the fans".


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