Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Mercedes-Benz are launching two fims that explore the relationship between sound and emotion; the unique feeling that an AMG evokes when started.

The #SoundWithPower films support the release of the new E63 AMG and consist of a documentary style interview. The first video features Mercedes DTM race driver Gary Paffett. Additionally a test driver and reserve driver for Mercedes Mclaren, Gary shares anecdotes about his time behind the wheel and reveals exclusive insight into hos addiction to racing and describes the stir of emotion when the engine ignites.

Watch the video below.

Friday, October 25, 2013


The Indian Grand Prix also known as Airtel Indian Grand Prix for sponsorship reasons is a Formula 1 race in the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship, currently being held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida near New Delhi. The first event took place on 30 October 2011, as the 17th race of the 2011 Formula One season. The inaugural race was won by Germany's Sebastian Vettel, who thus far is the only driver ever to win the Indian Grand Prix. Jaypee Sports International Limited is the organizer of Formula 1 race in India and has signed a five-year contract with Formula One Management (FOM) to host the championship in India. The next edition is scheduled to take place on 27 October 2013. In August 2013, FIA announced that the Indian Grand Prix will be discontinued in 2014 before returning to an early season slot in 2015.

The track has some similarities with other new tracks designed by Herman Tilke, but it also has some distinctive features, not least quite a bit of elevation change; the track rises 14 metres from Turn 1 to Turn 3, which contributes to increasing the fuel weight penalty, in other words the weight of every 10kg of fuel you carry slows you down by more than at some other tracks.

Buddh is a combination of mostly slow speed corners and some long straights, which leads to a reasonably high average speed. The first sector of the lap is stop-start, with two straights intercut with hairpins, while the middle sector is a flowing section featuring some faster corners, including the banked Turn 10/11.


Track length : 5.125 kilometres
Race distance : 60 laps (307.249 kilometres)
Corners : 16 corners in total
Average speed : 210 km/h
Aerodynamic setup : High downforce
Top speed : 323km/h (with DRS open) 310km/h without
Full throttle : 70% of the lap time
Total fuel needed for race distance : 161.6 kilos (high)
Fuel consumption : 2.65 kg per lap (ave)
Brake wear : average
Total time needed for a pit stop : 21 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.35 seconds (ave/high)


The forecast for the weekend is stable with temperatures likely to be high; between 29 and 31˚Cs and track temperatures up in the 40˚Cs. No rain is forecast.


Pirelli tyre choice for India: Soft (yellow markings) and medium (white markings). Strategy wise last year was a bit flat as the tyre choice was too conservative and everyone stopped just once, This year Pirelli has brought the soft and medium tyres and this should make for a fascinating strategic battle like the one we saw last time out in Japan.


There are two DRS zones at the Buddh International Circuit. The detection point of the first is 16m before Turn Three and its activation point is 350m after Turn Three. The second zone’s detection point is 10m after Turn 15, with the activation point 36m after Turn 16.


As this is only the third race on the track and there was no safety car so far, the probability is yet to be established. A Safety Car at Buddh would help drivers attempting to make one less stop.

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Friday, October 11, 2013


The Japanese Grand Prix is a race in the calendar of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Traditionally one of the last, if not the last race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix has been the venue for many title-deciding races, with 13 World Champions being crowned over the 27 World Championship Japanese Grands Prix that have been hosted.

The first two Japanese Grands Prix in 1976 and 1977 were held at the Fuji Speedway, before Japan was taken off the calendar. It returned in 1987 at Suzuka, which hosted the Grand Prix exclusively for 20 years and gained a reputation as one of the most challenging F1 circuits. In 2007 the Grand Prix moved back to the newly redesigned Fuji Speedway. After a second race at Fuji in 2008, the race returned to Suzuka in 2009.

The Japanese Grand Prix was supposed to continue alternating between Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit, owned by perennial rivals Toyota and Honda, respectively. There had been speculation that both tracks would host Grands Prix, with the readoption of the Pacific Grand Prix moniker used by the TI Circuit when it hosted Grands Prix in 1994 and 1995. The race made Japan one of only seven countries to host more than one Grand Prix in the same season (the others being Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the USA). It was discontinued primarily due to its location in a remote area of Japan. In July 2009, Toyota announced it would not host the race at Fuji Speedway in 2010 and beyond due to a downturn in the global economy.

This year’s Japanese Grand Prix could be the title decider, as it was in 2011. If Sebastian Vettel wins the race with Fernando Alonso ninth or lower then Vettel is champion. Vettel needs only 49 points from the remaining five races to guarantee the title; that is assuming Alonso wins all the remaining races but the Ferrari does not have the pace to do that.

The Suzuka circuit has a special place in the drivers’ hearts, along with Spa Francorchamps, as it provides a great driving challenge with its high speed corners and the first sector of the lap in particular is special, with a series of fast, winding curves through which there is only one really fast line.


Track length : 5.807 kilometres
Race distance : 53 laps (307.471 kilometres)
Corners : 18 corners in total. High speed, figure of 8 – a real drivers’ favourite
Aerodynamic setup : HIgh downforce
Top speed : 324km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 312km/h without
Full throttle : 70% of the lap time (ave/high)
Total fuel needed for race distance : 148 kilos (ave/high)
Fuel consumption : 2.73 kg per lap (ave/high)
Time spent braking : 10% of lap (low)
Number of brake zones : 9
Brake wear : Light (Not a tough race on brakes)
Total time needed for pit stop : 20.8 seconds (ave)
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.385 seconds (high)


Being coastal, Suzuka is always likely to get sudden rain showers, sometimes heavy. Last year’s race, in contrast, was held in very hot conditions. The forecast for this weekend however is thunderstorms and rain on Friday, giving way to warm sunny weather for Saturday and Sunday, with forecasts of up to 27 degrees. If it stays warm the tyre degradation will be more severe.


Pirelli tyre choice for Suzuka: Medium (white markings) and hard (orange markings).

Pirelli is taking no chances on a circuit similar to Silverstone in terms of loadings, bringing the hardest tyres in the range. Last year Pirelli brought the soft and hard tyres to Suzuka and they comfortably managed two stops, helped by a safety car period at the start of the race. The 2013 hard tyre is the same as last year’s and the medium is very similar to last year’s soft, so a similar pattern is expected this year.


The chance of a Safety Car at Suzuka is quite high: 60% with 0.6 Safety Cars per race. As accidents at Suzuka tend to be at high speed there is often wreckage to be cleared away. There has been at least one Safety Car in five of the last six races at Suzuka and we have seen one in each of the last four years.


The Japanese Grand Prix will again feature a sole DRS zone along the start/finish straight, although it has been extended slightly in a bid to increase its overall effect.

The activation area, following a detection point ahead of the final Turn 16/17 chicane, will cover the majority of the main straight, beginning 100 metres before the finish line.


Last year Vettel was chasing Alonso and had clawed back the gap to 29 points before Suzuka. This year he needs to win the race with Alonso finishing ninth or lower in order to clinch his fourth consecutive world title. Vettel’s record at Suzuka is excellent; in the last four seasons he has been on pole four times and has won the race three times.

And with the form he and the car has shown in the last few races, it's a no brainer really to think that he won't win this race. Alonso might do better and delay the championship a bit but it is inevitable that Vettel will win the championship outright real soon.

We can only hope that Suzuka throws up a spanner in the works so we at least can enjoy a bit of racing.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Lewis Hamilton fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


As expected, Vettel lead the race in Korea and maintained it till the end. Even a safety car couldn't shake it up for him, the restart looking like Singapore where he just left everybody for dead and was not challenged. Basically the race was like any other race this season, the actual race was behind Vettel with the winner getting P2.

There is no reason to believe now that Vettel and Red Bull won't take the championships in Suzuka this weekend. All the other drivers and teams have basically given up this year and focusing on next year as you can read all over the place. So Vettel can just cruise to a 4th world title this weekend. We still have 5 races to go..yawn.

If you do want to read the race analysis, James Allen has an excellent one HERE.


Friday, October 4, 2013


The Korean Grand Prix is a Formula One race held in South Korea. After months of speculation, on October 2, 2006 it was confirmed that the event would actually take place in 2010, and would be hosted by the Korea International Circuit. It has also been revealed that the race will be promoted by a public-private company. The deal is for seven years with a five year option that would ensure the race to be held until 2021.

Despite this earlier confirmation, the South Korean Grand Prix was not included on any of the provisional 2010 calendars floated by Formula One Management. Following approval of funding for the event, however, Korea was given the date of 17 October on the 2010 calendar published by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) on 21 September 2009. On December 10, 2009, the organisers of the event announced that they were on schedule, with a plan to finish the circuit on July 5, 2010, though they admitted that their largest problem lay in finding accommodation for all Formula One staff and spectators. The organisers also ruled out the possibility of staging the race at night until they have more knowledge of and experience in running a Grand Prix. Despite all the confirmation there was still a risk that the circuit might not be on time, however this was denied by the race promoter who said that the circuit was ahead of schedule.

After several postponements, the FIA scheduled a final inspection of the circuit on 11 October 2010, 13 days before the Korean Grand Prix was scheduled to begin. After the FIA inspection, Race Director Charlie Whiting declared that the race would go ahead. Formula One drivers commented positively on the new circuit before the race weekend got under way, with several commenting that it looks like an interesting, challenging track.

The circuit came with a mix of different concepts, with a long straight and some high-speed corners early on in the lap, and then a series of tight blind bends at the end, around which the organizers hope to build a Monaco-like cityscape with a harbour. The slow sections contribute to making this one of the slowest average speed laps of any permanent circuit. This makes it quite a tough track to set the car up for, with a debate over whether straight line speed should be prioritized or higher downforce for the lower speed corners.


Track lenght : 5.615 kilometres
Race distance : 55 laps (308.630 kilometres)
Corners : 18 corners in total
Average speed : 209 km/h
Aerodynamic setup : Medium to High downforce
Top speed : 316km/h (with Drag Reduction System active on rear wing) – 304km/h without
Full throttle : 55% of the lap time (ave)
Total fuel needed for race distance : 148.5 kilos (ave/ high)
Fuel consumption : 2.75 kg per lap (ave)
Time spent braking : 20% of lap (low)
Number of brake zones : 9
Brake wear : ave/high
Total time needed for pit stop : 20 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.37 seconds (high)
Fastest lap : Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault - 1:42.037


The Yeongam circuit’s position, close to the coast, means that it is susceptible to weather fronts and a tropical storm known as FITOW by the Japanese Typhoon Warning authorities, could be headed for the Yeongam area on Sunday or Monday. The 2010 race start had to be delayed and then the race was suspended due to heavy rain, while rain also blighted Friday practice in 2011.


Pirelli tyre choice for Korea: medium (white markings) and super soft (red markings). This combination – with new specification tyres – was seen in Singapore. One of the notable features of last year’s race at Yeongam was that there were lots of tyre marbles which got lodged in the front wings of cars, affecting downforce levels. F1 cars are sensitive to 1mm of difference in the slot gaps between wing elements so a large lump of rubber lodged in will have a big effect and will adversely affect lap time and tyre life.

Although the track surface is quite abrasive, which can lead to higher tyre wear the cooler conditions help with this generation of Pirelli tyres. So a two stop strategy looks the most likely way.


There was at least one Safety Car in both the 2010 and 2011 races at Yeongam, but last year did not feature one. There was a Safety Car due to the heavy rain at the start of the 2010 race and then the race was suspended. In total that race featured 26 laps, or 47% of the race distance, behind the Safety Car! In 2011 there were four laps spent behind the Safety Car.


The Korea International Circuit will have a second DRS zone this year on the pit straight, and the configuration of the original DRS zone has been changed. Drivers will still be able to use DRS on the longest straight on the track but the length of the DRS zone has been shortened by 40 metres. The detection point for it has also been moved – having previously been on the entry to turn one it is now after turn two.

The new DRS zone on the pit straight has its detection point between turns 15 and 16. Drivers can then open their rear wings 95 metres after the high-speed turn 18.


ahead of this year's race, the pit exit has been re-aligned and now runs through the middle of the run-off area at Turn 1. Furthermore, the kerbs at the apexes of the pit exit are double-sided, 2x500mm wide and four metres in overall length with a maximum height of 25mm.

The artificial grass on the exit of Turns 1, 3, 10, 13 and 15 has been replaced by a more hardwearing product, while 'sausage' kerbs have been installed at the apex of Turns 4, 5, 9, 11, 13 and 14.

The verge behind the kerb at the apex of Turn 8 has been laid with concrete and the entire verge between the track and the asphalt run-off area around the outside of Turn 11 has been laid with asphalt, while the verge at the exit of Turn 13 has been extended with asphalt.


I was going to go fishing and skip the race as Vettel will probably wipe the floor with his car if it retained the advantage as in Singapore as Lewis Hamilton commented. But now since typhoon Fitow is on the way and might slap a touch on Yeongam, heavy rain might just make the race watchable. Lets hope for a wet race with no SC start.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013


This article was written by James Allen with the input of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former Williams F1 team chief operations engineer in order to analyse and understand what made Vettel so untouchable in Singapore and whether we should just pack up and go fishing instead for the rest of the season. This issue was blown up recently when former team owner Giancarlo Minardi who was at the race questioned Vettel's engine sounds as he was going round.
"From my suite, I chose some mainstays as a reference point in order to monitor and compare the drivers' way of driving. I was impressed by Vettel's neat way of driving on that stretch of the track. He was able to drive all that stretch without making any corrections, unlike all his rivals (also his team-mate). On the same stretch, Sebastian was able to [accelerate] 50 metres before any other driver, Webber included. The thing that surprised me the most was the engine's output sound. Besides speeding up 50m before any other driver, the Renault engine of the German's car grinded like no other French engines on track, neither like Mark's. That sound was similar to the sound made by the engine when the traction control system got into action in the past seasons."
The original article can be found HERE.

One of the most commented aspects of the Singapore Grand Prix was the astonishing speed of Sebastian Vettel, particularly in the opening laps and the initial laps after the safety car. There have been many questions about how this was achieved and some interesting observations, such as Giancarlo Minardi’s comments about a strange sound coming from Vettel’s exhaust in these phases.

Here with the input of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former Williams F1 team chief operations engineer, is our analysis of Vettel’s speed and a consideration of why it was so noticeable in Singapore and whether it is here to stay for the rest of the 2013 season.

The key to this is that Red Bull has done a lot of work on traction out of low speed corners. On average, across all the tracks in the F1 championship, 25% of the lap time is spent below 130km/h on corner exits. It is the most significant single area to focus on. So if you can make a significant gain in that area, you can get effectively a 25% improvement, which will show in your lap time.

The original article can be found HERE.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Mercedes fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This is an excellent analysis done by Matt Somefield of Pitpass about the Singapore GP. To read the full article proceed HERE.

Under the bright lights of the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore the teams encountered the polar opposite of the demands of the last round at Monza.

This high downforce configuration street circuit puts huge demands on both the cars and drivers as they struggle to overcome the heat. Several revisions have been made to the track to improve safety with the largest coming in the form of an altered turn 10.

Dubbed the Singapore Sling, the chicane that used to reside at T10 was replaced by a simple left-hander, much to the delight of the many drivers who have been airborne through there over the last few years.

Simulations ahead of the Grand Prix by the teams was seeing an increase in apex speeds of around 40kmh, this would help to lower lap times by at least a second and help to get the race distance under the designated two hours.

To read the full article proceed HEREIf you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Sebastian Vettel fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.