Thursday, April 24, 2014


So the Shanghai GP is done with. And for you Hamilton fans out there, IT'S HAMMER TIME! The hammering starts and hopefully won't stop till Abu Dhabi. Now I know how Vettel fans have been feeling for 4 years. Nice! Although to be honest, the Shanghai race was boring. I know that 1 person's domination can be boring for the championship but I bet Vettel fans never said that for 4 years. Anyway, it's been 4 boring years so time for a change.

So to recap the race, here we have some interesting articles written by people of F1 knowledge, in case any of you missed the race or saw it but want to know more. Enjoy.

Written by Andrew Davies of the PlanetF1 team

There was no Shanghai surprise as Mercedes racked up four wins out of four, and their third 1-2 of the season, despite Nico Rosberg having to do onerous things like read out his dash display when the telemetry failed.

Star of the Race

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st
Lewis was at his peerless best, dominating Qualifying and highlighting the difference between himself and his team-mate in the wet. In the race, on Lap 16, we got the bizarre team radio snippet of, "surprisingly the front tyres feel really good - and the rears". It was something you so rarely hear, like farmers saying they're going to have a good harvest or politicians endorsing their rivals' policies.

Won't be long now bud..
After winning three of the first four race of the season (and getting pole for the race from which he retired), you have to say there might even be something in the bizarre scheme of Bernie's. Remember his gold, silver and bronze medal theory of F1. The World Champion is the one with the most golds. It wouldn't work for many reasons, but should Lewis retire in Barcelona for some stray reason and Nico resume the pattern we've established in the first four races in the next four, then he'll still be ahead. With that scenario Lewis could head to his home GP at Silverstone having won six of eight races still trailing Rosberg by 8 points.

He impressed Niki Lauda with his ability to lift and coast this race, using about 3.7kg less fuel than his team-mate.

Overtaking Move Of The Race
Lap 33 Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham on Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull.
Kobayashi pulled off an Edmund Irvine-like unlapping of himself. In a week where we're remembering 20 years since that fateful day at Imola where we lost Senna, Kobayashi hustled his Caterham past an out-of-tyres Sebastian Vettel to take a lap back. It was similar to Irvine nipping back past Ayrton Senna at Suzuka - for which Senna had a major sense of humour failure and went and slapped the Ulsterman afterwards. That didn't happen at Shanghai. But it was a great moment and an indication of just how much fun Sebastian is having in the middle of the pack.

To read the full article, go HERE.

Written by James Allen with input and data from several F1 team strategists, from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan and from Pirelli.

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix was not as thrilling as the Bahrain GP, which preceded it, but from a strategy point of view and in terms of revealing the decision-making process that goes on behind the scenes during Formula 1 races, it was a fascinating event.

There were a number of talking points, one of the main ones being the Red Bull team trying to manage its two drivers, asking Sebastian Vettel to move over so as not to prevent team mate Daniel Ricciardo challenging Ferrari. Vettel initially refused, then relented. There was some confusion about what strategy each driver was doing. So did it cost Ricciardo a podium?

Best view ever?
Another was the relative performances of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg; multiple factors worked against Rosberg in the race, but he still came through to second place through determined driving and clever strategy moves by Mercedes.

To read the full article, go HERE.

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Friday, April 18, 2014


The Chinese Grand Prix is a round of the Formula One World Championship. It is currently held at the Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, designed by Hermann Tilke. When completed in 2004, it was the most expensive Formula One circuit facility, costing $240 million. The track is 5.451 km long and features one of the trickiest corners combinations on the Formula One calendar, comparable to that of Istanbul Park's turn 8, also designed by Tilke. Turn 1 and 2 are a very demanding 270 degree, right-handed corner combination that requires a lot of speed whilst entering and it tightens up towards the end.

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is the fourth round of the 2014 FIA F1 World Championship. The season so far has been dominated by Mercedes, with pole position and victory in all three races. Mercedes powered cars have also performed well with Force India second in the Constructors’ Championship currently.

As far as drivers’ form is concerned at Shanghai; Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have both won the race twice, while Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel have also won in China.

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is always an intriguing race and strategy has played a significant role in the outcome in recent years. Overtaking is easy here because of the longest straight in F1 at 1.17km, so teams can plan for the fastest strategy knowing that traffic will not be a huge problem. That said, the speed differential between cars due to the new hybrid turbo engines, could see cars with less straight line speed struggle to pass midfield cars with good straight line speed.

Track Characteristics

Track length : 5.45 kilometres
Race distance : 56 laps (305 kilometres)
Corner : 16 corners in total, a mixture of slow, medium and fast
Aerodynamic setup : Medium/high downforce
Top speed : 322km/h (with Drag Reduction System on rear wing) – 310km/h without
Full throttle : 55% of the lap
Time spent braking : 15% of the lap. 8 braking zones
Brake wear : Medium
Total time needed for pit stop : 22 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.34 seconds (average)

Weather Forecast

It can often been overcast and cold in Shanghai and rain is quite common. The 2010 event was held in wet conditions, as was the 2009 edition. The temperature is forecast to be around 20 degrees, quite low by F1 standards and there is a threat of rain.


Pirelli tyre choice for Shanghai: Soft and Medium. This is the third time in four races that this combination of tyres has been used; only Malaysia saw a different selection. Unlike many F1 venues, where protecting the rear tyres is key to success, Shanghai is all about getting the front tyres at the optimum temperature, especially for qualifying.

There are two unusual corners, Turn One and Turn 13, which are long and drawn-out, Turn One being a 270 degree, tightening corner. This overstresses the left front tyre and this is the limiting factor in any strategy plan. Teams have a limited scope for working on set ups for this kind of circuit situation, so there are always question marks about how competitive a team will be over a race distance.

Safety Car

The chance of a safety car at Shanghai is reasonably high, at 43% and there is an average of 0.7 safety cars per race. In the 2005 and 2010 races there were 2 safety car periods.


The Chinese Grand Prix retained two DRS zones with split detection points as was used at the Malaysian Grand Prix. In 2011 and 2012 Shanghai used one DRS zone, which has been increased to two last seasons and that retained this year in line with most circuits on the 2014 calendar.

The double DRS zone will be on the start/finish straight with a detection point before the final corner and activation beginning 98m after it, and second one on the approach to Turn 14.

It would seem so quick for another race to come after the last one. Looking forward to another exciting fight between the Mercedes pair up front and more battles in the midfield.

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 Felipe Massa fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Fernando Alonso is a very good F1 driver. Period. Even though I never really liked him especially during his McLaren days, I never had any doubt as to his ability on track. He is a very dangerous driver if given a very fast car. He can win many times over. Here is an interesting article about him by CNN delving into his private life and his thoughts on family.

He travels in private jets and is one of the world's highest-paid athletes, but Fernando Alonso's humble beginnings are never far away from his thoughts. He recalls with fondness those childhood days when he used to race go-karts -- the precursor to his enormous success on the Formula One circuit -- free of any pressure. Back then he didn't have to worry about points or standings.
"One of the most important things that I received from my parents was to have always this sense of family and to be united"
"You just enjoy the present. And maybe that was the nice thing about that period of my career when I was a go-kart driver. You enjoy that Sunday. You don't think anymore because you don't know if there is something more coming."

Full article 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 Fernando Alonso fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Here is an interesting article written by James Allen and aided by JA on F1 technical adviser Prof Mark Gillan. Prof Mark Gillan was formerly chief operations engineer at Williams, Toyota and Jaguar and he recently gave a lecture on this subject as principal R&D engineer of MTS Systems, which makes testing equipment.

Picture an F1 car standing still in the pit lane. The sidewalls of the tyre are nice and straight and the contact patch of the tyre is touching the ground. But imagine what that tyre looks like when loaded up in a high speed corner – it flexes and the shape is no longer that ideal vertical line, so easy to model in a wind tunnel.

In modern F1 there is a real premium on understanding this phenomenon and being able to work with the changing shape of the tyre so that the car’s aerodynamics are the best they can be at all times.

In simple terms there is lap time to be gained from doing better in this area; so there’s a lot of work going on there at the moment.

For F1 fans looking to get insights into some of the more fascinating reaches of the sport, we’ve presented this special insight into a key innovation of today from one of our team who has an intimate knowledge of the problem, to find solutions for the F1 teams.

Original article 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 Fernando Alonso fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Another race weekend is upon us so quickly after Malaysia. This time at night as the Bahrain GP is now a night race after Singapore. The Bahrain Grand Prix is a Formula One Championship race in Bahrain sponsored by Gulf Air. The first race took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004. It made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East, and was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA.

The Bahrain Grand Prix has usually been the third race of the Formula One calendar. However, in the 2006 season, Bahrain swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games. In 2010, Bahrain staged the opening race of the 2010 season and the cars drove the full 6.299 km (3.914 mi) "Endurance Circuit" to celebrate F1's 'diamond jubilee'.

The 2011 Grand Prix, due to be held on 13 March, was canceled on 21 February due to the 2011 Bahraini protests after drivers including Damon Hill and Mark Webber had protested. Human rights activists called for a cancellation of 2012 race due to reports of alleged human rights abuses committed by the Bahraini authorities. Team personnel also voiced concerns about safety, but the race, nonetheless, was held as planned on 22 April 2012.

The 2014 race will be held as a night race under floodlights. It will become the second Formula One night race after the Singapore Grand Prix, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the first staging of the Grand Prix. The teams did a significant amount of pre-season testing in Bahrain this year, which will give them a good baseline understanding of the best way to attack this Grand Prix. Since this year the race is being held at 6pm local time as a night race for the first time, this will mean that the track conditions will be cooler than in previous races here and the temperatures will fall as the race goes on.

Track Characteristics

Track length : 5.41 kilometres
Race distance : 57 laps (308.23 kilometres)
Corners : 15 corners in total, mostly medium speed, with three long straights. Very tough on brakes.
Aerodynamic setup : Medium downforce
Top speed : 322km/h (with Drag Reduction System on rear wing) – 310km/h without
Full throttle : 64% of the lap
Time spent braking : 16% of the lap. 8 braking zones.
Brake wear : High.
Total time needed for pit stop : 23 seconds.
Pit lane length : 480 metres
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.38 seconds (average/high)

Weather Forecast

Last year’s race was very hot, taking place as it did at the end of April. Track temperatures were well above 40 degrees. This year the race is early April and is being held at night so it should be cooler. There is little chance of rain and in general conditions should be stable across the weekend.


Pirelli tyre choice for Bahrain: Soft and Medium

This is the second time this combination of 2014 Pirelli tyre compounds has been seen, after Melbourne. Last season for Bahrain Pirelli brought the medium and hard tyres. Last year the most common strategy was three stops, much will depend on the performance and degradation of the tyres in practice on Friday in the cooler evening temperatures, but indications from testing suggest more two stoppers this year.

The optimum two stop is to pit on laps 19 and 38, while a three stopper would be something like laps 14, 28 and 43. The choice of tyres and when to take them will be interesting and dependent on the difference in performance between the soft and medium tyres in practice.

Safety Car

The chance of a safety car at the Sakhir circuit is low, due to the vast expanse of run off areas around the circuit. There was a safety car in the 2007 race to clear away on track debris, but otherwise the races have been fairly clear.


The DRS sectors at the Bahrain International Circuit will be as last year. The detection point of the first zone is 10m before Turn Nine and the activation point is 50m after Turn 10. The second zone’s detection point is 108m before Turn 14, with activation occurring 270m after Turn 15.

Again, all eyes will be on Mercedes as they have shown so far to have the fastest car. Qualifying will be interesting as we will see the first dry qualifying of the year and should confirm Mercedes' real one lap pace. It will also show the other team's pace as most of them have run 2 tests here during testing and should have plenty of data to prepare for the race.

As far as drivers’ form is concerned at Bahrain, Fernando Alonso has won the race three times, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel twice while Jenson Button has won it once. Lewis Hamilton has never won in Bahrain. As far as teams are concerned, Ferrari has four wins from the seven races held at the venue since the 2004 inauguration. Nico Rosberg took pole position in 2013.

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 Daniel Ricciardo fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.