Friday, April 15, 2016


Goonies anyone?
From the desert of Bahrain Formula One heads to the industrial sprawl of Shanghai for the third round of the world championship and another track which first appeared on the calendar in 2004. But the Shanghai International Circuit is a very different proposition, with longer corners which place the tyres under greater strain. The front-left tyre takes the biggest pounding, especially in turns one/two/three and twelve/thirteen.

The Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, designed by Hermann Tilke, when completed in 2004 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.

Two long straights with the inevitable DRS zones present opportunities for overtaking. The back straight leading to the turn 14 hairpin is one of the longest of the season. Yet despite this drivers are at full throttle for less time than at almost every other circuit. This makes the track less demanding in terms of fuel consumption and brake wear. The cars pass beneath a vast grandstand as they accelerate towards turn one, which is one of the quickest opening turns of the season.

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

A large band of rain will have reached Shanghai by now and is likely to create wet conditions for Saturday’s qualifying session. Dry and fairly warm conditions are expected for the first two practice sessions at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday. But in the evening rain will arrive from the east and linger for the next 24 hours.

This will be persistent drizzle rather than a downpour. It will build slightly in intensity throughout the day but the 3pm qualifying session is expected to miss the heaviest rainfall. The dull, cloudy conditions will persist into Sunday but the drivers will be spared any further rain. Temperatures for race day will be slightly lower, peaking at around 20C, some two degrees cooler than Saturday.

Although the air temperature will be only slightly cooler than during last year’s race the cloud cover should keep the track temperatures from reaching the 47C high seen in this race 12 months ago.


Pirelli tyre choice for Shanghai: Medium, soft, super-soft. As in the opening two rounds, the Super Soft, Soft and Medium tyre compounds will be used at Shanghai. Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have opted for different choices, with the Briton selecting an extra set of Medium tyres compared to his team-mate. While both Ferrari drivers have selected the same number of each tyres, the pair have chosen an extra set of the Super Soft tyres compared to their Mercedes counterparts. Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso and Haas drivers have all made slightly different choices compared to their respective team-mates.

The front tyres are the limitation, especially the left front which gets hammered by the two long corners T1 and T13. With the three different tyre options available for the race, we’ll see a mixture of different strategies again. We can see already who tends to be aggressive (Red Bull, Haas) and it should be another fascinating his speed chess game.

Weather conditions are nearly always unpredictable, which have a big effect on tyre behaviour. Key tyre info for Shanghai from Pirelli:
  • As a result, graining is sometimes an issue when it's cool: especially in the early sessions.
  • Around 80% of the lap is spent cornering, meaning that lateral loads are a crucial factor.
  • The track is front limited, because of all the turns and high-energy corners.
  • The crucial corners are Turn 1, which is almost a full circle, and Turn 13, which is banked.
  • Drivers also have to avoid wheelspin out of the corners, in order to minimise rear degradation.
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 DRS sectors at the Shanghai International Circuit will be as last year. The detection point of
the first zone is at Turn 12 and the activation point is 752m before Turn 14. The second zone’s
detection point is 35m before Turn 16, with activation occurring 98m after Turn 16.


Lewis Hamilton has an enviable qualifying record in China with five pole positions to his name including the last three in a row. But he’s unlikely to extend that run this weekend as he arrives carrying a five-place grid penalty for an expected gearbox change.

That will hand the initiate to his team mate Nico Rosberg who arrives looking for his sixth win in a row – something only three drivers have achieved in F1 history. More importantly, Rosberg could increase his 17-point championship lead – especially if Hamilton makes another poor start.

Race strategy will again be crucial, as will qualifying. Sebastian Vettel was in touching distance of the Mercedes after the first runs in Q3 in Bahrain, but then they opened out a half second margin in the second runs. They denied that it had anything to do with advanced engine modes, saying that the cars were at the maximum from Q2 onwards.

But the Ferrari’s end of sector time speeds were encouraging, especially in the race and give grounds for hope. They still have a reliability concern, especially on the turbo, but new fixes are on the way.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

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2. Lewis Hamilton T-shirt (design your own) -

Thank you for your support. May you enjoy it with this new season and your favorite team/driver wins!

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Thursday, April 14, 2016


500 million  human lives disrupted on April 17th, 2016. The survivors of the nuclear race called the race Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war using the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, FIAnet, sent two ideas through. Their mission: to destroy any semblance of family life in young adults by getting them hooked onto racing with machines. The leader of the resistance..uh wuh whut? Yeah! Yeah! I'm awake! Shut yer trap.

These are strange times we live in. We have all sorts of sports where people physically partake in the testosterone drenched quest of greatness but somehow we still can't get out of our seats or throw down that controller. Racing by proxy has arrived folks. And it's no XBOX.

Drone racing they call it. And to tell you all about is Joshua Madisson, our regular guest writer.

Drones is a word we all have had to get used to talking about. Whether it is on the news in wars, or Amazon suggesting using a new delivery method it is on everyone’s tongues. 2016 has seen the introduction of something newer. People haven’t thought about Drone in a sporting context yet, but the Drone Racing League is hoping to change that.

Drone Racing is very new, believed to have begun in Australia in 2014. Racers or as their referred to by the Drone Racing League (DRL), Pilots are growing as a population. 2016 has seen the ‘events’ that took place between enthusiasts officially become a sport. The DRL are holding a competition of six events which started on the 22nd February, over the course of 2016. The first race took place in Miami’s Sunlife Stadium and made everyone take notice. Special lit tracks, LED lit drones racing at high speeds and a real world track with obstacles. What was this?

Drone Racing is a very new yet unique sport. Pilots race their drones around real world environments while wearing goggles. These goggles provide First Person Viewing from the drone directly to the pilots. When watching a race, the excitement around its futuristic looks is understandable. In the DRL heats and races take place over a single course and the Pilots rack up points determined on their placing. The drones are provided by the DRL to keep the playing field level, but still the Drones are fine-tuned machines able to travel up to speeds of 120mph. They also have a careful calibration of balancing taking place while it flies, which allows the pilots to stay in control while also performing many manoeuvres. Drones flip, roll and seem to skid around corners whilst all whizzing through the air.

The sport has had the backing of many investors and interested parties. The DRL hopes to become the elite competition in Drone Racing and people have put their money where their belief is. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross invested $1m of his own wealth into the league and Muse lead singer whose last album was even called ‘Drone’ is also said to be backing the sport financially. This all leads to the question of what does the future look like for other racing sports?

Rival racing sports, especially Formula 1 are in constant argument over mundane elements such as qualifying at the moment, and fights over engines that no one quite understands can make the sport look utterly archaic at times. Yes, there is much more involved in racing cars such a pit crews and drivers, but how many people get the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car. With drones anyone can realistically try it. Formula 1 is currently in a battle of the same two drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, from the same team no less, for the Championship. Other teams can sometimes just be cannon fodder to overtake. Could it be possible for Drone Racing to steal away the fans from F1 and could we even maybe see Sebastien Vettel at the hands of a controller?

The only stumbling block for Drone Racing right now is the audiences. Formula 1 fans are the highlight of the sport with their passion and enthusiasm for the sport that has kept it going. Drone Racing will hope to emulate this in some way. With crashing a common occurrence spectators have to be some distance from the drones. The DRL’s ultimate goal is to have fans wearing the same goggles as the pilots to give them a POV view of the racing, but maintaining live feeds are proving problematic. While the rules and technical issues are ironed out Drone Racing may be years from making an impact on its much bigger rivals, but with the looks of Star Wars and the modern powered vehicles, Drone Racing is definitely something to look out for. Meanwhile the league moves on with the next race taking place in an abandoned LA mall, it already sounds awesome!

Written by Joshua Madisson

Think that is cool? How about a super sexy racing car with no driver that drives itself? Apparently that is what Roborace is. Roborace will be the world's first driverless racing series i.e. autonomous racing cars. At least drone racing still has people directly controlling the machines. Roborace is another step closer to Judgement Day. Hasta La Vista Baby!

The organizers have finally unveiled what its custom-made electric cars will look like — and boy do they look wild. The four-wheeled autonomous vehicles appear to be covered in sensors and look wickedly aerodynamic, with bodywork that covers up all the internals and massive openings around each axle. 

That the car looks crazy isn't necessarily a surprise — after all, Roborace hired Daniel Simon, the man who designed the light cycles in Tron: Legacy, to design these cars. In an official release, Simon says his goal was "to create a vehicle that takes full advantage of the unusual opportunities of having no driver without ever compromising on beauty," and that he worked with racing engineers and aerodynamicists to strike that balance. "Beauty was very high on our agenda," he says, and it shows.

The founders say that the first Roborace "shows" are still on schedule to take place during the 2016/17 Formula E season, though exactly when is still unknown. Does this mean that we'll see something different from the 10-team, 20-car races that were teased when the series was originally announced in November? Or will Roborace host a suite of events, with some looking more like traditional races and others being pure displays of what the teams' algorithms are capable of? Will Formula E pit its drivers against the autonomous cars in a high speed showdown of man versus machine?

One thing is for sure: whatever Roborace winds up becoming will be shaped by the logistical framework already put in place by Formula E. Roborace will be piggybacking on Formula E's infrastructure, performing on the same race days at the same locations. Considering that Formula E teams only have something on the order of half a day to practice, qualify, and race on each street circuit, there won't be a ton of time to squeeze in Roborace. But whatever these cars do, at least now we know they'll be doing it in style.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my Lewis Hamilton inspired designs at my online shop. Unique, personal Triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton inspired designs for the loyal Lewis Hamilton fan. Support Lewis this season by owning this collection. Get yours now!

1. Hamilton Tees (fixed designs) -
2. Lewis Hamilton T-shirt (design your own) -

Thank you for your support. May you enjoy it with this new season and your favorite team/driver wins!

Here is a sample.