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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 19:10  
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Both Vettel and Rosberg did a race simulation today (interuupted by a red flag and some mechanic problems for Vettel, though) but the RB7 was way faster than the W02.
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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 19:13  
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Giorgio Mondini will test for Hispania tommorow according to F1Today.nl

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 19:30  
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I truly don't know who he is. Is he even at GP2 level?
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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 19:33  
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swca92 wrote:
I truly don't know who he is. Is he even at GP2 level?


He raced in GP2 in 2005 and was awful. Tested a Renault R25 as a reward for something. Midland tester in 2006, some Friday outings. Raced for Kolles' Audi team in Le Mans in 2009.

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 19:38  
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phil1993 wrote:
McLaren in trouble?

Quote:
An unnamed engineer from the Woking-based team admitted yesterday that they needed to find a full second to be able to challenge the RB7 and F150.

And someone reported that Lotus was 1.3 secs off the leaders, So it's gonna be 0.3 secs only between Mclaren & Lotus. :p
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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 20:17  
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Consensus is McLaren are 3rd best, Mercedes in real trouble. Sauber & Williams good

Edd Straw wrote:
The question everyone is asking during pre-season testing is what is the competitive order? The fans want to know. The teams have an inkling, but still can't be sure about where they will be come the end of qualifying for whichever race opens the Formula 1 season. But with nine days of testing in the books, we're beginning to see some faint patterns emerging.

For this test, AUTOSPORT has a secret weapon in the form of our technical contributor, Gary Anderson. As a designer of grand prix-winning cars and with Formula 1 experience stretching back to the James Hunt days, a few hours spent wandering the pit lane and watching track side with him offers tremendous insight, not to mention a way to verify your own impressions.

You'll have read in Gary's blog some of his impressions from track side, and indeed it is from behind the tyre wall that you can learn an enormous amount. The Mercedes, for example, looks every bit as bad as you would expect from what became clear at the Jerez test.
Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg © Sutton

Nico Rosberg was having to work the car hard to get it to turn into the faster stuff – at Turns 1, 3 and 9 this is particularly obvious. He just can't get it to turn in as he would like and carry the speed into the corner. There's a big upgrade planned and it had better be huge, because this car doesn't even look like a Q3 contender on its performance so far.

The McLaren, as Gary pointed out, isn't much better, while some of the less-fancied cars also caught the attention. The Sauber, in the hands of Kamui Kobayashi, looks very well-planted on turn in and he can carry good speed through the corner, although is a little less eye-catching in the slow stuff. I'm a little more confident than Gary of Kobayashi's ability to keep it on the black stuff - he has an impressive ability to look like he's near an accident without getting involved in as many as his rookie status last year might suggest. The Williams also looked good and stable, while the Toro Rosso was, although not spectacular, consistent and seemed very driveable.

All of that is bad news for Mercedes, in particular. If it continues to struggle, there is a very competitive midfield pack ready to fill the spots ahead of it. Looking at the longer run times, the car is slow and chews its tyres whoever is at the wheel. But let's accentuate the positive and say at least it topped the mileage chart today, which at least suggests reliability has been ameliorated.

Teams have turned around pre-season struggles before, but it's incredibly difficult and extremely rare. Remember BMW Sauber in 2008? It was deep in the mire until the final test and only a rare Robert Kubica blunder during qualifying cost the team pole position.

Back in the pit lane, there's the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the cars. One of the prime spots is at the pit exit, where drivers sometimes stop to complete a practice start.
Vitaly Petrov
Vitaly Petrov © sutton-images.com

It's an ear-shattering experience to stand two metres from a grand prix car doing a full race start, but one car in particular stood out. While the rest were merely loud, the Renault was at a whole new level - rattling your rib cage and sending shockwaves through your eardrums that made you question whether you had forgotten to put your earplugs in.

The Renault certainly looks promising, and there were times on-track when it really looked the part. Standing on the outside of Turn 1, Nick Heidfeld came through one lap awesomely committed, turned in, got on the power early and the car stuck. The next, the car didn't take kindly to the application of the throttle in the same place and he had to feather a little, so perhaps the blown floor isn't yet quite as consistent as he would like. But the car certainly has potential that, just maybe, will take the bearded wonder to his first grand prix win.

So, colours to the mast. If a grand prix were to be held tomorrow, my money would be on Red Bull or Ferrari with a sneaky each-way on Renault. The first two cars look quick and good on their tyres, while there's enough about the Renault to get excited about.

That begs the inevitable question what of McLaren? Let's give them a couple more days, but I wager that if that car went into a qualifying session tomorrow it wouldn't set the world alight. Fortunately for me, there's not going to be a grand prix tomorrow, so that prediction will never be falsified.

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 20:52  
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hmmm no word about Force India, RBR and Ferrari ?

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 21:04  
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RBR and Ferrari are in front of others, as things stand. McLaren unknown, whereas Mercedes is in deep s**t. Their race simulation today was 1 sec slower per lap compared to Red Bull.

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 21:12  
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:lol: heidfeld-the bearded wonder

yeah, FI seem to be doing quite poorly IMO, and Michael should be ready for more criticism if he doesnt get a win

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 21:13  
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and they are talking quite a buit about Red Bull's quali time today, but STR was just 0.2s off. RBR might be sand bagging a bit for sure, but being 0.2secs off is very good IMO

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2011, 21:16  
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sdutt wrote:
and they are talking quite a buit about Red Bull's quali time today, but STR was just 0.2s off. RBR might be sand bagging a bit for sure, but being 0.2secs off is very good IMO

Last year in Spanish GP there were 8 sec difference between pole time and first lap of the race. Vettel's first lap of 66-lap simulation was in 1.29ish. By that logic, one lap quali run should be around high 1.21s. There must be a lot to come in the next a few days while track is rubbered in.

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2011, 06:09  
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Rosberg is struggling and Schu seems to have better grip ?

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2011, 07:49  
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Zack wrote:
Rosberg is struggling and Schu seems to have better grip ?


Yes. But the car is still slow. No way they will win the WDC. 4th at best, but perhaps fighting with Sauber & Williams

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2011, 08:20  
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phil1993 wrote:
Zack wrote:
Rosberg is struggling and Schu seems to have better grip ?


Yes. But the car is still slow. No way they will win the WDC. 4th at best, but perhaps fighting with Sauber & Williams


Maybe Mclaren step in in this battle, the car its looking slow so far and with mechanical problems too.

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 Post subject: Re: 2011 Formula 1 Season - Official Discussion Thread
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2011, 08:27  
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I think McLaren is easily 3rd best. The car is about the same as Renault but McLaren has better drivers. Ferrari's conservative approach seems to have worked well for them, but Red Bull are still way ahead. Easily the best car at the moment. Mercedes looks poor on all sides.

Then again, last year we thought it was F10 > MP4-25 > RB6.

Different track conditions, fuel loads & tyres maybe but here's a graph
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