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Posts Tagged ‘singapore’

Singapore: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

September 27th, 2009 No comments

Nico Rosberg, Singapore, 2009The FIA now publishes the weights of each car after qualifying on Saturday. Those cars that make it through to the final qualifying session must use the fuel they qualified with while the rest of the field may refuel before the race.

Below is a graph showing the actual top ten qualifying times as well as those times adjusted for the weight of fuel each car is carrying. The graph assumes a standard lap time cost of 0.3 seconds per 10kg of fuel.

From these weights we can see that while nobody is really out of place when adjusted for fuel, Lewis Hamilton is quite a bit faster that his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel.  Starting from pole with KERS power Hamilton has every chance of taking the win.

Rosberg’s best qualifying this season was done on merit as well and fuel adjusted he was faster than Vettel in front of him.

2009 Singapore GP Q3 (weight-adjusted)

2009 Singapore Grand Prix Car Weights

Image: Williams

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

Prediction game: Round 14 – Singapore

September 22nd, 2009 7 comments

Nico Rosberg, Singapore, 2008With all the Renault controversy it’s easy to forget we still have a race this weekend.

Although we now know the result was fixed I loved last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.  Formula One’s first night race looked fantastic under lights and gave a chance to see things you would normally miss such as the red hot glowing exhaust pipes and the showers of sparks as the cars bottomed out on the bumpy circuit.

There are only four races left and unless something goes very wrong it seems almost certain that Jenson Button will be crowned champion but, despite being 28.5 points behind the leader, Red Bull’s Mark Webber hasn’t given up yet:

We’re hoping for a change in fortune in Singapore – the street circuits haven’t been a happy hunting ground for us so far this year. It’s certainly not going to be a piece of cake, but we’re doing our absolute utmost to get back towards the front again.

One thing we haven’t experienced at night yet is bad weather.  Thunderstorms are always a possibility in that part of the world and it is unclear how drivers’ visibility would be affected in the event of rain.

McLaren will be bringing their final upgrades to Singapore before concentrating on next year’s car and the tight and twisty, high-downforce circuit should suit the MP4-24.  Last year Lewis Hamilton had a Championship to worry about and so had to be a bit conservative.  Now he is just out to win as many races as possible between now and the end of the year:

I remember my race in Singapore last year was all about damage limitation – I was driving with one eye on the world championship and wasn’t going to take too many risks. I was happy to finish on the podium. This year, it’s very different – I know I’m out of the title hunt and I want to attack these last four races, pushing for as many victories as I can.

To make your predictions in round 14 of the F1 Buzz prediction game (and be in with a chance to win some nice prizes), just leave a comment on this post with your driver predictions for the race in the following format:

Pole:
First:
Second:
Third:
Fastest lap:

Remember, the deadline for entries is start of qualifying on Saturday, that’s 14:00 GMT.

Good luck!

Image: Williams

Categories: Prediction Game Tags:

The Renault verdict: Briatore banned for life

September 21st, 2009 No comments

RenaultThe World Motor Sport Council met in Paris today to decide Renault’s punishment for asking Nelson Piquet Jr to deliberately crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

They got off pretty lightly, I think.

Even though the FIA thinks that “offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship”, that penalty was suspended for two years.  All Renault had to do was admit it was wrong, say sorry and sack the people responsible.  Oh, and make a “significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.”

So, no fines, no loss of constructors points and no real ban for the team.  I suppose it is understandable.  After the loss of Honda and BMW, the FIA will do just about anything to prevent any more constructors pulling out of Formula One.  If Renault were to be forced out it would also negatively impact teams like Red Bull who are engine customers.

But if Renault as a team were let off lightly, the FIA really threw the book at Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.

Briatore got, in effect, a lifetime ban from professional motor sport:

for an unlimited period, the FIA does not intend to sanction any International Event, Championship, Cup, Trophy, Challenge or Series involving Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any Team or other entity engaging Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever. It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr. Briatore access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction.  Furthermore, it does not intend to renew any Superlicence granted to any driver who is associated (through a management contract or otherwise) with Mr. Briatore, or any entity or individual associated with Mr. Briatore

So not only is he banned from all FIA events, he can no longer even manage drivers.  The WMSC have cast him out of the FIA paradise, utterly.

Pat Symonds gets it a little easier, but not much.  Due to him expressing his “eternal regret and shame” that he participated in the conspiracy, he gets a 5 year ban.

Fernando Alonso was cleared of any knowledge of the plot.

After the judgement, Renault F1 Team president Bernard Rey issued the following statement:

Today, we fully accept the decision of the Council. We apologize unreservedly to the F1 community in relation to this unacceptable behaviour. We sincerely hope that we can soon put this matter behind us and focus constructively on the future.

And what of Nelson Piquet Jr?  In a statement on his blog he said:

I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it.

Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life.

I feel sorry for Piquet.  Obviously he should have refused to crash his car but he was clearly under intense pressure and it didn’t help that his team boss and his manager was a total ass-hat.

Who knows what will happen to him now?  He has immunity from the FIA so in theory he could race again, something he clearly wants to do:

I have had to learn some very difficult lessons over the last 12 months and reconsider what is valuable in life. What has not changed is my love for Formula One and hunger to race again. I realise that I have to start my career from zero. I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2. What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula One as determined as me to prove myself.

The trouble is, there are so many talented drivers and so few seats in Formula One that if you screw up just once, that’s it.

Full WMSC statement.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Racing in the Coliseum

December 28th, 2008 No comments

coliseum-f1

Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has said he wants more “real tracks” instead of the new “tourist tracks” like Singapore and Valencia:

Having two or three Monte Carlos is too much.  Next time we can race inside the Coliseum, or maybe inside the Papacy. This is not racing.

Now as awesome as F1 cars racing around the Coliseum sounds (preferably with spikes on the wheels) I do agree to a certain extent.  Luca makes a good point when he says “we need to improve competition, so that the racing is good not only when it rains or the Safety Car creates a situation.”  How many times in 2008 did a fairly average race suddenly become more exciting because of wet weather?  The opportunity for exciting racing has to be the main consideration when choosing where to go racing.

I don’t agree with Di Montezemolo’s opinion of the Singapore Grand Prix, though.  I thought this was a fantastic event.  The cars looked awesome under the lights and there was real excitement watching the way the drivers dealt with the slippery surface. Now that most teams use those ugly wheel covers that hide the glowing disc brakes it was nice to see flames spitting from the exhaust in the low light.  I’m sure Ferrari’s poor performance in Singapore has nothing to do with his dislike of the circuit…

But just because Singapore worked doesn’t mean we should suddenly start adding night races everywhere.  This would detract from the specialness of Singapore.  In fact I would be happy for Singapore to remain the only night race on the calendar.  Monaco is special because of its history.  But it is also special because there is no other race like it.

Categories: Circuits Tags: ,
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