I think Schumi should’ve won in Monaco, it would’ve been nice for him to have another win before he retired again. You can’t say he’s lost it. Don’t forget as of the Indian GP he’s out-qualified Nico by 9-8!

Ben Sweeney's F1 Blog

He’s won 91 races, won an outstanding seven world championships, secured a whopping 68 pole positions, led an unimaginable 5096 laps, inspired an entire country to race and starred in ‘Cars’. He’s Michael Schumacher and he’s about to retire from the sport that has held him dear for 21 years. And yet, half the people don’t seem to care.

Its true, his comeback hasn’t been fantastic. Leaving the sport in 2006, He was waved off by the paddock but returned in 2010 to reunite the Schumacher/Brawn arrangement that dominated the sport for five years. But all did not go well and as of Qualifying after the 2012 Indian Grand Prix, He has never won a race, only had one podium (3rd in Valencia) and one pole position (in Monaco) which was cruelly stripped from him after he was penalised five grid places following his crash with Bruno Senna in…

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The F1 Poet - Ernie Black

Previously, I posted the chart below before the Indian GP and I stated the following:

The trend has been that Vettel has yet to win with a Hard/Medium combination.  Alonso has never won with a Hard/Soft combination.  Given the above observation and Pirelli’s selection for the final four races, Vettel may hold the advantage in one race, while Alonso may hold it in three races.  ONLY in terms of this season’s historical success rate on the compound combination.  This doesn’t take into account circuit, weather or any other critical factor.

After this past weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, the results suggest that my observations based on the chart below hold true.  As expected, Vettel, won with the combination of Pirelli Hard/Soft tyres.  If we are to believe the chart, then the Medium/Soft combination may favor Alonso in the next round.

Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @Goggs_on_F1
Blog: http://thef1poet.wordpress.com

Grand Prix Pirelli Compounds

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Jade’s Review; Singapore Grand Prix

Round 14 – Singapore. Formula One’s only true night race and one of the sports few street tracks. Drivers have only been racing for five years at this circuit and will be doing so until at least 2017 after making a deal on a new contract. Deemed one of F1’s most glamorous and indeed valuable races, the weekend was set to be a thrilling one!

In qualifying Lewis Hamilton took the fight to Red Bull in a car that appears competitive at most tracks this season. The ferocity of the Bull’s reappeared on a track that suited their car, something which the team desperately needed after a lull in form and a particularly disappointing weekend in Monza. However it was Hamilton that took his 5th pole of the season, 24th in his career. Completing the front row some 0.442s behind was one-time winner Pastor Maldonado with a super quick lap in his FW34. Sebastian Vettel was just behind after failing to improve on his first hot lap during the greatly anticipated Q3 session. Behind the reigning double world champion, Jenson Button posted the 4th fastest time with Fernando Alonso, the driver currently on top of the World Driver’s Championship only managing 5th. Alternatively it was a good day for Force India’s Paul Di Resta as he not only managed to get into Q3 unlike his team mate but also found enough time to put him 6th on the grid. Mark Webber a lowly 7th with the returning Romain Grosjean just behind who once again managed to out qualify his team mate. Both Mercedes drivers made it into Q3 but neither decided to run so Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg start 9th and 10th respectively. The rest of the field was as follows: Nico Hulkenburg, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Bruno Senna, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock, Charles Pic, Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro De La Rosa. Both De La Rosa and Senna had gearbox penalties so start 24th and 22nd respectively.

Now onto the race! It was a nervous wait for most F1 fans with ‘Crashtor’ Maldonado as he’s now infamously known starting on the front row, surrounded by World Drivers Championship contenders. It was also going to be an interesting afternoon in terms of tyres with rear tyre degradation being the main concern and Mercedes bizarrely opting to start on the Super Soft compound as neither driver set a lap in Q3 and so had the option to choose which compound to start on. The only cars starting on soft tyres were: Hulkenburg, Perez, Vergne, Kobayashi, Glock, Pic and De La Rosa.

I was honoured to be a Formula One fan this weekend as myself, everyone on the grid and I’m sure many others paid the respect that Professor Sid Watkins OBE deserved. ‘The Prof’ as he was fondly known was a credit to the sport and the whole F1 community was devastated by his loss on September 12th. It was only right that a minutes silence was held.

With that the race began, no incidents for Maldonado as Hamilton succeeded in keeping him behind but it was Vettel and then Button that benefited as they both gained a place whilst Maldonado dropped back two. It was all change for other drivers too as Grosjean took to the kerb whilst battling with Webber who managed to stay ahead, Rosberg got ahead of Schumacher and Hulkenburg lost a place to Raikkonen in the battle for 11th. It was four abreast into the first corner with the likes of Senna, Ricciardo, Webber and Rosberg all running wide and using the run-off area to which there was a Stewards investigation. Another unfortunate race start for Felipe Massa as he limped back to the pits with a left-rear puncture. Not so lucky for the Caterham drivers either as Kovalainen came into the pits minus a front wing after contact with team mate Petrov.

After those first lap dilemmas were forgotten it was on to Lap 4 when Grosjean was told the team had no telemetry. Hamilton was starting to widen the gap between himself and Vettel by being the only man on track in the 1m55’s. Lap 9/10 drivers began pitting for fresher rubber the Red Bull drivers are first to stop, Hamilton stays out and then pits after relaying to the team: “Guys I’ve got a funny feeling with these tyres”. The latest of the stoppers were Hulkenburg and Perez.

Next in the race was a nightmare for Lewis Hamilton who had led beautifully from pole. A gearbox failure meant Hamilton had to leave the stricken McLaren by the roadside at turn five and calmly climb out as smoke trailed out of the back. The Woking-based team knew of the problem a couple of laps before, then Hamilton noticed as he had trouble selecting gears before he lost third all together with the gearbox dropping into neutral. Until ultimately the race was over for the British driver.

From then on Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel led the race with McLaren’s Jenson Button not far behind. Normal proceedings were interrupted as Karthikeyan hit the wall at turn 18 bringing out the safety car. So far the Safety Car has been out at every Singapore GP… With the new rules in place we got to see lapped cars overtake the Safety Car in what was an extra long safety car period, during which Maldonado had been told he needed to retire the car with a hydraulic problem but interestingly it took a lap or two for the feisty Venezuelan to come in.

One big talking point of the weekend was the restart after the first safety car period. All the cars were weaving around as they do, trying to warm rear tyres and brakes but also keeping an eye on when Vettel went for it so that they to could do the same. The latter was especially true for Button as he thought Vettel had made a quick dash for the line but was immediately caught out when he suddenly braked. Button had to brake and swerve, narrowly avoiding him and locking up his tyres in the process. The incident was investigated but no further action was taken by the stewards. Once the safety car was in we were back racing… Or so it seemed, it wasn’t just a lucky escape unfortunately for Schumacher as he claimed the silver arrow wasn’t ‘decelerating as quickly as he expected’ and in turn ran into the back of Verge, taking them both out of the race and so the safety car was redeployed, I’m sure to Vettel’s dismay! In the words of Schumacher’s engineer: “What happened there” was the message on the radio and indeed the stewards wanted an answer to that question too, hence the investigation. After the race the 7-time World Champion was handed a 10 place grid penalty for the next race in Suzuka. 5 for the incident and a further 5 seeing as this is a repeat offence.

During the safety car period the Caterham of Petrov was seen loitering at the end of the pit lane apparently due to a dodgy wheel nut, but he was soon back racing again. It was a good race for Massa as he battled for 8th place from being last at the beginning of the race. On lap 43 the Brazilian driver slid past Senna in an impressive move shocking fans and a number of doubters…

The final incident happened on lap 50/51 with Hulkenburg fancying a bit of everyone’s front wing. First up was Perez, when trying to close the door on the Sauber, Perez managed to lose part of his front wing to the Force India driver. Not that far down the road, Webber passed round the outside of Kobayashi, Hulkenburg wanted a piece of the action too but instead of it being a clean pass both cars touched and Kobabyashi lost part of his front wing and Hulkenburg suffered a left rear puncture for his misdemeanours!

So it wasn’t a pole-to-pole victory for this Grand Prix but instead Sebastian Vettel takes his second win of the season which he duly dedicated to the great Sid Watkins. Joining the German driver on the podium was Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Di Resta couldn’t quite challenge in 4th but put in his best performance to stay ahead of Rosberg, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Massa and Ricciardo. Webber who had managed to snatch a championship point from Perez had his overtaking manoeuvre investigated after the race and has since been awarded a post-race drive-through penalty gifting back the point to Perez who now finished in ’10th’ with Webber just behind. The rest of the field that did finish was Glock (An incredible achievement which must be pointed out!), Kobayashi, Hulkenburg, Kovalainen, Pic and De la Rosa. Singapore is a tough Grand Prix for the drivers, not only is it the longest but it is also one of the hottest. The Safety Car is synonymous in Singapore as it has led laps in every Grand Prix since we started racing there in 2005 and it has actually led the 4th most laps!! With both safety car periods on Sunday the race ran up until the two hour limit, cutting the Grand Prix short by a lap. The last lap was incidentally when Senna had to retire, reporting a loss of power. Petrov did manage to finish the race albeit with a bit of bad luck but only managed 19th in the Caterham behind non-finisher Senna. If you didn’t already know the rest of the non-finishers they were Vergne, Schumacher, Maldonado, Karthikeyan and Hamilton. Somewhat of an attrition race in Singapore!

After the result of that race the championship is still far from undecided even if Alonso has a healthy 29 point lead over his nearest rival (Vettel), Raikkonen isn’t far behind either but it seems there is a dent in Lewis Hamilton’s championship after what was a disappointing race for the McLaren driver. Next round Suzuka, and only 6 races left in the season. What I want to know is how on earth is the season nearly over and yet we still have no clue as to who the winner of the Drivers championship will be?”

Professor Sid Watkins OBE death; A Tribute to his work.

RIP Professor Sid Watkins. We will miss you. You deserved a knighthood for all the work you put into saving drivers lives before the accidents occurred, alas you ‘only’ got an OBE. Without your input, the sport will have had many more fatalities since Senna’s death in 1994. Many drivers owe their lives and more to you. Time for you to go fishing with Ayrton

Let us take a look at some of the work that he has done for motorsport safety since Ayrton Senna‘s death in 1994.

At the 1995 Australian GP he performed a trackside tracheotomy to save Mika Hakkinen‘s life, and also restarted his heart not once, but TWICE.

He ‘invented’ the HANS device that is compulsory in all forms of motorsport. I say ‘invented’ because you had a helping hand in developing it.

He had the sides of the cockpits raised to give the drivers better head protection

He had wheel tethers introduced to try and keep the wheels attached to the cars in a collision.

He introduced collapsible steering columns, which as well as being used in F1 and other forms of motorsport , are also used in road cars.

He introduced new, much more stringent crash tests for the front, rear and sides of the car, which meant the cars had to be made much stronger.

He also introduced the foam padding around the cockpit to further protect the drivers in a collision.

He called for downforce levels to be reduced to reduce cornering speeds, and therefore accident speeds. In fact in the races after Senna’s death, downforce was reduced overall by around 15%, which is a noticeable drop in grip for a car as sensitive as an F1 car.

He also did work on the tracks as well as the cars. He called for larger run-off areas to reduce the chance of a high-speed collision with a barrier. He also called for new barrier types to be used to reduce G-forces in collisions.

He will be missed so much that people have said said seeing him in the paddock automatically made the sport feel safer.

I will end this article with 2 Sid Watkins quotes from the Senna movie at Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna’s death. Rest in peace. We all love you. Your death has hit us hard. You are the TRUE legend of Formula 1.

‘Ayrton got very, very upset and cried a bit. And that’s when I said to him ”You know, Ayrton, you’ve been three times World Champion, you’re the fastest man in the world” and he liked fishing, so I said ”Why don’t you quit, and I’ll quit and we’ll just go fishing?” ‘

‘We got him out of the cockpit, got his helmet off and got an airway into him. And I saw from his neurological signs that it was going to be a fatal head injury. And he sighed, and his body relaxed and that was the moment… I’m not religious… that I thought his spirit had departed.”

Singapore GP car upgrades.

Here it is. The FINAL upgrade package of the season.

The eagle-eyed reader out there will notice the small revisions to certain areas of the car, eg. the rear bodywork around the exhaust exits.

Not only that, but there’s also a couple of noticeable revisions. AKA new nosecone, new front wing upper flaps and a small revision to the main plane.

Also there’s a new ‘Monkey Seat’ as it’s now being called.


Spa Francorchamps Tech updates

The first race of the 2nd half of the season saw several cars with new upgrades.

Ferrari with Massa have had new barge boards for a few races now, with extra little fins on the leading edge of the floor, which Alonso has never raced. This changed at Spa, with Alonso running them for the first time this weekend. Also at the start of the weekend, Alonso was running a higher downforce package than Massa, but on Saturday switched to a lower downforce package.

Both Ferrari’s used lower downforce front wings to match the lower downforce rear wings, which involved all cascade elements from the front wing and a smaller upper flap. It looks more like a conventional front wing.

McLaren had a very visible update on the leading edge of the sidepod. The vortex generators that sit on the leading edge of the top of the sidepod were removed, and instead replaced with a large aerofoil element, similar to that of Sauber‘s. This adjusted the angle of the airflow to make the coanda effect stronger, making the exhaust flow more stable over a broader range of vehicle speeds, and also making the effect a little stronger. This gives a little more rear downforce with not much more drag. In addition to that, they also had new winglets on the side of the cockpit underneath the mirrors, like Ferrari do, which are vortex generators. These send 2, smaller vortices over the top of the sidepod and engine cover.

Also on Friday, the drivers were using a new, lower downforce front wing, the upper flap inner section was made smaller to reduce downforce in accordance with the lower downforce rear wing that only Button ran for qualifying and the race.

For Quali and the race, McLaren went two different ways with the car setup, which went wrong for Hamilton. The car was lacking in straight line speed, which is a crucial element to lap times at Spa.

Torro Rosso were trying out their 2013 suspension at Spa, which involved a new wheel upright, and brake setup. They decided not to race the setup as they couldn’t evaluate it properly on Friday. To me this means that next years car (along with Caterham) is likely to be a development of this years car, rather than a whole new car.

Sauber have started to run a new box shaped element behind the upper flap of the front wing, that also is used as a flow conditioning strake. The top joins to the curved section of the endplate which ajoins the main flap, and is angled to produce downforce. The inner side turns into the strake, which rather than being attached to the 2nd flap of the front wing, hangs loose.

Marussia were running with minor revisions to the new package they introduced at Silverstone. This includes new rear wing endplates, and a small revision to the exhast exits on the sidepods to make both areas of the car slightly more efficient.

HRT were once again running with their extreme low downforce wings that we saw in Canada, and once again the cars were excellent in a straight line, battling with the Caterhams during the race.

malcolm strachan

Well, that was an interesting thing for Hamilton to tweet…

Things that I found interesting:

(I’ll refer to everything by the distance around the lap, which is noted at the bottom.  For example, Eau Rough is at 1200m or so)

1) Hamilton gains mostly under braking, rather than in the corners (300m, 2200m, 3000m, 6700m).  I would have expected the cornering speeds to be noticeably different, but they are actually quite similar.  Hamilton can just go that little bit deeper, and brake that much harder before the wheels lock, due to the extra downforce he was running.  With each steep drop in the speed trace (second trace from the top), you can see that Hamilton is just a little later on the brakes.

2) Hamilton messed up the third corner in the “Les Combes” section (corner 9, 2600m).  He has more downforce, so should be as fast or faster, but…

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Soon we shall have a new writer on the blog… my girlfriend. She’s writing articles for another F1 site, and we have decided that her articles will also appear on here!!

Also, another update, the partner site to the blog (Richland F1), a forum! This is where you can join in the gaming leagues for F1 2011, Forza Motorsport, and potentially others! Not just that either, you can voice your opinions on latest F1 developments, and have general discussions!

I also have started work on the 2013 F1 car, the final 2012 car update of the season coming in Singapore OR Suzuka, I haven’t decided yet.

What beautiful engineering.


Yesterday, a new article on the R18 engine appeared on speedhunters.com – THE MONOTURBO. I cannot understand, why Audi didn’t send me this pictures before. 😉 If I have had this pictures earlier, I could have built the engine much more accurate.

Although I’ve found a mass of mistakes on my engine, I won’t make any big changes. Especially the front end of the engine is completely different to my one. But I took help there from the R15 engine that has the gear drive for the ancillaries at the front end. Now, with the new pictures, the drive gear of the R18 engine is doubtless at its rear end. But with the engine mounted in the car, this error can’t hardly be seen later. But certainly that rankles me much.

Also at the turbo charger I’ve found a new item between the turbine and the compressor which should…

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Monza car

Here’s the Monza car. Very thin rear wing, for maximum top speed. Front wing also optimised for maximum DDRS effect on the long straights of Monza. The rear bodywork has an effect that draws air down over the lower beam wing (which is also slightly smaller) to increase downforce between the speeds of 90 and 130mph, then stalling over those speeds to reduce drag further and increase top speed. Also there is a new nosecone coming for Singapore, with a new front wing too.