April 05, 2017
Same as it's been since 2004. Longest straightaway in F1. I love that Turns 1-4 complex, for whatever reason. It just looks like Hermann Tilke threw a french curve on his drafting table and said "yep, that's good." Or his cat got involved. Whatever, it's not my favorite circuit on the calendar, but it's hardly my least favorite. It's just... there. And while you would think that the new aero rules will turn this circuit on its ear, I've seen a report that estimates that the cars are going to be something like three kilograms short on fuel. With the increased drag and higher engine output guzzling petrol, they think the cars can't legally have enough gas on board to finish the race! They can carry 105kg, but will need 108. Lift and coast, lift and coast... and hope for safety cars and rain. Well, there's a slight chance of rain at least for race day. That'll keep down the smog at least.
Speaking of race day, the Legendary Announce Team will be doing their level best to make everything exciting! Here's the broadcast schedule:
Practice 2: 1am - 230am live on NBCSN
Quals: 2am - 330am live on NBCSN
Grand Prix of China: 1230a - 330am live on NBCSN
...of course, all times are Pond Central. Sometime after the race, the F1Update! team will get off their lazy kiesters and do their usual writeup. Or something. We'll see you then, then!
Posted by: GreyDuck at April 05, 2017 10:38 PM (rKFiU)
Posted by: Ben at April 05, 2017 11:46 PM (S4UJw)
These cars are new. New aero rules, new aero fiddlybits, new wings fore and aft, yadda. Actual real-world hard data on how the cars go along the race track is somewhat thin on the ground... essentially however many laps they turned during pre-season testing at Barcalounger, and one race weekend (Australia). With me so far?
Now then... take the pre-season data and understand that it only approximates accuracy. Barcalounger is nothing like Shanghai (for example, there ain't no ginormous straight in Spain... and China has two big'uns). Moreover, I'm willing to bet that not a single one of the teams ran their full race-level aero package during pre-season testing... don't want to give anything away to the other teams, after all.
So really, the teams were making estimates on how and what the cars would really do in Australia. Educated estimates, yes, backed up with years/decades of experience and many laps in testing, but still estimates. Of course, the circuit in Australia is closer to Barcalounger in race style than China, too.
So when you take the "fuzzy" data gleaned from Spain and the harder data pulled in from Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!, then overlay it onto China, which has a greater percentage of time run at full throttle, and where drag plays a larger role, and suddenly it becomes totally understandable that their numbers could be off. And they're not off by very much at all, if they are...
Three kilograms works out to be (roughly) a gallon or so of fuel, and F1 cars get something above three miles to a gallon... probably more now, with the hybrid power. China's track is 5.45km long, or 3.38 miles. So, assuming their numbers are off by 3kg, we're talking about running out of go-juice a lap or so short. More or less.
Posted by: Wonderduck at April 06, 2017 07:35 PM (UDOXQ)
Hmm... DRS reduces drag, so what if a driver does a few laps where they use DRS but intentionally doesn't pass, that also ought to reduce fuel consumption!
Posted by: Kayle at April 06, 2017 10:53 PM (y53xD)
Posted by: Ben at April 07, 2017 08:29 AM (S4UJw)
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