October 08, 2016

F1 Quals: Japan 2016

Well, that was fun!  Here's the provisional grid for the 2016 Grand Prix of Japan:

Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.858 1:30.714 1:30.647
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.218 1:31.129 1:30.660
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:31.674 1:31.406 1:30.949
4 Sebby Vettel Ferrari 1:31.659 1:31.227 1:31.028
5 Embryo Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:32.487 1:31.489 1:31.178
6 Smiley Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:32.538 1:31.719 1:31.240
7 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:32.682 1:32.237 1:31.961
8 Lettuce Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:32.458 1:32.176 1:31.961
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1:32.448 1:32.200 1:32.142
10 Esteban! Haas Ferrari 1:32.620 1:32.155 1:32.547
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1:32.383 1:32.315
12 Retired Massa Williams Mercedes 1:32.562 1:32.380
13 Kid Kvyat Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:32.645 1:32.623
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:32.789 1:32.685
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:32.819 1:32.689
16 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:32.796 1:32.807
17 Retired Button McLaren Honda 1:32.851

18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:33.023

19 Sony Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:33.222

20 Felipe Not Massa Nasr Sauber Ferrari 1:33.332

21 False Esteban MRT Mercedes 1:33.353

22 Pascal's Wehrlein MRT Mercedes 1:33.561

Nico Rosberg beat his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the line by .013 seconds.  On track, that works out to about 82 centimeters, or just a touch over 32 inches.  The Mercedes W07 Hybrid chassis is 197 inches long, as a reference... yeah, that's pretty close.  The video of the two lapping side-by-side is quite impressive.

Once again, we get two-by-two at the top of the grid: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull.  Vettel has a three grid-spot penalty coming for his banzai charge at the start of the Malaysian GP, though.  It's amazing how the teams often break down that way.

The big news out of qualifying is the performance of Team Haas.  This is the first time they've gotten both cars into Q3 at once.  Sure, they didn't exactly cover themselves in glory in the session, but they were there.  You want evidence that the team is advancing as a race team?  There ya go.  The points at the start of the season were nice, but they were outclassed by the more experienced organizations fairly quickly.  Now they're starting to make gains on that front as well.  Nice to see.

The biggest disappointment had to be felt by McLaren-Honda.  After all, they're in Honda's home country, on the circuit owned and designed by Honda, and they've been coming to grips with their new engine all season.  And then they leave a mess on the carpet that even an Aismo wouldn't clean up.  That can't have gone over well at all.

So Rosberg gets the early advantage over Hamilton, on a track where such things are fairly important.  With the gap he has in points over his teammate, he's not going to be reluctant to muscle him around, either... if they both get knocked out by damage, well, that's just going to make the lead that much harder to cut down.  Not that Rosberg is going to do a Senna/Prost or anything, mind.

Race is late tonight/early tomorrow... I'll probably watch at least part of it live.  If anything important happens, I'll mention it here before the F1U!.  See ya later!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:05 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 538 words, total size 22 kb.

1 I have an idea for a rule-change: Any car which gets lapped by the leader has to drop out the next time they reach the pit lane.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 09, 2016 12:25 AM (+rSRq)


OK, two questions:

1. What is a blue flag?

2. What does it mean to "Move under braking"?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 09, 2016 12:32 AM (+rSRq)

3 1) A "blue flag" is waved to have a backmarker or other slow cars get out of the way of the leaders or faster cars.  That's to prevent holding up one driver and advantaging another.  It's also a safety thing.  Back when HRT began in F1, they were slow enough that they could be overrun pretty easily.  If you ignore blue flags for long enough, you can be penalized or excluded from the race ("shown the black flag")

2)  "Moving under braking" is, well, exactly what it sounds like.  Normally when a driver approaches a turn, he'll position the car where he feels the most comfortable to take the turn.  When the "braking zone", or normal area that a F1 car/driver will slow down for a turn, it's assumed that they are where they need to be and won't do anything unexpected:  they're going to be busy making the turn as smoothly (and thus as fast) as possible.  "Moving under braking" suggests that the driver positioned himself in one spot for the turn, usually blocking a car behind from passing on a common line, and then dodges into a different line at the last moment.  Usually that winds up defending another line through the turn, one that the trailing car is approaching.  Car A is in the lead, Car B is behind, but closing, as they approach the turn.  Car A blocks the inside line (which is fine), and B goes to the outside.  Then once the cars are more or less committed to the turn, A moves and blocks the outside line at the very last moment.  Usually this winds up with Car A slowing down to cornering speeds (90mph?) while Car B is still at 190mph.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 09, 2016 10:35 AM (vZvpB)

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