July 28, 2012

F1 Quals: Hungary 2012

How quickly things can change.  Let's take a look at the provisional grid for the 2012 Grand Prix of Hungary:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.794 1:21.060 1:20.953
2 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:22.755 1:21.657 1:21.366
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:22.948 1:21.407 1:21.416
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.028 1:21.618 1:21.583
5 Mumbles Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:22.234 1:21.583 1:21.730
6 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:22.095 1:21.598 1:21.844
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.203 1:21.534 1:21.900
8 Hazzan Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:22.475 1:21.504 1:21.939
9 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:22.271 1:21.697 1:22.343
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:22.176 1:21.653 1:22.847
11 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:22.829 1:21.715
12 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:21.912 1:21.813
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.079 1:21.895
14 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.110 1:21.895
15 Gandalf Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.801 1:22.300
16 Jules Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:22.799 1:22.380
17 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes 1:22.436 1:22.723
18 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:23.250

19 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Caterham-Renault 1:23.576

20 The Red Menace
Caterham-Renault 1:24.167

21 Charles ToothPic Marussia-Cosworth 1:25.244

22 Tim O'Glockenspiel Marussia-Cosworth 1:25.476

23 Pete Rose
HRT-Cosworth 1:25.916

24 Narain Kittylitter HRT-Cosworth 1:26.178


Q1 107% Time
1:27.519


Just a few races ago, McLaren couldn't get out of their own way.  They couldn't qualify, they couldn't do a pitstop without trying to put five tires and a tow hitch on the chassis at which point it would burst into flames, and half of their drivers couldn't run faster than a GP2 car.  Now?  Well, look at it.  Pole and fourth, and nobody ever even came close to challenging Hamilton all day.  He made it look easy, and his teammate always wins in Hungary when it rains... and there's a 100% chance of heavy rain during the race.  Meanwhile, Red Bull is being scrutineered to death, first with the whole illegal engine mapping thing that came out on Thursday, and now they are suspected of violating Parc Ferme rules and adjusting ride height without tools and while the cars were on lockdown.  Haven't heard anything about a penalty yet, but the performance of the Austrian team is perhaps slipping a bit.  After Q1, Vettel and Webber were 16th and 17th: just barely avoided relegation, in other words.  Webber didn't make it out of Q2.  Yes, Vettel is third, but it took quite a lap to get that high.  So it's lookin' like a McLaren runaway, right?

Nnnnnnnnnnot so fast there bunky.  We've got some Lotuses to deal with, and the rain should help them more than it does McLaren.  I think Button is going to win, if only because I like the storyline of him winning every wet race in Hungary, but really it's up for grabs.  I could easily see any of the top six standing on the top step after the race.

But it's supposed to be a wet race... anything could happen.  Well, maybe not HRT winning, but even that's possible when it rains.  I'm just glad that Slappy is so far down the grid; if he was up towards the front, I think my head would be in definite danger of going kablooey.

Race is in the morning... the F1U! team will be all over it, and we'll see you back here tomorrow!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:11 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 536 words, total size 17 kb.

1 Clearly the trick is being made into a cartoon.

And what's the Engine mapping thing?

Posted by: Mauser at July 29, 2012 02:58 AM (cZPoz)

2 Sorry, I thought I had written about that... it must have been in a comment on another site!  Short version, Red Bull was jiggering their engine mapping to regain some of the effect of the banned blown diffuser.  Some teams caught them at it and brought them in front of the stewards at Germany, but they kinda passed the buck.

That's why I've been saying the FIA has been watching them like a hawk... there's a LOT of suspicion that they're "cheating", so... *shrug*

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 29, 2012 07:39 AM (bqvkh)

3 But what IS engine mapping?

Posted by: Mauser at July 29, 2012 12:36 PM (cZPoz)

4 Basically, it's instructions for the the computer control of the engine... in the real world, it's often called "chip tuning".  Think of it like this: it controls how the motor will react at any point in its power range.

For example, it may say that if you're in 2nd gear at lower RPMs, then increase the torque at the expense of higher speed... which would give better acceleration out of a corner.

From what I can tell, the engine mapping kerfluffle was that Red Bull was trying to duplicate last year's constant-level exhaust without actually having a constant-level exhaust. Of course, that meant that you'd have the same amount of airflow through the exhaust and over the diffuser, no matter how far you had the gas pedal pushed down.

That was banned, and with the removal of the blown diffuser, you'd think it wouldn't be worth having, but Red Bull seems to think that it helps increase airflow under the car... maybe?  I think?  Nobody's really saying in English what advantage is being gained, but it's against the rules.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 29, 2012 01:13 PM (bqvkh)

5 Traditionally "mapping" is caused that because conventional PCMs operated by mixing inputs (manifold athmospheric pressure (MAP), camshaft position (CPS) derived RPMs, and O2 sensors) to select a "map" or array of numbers into which throttle position (TP) indexed. Each cell of each map contained numbers such as angular position and width of injector pulse, spark time relatively to CPS.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 30, 2012 11:23 AM (5OBKC)

6 Most street engines in 2000s contained a small number of maps that were selected largely using MAP (please pardon the pun). So engine in effect used one linear map indexed by TP. The introduction of variable timing coincided with vast increases in flash sizes, so maps are fully N-dimensional now, and there's a bunch of them (my wife's car has 3).

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at July 30, 2012 11:27 AM (5OBKC)

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