Having just endured the first F1 race of the year, I am finding it a little difficult to express my disappointment.
First off let me mention the broadcast time. The race started at 5AM for me. In order to watch it live I would have needed to get out of bed at 04:30, give the clocks changed this weekend, that works out as 3:30AM. I am not usually at my best then. Until Bernie realizes that the world does not revolve around CET, I guess that this is about as good as it gets.
I started watching the race at around 6AM, skipping the build-up and only dropping from 32x to 1x during the warm-up lap.
Prior to the race there was much speculation that the first corner would be problematic, however apart from Mark Webber laying down a smoke screen that would have made Q-Branch proud, it was pretty much a none event.
Sadly that phrase springs to mind for the rest of the race too. The race quickly settled into a procession with no driver able to overtake without a significant car advantage.
But, lets rewind a little, some time ago the FIA (Ferrari International Assistance) announced that in 2010 there would be a ban on refueling as the majority of the ‘changes to position’ were brought about due to fuel stops and those with the best strategy computers generally rose to the surface. occasionally the logic broke, but in general the race became among the strategic teams.
The ban on in-race refueling has forced the cars to carry an entire race worth of fuel in their car from the start of the race to the flag. Add to this a narrower front tire and team-wide acceptance of the ‘double diffuser’ that emerged in 2009 and you have cars that start very heavy, then gradually get lighter and lighter as the race goes on, but also cars that have more rear-end grip (via the diffuser) and less front end mechanical grip (tires). You do not need an advanced degree in aerodynamics to figure out that the cars are going to be unbalanced and any instance of ‘dirty air’ will reduce the front end grip to, well, not much.
…..and the double diffuser produces a lot of dirty air.
Continue reading “F1 Race report – Farce 1 – Bahrain” »
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