Formula 1 thread

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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:21 pm

Didn't know there was an F1 thread here. Money.

I started watching in 2005, was a huge BMW fan. Then the team folded and I followed Vettel to Red Bull. It's worked out nicely for me. ;)

There are lots of conflicting reports about Schumacher, hoping he doesn't go out like Sonny Bono. Be a shame to go from racing F1 cars and motorcycles to getting taken out on a ski slope.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:26 pm

According to Autosport, he's in a coma after having a neurosurgical procedure.

I was no fan of his but.... :(
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:35 pm

Lots of conflicting info in this CNN article but yeah, it's not looking so good. Skiing on unmarked trails and hit his head on a rock, not terribly smart. At least he was wearing a helmet.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby JS© on Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:55 pm

thought they said he was talking and was put into an induced coma to perform surgery on his brain.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby pressure=9Pa on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:05 pm

Terrible news. Hope there is better news when I wake up tomorrow. Prayers for Schumacher.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:00 pm

Current news is that Schumi is basically in an hour-by-hour fight.

:(
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby Sigwolf on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:15 am

He has truly always been an example of mental toughness and a fighter. I hope his fortitude can pull him through this battle.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:59 am

Word this morning is that Schumacher's condition has shown a slight improvement, but he remains critical and in an induced coma.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby pressure=9Pa on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:01 pm

I saw reports that his helmet shattered upon impact. However, I think a hospital employee used the word "cracked" instead. Either way, sounds like a high velocity impact.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:09 pm

They're saying speed wasn't a factor in his injuries. Ski helmets (like bike helmets and, indeed, racing helmets) are designed to fracture upon impact; it's how they disperse the load and lessen damage. In fact, most such helmet manufacturers request that the wearer send the helmet back after an accident so it can be analyzed. They are meant to be one-and-done tools.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby TheHammer24 on Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:48 pm

tifosi77 wrote:They're saying speed wasn't a factor in his injuries. Ski helmets (like bike helmets and, indeed, racing helmets) are designed to fracture upon impact; it's how they disperse the load and lessen damage. In fact, most such helmet manufacturers request that the wearer send the helmet back after an accident so it can be analyzed. They are meant to be one-and-done tools.

This is definitely right.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:00 pm

Schu's condition has improved in that he's stabilized, but still critical. Doctors were able to perform a second surgery to relieve pressure from swelling.

According to Sabine Kehm (Schu's longtime press secretary) Michael had just helped a friend who had fallen in deeper snow as they were transiting between slopes. As he resumed skiing, he made an air turn and got caught in that deeper snow and fell over, striking his head on a rock. Sounds like he only had a couple push offs before he bit it, so he couldn't have been going very fast.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:49 pm

dodint wrote:I was never a fan of KERS/DRS. Always felt gimmicky like P2P in Indy. I kind of understand KERS, because it's a very faint grasp at justifying racing 22 cars for 2 hours at full bore as being environmentally friendly because they happen to recycle a little bit of energy. ;)

Don't want to completely derail the other thread, so.....

I'm a CART/Champ Car guy, so when that series introduced P2P in 2003 or whenever, it made sense; they were a failing model and needed to attract new fans and so they went heavy with street races (which are awesome, btw, but more accessible to noobs) and gimmicks like P2P and mandatory use of both tire compounds (to appease the great gods of Bridgestone). I was saddened when F1 adopted these contrivances, because F1 isn't in a desperate spiral of needing new fans quickly. I don't consider a DRS overtake to be legitimate. There's a great weekly podcast I listen to from Formula1Blog.com and the professional drivers they have to co-present the 'cast refuse to award the 'pass of the race' to anything involving DRS. They call it 'Donkey Racing System' and sell anti-KERS merch on their site.

I've never understood the mania with which the FIA has pursued this 'green' thing. Motor racing isn't green. It's wasteful. Teams spend millions of dollars on components for cars that may only be used in one race before being scrapped; for example, the steering racks for Monaco are completely useless anywhere else (even Hungary). I'm all for increased environmental efficiency, but let's not mince words here. F1 is a hideously wasteful sport.

Yet despite this, the carbon footprint of F1 is still incredibly small. Back in the days of unlimited testing (*sigh*....), the total amount of fuel burned by every F1 team combined for the whole season - every test mile, every practice and qualifying lap, and the races themselves - was less than the amount of Jet A fuel burned by a single trans-Atlantic airliner going from New York to London.

The engines are remarkably efficient at turning gas into noise and fury; sure, they only get perhaps 4-6 mph, but they're spinning at 18,500 rpm. Slowed down to road car speeds of ~5000 rpm (which is actually about where an F1 car idles), that's more like 20+mpg efficiency. From a highly strung proprietary racing motor, that, oh by the way, has no measurable emissions. (I remember the Ferrari 550 Maranello being the first production car I ever heard about having zero measurable emissions)

It says here that F1 going 'green' is an attempt to induce more manufacturers back to the sport. When they aren't here, everyone complains about how tight budgets are. When they are here, everyone complains about how much money they spend and the manus themselves endlessly gripe about the rules. At the end, the only green in F1 is money.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:01 pm

I wrote a paper for a business class about the emptiness of corporate social initiatives and used the ALMS Green Challenge as my primary example. Just wish they wouldn't try to kid themselves; "hey look we're Green, racing is good for the environment! 'Sponsored by Patron, don't drink and drive!'" Just a whole lot of confusion out there.

Along these lines, I liked refueling in F1. You just have to let them fuel up after qualifying. Making them start on their qualifying fuel was just weird and turned the whole thing into a giant chessmatch that created the atmosphere of not necessarily wanting to turn in your best time. Like that tool Button not turning in Q3 times to get on his tire of choice from P10 this year.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:29 pm

I wasn't a big fan of refueling; here you have the FIA going bananas about safety and, higher cockpit sides, and crash structures.... but they still allowed 20 men to descend on a hot, running racing car and plug in a rig that forces fuel into the thing under pressure at a rate of something like 12L/sec. It was just odd to me.

Then again, I started watching the sport in the early 80s when refueling was not permitted. Shoot, stopping at all was a good way to go a whole lap down. I still kinda prefer that. Gas the cars up a the start with enough fuel to make it the 305 km of the race distance. And give them a choice of soft tires that will need to be changed at least once, or harder tires that might be able to go the distance. Mandating either has been an unentertaining folly.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:38 pm

I looooove that they got rid of fuel for safety but let cameramen run around the pit stall willy nilly. ;)

I started watching F1 in 2005, when they had those hard tires that would wear down to the really deep grooves. I wasn't a fan and thought it made things processional. Something has to give somewhere, and if it has to be tire compounds that require mandatory change then I'm okay with that. Either that or make the races longer.

I'd like to see the rulebook frozen for 3 years at a time. You see teams abandon this years campaign to start working on next year. I'd rather see them spend years perfecting cars. They moan about keeping costs down but change the rules significantly every year so the teams have to employ 400 egg heads to do new development every year, but heaven forbid they actually test the stuff out by driving a car anywhere but on the track. Along those same lines, of course the new drivers in F1 are terrible their first few races. With no testing they have to learn in traffic.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:00 pm

In the great quest to control costs in F1, testing is pretty much the only thing that can be axed where you know that money isn't being spent. You had teams in the Resource Restriction Agreement era gaming the system to no end; teams with manufacturer backing could develop F1 widgets and claim is was road car R&D, and Red Bull just flat ignored the thing. And the really funny thing is that I said you know the money isn't being spent....... you know it isn't being spent on testing. But it's still being spent. I would love a return to the days of teams racking up thousands of miles of testing, pounding around circuits in four different countries in as many weeks, logging 50-60 track days between their car's launch and the first race, trucking to Barcelona or Jerez the Tuesday after a race to get in miles Weds-Fri. I ate that sh|t up, endlessly pondering lap times and fuel loads and distance runs. Plus it gave reserve drivers something to, you know, drive.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:33 am

Exactly. I just don't get why it's all or nothing, though. I think they proposed something about having the Monday after a race be a test day, to help save costs. Never heard anything about the initiative gaining traction though. I'm *relatively* new to F1 (for an American I'm an old salt) and I relish in studying the history of the sport, but there is so much I don't know/understand.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:48 am

If you are interested in the history of F1, I can recommend to you a book called The Powerbrokers that is a pretty interesting story about how Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley became the prime movers of F1. Also, Nigel Roebuck's excellent book Chasing The Title, which highlights the personal stories behind roughly ten epic championship fights from the history of F1. Actually, anything written by 'Buck is worth seeking out; I was a religious devotee of his column in Autosport, but it has been a bit more difficult to read him since he move to Motor Sport a few years ago. He's an excellent writer, and one who was massively sympathetic to my beloved Indycar of the 80s and 90s.

You're lucky that you came to the sport when you did. Mainly because you can actually watch it now. Back in my day (*harumpf*) F1 simply was not on TV in the States. We were lucky if we had coverage of four races a year, and that was only when there were two races in the U.S. They were always tape delayed and edited down. Monaco and the Indy 500 were broadcast as the same event (with the same commentators, one of whom was Jackie "It's a Grrreeat Daaay fer Rrracin'" Stewart) edited down to one two-hour broadcast of the Wide World Of Sports. You'd have the announcers going bananas over Rick Mears passing Little Al (Unser Jr.) on the outside of turn 2 at Indy, and then they'd say, "Let's check in on the action in Monte Carlo," and they'd cut to a shot of Alain Prost going down the inside of Nelson Piquet at the harbor chicane or something. They'd hold that for five minutes talking about how different the challenge was, then go to commercial. When they came back, they were following Indy again. All of which might be two weeks after the actual race. It was awful.

It wasn't until the early 90s when F1 was covered live here, on ESPN iirc. I still maintain that the PPV system Bernie Ecclestone had in place in the early 2000s would work if he priced it correctly. As it was, he was charging like $40 per race, and that's just not realistic. Do a season pass for like $175, or charge $12 a race and I think it would work. He invested a huge sum of money in the HD broadcast equipment, and when the teams refused to chip in to help defray the costs (rightly, imo; Bernie is the commercial rights holder, it's his job to exploit those rights) he folded the operation.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby CBear3 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:55 am

The only true technological playground left in racing is Le Mans Prototypes, and that's even a bit of a stretch. Other than that, in each form of racing everybody has the same basic engine configurations, chassis designs are fit into a increasingly tighter box, and the room for ground breaking innovation has been squeezed out of motorsport. It's unfortunately the way the market works in the 21st century. The automobile is no longer in it's adolescence (50s and 60s), aerodynamics are well understood (70s and 80s), and cars today can be totally simulation driven (designed) without the chance of giant cock-ups like in the old days.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:36 pm

I dunno, there have been a couple instances in the past few seasons where teams (notably Ferrari and Williams) have had completely inaccurate wind tunnel data skew the development of their cars. Williams is still paying the price for five- and six-year old errors, and Ferrari never managed to get back on top of things this year after discovering the calibration problem.

The way the rules are set now has both pros and cons. The pro is that you have a moderate level of cost certainty as a team, because you're not dinking around with major regulation changes every couple years. But the problem, as we have seen of late, is when one team hit a design solution that's just that wee bit better. Maybe only 2/10ths a lap, but it's consistent from track to track, and repeatable. With fixed regulations there's little to no chance a rival team will suddenly discover a gotcha solution that erases that gap; the stability of the rules means that if a team hits a home run out of the box, their advantage will only compound over the period of stability. So where Vettel came from behind to win his first title in the last race of 2009, there were races in 2013 where he could have lapped the field (including his team mate) but for the timely intervention of a safety car. And once the mid-season change in the tire construction was insisted upon by the teams (who were, it must be noted) using the tires contrary to the manufacturer's recommendation, Red Bull ran the table and won out the last 7 or 8 races, or whatever it was.

I can't wait to see what the 2014 cars have to offer. I'm a big proponent of turbo motors in racing, so I'm glad they're coming back, and I also favor the return to a mandatory low nose profile. I just hope they can get the high degredation tire thing sorted out, because Pirelli are really in a tough spot; they're delivering exactly the tire the FIA wants, and they spend every week having teams and drivers do little else but complain about their products. Honestly, I don't have any idea why they are still involved with the sport.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:57 am

So, tis the season for new car launches, and the past couple of days have given us the first looks at the 2014 World Championship challengers from Williams, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari.

The FIA are clearly on a bender, out to produce a set of regulations which will undoubtedly lead to the ugliest single-seaters in the history of the world. No joke, I thought the current-spec Indycars were ugly..... I mean, they are that.... but these F1 cars are hideous. Very much a case of be careful what you wish for, because I've long wanted a return to low noses and turbo engines. Silly me.

The cars
Spoiler:
Williams-Mercedes FW36
Image

McLaren-Mercedes MP4-29
Image

Lotus-Renault E22
Image
(If you can't tell, the right side nose-fork thing is about 4" longer than the left side. Wtf

Ferrari F14T
Image
I'm not joking when I say this is probably the ugliest car I've ever seen in my life. Not just racing machines..... the ugliest car, period.

So far, the 2014 machinery looks utterly ridiculous. The McLaren has a nice quality to it from side-on, but the moment you change perspective it's like, "Oh, nope..... it's ugly."

I'm just at a complete loss.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby MRandall25 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:46 pm

tifosi77 wrote:So far, the 2014 machinery looks utterly ridiculous. The McLaren has a nice quality to it from side-on, but the moment you change perspective it's like, "Oh, nope..... it's ugly."

I'm just at a complete loss.


I felt the same way about the Porsche Panamera, except the front was the only good part.

These cars look terrible. Also disappointed Lotus didn't try to throw in a step nose.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby tifosi77 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:49 pm

The Sauber-Ferrari C33 has been released, in the form of digital renders. No good angles yet, so I'll hold off on the mockery.

In other news, there was an absolutely horrific crash at the Daytona 24 hour race yesterday. Mo Gidley ran up the back of a slowing and unsighted Matteo Malucelli.... looked like an airplane crash. Just spectacular. 10 years ago it would've been fatal for Gidley (who has had more than one big hits in his career.... look up his shunt at Road America, if you were wondering why they got rid of the bridge over T13), who still suffered severe arm and leg injuries on his left side, and will require back surgery once his condition stabilizes. Crashes like that remind you of what makes racing drivers a special breed of athlete.
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Re: Formula 1 thread

Postby dodint on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:52 pm

Yeah, the Gidley crash was wicked. Just bad luck. Not too often you can say a guy is fortunate to have a broken back and a surgically repaired arm and leg.

Also, the Leader Lights in Tudor are awesome. Very thoughtful way to make spectating more accessible to the casual fan.

That Ferrari above was designed by Dr. Seuss.
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