Blowing hot and cold in China

Blowing hot and cold in China

Postby meteorite » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:48 am


No one as found the answer yet, and everyone is curious. The errant weather patterns that have plagued the Earth of late took their swipe at the tropical city of Shanghai on this Grand Prix weekend with everyone wondering what was going on. Firstt and second practice were cool but routine with shifting winds and spatters of rain, conditions Ferrari seemed to be tolerating better than most. But qualifying Satrday broke to a dawn about as frigid as even seen in those parts, 12 degrees with a stiff cold breeze. It was quite a sight to see all the race officials and others shivering in their tightly zipped North Face and Canada Goose parkas. But they went out for final practice, everyone complaining they couldn't get enough heat into the brakes, wheels, chassis and tires to do properly informative practice runs. Ferrari complained least, Red Bull loudest, when with two minutes left in practice the engine in Ricciardo's car belched a blast of flame plus a long trail of white smoke. The car was towed in with 18 minutes left in the interval before the star of Qualifying Session One, which would last 18 minutes more.

Meanwhile the diagnosis was changed from turbo replacement to whole new engine needed. Any car owners may visualize the time and effort required to remove ad old engine, put in and assemble a new one (including all the electronic systems and connections common to current F1 engines, verify it all and button it up.

The Red Bull crew did it with two minutes left in Qualifying One. Daniel Ricciardo piled in, took the car (figuratively trailing Scotch Tape and Band,aids), started his one lap before the-close of the session, and set a time sufficient to graduate to Qualifying Two.. What happened when he came back to his pit during the interval to Qualifying One, no one who knows is saying. Danny went out and did his thing in final qualifying. The mysterious Ferrari weather advantage gave Vettel and Raikkonen a front-row lockout by a full half seconds, eternity in F1 racing. The Mercedes team struggled to row two; Bottas ahead of Hamilton -did his Finnish background give him anedge? For the first time this season, Jos Verstappen out-qualified his team=mate, putting Ricciardo on the outside of the Red Bull third row. But only Ferrar showed any assistance from the bitter weather.


The track temperature was already 37C when the cars came onto the formation grid, while though the air temperature was only 19 it was rising fast. When the cars got the start signal, Vettel immediately drove for the inside line through the first corner. which sort-of pre-empted Raikkonnen from challenging for the early lead but also opened the outer line for Bottas, who exploited it to slot into second place im line through corver two. Meanwhile Verstappen weaved up to squeeze between Raikkonen and Hamilton, neither fancying full attack more so early in the race. Ricciardo gradually faded in sixth while avoiding falling into the clutches of the charging midpack. They all gradually sorted themselves out over the next 15 to 20 laps.

Current F1 cars have incredibly sophisticated aerodynamics which do not cater to the needs of the car behind. A closely following car will be buffeted heavily by turbulence, losing fine steering control and burning excess fuel. the engine will start to overheat and so will the tires, even the brakes whose cooling ability depends on a smooth, even stream of air. But the|DRS for passing can't be actuated unless the car is less than one second behind the target. Lurking can be an art.

Wear being greatest when a car is racing hardest and has a full load of fuel, the first stage wears tires fastest. (H0w last\? \Ultrasoft, like an artgum; soft in a significantly more useful pattern, and medium or hard for a full race stint. Thus for Shanghai teams took off the softer rubber and put on medium about lap 18, enough to survive to the end of the race. Picking up an advantage Red Bull brought in their two cars nose-to-tail, firing them out behind by the time lost in the pits which would be the same for all cars, when they pitted in turn. But they would prefer to do one car at a time as that is split-seconds faster.

Thus after the first rounds of tire stops. barring the normal lap or two difference in when teams hose to stop, everyone was back running in more or less the same order as before. Then down in one bend, the two Toro Rssos got their signals crossed, and one ran into the other, causing one to spin and distribute small swaths of puncture-provoking debris from both cars across the racin g lines. The marshalls at the corner swiftly carlled Race Control to send out a safety car, which was done. Christian Horner, race strategy guru for Red Bull, heard the call as his cars were approaching the last corner before the pits, and called both in instantly. Even double-stacked for service this let those two cars get out before the safety car came by, and so resume their positions as they rejoined. But the Red Bulls had fresh new rubber, that on the competition was old and worn.

So when the pace car was called in and the race resumed, it was no contest. The two Red Bulls sliced up the field, the superior cornering speeds on the fresh rubber letting them pass at will. With only 15 laps left they had to get about it in a hurry, to the point that Verstappen got overeager and Vettel lost traction during a desperate defence in a turn, Verstappen couldn't stop or evade so bounced off his side. Meanwhile, Ricciardo, better traction more than offsetting his power disadvantage, drove around RAikkonen, Hamilton,Vettel and Verstappen sorting themselves out from their collision, and Bottas into a lead he rapidly extended. He crossed the line in clear triumph, while behind Verstappen was apologizing to Vettel, and watching the 10-second misconduct penalty for the incident drop him behind Hamilton to fifth.


13 15 Apr 2018 Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai

Race result

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 56 1:35:36.380 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 +8.894s 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 56 +9.637s 15
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 +16.985s 12
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 56 +20.436s 10
6 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 56 +21.052s 8
7 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 56 +30.639s 6
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 +35.286s 4
9 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 56 +35.763s 2
10 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 56 +39.594s 1
11 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 56 +44.050s 0
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 56 +44.725s 0
13 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 56 +49.373s 0
14 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 56 +55.490s 0
15 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 56 +58.241s 0
16 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 56 +62.604s 0
17 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 56 +65.296s 0
18 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 56 +66.330s 0
19 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 56 +82.575s 0
20 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 51 DNF 0

Note - Gasly and Verstappen received 10-second time penalties for causing collisions.
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