Tag Archives: weather

Possibility of rain for Chinese GP?

You’re not getting bored of rainy F1 races yet are you? Early predictions are suggesting a possibility of rain for the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend.

While Friday and Saturday should remain dry, there is a chance of light rain on Sunday, which would mean a second rain-affected Chinese Grand Prix in a row. Temperatures will be below 20 degrees all weekend, reaching as low as 12 degrees on Friday.

The best sattelite at the moment to track the weather at the moment is the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s satellite, which you can follow here.

Now let me stress that rain is a possibility, not a certainty. After all my shoutings about rain in Malaysia, it’s better to predict conservatively this time.

Malaysia weather predictions: Rain, rain and more rain

A sudden storm catches out an FIA official in Sepang, Malaysia

A sudden storm catches out an FIA official in Sepang, Malaysia

Last year, most of the blame was on Bernie Ecclestone for the terible time organisation of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Similiar complaints were made about the Australian Grand Prix, as the sun was in the drivers’ eyes on the straights for the entire weekend. We all hoped that mistakes would be learner, and the start time for this year’s Grand Prix would avoid the weather and stay in sunlight. But, it doesn’t look likely.

Storms and heavy rain, like the one shown in the picture above, have been catching out the entire paddock for the last few days. A few hours beforehand, the conditions were near-perfect, with the drivers and crew getting to walk the track. Soon enough though, the track and paddock were deserted, as the rain hammered down, and fears about the race on Sunday grew.

Every weather forecasting service is stating that there will be thunderstorms all weekend long in Sepang. With the high temperatures remaining, there is a high probability of a storm interrupting at least one of the sessions this weekend. For the teams, the instant thought would be to prepare a wet-weather setup. But, what are the chances of the rain resulting in the race not going full distance?

I can’t give an exact figure as to the probability of this happening, but it is much higher than it should be. To give you an idea, F1Photos on Twitter are hosting a competition, to see who can guess the lap of the red flag being brought out and abandoning the race (I’d say around Lap 25).

Really, after what happened last year, it’s shocking to see how the organisers, FIA and Ecclestone would overlook this problem again. The start time is 16:00 local time, an hour earlier than last year, but still sitting right in the middle of the Sepang storm time range. Of course, these later times are to assist European viewers in watching live F1 races, but it really is pointless. I mean, there are constant repeats on the BBC red button, and BBC 3 later that night. The only way to correct this problem is to put the race at mid-day local time, and get all of the European broadcasters to show replays later for the not-so-true F1 fans who don’t get up in the middle of the night.

But, of course, this won’t happen, so we will have to wait in worry to see will the race get to full distance or not. It will rain, but it is now just a matter of how heavy. But what do you think?


Hot and dry conditions for Bahrain, which will affect tyre choices

The Bahrain International Circuit

The Bahrain International Circuit

As the Formula 1 teams make their annual pilgrimage to Bahrain, it is no surprise to see that dry and hot conditions are being forecast for the weekend.

Since Bahrain first hosted a Grand Prix in 2004, conditions have always been perfectly dry, but often too hot. This year, temperatures are forecast at around 35°C, with a southerly wind speed of 8-9kph. This wind speed will help speed the cars up slightly on the straight.

As we all know from last year, temperatures play a critical role in tyre managment. This year, it is even more important, as tyres will wear more heavily at the first stints compared to the last, due to the heavier fuel loads. Therefore, very hot temperatures mean that the teams may use the harder compound more.

As the same as last year, Bridgestone are supplying super-soft and medium compund tyres. Last year, we saw the Toyotas completely fall apart when they took on the medium tyres in the middle stint, so the super-softs will still probably be the optimum tyres. You may be right to say that the teams would want to put on the super-softs for the first 1 or 2 stints, then change to the mediums. But, the high temperatures combined with an extremely heavy fuel load will result in massive amounts of tyre wear, which is most noticable in the super-soft tyres.

Since there are large problems with both sets of tyres, and not much time to test them, get ready for some seriously strange strategies in Bahrain.

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