September 9, 2011
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Vettel pipped Hamilton to the fastest lap
Sebastian Vettel edged Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Brit was leading the session, but was unseated by 0.036 seconds by the Red Bull. Hamilton was set to go faster again, but was held up by Jaime Alguersuari on his final flying lap.
The extremely hot track temperatures – up to 40 degrees on the tarmac – slowed the cars throughout the session, with no car beating Lewis’ fastest lap from FP1.
Sebastien Buemi provided the action in this session, crashing out at Parabolica corner after setting only 5 laps, after clipping the grass under braking.
The Ferraris improved to 4th and 5th, the Saubers 8th and 9th, with both Renaults 10th and 11th.
Nico Rosberg had another abysmal session, finishing 21st, and 5 seconds off the pace. Teammate Michael Schumacher broke into the top 3, finishing 0.3 seconds off Vettel.
Daniel Ricciardo was in last place, emerging from the pits with only a few minutes to go.
Times from FP2:
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:24.010 37
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.046 0.036 21
3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:24.347 0.337 39
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:24.366 0.356 33
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.433 0.423 31
6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:24.468 0.458 32
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.508 0.498 30
8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.097 1.087 39
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.182 1.172 37
10. Bruno Senna Renault 1:25.325 1.315 38
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:25.450 1.440 31
12. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:25.496 1.486 39
13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:25.683 1.673 37
14. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:25.758 1.748 29
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:26.202 2.192 36
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:26.353 2.343 40
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.347 4.337 5
18. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:28.559 4.549 32
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:28.605 4.595 32
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:28.804 4.794 25
21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:29.162 5.152 34
22. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.184 5.174 29
23. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:29.622 5.612 34
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:29.841 5.831 7
September 9, 2011
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Hamilton was well ahead in FP1
Lewis Hamilton was miles ahead of the opposition in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
A 1:23.865 was enough to put Lewis 0.9 seconds ahead of teammate Jenson Button, who was a further 4 tenths ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
Behind Mark Webber in 4th was Adrian Sutil, albeit 2.5 seconds away from the leading McLaren. Nico Hulkenberg took over the second Force India, taking 12th position.
Vitaly Petrov set the fastest speed in the traps (347 km/h) en route to 6th. The Ferraris were off the pace in 7th and 8th, with Sergio Perez and Jaime Alguersuari breaking into the top 10.
Bruno Senna and Nico Rosberg were well off the pace of their respective teammates in 16th and 18th. All Lotus, HRT and Virgin cars were outside of the 107% rule for this session.
Times from FP1:
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.865 18
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.786 0.921 19
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:25.231 1.366 25
4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:25.459 1.594 24
5. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.550 2.685 23
6. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:26.625 2.760 20
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.647 2.782 20
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:26.676 2.811 24
9. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.694 2.829 28
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.696 2.831 15
11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.699 2.834 21
12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.826 2.961 21
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:26.836 2.971 25
14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.996 3.131 29
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:27.365 3.500 25
16. Bruno Senna Renault 1:27.385 3.520 23
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:27.433 3.568 25
18. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.492 3.627 24
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:29.539 5.674 10
20. Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1:30.148 6.283 19
21. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:30.609 6.744 27
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:30.619 6.754 24
23. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:31.052 7.187 12
24. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:31.899 8.034 22
August 28, 2011
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Monza is expected to have two independent DRS zones per lap
The FIA is planning to use two DRS zones for the Italian Grand Prix – each with its own detection zone.
The Canadian Grand Prix saw the debut of double DRS zones, but both were activated by the same detection zone, which many believed gave an unfair advantage.
With this, a seperate detection zone for each area was improvised. It is believed that the DRS zones will be on the start/finish straight, and the straight from 2nd Lesmo to the Ascari chicane.
The extreme low-downforce nature of Monza means that the effect of DRS will be smaller compared to other races, but it is believed to be still significant.
As opposed to Jenson Button’s high-downforce strategy last year (utilising the F-duct), most teams are expected to run minimally angled rear wings.
September 12, 2010
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The problem which hampered Sebastian Vettel in yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix has been revealed as a sticking brake pedal, which slowed his car significantly for several laps, costing him a handful of places in the process. This was initially believed to have been caused by an engine problem, as Sebastian was complaining of a loss of power, but it has turned out that the brakes were slightly engaged while the car was on full throttle.
Sebastian Vettel's Italian GP was hampered by brake problems
At the start of Lap 20, Vettel first noticed the problem, which occured at the Parabolica corner the lap before. He lost several seconds a lap, and was overtaken by Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher. While the Renault engine technicians tried out several different presets to solve what they thought was a loss of engine power, the brake pedal became unstuck a few laps later.
Vettel later managed to jump past Webber, Schumacher and Rosberg thanks to staying out until the last lap on his softer tyres.
June 21, 2010
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Bridgestone F1 tyres
Bridgestone have announced that they are to bring a 2-step gap in the tyre compounds in the tyres that they will bring to the German Grand Prix, in an effort to mix up tyre strategies. Following the Canadian GP, the Japanese company had said that they would be more radical with their tyre compound choices.
For the race in Hockenheim, Bridgestone are to bring the super-soft and hard tyres, meaning that there will be a 2-step difference in tyre compounds, the first time that this has been done this season. Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone’s head of motorsport tyre development, said that the characteristics of the Hockenheim circuit allowed this extreme tyre variation to go ahead.
However, for the next 4 races after this, there will only be 1 gap between tyre compounds. In Hungary, the super-softs and mediums will be used, and similarly for Singapore. The soft and hard tyres will be used for Belgium and Italy.. Hamashima explained these choices:
"The Hungaroring requires a softer allocation as finding grip is
always a target there. Spa and Monza are high speed tests for
cars and tyres, needing a harder allocation because of the heat
durability requirements. Singapore is a high-speed street course
where the softer allocation is suited."
Personally, I think that a 2-step difference is dangerous, as performance in the cars will vary wildly across the race. What do you think? Is this a step too far to “improve the show”, or is a simple and effective way of spicing up the racing?