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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:36 am 
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In qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix Hamilton set a 96.0 second lap with low fuel on hypersoft tyres.

Vettel set a 96.6 second lap with low fuel on hypersoft tyres.

Then in the early part of the race, Hamilton and Vettel were lapping about 11 seconds a lap slower than this, and the extra fuel weight could not have accounted for all of this extra time, so presumably Hamilton and Vettel wanted to eek out the tyre life of the brittle hypersoft tyres so that they didn't stop too early in the race and they wanted to instead get to a normal pit stop window.

To me this makes more sense for Hamilton who had track position and a bit less sense for Vettel who was just letting Hamilton run the pace he wanted to run and letting Lewis dictate things a little too much.

Why couldn't Seb have pumped in a single lap on lap 2 of the race where he pushes to the maximum on the tyres for one lap only, (so that he doesn't completely destroy his hypers), he laps about 6 seconds faster than Hamilton ideally wants to run meaning that either (i) Seb easily passes Hamilton, (if Lewis is stubborn and stays lapping at 11 seconds off his qualifying time then the 6 second lap time delta should be a comfortable pass somewhere on lap 2 for Seb), or (ii) Lewis is forced to speed up to prevent a pass from Seb, chewing both of their tyres up and turning both of their races into more of a lottery where they burn rubber up too soon and are running their tyres in a sub-optimal way and both might end up pitting into the middle of the pack after lap 7 say, helping benefit the likes of Max who would be in 3rd and is perhaps running his tyres in a better way.

The advantage to Seb of (i) is that he now takes the lead from Hamilton and now can mess Hamilton's tyres up or dictate the race more, and the advantage to Seb of (ii) is that creating a lottery position for you on 18 points currently and your rival on 25 points, means that your rival has the potential to lose out more from any chaos; whereas if you sit behind and let Hamilton run the pace he wants to run, you keep your 18 points but your rival gets to keep their 25 points, meaning you just help your rival to increase his points lead on you.

I guess what I am getting at is why did Vettel not try something aggressive with Lewis in the opening couple of laps of the race instead of deliberately driving 11 seconds off the pace and hanging behind Lewis; it just feels like he was playing into Lewis' hands by doing that and making Lewis' life easier.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:46 pm 
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You're making a bunch of assumptions, including your premise around the time in hand. You think if it was possible to go significantly faster (seconds is an order of magnitude in F1 timing), nobody would try?

Car characteristics, changing weight distribution as fuel burns off, engine mgmt. at heavier loads, tire loading and temperature windows are just a few things that decide just what sort of lap times a driver can do. Teams usually give their drivers target lap times per stint (or even within) to maintain optimum strategy and cover off rivals.

It's not a one-lap sprint where everyone's driving hell for leather, even assuming they could.

An F1 car running a qualifying lap on fumes is an entirely different animal than a car with a full tank, and needs to be driven accordingly.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:49 pm 
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chetan_rao wrote:
You're making a bunch of assumptions, including your premise around the time in hand. You think if it was possible to go significantly faster (seconds is an order of magnitude in F1 timing), nobody would try?

Car characteristics, changing weight distribution as fuel burns off, engine mgmt. at heavier loads, tire loading and temperature windows are just a few things that decide just what sort of lap times a driver can do. Teams usually give their drivers target lap times per stint (or even within) to maintain optimum strategy and cover off rivals.

It's not a one-lap sprint where everyone's driving hell for leather, even assuming they could.

An F1 car running a qualifying lap on fumes is an entirely different animal than a car with a full tank, and needs to be driven accordingly.


How do you explain the 11 second difference between qualifying and the race though? Is this all fuel weight or was there a large element of treating the tyres gingerly for the opening stint as they were such a soft compound?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:09 pm 
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F1 Racer wrote:
chetan_rao wrote:
You're making a bunch of assumptions, including your premise around the time in hand. You think if it was possible to go significantly faster (seconds is an order of magnitude in F1 timing), nobody would try?

Car characteristics, changing weight distribution as fuel burns off, engine mgmt. at heavier loads, tire loading and temperature windows are just a few things that decide just what sort of lap times a driver can do. Teams usually give their drivers target lap times per stint (or even within) to maintain optimum strategy and cover off rivals.

It's not a one-lap sprint where everyone's driving hell for leather, even assuming they could.

An F1 car running a qualifying lap on fumes is an entirely different animal than a car with a full tank, and needs to be driven accordingly.


How do you explain the 11 second difference between qualifying and the race though? Is this all fuel weight or was there a large element of treating the tyres gingerly for the opening stint as they were such a soft compound?


It's a combination of factors.

Weight is a significant factor. A full tank is nearly a sixth of an F1 car's weight, and it can massively affect acceleration, braking, handling, cornering and aerodynamics. We're referring to speeds where aligning your car a few degrees less or more to the apex, or braking 10 meters after the correct point, or a minor sudden steering input can mean the difference between staying on track or going off into a wall.

Tires are another. A heavy car on the most fragile tires available for the event (at least the frontrunners) can only be pushed so far. I'm sure they could pull a decent fraction of a second in clear air (lead car usually does that unless it's out of position), but several seconds are just not available, when all variables are factored in.

Modern F1 tires need to be babied even on 3-lap qualifying stints to get max performance, to expect a similar lap with a significantly different weight distribution and other characteristics is just not realistic.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:39 pm 
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Vettel was being held up, he was unable to pass or attack. Hamilton was quick in the key places to prevent him from overtaking.

At the 2016 Monaco GP, Hamilton was 4 seconds per lap quicker than Rosberg but needed a team order to pass him. Street circuits are like that.

Generally, start of race pace is at least 5-7 seconds slower and Singapore is a really long lap so 8-9 seconds would be relatively normal for this track. So Hamilton was going slow, but not as slow as it looks initially.

Hamilton did a 34.8 in qualifying at AD last race. Start of stint pace was 44-45. In fact his fastest lap was only a 41.3 which seems so slow.

Even in Brazil, shortest lap of the year. 7 seconds slower at start of race


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