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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:55 pm 
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I was listening to an F1 podcast and one of the topics was the way Alonso would start 6 or 7th in a race and be up to 3rd by corner one. Massa did very well at starts as well, but was too far back to matter. I at first thought back to the amazing starts Alonso used to make at Renault until they got in a bit of trouble for their system they had tied to the lights.

The guy on the podcast mentioned that Ferrari do a great job on race day of having their drivers stop out on track and measure bite point for the clutch as well as tire spin based on race day surface. According to this guy other drivers tend to go straight to the grid, but the Ferrari people work like crazy to make sure they can make the best start....... and it shows.

Surprised others don't spend more time on this when you consider how much track position matters at the start of races


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:35 pm 
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Massa has always been a great starter, probably one of the best on the grid.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Yes, they had great starts but I noticed a lot of Alonso's first lap position gains were after the first corner. I'm not sure why. Maybe he just knew how to get the most out of the tyres on the first lap. Or maybe the Ferrari had better straight line speed on a full tank of fuel. Or maybe he's just really good at overtaking on the first lap, some of these overtakes being planned a few corners in advance.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:28 pm 
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What other drivers skip bite point finds and go straight to their grid spot? None that I have seen.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Both drivers being so fast, so consistently has to have something to do with the car.

Renault in Alonso's days there were very fast at starts. Perhaps they have a slightly rearward weight distribution, something that Alonso seems to like? Pure speculation here.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:34 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
What other drivers skip bite point finds and go straight to their grid spot? None that I have seen.

they don't do it out on track either do they ? there probably not allowed to stop. They do it at the end of the pit lane don't thy ?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:37 pm 
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potter84 wrote:
Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.


Senna qualified behind where the car should have been. We saw the same thing with a rusty Schumi in 2010, he didn't get the most out of the car in qualifying but as a result he was punchy on the first lap because he was a bit behind where he should have been.

Alonso and Massa simply got great start after great start. It has to be something to do with the weight distribution or some aspect of the car, not the driver.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:38 pm 
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they do a practice start at the end of the pit lane. they do rolling bite point finds/burnouts on their way to the grid during the formation lap.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Eva09 wrote:
potter84 wrote:
Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.


Senna qualified behind where the car should have been. We saw the same thing with a rusty Schumi in 2010, he didn't get the most out of the car in qualifying but as a result he was punchy on the first lap because he was a bit behind where he should have been.

Alonso and Massa simply got great start after great start. It has to be something to do with the weight distribution or some aspect of the car, not the driver.

disagree true he qualified out of position but even when he had the likes of Massa of Webber or button around him he still got very good starts off the line with very little spin, as for alonsos starts his positions were mostly gained it the first few turns not as much off the actual line (he did gain off the line but not as much as being made out)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:46 pm 
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Eva09 wrote:
potter84 wrote:
Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.


Senna qualified behind where the car should have been. We saw the same thing with a rusty Schumi in 2010, he didn't get the most out of the car in qualifying but as a result he was punchy on the first lap because he was a bit behind where he should have been.

Alonso and Massa simply got great start after great start. It has to be something to do with the weight distribution or some aspect of the car, not the driver.


I agree that the majority of the start isn't in the driver's hands. They really rely on the engineers doing their calculations right, but you can't completely discredit the drivers, they have to have some phenomenal reaction times to launch the cars and the the timing needed to do everything right in a fraction of a second always amazes me.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:40 pm 
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No matter how good Ferrari's technology, drivers Alonso and Massa must have a lot to do with the good starts.

It would be an interesting study: how many overtakes say into/after the first corner for the great drivers. Prost must have done well, as Alonso has, starting further back? Modernday racing is so much more difficult than pre-mid-sixties, when cars/tyres were narrow and traffic less dense. I think drivers' preparedness and reactions in today's starts are incredible, and that there are not far more accidents, is down to their skill and fitness.

Very interesting info from Mikattack on Ferrari's tech side. Were Renault not caught by officialdom/regs, for being naughty with their start technology?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:50 pm 
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potter84 wrote:
Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.



I agree, he does go wide, but he also has a lot of speed to be able to do that and still slot in. I am not sure where they are stopping on track to do this as many of you pointed out they are not allowed to stop on track. I don't think the pit lane would help since it is not the same usage wise as the actual track. Perhaps they go out early? I am pretty sure you are free to go around the track should you choose not just go to grid...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Hakkattack wrote:
potter84 wrote:
Alonso made a lot of places on lap one by keeping very wide on the opening corners therefore avoiding the concertinaing effect the rest did therefore takings a slower line in the corners but avoiding all traffic and bunching and able to jump several cars before the space out mid lap. As well as the Ferraris senna also made up a lot of places on the starts and seems to have a great feel for the car off the start line.



I agree, he does go wide, but he also has a lot of speed to be able to do that and still slot in. I am not sure where they are stopping on track to do this as many of you pointed out they are not allowed to stop on track. I don't think the pit lane would help since it is not the same usage wise as the actual track. Perhaps they go out early? I am pretty sure you are free to go around the track should you choose not just go to grid...



They don't stop on track. One of the reasons behind the burnouts is to set the clutch up. Based on the info received from them they then set the clutch whilst on the grid.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Is that a real question? Don't you watch the formation lap, or do you skip straight to lights out?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:42 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
Is that a real question? Don't you watch the formation lap, or do you skip straight to lights out?


yes, I have been to about 10 races live.... I know for a fact you can do an many laps as you want pre race... You simply use pit in, then go back out when you please. Though it is rare now, it used to happen a ton. Of course in the old days you could not only switch engines for race day you could switch to the T car for no reason at all if you wanted


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:58 pm 
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Hakkattack wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
Is that a real question? Don't you watch the formation lap, or do you skip straight to lights out?


yes, I have been to about 10 races live.... I know for a fact you can do an many laps as you want pre race... You simply use pit in, then go back out when you please. Though it is rare now, it used to happen a ton. Of course in the old days you could not only switch engines for race day you could switch to the T car for no reason at all if you wanted

Your right and the Ferrari guys did it a lot at Silverstone this year


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:02 pm 
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I'm not talking about doing installation laps (which are not rare now either), I'm talking about doing bite point finds, on the formation lap.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:49 pm 
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rawsushi wrote:
Yes, they had great starts but I noticed a lot of Alonso's first lap position gains were after the first corner. I'm not sure why. Maybe he just knew how to get the most out of the tyres on the first lap. Or maybe the Ferrari had better straight line speed on a full tank of fuel. Or maybe he's just really good at overtaking on the first lap, some of these overtakes being planned a few corners in advance.

Agreed. The car and both their drivers are fast starters off the line, but it's definitely not just off the line.
I think Alonso seems to have the strategy and capacity to take advantage of the opening lap mess while most of the other drivers are distracted trying to avoid collisions. A compilation of his 1st lap onboards is something I would like to watch.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:53 pm 
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Darkarium wrote:
Massa has always been a great starter, probably one of the best on the grid.


He had a couple of bad starts in early '07, and caught a lot of flak for it. He then seemed to focus more on starting and has rarely made a bad start since.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:37 pm 
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ashley313 wrote:
I'm not talking about doing installation laps (which are not rare now either), I'm talking about doing bite point finds, on the formation lap.


I am not talking about the formation lap... The guy on the podcast mentioned that on race day they do a lot of set up with clutch settings... I assumed he could only mean the 1/2 hour allowed to be on track before they take off on formation lap


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:51 pm 
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Eva09 wrote:
Alonso and Massa simply got great start after great start. It has to be something to do with the weight distribution or some aspect of the car, not the driver.


Of course not, it can't possibly the driver getting a great start. It has to be the "weight distribution" that puts the car on that particular line and sets up that first corner....not the drivers!
:lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:16 am 
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POBRatings wrote:
No matter how good Ferrari's technology, drivers Alonso and Massa must have a lot to do with the good starts.

It would be an interesting study: how many overtakes say into/after the first corner for the great drivers. Prost must have done well, as Alonso has, starting further back? Modernday racing is so much more difficult than pre-mid-sixties, when cars/tyres were narrow and traffic less dense. I think drivers' preparedness and reactions in today's starts are incredible, and that there are not far more accidents, is down to their skill and fitness.

Very interesting info from Mikattack on Ferrari's tech side. Were Renault not caught by officialdom/regs, for being naughty with their start technology?


"During the 1994 season, some rival teams claimed Benetton had found a way to violate the FIA-imposed ban on electronic aids, including Traction Control and Launch Control. On investigation, the FIA discovered "start sequence" (launch control) software in the Benetton B194 cars, and a variety of illegal software in rival teams' cars as well. FIA had no evidence the software was ever used, so teams found with the software received little to no punishment. No traction control software was found to be in the Benetton cars, however. Flavio Briatore, Benetton's chief in 1994, said in 2001 that "Our only mistake was that at the time we were too young and people were suspicious". - source Wikipedia

There was sanctioned launch control in the early 2000's as well, and Renault's was one of the best. The cars have a lot to do with it, but the drivers are important as well.

Good starts (from the driver) are often about how much they 'own' the piece of track they are heading for. Deciding where to go and driving that line into T1 more often than not sees a good gain, whereas if a driver has to change their line to avoid another driver, they almost invariably have to do it again, and it becomes a chain reaction, which pushes them backwards. FA has been one of the best decision makers off the grid, and he does not yield easily. Sometimes he gets it wrong (like assuming Kimi would back out this year), but mostly he forces others to change their minds. FM is a determined little guy at the starts as well - he rarely allows himself to be pushed off his chosen line. They are both great starters.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:47 am 
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Hakkattack wrote:
ashley313 wrote:
I'm not talking about doing installation laps (which are not rare now either), I'm talking about doing bite point finds, on the formation lap.


I am not talking about the formation lap... The guy on the podcast mentioned that on race day they do a lot of set up with clutch settings... I assumed he could only mean the 1/2 hour allowed to be on track before they take off on formation lap

They do their clutch work on the formation lap. Listen to the pit radio channel this year, and you will hear exactly what they are doing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:44 am 
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check it out ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlk_0DVYLes

actual start is about 7:49, and the ferrari does seem to have very good acceleration and Alonso gets a good start.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:54 am 
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Speaking of Ferrari launches, I was just rewatching Spa 2012 (I put races on when I go to bed and seldom make it past the formation lap) and I noticed that it looked like Fernando didn't have his hands on the wheel until a second or two after the car gets moving at the race start. You can even see the wheel move on its own off the line. I have no opinion about what that does or doesn't mean, its just kind of crazy to see. The "look ma, no hands" Formula 1 launch. Check it out if you have races saved. I only really noticed it because they replayed the onboards from the crash so many times.

I just watched pete's link above, and same thing - no hands. I wonder what that's about.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:19 am 
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Truly weird..

I've always considered Alonso to be the most aggressive in warm up procedures etc. Maybe the hands are on a lower part of the wheel as habit? or something sinister and underhanded? :lol:

One thing I would like to see is the fia publish start-reaction times in their results. With the sensors already there to detect jump starts, I would think it would be interesting to see how quickly each driver started their race. I know Webber must be 3 or 4 seconds 8O :lol: :lol:

Anyway the reaction times are standard issue in drag racing......I just think it would be a good measurement for the fans... who is the fastest starter? or at least second after no-hands Alonso

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:15 am 
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It's probably to do with where the launch paddles are on the Ferrari wheel. I know they're on the bottom. Maybe Alonso doesn't like to fully grasp it with one hand and wants as minimal contact with the thing as possible?

It's probably to do with the launch paddles and personal preference

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:28 am 
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probably the reason for horners meating with the ferrari guys - he handed them webbos warm-up procedures :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:11 am 
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ashley313 wrote:
Speaking of Ferrari launches, I was just rewatching Spa 2012 (I put races on when I go to bed and seldom make it past the formation lap) and I noticed that it looked like Fernando didn't have his hands on the wheel until a second or two after the car gets moving at the race start. You can even see the wheel move on its own off the line. I have no opinion about what that does or doesn't mean, its just kind of crazy to see. The "look ma, no hands" Formula 1 launch. Check it out if you have races saved. I only really noticed it because they replayed the onboards from the crash so many times.

I just watched pete's link above, and same thing - no hands. I wonder what that's about.

He is playing mind games with the steering wheel :smug:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:22 am 
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Maldo has the best starts.. He was out in front even before others could get off the line!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Even if the paddles are low on the steering wheel and blocked by his helmet, if hes holding onto part of the wheel it shouldnt be "wandering" around straight off the line. And why would they put them there? So strange. Im going on a quest tomorrow (should be somewhat snowed in) to find out why lol

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:17 pm 
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I think a lot is actually related to the clutch and its settings. Before Spain 2011, Alonso's starts at Ferrari were actually pretty mediocre. He got a new clutch at Barcelona and since that race he's been making excellent starts and almost never loses places.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:19 pm 
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Yeah, I thought that as well. It looks alot like no hands. Maybe he does go no hands after all. Wouldn't surprise me.

The car doesn't seem to move that much with the wheel wandering like that, although they are moving relatively slowly at the time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:48 pm 
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It is counter-intuitive to think of no hands at the start. Even though starting from nothing, it's the transition to power you would imagine require your attention/input - hands. Most would use the phrase "hold on to it" but maybe Ferrari know some self-steering principles millions of others who've started a race car don't know about? Maybe it's just low mounted launch paddles. I'll ber interested in what ashley discovers....... what about Massa?

I do remember Montoya spinning on the grid warming up for a start in Melbourne :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:02 am 
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RunningMan wrote:
It's probably to do with where the launch paddles are on the Ferrari wheel. I know they're on the bottom. Maybe Alonso doesn't like to fully grasp it with one hand and wants as minimal contact with the thing as possible?

It's probably to do with the launch paddles and personal preference


Yes, I agree, you can see it clearly -- he reaches down and depresses the clutch paddles, the display changes, then you see him release each one of them in turn and the display changes each time.

There are 4 paddles, right? the 2 shifters on top, and I guess the 2 bottom ones are the 2 stages of the clutch.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:41 am 
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flyer wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
It's probably to do with where the launch paddles are on the Ferrari wheel. I know they're on the bottom. Maybe Alonso doesn't like to fully grasp it with one hand and wants as minimal contact with the thing as possible?

It's probably to do with the launch paddles and personal preference


Yes, I agree, you can see it clearly -- he reaches down and depresses the clutch paddles, the display changes, then you see him release each one of them in turn and the display changes each time.

There are 4 paddles, right? the 2 shifters on top, and I guess the 2 bottom ones are the 2 stages of the clutch.


You are right. There is one clutch, which is controlled by two clutch pedals on the wheel. The pedal which is depressed more among the two overrides.
At the start of the race, the first pedal is fully depressed(thus overriding the second), while the second pedal is held at the bite point, all while the engine is revving. When the lights go out, the driver lets go of the first pedal immediately, and the second overrides and comes into play. He then gradually releases it for optimum initial traction. This sequence prevents the car from stalling, and is responsible for the lightning fast launches.

In FA's case, due to personal preference both the clutch pedals are located at the base and at the back of his steering wheel, thus explaining his no-hands starts.

You can see the clutch at the lower back.

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https://www.ck-modelcars.de/sites/produkt.php?id=8548


Last edited by BlueSharky on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Blake wrote:
Eva09 wrote:
Alonso and Massa simply got great start after great start. It has to be something to do with the weight distribution or some aspect of the car, not the driver.


Of course not, it can't possibly the driver getting a great start. It has to be the "weight distribution" that puts the car on that particular line and sets up that first corner....not the drivers!
:lol:


Actually I think the weight distribution is tightly controlled so it's probably not that, but it's something like that.

Obviously the drivers do a good job, but it has to be 70% car. Felipe and Fernando making great start after great start all based on their own skill only, sorry... I don't buy that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:52 pm 
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flyer wrote:
RunningMan wrote:
It's probably to do with where the launch paddles are on the Ferrari wheel. I know they're on the bottom. Maybe Alonso doesn't like to fully grasp it with one hand and wants as minimal contact with the thing as possible?

It's probably to do with the launch paddles and personal preference


Yes, I agree, you can see it clearly -- he reaches down and depresses the clutch paddles, the display changes, then you see him release each one of them in turn and the display changes each time.

There are 4 paddles, right? the 2 shifters on top, and I guess the 2 bottom ones are the 2 stages of the clutch.

The clutch paddles probably don't have to be on the wheel, his hands could be anywhere. Like I said before, if they were holding paddles low on the wheel the wheel wouldn't wander when the car starts to move. If Ferrari has foot-activated DRS, their clutch operation could be anywhere. Anyway, I'm on the case once I get through some housekeeping in the office.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:41 pm 
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I watched as many Ferrari starts from 2012 as I could find. In most, it looks like Fernando isn't touching the wheel at all. And on a couple of occasions that wheel REALLY wanders, with no sense of urgency in the return of his hands to the top of the wheel. At some races, it looks like he has one hand near the bottom of the wheel and you can't see the second. Germany was one of these, and it wasn't a great start. Straight into the limiter, and the whole thing sounded rough, and a bit bumpy in the car (not just when on the limiter). Remember that was a front row start.

Felipe seems to have one hand low on the wheel, and one up near the normal driving position. There was less evidence to examine for him though.

The F2012 wheel does have a set of paddles about 3/4 of the way down, but so did the RBR and Lotus wheels (maybe others, I just know these two definitely did), and those guys seem to hold them "normally" at the start.

Now on to phase 2, seeking an explanation :P

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