Pre Season Testing

Discuss Formula 1 Testing

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Mike N
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Pre Season Testing

Post by Mike N » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:35 pm

Pre-Season Testing

Anticipation for a great season of Formula One racing has been running extremely high since the fantastic ending to the 2010 challenge in Abu Dhubai last November. Last season’s tremendous points battle between the protagonists from the three top teams left us all with a sense of fulfillment at having been witness to a truly historic contest. What should we expect this coming season in F-1? Will our favorite drivers, Alonso, Webber, Button, Hamilton, and champion Vettel do well? Is it possible to once again see this type of competition throughout an entire racing season?

Until now, this year, most of us have been following the sport through our personal computers, or public access computers where we have had seemingly endless short articles of team harmony, technical information on tires, and the obligatory photos of new car launches. Unfortunately we’ve also seen what can go wrong for a young man choosing to augment his ’need for speed’ when he’s not driving an open wheel race car. Robert Kubica, a mega talented driver with many fans worldwide continues to improve in an Italian hospital. This really is sad for his fans, as well as his Lotus Renault team which counted on his abilities to lift them to the top step of the podium this year. Hurry back Robert. When the badly injured Kubica does return to the cockpit of an F-1 car time will have moved on ,with even more changes to the sport, of that we can be sure.

And times are what we’ve been entertained with the past two weeks, as we finally get our fix with the cars returning to the track for pre-season testing. New cars, are put through their paces in sunny Jerez, and Barcelona with numerous combinations of drivers, tires, aerodynamic mods and equipment to be judged as successful or not. We are observing the frustration that comes when some veteran drivers attempt to adapt to the new, current, tires chosen believe it or not, for their lack of durability. This lack of tire consistency is one of the main factors making this coming season different from last, when drivers could count on their tires to last for extended laps during a race, and therefore plan their race accordingly. Now we are expected to see, as Felipe Massa is predicting, many pit stops for tire changes, and how well a driver/car combination reacts to the new tire will massively impact his chances for the championship. Already too, Lewis Hamilton is said to have been having a tough time adapting to the tires on his McLaren, while his teammate, Jenson Button is thought to be in with a good chance to do well this year.

As always the lower ranking teams which traditionally struggle at the middle to lower end of the grid are hoping to benefit from the new rules this year. They’re hoping against hope to hit it big, like Brawn GP did a couple of years ago with the double diffuser. The return of KERS, Kinetic Energy Recovery System, also gives their drivers in the back of the grid the dream of passing multiple cars at the beginning of congested, confusing formula one starts. Pre-season testing for some of them has been the first time they’ve experienced the joys of KERS, and surely they have big plans on how to spring a surprise on their competitors come race day. To a lesser extent all drivers are becoming familiar with the movable rear wings, also mandated for this year. Although times have been predictably unpredictable with all of the variables used by the teams for testing purposes, some of the organizations, such as Toro Rosso appear to be in quite good shape for the year ahead. No, it’s not the same old Minardi anymore. Drivers, Sebastien Buemi, and Jaime Alguersuari will once again be seeking to make each other look bad, seeking the approval of Mr. Mateschitz over at parent company Red Bull. In testing the young Swiss, Buemi, is already being questioned by members of the media, on his performance vis a vis Alguersuari.

Yes, pre-season testing is finally underway and for this year the variables aren’t only limited to the cars. The past weeks have seen demonstrations, and overturning of governments in the Middle East. The cancellation of the first race of the year in Bahrain has just been announced to the teams, with one more race to be run later in the year in the region. And China, far removed from the deserts of the Mediterranean has had it’s own ’Chrysanthemum movement’ which is possibly somewhat inspired by the goings on in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain. Note: leaders in each nation with demonstrations have blamed the internet for dissent in their countries, so I’d better be careful what I write here.

Mike N

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Post by cmlean » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:41 pm

Firstly Mike. welcome to the NewsonF1 forums.
This is certainly an interesting read. Congratulations on such a well written post. :D

Ed
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Post by Ed » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Welcome Mike to our site and great to see such contribution.

It does appear that of all changes in 2011, the switch to Pireilli tyres is going to make the biggest impact. Lets hope that spices up things a bit

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