Close

    • Formula 1 2013: Spanish Granx Prix - Another horrible race for Mercedes, why can't they turn qualifying success into race success?

      Another Mercedes Pole Position and another Mercedes letdown. That's the story of the season so far in 2013 for the Mercedes Formula 1 Effort. For the third straight race Mercedes held the pole position. At the Spanish Grand Prix this was even sweeter as Mercedes qualified 1-2 meaning this is as good as it gets folks. So why are things going so poorly on race day after such strong showings in qualifying? The team said they had it figured it out buy they clearly do not.


      Nico Rosberg finished in 6th place and Lewis Hamilton finished in 12th. That is hardly figuring it out. The reality seems to be Mercedes simply does not know how to fix the problem. There is plenty of blame to go around from the tires to the strategy but there is no excuse for 12th place for Hamilton after starting on the front row.

      The race results are below. The Mercedes team has 9 days to figure out what's wrong before the Monaco GP.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: Formula 1 2013: Spanish Granx Prix - Another horrible race for Mercedes, why can't they turn qualifying success into race success? started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 16 Comments
      1. Conv7ct7on's Avatar
        Conv7ct7on -
        Its all about chassis and Aerodynamics its not the drivers fault. Mercedes instruct both drivers to race lightly to protect the tires, even the fuel is calculated. Last year this same car was one of the best on its tires but it wasn't as quick. The reason for this is that they added a lot more downforce. Downforce makes the car a whole lot faster especially on a twisty circuit but this also means your putting more force through the tires. The next race is Monaco and if the cars/Aero remain the same Mercedes should lock out the front row again and Red Bull lock out the second row because the Red Bull is loaded with downforce also but better balance. Scuderia Ferrari and Lotus have the better balance cars so clearly they have the advantage for now. Give Mercedes time they have 2 quick drivers and a great team.
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
        Sparky68 -
        Monaco is a stand alone track on the calendar, it is the least aero demanding track in F1. Its pretty much all about mechanical grip and not aero which is why it is such a lottery.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        It's ridiculous how important tire management has become.
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
        Sparky68 -
        It will change from Silverstone onwards as Pirelli are re-addressing the tyre compounds.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        There should not be one tire manufacturer in F1. I don't get it.
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
        Sparky68 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        There should not be one tire manufacturer in F1. I don't get it.
        Could not agree more, the more tyre suppliers we have, the more choice I get for discounted road tyres Click here to enlarge
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        There should not be one tire manufacturer in F1. I don't get it.
        There were times with two manufacturers. The problem was that half of the field was hopelessly behind when their tire brand did not work on a specific circuit. In the end this turned to a rubber war where basically the tire was more important for winning than the whole car.

        Pirelli principally did the right thing as we now no longer see "processions" in F1 where overtaking was next to impossible. We've had that for years, with the Pole setter having like a 90% chance to win the race...

        Races are much more attractive nowadays. Pirelli just went a bit over the top.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
        There were times with two manufacturers. The problem was that half of the field was hopelessly behind when their tire brand did not work on a specific circuit. In the end this turned to a rubber war where basically the tire was more important for winning than the whole car.

        Pirelli principally did the right thing as we now no longer see "processions" in F1 where overtaking was next to impossible. We've had that for years, with the Pole setter having like a 90% chance to win the race...

        Races are much more attractive nowadays. Pirelli just went a bit over the top.
        But I mean shouldn't there be a tire war so competition breeds the best tire?
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        But I mean shouldn't there be a tire war so competition breeds the best tire?
        In theory yes, but you end up with teams changing the car designs just so that it works best with the tires. It just gets too extreme as tires are arguably the most critical component of the car when it comes to laptimes. For example a 30 hp jump (which would be HUGE given the regulations could net a 1 second improvement over the course of one lap (not exact figures of course but to state an example). A better tire could easily shave off two or three seconds, without the need for the team to spend millions $$$ to gain the extra HP or improve the aerodynamics in countless windtunnel hours.

        The tire simply plays a too important rule and for the sake of the competition a single provider is definitely better.
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
        Sparky68 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
        In theory yes, but you end up with teams changing the car designs just so that it works best with the tires. It just gets too extreme as tires are arguably the most critical component of the car when it comes to laptimes. For example a 30 hp jump (which would be HUGE given the regulations could net a 1 second improvement over the course of one lap (not exact figures of course but to state an example). A better tire could easily shave off two or three seconds, without the need for the team to spend millions $$$ to gain the extra HP or improve the aerodynamics in countless windtunnel hours.

        The tire simply plays a too important rule and for the sake of the competition a single provider is definitely better.
        That also totally negates the whole "FIA Cost Cutting" stance which is why the engine freeze was put in place to start with.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sparky68 Click here to enlarge
        That also totally negates the whole "FIA Cost Cutting" stance which is why the engine freeze was put in place to start with.
        Which is something I'm totally against. I can see it making sense when it comes to gearboxes, but freezing engine development and making them last several races is against the proper racing spirit IMO. Legendary are the now gone times with qualifying engines which would only last two or three laps! No fan goes home saying "Wow, great race. Team XY has used the same engine for seven races now. Awesomeness!!!"

        As a fan, I want action, thrill, suspense, drama. In the 80's, rare were the races with more than 50% of starters actually making it to the finish line. Today's F1 has become far too predictable. Which forced them to introduce artificial "suspense makers" like the DRS, KERS (which isn't powerful enough IMO) and ultrasoft tyres.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Also keep in mind the Pirelli tires are made by design to only last a certain number of km.
        Pirelli is totally capable of making a tire that will last half a race and be very quick.
        That was what the whole Michelin/Bridgestone tire competition was all about.
        The FIA wanted more realiability, more pit stops, more drama and more tactical input.
        So they banned refueling (counter productive for strategy and a big mistake IMO), got anothet tire supplyer who delivers tires made to spec and set durability demands/quota on the number of engines and gearboxes allowed per car per season.
        As a result:
        the tires are unpredictable and sometimes desintegrate,
        cars get to drive races on used tires/rubbed in tires because they have a limited supply,
        Qualifying is mostly waiting because teams preserve tires and only do a single qualifying run, while the lesser teams use up their fast tires to get in the picture for sponsors, thereby sacrifycing their race chances by consuming their tires,
        teams order drivers to slow down and preserve engine and gearbox from 2/3rd of the race distance on to the flag,
        and pit stops only create drama when a wheel gun fails or a car is relased with the wheel nut not secured.
        I could go on about this.

        KERS and DRS are some of the more attractive decisions made by the FIA, but there have also been races too big of a DRS distance on a circuit ruins all exitement in a race.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Pirelli says it can bring boring processions back to F1 if asked











        Click here to enlargePirelli says it will help bring back boring processions to Formula 1
        if that is what teams and fans want.

        In the wake of a fresh debate about the impact the tyres are having on the
        sport - and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz claiming F1 "has nothing to do with
        racing
        anymore" – Pirelli has reiterated it is only doing what it has been
        asked to.

        When Pirelli returned to F1 for the 2011 season, it was asked to spice up the
        show and deliver multiple stop races with high degrading rubber, just like the
        famous 2010 Canadian
        Grand Prix
        .

        Paul Hembery, its motorsport boss, is aware his company is facing criticism
        for what is happening on track right now, but he has made it clear that those
        calling for a radical overhaul need to be sure about exactly what they are
        hoping for.

        "What do you want?" he said. "We were asked to provide two to three stops and
        replicate Canada [2010].

        "I know some of you would like us to do a one stop race where tyres are not a
        factor, and you can go back to processional racing where the qualifying position
        is the end position, if that is what you want in racing.

        "What do you want us to do? You tell us, we will do it."

        Hembery suggested that his company was baffled about why the tyre situation
        was being viewed as so extreme this year, when it has been no different ever
        since it returned to F1 in 2011.

        "It is rather bizarre because we are only doing what we did in the last two
        years," he said.

        "We don't understand why you [the media] are all so excited.

        Click here to enlarge"It is a bit bizarre - unless you all want us to give tyres to Red
        Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.

        "I think it is pretty clear. There is one team who will benefit from a change
        and that is them."

        Red Bull's RB9 is widely believed to be the car that produces the most
        downforce in Formula 1 this year, but it cannot make use of all that peak
        performance because it puts the tyres under too much stress.

        The nature of the challenge of looking after tyres means cars that are more
        mechanically sympathetic like the Lotus and Ferrari are better equipped when it
        comes to being consistent in the races.



        Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107415
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
        In theory yes, but you end up with teams changing the car designs just so that it works best with the tires. It just gets too extreme as tires are arguably the most critical component of the car when it comes to laptimes. For example a 30 hp jump (which would be HUGE given the regulations could net a 1 second improvement over the course of one lap (not exact figures of course but to state an example). A better tire could easily shave off two or three seconds, without the need for the team to spend millions $$$ to gain the extra HP or improve the aerodynamics in countless windtunnel hours.

        The tire simply plays a too important rule and for the sake of the competition a single provider is definitely better.
        This is rather boring I want to see tires have a big role. Less development is lame.
      1. Sparky68's Avatar
        Sparky68 -
        What Hembery fails to see is that not only are the tyres crap and producing 4 pit stop races, the drivers cant push the cars even with stopping for tyres 4 times.

        It would not be as bad if we could push the car after each pitstop but, we cant, the tyres just fall away even quicker. If drivers pushed the tyres to the cars abilities during Barcelona, it could easily have been a 5 or 6 stop race. Crazy!