"Okay,...Jean is smarter than you....... can you confirm you understood that message" Bernie on the phone to Max circa 2009
Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines - Enzo Ferrari circa 1960
There's no way RB can get 2nd and 3rd unless they disqualify Vettel which will be totally ridiculous. Even a stop&go penalty won't push him down from 2nd.
As for the race, Giovinazzi cost Vettel badly. He was the only front-runner to pit under VSC and he would probably won without that incident. But the crash itself was only part of the problem. They closed the pit-lane as well which meant Seb was sixth instead of second after all. He still recovered well but if they haven't forced all drivers to run through pit-lane then Vettel would have been right on Hamilton like in the first stint in Australia. Tough luck. Kimi was undone by late pitstop as well, I think they tried to one-stop him but the gamble failed. Considering his great pace compared to RB at the end, more was possible but then he must've overtook DRS-assisted Ricciardo so probably would have been fifth anyway. The only possibility to get higher would have been to undercut Ricciardo.
So basically, two Gran Prix in the books and both races decided ultimately by factors other than driver and team talent. Welcome to F1 of 2017.
Has anyone mentioned giving Kimi the boot yet? He is about as much use as sunglasses on a guy with no ears
I am not a Kimi hater, or anything, but I think he is beginning to show his age. My two choices for his 2018 replacement are Perez or Sainz.
Tous avec Jules #17
Kimi Raikkonen wants Ferrari to analyse the decisions it made on his Chinese Grand Prix strategy as he believes he could have got “much more” than fifth with different calls from the pit wall. Raikkonen's typically entertaining radio messages grew in
Kimi Raikkonen wants Ferrari to analyse the decisions it made on his Chinese Grand Prix strategy as he believes he could have got “much more” than fifth with different calls from the pit wall.
Raikkonen’s typically entertaining radio messages grew increasingly heated in the middle of the grand prix as his calls for a pit stop were denied by Ferrari, despite feedback that he was struggling with the car’s handling. While it seemed Ferrari was initially considering keeping him on the soft tyre until the end of the race, they eventually called the Finn in to pit on lap 39 — five after teammate Vettel and six after Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The time lost in that gap proved to be decisive, meaning he emerged from his stop a long way off the Red Bulls and behind Carlos Sainz in sixth. Though he easily dispatched Sainz and closed right up to the Red Bulls on the final lap, he had to settle for fifth, something he blamed on the timing of his last stop.
“I think we should have got much more than what we got but that’s easy to say afterwards,” Raikkonen said after the race. “We stopped too late for new tyres and after that it was pretty much race over. Yes, I caught up with the Red Bulls in the end but it was too late. I think the car was behaving pretty nicely on fresh tyres, but the fronts just went away after two laps.
“For sure we have some work to be done with set-up so we can be happier all the time, but the speed was not too bad. But it was not a great result.”
“Obviously I had the feeling we should stop. I felt a long time before that we would need to stop at some point, so I’d rather do it earlier rather than later, to get out of the traffic I had in front of me. But that didn’t happen and my feeling grew stronger.
“It took a while, but the reasons behind it I don’t know right now. We need to look but, like I said, it’s easy to look back and say we should have done a better job out of it. Hopefully next time…”
Though unhappy with Ferrari’s strategy, Raikkonen had been unable to get past Daniel Ricciardo in the opening stint of the race. When Sebastian Vettel got past Raikkonen he soon dispatched the Red Bull in front too.
Raikkonen was surprised at how much he struggled behind the Red Bull but thinks his car’s handling hindered his progress.
“I struggled a bit to get through Turn 3, which pretty much led to the only place we could pass them, I couldn’t get the traction or couldn’t get the car to turn around there. They were quite strong in the back straight, I was probably expecting to be able to get at them easier than it was, they had good speed there and I was also struggling on the exit of Turn 12 in the first part of the race, I couldn’t go early on the power.
“Just small things but the effect could be quite big. It’s a disappointing race, but I still scored points and hopefully in the next race we can put things as we want and then, for sure, it should be easier to fight at the front.”
Last edited by jgonzalesm6; 11th April 2017 at 08:57.
There should be some message passed to kimi like pass ric as soon as possible rather than to convey seb is faster than you which they can't say it openly. Also in the mean while vet was also trying his hard to pass kimi, thinking that kimi will give a way. But everytime vet came inside or outside of the corner to pass, kimi closed the doors.
Analysis: Would Vettel have won China without F1 Safety Car and why did Ferrari leave Raikkonen out?
After the outlier of Melbourne’s street track the Chinese Grand Prix was the first opportunity on a proper race track in 2017 to assess the new F1 cars; to judge the level of overtaking and to understand better the way that race strategy has changed with the new rules.
There was some close wheel to wheel action and with mixed conditions at the start, decision making was at the heart of the action.
In the duel between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, whereas in Australia it was Mercedes’ decision to pit early that cost the race, in China Ferrari took the risk to make the early stop.
Their plan was thwarted, not by the early stop, but by an accident and Safety Car immediately afterwards, which handed Vettel’s rivals a free pit stop. And because the accident was on the start line, it meant that the Safety Car had to pass down the pit lane, which helped the others and made it even worse for Vettel to recuperate.
It was a shame as without that, the race could have been decided between them at several different points along the way. Again the cars and lead drivers were very closely matched, with Mercedes perhaps just having the slight edge due to the cooler conditions, whereas the Ferrari was a shade faster in Melbourne.
Here we will take a deep dive into the background stories from the race and analyse the decisions made and their effect on the outcome.
Practice was cut short by bad weather on Friday, which meant all the work on slick tyres was done on Saturday morning. Red Bull looked better on long runs than on qualifying runs. No–one bothered with the overly conservative medium tyre, while the Soft tyre looked like it was capable of very long stints of over 45 laps, making it a likely one stop race in the dry. However the faster warm up of the Super Soft made that an option for some.
The problem with the SuperSoft was that it forced you into two stopping, gave far less flexibility to the strategy and defined the pit stop times. That lack of flexibility could have been costly for Red Bull if it had rained later in the race, for example. For the faster cars with more downforce there was no problem getting the soft tyre to work in the cold conditions, but for the midfield and slower teams, the Supersoft was tempting.
The outlier among the faster cars was Red Bull, which saved Supersoft tyres for both drivers (Verstappen’s qualifying was disrupted so he had new tyres anyway). This is a trend we are starting to see this year for that team to seek to take the ‘fastest’ tyre, rather than the one that gives most flexibility. It almost cost them in China and it could well cost them in a future race, where flexibility is key.
What teams did not have clearly worked out due to lack of data was the crossover from the wet to the intermediate to the dry tyres, as the Pirelli wet and intermediate tyres have had little testing. This would turn out to be a pivotal issue in the early part of the race.
Carlos Sainz gambles on slicks at the start
Most teams sent their drivers out to do a couple of laps before joining the grid on different tyres to assess the grip levels. Lewis Hamilton arrived on the grid on slicks, while others only assessed the full wets and intermediates, thinking that it was likely to be an intermediate tyre start. The problem with a drying track in Shanghai is that beneath the two giant wing structures, which span the main straight, the track stays wet for longer.
Although that caught out Antonio Giovinazzi, whose crash at the end of Lap 3 triggered the Safety Car, in fact the area of the track some strategists were more concerned about was the final sector, which still had some damp patches affecting lap times.
The rule of thumb is that the closer to the front you are, the more risk averse you will be in a situation like this. The further back you are the easier the decision is to go to the slick tyres. Most people did the same thing, which was to start on intermediates and pit under the Virtual Safety car on Lap 2 after Lance Stroll’s car went off. The leaders did not do this, apart from Vettel and neither did Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso.
Sainz, starting from 11th on the grid, took the contrary decision to start the race on slick supersoft tyres. Although he got a positive race result in 7th place, it wasn’t because of this decision. It was in spite of it.
He got wheelspin off the line, dropping to 18th place and going off the track, brushing the barriers. He was lucky to get away with that and then picked up places when the Virtual Safety Car and then Safety Car came out.
But prior to the Safety Car, having lost lost 27 seconds at the start, he was already a pit stop behind the others anyway. What saved him and gained the places back, was the Safety Car.
Why Vettel went for the bold strategy and why Ferrari left Raikkonen out
Ferrari qualified close to Mercedes and felt that they had a chance to win the race in China, to back up their Australia win. There’s plenty of confidence in the team at the moment and their chairman Sergio Marchionne was in the garage observing them in action.
So when the Virtual Safefy Car was triggered on Lap 2, after Stroll’s incident, they assessed risk versus reward and went for the bold option – they pitted Vettel.
Both Mercedes, both Red Bulls and Raikkonen stayed out.
Ferrari now had a split strategy across the two cars. The problem was that Raikkonen had lost a place to Ricciardo at the start and sat behind him, unable to exploit the pace of the Ferrari and play his part in the game.
By pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, a stop takes around 12-14 seconds instead of 21. When the track goes green that’s a 7-9 sec gap that the leader has to build back up ahead of his own stop. As the track was drying quickly, Hamilton would surely be in a lap or two later, as would the other leading cars and Vettel could well have been in the lead (see below)
There are three main risks to doing what Ferrari did; one is that the VSC can end at any time and it would be a disaster for it to end while your car is in the pits and others get back up to racing speeds. Another is that on a cold day, if the VSC continues for a few minutes after you stop, you lost tyre temperature in the slicks and with it much of the pace advantage you’ve gone in for.
But the biggest risk is that a VSC is often followed by a real Safety Car, either because the Race Director feels that the situation requires it or because someone goes onto slicks and has a heavy accident.
The latter is what happened to Vettel in China. The VSC was lifted and it was looking good for Vettel as the benchmark Sainz on supersofts was setting faster sector times than the leaders on intermediates.
Then Giovinazzi smashed into the pit wall and the Safety Car came out, which gave Mercedes, the Red Bulls and Raikkonen a free pit stop.
Red Bull were especially smart here in that they could see that the Safety Car was going to be out for several laps,. So they did not ‘stack’ their cars, forcing the second car to queue behind the first for service, which is what Mercedes did, losing Bottas places to Ricciardo, Verstappen and Raikkonen.
As they passed through the pit lane, the tail car Verstappen was serviced first and then the next lap through Ricciardo was serviced, so both cars gained.
Would Vettel have won without the Safety Car?
It would have been very close at Hamilton’s stop. On Lap 3, after the VSC ended, Vettel was 18 seconds behind and Hamilton needed 21 seconds to stop and retain position, so there would have been a crossover point, which could have swung either way depending on the track condition at that precise moment (a similar situation to Hamilton’s dramatic last lap world title win in Brazil 2008).
On Lap 3, Hamilton and Vettel set similar middle sector times, but Vettel’s final sector was two seconds quicker, so it was starting to swing back towards him. Either way, if Hamilton had pitted or if he had continued and completed another lap, chances are he would have come out behind Vettel. But the Safety Car put paid to that.
After that Ferrari had to rely on Vettel overtaking the cars ahead of him to get back to Hamilton. They opted not to move Raikkonen out of his path and Vettel lost around 7 seconds to Hamilton as a result. This early in the season it is unusual for Ferrari to issue orders. That tends to happen only when one driver is clearly the main title challenger.
Vettel passed Raikkonen and the Red Bulls, but Ferrari opted to keep Raikkonen out on track, past the ideal stop time for his tyre condition relative to the Red Bulls and Bottas. This cost him the chance of a podium.
But it wasn’t looking good anyway; had they stopped him earlier he had shown no signs of being able to overtake the Red Bulls in the first stint and would have lost a place to Bottas, who had dropped down the order because of a spin on cold tyres before the restart, so they looked at it differently.
The main reason why they left him out was to try to keep him in Hamilton’s pit window so he could be ahead after Hamilton’s stop and interfere with Hamilton’s race and bring Vettel back into play. It was the only card they had left to play.
But a realistic assessment showed that it was futile. Raikkonen was inside Hamilton’s pit window on Lap 31 but by Lap 35 Hamilton had 25 seconds gap.
Raikkonen was having an off day personally and his tyres were not at their best after following Ricciardo, although it must be said the Ferrari’s benign aerodynamics mean that it can follow other cars with less damage to its tyres than any other car in the field. Vettel demonstrated that clearly in Australia and China and it could be a factor that comes into play a few times this season.
Hamilton had enough in hand so that when he pitted he came out ahead of Raikkonen. Ferrari will look to Bahrain where the hotter temperatures and layout of the track mean they could be the team to beat.
Wehrlein set for Bahrain return.