F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/6/2010

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With so much going on in the Canadian Grand Prix the post-race team analysis articles took a lot longer than usual to produce. You can find them all on the front page of the site now.

Find out how you did in the Predictions’ Championship with the results in full coming out later on today.

Here’s today’s round-up:


The Montreal F1 boat race (Youtube)

Great to see the revival of the traditional Canadian Grand Prix boat race this year. Hopefully next year the ten miserable teams who didn’t join Williams and Lotus for some fun will get over themselves and join in.

Ferrari admits F-duct was distraction (ITV-F1)

Stefano Deomenicali “It was clear that we had concentrated too much effort on this rear wing. So we spent a lot of effort there and were not focused on the other areas.”

Canada welcomes back F1 (Motorsport)

Canadian Grand Prix promoter Francois Dumontier: “This year we had more people coming from Europe and the States than in the past. I would say 40 per cent of our crowd is coming from outside Quebec. It’s pretty amazing and I don’t really have an explanation for that. The Euro is struggling and the US dollar also, but the people are still coming. For the tourism business and our business community this is really good, because it’s new dollars coming into town.”

Comment of the day

There are always lots of great comments in the post-race stats and facts article and this one is no exception. From David A:

Ferrari have now gone 25 races without recording a pole position. In that time six other teams- Brawn GP, Mclaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toyota and Force India have had at least one pole position.
David A

From the forum

Here’s a question lots of people going to a Grand Prix for the first time ask: is it worth getting a Kangaroo TV?

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to David A, Vikas and Mateuss!

On this day in F1

The 1976 champion James Hunt died suddenly from a heart attack on this day in 1993. Hunt had retired from Formula 1 in 1979, and had a successful career as an F1 commentator on the BBC alongside Murray Walker.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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53 comments on “F1 Fanatic round-up: 15/6/2010”

  1. RIP James.

    Is the F-Duct this years KERS? Gives an advantage in a straight line but not really worth all the effort.

    1. Except for Mclaren I guess. Seems to have been worth the effort for them as they got there first. And a very cunning but simple idea.
      It’l be interesting, now that double defusers and f-ducts have been banned next year, to see what cheeky designs the teams come up with for an advantage over the others. Any ideas anyone? lol

      1. “Except for Mclaren I guess.”

        Same as last year, they had the best KERS by far, now they have the best F-Duct by an even larger margin.

        1. Imagine if they had both for this year – what sort of top speed advantage would the Maccas have then???

      2. Actually we don’t know how much it actually helps McLaren. For all we know there car is simply fast. Just like Red Bull’s car is without an F-duct.

        1. Bigbadderboom
          15th June 2010, 10:03

          I think considering the mercedes engine also powers the silver arrows and you would imagine with all mercs technical knowledge, the top end advantage Mclaren enjoy must be aero created through drag reduction through stalling the rear wing, and considering the Mclarens disadvantage through fast corners I would make the presumption that the F-Duct is working very well for them. I would go as far to say that without it they may only be the 3rd fastest team on track.

          1. Yes, but only if you do not then allow for them having used their resources differently to gain more downforce in another way.

    2. Not worth the other teams catch up effort. KERS was probably far more of an advantage, 80hp can never be sniffed at.

      1. I read a comment by Withmarsh a couple of days back about the subject.

        He is quoted there as saying, the F-duct is not very expensive. Apparently Force India spent only about 100.000 EUR to do theirs. I supppose that is worth the effort.

        But redesigning your car halfway through the season to make a F-duct give more advantage probably is not the way to go.

        1. That must be the best value (dollars spent vs time gained) in F1 history.

        2. do you have a link to that whitmarsh comment?

          1. I’m sorry, i have spent about 30 minutes looking for it now, but cannot find it.

            I think it was an interview, where Withmarsh commented on thing discussed in FOTA, but it might have been before Turkey (probably on Formule1niews.nl – in Dutch – or on Autosport).

            I’l keep a lookout for it.

    3. The problem with the F-duct is, you have to optimize your car around it. Something only McLaren have and hardly possible or sensible for any other team to do (maybe safe Sauber, whose car is bad enough to make it pay off).

      Seems FI have done some good steps with it thoug, so their design was good with it. Luck or close cooperation with McLaren?

      I think the system done by Mercedes GP to be really complicated and worth only giving a small advantage. Brawn clearly does not want to compromise the car to much by encorporating it.

      1. @Bigbadderboom, I’d say the reason McLaren was third on pace at the beggining of the season was almost certainly because of the recources and time they spent pouring into there F-Duct. Now they’ve got it right and are focussing on other things, there car is getting to be where it is on pure merit. For instance Ferrari certainly arn’t faster than McLaren at the moment, with or without an F-Duct. So McLaren may have sucesfully tricked the other into exploring an avenue it took them 2 years to get right and optimise while going flat out on the bread and butter of F1 performance being downforce and efficiency.
        Noticable by the way McLaren were not pulled away from in Turkey, through every corner but turn 8.

        I’ve gone into more detail on F-Ducts and KERS below in answer to Callums post.

        1. I went to mclaren yesterday and the head of development ant testing said “the f-duct took us two years to develop”. This means that whoever tries to develop one will never her it as perfect as mclarens

  2. Little side note worth raising. The Motorsports Canada article says Tavo will be at Silverstone to better explain his plans.

    1. Maybe we’ll get a circuit design then. The initial project was made public in May, and Silverstone is in mid-July, so it’ll have been about six to eight weeks. Should be enough time for Tilke to concoct something.

      1. Circuit design and site would be nice, pray for overtaking hmm. Wonder if he’s started bringing on board other investors, supposedly the whole of motoracing Texas wants in, maybe propoganda of course.

  3. Norbert Haug mentioned in an interview few weeks ago that Mclaren’s KERS may be shared with Mercedes GP. I am not sure if he misspoke or not, but Brawn said that a decision will be made whether to use KERS on Mercedes GP in few weeks. Good to see KERS back.

    1. But it sounds like Mercedes is not yet sold on using KERS next year (unlike Ferrari, who have declared they certainly will in 2011).

      Apparently the teams did not agree on having more power from KERS but did agree to increase the minimum car weight to 640 kg (+20kg) to integrate it in the cars.

      Renault and Williams is also pretty much a done deal. McLaren will probably run it, they were pretty good. I think RedBull might opt not too and i think Lotus and Virgin and HRT will probably opt not to as well, focussing on their design processes instead. Interesting case will be Force India and maybe Sauber.

      1. It’s likely that Force India will, as the agreement that they have in place with Mclaren cover KERS as well as the rest of the drivetrain. At least I’m fairly sure it does.

  4. Thanks Keith :)

  5. As a new entrant, Lotus came out with a basic model in dashing livery but suffered early speed and reliability problems due to the basic aerohydrodynamics employed. They finished top of all new teams but over-enthusiasm led to a collision with Williams, nearly taking both teams out of the, er, running. Despite debris spread across the track all starters eventually limped over the line.

    (In the boat race).

    1. Was there an incident requiring the safety boat? The stewards will have to look at that…

      1. Sush Meerkat
        15th June 2010, 9:46

        I propose a ten boat canal penalty for Lotus.

        1. LOL!!! They’d be in the middle of the St. Lawrence River!!! :P

        2. Don’t you think you’re too harsh? A paddle-through penalty should’ve been fine

        3. I heard there’s an investigation into the fact that they hoisted their anchor and set their sails too soon, thus nearly causing a slipway collision.

    2. I have to admit I loved the scrapheap challenge look of the Lotus, especially the water bottles on the bottom!

  6. Tavo Hellmund has a new website. With almost no information. But there’s a link for media inquiries! Keith…

    1. Nice website, just a shame it does not actually offer any information right now.

      But it’s better than the StefanGP website offering ********.

      I hope they get some amazing studies of what the track will look like on site in the coming weeks.
      Or even a track design contest with the winner being invited to have a talk with Tilke GmbH or something.

    2. i’m afraid it’s not new. I went on it when the news of Austin’s gp first came.

  7. Here’s my vid of the Canadian GP start before it gets removed.


    1. Wow. Thanks for sharing. Really gives some perspective of just how fast they’re moving in no time at all. The shots you see on TV never really convey that the way your video does.

      1. It’s amazing, I saw a starting video from last years Malaysian when somebodys car stalled, they have ridiculous speed. Love those videos from Monaco where the cars are just metres away.

        Great video Eastman.

  8. Terry Fabulous
    15th June 2010, 5:36

    James Hunt was a wonderfully entertaining F1 commentator, very accomplished driver and from all reports, Austen Powers on wheels when it came to his life away from driving. I felt enormous sadness when I heard he had passed away.

    He was a man for his times.

    1. 17 years already…no way. It’s wonderful to hear him and Murray again on the BBC Classic F1 series (in the UK anyway).

  9. Rest in Peace James!

    And (feeling a bit guilty at using the same post) happy birthday to all three of you, David A, Vikas and Mateuss.

  10. I always thought of f-duct being similar to KERS. Because of the extra speed but it’s not as good off the line. Maybe Ferrari’s new B spec car for the European GP will be fully optimized for fduct.

    We know for certain the new Ferrari will be a running blown diffuser exhaust system the same as the RBR, and Mclaren should have a similar updated rear end for Silverstone.

    Does anyone else think these blown exhaust diffusers are stalling the diffuser as high gas output from the exhausts – which would be at max revs on long straights presumably, and that the whole system is basically an fduct for the bottom of the car? That’s my thought but would it work?

    1. I have to say, the simularities between the F-Duct and KERS systems arn’t massive. KERS made a car like the mp4-24 competative. If it had been used on a circuit like Canada especially without refuelling bigger it would have been a much bigger advantage then an F-Duct.

      The F-Duct comes without a weight penalty but the extra power from KERS is what gave Ferrari and McLaren their wins in 2009. Extra power is an entirley different ball game to aerodynamics. While there are superficial simularities they really don’t run that deep in the way they add performance.

      On Redbulls Blown diffuser, if they had been using exhaust gasses to stall the diffuser, surley there speed trapswwould be higher, diffusers after all create more downforce than rear wings. Also stalling the rear diffuser at high revs would make no sense, why would you want to stall your biggest downfroce provider through flat corners like Turn 8, any number of Spain big un’s, Eau Rouge etc. The F-Duct works because the driver can switch the rear wing on and off for corners, exhaust gass diffuser would mean stalling a diffuser when you put your foot down, often just when you needed it most. I don’t know hoever if you could attach an F-Duct to your diffuser, although it would obviously be very hard, an your car would have to be designed around it, probably, to optimise the whole thing.

      The exhaust powered diffuser does three things, first it increases the speed and mass of air blowing through the diffuser, increasing downforce. Second it cleans up the air flowing round the rear tyres, acting as an outwash endplate for the rear tyres, this probably adds the most performance. Finally it increases downforce regardless of ride height, meaning when Redbull raise there car, they loose proportionally less downforce when there car is raised, prehaps explaining there Q3 advantage.

  11. A nice picture of what Jenson has been up to the last week (before Canada). Great to see these guys taking an interest.

  12. Sush Meerkat
    15th June 2010, 9:44

    That boat race is hilarious, I love how the Lotus Boat had a rear spoiler, you know just in case.

    1. As Keith said it’d be good to see other teams take part

      1. I’d imagine that RBR would show up with something which looks like it was designed by Newey for the America’s Cup, but would go like Flugtag because the two rowers would want to go in opposite directions.

        Whereas McLaren’s Human Powered Nautical Conveyance System would have something called an F-duck, as they would have both oars and flippers…

    2. I loved the race as well. I hope it gets going a good tradition of doing things like this at a lot of more events.

      The spoiler was funny, they might have used the low drag spoiler from the car!

  13. How many years they actually had that boat race. I have seen clips in some season review videos (1988, 1989, 1991 and 1994 at least). Jordan was successful in the last years. As far as I know, 1994 was the last event until this revival. Also I think they had to visit on the other side (and take some piece of equipment) of the river while now they ran the competition in the direction of the river.

  14. This championship is so close. If in Valencia we can have 1 ALO, 2 WEB, 3 BUT and 4 HAM then we have 3 drivers sharing first place with 121 point and ALO trailing by 2 points. All of the top four drivers would have 2 GP victories.
    The tension build-up to the Valencia race can make this potentially boring race a very exiting part of the championship.

  15. also an interesting blog from richard branson about his f1 team

    1. That’s great thanks Jacob.

  16. Ferrari’s cars have clearly not been good enough in qualifying since the massive rule changes came in 2009.

  17. The best account of the impact of James Hunt’s death that I’ve ever read was in Murray Walker’s biography. He describes how he received a telephone call warning of bad news. His first thought was of his mother; then he was told it was Hunt. The shock must have been immense, especially as James was just starting to get his life on track (no pun intended!).

  18. Mee-Maw! Mee-Maw! Spelling Police!

    It’s Domenicali, not Deomenicali in your link to ITV-F1 :-)

  19. My first COTD :D

    Hopefully Ferrari can end their qulaifying drought with whatever updates they have for Valencia. It’s great to have the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve back, long may it stay.

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