Button wants to emulate Ferrari’s 2012 fightback

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Melbourne, 2013In the round-up: Jenson Button hopes McLaren can recover from a poor start to the season the way Ferrari did last year.


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Ferrari’s late recovery last season gives Button hope (The Telegraph)

“There is that side of it, which is very positive. Fernando was one and a half seconds off the pace ?ǣ of us at the start of the season ?ǣ and almost won the title.”

Massa ’10 times better’ than 2012 (Autosport)

“The way I started the season last year is impossible to compare to the way I’ve started the season now. I feel much better in the car.”

Lewis: ‘Cover’ has been lifted (Sky)

“Martin [Whitmarsh] was fantastic when I was at McLaren. He was very open and he was allowing me to be myself, but I definitely felt from the get-go I had this cover over me.”

Zytek hints at 2014 F1 power unit (Racecar Engineering)

“The company stated on its Twitter microblog that its ‘development focus is now on Hybrid Systems for 2014 Regulations (F1 & WEC) but cant say too much about that at this stage. Maybe we will do a whole power unit ourselves.'”

Park Life (ESPN)

“This is how Pastor Maldonado’s race ended on Sunday. He actually went off twice in the race so maybe he was having problems with his brakes.”

Mercedes plan balance improvements for Malaysia (NBC)

Ross Brawn: “We didn?t quite find the correct balance for the race which compromised our ability to maximize the starting positions of Lewis and Nico. With the second race in Malaysia following this weekend, we?re looking forward to the opportunity to put that right.”

Goodwood sets out plans for 2013 (MotorSport)

“No current F1 drivers have yet confirmed their attendance, but seven of the 11 teams have pledged to be there. McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus, Caterham and Marussia will all send cars to run on the hill.”


Comment of the day

Most tracks will have two DRS zones this year but are they being put in the right places?

If you?re going to have two DRS zones, having two detection points is a must. Given they?ve decided to slather DRS everywhere this year, it?s the best of a bad situation.

But as others are saying this track shows the problems of DRS and having two zones. A driver with an equal or only slightly better car will do well to use DRS to get right up behind someone but not pass and use the second DRS to get clear of the leading driver so the pass won?t be undone next lap. Whereas a driver in a better car will fly by whenever. In both cases DRS is unnecessarily changing the race.

If you are going to have any system like this at all, and the need/want of such a system is obviously debatable, it needs to be a system that opens up more passing opportunities on other parts of the track rather than putting the one or two spots where passes already occur on steroids.

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On this day in F1

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  • 65 comments on “Button wants to emulate Ferrari’s 2012 fightback”

    1. I am not against DRS, even slightly pro when used correct.
      But in Melbourne it was used in the worst way possible.
      1 detection zone 2 drs zones.. It was just too easy!

      1. I disagree. Many overakes were done outside the DRS zones because the drivers didn’t want to wait till the DRS zone. And if they were so effective why couldn’t Vettle pass Sutil? Vettel’s tyres were newer and he had a faster car, so if the DRS was too effective he would have breezed past in the DRS zone

        1. +1 I thought DRS was fine during the GP

        2. “why couldn’t Vettle pass Sutil”
          Most likely because the RBR’s have the slowest straight line speed of all. Even with DRS open, they are only marginally faster than the FI’s.

      2. @solidg Lol you got it the other way around it. if the 2 DRS zones are set one after the other you want to have a single detection zone because that enables overtaking in both DRS zones and not only on the 2nd as drivers will avoid being back passed. Having 2 detection zones will deter drivers for using the first because they will look like fools on the next one because they will get passed again.

        1. No they won’t. If someone passes with DRS in the first zone, they get a second opportunity to use DRS and pull away a bit.

          If the FIA want to use two activation points, two detection points is a must in my opinion.

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      21st March 2013, 0:24

      I see no reason why Mclaren can’t mount a comeback to form. They have a huge team, and vast resources, coupled with a top driver in Button.

      My only concern with Button saying he wants to emulate what Ferrari did last year is that, Button can’t deliver good results if the car isn’t EXACTLY to his liking.

      That was the beauty of Fernando and the F2012, he drove the wheels off it every race. And the car was pretty much never going to handle the way Fernando wanted it to, but because of his savvy, and sheer talent, and smarts, he was able to wring every last bit of performance out of it.

      I’m just not so sure Button can do the same, given how particular he is about his car setup.

      1. Yeah that’s his challenge isn’t it. He, like LH, may now be feeling a different ‘cover’, as LH describes it, or by that I mean a different aura in the room. So, I think just as it will be great to see how LH fairs as a person, a driver, and in car progression, as someone on a fresh start as he would put it, so should Mac never be counted out, and JB should feel a bit of a fresh start sans LH, along with being the senior driver. I hope he takes up the challenge well, and the team thrills us with progression and moves up into the mix.

        1. The chief reason for McLaren’s struggles is the same as it was for Ferrari last year. The front pull-rod suspension has a steep learning curve. Ferrari clearly has mastered it now, I suspect McLaren will do the same. Even if they struggle with it all season, it will be ready for 2014. With the cars set to lose downforce and become more difficult to drive, a more aerodynamic suspension will be an advantage they are Ferrari will share over the rest of the field when the new regs hit the teams hard next season.

          1. Kinematically there is no difference between the pull rod and push rod so I don’t think this is true. The pull rod has lower cog, but this is offset by it being harder to set-up (component access) and needing a stronger upper wishbone which adds more weight. The benefit is that you align the pull rod to the airflow coming from the frontwing thereby having a tiny aero benefit.

            Ferrari’s issues last year were down to the exhausts more than the suspension.

            McLaren’s woes are more likely to be down to air stalling through the coke bottle zone and over the diffuser, particularly in mid-corner where risk of separation is highest. When the diffuser works (1st day, 1st test in Jerez) the downforce is there. It is just erratic. On a bumpy track like Melbourne ride is a massive issue and you just can’t have a car with a peaky downforce envelope.

            1. cog = centre of gravity, not cog as in gear cog

            2. That seems to be what is happening, they do have speed, but have trouble using it consistently.

              Having gotten back to the simpler barge boards etc. because of accessibility of the suspension will surely have played a role, but the main issue seems to be the stable ride they need to make it work

          2. Even if they struggle with it all season, it will be ready for 2014

            @adam-tate I heard that pull rod front suspension was likely to be limited to this year due to the regulations making the noses lower next year. If that’s the case then going for this suspension was a massive gamble!

            1. But a lower nose, should favor pullrod suspension instead of pushrod, right?

      2. Lets see if Button can do that, it would certainly mean as much of a revelation as his championship year and then being as close to Hamilton as he was when joining McLaren.

        Would be nice to see that, as its totally unexpected!

      3. I wrote a letter to Mr. Bell back in 2007 drawing his attention to fundamentals easily overlooked when you build a car as complex as F1. My recollection serves me right and I remember they never had any issues with ride and balance after that. Problems with MP4/28 seem to be of the same character.
        Pull rod – push rod issue? I don’t think so. I agree that position of their pull rod is a bit odd, I assume they have some sort of hydraulic amplifier to intensify movements of the suspension to enable better responsiveness to setup changes. Or they don’t, beats me.
        However, analysis of Melbourne lap chart’s of 2012th with 2013th ( taking into consideration Ferrari’s lap times ) reveals that Ferrari had a tyre issue in 2012 while MP4/28 of today has fundamental design issue. The only thing puzzling me at the moment is almost identical lap chart from Roman’s Lotus compared to Jenson’s.
        From now on I’ll explain how I SEE the issue with MP4/28 in Engineering way.
        The geometry of the front suspension has changed greatly between MP4/27 and MP4/28. Every suspension has its point of oscillation under the lateral forces, a point around which the car ‘rotates’ under these forces. The point of front axle oscillation on MP4/28 is situated much, much higher then MP4/27’s. But, that’s not the whole story!
        There is a rear axle as well ;-) It has its point of oscillation. When you connect this two points with a line you obtain a longitudinal axis around which the whole car oscillates. Leaning of the whole car under lateral forces happens as a consequence of a moment of the force created by COG ( center of gravity ) and the distance between longitudinal axis of oscillation. F1 car is a weird one because of massive fuel load compared to the overall car weight. Because of it, COG travels trough the car. It begins situated higher and when the tank is emptied ends up on a much lower position. While COG is above the longitudinal axis of oscillation everything is fine. But when it ends up under that line you have a pig. That’s the most likely problem of MP4/28.
        They should analyse what happens to the relation between COG and longitudinal axis of oscillation. After that they’ll know if they have fundamental issue or my guess is of the mark.
        MP4/28 is aerodynamically a very strong car but aerodynamic aspects have to work together with the rest of the car. Obviously, that’s not the case at the moment.
        This is the worst case scenario they can have, and I assure you it can be rectified within couple of weeks.

        1. Nice reading, and simply explained.
          So, if the COG is above that longitudinal axis the car is most stable. Didn’t know that. I mean, if the COG is above, shouldn’t it help to create the moment of rotation on the car?

        2. analysis of Melbourne lap chart’s of 2012th with 2013th ( taking into consideration Ferrari’s lap times ) reveals that Ferrari had a tyre issue in 2012 while MP4/28 of today has fundamental design issue

          Totally disagree on this point
          The Ferrari do have a design issue, that excessive drag which was due to the radiator’s position, the F2012 was one of the slowest car on the grid in term of top speed in the first races the instability of the rear , the tyre extra heating problems because of the exhaust ….
          The car was hard to keep on a straight line, after the Mugello test the F2012 was redesigned in some of its parts , the rear of the car was so different and that required them to do another crash test
          But still a very interesting post

        3. Go apply for a job at McLaren if you know it all.. Apparently you can solve their problems.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      21st March 2013, 0:29

      Button wants McLaren to emulate Ferrari’s 2012 fightback

      Oh no!!! He will be another former champion with a shocked expression after the last race is over :P

      1. hehehe nice one

    4. If you are going to have any system like this at all, and the need/want of such a system is obviously debatable, it needs to be a system that opens up more passing opportunities on other parts of the track rather than putting the one or two spots where passes already occur on steroids.

      Welcome to the “Don’t Put DRS Zones At The Most Obvious Spot For Overtaking” Fan Club, @Hobo

        1. Agreed +1

      1. I’m in too pls! (can it be combined with the “just do away with it and cut back on downforce – club”?)

        1. No it can’t @BasCB , that club is for anti-DRS only!! $:)

          1. yes, but I would want to join both clubs @john-h

      2. @john-h @bascb @thejwooly @peartree should we officially found one :P?

    5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      21st March 2013, 0:34

      As I said yesterday, 2 detection points going one just after the other will mean that the 2 DRS zones eliminate each other.
      So what’s the point of it? It shoul go in the 2 opposite sides of the circuit to expand the amount of chances for drivers.

      1. Trust a little in the drivers, I think they will use the first zone to get as close as possible but without passing the other car and then go for the overtake in the second one, sounds simple enough but I’m sure we’ll see a couple of them doing exactly what you’re saying anyway.

        1. If it is as you say and the two DRS zones will cancel each other out, perhaps the point is the portion of audience that needs to see lots of passing will get their fill, and us anti-DRSers can revel in the thought of DRS being cancelled if not literally, well, then, perhaps…literally.

          Seriously though, I think it would have to work as mantresx has stated it because the rearward driver in the first zone would know he would just be a sitting duck if he was in front for the second zone. Sitting duck…I hate that that term can be used in F1.

    6. The problem for new companies joining in the power unit party, is that there isn’t any motivation for a team to switch from Mercedes/Ferrari/Renault.

      1. For Zytek possibly, I’m sure it will be easier for Honda in 2015. Though the more engine suppliers, the better if you ask me.

      2. What about new regulations and cost?

      3. I am sure Zytek is looking at developing that engine to be prepared for any customers re-branding it either for F1 or for sportscar racing. And I am pretty sure that if a car company could be interested in backing a team by supplying those Zytek engines to any team bar the absolute top teams, they would jump at the chance of it.

    7. too long I’m sorry.

      1. That’s quite alright.

    8. Happy Birthday Ayrton

      1. +1 Happy Birthday and RIP

    9. I never thought it would take throughout the season for us to see that LH has made the right decision. For me it never hinged on the Merc being half decent or not this year. It’s about a new challenge and the future. For him to say the things he has said is enough. He needed a change. It’s akin to leaving the nest and starting afresh. And it’s all good. He’s going to be fun to watch and I look to see if he can keep frustrations down and controlled and exude that which we would expect from someone having a fresh start. Positiveness. And straight driving. No embarassments. No tweets. Push NR. Let NR push you. You have race pace to find.

    10. If we are going to salvage anything from the double DRS zones it is going to be when more than 2 cars are less than a second apart, clearly it’s not going to be as simple as “sit on his tail and pass in the second zone” because car 3 (and 4,5,6 etc.) might jump car 2 and use car 1 as a roadblock till just before the corner leaving car 2 either on the outside or back behind car 1. This could be interesting as both cars 2 & 3 would be racing with DRS activated, unlike a scenario of only 2 cars.

      1. Nice to see a positive angle of it @hohum, we might see drivers learning to use DRS in some way positive for the real racing, by outsmarting the competitors!

    11. On the emulation of McLaren to 2012 Ferarri, it could be so. But nonetheless, BUT is not ALO.
      And it’s both curious and baffling to see that, right after the announcement of HAM’s leave for Merc last year, the 2013 McLaren was said to be the fit for BUT style and here it is. There could be a lot more to come thru the season from McLaren, or BUT and With pair which we will see. But I can’t be that positive with the so far demoed talents by him. Anyway, this year could be a true test for him. Good luck.

    12. Button wants to emulate Ferrari’s 2012 fightback

      Jenson, you are not Fernando.

      1. LOL fernando is faster than you

      2. Nando would’ve won just about every race in 2009, not just the ones with a half sec per lap advantage.

        1. Woulda coulda shoulder….

        2. Alonso > Button, yes, but don’t go OTT.

          1. I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm.

        3. yeah, sure. Even those were the Red Bull cars, or the McLaren clearly had the edge, right

        4. @spinmastermic Except those where RBR were over 6 tenths faster. Then Fernando would radio in “I give up!”

          1. But they must always leave’a the space!!!!

    13. SaturnVF1 (@doublestuffpenguin)
      21st March 2013, 5:01

      Keith, I’m glad to see you’re contributing to NBC Sports. I’m pleased so far with their coverage here in the states, though it’s certainly not hard to beat what speed did Speed with the little resources they had to commit to F1.

      1. @doublestuffpenguin Thanks very much – it’s great to be working with them although it has meant getting used to writing in American English!

        1. Lots of Z’s less y’s and u’s, Microsoft spell-checks default US English will fix all.

          1. And keep those periods inside the quotes! Also, “tires.”

            As a U.S. American, I’m happy that NBC is getting some quality input from non-U.S. sources who know the sport, because its not a U.S.-based sport. And I’m generally pleased that they are not really dumbing down the broadcast by, for example, making Matchett go on long jags about basic stuff and tiresome comparisons to IndyCar that used to mar the occasional broadcasts done when NBC cherry-picked Monaco and Silverstone from Speed. They are also keeping the ear-shattering Skrillex-insipred bro-step intro sequences with scary voice overs to a minimum. No flying transformer Danica Patrick CG stuff. They are addressing the production to fans.

    14. “Sergio s faster than you”

    15. Happy Birthday Ayrton!

    16. i have no doubt that mclaren can come back, just like they did in 2009…they have the money, the resources and the know how

    Comments are closed.