Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Renault problems “nothing major” – Verstappen

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen shrugs off Renault’s reliability problems.

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Not a good start for Sauber?

I know that this is just testing and all, but for Sauber to not be able to get within three seconds of the best time, which itself is almost certainly not the best that the top teams can do, has to be worrisome.

McLaren are also slow, but they have known problems and a lot of potential to improve as they solve them. Sauber have a 2016 engine that will only get slower relative to the other teams as the season progresses.
Diego (@Ironcito)

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  • 37 comments on “Renault problems “nothing major” – Verstappen”

    1. When’s the last time you heard the words ‘clever’ and ‘most interesting’ being used to describe the Ferrari?

      I’m cautiously optimistic about things at this point. More like nervous anxiety I’d say.

      1. @sjzelli has an onboard of Raikkonen vs 2016 pole time, there’s also a couple merc onboards onyoutube. Comparing the Raikkonen lap to Bottas onboard, the Mercedes looks stiffer more planted, better traction and direction change but on the high speed either Merc are running fuel or they can’t keep up on the fast corners, not as flat out as Raikkonen’s. The Ferrari looks balanced but not as sharp at low speed, it also suffers from a little bit of understeer but less so than the Mercs. I’d say I’ve stopped my optimistism after watching the onboard, not to say it isn’t close between cars but if Merc can get the balance right they should be just fine.

        1. This basically tallies with what’s being said. Vettel himself said he’s not quite happy with low speed corners.

          1. @hahostolze interesting, it makes sense, on track reports do suggest that. Didnt catch that vettel interview though. Gary anderson has also pointed out that the merc ddnt look asgood as ferrari on t 1, 2, 3. Again we are not going to get over excited this time around.

        2. RE COTD, I agree it’s worrying for Sauber. What makes me sad is that I think they’ve built a good car. Those at the track say it’s relatively planted and has a few very clever features. It’s the engine. It’s a real shame too because they’ll be dead last regardless.

          1. Wrong place, sorry

    2. Speaking of Indycar, They have very quietly changed the P2P rules to be more like DRS.

      P2P can now only be used in limited parts of the circuit & will only be available to the car behind. A change that is completely unnecessary.

      1. Indycar has changed the P2P rules for this season, but not in the way you’ve stated. They’ve changed from a limited number of pushes to a time based system, and drivers can now “turn off” P2P during a use, if they realize they’re not going to complete a pass. Indycar has also disabled P2P on most re-starts.

        1. @forrest Thanks for the correction, Seems the person that told me was either wrong or just trying to wind me up.

          1. ExcitedAbout17
            11th March 2017, 20:33

            Seems the person that told me was either wrong or just trying to wind me up.

            Was that person Steven Bannon?

    3. Looking at the times, I see McLaren is still sandbagging.

      1. Honda engine is a built in sandbag right now.

        1. I heard all the testing engines have been used to build a sandbag wall

          1. They used all the sand in the oiltank.

    4. There was a YouTube video on the F1 YT channel comparing this year’s fastest testing lap to last year’s fastest qualifying lap. It’s noticeably slower on the straights this year, as going into turn one the 2016 car was a bit ahead, but the gain through the corners is quite impressive, especially if there is more to come.

      I am impressed with the effect these new regulations have had on F1. I don’t think I have heard that many major loud complaints by anyone as of yet. There have been concerns of overtaking and complaints about the shark fins (and liveries – guilty), but on the whole fans, drivers, teams, and bosses alike all seem to be enjoying it. Compare it to the 2009 rules, 2014 rules, DRS, and the degrading tyres which all got heavy criticism right from the start. The change in attitude is exactly what F1 needs so desperately. But only time can tell how popular these rules will be as the season progresses. And it’s worth noting this was a change ironically brought in (or approved) by Bernie.

      On a different point, I’ve heard that Monza’s track reprofiling won’t happen until 2018 now. I can’t find an actual reliable source to confirm anything, but it appears that is the way it is going. I’m glad because, if that is the case, we can compare how the 2017 cars do on this track. Would I be right in thinking this could be the one circuit where the cars are actually slower due to the increased drag from the aero? Or do the cornering speeds and mechanical grip over-compensate?

      1. @strontium I noticed that too from the video. The Bottas onboard doesn’t seem to be as slow on the straight but it also doesn’t look that quick over 1,2 and 3 it’s just after 4 that Bottas starts gaining on the 2016 pole time. I wonder if either Bottas wasn’t that quick on the fast corners or Mercedes were heavy.

        1. @peartree They were probably heavy and using a detuned engine. There is still plenty of room left to improve on these lap times.

          1. @f1infigures In terms of speed on the straight the bottas lap looked closer to 2016 than rai’s. I’d say fuel.

      2. They are slower in the straight because of sandbagging, it’s known that the engines are about 30-50hp more powerful. Even the car being heavier it’s enough to have, at least, the same speed on the straight.

      3. @strontium ”Would I be right in thinking this could be the one circuit where the cars are actually slower due to the increased drag from the aero? Or do the cornering speeds and mechanical grip over-compensate?”
        – The cornering speed and mechanical grip advantage should be enough to compensate for the straight-line speed deficit ever at Monza. For example, Vettel’s 2011 pole lap was faster than both 2014 and 15 pole laps there despite RB7 being slower on the straight than both W05 and W06, and 2013 pole lap (also set by Vettel) was faster than 2014 also despite the straight-line speed advantage W05 has over RB9, so in that regard, beating the previous pole laps there isn’t impossible for the current cars.

        1. ‘ever’ was meant to be ‘even’

      4. From an aesthetics point of view @strontium this year’s cars are beautiful in comparison to the last set of regs. Can’t wait to see them on track together, racing in anger :-D

    5. It would be interesting to know if there are other differences between Indycar and Formula 1 in France, for example are they both on the same TV broadcast system, or is one behind the Pay Wall and one is not.

    6. One Question bugs me is that Did Ferrari really did low fuel simulation as media experts are stating here and to that notion i doubt any team did any low fuel simulation
      Even if we take the Ferrari top lining eye opening lap. they are doing 21 low on Medium tires and According to Williams and Pirelli the gap between Soft and Medium tire this year is 2 sec and lies between 1.6 to 2 sec on average depending on cars .I remember Vettel doing 21.3 or 21.4 on Medium taking it out to soft will give us the 19.3 or 19.4 and Soft to Super soft difference is 0.6 -0.7 gives us the 18.6 ishlap. This was to believe that with same set of modes and same fuel when Ferrari did their 21 low on medium tires they can easily do the same lap times posted with Soft and Super soft.
      PS: this is not to state ferrari is fastest or some thing else, this is my view on testing that all teams sandbagging to not to reveal their hand and no team did that despite the eye opening lap times and i believe there is more to come out than what we expect with these rule set

      1. Even if Ferrari did some low fuel times I very much doubt they used engine at 100% mode. But Mercedes also don’t usually run at 100% and I don’t think they did low fuel runs. This would put both at least at the same level.

    7. A tweet* from Bernie?! 2017 is turning out to be a wilder year than 2016!

      * – yeah, its Instagram. Same difference :-)

    8. I firmly believe that no team has shown what they can really do , we just only got glimpse of what they can do with Ferrari.
      From the running of Ferrari on Medium tires they are lapping in 1:21 low to mid consistently in this test. I remember Vettel posting a 21.3 on Mediums in a stint. According to Pirelli and Williams(Massa) the Delta between Soft and Medium is 2 sec and depends on car as well. So taking that delta into consideration with same fuel and same modes we see a 19.3 straight out. and Delta between SS and S is 0.6-0.7 gives us the 18.6 lap.
      PS: Im not saying any thing of running order in my point of view i feel that no team had shown their hand and that includes Ferrari.

    9. I didn’t know there were Meerkats on Mars.

    10. RE: COTD

      Sauber have been running quali-simulations with quite a bit of fuel aboard apparently, Ericsson said yesterday. However, it is quite troubling seeing the Sauber so far behind Renault and the rest of the mid-pack. However I do believe they haven’t shown their full pace yet as they don’t have to post glory-runs to appease their fans as Ferrari seem to do.

      1. If there are teams who needs to show their full pace, they are at the back of the grid: They NEED to get money from sponsors and the best way to get that is by providing results when results can be showed. Ferrari and Mercedes have little to gain by pleasing the audience & sponsors now: In best case scenario it’ll deliver them a bit extra merchandising. For F1 popularity and the sport itself, Ferrari being competitive to Mercedes and Redbull would be great.

        1. I see your point, but I don’t fully agree with you. Of course Sauber needs more sponsorship, however I think that they feel comfortable with the backing they have gotten from the “Longbow Consortium” meaning that they are not as desperate for new sponsorship as they were last year. Sauber does not have a big fan base and can therefore operate in the dark to a large extent. I agree that Mercedes and Red Bull have little to gain from showing their true pace this early on, but Ferrari is a very different F1-team as we both know. I would almost go so far as to call it the Italian national F1-team, and they therefore have the pressure of a whole country on their (Mauricio’s) shoulder. I think it’s quite obvious that during Ferrari have during the last couple of years aimed at being at the top of the time sheets during testing, which I partly believe is to appease their fans

          1. They are comfortable because there’s no way they could finish 11th this year.

      2. In other news, Ferrari are considering using their 150 million bonus payment to subsidise Sauber’s engine supply. They will now be supplying 2017 along with all their set up data gained in testing, for the same cost Sauber negotiated to pay for the 2016 engines this year.

        Simple fix.

        Ferrari could do that. But they won’t.

        1. Their not a charity so why would they?

    11. McLaren are surely in trouble. Honda will not go another year running around at the back, but where else can McLaren go for another engine? Finances must be getting tight. A crucial year for the Woking team.

      1. They might surprise and both finish in Australia. To some degree the media are really jumping on them due to last 2 years but Renault had this issue in 2014 pre season and won 3 races. McLaren might surprise 1st race.

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