Lando Norris, United Autosports, Daytona, 2018

Norris says he must match Leclerc’s rookie F2 title

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren test and reserve driver Lando Norris says he needs to win the Formula Two title at his first attempt as Charles Leclerc did last year.

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Only the top 10 drivers have to start the race on old tyres – should the rule be extended for the entire grid?

In my opinion it would be even better if everyone has to start the race on the tyre they qualified on.

It would be fascinating to see how teams would play qualifying, which tyres they would use to qualify on because they would also have to race on them, and if someone who thought they could get through to Q3 just gets knocked out in 11th and then have to make a first lap pit-stop. Because in qualifying there is very little time and these kinds of tyre choices are also made on what you expect to see around you, even the biggest teams would sometimes make a mistake and find themselves further down the order.
Lennard Mascini (@Leonardodicappucino)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 33 comments on “Norris says he must match Leclerc’s rookie F2 title”

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      9th January 2018, 7:07

      Just a thought I’ve had (and not bothered to actually research), pardon my ignorance but can someone please explain to me why Formula E cars are slower in a straight line than a Tesla family saloon and have a worse range? Just seems strange they try to promote it as the pinnacle and forefront of electric technology when I’m sure it would be much more entertaining to see a field Rimac’s racing.

      1. Because they’re rubbish!

      2. My guess would be that it’s because they carry a lot less battery weight while having a lot more aerodynamic drag, making them slower in a straight line but faster through the corners.

        I mean, an F1 car is slower in a straight line than pretty much any supercar, and definitely has worse range. Cornering speed is where open-wheeled race cars make up all the time.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          9th January 2018, 8:16

          I think Formula E have 250bhp whereas the Rimac has 1200bhp. So surely it isn’t the best showcase of electric power. I know they’re made for narrow street circuits so they maybe don’t want them going too fast, fair enough, but why on earth then can they only last half a race before the batteries are dead? I imagine this is to keep battery weight down but if that’s the case they’ve compromised too far.

          1. @rdotquestionmark This changes for the 2018-19 season with upgraded batteries, the cars will then complete a full race. There will be ongoing development in Formula E as FIA start to remove some of the restrictions that pulled the teams in and made it relatively low cost, open wheel racing series.

            1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              9th January 2018, 15:48

              Thanks @ju88sy. I haven’t followed closely so that will be interesting.

          2. @rdotquestionmark, bear in mind that companies like Rimac and Tesla have, so far, been selling their cars as luxury cars that have relied on extreme power figures as a selling point for their flagship models.

            The Rimac Concept One has sold itself on that extreme power output because, with a price tag that reportedly exceeded $1 million, they were relying on a rather small and wealthy group who would be prepared to pay out for that sort of extreme performance. They’ve also struggled to produce anything like as many models as they had hoped – the original target was supposed to be for 88 cars, but they only ever produced 8.

            As for Tesla, Elon Musk has used the extreme acceleration figures of his more powerful models as a way of garnering attention for his company, such as with the high powered versions of the Model S and the new roadster that he has announced. Some have cynically suggested that sort of showboating also helps distract from the rising number of questions about Tesla’s finances – especially in light of Musk announcing even heavier spending at a time when, at the current rate of losses, Tesla could go bankrupt by mid August – and the backlog in producing the Model 3.

            Equally, battery weight is one element that has played a part in this – the Rimac Concept One tips the scales at 1850kg, about double the weight of a Formula E car, whilst the highest performance versions of the Tesla Model S are over 2200kg. Even with reasonably optimistic forecasts on battery weight, the battery alone for the proposed Tesla roadster is likely to weight more than the entire weight of a Formula E car (around 1000kg) – even the much lower powered Model 3 has a comparatively heavy battery pack (I believe that it’s around 500kg, or about 2.5 times the weight of Formula E’s battery pack).

    2. Andy Cowell, a true genius behind Mercedes’ power unit. In my opinion his impact on PU design is of greater magnitude than Adrian’s on RB’s chassis design. As long as he stays in Brixworth Mercedes will remain dominant force in F1. Geoff and co will never mess up aero to the extent that PU won’t iron out its shortcomings and stay ahead of the rest of the pack. And of course, there is Lewis factor as well. Regardless what many think about Mercedes’ dominance I say it’s utterly deserved testimony of their clever and hard work. Hard act to follow…, even harder to surpass…

      1. I agree. My issue is with the regulations that allow for one contractor to completely dominate because they are an engine manufacturer. I don’t mind that Mercedes beat Ferrari and Renault because they designed a better engine because that’s fair but I don’t like that they beat Red Bull because they could design a better engine than Red Bull had the option to buy. I don’t like how Mercedes can control the pace of other Mercedes cars by limiting the settings they can use etc…

        1. Yeah, maybe have the drivers pedal the car around

        2. Reverse the argument. Why should RedBull win everything for having better aero when others are held back from using their full technical repertoire of building great engines like pre 2014? RedBull want their cake and eat it, they can afford to build their own engine but choose not to, tough on them. That’s why Ferrari Merc Renault are proper car makers and RedBull are a fizzy drinks maker.

      2. They deserve their dominance, but it sure is a bit boring (for a non-Mercedes fan!). I want to see close racing with multiple teams in with a chance of a win. It’s up to the others to catch up to Mercedes’ brilliance.

        1. @enzov6 Three teams and five drivers won races in 2017. If you want more than that then perhaps Ferrari’s failure to secure a decent second driver is more to blame than Mercedes dominance (is it dominance when you sometimes have the second fastest car – I think not).

          1. @jerseyf1 Ferrari do require a better second driver, absolutely. However the Mercedes was rarely the second fastest car last year. Difficult to set up for the first few races of course, but still very fast when dialled in. Even without Ferrari’s failures/Vettel’s mistakes, the championship was Hamilton’s for the taking (Bottas is not really able to keep up is he).

            If you note what I said, Mercedes deserve their success. The average fan might find the sport a bit more enticing were it a little more unpredictable/equal, but there’s not a lot we can do about that (without artificially creating closer competition).

    3. The COTD suggestion has an interesting point. I’m happy with the current ruling that only the Q3-drivers have to start the races on a used set of tyres, but still, though, I wouldn’t be against this suggestion either as it’d perhaps bring more strategic elements to qualifyings.

      1. @jerejj my problem with the suggestions regarding tyres, and the strategy element behind those suggestions, is that we are having such discussions, because Pirelli or whoever made them go this route offer a range of tyres that try to be more than that, more than tyres.

        I honestly don’t understand why, and I think I will never will. They have taken a fundamental piece of the car fiddled with it just to spice up the show. Why can’t Formula 1 have the best possible racing tyres? Why are we restricting teams to use rubber that does not suit them, in fact, does not suit anybody, they have to constantly manage degradation, they cannot get to close to the car in front, they have a finicky way to bring up to temperature and to stay with a specific window. What is the point really? They haven’t created anything good imo.

        The only suggestion that I can go on-board with is: Pirelli, or whatever brand it wants to, or a couple at the same time, even a few I would suggest to make the best possible racing tyre and hand them down to the teams and let them sort it out. As simple as that, the compound that is the contact between the car and the track should not be hindering performance.

        Thing is, I don’t understand a thing about the show and the circus! So it won’t happen most likely

    4. Lennard Mascini (@)
      9th January 2018, 7:35

      Thank you for COTD @keithcollantine

    5. I don’t agree on the COTD.
      Making everyone start on used tyres would bring back race strategy element in qualifying (the kind seen in pre-2010, due to race-fuel qualifying). Qualifying should be simply about the fastest driver+car combination on track. How they prepare the tyres, monitor the gaps and execute every corner perfectly down to the last mm. That is what I want to see on Saturday.

      I am not against strategy, I think strategy is good. But it should be on Sunday alone. In fact, knowing who was the outright fastest combination on Saturday provides a great perspective to the strategies that play out on Sunday and helps in understanding who over-delivered or under-delivered on a particular weekend.

    6. I’m not sure if most people would want to see this, but what I want is to have a situation where there is 1 qualifying tyre and 2 race tyres for the weekend. By that, I mean 1 tyre that is exceptionally quick but only lasts 5-6 laps, whereas a harder, and an even harder compound, are slower but are better race tyres, and can last, say, about 20-25 laps and 30-35 laps respectively. Maybe a US/S/M tyre selection for a weekend might help with this. I think this will lead to better racing, as those at the front of the field will have to start the race on the qualifying tyres, while some of those outside the top 10 (or maybe even those willing to risk it in Q2) would start on the more durable tyre, which will mean they would have to pit early on and back to the midfield, where they will have to pick their way through the field. We could even see situations where someone changes to the qualifying tyre 5 laps from the end and starts lapping 3-4 seconds quicker than those around them, meaning the end of the race might be more exciting. I do realize that the quality of overtaking may not be high sometimes, as those with a tyre disadvantage might just let the quicker cars through. On the other hand, the winner may not necessarily be which driver + car combo is the quickest in clean air, but which driver can overtake quicker without losing time. If plenty of races are like this, then teams could perhaps even start to develop their cars in such a way that they run better behind dirty air, as having a car that is exceptionally quick but struggles to follow another car may suffer more. There were a few races in 2013 that were quite similar to what I just described, and they turned out to be pretty decent races. Australia, China, Germany and India were examples of such races.

    7. Social media yesterday, or at least the ones that I follow, was buzzing with the new F1 Fanatic member @dieterrencken.

      What a day for F1 fans that want to have access to great information from a great independent blog, that contrary to Pirelli’s tyres uses no gimmicks.

    8. Re: COTD – or just let everyone have new tyres for the race? I don’t get why the rule exists in the first place, as the only thing it serves to do, is disadvantage the top 10.

      1. I think that is exactly the intention – not going as far as reverse grids, but still forcing some element of disadvantage to going through to (the bottom of) Q3 @ho3n3r – and that’s why I also would prefer they drop the rule, which often makes it arguably better to start 11th on the clean side, than 10th with old tyres on the dirty side. But in the end it hasn’t been a huge distraction, just unneeded, I think.

    9. Looking forward to this year’s F2 – new car and engine, and a few interesting drivers.

      Think Norris will really need to adapt quickly if he’s going to have a chance at the title… and just as important will be how quickly Carlin can get themselves back up and running in F2, and how good they end up being. Obviously all the cars are physically identical, but it’s very clear that a better team (eg, Prema) can extract significantly more performance from the car than an average team.

    10. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      9th January 2018, 11:42

      The same was said at the start of the F3 campaign last year, that no one could stop the 4-year Prema hegemony, but they did.
      Even with the bigger step up considering their F2 re-entry, it would take a brave person to bet against them doing it again I think.
      I do question Carlin’s resources though, considering the Indycar programme too, which would surely take priority if things get tight, hopefully it wont come to that .

      1. @fullcoursecaution I’m looking forward to see how Russell and Norris compete with each other and the rest of the F2 field for 2018. Prema’s 2018 line-up is not up to the same standard as Leclerc and Gasly provided in ’16 & ’17 – Nick De Vries has shown some promise, however I expect Norris to leapfrog him in McLaren’s young driver program, four years younger and with a better track record.-Last seasons Racing Engineering pairing of De Vries and Malja saw the teams worst results since the inaugural GP2 season in 2005.

    11. What unusual thing happened to DR in the qualifying for the Brazilian GP (or the qualifying for the 2016 edition in case this interview was done last year only to be posted very early this year). I can’t recall anything particularly unusual moment during the qualifying that could’ve annoyed him that much, LOL.

      1. @jerejj Danny Ric was on it at Brazil, but he had yet another grid penalty to push him well down the order.

    12. Lennard Mascini (@)
      10th January 2018, 10:36

      @ho3n3r @bosyber and sumedh too (you don’t seem to have a handle)
      I agree with you that its great to see each driver pushing their car to the absolute maximum, and that if everything else stays as is, I would drop the rule, but my comment was tied to another idea, namely to drop all other tyre rules, and let every driver completely choose which dry compounds they want to bring. I think we can also agree that mixed-up grids often lead to entertainment (e.g. Japan ’05, Brazil ’10, Italy ’08, etc.). It was simply an idea, added to simplification of the tyre rules, to give us mixed-up grids without gimmicks. Read my full comment in the previous day’s round-up if you want to see the full idea.

      1. I see what you are saying @leonardodicappucino but I think that most other rules about tyres are there to save some of the cost of carrying 10s of extra tyres to every race, only to then dispose of them, potentially unused.

        1. Lennard Mascini (@)
          14th January 2018, 7:33

          @bosyber They do still nominate their 13 dry tyre choices in advance like they do now. That might not have been clear from my earlier posts.

          1. Right @leonardodicappucino I did miss that, so you’d mean the teams would then have all tyres to choose 13 sets from without any prescribed (but maybe some forbidden for some track due to safety, I expect Pirelli to insist on that) sets. I do agree then, and would like to see that too.

            It might mean though that the top three are even more ahead of the rest, both because they have more money to decide on on-the-edge choices and because they can more likely get through Q1, Q2, leaving them with the best choice in the races too. But maybe within that group it would lead to more tension, and too, within the midfield.

    13. I agree with you. Tyre rules should be fully open, i.e. teams should be able to bring hypersofts only to Barcelona if they’re really in the mood for a pit-fest but think it’s the fastest way. And it should be kept secret until the actual race weekend starts, for a bit of added intrigue.

      I don’t see the need for the currently unnecessarily complicated tyre rules. In the 90’s they brought 2 compounds and chose 1 of them from quali onwards, and it was fine.

    14. I see Lewis has copped a bit of a bashing in the papers today! Sounds like a bit of an angry man.

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