Nicholas Latifi, Williams, Mugello, 2020

Data shows Williams suffer more in turbulence than rivals

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In the round-up: Williams head of vehicle performance Dave Robson says data from the car indicates they are suffering more in turbulent air than their rivals are.

What they say

Williams drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have reported the FW43 is particularly tricky to drive when they are in traffic at the start of races:

There’s no doubt when when the cars are at the back of the pack, they are incredibly difficult to drive. The aerodynamics are severely hurt.

Now, of course, that’s the same for us and the cars that qualify around us. So we do not stand out in that regard. But I think – we’re still looking at the data – but I think there is reason to think that aerodynamically we are hurt more than some of the other cars around us.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Would NASCAR-style restart zones work in F1?

The actual restart zone in NASCAR rarely causes crashes. The accidents you see happen well after the start finish line where the restart rules no longer apply.

The big difference between NASCAR and F1 though is NASCAR also restarts double file. This allows for three and four wide racing as everyone is trying to get as many positions as they can get. This hard racing is what usually leads to crashes. F1 would have less chances for that as they start single file.
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On this day in F1

  • 30 years ago today Nigel Mansell won the Portuguese Grand Prix when the race was red-flagged early after Alex Caffi crashed heavily.

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  • 21 comments on “Data shows Williams suffer more in turbulence than rivals”

    1. Whot? the worst car performs the worst when in the worst position? lol

      1. Williams also has 2 of the most inexperienced drivers. I think it is possible the drivers are just surprised how much dirty air there is in f1 in general. While it is of course possible williams is very sensitive to airflow changes I think mostly it is just current nature of f1 they are finding.

        1. Although I don’t disagree, Russell has tested the Mercedes quite a few times so does have experience with multiple teams cars.

          Testing isn’t a race however where the maximum impact of wake is felt.

          Anyone know what Kubica said about the Williams wake?

      2. They omitted the data that also shows the car performs almost as bad in clear air.
        So my take from this is that the team assumed they wont be running close to any other cars and didn’t factor turbulence into their aerodynamics.

    2. Petrov shouldn’t comment on things like that if he doesn’t know what is really going down over here. I’m just assuming that he doesn’t have all the facts.

      1. Next T-shirt; “Arrest the man who ordered the poisoning of Navalny”
        I think we have all the facts.

    3. Restart zones certainly would work—they’re a dead simple system to regulate a start and I think they would have helped avoid the Mugello pile-up. Some argued in the other thread that it wouldn’t stop drivers back in the pack from trying to hold back and build a gap so they can jump the start, which is true, but it would reduce the chances of them piling into a stationary pack in front because the leader is forced to also go by the end of the zone.

      Arguably, if the FIA are going to insist on turning off the SC lights late in order to get the field bunched up coming to the restart, Nascar style—and that seems to be the clear motivation, to make them visually more exciting—then they may as well use a restart zone to manage them and try to keep them safe. Effectively, the old SC1 line was the end of a restart zone—it gave the field a marker to aim for after which they knew they could safely floor it. If you put the fate of the field in the leader’s hands and leave everyone guessing on when to go for long enough, that sort of concertina effect is almost inevitable.

      The question is do we really need restart zones, and/or at what tracks? It’s really only an issue at tracks like Mugello though, where the timing line is both far enough down the straightaway to leave the pack guessing for a long time and also far enough from the end of the straightaway to allow for a slipstream that the leader has to defend against.

      1. @markzastrow What ‘old’ SC1 line? It’s been where the white pit entry line starts for a long time.
        As for the last paragraph: Yes, only a problem on tracks where the timing line is far down the main straight, but on most circuits, it’s towards the final corner, like at Sochi Autodrom next where it comes almost immediately after the final corner. Mugello, Baku, Interlagos (although F1 mightn’t visit there again at least for the time being) are the best examples of the timing line coming long after the last corner (or the last proper corner), although in Baku, even SC1 (the line from which overtaking was allowed before last season) comes far down the S/F straight due to the location of the pit lane.

        1. @jerejj I didn’t phrase that the best—“old” as in when it was the line that released the field to overtake.

    4. Lol at Petrov doing the talking for Putin. Probably also signalling that they would really prefer if nothing of the kind were shown in the free republic of Russia this weekend. I hope Hamilton will brandish a shirt clearly supporting LGBTQ+ rights/equality this weekend to play along.

      Sure, the US authorities are aware of the Brianna Taylor case. But those same authorities seem only very reluctantly to act on it. And only after public uproar and media attention to the case. And still no news on whether the officers will actually be prosecuted yet.

      1. You are correct. Everyone in the US is aware and with things like that there is often nothing done for a long time, if at all. A decision if the police officers are to be prosecuted could come in the next hours. The Grand Jury should have its verdict on that any time now.
        Downtown Louisville is getting barricaded off in case of a decision against prosecution and the expected outcry and possible violence.
        The US is in a bad place. To make it worse, you have an election year where common sense and compassion gets tossed completely out of the window.
        Every opinion gets turned into a statement of hate.
        You support black lives matter, then you are labled a supporter of a violent group of thugs. You support the Police (Blue lives matter) then you ate a clear racist.
        Regardless of the desicion on the police officers, it will not change one thing here. I even think it will be worse. Regardless On the desicion.

        1. Indeed @us-brian the whole situation doesn’t seem to have any easy and not messy outcomes regardless.

          1. I guess we will see the reaction now that one of those officers has indeed been charged with “three counts of wanton endangerment” (2 others have not been charged)

      2. @bascb, I believe it is actually against the law to promote gay rights in Russia, perhaps something legal would be better, eg. “Opposition leaders lives matter”

        1. @hohum I think if it is against the law, that is even more reason for Hamilton to make some sort of statement. I think one of two things would happen: the Russian police would enforce the law and arrest or fine Lewis for breaking the law (I’m sure a fine would be paid by some of his sponsors or humanitarian NGOs), sparking an international incident and shining a very bright light on their repressive laws; or they would do nothing, hoping to avoid a such a public incident and show just how corrupt they really are.

        2. It most certainly IS against the lay in Russia @hohum, that law was signed in a few months ahead of the Olympics in Sochi. I think Hamilton is smart enough (and Mercedes almost certainly interested in the Russian market enough) to make sure he doesn’t go anywhere near coming in conflict with that one, although as @g-funk mentions, it makes it all the worthier a cause.

          1. It’d be awesome for our gay communities if he did, but I guess their house aint on fire eh.

      3. I hope Hamilton will brandish a shirt clearly supporting LGBTQ+ rights/equality this weekend to play along.

        Or maybe another one showing how to gender-shame a little nephew

    5. at least the breonna taylor case is being investigated .
      i think unlike the george floyd case this will be put down to negligence rather than murder in any degree .
      we will see .
      williams . just do a racing point copy of mercedes and move on .

    6. And this is why F1 obfuscated their messaging so much for #WeRaceAsOne – going all-out with the inclusion message would likely have prevented the Russian Grand Prix, at a time when the leadership was desperately trying to get every race possible on the books in order to meet their TV deal…

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