Start, Istanbul Park, 2020

Britain’s new travel restrictions for Turkey casts doubt on race

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In the round-up: Formula 1’s recently-announced race at Istanbul Park in June has been put in doubt after Britain revised its travel restrictions for the country.

In brief

Turkish travel restriction casts doubt on race

Britain, which is home to the majority of F1 teams, announced on Friday that Turkey has been added to its “red list” of countries which “should not be visited except in the most extreme circumstances”. While F1 has previously raced in countries where lockdowns were in force due to the pandemic, it remains to be seen whether this development will put the Turkish Grand Prix under threat.

The race was added to the calendar last month in place of the cancelled Canadian Grand Prix.

A Formula 1 spokesperson said the championship is “aware of the announcement made by the UK government regarding travel restrictions for Turkey and are assessing the situation and will provide more details in the coming days.”

Sainz having to learn at Ferrari what he “understood perfectly” at McLaren

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021
Sainz isn’t in tune with the tyres yet as he was at McLaren
Carlos Sainz Jnr says part of the reason for his disappointing performance in the Portuguese Grand Prix, where he fell out of the points on dying tyres in the final laps, was because he doesn’t understand his car’s behaviour as well as he did at McLaren.

“We cannot blame it all on strategy, for sure,” said the Ferrari driver. “We could have done things better. But our tyre understanding before the race wasn’t ideal.

“Also, we didn’t know that the medium was going to be so poor. We didn’t know that the graining was going to be so obvious as it was in the race. We basically didn’t know many things before the race. And we want to to be better at that, better arriving to a race a bit better prepared.

“I’m going to get better at it as the races go on, knowing what the tyres do in the race. This is something that in McLaren, I perfectly knew how the tyre was is going to develop into a race, how the car is going to behave in the race. And maybe I’m still lacking this experience and this this memory this predictability of the car and the tyres in this car in Ferrari.”

Hauger takes pole for opening F3 race

Hauger took pole yesterday and will start there tomorrow
Dennis Hauger beat Jack Doohan for pole position at F3’s first round this year. The two were separated by just six thousandths of a second, after an extremely competitive qualifying session.

Because of Formula 3’s new, three-race weekend format, Hauger will not actually assume his pole position until Sunday’s race, with the top 12 being reversed to start tomorrow’s first of three races.

Until then, making up positions in Saturday’s races is “not that easy”, Hauger admitted. “Even with the new turn 10, it’s not that much easier. Obviously when the tyres degrade at the end of the race I think we’ll get more opportunities. Starting P12 with the new format is going to be interesting, we just have to survive race one, try and get some points and take as many opportunities as we can.”

Juan Manuel Correa, in his return to racing since suffering horrific injuries in the 2019 Spa Formula 2 crash which claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert at Spa, qualified 13th in the 30-strong field.

Hamilton impressed by midfield success

Lewis Hamilton praised the progress midfield teams are making in closing the gap to Mercedes and Red Bull.

“It’s amazing to see the progress that Ferrari and McLarexn are making and even Alpine,” he said. “It’s fantastic to see them so strong. So that applies pressure to us also.”

AlphaTauri trying to improve low-speed cornering

Speaking after Friday’s first practice session, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost described how the team is working to address the slow-speed cornering deficit which the Portuguese Grand Prix exposed.

“Today we had, in the slow-speed corners, some smaller problems but I think we can get rid of it. Yuki [Tsunoda] had a bit too much understeer in slow-speed and mid-speed corners but no major problems,

“Pierre [Gasly] was, with the soft tyres, quite satisfied. With the hard tyres, he said the car was a little bit too disconnected. The engineers are sitting [down] together to find out hopefully a proper set-up.”

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Comment of the day

A realistic solution to enforcing track limits needs more than just a painted white line, says Mark:

The kerbs give progressive feedback, since the profile of the serrations increase along their width. So if you already have two tyres on, it’s not that easy to tell when your other two tyres come on. Whereas if you fall off the outside edge onto flat tarmac, there’s much more of a step change in feedback.

I think it’s worth noting that some of the biggest track limits controversies of late have all been in places where there are no kerbs at all, and only the white line, e.g. Vettel at the Parabolica; Verstappen at Bahrain. The same thing came into play with Norris’ lap deletion at Imola, where there are kerbs at several corners but they’re placed so far beyond the white line that there’s no useful feedback to be had from them.

I think that should really give us pause in considering the absolutist approach of only using only the white line all the time. This is not tennis or football. There should be some form of physical feedback for the drivers to denote track limits.
@Markzastrow

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On this day in F1

Today in 2011, Vettel saw off his rivals at Istanbul

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 19 comments on “Britain’s new travel restrictions for Turkey casts doubt on race”

    1. This may come as a surprise but I am getting absolutely fed up with motor racing becoming entirely about tyre management. Even MotoGP using Michelin tyres is dominated by tyre management which has held back Jack Miller in the dry until last weekend, back in the Doohan days and right up to the Stoner and early Rossi days MotoGP was a feast of opposite lock turn-in and smoking rear tyres, now lt’s all about being smooth and limiting pace so as not to have the tyres performance “fall of a cliff” Jack Miller has always been fast but hard on tyres, the pity is that clinical tyre management is so much less exciting than the balls-to-the wall racing of yesteryear.

      1. @hohum Looks like even motogp is now being decided by how a rider is able to optimise their tyres. I’d say even late on the bridgestone era, the racing was getting a bit tyre focused and stale, it was always about casey, jorge, vale, dani and marc. We were used to see riders force their own will on the bikes, perhaps back in the day there were more unknowns, today we can only be certain that Marc is special, the rest is almost by chance.

        1. @peartree, agreed, I hope Marcy Marc can regain the magic but age and injury will make it hard. As for the tyres, I don’t believe that Michelin can’t make tyres that will last a race distance,especially knowing the abuse the tyres used to handle, it must be by design.

          1. @hohum Sure. Maybe some politics as well. Michelin’s excuse is that they have had to come up with an allocation.

    2. Anon A. Mouse
      8th May 2021, 1:41

      The kerbs give progressive feedback, since the profile of the serrations increase along their width. So if you already have two tyres on, it’s not that easy to tell when your other two tyres come on. Whereas if you fall off the outside edge onto flat tarmac, there’s much more of a step change in feedback.

      I think it’s worth noting that some of the biggest track limits controversies of late have all been in places where there are no kerbs at all, and only the white line, e.g. Vettel at the Parabolica; Verstappen at Bahrain. The same thing came into play with Norris’ lap deletion at Imola, where there are kerbs at several corners but they’re placed so far beyond the white line that there’s no useful feedback to be had from them.

      I think that should really give us pause in considering the absolutist approach of only using only the white line all the time. This is not tennis or football. There should be some form of physical feedback for the drivers to denote track limits.
      @Markzastrow

      I would argue against needing kerbs to provide any physical sensation of being off the track, the drivers have eyes for that. They’re very good a processing visual information to determine braking points, turn in points, and corner exit targets. Let’s not forget, it’s a central seating position so there are no LHD/RHD offsets to account for. I’d venture to say that in the situations where there is only white lines/no kerb, it’s more inviting to drift wide because there’s no grip loss (other than when its a green or dusty track) which lets drivers rely on traction where they otherwise might not be able to due to the kerb serration.

      I believe the white line is the realistic solution – keep all 4 tires within the limits of the lines and you’re fine. All four over the leftmost/rightmost edge of the line, you’re in violation. Having kerbs beyond that should have no bearing on the decision. Drivers know better and will only get away with as much as they’re allowed. Stern and consistent enforcement on the white lines being the track limits at point of the track will mitigate much of the complaining from the teams and drivers when it comes to deleting laps, and naturally the opinions of fans should be ignored in those matters (and probably many other matters, but let’s not go down that rabbit hole).

      1. Yeah I can understand this point to an extent. But how many times have we heard (mainly from Martin Brundle) how you can’t see where the front of your car from the drivers seat.

        @markzastrow made another point yesterday that many of the problems with trackblimits have come at corners where there are a) not kerbs, and b) not quite a straight exit, making it even more difficult to know where you are relative to the white line (e.g. Bahrain T4, Parabolica etc).

        I know that the drivers are supposed to be very good at visual perception, but I think it caould still be quite difficult to see a 100mm white line that is curving, while not being able to see where the front of your cars is, and travelling at 100+ mph.

    3. I will repeat my suggestion from the other thread

      What if the track organizers spray water on the tarmac run-offs before races and qualifying? If a driver goes off-track, the wet surface won’t give him the traction and he will lose time automatically. Will that cause a safety hazard? Don’t think so.

      I am not talking of artificial sprinklers. Just some excess recycled water to be put on the tarmac run offs just before the race and qualifying starts (not during)

      1. The whole point of having tarmac is that it’s safer as the cars have more control when they go off and it helps scrub more speed off before an impact. Adding water just completely ruins that, and it absolutely becomes a safety hazard. Also, what if a driver is forced off the track by a rival? That’ll basically be their race over as they won’t be able to rejoin if they’re on dries on wet tarmac.

        1. If we say wet tarmac is an unacceptable safety hazard, then we won’t be able to race in the wet at all.

          In case of being forced off the track, the driver can definitely drive rejion back on to the dry circuit, they have plenty of experience driving dry tyres on wet tarmac. The driver at fault will be given penalty for forcing the other driver off track (as he would, even now).

          Dry tyres on wet tarmac doesn’t result in total loss of control. It only reduces control causing the driver to lose time (which is exactly what we want to see)

          1. Supposing they did this…
            – Depending on the particular section of track, the water could drain back onto the circuit,
            – If it’s a warm sunny day, it would be dry in 10-15 minutes,
            – It could cause aquaplaning for just long enough to create an otherwise avoidable safety hazard,
            – It’s simply unnecessary (as I said yesterday) – if they want a slippery surface beside the circuit, it needs to be built into the design permanently. Clearly they don’t, or they’d be using grass.

            As for wet races – remember they are braking much earlier and approaching corners much slower in the wet. With inters/wets on, usually, if it’s that wet.

            I like the idea of a natural deterrent as much as anyone, but it simply isn’t the reality we live with now.
            Regardless of what lines beyond the white lines, they still need to enforce track limits anyway – if for no other reason than because that’s what the current rules are.
            Changing the rules is a whole other matter altogether.

          2. The difference is what you mention at the end. In the rain, they are using specialised tires for the wet track. You say that dry tires don’t cause a loss of control in the wet, despite Hamiton and Russell’s incident in Imola proving to the contrary.

            Furthermore, wouldn’t that just lead to another Germany 2019 situation, with drivers just slipping and sliding off at the final corner? As I said in my reply yesterday, I dread to think what would have happened if Leclerc was still in the runoff getting out of his car when Hamilton slid off right next to him.

            I think it introduces an unnecessary safety risk imo. I’ve said before, as annoying as these track limits debates are, I’d rather debate about the imperfect track limits than debate how the sport could have done more to prevent a death/serious injury

            1. Thanks for the response ‘S’ and @randommallard!
              Regarding the major issues with this idea:

              Aquaplaning:

              Germany 2019 was due to a very unique situation of a drag strip tarmac getting wet causing aquaplaning. I doubt that drag strip surface is present in other run-off areas across other circuits. And we are not talking of creating puddles but just making it as wet as it would be after a moderate rain shower. So there should be low risk of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning usually occurs when the rain is still falling or if the shape of the tarmac is such that mini-rivers are created across it.


              Water drying out quickly:

              Also, the wet tarmac won’t dry out so quickly. In a typical wet to dry race, the racing line which has 20 drivers going over it each lap after lap takes about 8-10 laps (12-15 mins) to become visibly dry after the rain stops. A piece of tarmac 2 metres outside the race track won’t dry out for at least 60-120 mins after the water spraying is stopped. So it can serve as a natural deterrent for almost the full race length.

              Also, we are not asking to spray water right outside the white line or kerbs. It would be 2 metres (typical width of a F1 car) outside of the white line or kerbs. So a driver would go on the water only if he is completely out of the track limits. The driver then only needs to let go off the throttle, correct his steering and lose a but of tire temp. It is the perfect sort of penalty that is automatically given to the driver.

              Besides, it is very easy & cheap for grand prix organizers to implement this, just get one or two water tanker and spray it at the right time.

              I think this is at least worth experimenting once or twice to see if it works.

    4. Re F3: It’s time. It’s going to be epic. I’m in for Hauger vs. Arthur Leclerc.

    5. If we say wet tarmac is an unacceptable safety hazard, then we won’t be able to race in the wet at all.

      In case of being forced off the track, the driver can definitely drive rejion back on to the dry circuit, they have plenty of experience driving dry tyres on wet tarmac. The driver at fault will be given penalty for forcing the other driver off track (as he would, even now).

      Dry tyres on wet tarmac doesn’t result in total loss of control. It only reduces control causing the driver to lose time (which is exactly what we want to see)

    6. ColdFly (@)
      8th May 2021, 8:18

      I guess it’s time for the car industry to give something back to F1.
      All new cars have some kind of lane assist nowadays.
      Maybe F1 can use the subtle steering wheel feedback functionality, and activate the full driving aid for the worst offenders ;)

      1. @coldfly Maybe easier to just throttle back the car for a while when they go out of bounds. Immediate feedback and it has the same effect of slowing them down as gravel would.

        1. ColdFly (@)
          8th May 2021, 18:34

          @f1osaurus, whilst the comment above is clearly TiC, I do agree that using electronics to guard track limits is very modern and great idea for F1.

          I oftentimes suggested to switch off or throttle back the MGU-K traction for a few seconds. A bit like when driving into an section with less traction.
          I just got tired of replying to the objectors who come up with the wildest ideas why it won’t work or could be dangerous.

    7. I sure hope Istanbul Park won’t lose out. In case, I wouldn’t mind having two races at Circuit Paul Ricard as it’d give flexibility for configuration experiment, i.e., try without the Mistral straight chicane or at least a shorter chicane alternative + The slightest T1-T2 option.

      Using only white lines would result in countless laps lost, so curbing is a better limit reference.

      1. @jerejj Unfortunately, France is also in partial lockdown and requires everyone arriving from the UK to self-isolate for 7 days prior to doing whatever they came to France to do.

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