DDRS unlikey for Lotus in 2012

Lotus Technical Director James Allison has revealed that their Double DRS is unlikely to be seen again this season but that they will continue to use a Coanda exhaust system.

The E20 caught the eye in Hungary when it appeared with extra air inlets either side of the engine intake as part of a system designed to stall the rear of the car independently of the DRS system and therefore enhance straight-line speed when DRS is limited. DDRS unlikey for Lotus in 2012

However, the team have struggled to truly come to grips with the system and as such, while they’ll make use of it at the upcoming Young Driver’s Test, it’s appearance in one of the remaining GPs is doubtful.

“Our plan is to work on understanding how to make it act in a sufficiently predictable manner to be deployable in a race,” explained Allison.

“Given the difficulty we have experienced so far, I think it would be optimistic to see it used in anger this season, within the final races remaining.”

One device that the team will not be putting on the back-burner is their new Coanda exhaust system which Allison feels will come into its own in Abu Dhabi.

“It is not really the straight-line pace that is the issue as we can set that wherever we like simply by choosing the rear wing setting,” he said.

“It is the power that we need to recover. Our first version of the Coanda system is rather power hungry.

“With Renault Sport’s help we expect to claw back around one third of the loss in Abu Dhabi, and would be able to get around half of the loss back eventually.

“We aim to introduce an exhaust pipe that keeps all of the Coanda downforce benefit, but sheds some of the horsepower penalty that we suffered with for our first iteration design.”

Source: Palnet F1.com

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The Championship: Can Vettel make the Hattrick ?

It was a comfortable win for Sebastian Vettel last weekend in India cruising to victory from pole. He extended his lead in the drivers championship by 13 points to Fernando Alonso.

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Next round is the final Asian race at Abu Dhabi and as Vettel has won two Abu Dhabi GPs out of the three held so far, and this year too he goes there with a chance of winning as he lost last year due to a punctured rear right tyre on the first lap.

As Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso trails by 13 points to Sebastian Vettel is quiet confident about winning the title but looks like the tables have turned. The problem by Ferrari is Qualifying. Alonso starts always in the midpack (P5-7)and always has to have a brillant start to get to the front,  like in India last weekend . Vettel is always on the charge for the pole since Singapore. When Vettel wins, Alonso is  third or second, that are good positions, but in the fight about the drivers title he will lose points again and that was happening to him since his retirement in Spa. That why Alonso is praying that the next Ferrari updates, will make the F2012 much faster, especially in Qualifying.
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Sebastian Vettel who has 240 points currently will gain 25 points if he wins, which would mean a total of 265 points, Fernando Alonso who seemed quite impressive at the Indian GP might manage to get another podium finish if everything goes right. Assuming P3 which would mean a gain of 15 points will sum it upto 242 points which still keeps him 23 points behind Sebastian Vettel and a P2 would mean a gap of 20 points.

So considering these stats Sebastian Vettel is slowly and steadily confirming his third drivers championship title with Kimi Raikkonen not making it to the podium in the last five races. The Lotus is lacking behind and Raikkönnen can just drive to P5-P8 Positions, maximum. Raikkönnen’s Lotus has to be much better in Quali and in Longruns (Race).

The championship title is still achievable mathematically for Mark Webber who is xx points away. Really what happend to Webber? Where is the dominating driving from Monaco and Silverstone? It looks like the same scenario like in 2010. Red Bull is focused on Sebastian to win the championship, but they forget completlely that Webber has also chances to win it. Now it’s to late for Webber, he can just bring good results for Red Bull, so they can win the constrcteurs title. Hamilton is 75 points away, i don’t think that McLaren in general are thinking about the drivers title, it’s all over-AGAIN!!! Now they can just fight for the constructers, but it’s not looking good at all, Red Bull is far away in the lead. That is a very embarrasing situation for this team who started this season so well.
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The champioship is still open, but i just see a battle between Vettel and Alonso. The blue-yellow-red can vs. the black jumping horse, it will be a great battle (hopefully) until the final round in Sao Paulo. Raikkönnen, Webber and Hamilton have no chances anymore. I don’t think Raikönnen will have a big pursuit like in 2007 (there he had a Ferrari, what was much better than the Lotus currently), he will just try he’s best as ever and could get a podium, if the conditions are rainy and chaotic. Webber will be just a help for Vettel, i don’t see him as a real contender for the champioship. Hamilton can just help McLaren to hold the second position in the constructors, more not.

Red Bull faces alternator switch by the United States Grand Prix

Red Bull will have to switch away from the safety of its old-spec alternators by the United States Grand Prix at the latest, AUTOSPORT has learned.

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In the wake of the double alternator failure that Sebastian Vettel suffered at the Italian GP, Renault reverted its teams back to a 2011-specification to ensure there were no repeat problems. However, with not enough of the old batch to last the entire season, Renault has continued work on a new version to make sure it has something ready for the final races.

Renault’s head of track operations Remi Taffin told AUTOSPORT that the French car manufacturer was now happy that it has a version that should not suffer the same problems that have struck this year, and its teams would have to switch across imminently. “The alternator has been changed and modified,” he said. “We had a new version we tested in Singapore, and another one in Suzuka. We ran that one again in Korea – and will do so here in India as well. “As well as that, we were running it on the dyno and that will become the specification that we will introduce this year when we need it. But we also have other specifications that are coming from R&D that are focused on 2013.”

Taffin said that there is enough of the 2011 specification to last teams through the next two races, but that a switch over to the latest version would be needed for Austin. “I think at the latest, and obviously it depends on the mileage we do, it should be the United States,” he explained. “Obviously it is not going to be for all teams, but we don’t know for who yet.” Although Red Bull may feel reluctant to move away from the guaranteed reliability of the older version because of its championship situation, Taffin said the final decision about what the team does will be made by Renault alone.

When asked how Renault will decide when teams have to switch to the new version, Taffin said: “To be very honest it is a very difficult answer, because it is not any more just a technical issue. There are personal feelings about what should be run, and there are bad memories and things like that. “So even if we have gone through all the validation process, when you discuss about introducing a new spec of alternator – people say, ‘stop, should we not just keep with the old one’. “The key point is where is the shift point from a 2011 unit with too much mileage on, to the new spec? “But we will take the decision as always, because for any internals of the engine you cannot really leave that to the teams. It is not because they are not technically speaking OK to do that, but there is too much of an inside [emotional] feeling.”

Source: Autosport.com

Race Review: Quattrik for Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel wins ahead of Alonso (+9.437) and his Teammate Webber (+13.217).

Webber had a better start than Vettel, but Webber backt of on Turn 1 and left Vettel for the lead. Further behind Vergne touched the right rear tire from Schumacher with his frontwing. Vergne destroyed his frontwing and had to drive to the pits, Schumacher was also in the pits but in the last three laps of the race he had to retire. In the front was a battle between Alonso, Hamilton and Button, they were going three-wide on the long straight. Alonso could overtake Hamilton at the end of the straight, but Button was still third.

Alonso overtook Button in the fourth lap of the race. Than in lap 15, Perez was driving to the pits because Hülkenberg was overtaking him. In lap 20 Perez had contact with Vergne, this time the frontwing of Vergne was ok. Perez had to drive to the pits again.

Alonso was attaking, the gab between Alonso and Webber was just 1.8 Seconds in lap 21, Webber had tire issues and was under pressure. Button came for new tires in lap 26, Raikkönnen, Rosberg and Maldonado came in lap 28. Hülkenberg came in lap 29, Alonso in lap 30, Webber in lap 31.

Than Maldonado was in trouble, he tried to overtake Kobayashi on the outside and touched his rear right tire with the frontwing of the Sauber. Maldonado had a puncture and was driving through a gravel trap in the next corner. Hamilton came in lap 34 to his pitstop, but the spacetroopers (mechanics)  didn’t only changed the tires, they changed also the steeringwheel (for some weird reason).

Massa had to safe fuel at lap 35,  so he had no chance to defend his sixth position against Raikkönnen. At the front Vettel was leading with 11,1 seconds, but his teammate Webber had trouble. His KERS failed at lap 45, so it was difficult to defend his position against Alonso who was just 1,7 seconds behind him.

Pedro De La Rosa had a braking issue at the end of the long straight and crashed against the barriers, but with slow speed, so the car wasn’t heavily damaged. Schumacher was under investigation because the race stewards were thinking that he has ignored the blue flags, the decision will come after the race.

In lap 48 Alonso overtook Webber with DRS, Webber had now Hamilton on his tail. Alonso was on the charge for Vettel in last couple of laps. But after some mistakes by Alonso in lap 54, he had to abort the pursuit. The next pursuit was by Hamilton on Webber. Hamitlon was on the limit and tried everything to catch Webber. But it was to late, on the start/finish line the gap between Hamilton and Webber was just 0.7 Seconds.
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After 60 laps of racing, Sebastian Vettel won the Indian GP 2012.

The fastest lap came from Button, who was ending the race on fifth position.

Full Results of the GP of India on the Buddh International Circuit in Noida 2012:

1 1 S. Vettel Red Bull 60 1:31:10.744 202,842
2 5 F. Alonso Ferrari 60 +0:09.437 +0:09.437 202,493
3 2 M. Webber Red Bull 60 +0:13.217 +0:03.780 202,353
4 4 L. Hamilton McLaren 60 +0:13.909 +0:00.692 202,328
5 3 J. Button McLaren 60 +0:26.266 +0:12.357 201,873
6 6 F. Massa Ferrari 60 +0:44.674 +0:18.408 201,199
7 9 K. Räikkönen Lotus 60 +0:45.227 +0:00.553 201,179
8 12 N. Hülkenberg Force India 60 +0:54.998 +0:09.771 200,823
9 10 R. Grosjean Lotus 60 +0:56.103 +0:01.105 200,783
10 19 B. Senna Williams 60 +1:14.975 +0:18.872 200,100
11 8 N. Rosberg Mercedes 60 +1:21.694 +0:06.719 199,858
12 11 P. di Resta Force India 60 +1:22.815 +0:01.121 199,817
13 16 D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 60 +1:26.064 +0:03.249 199,700
14 14 K. Kobayashi Sauber 60 +1:26.495 +0:00.431 199,685
15 17 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 59 +1 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 197,266
16 18 P. Maldonado Williams 59 +1 Rnd. +0:00.589 197,245
17 21 W. Petrow Caterham 59 +1 Rnd. +0:10.045 196,888
18 20 H. Kovalainen Caterham 59 +1 Rnd. +0:08.671 196,580
19 25 C. Pic Marussia 59 +1 Rnd. +0:10.178 196,221
20 24 T. Glock Marussia 58 +2 Rnd. +1 Rnd. 195,212
21 23 N. Karthikeyan HRT 58 +2 Rnd. +0:40.199 193,794
22 7 M. Schumacher Mercedes 55 +5 Rnd. +3 Rnd. 196,302

Q&A with Bernie ecclestone

GREATER NOIDA: Bernie Ecclestone turned 82 on Saturday but the charismatic billionaire boss of Formula One Management (FOM) shows no signs of slowing down. The man’s sense of humour, for one, certainly hasn’t taken a beating. Just before sitting down for a chat, he issuing a warning to keep the hands off the fruit on the table: it’s recession after all! Ecclestone admitted that he is in love with India, likening it to a “girl you fall in love with but don’t know why”. Excerpts… 

As compared to 2011, the ticket sales for this year’s race have been fairly slow. Are you concerned by the drop in interest this time around?

This happens everywhere around the world. In the first year a lot of people are interested and intrigued, in the second year there is a dip and then it picks up again. When you talk about some of the other circuits, England for example, Silverstone has massive crowds of 1,20,000 because British GP has been going on for 100 years. Crowds build up at a circuit when it hosts more and more races.

Are you looking at another Grand Prix in this country? What future do you see for Indian GP beyond the first five years of the contract?

India doesn’t require another GP at the moment. Let’s get this established first. We’re definitely willing to extend the contract beyond five years. However, in saying that, if we haven’t seen the kind of crowds we want by the fourth year, then we have to have a good look at it. It is a very expensive sport.

You have been to India many times before and this is one of the rare races which sees your presence throughout the weekend. What is it that you like about India?

I like it here in India, I am happy here. I don’t exactly know what I like about India. I guess it’s like a girl you fall in love with but you don’t know why.

Do you still think Narain Karthikeyan should be behind the wheel of a Sahara Force India car? 

It would be better to have a driver from the home country in a race. I think Narain should be driving a Force India but you have to talk to Vijay and see what he says. I believe if we saw Michael (Schumacher) in a Red Bull, he would have been a different Michael.

Korean GP organizers renegotiated their deal with the FOM. Do you see a similar thing happening in India with the hosting fees, keeping in mind the current economic climate?

We took the TV rights from Korean GP organizers this year, which they could not sell. For the Indian GP organizers, the hosting fees will only increase a little bit every year.

You turn 82 today. What are your plans on your birthday?

I plan to ignore my birthday. It happens every year but as you get older you want to forget it as soon as possible!

Most of the motorsports and domestic racing in India takes place down south. Do you see any of those place becoming the next F1 destination?

We had, in fact, considered Bangalore the first time before settling for Delhi. Let’s get this getting working properly first and then we’ll have a look.

Asia is currently at par with Europe when it comes to number of F1 races in the world. Was it a conscious effort to look at Asia as an F1 destination?

I was the one who decided to move to this part of the world a long time ago, and China specifically. It is a lovely place to visit. There is a crazy system in Europe, which is slowly but surely destroying Europe. My point was to head East.

Do you think that Ferrari is making a political statement here in India by supporting their naval officers?

The Italian Navy have been supporters of Ferrari for a long time. I don’t think their intention is to cause trouble. I don’t think it will tarnish the image of F1. It is about supporting someone who has supported you in the past.

Some of the independent teams are not happy with the engine regulations that will kick in from 2014. Are you looking at a budget cap for all teams from possibly 2014?

We are definitely looking at a budget cap. We are trying to work out a regulation to work to ensure cars can’t spend more than a certain amount. The cap will include everything, even driver retainers. But at the moment it’s my idea. Only about 50% of the people support me on this. Teams with smaller budgets will like to see those regulations.

Source: Times of India

Qualifying review: Sebastian Vettel on Pole-Position

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Sebastian Vettel drives to Pole with a 1:25.283 and drives to his 35th Pole in his career.

Mark Webber is second on the starting grid (+0.044), so the full front row is with yellow-red-blue energy drinks again.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button starting on P3 and P4.

Felipe Massa spun the third time this weekend in Q2 but he still managed to get P6 (+0.574) behind his teammate Alonso (+0.490) Than Raikkönnen (7th/+0.953), Perez (8th/+1.077), Maldonado who was fastest in Q1 9th (+1.430) and Rosberg didn’t drove a time so he is tenth.

Grosjean, Hülkenberg, Senna, Schumacher, Ricciardo, Di Resta and Kobayashi retired in Q2. Vergne had to fight for Q2 again and lost the fight- again, so P17 for the Frenchman.

Heikki Kovalainen has tried to do a drift with his Caterham but failed badly and spun into the graveltrap, P19 on the grid. De la Rosa ended in P22 and was faster than his Teammate again. Pic was on P24, his Teammate Glock ended on P20.

Full Results of the Qualifying:

 

1 1 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:25.283 5
2 2 M. Webber Red Bull 1:25.327 +0:00.044 +0:00.044 5
3 4 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:25.544 +0:00.261 +0:00.217 7
4 3 J. Button McLaren 1:25.659 +0:00.376 +0:00.115 5
5 5 F. Alonso Ferrari 1:25.773 +0:00.490 +0:00.114 7
6 6 F. Massa Ferrari 1:25.857 +0:00.574 +0:00.084 4
7 9 K. Räikkönen Lotus 1:26.236 +0:00.953 +0:00.379 5
8 15 S. Perez Sauber 1:26.360 +0:01.077 +0:00.124 4
9 18 P. Maldonado Williams 1:26.713 +0:01.430 +0:00.353 6
10 8 N. Rosberg Mercedes -:–.— -:–.— -:–.— 2
11 10 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:26.136 7
12 12 N. Hülkenberg Force India 1:26.241 +0:00.105 +0:00.105 8
13 19 B. Senna Williams 1:26.331 +0:00.195 +0:00.090 9
14 7 M. Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.574 +0:00.438 +0:00.243 9
15 16 D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:26.777 +0:00.641 +0:00.203 8
16 11 P. di Resta Force India 1:26.989 +0:00.853 +0:00.212 8
17 14 K. Kobayashi Sauber 1:27.219 +0:01.083 +0:00.230 6
18 17 J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.525 11
19 21 W. Petrow Caterham 1:28.756 +0:01.231 +0:01.231 10
20 20 H. Kovalainen Caterham 1:29.500 +0:01.975 +0:00.744 10
21 24 T. Glock Marussia 1:29.613 +0:02.088 +0:00.113 11
22 22 P. de la Rosa HRT 1:30.592 +0:03.067 +0:00.979 8
23 23 N. Karthikeyan HRT 1:30.593 +0:03.068 +0:00.001 10
24 25 C. Pic Marussia 1:30.662 +0:03.137 +0:00.069 11