Tag Archives: McLaren.

Jenson Button wins crash-marred Belgian GP

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Jenson Button coasted to his second victory of the season at the crash-marred Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, with Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton forced out after a spectacular pileup at the start.

It was Button’s first victory at Spa and the 14th of the British driver’s career — and probably one of the easiest as he led from start to finish, oblivious to the mayhem behind him. “This is such a special circuit, so to get a victory here from light to flag is very special,” Button said. “It hasn’t been an easy year for me. We’re going to enjoy this for a little while longer before we head to Monza and hopefully do the same.” Button triumphantly zigzagged across the track as he approached the finish line and then clapped his hands together in celebration. He then stood on his McLaren and leaned his head back as he clenched both fists. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel benefited from the chaos to finish second and trim

Alonso’s overall lead to 24 points. Kimi Raikkonen was third, continuing the consistent form he’s shown all season long. The crash, which was triggered by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, also took out Mexican driver Sergio Perez, and Grosjean himself. Grosjean went for a small gap and clipped Hamilton’s McLaren. That sent both cars spinning and led to Grosjean’s Lotus flying over Alonso’s Ferrari, which then took out Perez’s Sauber. All four drivers escaped unhurt. “I’m fine and 100 (percent) already thinking (about) Monza!” Alonso said on his Twitter page. A visibly frustrated Hamilton briefly confronted Grosjean after the incident and tapped the side of his own helmet with his finger after getting out of his car. Grosjean’s actions may be investigated as he took the dangerous option of changing direction moments after the start as he went for the gap. Following a miserable day’s qualifying on Saturday, Vettel was relieved to get on the podium after starting from 10th on the grid. “It was a crazy race, after the first corner where a few cars went off,” the German driver said. “The car was quite good in the race and we were able to pick up some pace. It was a fantastic race, great to come second.”

Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg was fourth for Force India, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in fifth and Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who had started from 12th because of a gearbox penalty. Alonso, who had picked up points in every race this season, was lucky to escape serious injury as Grosjean’s Lotus went over his car and narrowly missed the Spaniard’s head. Button was not affected by the crash and maintained his lead as the safety car went out onto the track and piles of smashed car parts were cleared from the track. A veteran of 222 races, Button shrugged off the incident. He was seven seconds clear of Nico Hulkenberg after 12 laps. Michael Schumacher, chasing his second podium position of the season in his 300th career GP, drove aggressively on the Spa circuit where he made his F1 debut 21 years ago. The 43-year-old stormed into second after 15 laps, with Vettel climbing to third as they pushed their soft tires to the limit. Schumacher proved to be a bit too aggressive, however. He almost careered into Vettel at the Bus Stop chicane as he cut across him going into the pits for a tire change. Schumacher faced a stewards’ inquiry for the risky move. It was nervous in the pit lanes, too, as Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham was released too quickly and clipped an HRT entering the pit lane for a tire change.

Button came in on lap 22 for his only stop, and still had a comfortable lead of 13 seconds on Vettel coming out. McLaren sounded supremely confident that the one-stop strategy would carry Button all the way, saying “Plan A is good” over the race radio and that he was “pulling away” from Raikkonen.

Schumacher pitted for a second tire change with eight laps remaining. Raikkonen’s Lotus team, meanwhile, ordered him to save 10 percent on KERS for the remainder of the race. With two laps remaining, Lotus then asked Raikkonen to step up the pace just to make sure of third place, to which the Finnish driver retorted bluntly, saying “well, give me more power then.”

Source: Indian Express

Lewis Hamilton gives insight into qualifying woes

After a disappointing qualifying session which saw him vent his dismay on Twitter, Lewis Hamilton has returned to the social networking tool to further demonstrate his point.

Posting a photo of some of the team’s telemetry, Hamilton’s shared an overlay of his fastest lap against that of teammate and pole-sitter Jenson Button. “In engineering, just been shown this, overlay of mine & jensons qualifying lap on a speed trace. This is what I was trying to explain yesterday,” Hamilton Tweeted.

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Hamilton had complained yesterday that he’d lost four tenths of a second to teammate Button on a straight alone, the result of opting for a higher downforce rear wing. It was a decision that ultimately backfired, as supported by the telemetry.

It’s a fascinating insight in to the level of detail Formula One teams go in to, and appropriately comes from Hamilton after he hurriedly deleted a Tweet yesterday lamenting the fact he’d chosen the wrong setup for qualifying. Interestingly the data shows not only a direct comparison between the driver’s speed at any given point, but also the relative lap time. Displayed as a red dotted line it shows that Hamilton was a tenth down heading in to Eau Rouge, though with greater downforce clawed that time back.

From there however Hamilton’s lap begins to unravel, losing six tenths of a second on the run from Eau Rouge to Les Combes. While the 2008 world champion regains those losses and more he loses a further half second from Stavelot to the Bus Stop chicane.

Source: Pitpass.com

McLaren technology being used to save lives

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A British hospital is using software developed by McLaren Electronics for its F1 team to save the lives of children in intensive care.

The system was developed in order to monitor the Woking team’s cars during races and tests, giving the engineers vital feedback on various aspects of the car’s performance.

However, a chance meeting between a McLaren engineer and a paediatric consultant has led to the system being tried out at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH).

Whereas on the cars the system, which features 130 sensors and gives over 750 million readings over the course of a race, was used to measure various aspects of performance, including fuel use, temperature and even tyre wear, at BCH it has adapted for use in monitoring the condition of the children’s health, the sensorts now monitoring such things as heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, oxygen levels and blood pressure.

“It’s very exciting, a huge transformational leap,” Dr Heather Duncan, a consultant in paediatric intensive care at BCH, told the Mail on Sunday. “We have different parameters that are useful for us – like heart rate, breathing and oxygen levels coming in, rather than tyre temperatures and gear ratios – but otherwise it’s exactly the same.

“Formula 1 engineers do lots of real-time monitoring during races and look at performance and modelling to see when they should change tyres and have pit stops,” she continued. “They’re predicting, essentially, which we don’t tend to do in healthcare. Although we can always see what is happening at the bedside, we can’t see trends over time. This software lets us do this – and it could improve a child’s chances of survival.

“At the moment it’s intuitive for a racing engineer but less so for clinicians,” she added. “For example, breathing rate kept coming up as ‘revs per minute’. So there’s some tweaking to do.”

The software, which was developed by McLaren Electronics and is used across Formula One, has been donated it to BCH for the trial, however, there are plans to commercialise it for use across the NHS.

“It’s been really interesting for our engineers to work alongside doctors at BCH,” said Peter van Manen, managing director of McLaren Electronics. “If we’re able to do something differently to make health care better then we’d welcome that. We would love to be able to offer it to NHS hospitals around the country.”

The last word goes to Magdalena Singh, whose four-year-old son Damian was monitored using the software after surgery to correct a congenital heart defect.

“I think that this is really good if it means it can help children like Damian and can adapt to his needs,” she said. “It’s reassuring, and means that I can see the numbers and see what’s normal for him, so I feel like I’m learning too.

“Damian loves the computer racing game Mario Kart, so he would probably approve,” she added.

Not for the first time, F1 technology has crossed over to the mainstream, put to use to improve the lives of others.

Source: Pitpass.com

Jonathon Neale: McLaren ‘closer’ to 2013 Hamilton deal

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Lewis Hamilton and McLaren are apparently now “closer” than ever to agreeing a new deal beyond the 2008 world champion’s current contract. With the 27-year-old Briton’s current deal expiring this year, he has been linked with sensational moves to Lotus or Mercedes. Rumours have said the McLaren impasse is essentially over money, although Hamilton said recently the fact he is currently not allowed to keep his original trophies or helmets is a “push point” in the negotiations. “In a lot of other teams, the drivers get their original trophies,” he is quoted by the Guardian. “So whatever contract I’m having next, that is going to be a push point.” McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale suggested this week that Hamilton is now close to signing on for 2013. “We are closer and of course we (are) in dialogue,” he is quoted as saying by the Sun. “We are working hard to find common ground.” Asked if both McLaren and Hamilton want to keep working together in the future, Neale insisted: “Very much so.”

Source: Forumula1.com