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#1 Posted by drewbert (2479 posts) -

Specifically, I watched Sky's coverage of the Hungarian GP on July 28. As I watched, I wrote down questions:

  1. Lewis Hamilton got the pole position, but the commentators made it sound like it was a long shot for him to win. Hamilton himself seemed doubtful. Why?
  2. Qualifying times determine where you are on the starting grid, right? Mark Webber was 10th on the grid at the start, but it appeared that he didn't have a qualifying time. Why, then, wasn't he gridded in last place?
  3. How different is each car allowed to be? Obviously this isn't NASCAR where each car has to be pretty much the same, but how much can a team deviate from the rules? I guess what I'm asking is, how much of a team's performance is determined by their drivers versus the money they've poured into the car? Is Red Bull the Yankees?
  4. What are the rules regarding defensive maneuvers? Can you just continue to block a guy all the time to prevent him from passing you?
  5. You can only use DRS if you're close enough to the car ahead of you, right? How is this determined? Sensors on the cars? What if you press the DRS button outside this range? Will it still activate and give you a penalty or does it automatically lock you out when you're out of range?
  6. I saw teams switching from soft tires to medium tires. Are they accounting for the fact that the track heats up as the race goes on, and thus they can use a stiffer tire?
  7. Anybody know how they get their onboard audio for the broadcast? I'd love to know what mic can withstand that decibel level.
  8. A couple of times drivers had to go outside the course to avoid crashing, once on the outside of a turn and once in a chicane, cutting the course. Are they penalized for this? I mean, sure, you were going to crash if you didn't do something, but you DID cut the course, giving you an advantage.
  9. Red Bull said the phrase "fail 22" over the radio to Vettel and Webber near the end of the race. What does that mean?
  10. How do the points work? It looked like the guy in 6th place got zero points but the guy in 7th got four.

I'm sure a lot of this could be figured out by Googling, but I figured I'd ask you guys first! Thanks!

Staff
#2 Edited by Gochilla (3 posts) -

1. The Mercedes were hard on the tires for most of the season, especially in hot weather.

2.Qualifying is split into 3 sections. In the first two the 6 slowest cars get knocked out. In Q3 the Top Ten race for Pole.

3. Red Bull and Ferrari spend the most Money according to the experts. Since engine development has been frozen for a couple of years it all comes down to Aerodynamics.

4. While defending you can only change your line once. No zig-zagging.

5. Sensors. The pilots get an audible Signal when they can activate it.

6.

7.

8. Grosjean got a Penalty for cutting the course and thereby "gaining an Advantage".

9. All the Teams speak in code so as to obfuscate what theyre communicating. Ferrari sometimes speak italian, got to get Vinny in there :)

10. Points are given to the Top Ten ranging from 25 for First to 1 Point for 10th place.

#3 Edited by DandyShlongLegs (17 posts) -

1. Qualifying and race pace can differ a lot. It's mostly down to tyre wear. Some cars are kinder on their tyres than others.
2. Webber made it in to Q3 in qualifying so that guarantees he's at least in the top 10, but since he didn't set a time, he defaulted to 10th. I can't remember how it works if multiple cars don't set a time in Q3. There's also the benefit that you can choose what tyres you start the race on. If you set a lap in Q3, you have to start the race on those tyres.
3.
4. I think you can make one move and then you should stick to your line. I think they're a bit more forgiving on the first lap or two.
5. It's 1 second to the car in front at the point they pass the DRS detection zone. I guess it's calculated with whatever they use to time other splits? I'm not sure if the DRS button is deactivated if they don't have DRS or if they just get a light on the wheel when they can use it.
6.
7.
8. As long as you don't gain an advantage (overtake another car or gain significant time), you won't be penalized. If you had the racing line and another car forced you off the track and you still gained the place, I'm pretty sure you would still be ok since you had to take evasive action.
9. All the teams come up with their own secret codes so the other teams don't know what they're talking about.
10. http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8681/

#4 Posted by dim499 (44 posts) -

I've watched hundreds of F1 races and I don't feel qualified to answer most of those questions. But I love that Drew is getting into this!

#5 Edited by zudthespud (3281 posts) -
  1. Mercedes have a track record of SHREDDING their tyres compared to others, so on several occasions they have got pole but sank down the field really fast.
  2. There are three qualifying sessions, the first eliminates 6 drivers, the second eliminates another six and the last is a top ten shootout. If you are in the top ten, you need to start on the tyres you use in that last session, so drivers often don't run and settle for 10th to get a fresh set of tyres for the start.
  3. Engines have been frozen for 6 years now I believe so there is little to do there, even though they do have slight differences. There are lots of regs related to aerodynamics and restrictions, but there are a lot of subtle differences and that is where all of the performance difference comes from.
  4. one move to block, and then a move back to the racing line I believe. The rule is that you can't leave less than a car width on the edge of the track.
  5. To use DRS you need to be in a specific section of track and in the race, within 1 second of the car infront. It's detected and then the driver is informed when they use it. It shouldn't activate outside of this section or when they aren't allowed to but sometimes it does, and the teams get a fine.
  6. No, the rules stipulate you must use both tyres. There's some strategy to when you use which tyres, because with a heavier car with more fuel tyre wear is worse.
  7. No idea sorry!
  8. If they repeatedly cut a chicane, they will be penalised after being warned. If they cut a chicane to pass someone they will have to give it back. If they are avoiding an accident it's completely fine.
  9. Teams have different codes for all sorts of things. They have different engine settings, KERS settings, etc. They don't want to let others know what they are doing so they use codes like that.
  10. Points are given for your race finish, in order from first: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. You prolly saw an 8 and mistook it for a 0.

Hope that covers it!

#6 Edited by Alehud42 (19 posts) -

1. Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel are OP.

2. The qualifying has 3 sessions, Q1 and 2 knocks out the bottom 6 leaving 10 drivers. If you miss Q1 you start at the back, Q2 you start 16th, Q3 you start 10th.

3. The regulations are quite lax compared to NASCAR, but there are very well defined rules. Red Bull aren't the Yankees, they came onto the scene after a major rule change in 2009 and have stayed there since.

4. The driver in front is only allowed to move once.

5. 1 second, determined by the distance between cars at a point a corner or two before the zone.

6. No, each car must run at least one of each type of tyres.

7. No idea. BBC and Sky do live feed of the audio.

8. If you overtake off the track, you need to give the place back otherwise you are penalised, normally with a drive-through the pits. Otherwise, the stewards only take notice for persistent corner cutting.

9. Code by the teams to avoid others from knowing, they get the same feed as the rest of us. The fail 22, I remember was for a KERS failure.

10. 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 in order of finish.

#7 Edited by JacDG (2126 posts) -

I used to be a big F1 watcher a handful of years ago, and from what I remember the cars are quite different in a lot of areas. There's obviously some restrictions, I believe the width and the height have to follow certain guidelines, not sure about length though, but obviously there is some ideal level. I believe the tires/tyres question comes down to speed, harder tires are longer lasting but softer tires allow more grip and thus make you able to set faster lap times, but they break down more easily and you'll have to pit more often - they must use both though. Engines have to follow certain restrictions as well, but each company spend a TON of money and time to get every single horse power out of it, which means that bigger teams are usually dominant since they have more/better options when it comes to optimizing, however the past 5 years or so there's been a bit of a change to that. They can switch engines during the season, but if they'll do, that driver(s) will be docked positions at the start of races.

This is all from memory, some of the stuff may be inaccurate.

#8 Edited by Parsnip (1089 posts) -

I haven't been keeping up with F1 for a while, pretty much since Häkkinen vs. Schumacher was the thing to watch, so I'm actually somewhat curious about this stuff as well.

#9 Edited by MrFlibble (68 posts) -

3. I think the cars used to look less identical, if you got back over the years you should see some bits that have been added or removed but mostly they've looked the same. You can change all of the parts I think, I remember years back when red bull joined they used V10 engines and everyone else used V8s but I don't know if that's allowed now.

#10 Posted by swordvan (25 posts) -

6. Both soft and hard tires have to be used in the race, otherwise everyone would use softs all the time.

8. It is reviewed by the marshals and is either allowed due to it not being their fault (or creating an advantage), or penalized with a drive through the pit.

Everything is pretty convoluted unfortunately. Politics plays a big part in F1 and has for a very long time now.

#11 Edited by Darthozzan (114 posts) -
  1. Typically the Mercedes car has had poor race pace, mostly due to not understanding how to properly use the Pirelli tyres. It has been a big point in the last few years, the tyres determine a lot. Mercedes have fantastic one-lap performance though. Typically they've struggled with heat, and hungary was really hot. It was some new breakthrough that helped Mercedes in this race though, apparantly! Might have also been the new version of the tyres.
  2. F1 has three stages of qualifying. After the various cut-offs (17, 10) you then have another heat. You cannot place lower than the lowest person in your heat. For Q3 this is 10th place. Webber was using a strategy of saving his tyres for the main race. Tyre management is a big deal.
  3. There are extremely strict rules about that in something called the Concorde agreement. However, the ceiling is fairly large, so there is a decent amount of money = behing ahead. Red Bull are pretty much the yankees, and have been alleged to be in breach of the Concorde agreement at times.
  4. You can use one defensive maneuver, i.e. a weave to the right. There are many rules that define a legal maneuver, you'd have to look them up for more precise.
  5. Sensors on the car, which is the defined to be within range by the tower. It can malfunction though, as it did for Fernando Alonso, who was fined €15,000 for using DRS outside the range.
  6. Partially, but this matters more in qualifying. You have to, in F1, on a dry track use both the dry compounds. Typically softer is always faster (usually around a second per lap) but wears out much faster.
  7. Proprietary stuff I believe unfortunately :( It's really good though, and the driver mic is also really good ^^ The most fascinating part of the car/driver system for me though is the drink system ;D No clue why, but I love that thing ;P Also fascinating seeing them stuff the cars with dry ice behind the drivers core for the 40c+ races ^^
  8. If you gain an advantage for it, you can be penalized. It also only counts going off the track if you are with four wheels off. Typically it is greatly, greatly confirmed to avoiding collision, these things are really expensive :p
  9. That's a secret team code, I'd guess KERS issues but I am not sure as it's secret.
  10. Unless penalized for something, it goes
    Position 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
    Points251815121086421

    You can lose points if you get disqualified or are found in violation of rules breach, like running out of fuel for the weigh-in or something.

#12 Posted by Azgar (3 posts) -

1. Haven't watched F1 for the last half season or so, I can't say, maybe his car is not showing pace in a race condition, it's pretty different than a qualifying run.

2. Qualifying is nowadays, long time ago it wasn't, a 3 stage thing. How many cars there are go in on stage 1 for 20 minutes (this season 22), depending on time set, if you don't set a lap at all etc, will determine your position. Stage 2 less cars go in, this season 16 cars, for 15 minutes, 6 cars drop out. Stage 3, the last 10 cars go for laps. What likely happened Webber did make it into stage 3 but didn't bother setting a lap, saving tyres or something else, therefore he stays 10.

3. There are regulations to meet, other than that, yes money on the car development is pretty important. Red Bull may have the luxury of being developing next years car while still developing upgrades for this year, other times might have to choose. Money allocation from the sport earnings itself (TV etc) is handed out depending on team finishes on the board.

4. You can change direction once.

Will try to answer the rest later on, sure by the time I click Post on this there will be plenty of answers.

#13 Posted by roomac (34 posts) -

3. There are strict rules which the teams have to adhere to. However, if you don't have the money, you won't be at the front of the pack. Red Bull are essentially the Yankees. They have a huge budget, however I wouldn't say they have a drastically bigger budget (just a guess) than Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren etc. Red Bull are where they are because of Adrian Newey. He's the best designer in F1 and is probably the biggest reason for Red Bull's success. So, it really is a combination of budget, engineering & design talent and driver talent. If you don't have all three then you won't win.

#15 Posted by kumis (74 posts) -

1. Qualifying pace is different from race pace. In the race your car is full of fuel and you have to use the tyres for longer periods. The Mercedes that Hamilton drives has been known to wear out the tyres much faster than the others.
2. Qualifying has 3 sessions. First decides positions 22-17 (if I remember correctly), while the other 17 continue to Q2, after which the 10 fastest drivers go on to Q3, where if you don't set a time at all, you will start 10th anyway.
3. The amount of money spent on a car makes a huge difference. The rules have become stricter in the past 10 years, but the car is still very important, maybe almost more important than the driver. But that depends a little. Short answer: there is a pretty good amount of different things the teams can do.
4. You can do one defensive manouver per turn, so one switch of "lane" during the approach to a corner.
5. I think it's sensors on the car - the DRS won't work if you weren't close enough. There was a case of this in the Hungarian GP, where Alonso's system didn't work properly and he could open it anyway. Also it is restricted to special parts of the track (which you might have known).
6. Each race weekend has two different tyre sets. Each driver must use both (in dry weather) during the race for at least one lap. The softer set is quicker but wears out faster and vice versa for the harder compound. There are 5 different tyre compounds and Pirelli chooses which two sets it brings in every weekend.
7. No clue :)
8. If you pass someone, then you must give the spot back or you will be penalized. If you cut, then you will be penalized, but if you just avoided a crash by cutting, then you are fine.
9. It's secret Red Bull code, like play calling in the NFL. Probably meant something like turn down the revs or hold position or fuel low.
10. You saw incorrectly. I think it is 25 for 1st, 18 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd, 10 for 4th and something up to the 10th position that gives you 1 point.

#16 Edited by DirkGently (93 posts) -

@drewbert said:

Specifically, I watched Sky's coverage of the Hungarian GP on July 28. As I watched, I wrote down questions:

  1. Lewis Hamilton got the pole position, but the commentators made it sound like it was a long shot for him to win. Hamilton himself seemed doubtful. Why?
  2. Qualifying times determine where you are on the starting grid, right? Mark Webber was 10th on the grid at the start, but it appeared that he didn't have a qualifying time. Why, then, wasn't he gridded in last place?
  3. How different is each car allowed to be? Obviously this isn't NASCAR where each car has to be pretty much the same, but how much can a team deviate from the rules? I guess what I'm asking is, how much of a team's performance is determined by their drivers versus the money they've poured into the car? Is Red Bull the Yankees?
  4. What are the rules regarding defensive maneuvers? Can you just continue to block a guy all the time to prevent him from passing you?
  5. You can only use DRS if you're close enough to the car ahead of you, right? How is this determined? Sensors on the cars? What if you press the DRS button outside this range? Will it still activate and give you a penalty or does it automatically lock you out when you're out of range?
  6. I saw teams switching from soft tires to medium tires. Are they accounting for the fact that the track heats up as the race goes on, and thus they can use a stiffer tire?
  7. Anybody know how they get their onboard audio for the broadcast? I'd love to know what mic can withstand that decibel level.
  8. A couple of times drivers had to go outside the course to avoid crashing, once on the outside of a turn and once in a chicane, cutting the course. Are they penalized for this? I mean, sure, you were going to crash if you didn't do something, but you DID cut the course, giving you an advantage.
  9. Red Bull said the phrase "fail 22" over the radio to Vettel and Webber near the end of the race. What does that mean?
  10. How do the points work? It looked like the guy in 6th place got zero points but the guy in 7th got four.

I'm sure a lot of this could be figured out by Googling, but I figured I'd ask you guys first! Thanks!

Firstly I really must recommend you check out some Moto GP, they race at Laguna Seca too and see this wonderful battle involving the Corkscrew
Rossi was similarly given no chance by himself or anyone else of winning that race.
Coincidentally, just a few weeks ago Rossi had the new kid Marc Marquez (the best performing rookie the sport has ever seen) pass him on that same corner. But back to F1...

1. The race before there were a bunch of dangerous tyre blow outs that luckily didn't result in anyone injured, but the tyres in F1 have been specifically made to not last the race and need more strategy for changing them and which type (harder or softer) to use. The F1 teams deal with the changed tyres batter or worse, you can do 1 lap on fresh tyres no problem but doing a full race on wearing out tyres when you have to use both compounds at some point in the race as a rule means the Merc has suffered from that. (Also he'd been having some personal issues so was probably feeling a bit down).

2. Qualifying works as 3 stages. Part 1 everyone in top 15 or 16 goes through and the back of the grid positions are set. Part 2 a new session, times are all cleared and top 10 go through, with the times of 11th-15th being set. Part 3 is a top 10 shoot out so these are the only times that will be counted for them. If you don't go out you get 10th place and maybe save a fresh set of tyres if you think you won't improve your position to the top 5 or something.

3. Adrian Newey - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Newey It's much more than just 1 man, but look at his track record. Decades of experience. Most of the teams will have people who have decades worth of experience so the general designs of the cars will be similar. There are some very odd, specific rules about the car and components in F1 and often the looser you can interpret them the faster you can make your car go.

4. It's one defensive move per attack. So, if you are on a straight on the left side, you can make one move to the right, but not then cut back left unless you are doing so to get back on the racing line for the next corner. With the DRS and KERS 'boost' systems, once someone is lined up and slipstreamed they can get past anyway so it's not worth trying to defend so much you get a penalty.

5. There is a line maybe on the entrance to the corner before the straight that includes the DRS zone (the wing can only activate within this zone) if you pass the line within 1 second of ANY car you can activate DRS. So the leader can catch a backmarker at the right time and get DRS that lap. I'm not sure how automated the activation is but drivers can not use it if necessary and if there is rain or a yellow flag in that area Race Direction can shut it off for everyone.

6. The rules you must use both compounds at least one during the race are to make the race have pitstops and be more strategic, as mentioned earlier the tyres are meant to degrade more (they can have a 'cliff' beyond which performace drops off extremely and you are a sitting duck if you are there on the last few laps), so do you take an early advantage, or maybe your car's setup just works better on the unfavoured tyre.

7. Probably decades of experience for the audio engineers too :)

8. If you are battling for position with somebody and you run through and wind up ahead of them you are instructed to give the place back. If ignored you can get a drive through (pits) penalty. If it's you on your own messing up or just avoiding a spin out there's no penalty. Sometimes people have passed someone they were battling and taken too long to give the place back, while the person behind them has been overtaken. In that case they would have to let the other car past as well to then let the car they were battling with past :)

9. I forget that code, but the more famous 'Multi 21' from earlier in the season meant Position of the cars 2nd ahead of 1st should remain as it is now for the last few laps of the race. Vettel ignored that and overtook his teammate to win the race. Quite a frosty relationship between the Red Bull drivers and Webber is finally leaving at the end of the season.

10. The 6th place might have got a post-race penalty, maybe for an infraction. It's 25 for a win then down to 1 point for 10th.

#17 Posted by forkboy (1151 posts) -

2. Qualifying is a bit complicated these days, there used to be 1 1 hour long session, but now there are 3 sessions, 20 minutes long where all the cars compete, then the bottom 6 drop out. Then there's 15 minute session & the 7 slowest drop out, before a final 10 minute session with the last 10 guys. So some times to save tires someone won't go out in session 3, which means starting 10th.

3. The rules on how different the cars can be are fairly strict, b

4. One defensive move is I think the standard, so if you move to cover the left you can't suddenly cut back to the left, but there's some degree of latitude there.

5. The cars all have on board GPS, so DRS gets enabled if you are within 1 second of the car in front at the checkpoint which is usually just before the DRS straight.

8. If you keep a position or gain one by cutting a corner you are usually expected to give that position up, or you'll receive a drive-through penalty. But if you had literally no other choice then there is so leniency from the stewards.

Hope that helps somewhat.

#18 Posted by Photomic (46 posts) -

I can help answer a few of these:

1. The Mercedes care is typically quite hard on it's tires, resulting in poor times over the course of a race, due to the driver not being able to do fast laps because they will destroy the tires.
2. Qualifying is split into three different phases, with the slowest drivers in each phase being eliminated and their place on the grid being determined then. If you weren't in the slowest set, the times are wiped for the next section. Webber chose not put a time in during the last phase because it allowed him to choose which tires he could start the race, and because he was having car troubles.
3. There are set specs a car has to adhere to, but teams will always try to find shortcuts or advantages they can use to change airflow around the car, or lower the weight. Obviously, the better off teams can funnel more money towards research, which is why a hierarchy appears
4. Generally, the defending driver is allowed one movement on track, so he can move across the track once to block, but can't sweep back across once he has made that move, making defending more about finding the right place to put your car during the corner, rather than keeping them behind on the run up to the corner
5. Sensors on the car, yeah. And you can be sanctioned if you activate it when you aren't meant to. For example, Ferrari were issued a fine for Alonso's activating when he wasn't allowed to (but this was electronic failure, not driver error)
6. Medium tires typically last longer, no matter the conditions, but are also slower than soft tires, so teams try to find a balance between using them, but (if there is no rain during the race) a team must use a set of soft and a set of medium tires during the race.
7. Not a clue, but I'm also interested in knowing
8. If the driver is avoiding an accident, and doesn't overtake anyone not involved in the accident while off the track, they are generally ok with it, because it's for safety's sake. But going off track and gaining an advantage can either be solved by the driver, by letting the person back past them, or they will be sanctioned.
9. All the teams will have certain codes they use, since the radio transmissions are played during the broadcast, so they come up with unique phrases to use, so that teams don't know their strategies.
10. 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1, for 1st-10th.

Hope that clears some of it up for you Drew, been watching F1 for years now and it's nice a Giant Bomber take an interest.

#19 Posted by MAJID (212 posts) -

3. Red Bull have a genius of a car designer in Adrian Newey. They are able to make great leaps in their car between seasons and regularly dominate the first 10 races, especially in Vettel's first two championship-winning campaigns. Apart from last year, when Fernando Alonso's sizeable lead was clawed back, everyone else is usually playing catch-up to Vettel - including Webber.

#20 Edited by Mister_V (1297 posts) -

1. Qualifying pace and race pace are two different things, a car can be quick over one lap but it might be harder on tires, costing it in the race.

2. there are 3 quali sessions, the first removes the slowest 6 cars, the second removes the next batch until you have the fastest 10. If the drivers feel like they won't get faster than 9th or 10th they can choose not to run so as you have a choice of what tire they start on.

3. they have a set of regulations they have to operate in, it's not like NASCAR where it's just the engine that's different.

4. you can make one defensive manoeuvre to block someone, weaving around to block someone is not allowed.

5. there are one or two DRS detection point per track, normally before a long straight. you have to be within one second of the car in front to use DRS. if you use it outside that range you get a penalty (i don't think anyone has though)

6. Each driver has to use both tire compounds during the race, one is typically slower but longer lasting, one is faster but wears out quicker. the only time they don't have to use both is if it rains.

7. i think there is a mic with the camera on top of the car, not sure about that though.

8. if you are judged to have gained an advantage by going outside the boundary of the track you can have a drive through penalty, If you pass another car by doing it you have to give the place back.

9. not sure, they use codes for all kinds of stuff. It could be a KERS failure, but they try and keep the meaning of them secret.

10. http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8681/

#21 Posted by RaySpencer (30 posts) -

Just to add to what daddyschlonglegs said:

3 - all the manufacturers have little but if leeway on a lot of the things they can do to the car, so like the front wing has to be a certain length and is only allowed to flex a certain amount, but the teams can choose how the fins are positioned (within a set of guidelines) and how they direct the air (again, within a set of guidelines). There is basically a little bit of wiggle room all around the car.

6 - they have to use both the harder and softer tires within the race. The softer is generally about 1 second a lap faster than the harder tyre, but it degrades at a significantly faster rate.

#22 Posted by Nordom (29 posts) -

I can try to answer some. But I don't remember that race specifically and I didn't watch it on Sky either. Otherwise this is a good site to learn more: http://www.formula1.com

1. The cars react differently on each track. They get some practice runs on thursday, friday and saturday morning I think before the qualification. And thats where the team tries to set the car up as best they can. They might not have been comfortable in a long race situation. But I don't know.

2. The qualifying part is split into 3 stages where the last stage is only the 10 drivers with the fastest time from the 2nd stage. But their times are erased when they begin the next stage. So my guess is Mark Webber didn't set a time in the last stage and therefor got 10th place of the 10 drivers without setting a time.

4. I think there is a rule that says you can change lane once when trying to defend.

6. They are definitely keeping an eye on the temperature of the track and tires. But there is a rule that says you have to use both of the dry sets of tires unless it rains and you end up using the wet or intermediate tires. For the most part the softer set are faster but deteriorates faster aswell.

9. Can be anything I assume, from fuel mixture to changing the front wing or something. The driver can change a few things in the car while driving. So was probably something like that.

10. Points are giving to the first 10 drivers as follows: 25 - 18 - 15 - 12 - 10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 - 1

#23 Edited by TJUK (98 posts) -

Hi Drew. I'm from the UK and an avid F1 fan. I'll take a shot at answering these.

  • Lewis Hamilton got the pole position, but the commentators made it sound like it was a long shot for him to win. Hamilton himself seemed doubtful. Why?

Lewis and his car are currently great at qualifying, but the car lacks the pace over the whole race distance to compete with some of the other teams. Tire wear plays a big part in this.

  • Qualifying times determine where you are on the starting grid, right? Mark Webber was 10th on the grid at the start, but it appeared that he didn't have a qualifying time. Why, then, wasn't he gridded in last place?

Qualifying is split into 3 parts. Q1 lasts 20 mins and decides the bottom 6 places. Q2 lasts 15 mins and decides the next 6 places. Q1 lasts 10 mins and decides the top 10 places. If a driver gets all the way through to Q3 but doesn't set a time in Q3, he still maintains 10th place in qualifying.

  • How different is each car allowed to be? Obviously this isn't NASCAR where each car has to be pretty much the same, but how much can a team deviate from the rules? I guess what I'm asking is, how much of a team's performance is determined by their drivers versus the money they've poured into the car? Is Red Bull the Yankees?

The teams must develop their own car but the guide lines are very strict. F1 is as much about the development arms race as the drivers skill. Though it does not neccesarily mean the team with the most money always wins. Innovation is the name of the game. Past a certain budget, the key to success is the right personnel; I.e. the best designers and engineers.

  • What are the rules regarding defensive maneuvers? Can you just continue to block a guy all the time to prevent him from passing you?

You may block once to defend from being overtaken, but not a second time. This is to prevent weaving and dangerous driving.

  • You can only use DRS if you're close enough to the car ahead of you, right? How is this determined? Sensors on the cars? What if you press the DRS button outside this range? Will it still activate and give you a penalty or does it automatically lock you out when you're out of range?

There are sensors in the cars and the track. The distance between two given cars is measured between two points on the track just before the DRS zone. It is possible to open DRS when you're not allowed to. The driver or team may be penalized for this. The driver will hear a 'beep' in his ear when he is allowed to use DRS. It will automatically dis-engage when he hits the brakes (usually for the next corner).

  • I saw teams switching from soft tires to medium tires. Are they accounting for the fact that the track heats up as the race goes on, and thus they can use a stiffer tire?

All cars must use both the prime and option tire during the race. One is softer than the other, as you say. Depending on the track and conditions, the softer or harder tire may be the better one in terms of performance. Also some cars may suit one tire over the other. Track heat is a factor in the tires wearing out slower or faster, but isn't the key factor on switching compounds.

  • Anybody know how they get their onboard audio for the broadcast? I'd love to know what mic can withstand that decibel level.

I don't know what mic the drivers use, but I understand the sound is not so loud from within the cockpit. It is within the drivers helmet obviously so that helps. Plus the engine is behind the driver and most of the noise it being pushed out the back of the car. The same is probably true for the TV broadcast mics on the cars. They are probably heavily defended too, from wind noise etc.

  • A couple of times drivers had to go outside the course to avoid crashing, once on the outside of a turn and once in a chicane, cutting the course. Are they penalized for this? I mean, sure, you were going to crash if you didn't do something, but you DID cut the course, giving you an advantage.

If you cut the course and are deemed to have benefited, depending on the severity you may get some sort of penalty. This is more likely if you do it several times. If you cut the track and gain a position, you must give the place back or face a penalty.

  • Red Bull said the phrase "fail 22" over the radio to Vettel and Webber near the end of the race. What does that mean?

This is team code and the exact meaning is known only to the particular team. They have other codes like "multi 21" which means stay in position (1st and 2nd place) and don't try to overtake each other. "fail 22" could be related to some sort of mechanical failure on the car, or could be a similar "hold position with your teammate" order.

  • How do the points work? It looked like the guy in 6th place got zero points but the guy in 7th got four.

1st : 25 points

2nd : 18 points

3rd : 15 points

4th : 12 points

5th : 10 points

6th : 8 points

7th : 6 points

8th : 4 points

9th : 2 points

10th : 1 point

#24 Edited by FLStyle (4709 posts) -

1. Over the course of any race this season, Hamilton's inferior car will always be the deciding factor in him winning a race, as good as he as. This can affect various things including strategies and tire usage.

4. If a racer has the correct "racing line" (think the racing lines in Forza, Gran Turismo etc.) then the defending racer has no choice but to allow them past, to avoid needless crashes

8. Only if the race officials, known as stewards (which are a mixture of people who've never raced before and former racers), judge the racer to have gained an unfair advantage through cutting, without immediately giving that position back, will a pit-stop penalty be given. Pit-stop penalties are normally 10 seconds long and come with all the rules and regulations of the pit lane (speed limits etc.), meaning the penalty is a lot worse than the gaining positions. Very rarely do racers intentionally try to get away with cutting corners for advantages and get away with it even less.

If the race has already ended, they normally deduct seconds off the finish time, which also usually results in dropping places and points.

9. Each team will have secret words and phrases that facilitate team orders

#25 Edited by Megasoum (354 posts) -

1-The Mercedes has a bad track record since the beginning of the season so starting first for them means that the win is still far from a done deal. Also I think that the first place starts on the wrong side of the track for the first turn in Hungary? Can't remember

2-I don't remember exactly but what probably happened is that he qualified to participate in Q3 (the top 10 qualifier) but didn't actually participate in it. That means he starts last of the Top 10 but he didn't waste tires running the qualification (and he can choose what tire type he want to start the race with).

3-They have a set of rules to follow (size restrictions, engine restrictions, etc) and some of the parts are standard for every cars (mostly electronics). The R&D done by the time has a HUGE impact on the performances. For your analogy however, I would say that Ferrari is closer to the Yankees. They are the one throwing an infinite amount of money at the sport (even if they don't win most of the time)­.

4-You are allowed to do 1 trajectory change to defend your position. So for example, you see the guy behind you is trying to pass you on the right, you can go right to block him. Once your moved right however, the only thing you can do from now on is go back to the normal racing line.

5-You can only activate DRS if you are whittin 1 sec of the car in front of you (note that it works even if the guy in front of you is not actually racing in front of you... for example it will activate if you're about to lap another car). It is blocked and unlocks when the sensors detects that you can do it. Most of the cars also have a light on the steering and an alarm in the driver's radio to tell him he can push the button. This caused some issues to Alonso in the last race since the team forgot to switch the DRS from Qual mode to Race mode so that meant he had the beep in his radio everytime he was in a straight line (you can use DRS anytime you want in Qual).

6-If the race is in the dry, they NEED to use both type of tires during the race, it's mendatory. Since most of the top ten always start on the soft tires (they use the same set of tires they used to set their best time during qualif). See point #2 about Webber being able to choose any tires he wants since he didn't set a time in Q3.

7-Dunno about the specs on the mics but Sky/BBC get their audio feed directly from the FOM (the company that owns the F1 championship)

8-You are penalized if you gain an advantage from cutting/going outside the track. Of course if you keep cutting, even if you don't get an advantage, they will still end up penalizing him.

9-Nobody knows hehe. Since they radios are not encrypted, the teams have to use codes to talk to their drivers during the race.

10-

1st place25 points
2nd place18 points
3rd place15 points
4th place12 points
5th place10 points
6th place8 points
7th place6 points
8th place4 points
9th place2 points
10th place1-point
11th place onwardsNo points
#26 Posted by deadly_polo (471 posts) -

5. Ad I understand it there are both GPS units for general tracking and something similar to an RFID which trips sensors at particular points on the track, it is these which are used for the DRS activatiom

#27 Posted by ascagnel (76 posts) -

7. The broadcasts for F1 are actually handled in a weird manner -- most race footage comes from a "world feed" from a broadcaster in the host nation with local commentary & play-by-play uses (this is how NBC Sports does it in the US). As for the mics, they use a in-helmet mic for the radio, so they don't need to worry about stuff like wind noise as much.

#28 Posted by isomeri (1280 posts) -

First of all it's great to hear that you've finally got your feet wet with the world of Formula 1.

1. The Mercedes that Hamilton was driving was evaluated as being fast in qualifying (only a couple of laps) but due to a higher rate of tire ware than their competitors the team wasn't a favorite to win. Every team uses the same tires but with different car configurations the teams are able to achieve different levels of tire ware. Some cars are faster but use up the tires more quickly, thus having to make one or two extra stops at the pits. Other cars are a little bit slower but also conserve their tires a little better.

2. Qualifying happens in different stages, with a number of cars being cut from the group with each stage. Webber was able to get into the final round of qualifying, but he was unable to complete a lap on that final round so he started tenth.

3. There are a number of different regulations which the cars need to comply with. These regulations are meant to level the playing field between richer and poorer teams, but there are still a lot of advantages that the richer teams like Red Bull and Ferrari are able to achieve through engineering innovations. Most of these have to do with aerodynamics and engine construction. Basically a driver from a team like Marussia never has a chance to win the championship.

4. A number of rules apply to overtaking, but it's a real big gray area. Blocking is technically not allowed, but obviously drivers try to not give too much space for other racers in corners etc.

5. The use of DRS is allowed if you are no more than a second behind the car in front and you are in a pre-defined overtaking zone. Each track has a number of these zones. DRS may be activated "illegally" outside of these zones and will result in a penalty.

6. Tire politics has become increasingly important in F1 as tires have become weaker due to restrictions. Medium tires last a little bit longer than soft tires, but as you said they also take longer to achieve optimum temperature and will never be quite as fast as the soft tires on their peak performance levels.

7. I have no idea as to what sort of microphones the teams use. The audio is beamed to the media and the teams alongside the on-board video.

8. If the judges deem that the driver gained an advantage by cutting the track then a penalty will usually ensue. However if a driver has to go outside the track to avoid collision etc. then a penalty should not be applied, and in most cases the drivers don't gain an advantage by dodging a crash. At least two of your tires must touch the track at all times, and the curb is not considered a part of the track.

9. Some sort of secret team code. It may refer to the condition of tires, breaks, the KERS, DRS or any number of things.

10. The ten drivers to first cross the finish line will receive points unless other penalties apply. The sixth place finisher should get 8 points and the seventh place 6 points. The points are distributed like so.

#29 Edited by Capt_Ventris (592 posts) -

The thing about the cars is that the regulations governing the design of them changes each year. Next year will be a massive change year as V6 Turbos are in (and sound horrible from all accounts).

For the precise restrictions that are applied to the cars here is a link to the FIA tech specs for this season. http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/technical_regulations/

#30 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

awesome to see so many F1 fans, oh and Drew if you want to find a really good break down of the race F1Fanatic is the best F1 blog site I've come across and they do a really good post-race break down;

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/07/28/hamilton-emerges-as-title-contender-with-first-win-for-mercedes/

#31 Posted by ErgoMeSmart (41 posts) -

1. The pace for cars tend to vary between the race and qualifying, as some cars are fast over one lap and slow over a 70-lap race, and vice versa. As mentioned above, Mercedes haven't been very good on tyres in races, so they weren't expected to pull it off for the race.

2. Qualifying is spilt into three sections. The slowest 6 of the 22 cars is knocked out after the first 20 minute section and have their grid places 'locked in'. The same goes for the 6 slowest of the 16 cars left in the second 15 minute section. The final 10 minute section makes up the top 10 places, and as Mark Webber didn't bother to do a time for this section, he was placed 10th.

3. Cars tend to be very similar, with the only differences being the quality of the engineering and who makes their engines. It tends to happen that one team works out a way to find a loophole in the rules though, and thus gets well ahead until it's banned the following season. For the past few seasons, that's been Red Bull.

4. You can only block the car behind once a lap, I think. Even then you can't move across the track too fast, otherwise you risk being called for 'dangerous driving' and being given a penalty.

5. As far as I'm aware the DRS system just doesn't work outside the area it's allowed to work in due to an automated system. That system has been known to break or not turned on however, at which point it's up to the drivers to not use it outside of that area or get a penalty. This happened to Alonso in the last race actually, and Ferrari (the team he races for) were given a 15k Euro fine as a result. As for knowing when it's allowed, there's a timing gate at a point on the track, and if the car behind is closer than a second, then DRS can be activated.

6. The switch between tyres is actually forced in the rules. Both sets of tyres for the race have to be used (unless it's a wet race), in order to force teams to pit. This also forces teams to use the harder, slower tyre at some point in the race, which can give drivers behind on pass if they happen to be on the faster 'soft' tyres, which do not last as long.

8. If a car cuts a corner and passes another car, they are usually forced to let the other car back past. If the car in front cuts the corner (usually to avoid a crash with the car behind trying to overtake) and stays ahead, then usually no action is taken.

10. 1st 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 8, 7th 6, 8th 4, 9th 2 and 10th 1.

Hope that helps!

#32 Posted by RaySpencer (30 posts) -

You should also REALLY trying to find a way to watch the BBC or SkySports (I prefer Sky because their commentator Martin Brundle is fantastic) feed of F1 if you can. Both of them will leaps and bounds better to watch than what we get in North America.

#33 Edited by Elod (77 posts) -

2.) Additional info from Gochilla's post, if a time is set in the Q3, the car must start on the tires used to set the fastest lap. If they set no time, They can choose which compound of tires to start the race on.

3.) They like to say that a top driver, like fernando alonso, is worth 0.5 seconds in lap time. The specs of the cars are pretty rigidly defined by the FIA. They have certain imaginary-box areas that they cannot exceed with body panels/wings. Minimum area between the floor of the car (where most of the actual aerodynamic magic is nowadays) and the wheels. A lot of cars use customer engines from Renault (red bull, lotus) Mercedes (Mercedes, Mclaren, Force India) and Ferrari (Ferrari, Sauber, Toro Rosso I believe.)

4.) A driver is allowed to move off his line and back one time for a corner. Can't make 2 defensive moves for a corner. Beyond that, it's up to the passer not the pass-ee

5.) There is a designated line on the track, usually a corner before the zone, where the driver needs to be trailing at max 1 second behind any other car (even if the car is a lap down.)

The timing system sounds a buzzer to alert the driver, the driver presses the button, and it opens when it enters the zone. Drivers can also manually override it (the first few races this year, the system was down and it was up to the drivers.) Also I believe ferrari was fined for illegally activating DRS a few races back.

6.) All teams must use both compounds of tire at least one lap per race. They usually will save Softs for the end, where the car is the lightest with less fuel, and the car is less damaging to the tires.

7.) I assume it's mounted outside the airstream in the onboard camera pod on the airbox.

8.) If you gain no advantage you can shortcut a chicane for an incident. Uusally a driver will go off full throttle for a short time to show he "gave up his gain" and if the FIA complains, they can review the telemetry.

9.) Secret radio code.

10.) 1st place = 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 12, 10 , 8, 6, 4, 2, 1 point to 10th. In hungary, the 6th place finisher, Romain Grosjean, was given a 20 second penalty after the race but I believe he still got the points? The time penalty didn't affect the standings.

#34 Posted by zilch321 (7 posts) -

Drew,

3. There are some required similarities that all cars must have. Examples of this include the heigh of the front nose, wheel assembly tethers, width of front and read endplates on the aero package. Some items on the car are standardized and manufactured from a single source like the fuel cell and the engine computer. So you might know how wide your wing has to be, but what you do with the shape of the wing is up to each team to figure out.

4. You technically shouldn't be making multiple moves when protecting your position on the racing line. This can be very grey at times which is why the FIA in recent years has started having an ex-driver act as a race stuart.

5. There are points on the track used to determine if you are eligible to use DRS. Alanso was called in front of the stuart this season to review "misuse" of the drs system. I'm going to assume that means you could press the button any time you wanted.

6. Parellie provides two compounds of tyer for each race. During the race each car is required to spend time on both compounds. Even if they put a set on, lapped the track once and came back into the pit.

10. http://www.formula1.com/results/season/2013/903/ 6th place got 8 points.

#35 Posted by Jugnutts (434 posts) -
  1. the Mercedes that Lewis is driving has good qualifying pace but has struggled with race pace so far this year. So although he started in P1 he may not be able to keep it.
  2. Formula One has "Knock-out" Qualifying, it is split into three periods (or rounds). In each period, drivers run qualifying laps to attempt to advance to the next period, running as many laps as they wish, with the slowest drivers being "knocked out" at the end of the period and their grid positions set, based on their best lap times. Cars are eliminated in this manner until 10 cars remain eligible to attempt to qualify for pole position in the third and final period. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One#Qualifying

    So what Webber did was make it to the Q3 session but then didnt post a time. So as a result he was slotted in 10th.
  3. There are a TON of rules and regulations around how the car can be built and setup. Money does matter but skill by both the driver and designers of the car matter just as much. The Red Bull cars may look nearly identical to all the others in the field but in many small ways they are different and that is all it takes to pull away from the rest of the pack. Red Bull is still pretty new to Formula One but they are well funded.
  4. You can make one defensive maneuver.
  5. you can use DRS if you are within one second of a car in front of you. It is determined by sensors on the car and track. DRS is only active in the DRS zone and as soon as the driver hits the brakes it is automatically disengaged.
  6. There is a regulation that requires teams to use two different types of tires during a race. It was created to mix things up and force people to come into the pits.
  7. No clue, I highly doubt its available to the public.
  8. They are only penalized for this if it gives them an advantage on track. If they pass someone by going off the track they must give the position back or face being penalized. Typically though they are only allowed to put two wheels off track.
  9. Fail 22 is Red Bull talk for something that they don't want to share with the other teams since they can all hear the transmission as well.
  10. 1st through 10th score points each race as follows:

    1st : 25 points
    2nd : 18 points
    3rd : 15 points
    4th : 12 points
    5th : 10 points
    6th : 8 points
    7th : 6 points
    8th : 4 points
    9th : 2 points
    10th : 1 point

I could go into a lot more detail on some of the answers but I tried to keep them brief. I hope that helps and I hope you keep with it. Formula One is where it's at.

#36 Posted by Rain_1 (121 posts) -

I didn't watch the Hungarian GP nor the Qualifying, so I might not be 100% in the know of the specificities of that round, but I'll do my best to answer your questions regarding the rules. Those will be big answers, because that's how I explain things to people, so I'm sorry.. :D

  1. I don't really know how is Lewis Hamilton skills and/or car performance this year, but it must be something to do with Car Performance when compared to the Red Bull cars.
  2. There's 3 rounds of qualifying. I don't know how many cars are actually competing this year, but let's say there's 30 cars. At first, all 30 cars have to post a time, and the last 10 will have their position locked (from 30 to 21) on lap speed. The remaining 20 will then, again, go back to the track and run laps again. THe last 10 will have their position locked (from 20 to 11) and the top 10 will, again, all go take laps and figure out their positions, from 10 to 1. In the particular case you reported, Webber probably didn't go out for a lap on the last third of the Qualifying, so he ended up on the last place of that last round (10). This system was adopted back in 2006 because the Qualifying has a 1 hour duration, and it's televised, but nobody would come out for the first 30 minutes, because the hard hitting laps would just happen at the end of the event. Also, if you post a time with less than 3 minutes left, nobody can complete another lap and beat you.
  3. Not much different. There are restrictions on budgets and on technology you can put into a car, including the amount of test laps you're allowed to have and who'll be driving the car in those laps. This is a rule that was introduced a while back, because companies like Ferrari and Williams would pour immense amounts of money in research, while the other smaller companies wouldn't be able to. A great example of that was the Williams' exclusive "Active Suspension" back in 1992, because no other F1 team had enough money and/or R&D to replicate the technology.
  4. You can only protect your position by changing from the optimal track "tracing" (sorry, I'm Brazilian, so I don't know how to translate "traçado") once. In other words, you can only block a guy once.
  5. It's sensors. AFAIK, you can press the button, but nothing will happen, unless you're in a position which you can use the DRS.
  6. Soft and Medium tires are very dependent on the track itself. Softer tires are usually faster, but also degrade rapidly. Medium tires are not as fast, but you can use them for longer. There's a rule that you're required to use both types of tires in a single race. There's also a finite amount of tires at the team's disposal, for the entirety of the event (including qualifying). That's part of the strategy to win a race: Do you use soft tires at the qualifying, and then use the same tires at the start of the race, to get a better position and be faster at the start of the race, or do you qualify with the medium tires, qualify at a lower place and be slower during the beginning of the race, so you can use soft tires at the end? (PS: you can't change tires between qualifying and the start of the race, or at least you couldn't. It's been a while since I actually paid attention to F1).
  7. Good question. They always suck anyway. :D
  8. If you went off course and gained a position, you're supposed to give that position back. If you stayed in your position, the officials will discuss and, if required, give you a penalty (which is usually either go through the pit lane or wait for 10 seconds).
  9. Good question. Either way, there are numerous rules to avoid the Team telling one pilot to let the other one pass (You can thank Michael Schumacher and Ferrari for the existence of that rule), so they have a myriad of code words and phrases that means god knows what.
  10. Points have changed a bunch over the years, and I couldn't tell how they are right now. They're always trying to balance the sport overall, and the pointing system is one of those things they can't find the sweet spot.

Most of F1 ruleset had a complete overhaul the past 10 years (actually, after the Schumacher years) because it was becoming a boring sport: The same 2-4 people would compete for the title and the first 3 places, because of either more money invested, special things that only their cars had, actual driving skills and inside-team collusion - for instance, telling Webber to let Vettel overtake him on the last lap, so Vettel would take the 10 points and Webber only 8).

I'm confident somebody else will come and fill in the blanks, but that's the overall jist of the things you asked. Hope it helps! :D

#37 Edited by Tofford (532 posts) -

1. Mercedes cars are tough on tires this season. As the tires degrade during the race Lewis has lost several places in previous races this season.

2. There are 3 qualifying sessions. As Mark made it into Q3 that means he has already earned a place in the top 10. If he chooses not to set a time or can't he starts 10th.

3. It seems a matter of opinion how much drivers affect a teams performance. Vettel could not win a Grand Prix in a Marrusia for example. The top teams are definitely there due to money but for example Mclaren are having a terrible season despite being one of the wealthiest teams and its down to engineering not their drivers.

4. You can make one change of direction in order to defend your position

5. There is a DRS detection point. If the time difference between cars crossing that line is <1s the car behind will have access to DRS once they meet DRS activation point

6. Harder tyres last for longer than soft ones but are slower and each car is required to use both in a race. If you qualify in the top 10 you must start the race on the tyres you qualified on. Choosing tyre preference is all part of the teams individual strategy.

7. They wear what look like car hands-free kits during the race no idea of the technical details.

8. If you are judged to gain an advantage when contesting for a place you will either have to give the place up or face a penalty. If corners are cut when they are not battling for a place I believe they get a warning and a penalty for repeat offences.

9. According to commentary it is the failure of one of the many measurement devices on the vehicle

10. Points described by @darthozzan are correct not sure what you saw.

I would love to see you do a live quick look of the new F1 2013 when it is out so the chat can answer any questions while you figure it out. I still play 2011 to this day as its pretty addictive.

#38 Edited by theJonson (2 posts) -

3 - The cars have to fall within specific guidelines (see http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/regulation/file/2013%20F1TECHNICAL%20REGULATIONS%20-%20PUBLISHED%20ON%2004.07.2013.pdf) however it is down to the team's designers and engineers to get the maximum from the available technologies, and typically finding loopholes to exploit performance. For example last season Adrian Newey the chief designer at Red Bull managed to devise a way of channelling the exhaust gases from the car over the rear diffuser resulting in a massive gain in rear end grip with almost no additional weight (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/20118852)

4 - A Driver is allowed 1 defensive manoeuvre when being overtaken (http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/regulation/file/2013%20F1%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS-%20PUBLISHED%20ON%2004.07.2013.pdf) - Section 20 Paragraph 3 "More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner. "

5 - Predefined DRS zones are marked on the track, the cars gps knows down to the meter where it is on the track, you can only activate DRS within these zones during a race (during qualifying it can be used at any point)

6 - Both tyre compounds must be used during a race - the prime and the option (both are slick tyres but with different compounds) - intermediate and wet tyres are exempt as they are only used when weather conditions require them.

7 - The driver mics are either throat mics put on under the fire layer, or are built into the helmet. Not sure on make/model. The audio is fed back to race control where it is used during the broadcast, and to the teams (obviously) - each team hears their own drivers all the time, but only hear other teams when it is broadcast.

EDIT - Team Radio Equipment is provided by Riedel (http://www.riedel.net)

EDIT 2 - Found this which might be of some interest http://www.live-production.tv/news/sports/riedel-formula-1.html they have a link at the bottom referring to Riedel wireless solutions but it's behind a signup-wall

8 - To avoid an incident you can leave the track, but if you are seen to gain an advantage you are required to give back the position or face a drive-through penalty, or a penalty at the start of the next race

9 - fail 22 is a code used by red bull, no one knows for sure what it means but it typically means change engine mode to conserve fuel/car for the next race, as per the rules, each are is only allowed 8 engines for the whole season

10 - Points are 25 for 1st, 18 for 2nd, 15 for 3rd - down to 1 for 10th. see http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8681/

#39 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

You should also REALLY trying to find a way to watch the BBC or SkySports (I prefer Sky because their commentator Martin Brundle is fantastic) feed of F1 if you can. Both of them will leaps and bounds better to watch than what we get in North America.

Yeah Martin Brundle is by far the best commentator covering F1 at the moment, I switched to Sky's coverage when they bought the rights from the BBC and really can't even watch highlights with the BBC's commentator crew at the moment. Coultard is nice and all, but he's not really a great commentator

#40 Posted by Rain_1 (121 posts) -

Holy hell goddamn, Drew will have a big ass reading to do... :D

#41 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1588 posts) -

Oh man. I just learned so much about F1

#42 Posted by kingando420 (210 posts) -
@baldgye said:

awesome to see so many F1 fans, oh and Drew if you want to find a really good break down of the race F1Fanatic is the best F1 blog site I've come across and they do a really good post-race break down;

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/07/28/hamilton-emerges-as-title-contender-with-first-win-for-mercedes/

naaa best f1 blog (by a mile) is JA on F1

#43 Edited by Winsord (1230 posts) -

@dandyshlonglegs said:

9. All the teams come up with their own secret codes so the other teams don't know what they're talking about.

That's pretty much accurate. People try to figure out what the codes mean based on what happens, but the community doesn't really know unless an employee were to confirm it. I'd assume Fail "##" should just be that a component or something on the car has failed, and to turn the sensor off. As far as I know, the errors can have a negative effect on how the car performs, and the sensors can sort of 'adapt' the car to handle the error. There should be a series of button presses on the wheel to be able to manually turn off a sensor so it no longer reads as a component failure and affects vehicle performance, should it be appropriate for the failure.

That said, I'm not so sure it's a KERS related in this case, it seemed like something else had perhaps overheated. Didn't both drivers receive the message, but Vettel's continued to work? It could have simply been a strategy call, like hold-station.

I don't know. Maybe everything I've said is entirely wrong! F1 is, admittedly, confusing at times.

#44 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@baldgye said:

awesome to see so many F1 fans, oh and Drew if you want to find a really good break down of the race F1Fanatic is the best F1 blog site I've come across and they do a really good post-race break down;

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/07/28/hamilton-emerges-as-title-contender-with-first-win-for-mercedes/

naaa best f1 blog (by a mile) is JA on F1

ehh I personally prefer F1Fanatic but JA's is pretty great too.

#45 Posted by RobT (3 posts) -

1. Not too sure on the specifics

2. Qualifying is done in 3 sessions, after the first session the care with the 17th fastest time and onwards are knocked out and ordered according to their times, the remaining 16 cars times are reset and they qualify in the second session. After this session cars with the 11th fastest time are knocked out and ordered (in positions 11 -16) according to time. The times in the final session are used to determine the remaining places. In this case Mark Webber made it to the final session but had technical problems going into the final session so had to withdraw from that session.

3. They have a strict set of rules which they must follow http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/technical_regulations/, this is often subject to controversy as teams try to bend the rules and look for loopholes.

4. I think you are allowed to make one defensive move http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8683/fia.html

5. Its done by the the splits before a DRS zone. If the gap is small enough, when you enter a DRS zone the button become activate and you can choose to use it.

6. Not too sure

7. Again not too sure

8. Only if they gained an advantage, usually punished by a drive through penalty, where they have to go through the pit lane stopping for 10 or so seconds.

9. Usually team specific code.

10. Goes a little something like this:

1st : 25 points

2nd : 18 points

3rd : 15 points

4th : 12 points

5th : 10 points

6th : 8 points

7th : 6 points

8th : 4 points

9th : 2 points

10th : 1 point

#46 Posted by Grandprix (29 posts) -

Okay, I'll give it a go.

1. Hamilton drives the Mercedes car, which up to Hungarian Grand Prix, had been chewing its tyres up faster than the Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari cars. The Spanish Grand Prix was a classic example. Mercedes had the front 2 positions on the grid and had serious tyre wear issues resulting in a poor race finish. All the teams were expecting really high temperatures (air and track) which would make the tyre wear worse for the Mercedes. It turns out that the changes that were made after the British Grand Prix to the tyres actually helped Mercedes with their tyre wear and it wasn't much of an issue for them during the race.

2. Qualifying is split into 3 sections. In the first part, 6 cars are eliminated and start from 17th to 22nd. 6 more cars are eliminated in part 2, starting in 11th to 16th. The top ten is then decided in the last part. The worst place Mark Webber could start was 10th as only 10 cars take part in the last part of qualifying. It is also used as a strategic move as the top 10 must start on the tyres it set its fastest time in the last part of qualifying. By not setting a time, they can choose which compound of tyres to start the race on. There are 2 compounds of dry tyre to choose from at each race, determined by Pirelli.

3. There are rules in place which guide how cars are designed. The better design teams and the teams with more money can come up with clever ideas that are within the rules but open to interpretation and that usually gets them ahead of the game. Red Bull have the best designer in F1 and are generally the car to beat each year. The driver can make a difference in certain circumstances but it is usually the car which is the determining factor. The better drivers are usually the ones that find a way to score the most points in their team during the race.

4. You aren't allowed to weave across the track. Usually, you are allowed 1 defensive move and then not move back on the line. When side by side, you must leave a cars width. You also are not allowed to exceed track limits to overtake another car. Track limits are the white lines around the track edge.

5. All the tracks have at least 1 detection point and 1 activation point. The car behind must be within 1 second when they cross the detection point to be able to activate in the specified zone. Some tracks have a 2nd activation point and sometimes a 2nd detection point. In theory, DRS cannot be activated outside the zone but there have been a number of issues with the system this season.

6. The teams must use both compounds of tyre during the race. The softer tyre is generally faster but doesn't last as long so the harder tyre is used as the tyre that does the majority of the race. Strategy comes into play if you can get the softer tyre on late in the race to go faster but with the tyre wear, it can backfire.

7. I don't know what they use. I don't think I've ever seen a piece done on the technology behind all that.

8. You will be penalised if you are deemed to have gained an advantage, usually overtaking someone. If they have overtaken someone, they should give the place back but the final decision is usually down to stewards.

9. Fail 22 is an internal code used by Red Bull. It was probably to tell the driver that the KERS system had failed or it could have been some kind of overheating issue.

10. 1st - 25, 2nd - 18, 3rd - 15, 4th - 12, 5th - 10, 6th - 8, 7th - 6, 8th - 4 9th - 2, 10th - 1. Grosjean did get a 20 second penalty after the race had finished for causing a collision. That penalty meant he still finished 6th and got 8 points.

#47 Posted by steeeevil (10 posts) -

1. The Mercedes this year that Hamilton drives has been mega in qualifying but has problems with tyre usage in the races, so whilst the Mercedes have scored the majority of Poles this year, befotre that race they had only won 2 of them.

2. Qualifying is a multi-stage affair with the slowest qualifiers being knocked out and faster cars advancing to the next stage, once a car has advanced to say the top 10 final qualifying session then they are effectively locked in to starting at least 10th (barring any penalties), thats what happened to Mark.

3.Each car is built from from scratch by each team (with the exception of engines, gearboxes, KERS etc) to the rules that the governing body (the F.I.A) set and it is more or less the case that the teams with the best budgets who can afford the cleverest engineers dominate. They in turn tend to attract the best drivers.

4. The driver in front is allowed to make one defensive move per straight.

5. DRS can only be used in specified zones, these have a detection point just before them, if the car is within a second of the car in front at these points DRS can be used.

6. Pirelli (who supply the tyres) have a range of 4 different dry tyres of varying compounds (hard, medium, soft and super soft). Of those 4 they select 2 to bring to each race meeting. Each car has to use both types of tyre during the race, the softer the tyres the quicker they are over a lap but the quicker they lose that performance. It is entirely strategy what tyres each car use when, although to further complicate matters the top 10 qualifiers have to start the race on the tyres they used to set their grid time, everyone else behind gets free choice.

7. No idea.

8. I think both of those example were Grosjean right? In which case he did get penalised for both instances. In general the rule is if a car A passed car B whilst car A was off track then he should give the place back or risk a penalty. In other instances of corner cutting the driver would get a warning and if he continued to do it a penalty would be forthcoming.

9. Again, no idea. All teams use codes over the radio to try and stop rival teams from knowing what they are doing.

10. Points are: 1st 25, 2nd 18, 3rd 15, 4th 12, 5th 10, 6th 8, 7th 6, 8th 4,9th 2 and 10th 1. You must have mis-read the 6 or something.

#48 Edited by deject (42 posts) -

1) Mercedes AMG has had trouble all season long with their tires degrading faster than everyone else. They have the performance in the car to compete with Red Bull Infinity to be the fastest cars on the track, perhaps even beat them, which is reflected in their stellar qualifying performance. Their one lap performance is amazing, and it drops off much faster than the other teams which leads to lower race day performance.

2) The knockout qualifying system is why. In Q1, the six slowest cars (17-22) have their positions set and do not continue. The rest of the cars advance to Q2. In Q2, the next six slowest (11-16) have their positions set and are also done. The ten fastest cars advance to Q3. Finally, in Q3 the top 10 positions are determined. After each qualifying session, the times are reset, so all that matters in Q1 and Q2 is to try to make it out of the knockout zones. Mark Webber had times in Q1 and Q2 good enough to advance, but the team did not think they had speed to make it very high up in the top 10, so they did not go out in Q3 to save their tires, as teams only get 3 sets of Prime tires and 3 sets of Option tires for all of the Qualifying sessions and for the Race. Additionally, when you participate in Q3, you must start the race on the tires you set your best qualifying time with.

3) There are a lot of technical regulations about chassis geometry and engine size, etc. If you really want to know, you can read up on them here: http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/7EE7D5392A94A532C1257A850051A2C9/$FILE/2013%20TECHNICAL%20REGULATIONS.pdf

Basically, the engine size and type is fixed, but there are multiple engine suppliers (Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Cosworth, etc.). There is a minimum body clearance, a minimum weight, maximum dimensions, etc. that mean that all the cars will look roughly similar, but there are very significant differences with each car.

4) The rule with defensive maneuvers is that you can make one defensive move and then you must stop. This means that the leading car can block once and then cannot deviate from their racing line after that. If both cars are on the optimal racing line, then if the trailing car tries to pass off-line, the leading car can block, but if the trailing car moves back to the optimum line, the leading car cannot move back as well. Basically on the straights you can't zig-zag around to keep a car behind you. If they're going faster than you, you can cut them off in a corner, but at most you can force them off-line briefly on the straights.

5) Each track has at least one (some have two) DRS Detection Zone where the interval to the car directly ahead (regardless of actual position in the race) is measured. If the gap between the two cars is less than one second, the trailing car can activate their DRS system in the DRS Activation Zone that corresponds to the Detection Zone. The car's DRS system should not activate at all outside of the Activation Zone, and if they did it would probably get penalized in some way.

6) At each race, the tire supplier brings two compounds of tires for each driver to use: a Prime tire (the harder compund) and a Option tire (the softer compound). The option tires are generally capable of better grip, and therefore faster lap times (usually 1.5 seconds per lap or so) but also wear out and lose performance much faster than the Prime tires. By the F1 regulations, each driver must use at least one set of the Prime tire and the Option tire during the race. The teams strategize when to use which tires to optimize the relative performance on track.

7) All the drivers have helmet mics of some kind so they can communicate with their pit crew, but I have no clue what kind they might be.

8) Leaving the track surface is generally not penalized as long as the driver does not gain any advantage from it. For example, if you leave the track to avoid hitting another car that has spun out, that typically is OK. If your opponent has legitimately blocked you through a corner, it is not OK to pass off the track. If you immediately give up your position gain by going off track they do not penalize you. At the same time, if you are forced off track by another driver, that driver may be penalized depending on relative position (i.e.: if you are along side, they are supposed to give you enough room).

9) "Fail 22" is a code phrase that we can only speculate about. I believe that both Vettel and Webber had KERS issues, which means their cars could have been missing the added 10% power boost that the KERS systems give.

10) Points are give to positions 1-10 as such: 1st : 25 points, 2nd : 18 points, 3rd : 15 points, 4th : 12 points, 5th : 10 points, 6th : 8 points, 7th : 6 points, 8th : 4 points, 9th : 2 points, 10th : 1 point. You might have been seeing their relative standings in the Driver's Championship and not their points from the race or something like that.

#49 Posted by buffalosoldier221 (5 posts) -

1. Mercedes had a lot of issues regarding tyre degradation since the start of the season, although, after some illegal testing (already penalized) they've improved a lot. so they can keep up with red bull.

2. There's 3 stages in qualifying stages, in the first one(20min), the 6 slowest drivers get eliminated. In the second one (15min) the slowest 6 get eliminated again. In the third one the 10 fastest drivers battle for their respective grid positions. Mark webber got through 2 qualifying stages, but did not set a time in Q3, so he got 10th place.

3. Besides the setup (suspension, engine mapping, gear ratios), usually, the top 5 cares aren't very different from each other, mostly beacuse of the harsh regulations, In F1 however, a milisecond can make all the difference. Team engineers work around the clock to extract the maximum amount of performance from the car. Red bull pours a lot of money into engineers and designers in order to have the best car on the grid. According to Frank williams 25% of the speed comes from the tyres and tyre management, 25% comes from the car itself, and the other 50% comes from the driver.

4. You're allowed to defend yourself once from another driver, for example, if a driver is trying to pass another driver in straight and tries to get through the right side of the circuit, the defending driver, can block from the right, but then if the attacking driver tries again from the left. the defending driver can't outright block him again.

5. there's 1 DRS detection spot in each circuit, if a car is 1 second or less away from the other car when going through the detection zone, he's allowed to use DRS.

6. Harder tyres, are often more desired because they are more predictable and last longer even though they are slower.

8. If the race marshalls think a driver got an unfair advantage by cutting a corner he will be penalized.

9. It means that they should disable a sensor (on the engine, Ithink) in the car because it's not working properly.

10. http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/sporting_regulations/8681/

#50 Edited by Benny (1953 posts) -

@drewbert: Everybody in this thread has answered most questions other than the microphone / radio question extremely thoroughly so I just wanted to expand on a couple of the points you made and the reasons behind them:

The engines in the cars are roughly the same, it's construction that affects performance a lot. They're all 2.4L V8s but Mercedes for example have the engine that produces the most straight-line speed and seemingly a combination of Red Bull's Renault engine and their aerodynamics gives them better cornering.

Red Bull are notorious for pushing their aerodynamics to the absolute limit of the regulations (google "red bull double diffuser" for an example of this.) Huge amounts of money and massive amounts of time and talent determine how much testing and redesigning can be done on car aerodynamics and engine reliability. Engine reliability is important because each driver gets to use 8 engines per season before incurring some sort of major penalty.

DRS and KERS are seen to some as an artificial part of F1 racing that can make overtaking too easy or predictable but intended to make races closer and more exciting originally. Not really sure how they fix that but sometimes DRS does take away some of the skill element to overtakes.

Changing tyres is the same, each driver has to use 2 different compounds of tyres per race (unless it's wet) and each compound of tyre (e.g. medium or soft) lasts a different length of laps and gives more or less grip.

Do you spend 20 laps on a medium tyre going 1 second slower but don't have to pit, or do 10 laps on a soft tyre and pit for 20 seconds then do another 10 laps and hope you are faster than the guy using the slower tyre?

This strategy is intended to also increase excitement in races but often times tyres can be the focus of races rather than driver skill and mean that the drivers can't push to the limit of their skill (which is what everyone wants to see.)