• 79 results
  • 1
  • 2
#51 Posted by Dujun (59 posts) -

Seeing as most of the questions have been answered thoroughly, I thought that I would add to a couple.

6. As mentioned all drivers are provided with two types of dry tires, both of which must be used in a dry race. If a team at any point in a race uses intermediate or full wet tires, they do not have to use both tire compounds.

7. The drivers microphone is imbedded in the fireproof balaclava that the drivers are wearing and is placed on the drivers lips. The microphone that records the engine sounds are, as far as i know, placed in the T-bar you can see on top if the car. It is isolated from wind noise, but there does not seem to be any specifications available.

8. If it is deemed that a driver might have gained an advantage by leaving the track, it could be by overtaking as Massa did in the Hungarian GP, the drivers often let the other driver pass again to avoid a penalty. If a driver has multiple offences of leaving the track, they usually receive a warning, and if they continue to leave the track they will most likely get a penalty.

9. Red Bull often have problems with their KERS system, especially in warm weather such as in the Hungarian GP. the fail 22 message was likely a request to the drivers to stop using their KERS to prevent overheating and damaging the car. If you watch more races you will likely notice that Mark Webber have mechanical defects more often than Sebastian Vettel, specifically Marks KERS often fails. This is probably because Mark is somewhat taller than Sebastian, and the engine compartment of the Red Bull is already pushed as far as possible thermally in Sebastians car. For example, Red Bull only use about 75% of the 80 extra horsepower that KERS allows.

#52 Posted by JokerSmilez (1293 posts) -

7.

I don't know a lot about F1, but I know a thing or two about microphones.

Most good quality dynamic microphones would be able to handle the SPL (Sound Pressure Level) of an F1 car. The Shure SM58 (an industry standard dynamic microphone) can handle up to about 180db and F1 cars produce about 130-150db.

Drew, you're likely most familiar with "condenser" microphones, as that's what almost all Lav mics are, and they have much lower SPL limits. For those who don't know anything about audio, dynamic basically means it doesn't require outside power, using electromagnetic induction to pick up sound (a movable induction coil in a magnetic field vibrates to ambient sound). Condenser microphones do require outside power (also known as Phantom Power or "+48V") which comes from the sound board or a battery pack as they have onboard electronics and amplifiers which can overload and become damaged. Condensers are generally higher sound quality (especially in the higher frequency range) and higher dynamic range but are much more sensitive to audio levels as well as physical shock (you can break them by dropping them). Dynamic microphones are very common in live audio (where my experience is) because they can handle extremely high volume levels such as the volume of a fully cranked guitar amp or a loud snare drum as well as being generally very durable (the Shure SM57 or SM58 could be used a hammer if you really needed to and it would still work just fine). So, my guess is they're using some type of dynamic microphone with a pad (a filter that reduces the strength of incoming signal) on the preamp to prevent it from overloading and clipping. You can get condenser microphones with built in pads that enable them to handle higher SPL's so it's possible they're using that, but even with a pad, I don't know how well a condenser mic could handle the volume of an F1 car.

It's also possible they're using ribbon microphones, which is another style of microphone that also uses electromagnetic induction to pick up sound (a "ribbon" of conductive material between the poles of a magnet) that can also handle high SPL's and has better high frequency response than your typical dynamic microphone. These types of microphones are less common (although in the early 1900s, they were the standard) but modern manufacturing has made these cheaper and more durable so they're becoming more popular, so it's also possible one of these is being used but my best guess would be that it's just a high quality, small, light, dynamic microphone.

#53 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -
#54 Edited by crusader8463 (14414 posts) -

@drewbert:

  1. Pole is synonymous with North pole which is associated with Santa Clause. Everyone is skeptical he is real hence they were skeptical.
  2. Because 10-5= 5 and you need an even number.
  3. They can do whatever they want. Some add helicopter blades so they can fly over the track, and a few tried having only two wheels to cut down on weight and make it go faster. That one didn't go so well.
  4. You can only block for 1 lap. More than that and you are labeled a cock and cock blocking is illegal in F1.
  5. Magic fairies and pixies determine if it's legal or not.
  6. They were sponsored by Viagra and as part of the contract must switch from soft to hard. They however can't keep the hard tires on for more than four hours or they get in trouble.
  7. Tin cans and a string lead back to a microphone in a quiet room.
  8. It's voted on by send a text message to 11945.
  9. It means they failed to do somthing 13 times. No one knows why it's not called fail 13.
  10. You just need to use this simple formula:

#55 Posted by Fattony12000 (7062 posts) -

Offside position

The blue forward on the left of the diagram is in an offside position as he is in front of both the second-to-last defender (marked by the dotted line) and the ball. Note that this does not necessarily mean he is committing an offside offence; it only becomes an offence if the ball were to be played to him at this moment, whether or not he is in an offside position when he receives the ball, as he could receive the ball in an onside position but he'd still have committed an offside offence.

The blue forward in the penalty box of the diagram is not in an offside position, as he is behind the ball, despite the fact that he is in front of all but one of his opponents.

A player is in an offside position if three conditions are met: first, the player must be in the opposing team's half of the field. Second, the player must be in front of the ball. And third, there must be fewer than two opposing players between him and the opposing goal line, with the goalkeeper counting as an opposing player for these purposes. It is not necessary that the goalkeeper be one of the last two opponents. Any attacker that is level with or behind the ball is not in an offside position and may never be sanctioned for an offside offence. IFAB has clarified in the 2009–2010 Laws of the Game that a player temporarily off the field of play is considered to be ON the boundary line at the point that he crossed over the boundary line.

The 2005 edition of the Laws of the Game included a new International Football Association Board decision that stated being "nearer to an opponent's goal line" meant that "any part of his head, body or feet is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (the last opponent typically being the goalkeeper)."This is taken to mean that any part of the attacking player named in this decision has to be past the part of the second-last defender closest to his goal line and past the part of the ball closest to the defenders' goal line.

Regardless of position, there is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from a corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in. However, an offside offence may occur if a player receives the ball directly from either a direct free kick or an indirect free kick.

Offside offence

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is touched or played by a teammate is only committing an offside offence if, in the opinion of the referee, he becomes actively involved in play by:

Interfering with play

Playing or touching the ball

Interfering with an opponent

Preventing the opponent from playing the ball by obstructing the player's sight or intentionally distracting the opponent

Gaining an advantage by being in an offside position

Playing the ball after the ball has rebounded off the goal, the goalkeeper, or any opponent.

Since offside is judged at the time the ball is touched or played by a teammate, not when the player receives the ball, it is possible for a player to receive the ball significantly past the second-to-last defender, or even the last defender (typically the goalkeeper).

Determining whether a player is in "active play" can be complex. FIFA issued new guidelines for interpreting the offside law in 2003 and these were incorporated in Law XI in July 2005. The new wording seeks to define the three cases more precisely, but controversy regarding offside decisions often arises from assessment of what movements a player in an offside position can make without interfering with an opponent.

Offside sanction

The restart for an offside sanction is an indirect free kick for the opponent at the place where the off-sided player was at the time the teammate passed or touched the ball. This is defined as where the infringement took place.

#56 Edited by Terranova (582 posts) -

1. could be a number of factors although i would guess in this case tires being the biggest one, to make it more exciting during races tires were devolved in such a way that they wear out quickly making tire management key during races now, some cars handle it better than others on certain tracks Lewis and the commentators probably felt the car wouldn't handle the tires that well during that race on that track.

2. there are three rounds of qualifying, the first round the fastest 15 go to the next round, in the second round the fastest 10 go to the final round, in the final round they go for pole position and the other 9 places, Webber qualified for the final round but had a issue preventing him from setting a time so the best he could get would be 10th place.

3. I guess it's the same with any Sport the teams with the most cash and resources will have the best, driver skill is still a factor but to be honest if they don't have a great car they wont get very far, as for how different can a car be there are very strict rules all teams must follow each part must be a certain length and weight, the overall car must weigh the same as any of the others, engines must be the same size and power, fuel tanks must be the same size, and you can't have something on a car that another team doesn't have, of course teams can and do spend millions on developing the parts to be as aerodynamic as possible and to make the parts and electronics work more effectively than the other teams.

4. you can make one defensive move for example if someone is trying to over take on the left and your on the right you can move over to block them, but if they then quickly move to the right to over take you cant move back over to the right again to block you have to let them through and then try and overtake yourself.

5. there are DRS zones on the track you can only use it in these zones, they are usually on a straight or where it's easy to over take, as long as your 1 second or less behind the other car in these zones you can use DRS to try and overtake, there are sensors coming up to these zones and a light on the drivers steering wheel will notify them when they are able to use it.

6. Rules are now they must use both sets of tires during a race, one medium set one soft set. F1 management felt it would make races more exciting , during qualifying the teams pick what tires they want to start the race with, then during the race they must switch to the other at some point, the only time this rule can be waved is if it Rains and they have to switch to wet weather tires.

7. I'm not sure about that one myself.

8. if you cut a corner and it gives you an advantage over a driver that is directly in front of you ie you were able to over take them by cutting said corner you must let the driver you over took back in front, if you don't then you will have to take a penalty, your also penalized if you repeatedly cut a corner, if you just cut it because you were going to fast and needed to prevent a crash then that is fine.

9. every team has phrases and codes that mean something to them and the drivers it could be to change a setting on the car or a tactic to use, only they know what that really means.

10. points are given to the top 10 drivers, 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. the only time the points can change is if someone finished than was disqualified or for some reason the race wasn't able to be fully completed.

#57 Edited by Lucien21 (108 posts) -

On the radio thing I read an articl about it and it seems they use a lot of noise cancelling tech.e

It goes without saying that a racing car moving at 300+ km/h is not an ideal environment for producing a good radio signal, and that’s where Gilles’s expertise has paid off over the years.

“The most complicated thing is the radio link between the car and the pit. We have special equipment in the car, and because all the electronics must be light, it weighs around 200 grams. The driver wears earplugs, and inside the helmet we install a microphone. The microphones are very, very small – something like 5mm diameter and 2mm thickness – and extremely light.

“Speaking when the engines are on is a little bit difficult, so we use noise-cancelling technology that requires a double-face microphone. You have an opposite face, which is looking for the noise, and a face into which you talk. So you have two signals: noise and voice. The electronics inside are able to compare them and kill the noise. In the laboratory, we can have 80% suppression, although in the field it’s another question!

“In the car it’s extremely complicated, because the pressure of the noise is extremely heavy,” agrees Jose Santos

. “So the big enemy in the car is the noise. Also in the car, we have electrical problems, because the generator and the voltage regulator keep getting smaller and smaller, and therefore, from an electrical point of view, more and more noisy.

“So you have to cut first the audio noise from the microphones of the drivers, and after that, to cut the electrical noise that interferes with the radio. And when that is finished, I have mechanical noise due to the vibration. So it is not easy to have good communication with the driver for all these reasons.”

#58 Posted by stalefishies (330 posts) -
@drewbert said:

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?

The Mercedes car is hard on its tyres. Tyre wear is a very significant issue in recent years - Pirelli were asked to manufacture tyres which wear down quickly and so require several pit stops throughout the race in an attempt to make the races more exciting. Some (read: the teams who have especially bad tyre wear) argue they've gone too far and the tyres wear down too quickly, and this is stopping 'real' racing from taking place, with the races instead being about tyre strategy instead of pure driving skill.

@drewbert said:
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 occurs in three stages: Q1, Q2 and Q3. The results of Q1 decide the top 16 drivers who progress onto Q2, and Q2 decides the top 10 who progress to Q3. Hence, if you get into Q3, barring any separate penalties, the lowest you will qualify is 10th. Mark Webber didn't run a lap in Q3; the reason is that, if you set a time in Q3, you have to start the race on the same set of tyres that you set your fastest lap on. However, if you don't set a time, you have a free choice of tyres. Since tyre management and strategy is so important, if you know you're not going to qualify at the front of the 10 in Q3, its often worth it to get that strategic choice by not setting a time and starting 10th.

@drewbert said:
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?

I don't know much about the specifics of the car design, but the design of the car is a very, very significant factor. To put it another way, Sebastian Vettel has won the last three championships and is currently leading this one by a non-insignificant margin, yet very few people would argue he's the best driver in F1 right now. It's not so much the sheer cash money they put into it, but the people they have - Adrian Newey, the Red Bull lead designer, is an exceptional talent and arguably has as much to do with Vettel's three championships as Vettel does himself.

@drewbert said:
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 can have one, and only one, change in direction to defend against a move on straights.

@drewbert said:
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 specific sections of the track where use of DRS is allowed (either one or two of the straights), and before this section is the DRS detection zone. If you are within one second of a car in front of you (whether the car directly in front or a back marker who you are lapping) you can activate the DRS flap on the next straight. I don't know what happens if you press the button outside of the DRS regions. Note, this is all separate from KERS, which is another 'go faster' button using a battery recharged on braking, from which you can use a limited amount per lap.

@drewbert said:

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?

During the race, every driver has to use each type of tyres available (unless it rains, necessitating intermediate or full wet tyres). The soft tyres are faster but wear away quicker. I don't know exactly how each team decides which tyre is best when, but they have to plan around using both tyres, and that, if you want to set a competitive time in qualifying, you'd need to use the softer tyre (hence why it's useful to not set a time and get a choice) and thus have to start on the softer tyre. I believe tyre wear actually decreases overall over the course of a race due to rubber deposited on the surface of the tarmac, but I'm sure there are a million intricate deciding factors.

@drewbert said:

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

No idea, sorry.

@drewbert said:

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

Each team has their own set of radio codes to give out team orders, but they're all different and all secret since any team can listen into any team radio. One Red Bull example which came up in the Malaysian Grand Prix this year is "multi 21" which meant to stay put with car number 2 (Webber) in front of car number 1 (Vettel) - i.e. 21. I don't know what the 22 could mean in this case, though. The reason this team order was surfaced was because Vettel disobeyed it and overtook Webber, and Webber was pretty angry about it all.

@drewbert said:

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

Points are given to the top 10 drivers in the following order: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. Roman Grosjean (6th) got 8 points, Jenson Button (7th) got 6.

Hope this helps, and I hope this doesn't end lost a million pages away from the start of the thread because of how long I took to type it all out :/ The way this editor handles quotes isn't exactly...intuitive at times.

#59 Posted by Littleg (66 posts) -

Finally! A topic I can feel relatively knowledgable about!

1. Yep, the others said it - tyres. I'll get onto the new rules in a second, but new rules introduced in the last couple of seasons, plus a change in tyre supplier (single supplier for the whole grid - Pirelli) has seen the cars raw pace no longer being a sole arbiter of chance of winning - they have to be able to go quick without murdering the tyres. Mercedes are on a bit of a run in qualifying, but to qualify well you need to get heat into the tyres for that hot single lap, but building a car that does that is almost the exact opposite of building a car that is kind to its tyres on a long run.

2. Yes - see the explanation above about 3-stage qualifying (they've been mucking around with formats for 10+ years, as in the old days it was just an hour-long free-for-all but no-one wanted to go out first, so cars would sit in the pits for 20-30 minutes doing nothing leaving commentators with a lot of dead time to fill. The current format is probably the best they've come up with, ask an F1 fan about the bad old days of one-shot qualifying :( ). In the final Top-10 shoot out for grid positions (otherwise known as Q3), it is a common thing not to set a flying lap if you'd rather conserve your tyres for the race, especially as you have to start the race on the tyres that you used to get your best time. It's especially common if a driver in a relatively slow car lucks into Q3 due to other drivers dropping out and he knows he has no chance of competing with the top teams.

3. The rules these days are very tight, dictating the overall dimensions of the cars, their weight, the engine size and configuration etc etc. They even all run the same engine management software, regardless of who their engine supplier is. These days, a massive percentage of the overall performance comes from the aerodynamics and how tightly the cars are 'packaged'. Take a look at Michael Schumacher's 1996 Ferrari and then a modern-day F1 car: the older car looks like it's made out of lego in comparison to the complex shapes that can now be designed in carbon fibre bodywork. And it's those fine margins that dictate how the air flows over the car, and how much grip they have in the corners. Engine power is still important, but a slippy low-powered car might actually be quicker down a straight than a car with a higher cd factor but more power.

And when it comes to packaging and aero, there's one man you want on your team - Adrian Newey. He's designed many of the most successful F1 cars of the last 20-30 years. As Red Bull got more and more committed to the sport, they poached him off Mclaren (effectively ending their period of dominance) who had previously poached him off Williams (which started the long, slow decline of Williams from the all-conquering machine they once were to the relative minnows they are now). I don't know if Red Bull necessarily have the biggest budget at the minute (I'd guess at that being Ferrari) but they have definitely dominated the sport for the last three and a half years.

4. Someone's already said it, in a rule introduced relatively recently, you are now allowed only one move off your racing line to defend. At least, that's on the way into the corner - once you're into the corner itself, it then becomes much more complicated as it seems the guy who is slightly ahead is allowed to effectively run the other guy off the road if he is taking a reasonable racing line and the other guy is still in his way.

5. Yep, you have to be within a 1 second gap before you can use DRS. That is measured by the telemetry in the cars going over markers in the track, there will usually be one or two DRS zones per track and there will be a measuring point just before the start of the straight for the DRS zone. If the gap between two cars is less than a second at that point, the one behind the other will be able to open their DRS. I'm not a massive fan of DRS as I think it makes the overtaking artificially easy, previously it was extremely hard as the car's reliance on aero for grip meant getting close to the guy in front was very difficult dur to dirty air. Same goes for the new tyre rules (remember I said I'd get to those?) - they've been introduced to artificially create large speed differentials between cars to allow for lots of on-track action.

And I think DRS is locked if you're not in the zone, so you can't gain an advantage accidentally or otherwise...

6. Current tyre rules are that Pirelli bring two types of dry tyres (which will range from very soft to very hard, selected from a range of about six options) plus intermediate- and heavy-rain wet tyres. The teams are provided with a set number of each of those, meaning that managing your tyres and how you use them up over the course of a weekend is all part of the game. In a fully-dry race, each driver must use at least one set of each of the two dry tyre types (sometimes referred to as 'softs' and 'hards', or 'primes' and 'options' if you're feeling technical). When to switch tyres in the race is all part of the tactics, mostly people start on the softer tyre for the better start, but sometimes you can gain an advantage by starting on the hards and having a longer first stint. Going back to question one, how many stops in a race is also a key tactic. Mercedes knew Lewis would eat his tyres so set him the challenge of driving quickly enough throughout the course of the race to have enough time in hand to be able to fit in an extra pit stop for new tyres. On another day, at another track, with different weather, it might be a better strategy to only stop once and run a very long stint on the harder tyre.

While we're talking tyres, a lot of people are complaining that the speed with which these Pirelli tyres degrade means that the drivers can rarely drive flat-out and have to be managing their tyres throughout the race, when people would rather see drivers going as fast as they could the whole race. Thing is, Pirelli were specifically asked to provide that type of tyre (in fact, they were brought in for that very purpose when previous tyre suppliers refused, saying they didn't want the message to come out from all this development work they do to be that their tyres fall apart) as the people who run the sport know that cars on different tyres at different stages of the race, and tyres that suddenly 'go off' leaving the driver with no grip, make for big speed differentials and more opportunities for those exciting overtaking moves which apparently are the only things keeping the attention-span-deprived viewing public pointing their eyes at a television screen...

7. The cars have to carry a minimum number of cameras and mics (or dummy ballast in their absence). Dunno what type they are to withstand the noise. The drivers themselves have microphones that are stitched into their balaclavas to be able to speak to the team.

8. Again, this is a rule that has been stiffened up and clarified recently. If you gain a place, or stop yourself from losing a place, by taking your car outside the white lines at the side of the circuit you are supposed to give back/give away that place to the guy behind you. Allowance is made for how the other driver is behaving and if he's pushing you wide unecessarily. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a lot of inconsistency with the way the rule is applied. In Hungary alone there were examples where drivers gained a place but left the track doing so, or defended a pass but went off to do it and in one case the driver had to do a penalty and in another it was ruled OK. Back in 2008, Lewis Hamilton was stripped of a win after going off the track in defending from Kimi Raikonnen, losing the place and then taking the place back in the following corner. Some corners of F1 fandom are still debating that one to this day...

Final note on this, drivers are generally expected to stay within the bounds of the course regardless, and the marshalls will penalise if they think that someone is trying to gain an advantage by cutting a corner whilst just driving normally. A couple of years ago, at Monaco, Felipe Massa got a telling off for continually going over the inside of one of the chicanes.

9. All kinds of codes used by teams, some of it made up just to confuse the opposition (who, thanks to the latest TV deal, all have to broadcast their team-to-car radio). Things occasionally failing on Red Bulls (possibly of a result of all that super-tight packaging I was talking about earlier) is just about the only thing that has kept races competitive at times over the last few years...

10. Someone else got this one...

Hope that helps! Sorry for the enormo-post...

EDIT: Shit! Everyone types a lot quicker than me!

#60 Posted by EmptyQuarter (92 posts) -

A lot of the answers to your questions are going to involve how teams best 'manage' their tyres. In order to promote more 'exciting' racing, the tyre manufacturer, Pirellli, have for the past couple of seasons been asked to create tyres which wear out super fast, in some races lasting no more than a handful of laps before the car is forced to pit for a new set. The result of this is that races have been less predictable with cars and drivers swapping positions more easily in the past, but in a lot of peoples' opinions, at the expense of a more understandable race narrative.

1. So far this year, the Mercedes (Hamilton's team) has been great in qualifying, but tended to fade during the race because of the team's inability to manage wear on their car's tyres as well as other teams like Red Bull and particularly Lotus. Most pundits would have expected the same to have happened this time, but Hamilton got the job done because (take your pick) ...

  1. He's a former world champion and a total boss.
  2. He's finally fitting in at his new team and has gained a better understanding of his car.
  3. He's all fired up after breaking up with his Pussycat Doll girlfriend.
  4. Mercedes are still benefiting from their sort of illegal, but maybe not, Secret Tyre Test!

3. There are set regulations which is why all the cars look pretty similar at a glance, i.e, they're all about the same size, they have open wheels and wings on the front and back, so it's all about how the teams interpret and push the limits of the regulations to gain an advantage. There are constant back and forths with teams putting new bits on their car and rival teams protesting it, finding it's legal and then copying it.There will be a different 'personality' to the cars as teams focus on a particular area of performance, so for instance, the Mercedes has amazing straight line speed compared to the Red Bull, but the Red Bull has way more grip in slow speed corners.

A great can most definitely get more out of an under-performing car and of course a poor driver can put it in the wall on the first lap, so the driver definitely matters. But it's also true to say that without both a great car and a great driver, you're unlikely to be earning a championship.

As a rule of thumb though, you want Adrian Newey designing your car.

4. Basically you can make one move to defend your position, so no weaving about. You're also entitled to maintain your racing line into a corner.

5. There's a DRS Detection Zone and a DRS Activation Zone. If you're one second behind a car (any car, not necessarily the guy in the position in front of you, meaning drivers can make use of lapped cars to get their DRS on) in the Detection Zone you can hit the button and it'll work in the Activation Zone. There have been times when cars have been able to use the DRS when they're not supposed to, but I'm not sure if whether there's a penalty associated with it.

DRS can also be used whenever you want during qualifying.

6. Pirrelli have multiple tyre compounds and will decide ahead of time, which two compounds to take to a a race. The teams then have an allotted number of tyres for practice, qualifying and the race. During the race, both compounds must be used at least once. Traditionally this results in qualifying on a softer tyre which is faster over a qualifying lap and changing to the harder tyre for the majority of the race for better durability. All of this is dependent on the car, the pit stop strategy, and the track, the weather, so there are no hard and fast rules. How a team plans to run the race and how well the driver can implement the strategy is part of the fun of the sport.

In a wet race, none of the compound stuff applies, and cars will use full wet tyres or intermediate tyres. When it rains everything gets crazy and way more fun.

7. The drivers are in contant comunication with the pit wall through a mic in their helmet. I think the company who produce the F1 broadcast (the feed that TV stations then pick up and commentate over) have people listening in and pull out the odd interesting sound bite here and there. The on screen graphic which shows the gear changes, acceleration and braking inputs and g-forces is really awesome too.

8. Generally if you gain or fail to lose a place because you leave the track, you're expected to give the position back. If it's to avoid an accident or up for debate who was at a fault, the team will probably get on the radio to the stewards and ask if they have to give the place back.

9. Red Bull love their coded messages. Ferrari just speak in Italian.

Drew, if you need convincing that this stuff is awesome, (maybe not as awesome as it used to be but still pretty great) there's an apocryphal fact that F1 cars have so much downforce that you could drive them upside down on the ceiling!

(Also go read about Mercedes' Secret Tyre Test!)

#61 Edited by akeripper4 (153 posts) -

thank you people ALL

#62 Posted by Aarencobb (5 posts) -

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?

Essentially it comes down to tires. The cars are all filled with enough fuel to make the entire race, so the strategy comes in whether or not you qualify with the soft or medium tire. That choice is up to the team. The reason why Hamilton is doubtful is while his car is fast enough to run a pole position lap during qualifying, it does have good longevity in terms of tire wear. He would potentially have to pit sooner and more often, and his overall lap times would be slower throughout the race because his tires will wear down faster.

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?

They are determine through three knockout rounds of qualifying. In this case, Webber may have chosen to not run in the 3rd knockout round of qualifying, perhaps to save tires. So he was fast enough in the 2nd round to make it to the 3rd and by default he gets 10th 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?

This is probably best answered by looking at one aspect of a car. Here is my understanding - the specifications say a front wing can exist in a specific area within certain parameters (imagine a cube laying out the dimensions of 10x10x3 inches and teams can design whatever shape wing they want within that box. There are, of course, thousands of rules, but there is a lot of freedom in wing design, airflow design, undercarriage design, etc.

As for how much performance is determined by money that is also difficult to say. I'd be fantastic to put Sebastian Vettel in every car on the grid and see what kind of lap times he could run in each, but that will never happen. The easy answer is it's a combination of both, but the larger teams like Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari have budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars for their car and they can also pay the best drivers.

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?

The rule is one defensive move to protect your position. You can move to block the inside, but if you move back to block the outside that is technically not allowed and could be punished.

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?

You have to be within 1 second of the car in front of you at the last timing indicator and you have to be in a DRS zone (typically a straight away). I don't know how it is regulated, I've only seen 1 penalty for using the DRS in the DRS zone but the officials had "disabled" it because of a caution. Since the DRS was allowed, I have not seen any penalties or anyone using it outside of the authorized times and sections.

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?

No, they are simply accounting for the rules which stipulate that a driver has to use at least 1 set of softs and 1 set of medium tires during the race. So far this season the medium has been the better tire because it lasts longer, the softer is usually "gotten out of the way" because it only has good grip for 2-3 laps. Some drivers start on mediums and only use the soft tires for their very last stint in a race. Track heat is certainly one consideration, but it's much more complex than that.

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

No idea, sorry!

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.

There seem to be some loose rules around this, but typically there are no penalties and drivers are usually advised by their teams to give back any positions gained by being forced off course. I have seen a few drive through penalties for this happening, but for the most part the driver will slow down or give back a position to avoid being penalized.

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?

Hard to say, each team has special codes and phrases. If I remember correctly something had failed on Webber's car and they wanted Vettel to know about it. The drivers have a lot of controls on their steering wheels and can sometimes make changes that could prevent a failure if they know something could go wrong.

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 others have posted the points breakdown already. There have been times when points are stripped for a serious infraction, but nothing that I've heard about recently. Usually, the first ten drivers get points.

Hope that helps, I'm glad to see someone at Giantbomb getting into racing, especially iRacing and Formula 1.

#63 Posted by MattyFTM (14345 posts) -


1. Mercedes have had problems in the races this year. They've had big problems with tyre degradation and some other technical aspects.

2. Qualifying happens in three stages. All drivers take part in Q1, the six slowest cars are given places 17-22 based on their time, the remaining 16 cars go on to Q2. The six slowest cars in Q2 are given positions 11-16 based on their times, the remaining cars go through to Q3. In Q3 the remaining cars are given positions based on their time. I didn't watch the race you did, but I would assume Webber got through Q1 and 2, but didn't set a time in Q3, placing him in the last position you can get in Q3, 10th.

3. There are strict rules governing the cars. They are all very similar. However it is very much about the cars. Even the smallest improvement can make a huge difference in a race. It is particularly interesting when major rule changes come into place every few years and all the teams have to learn to work with a new set of rules.

4. You're allowed to make one defensive maneuver and then must let them pass.

5. I believe that DRS is automatically shut off unless you were within 1 second of the car as you pass the detection zone. There certainly haven't been any cases of misuse of DRS since it's introduction, anyway.

6. In dry races, both of the tyre compounds must be used during the race. There is a great deal of time dedicated to tyre strategy, and how much time to spend on each tyre. Is it more beneficial to spend time on the harder tyre, which will last longer so you have to pit less, or the soft tyre which is quicker? Also, each car only has a set number of tyres to use throughout all of the practice, qualifying and race sessions. So cars will sometimes have to go out on a part-worn set of tyres that they used during a qualifying or practice session.

7. Haven't got a clue. It must be some pretty serious equipment.

8. If you gain an advantage by going off the track, you will be penalized. If this is dealt with quickly enough, the punishment will normally be to yield any positions you gained from the maneuver. If this isn't possible (for example if the car you overtook has pitted and is no longer directly behind you by the time race control decides to penalize you) it will normally be dealt with via a drive-through penalty, where you have to drive through the pit lane, following all the speed limits of the pit lane, without stopping. If you do not gain any positions, there won't be a penalty.

9. Not a clue. Probably a code used by Red Bull to avoid other teams understanding what they're talking about.

10. 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 must have misread the scoring.

Moderator
#64 Edited by Fattony12000 (7062 posts) -

Fucking hell, all this knowledge.

I'd suggest watching this too, for some old school flavour.

#65 Edited by geirr (2477 posts) -

ARGH!

I have friends who go to pubs and debate these things all night long.

#66 Posted by mekon (273 posts) -

I did a search here on this (since there are so many useful answers) but couldn't find this mentioned for question 2 - rubber marbles typically get thrown to the outside of the track surface, so on race day there's the consideration of which side of the track you start the race on. The first corner is usually a bit tense for all teams - it may have been dirtied by a lower profile event, which direction the first corner is in will decide the clean side, and the direction the course is driven in - clockwise or anticlockwise, to a lesser extent perhaps because that is more about the long term car setup for the race.

If your team thinks it's marginal as to whether you'll be in 9th or 10th, it could also be worthwhile throwing the qualifying session to start in 10th place, and gain both the clean side of the track and better tyres. That may require some work with the pit team readying the car to give the impression that you're on your way out to track for the last qualifying session (pretending you're looking for 8th). The other team can be fooled into putting at least a lap's worth of wear into a set of tyres, and maybe not setting a flying lap.

#67 Posted by aajf (223 posts) -

All of your questions have been answered comprehensively, but I have a slight wrinkle/extension to offer for question 1 to explain Hamilton's victory a little further. You know by now that the Mercedes is tough on its tyres over a full race distance this year, but I haven't seen anyone mention that an all new type of tyre was being used at the Hungarian Grand Prix. After a series of extremely dangerous blowouts at the British Grand Prix [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejpKoXvKHgs], Pirelli, under considerable pressure from the drivers' association and the FIA, agreed to change the composition of their tyres to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents. The new composition, which features an inner belt made out of kevlar rather than steel, was introduced in Hungary, and it seems that the new kevlar tyres dissipate heat more efficiently than the old steel ones. This is magnificent news for Mercedes and in part explains why Hamilton was able to win despite the highest track temperatures of the year.

Mercedes may not yet be out of the woods, though, as beyond the heat the Hungoraring is not much of a test for tyres as it lacks lengthy, high speed corners. The Belgian Grand Prix, the very next one, is chock full of high speed corners that will expose these new tyres to a great deal of lateral pressure. If Mercedes have another good race there then they've got their tyres sorted both at high temperatures and under a heavy load, and could be set for a late surge in the world championship.

Plus Spa, the site of the Belgian Grand Prix, is one of the most historic circuits on the F1 calendar. It includes the famous uphill sweeping corner known as Eau Rouge [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex9Vd6QAn1s] and regularly produces some of the best racing of each season. The race should combine the number crunching and technical interest of this ongoing tyre situation with some stunning wheel to wheel driving. I recommend you keep watching!

#68 Edited by Herak (5 posts) -

Canada 2011 best race i've seen in a long time. It's worth tracking down the BBC's live coverage of the race.

#69 Posted by Keala (8 posts) -

As an American F1 fan, stick to the SkyF1 or BBC coverage whenever possible. If you watch the American NBC Sports offering it'll just make you sad.

Welcome to F1 Drew! This is my 3rd season and I'm still loving it.

#70 Posted by Parsnip (1077 posts) -

This is still my favorite F1 moment/overtake of all time, even after all these years.

#71 Posted by moondogg (171 posts) -

Well I can't really add anything to the answers already, I will say though Drew, you've picked a good time to start watching, if you choose to continue. As next year, with the switch of engine to the turbo v6's, it should be really fantastic to watch. Its not starting again, but it is a soft reset.

#72 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2495 posts) -

Wow, this is perhaps the most singularly focussed and comprehensively answered questions thread I've ever seen.

Well done all.

Online
#73 Edited by Khann (2792 posts) -

Well, your questions have been answered a million times, so I'll offer something else. You seem like the kind of guy who would find this fascinating. It gives a (very) good look at how an F1 car is put together:

Also, here is a nice hi-res image to go with it. Here is a more hi-res one, but without the labels.

#74 Edited by adli7499 (11 posts) -

@parsnip said:

This is still my favorite F1 moment/overtake of all time, even after all these years.

yeah :D

#75 Posted by Firebird2000 (2 posts) -

Glad to hear you started watching F1,

1.He's had pole 3 out of the last four races but red bull and lotus have quicker race pace. Until Hungary he hadn’t won since I saw him in Austin TX last year!

2. A lot to take in about qualifying, @aussiegrit didn't set a time in Q3 due to kers battery issues I believe. Also known for bad starts not a bad race for him who will move to sports cars with Porsche's LMP1 program next year.

3.Unlike a homologation series like ALMS GT or a spec series like Porsche cup cars almost every components on the car are engineered and designed by the teams. Engine development has been frozen for years to cut costs with main engine builders being Renault, Ferrari & Mercedes. The fact that they look similar is due to a team like red bull figuring out the fastest aero packager then everyone adopting similar elements. Key to performance is a tough question about 50/50 team and driver is rule of thumb. In F1 it’s a little different only the world champions usually fight at the front, but must be supported by a great team principal, technical director engineer’s ect. Teams can differentiate themselves by pushing the limits of rules and regulations developing double "DDRS" systems and coanda effect exhaust systems even their own car jacks and wheel guns all to be quicker then the competition.

5. One second behind to be activated, in the detections zones one to two depending on track. Wireless wizardry from FIA race control prevents them from using it in only activation zones usually straight as the no wing will give them about a 10 mph advantage. Qualifying and practice is different I believe they use to be able to use it anywhere but this has changed?

6.As mentioned both designated tires for the weekend have to be used, but you start on the tire you qualified on which plays into race strategy of saving tires, start on fast short stint or longer lasting tire, unless it rains. Also Pirelli hasn't confirmed it will return next year lots of drama. In my opinion the drivers shouldn't be limited to driving to a pace to conserve tire but go at the limit this is F1!

8. Stewards decide if penalty is given or wave by is ordered. Got it wrong with Grosjean's pass on Massa of track in my opinion that's what racings about!

9. Secret code phrase maybe KERS failure again? Adrian Newey car have had some reliability issues last year do to heat and tight packaging for aero. Ferrari's will sometimes speak in italian on team radio as well to throw people off.

10.Besides the driver's championship, constructor’s points are also awarded to each team. With the top ten teams finishers receiving points and millions of dollars at the end of the year for research and development of the teams cars next year.

Watch Aryton Senna's documentary if you have time its what got me hooked on f1 keep bringing the racing to giantbomb.

#76 Posted by Rustafur (90 posts) -

@drewbert:

Watching Sky or BBC Sport over what's offered in the states is a great first move. Their coverage just blows away what's offered over here. Also, if you're watching the race live, I've found having Live Timing up to be really informative as to what's going on all around the track.

Tires
The question about tires seems to be answered a bit inconsistently, here's the deal. Perelli brings (of their choosing) two, of a possible four, compounds dry racing slicks to the track for the teams to use. The harder of the two compounds is referred to as the "Prime" tire, and the softer of the two is referred to as the "Option" tire. Each driver must run both tire types at least once during the race -unless it rains, then that restriction is lifted. (DRS is also disabled during periods of rain)

The teams chose what compound of tire they want to start on, unless they make it to Q3 and set a time. If the driver makes it to Q3, and sets a time, then they have to start the race on the exact same set of tires they finished qualifying on. So, in reference to what you mentioned about Mark Weber earlier, he made it to Q3, but since he didn't set a time he was able to not only chose what compound of tire he wanted to start the race on, but he also would have got a use a fresh set of tires to boot.

Red Bull vs The Yankees

That was a really interesting comparison you made with Red Bull and the Yankees. Red Bull is sort of an anomaly in Formula 1. Historically, the heavy-hitter F1 teams are the ones considered "Werks Teams" or Factory-Sponsored teams (e.g. Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, McLaren). These are the teams with HUGE budgets, and tons of brilliant minds at these car companies working for their race team. These teams have also been in business for decades, with TONS of history and data to fall back on. Red Bull is a fairly new start-up team sponsored by an energy drink. And they've been the team to beat in F1 for the past few years. Just let that sink in. Red Bull is also in very unique position, in that they have a sister-team (Toro Rosso) where they can groom drivers and are also contractually allowed to browse all Toro Roso's research and race telemetry. That's pretty sweet. Also, Sebastian Vettel start out in F1 with Toro Rossa.

#77 Posted by Player1 (3852 posts) -

Great to see you are getting into F1 Drew. I just got into F1 this season myself and have found myself watching every single qualifier (arguably more exciting than the actual race at least for me) and race during its live broadcast at 7 am my time.

All of these questions have been answered well past my knowledge of the sport but I'll leave you with this. Pick a favorite team as well as a favorite driver. This gives you an extra person to cheer for if your favorite driver happens to not be doing so well. Also, every constructor cup point matters so it is very fun to cheer against the team that is ahead of your team in the points.

NBC sports coverage has done wonders for my knowledge of F1. The network is new to covering open wheel racing (the network is only about 10-11 months old) but the announcers go to great lengths to explain everything that is going on and they treat the audience as new viewers. I can see how this would be annoying to people well versed in the F1 world now that I think about it but that doesn't take away from how useful it can be for somebody like you and me. I'm sure you noticed during the Hungarian grand prix how the hot topic was the new Kevlar bands in the tires and how they explained how the band creates ware and tear on the rubber part of the tire. Information like this is crucial to me to understanding whats really going on out there....plus its super interesting!

So to sum it up, WATCH QUALIFYING and listen to the guys on NBC sports, I personally love them and appreciate what they add to the broadcast.

#78 Edited by Khann (2792 posts) -

@player1 said:

Great to see you are getting into F1 Drew. I just got into F1 this season myself and have found myself watching every single qualifier (arguably more exciting than the actual race at least for me) and race during its live broadcast at 7 am my time.

All of these questions have been answered well past my knowledge of the sport but I'll leave you with this. Pick a favorite team as well as a favorite driver. This gives you an extra person to cheer for if your favorite driver happens to not be doing so well. Also, every constructor cup point matters so it is very fun to cheer against the team that is ahead of your team in the points.

NBC sports coverage has done wonders for my knowledge of F1. The network is new to covering open wheel racing (the network is only about 10-11 months old) but the announcers go to great lengths to explain everything that is going on and they treat the audience as new viewers. I can see how this would be annoying to people well versed in the F1 world now that I think about it but that doesn't take away from how useful it can be for somebody like you and me. I'm sure you noticed during the Hungarian grand prix how the hot topic was the new Kevlar bands in the tires and how they explained how the band creates ware and tear on the rubber part of the tire. Information like this is crucial to me to understanding whats really going on out there....plus its super interesting!

So to sum it up, WATCH QUALIFYING and listen to the guys on NBC sports, I personally love them and appreciate what they add to the broadcast.

Highly recommend you check out the Sky coverage if you can. There really is no match.

#79 Posted by Littleg (66 posts) -

@rustafur said:

Red Bull vs The Yankees

That was a really interesting comparison you made with Red Bull and the Yankees. Red Bull is sort of an anomaly in Formula 1. Historically, the heavy-hitter F1 teams are the ones considered "Werks Teams" or Factory-Sponsored teams (e.g. Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus, McLaren). These are the teams with HUGE budgets, and tons of brilliant minds at these car companies working for their race team. These teams have also been in business for decades, with TONS of history and data to fall back on. Red Bull is a fairly new start-up team sponsored by an energy drink. And they've been the team to beat in F1 for the past few years. Just let that sink in. Red Bull is also in very unique position, in that they have a sister-team (Toro Rosso) where they can groom drivers and are also contractually allowed to browse all Toro Roso's research and race telemetry. That's pretty sweet. Also, Sebastian Vettel start out in F1 with Toro Rossa.

Not knowing much about US sports, I didn't feel capable of answering the Yankees vs Red Bull thing (is it that the Yankees win everything and everyone hates them? Or do they have extremely rich owners who just buy all the best players (a la Manchester City/Chelsea/Paris St Germain etc.)?).

That said, although Red Bull are a prime example of a non-manufacturer team dominating the sport, there's been plenty of examples of that over the years so they're by no means a complete anomaly. Mclaren's relationship with Mercedes was a relatively recent thing, and before that they used to buy in their engines (i.e. from Honda), just like other teams. Benetton were massive in the mid-90s and previously all they were famous for was controversial advertising campaigns and selling brightly-coloured sweaters. Williams have almost as many race wins as any of the 'big' teams, and they were independent for most of that time. Tyrell, B.A.R.(to a degree) even Jordan and Arrows had won races in their time...

#80 Edited by Rustafur (90 posts) -

@littleg:

True, Red Bull isn't a complete anomaly, and those are excellent points with Williams and Benetton. I just think of Williams as being such an established part of Formula 1 that I often don't think of them being part of the independent group. But, still, being 1 of 3 examples in the sport's 63 year history; I'd feel very comfortable saying that Red Bull is at the very least an extremely rare case :)

I'd say the Yankees/Man U comparison is pretty spot on. The Yankees out-spend (and over-spend), by leaps and bounds every other team in Major League Baseball, and just go out and buy talent. While I'm sure that quite a lot of the ill will aimed at the Yankees is jealousy due to the fact that they have 27 Championships (next closest teams having 11, 9 and 7), there's also a lot of the animosity due to the people running the team being total assholes.

#81 Edited by Rustafur (90 posts) -

Thought this also may be appropriate for the thread. This amazing picture of all cars ran from 1950 - 2004 was recently posted on /r/formula1