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Thread: F1 2018

  1. #301
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    a n t i l a g . c o m

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  3. #302
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  5. #303
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    https://asm.secureorder.co.uk/Winnow...Book-of-Haiku/

    10 000 going public for charity, $30 odd AUD delivered.

    Get onto it quick.
    a n t i l a g . c o m

  6. #304
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    Still one of the most insane things I've read.

    Ayrton Senna's immediate reaction after hitting the wall at Dallas in 1984 was; “I know I didn’t make a mistake – the wall must have moved.”

    Although this may sound like a ridiculous excuse at first glance, it actually proved to be true. The story as told by Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering (Ayrton's first race engineer with Toleman in 1984)...from a book called Memories of Senna (An excellent read):

    "Dallas was what I would call an ‘old-fashioned’ North-American street circuit, delineated with concrete blocks. It was a very tricky circuit, and bumpy enough to make even Monaco look smooth: the drivers literally had to fight their cars all the way round as they skipped and jumped from bump to bump. I remember during the race, Ayrton hit the wall, and then later retired because of the damage. When he eventually made it back to the pits, he didn’t seem to understand how he could have hit the wall. It seemed to come as a complete shock to him that he had hit the wall, and his immediate reaction was “I know I didn’t make a mistake – the wall must have moved.” Remember, we were talking about a twenty tonne concrete block here, but he was so insistent that he persuaded me to walk round the circuit and take a look. When I did so, the wall had indeed moved – somebody had clearly clipped the previous block and in doing so, displaced the next one by only about 4cm. Instead of the transition from block to block being smooth, a 4cm difference had caught the rear wheel, broken it and punctured the tyre. That was when it really came home to me, the precision to which he was driving, and made me think he was a bit special… And remember this was a guy in his first season of F1, straight out of F3…"
    a n t i l a g . c o m

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  8. #305
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    Melb F1 booked. Brabham stand seats... gonna fly that Renault flag

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  10. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by waxdass View Post
    Melb F1 booked. Brabham stand seats... gonna fly that Renault flag
    Tempted to go aswell but can only get over there for Sat and Sun so would be a whirlwind trip.

  11. #307
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    Be a yes man scotty

  12. #308
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    Autosport plus

    There's a team on the Formula 1 grid that's just about the perfect place for a driver to make their debut. Where better to prove your star qualities than with one of F1's greatest underdog battlers, which offers stability, a great learning environment, and all the tools required to catch a giant with an upper cut when they lower their guard?

    Two of the three Formula 1 world champions on the 2019 grid cut their teeth with Sauber, but for the past few seasons its record of shaping race-winning talent took a bit of a dent. Financial problems, ownership instabilities and frankly bad leadership decisions (three drivers signed for two seats, anyone?) threatened to tear apart a midfield stalwart.

    Fortunately, though, the Sauber F1 knows and loves appears to be back. Enter Frederic Vasseur and Charles Leclerc. One tasked with turning David around and the other primed to help slingshot a rock into Goliath's eye.

    Sauber's 2017 season was abysmal. Its use of a year-old Ferrari engine meant it went into the campaign comfortably behind on firepower and the chassis was none-too-good either. It ended the year in last place. So, easy enough, you'd imagine, to make great strides in 2018?

    Not necessarily. It started the season vying, again, for last place in Australia, with a car that was aerodynamically complex and packed with potential, but tail-happy. But by the end of the year, the C37 was arguably the fourth-fastest car in F1 and Leclerc rounded out his exceptional rookie campaign with a trio of seventh-place finishes.



    It was the sort of progress teams target over multiple seasons, not one. There is no silver bullet in F1, no way to make a massive step so quickly. In that sense, Sauber's 2018 looks little short of a miracle.

    "The first race we were more fighting with the medical car at Turn 1," jokes Vasseur. "We made a huge step forward and we started to improve. Step by step, we did our first Q2 and Q3. But more important than the first Q3 is to be consistent. It's not just a matter of pace, it's a matter of consistency."

    "It's much easier to improve when you are four seconds off than when you are fighting for tenths"
    Frederic Vasseur
    Sauber certainly achieved that. The initial solution to its car's chief handicap was set-up-based and involved dialling understeer in from Azerbaijan, which triggered Leclerc's breakthrough sixth-place finish. After that came a significant Monaco upgrade in which Sauber introduced a blown axle and added a bodywork panel to the top sidepod intake to improve airflow into it, and tackle an early-season cooling problem.



    New floor and diffuser geometry, slotted fins and a new bargeboard layout, with an updated diffuser trailing edge, were also present in Monaco in a bid to improve rear-end grip. The net result was Sauber transitioning from having the second-slowest car at the first five races to a run of improved qualifying performances.

    Gradual progression - once it had cleared an underwhelming low-downforce package for the races in Belgium and Italy - over the course of the year ended with Leclerc making the top-10 shootout in five of the last six races.

    Vasseur explains that there is "not just one reason" behind Sauber's improvement, but a combination of factors that created the foundation for a campaign of almost unrelenting progression.

    Vasseur says his "trigger" is weighing up Sauber's "percentage" against the top teams. Applying Autosport's favoured 'supertime' method allows us to build on his desired form of comparison.

    Supertime analysis involves taking each team's fastest single lap from every grand prix weekend and applying it as a percentage of the outright quickest time. Sauber's gain from 2017 to 2018 was to slash its number from 104.129% to 102.603%.

    That was almost double the progress of the next best improver, Haas, but Vasseur admits that the state Sauber was in when he took over in mid-2017 made it easier to make big gains. He expects the next step to be much tougher.

    "It's much easier to improve when you are four seconds off than when you are fighting for tenths," says Vasseur. "At one stage you will not become flat [in terms of development] but more or less flat. We were more on the high gradient, it's true.

    "I think the next step will be by far the most difficult."



    In the summer of 2017, Sauber cancelled a planned Honda engine deal and inked a new arrangement with Ferrari that gave it the use of a latest-specification engine. At around the same time, it embarked on an aggressive recruitment process to bolster resources at the factory.

    "The deal with Ferrari was a very important one to be sure we were running the current engine," Vasseur explains. "It was an important step in terms of performance, in terms of motivation.

    Sauber's on-track progress was not only dovetailed with a "spiral" of good news off-track, the two are intrinsically linked
    "Ferrari improved a lot. If you have a look at the season, we always had strong engine performance and huge reliability.

    "We're a small team and it's very important to focus on the chassis and not think about the engine. It was much easier like this."

    Impressively, though, Sauber never seemed to hit a ceiling with its progress. After the setback of its poor low-drag form at Spa and Monza, it introduced a reworking of its Monaco concept at Sochi in the form of a bargeboards/floor update to redirect flow towards the sidepods and refine the flow from the sidepod undercut, managing the effect from tyre wake and squirt.



    This occurred in parallel with its growing understanding of the C37, and represented the first signs of increased productivity from Sauber's growing staff. Leclerc reckons that was the reason behind the progress it made with the car, and the suggestion it was constantly introducing major upgrades was incorrect. That's backed up by Vasseur, who reveals that the team "pushed like hell and switched all resources to next year's car quite early".

    "We recruited a lot to improve on every single part of the company and it's paying off," says Vasseur. "When we started to work at the end of '17, people joined at the beginning of '18 and some of them were working on the '18 car. Some of them switched directly to next year's car. It's the first results of this recruitment."

    But Sauber's on-track progress was not only dovetailed with a "spiral" of good news off-track, the two are intrinsically linked. The engine deal and staffing push were just the beginning. In terms of headline news, Sauber went on to earn a title partnership with Alfa Romeo, sign Leclerc for his rookie season, and make major staff hires including Ferrari's Simone Resta as technical director and Audi aerodynamicist Jan Monchaux.

    "The deal with Alfa was crucial because it's a partnership, but the image we sent to the paddock, to you, to everybody was a huge step forward," says Vasseur.

    "Recruiting was not so easy but after the announcement of Alfa Romeo the situation turned completely. We received two CVs each week before and perhaps 50 after the announcement.

    "The appetite for the team was completely different, for recruitment, for sponsors, for everything. For the motivation of the team it's important you have a long-term project and you can focus on the future. The performance is never one thing, when you are in our situation.

    "We had Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, we had Charles joining the team. We took Jan Monchaux, Simone Resta, brought them into the factory. Each week we had good news, it's like a spiral. The motivation is there, the mood is huge compared to last year, the team spirit."



    Perhaps the ultimate validation of Sauber's incredible progress has been being able to snare 2007 world champion Raikkonen on a two-year deal once the Finn learned he would be replaced at Ferrari by Leclerc. Vasseur reckons it is the same situation as the recruitment kick Sauber got from its Alfa deal.

    "For me, drivers are the same," says Vasseur. "Good engineers you can motivate with the salary, but they love racing and they want to get results. We're in a much better position to recruit, to have top guys in every single department.

    "I have the feeling that we're really attractive as a project. Drivers are the same story. Kimi knows it will be difficult for us to be better than P7 without an accident [for bigger teams].

    The glowing praise it earned over a fabulous 2018 will soon reset and Sauber will face the tough task of leading F1's bulging midfield
    "The motivation can come from somewhere else. The fact we're improving, we're growing up, we're building something - I think it's a huge feeling for all the team members, including drivers."

    Sauber must turn promise into results next season. Moving up two places in the 2018 constructors' championship is undeniably impressive, and its position in the on-track pecking order was clearly stronger at the end of the year than the final points tally reflected.

    But points scored in the first half of the year are equal to those scored in the second. Raikkonen has already declared that Sauber has everything it needs to build a great car, and the evidence suggests there is little excuse for the team not to start 2019 where it finished '18.



    Vasseur knows that, and targets "at least" being in that fight "between fourth and sixth" among the teams. He is also optimistic it's achievable, but will reserve final judgement for when the wheels start to turn in pre-season testing, particularly since F1's aerodynamic rule changes for 2019 even have Mercedes worried.

    "We have good expectations but when you have a change like this into the regulations it's a drastic one," says Vasseur. "You never know. You can take the wrong direction and we will understand this perhaps [only at testing] in Barcelona because nobody knows exactly what the others are doing.

    "My feeling is very positive that we are still improving week after week, and with the same purpose we had this season. I don't know if the others are doing a better job or not, but we are doing a good job."

    It's hardly a revelation for a team's positive progress to be judged during testing, but the difference for Sauber is that it has eluded this judgement for several years.

    That will not be the case in two months' time. The glowing praise it earned over a fabulous 2018 will soon reset and Sauber will face the tough task of leading F1's bulging midfield. That will be a lot harder than edging clear of the medical car.
    a n t i l a g . c o m

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