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Chasing Brawn - who will get there first?


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#1 Buttoneer

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:49

This is the $64m question right now. Which of the paddock big boys is going to develop a trick diffuser (that works) first? Which team has the capability to design and manufacture these new bits and the smarts to do the job properly?

To my mind it's down to Ferrari and McLaren but McLaren has such a hill to climb for their performance it may not help. The funky shape of the current diffuser almost looks like its waiting for the trick version. Could it be on and working by China?

I predict a trick diff, serious improvement, Q3 qualifying, and points finishes for the McLaren's by China. No podiums (without attrition) yet though. I reckon they saw the Williams at the first test, phoned home, realised the possibility and started working immediately. McLaren might even have a design fully thought through that they had rejected.

So predictions for first team, when, and where they will be please.

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#2 Walsingham

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:51

BMW

#3 wj_gibson

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:52

The BMW looked like it might have more than a sniff, eh? At least, the one without the KERS did anyway.

#4 gerry nassar

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:52

I'd say Red Bull could potentially beat them eearly on and Williams and Toyota arent far off. But in terms of a team that develops a similar diffuser and then consistently challenges them - either BMW or Ferrari. Probably around Spain.

#5 rogano

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:53

Ferrari, they´ll be best of the rest in Malaysia/China and win Bahrain (Massa)

#6 tormave

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:58

If the Ferrari comment about having to redesign the entire rear end of the car from scratch to implement a double-decker diffuser is accurate, it's going to take a whole lot longer. Testing is not allowed, so it's going to take some cohones to go racing e.g. with a totally new gearbox casing with just 3 hours of testing on Friday. In addition, the added downforce in the rear will probably make the balance problems for the KERS-equipped cars even worse than today.

#7 Buttoneer

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 09:59

According to this post my guess on the McLaren diffuser introduction might not be wide of the mark.

I had dismissed the BMW's because while Kubica qualified well he was short on fuel which puts them a long way back still in real terms. Heidfeld was even worse with KERS fitted. It is clear from the amazing starts by the Ferrari's that KERS is the toy to have at that moment, and much faster cars had a lot of difficulty getting past them during the race. BMW don't have that balance right IMO and they will need to.

Ferrari on the other hand have to redesign the gearbox according to AFCA. Not a quick job.

#8 taran

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:03

During the race, one of the commentator teams (I switched between 3 different channels so I can't remember which team said it) said designing a new diffuser would take months because it was a pretty major part of the aero package and it pretty much meant the entire aero package needed to be modified.

But then, we used to say that being forced to fit a new (e.g. different) engine would also badly impact a car's potential and then Brawn came, saw and conquered....After having swapped its Honda for a Mercedes. Obviously the laws of nature have been suspended in F1: Mosley is trying to save money, Bernie is poor, McLaren and Ferrari are slow at the same time, etc. so perhaps a new diff is a matter of days.....

#9 johnap

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:03

BMW and Red Bull are the two teams that have shown themselves capable of matching and in some cases outpacing the diffuser gang. Had Kubica and Vettel not collided Kubica would have been up there with Button.

#10 engel

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:05

Depends what happens with the diffusers ... if the double diffusers get banned I 'd guess Ferrari and RedBull, if the double diffusers stay it's anybody's guess. Apparently Ferrari and Redbull will need the bigger redesigns to accommodate a double diffuser, so I 'd guess Toyota/BMW or possibly McLaren.

#11 BorisTheBlade

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:15

Originally posted by johnap
BMW and Red Bull are the two teams that have shown themselves capable of matching and in some cases outpacing the diffuser gang. Had Kubica and Vettel not collided Kubica would have been up there with Button.

You shouldn't forget that Kubica was not penalized that much by using the soft tyres due to the first safety car. If that hadn't been, he'd never gotten the chance to catch up to Vettel and Button. So I wouldn't put too much belief into what Theissen stated afterwards.

#12 krapmeister

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:22

I think BMW are going to be up there - they seemed much more affected by a 'green' track at this gp and just got stronger as the weekend, indeed the race, went on.

I don't think Mclaren should be underestimated.

I hope that RBR can be at the pointy end of the field as well, however I have a feeling that should the double diffusers be confirmed as legal then they will suffer as we get further into the season.

#13 engel

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:27

Ferrari, Hamilton and Kubica were all helped a huge deal by the first safety car in Aus. It basically canceled out their (lousy) option tyre stints, I don't think Aus is indicative of their performance relative to the Brawn.

#14 Gwynston

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 10:49

Surprised no one has mentioned Toyota....

It has to be said - their qualifying and race pace looked pretty good. We know Trulli's strengths and weaknesses, but he can get the job done in a good car (which he has been heaping praise upon), and Glock looks to be continuing his strong finish to last season.

Toyota have a good starting point and their huge resources must mean they can close the gap to Brawn.

#15 Dalek Caan

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:17

As soon as the others bolt on their diffuser, IMO Brawn's advantage will be wiped out completely. McLaren could even win in Shanghai if they bring it.

#16 stuartbrs

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:22

Red Bull... I was there, the BMW`s only looked good right at the end.. for the rest of the weekend they were no-where, and looked pretty ordinary. The BMW`s do sound the best though.

#17 kNt

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:23

In general the differences behind the brawn have been small or unclear.

About the new diffusor BMW said they won't have it for Malaysia. In general I would expect some teams to have them after the hearing.

#18 airwise

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:25

Paddock gossip says that the diffuser is worth half a second a lap.

The Brawns are currently a good second a lap faster than the opposition.

There's a lot of catching up to do.

My money is on Mclaren. Around mid season.

#19 27GV

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:26

Originally posted by Dalek Caan
As soon as the others bolt on their diffuser, IMO Brawn's advantage will be wiped out completely. McLaren could even win in Shanghai if they bring it.


Nah, the Brawn seems to have more of an advantage than just the diffuser just like the McLaren seems to have more inherent problems than a poor diffuser. Maybe after the teams develop it more but Brawn will have the edge for a while.

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#20 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:27

With better strategy and reliability Massa was looking good for a podium so I doubt Ferrari are really behind BMW and Red Bull. Ferrari will be closer at Sepang I think.

Melbourne is always unpredictable and often skews season predictions. McLaren looked awesome at Melbourne 08 then it quickly turned out Ferrari had a slight advantage for the rest of the early races.

#21 Dalek Caan

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 11:27

Originally posted by kNt
In general the differences behind the brawn have been small or unclear.

About the new diffusor BMW said they won't have it for Malaysia. In general I would expect some teams to have them after the hearing.


Nobody will have it for Malaysia.

I am thinking:

China: McLaren
Barcelona: Renault & BMW
Turkey: Ferrari & Red Bull (but I think maybe this date is too early for these teams)

#22 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 13:40

There's many who are in the frame, it all depends who goes the right way in development or who can afford to keep it up. I hope it's Williams as they showed great promise yesterday, but I'd say Toyota, Ferrari, Red Bull and BM are in the best position atm.

#23 eoin

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:05

A lot depends on what the gap really is. These first few races can be a bit unreliable concerning a cars true pace. Last year Ferrar were .5s behind hamilton in Oz but 1s faster in Sepang- qualifying pace. KERS will also be a factor as been 3/4ths faster in qualifying wont be worth much if you get beaten to the first corner by 3-4 cars.

#24 HoldenRT

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:07

We can't even say who the quickest teams behind Brawn are so far because of the artificialness of the SC, combined with traffic and different tyre strategies.

BMW and Ferrari struggled on the soft but was that because there car is harder on them or because they used them earlier in the race?

I have no doubt if Nico got a clean start behind Vettel he would have been in the lead group and very close to the front. Williams looked just as quick as RBR at Melbourne on the harder tyres. Only problem was Nico was very rarely in clear air. (And was very harsh on the soft tyres though :eek: ) Can't judge BMW or Ferrari because of their tyre strategy but it would seem like they might be a touch slower on long runs on the hard tyre. Could be track related though.

Williams and Toyota would appear to have shot their bolt (already got the diffuser advantage), so you would guess it will be RBR, BMW, Ferrari or McLaren (but they would need other developments on top of the new diffuser).

#25 Lukin83

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:32

Originally posted by HoldenRT
Can't judge BMW or Ferrari because of their tyre strategy but it would seem like they might be a touch slower on long runs on the hard tyre. Could be track related though.


Kubica clocked 2nd fastest lap yesterday and he did it on hards. Only Rosberg managed to put a faster lap but he cooked his soft tyres while doing so. So I would assume on a long stints on hard tyres BMW might have an advantage. Certainly over Ferraris:

Q. Around the second stops you seemed to have recovered as you were up there with Kubica. So what went wrong after that?

SD: I think that he had better pace. Looking at what happened at the end of the race with Kimi, he wouldn't be there. For sure they had better pace and that is the thing, in that section of that race.


But for now I don't believe anyone will catch Brawns before Spa. And that really annoys me. Don't get me wrong - I wish Ross & co all the best but it looks like their enormous advantage will turn such a promising season into a borefest. God, I so hope I'm wrong on this one...

#26 xman

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:35

Button is going to be WDC.

KERS teams will prove to be too unreliable and slow for the first half of the season and then it's too late.

#27 giltkid

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:37

Originally posted by Dalek Caan
As soon as the others bolt on their diffuser, IMO Brawn's advantage will be wiped out completely. McLaren could even win in Shanghai if they bring it.


Simplistic in the extreme. A car is more than the sum of its parts -if it was just a question of 'bolting on' a new diffusor they'd all have them by next weeeknd. It has to work with the existing car and its existing aerodynamics - to get a copycat diffusor to work could potentially involve a whole new aero pakage. Don't expect any quick fixes.

#28 wide-front-wing

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:43

They just layed off a bunch of people - the bottom line is that BGP will likely not be able to keep up with the development pace, and slide down the grid...

#29 engel

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:45

Originally posted by giltkid


Simplistic in the extreme. A car is more than the sum of its parts -if it was just a question of 'bolting on' a new diffusor they'd all have them by next weeeknd. It has to work with the existing car and its existing aerodynamics - to get a copycat diffusor to work could potentially involve a whole new aero pakage. Don't expect any quick fixes.


no not really ... what affects the diffuser is front wing endplates and the shape below the sidepods, you don't really need a "whole new aero package".

The real problem for teams like Red Bull and Ferrari is the gearbox/rear suspension assembly which currently can't accommodate a double diffuser. Other teams have it easier

#30 giltkid

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:49

Originally posted by engel


no not really ... what affects the diffuser is front wing endplates and the shape below the sidepods, you don't really need a "whole new aero package".

The real problem for teams like Red Bull and Ferrari is the gearbox/rear suspension assembly which currently can't accommodate a double diffuser. Other teams have it easier


The shape below the sidepods? Thats easy then ;)

#31 Lukin83

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:51

Originally posted by wide-front-wing
They just layed off a bunch of people

I doubt anyone of them (except the poor guys from the engine development section) will have problems finding a new job. Some will have to move to Switzerland, Germany or Italy though ;)

#32 engel

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 14:52

hahahaha that was wrongly worded sorry :) blame multitasking ..... I meant "front wing endplates shape the air below the sidepods"

#33 Youichi

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 15:27

Originally posted by giltkid


Simplistic in the extreme. A car is more than the sum of its parts -if it was just a question of 'bolting on' a new diffusor they'd all have them by next weeeknd. It has to work with the existing car and its existing aerodynamics - to get a copycat diffusor to work could potentially involve a whole new aero pakage. Don't expect any quick fixes.


I think it is that simplistic, as a first attempt. Was it Flav/Pat Symonds who said the DD was worth 14% more downforce ? Even a rough first attempt has got to be worth running.

Going with the 0.5 seconds estimate, I would expect the non-DD teams to have a DD at the first race after the appeal, which is worth around 0.3 seconds, and a more refined version for Barcelona worth another 0.2-0.3.

#34 Buttoneer

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 16:59

Originally posted by Dalek Caan

Barcelona: Renault & BMW
Turkey: Ferrari & Red Bull (but I think maybe this date is too early for these teams)

I don't think Red Bull will bother. Newey said that they had used a different philosophy with their car and I'd say the pace this weekend supports his decision.

#35 Josta

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 17:40

Originally posted by wide-front-wing
They just layed off a bunch of people - the bottom line is that BGP will likely not be able to keep up with the development pace, and slide down the grid...


All F1 teams are laying off people because there is no longer a need for a dedicated test team. Honda had the biggest chassis head count of anyone. They will still employ 430 people. Pretty big for an independant team.

#36 kaivo

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 17:43

Very hard qustion.
I think Toyota .In bahrein Toyota leading over BGP, Ferrari will be strong In Bahrein.

#37 kilcoo316

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 17:47

Originally posted by Buttoneer
I don't think Red Bull will bother. Newey said that they had used a different philosophy with their car and I'd say the pace this weekend supports his decision.


I strongly disagree.


Its hard to beat a larger diffuser. Simple as. Why fight with one hand tied behind your back.


And the bullsh!t about RBR not being able to incorporate it due to the pullrods is just that... bullsh!t.

#38 dank

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 17:53

Red Bull's take on the double-decker diffuser is likely to make an appearance by the time the F1 circus reaches Spain in May. Depending on the results of the FIA hearing of course.

#39 blackgerby

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 18:25

I reckon McLaren will be the first with the new diffuser, they've already modelled it -

What's a trick diffuser is worth? "In first iterations people are seeing 10-15 points of downforce and you can probably think of 20 points being around one second," whitmarsh says. "But it's not just that. You create a virtuous circle. People struggled to switch the tyres on in Melbourne – Ferrari, ourselves, and others – and if the diffuser helps get the tyre in the right temperature zone, you've got performance beyond what would be mathematically available with the additional downforce."



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#40 kilcoo316

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 18:30

Originally posted by blackgerby
I reckon McLaren will be the first with the new diffuser, they've already modelled it -


So have others...


...and their results correlate roughly with the 15 points McLaren have found.



(Which is encouraging for McLarens windtunnel being back on track)

#41 pacwest

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 18:32

Originally posted by blackgerby
I reckon McLaren will be the first with the new diffuser, they've already modelled it -


I'm picking up what you are throwing down.

McLaren for the win.

A month from now the appeals will be over and Mclaren will have the data and implementation in place.

#42 yellowbirdrs

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 18:33

Toyota, Red Bull & Ferrari

#43 Phucaigh

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 20:55

Toyota, I expect they will be more competitive in the next couple of races as they near always perform well in Malaysia and Bahrain. Trulli on a revenge mission....

Williams look to have good pace, I don't know if Rosberg overdid the tyres when he went and got the fastest lap of the race on them and then almost immediately he was losing seconds on them. So if they sort that they could surprise.

Red Bull, they look solid, good pace.

BMW, forget the KERS as Kubica showed you don't need KERS and he was flying.

---------------

I think Ferrari are a little behind these so of them four I would say Toyota have the most potential given they started from the pitlane and were moving forward all day which showed good pace and good strategy and the upcoming tracks have been good to them in the past.

The thing is its hard to know what developments the various chasers have coming and what impact it will make.

#44 giltkid

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:30

Originally posted by Youichi


I think it is that simplistic, as a first attempt. Was it Flav/Pat Symonds who said the DD was worth 14% more downforce ? Even a rough first attempt has got to be worth running.

Going with the 0.5 seconds estimate, I would expect the non-DD teams to have a DD at the first race after the appeal, which is worth around 0.3 seconds, and a more refined version for Barcelona worth another 0.2-0.3.


But it's difficult because you have to work on the whole car. It's not just adding the diffuser and suddenly the car is a second quicker.


"The diffuser makes you go fast if you have a new front end, new sidepods, a new engine cover. You have to rebuild the whole car and that would take a lot of months.


Fernado Alonso

#45 slideways

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 13:42

apparently RBR are holding off until the appeal hearing before greenlighting a full redesign whereas BMW has already confirmed they are going full steam on it.

In Nick Fry's recent interview he seems to think RBR are the closest challenger but I have a feeling Ferrari will be a lot better in Sepang.

#46 Jojodyne

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:01

Virgin Racing :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#47 Buckethead

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:07

No one has mentioned Renault yet?

ok, then I say Renault.

Car isn't that bad what it looked like in Melbourne, they have the best driver in the series and they might have new diffusor in China http://www.f1technic...4d62d5bd7eb0194

#48 undersquare

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:20

Whitmarsh said this: ""Everyone has to do it now. The problem is that because you have to introduce it quickly you will not redesign your gearbox or suspension before Spain and therefore we will be obliged to take the earliest iterations and implement them. And probably then have a second and third iteration, and by the time you get there fully you potentially have a new gearbox and suspension. Look at the cost of all that and you are into £5-£10 million of development."

What's a trick diffuser worth?

"In first iterations people are seeing 10-15 points of downforce and you can probably think of 20 points being around one second," whitmarsh says. "But it's not just that. You create a virtuous circle. People struggled to switch the tyres on in Melbourne – Ferrari, ourselves, and others – and if the diffuser helps get the tyre in the right temperature zone, you've got performance beyond what would be mathematically available with the additional downforce."

(Tony Dodgins' column)

So it's stage by stage, chuck on a DDD for half a second, then step by step to the full monty with a new gearbox and rear suspension for Barca. A full-on development race. Anyone waiting for the ICA is going to get left behind, and the big teams have an advantage. Though starting with a poor car, I don't know whether Mac will be behind or ahead. And all the time Brawn developing too of course, probably quite a lot of scope given their limited testing, Brawn confirming an update for Barca.

What a season :love:

#49 Dalek Caan

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:23

Originally posted by undersquare


What a season :love:


I am sure Maxxx will ruin it somehow. :|

#50 undersquare

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 14:31

Originally posted by Dalek Caan


I am sure Maxxx will ruin it somehow. :|


You are such a pessimist :lol:

I think Max will quit in October.