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Future of rain races: FIA's wait for wet tyre conditions


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#1 SeanValen

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:02

After the red flag in todays Canada race, whether it was due to it being the first wet race with these tyres or not, I would of thought after the race start, the drivers and teams would of gotten under the hang of it all.

So what is the point waiting to clear up the track, then for it to dry out, so your wet tyres are not of use, and you have to pit early for intermediates?


Every team and driver who has cars/set ups for the wet/and using wet tyres was disadvantaged in losing race performance in comparision to the leading cars in the dry like redbull and mclaren. I hope this is not a new trend. I am all for safety, but don't design wet tyres for the racing in the wet, then hide behind the safety car too long, they were out today at least 4-5 laps too long, and that makes and breaks alot of peoples races, probabley effected Vettel and Schumacher's final positions and some other cars.

Canada always see's action and safety cars, but you don't wait too long to completely waste the use of the whole purpose of why there is a wet tyre, to race in the bloody rain, not to pit just after a long safety car period where you had the right tyres to race in.

It's gotta be the worst race effected gp decisions on safety cars this decade. A great race but spoiled with a overuse of the safety car after the red flag, we lost at least 4-5 laps of wet weather tyre running before intermediates was needed. I hope wet tyres can be used for longer in the future. FIA went too safe and soft this time, rain races are a gift for fans and casual viewers, I wonder if Bernie has less power then before. :smoking:

Edited by SeanValen, 13 June 2011 - 00:09.


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#2 Andromeda

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:13

After the red flag in todays Canada race, whether it was due to it being the first wet race with these tyres or not, I would of thought after the race start, the drivers and teams would of gotten under the hang of it all.

So what is the point waiting to clear up the track, then for it to dry out, so your wet tyres are not of use, and you have to pit early for intermediates?


Every team and driver who has cars/set ups for the wet/and using wet tyres was disadvantaged in losing race performance in comparision to the leading cars in the dry like redbull and mclaren. I hope this is not a new trend. I am all for safety, but don't design wet tyres for the racing in the wet, then hide behind the safety car too long, they were out today at least 4-5 laps too long, and that makes and breaks alot of peoples races, probabley effected Vettel and Schumacher's final positions and some other cars.

Canada always see's action and safety cars, but you don't wait too long to completely waste the use of the whole purpose of why there is a wet tyre, to race in the bloody rain, not to pit just after a long safety car period where you had the right tyres to race in.

It's gotta be the worst race effected gp decisions on safety cars this decade. A great race but spoiled with a overuse of the safety car. I hope wet tyres can be used for longer in the future.


I figured Whiting delayed the race restart because the FIA was unsure if the next band of rain approaching the circuit was sufficient enough to halt the race again or not. It would've been pretty pointless to resume the race if that band of rain was just as strong or stronger than the band of rain that hit the circuit on Lap 19 causing aquaplanning again.

#3 VicR

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:18

F1 is too sanitized and has been for years. We all know this but no one seems to be able to do anything about it. But if you look around, so is society. It's a trend all throughout our western way of life.

#4 Risil

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:21

Mark Webber appeared adamant that the race stoppage/safety car starts approach was the right thing to do. He doesn't strike me as someone who would be 'afraid' of weather conditions. It seems very likely that current F1 cars, with planks, ultra-low ride heights, fixed qualifying setups and massive rooster-tails of spray, simply can't race in rainy conditions safely. There have also been races, like Interlagos in 2003 and Spa in 1998, where the conditions were such that an extremely serious accident could have happened, and in any case the 'racing' itself was a bit of a puddle-avoiding crapshoot. If the FIA wants to eliminate things like that it's at least defensible. Grand Prix racing moved away from closed-road events and tree-lined park circuits too.

It would be a good idea to concentrate on sorting the cars out; seeing competitors behind a safety car for 15 or so laps is an absolute embarrassment. And it would be more productive than just blaming the drivers.

Edited by Risil, 13 June 2011 - 00:24.


#5 engel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:22

The only thing they did wrong IMO was the safety car period after the race was restarted, it went on too long. Everything else they did was spot on.

#6 fauxhemian

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:23

if they want to slow the cars down:

raise the bloody things, at least then we can have wet races

#7 Slyder

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:23

Ok, let me take a stance here to produce a debate:

I hated the red flag today. Drivers more and more are becoming pussies of going into the rain and race like proper men.

Hell, F1 raced in 1968 in the FRIGGING FOG at the Nurburgring and still got the race done and people have hailed the victor Jackie Stewart as his greatest victory. Numerous races like Estoril 1985, Hockenheim 1988, Spa 1989, France 1992, Spain 1996, and Spa 1998 just to name a few had exactly these types of piss-poor conditions and drivers went and raced in them.

All these compromising in the rules have made the cars useless in the rain and to add insult to injury, drivers can't even set their toes on the rain for fear of slipping. It's ridiculous really.

Make the cars more able to be tweaked for the rain and send those pussies out in the rain to race, and then we'll see who the men are and who the boys are.

Fittipaldi would've taken Vettel's RB and lapped the whole field in the rain.


#8 Ali_G

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:24

The only thing they did wrong IMO was the safety car period after the race was restarted, it went on too long. Everything else they did was spot on.


The car certainly aren't being allowed to run in conditions that 10 years ago would have been deemed acceptable.

One possibility is that the cars are now practically always setup for dry conditions due to Pairc Ferme rules.

#9 Alx09

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:27

I think the drivers should just deal with it. Only redflag if there is like a monsoon, or absolutely undrivable.

Reason is that everyone will have the same problems, and whoever can finish the race first are worthy winners. Let them slide around, let them spin, let them drive slow. They are race drivers, and whoever can make it to the end under such conditions with least mistakes should be rated highly.

As for the "safety" issue - it sure goes a lot slower driving around on a wet surface than a dry.


I mean, today they were like 10 laps behind the SC when it was barely raining at all, they were basically driving around to clear it up enough for intermediates - what is the point?

Just drive and deal with it.

Really. I can't stand the "it's too wet" thing. If it's too wet you have 2 options:

a) retire and let the men race
b) go slower

If you choose b and the rest of the field overtakes you, then it's not THAT wet, or you're going slower than it's really needed.


Edited by Alx09, 13 June 2011 - 00:30.


#10 SeanValen

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:29

Mark Webber appeared adamant that the race stoppage/safety car starts approach was the right thing to do. He doesn't strike me as someone who would be 'afraid' of weather conditions. It seems very likely that current F1 cars, with planks, ultra-low ride heights, fixed qualifying setups and massive rooster-tails of spray, simply can't race in rainy conditions safely. There have also been races, like Interlagos in 2003 and Spa in 1998, where the conditions were such that an extremely serious accident could have happened, and in any case the 'racing' itself was a bit of a puddle-avoiding crapshoot. If the FIA wants to eliminate things like that it's at least defensible. Grand Prix racing moved away from closed-road events and tree-lined park circuits too.

It would be a good idea to concentrate on sorting the cars out; seeing competitors behind a safety car for 15 or so laps is an absolute embarrassment. And it would be more productive than just blaming the drivers.



Maybe it's about time to design cars with higher ride heights? To basicially drive on the track like the safety car? If the safety car can get around on normal tyres, then Berne/Todt have to got to think about designing the cars to beat aqua plaining.


If the sprays too much, fine, but as long as the cars can race on wet tyres for at least 10 laps, then all is good.

The only thing they did wrong IMO was the safety car period after the race was restarted, it went on too long. Everything else they did was spot on.


Agreed.


The car certainly aren't being allowed to run in conditions that 10 years ago would have been deemed acceptable.

One possibility is that the cars are now practically always setup for dry conditions due to Pairc Ferme rules.




Full Sunday warm up should never have been dropped for Sundays, driivers guessing set ups on Saturday for Sunday never felt right after 2003, and especially for rain races. Any team/driver especially in this testing ban era, can have temperature sensitive car/set ups, where tyre zone operating temps effect set up, and pace seen on saturday/friday can be gone on Sunday, but sunday warm up allowed preparation and less guess work, every one had a chance to actually set up the car for race day conditions//less guess work and more satisfaction you had a car that you worked with to get the ultimate result.

Edited by SeanValen, 13 June 2011 - 00:35.


#11 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:33

The only thing they did wrong IMO was the safety car period after the race was restarted, it went on too long. Everything else they did was spot on.


And the start should not have happened under SC. That was another joke, it was not that wet.

#12 Disgrace

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:35

The red flag was the right call, it was a flash monsoon like at the Nurburgring 2007.

The wrong calls were:

1. Safety car start.
2. Leaving the safety car out for an excess of laps at the start.
3. Leaving the safety car out before they red-flagged the race.
4. Leaving the safety car out after the restart for a further amount of laps.

See a theme? Racing laps are being wasted; it's either good to go racing (green) or not safe enough at all (red).

The drivers only need 1-2 laps to suss out the conditions, not 6-8.

Edited by Disgrace, 13 June 2011 - 00:38.


#13 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:36

The car certainly aren't being allowed to run in conditions that 10 years ago would have been deemed acceptable.

One possibility is that the cars are now practically always setup for dry conditions due to Pairc Ferme rules.


Why would you need a setup for rain? To go faster. But you CAN still run in a wet track with a car set up for dry, just slower. If your team is smart enough to predict rain and adjust the car for that situation the day before the race, then be it. The wet track is the same for EVERYONE, as is the weather forecast so there's no unfairness.

#14 William Hunt

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:38

Back in the '80s and '90s the most epic races I've watched were heavy rain races with often unexpected results (Montréal 1989 for example: brilliant race with Warwick and Patrese leading and Boutsen eventually winning). I'm all for safety and I do realise (as Martin Brundle mentioned today) that it often was insane in those days but it did lead to epic races. Today's situation was a bit too ridiculous.

#15 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:40

The red flag was the right call, it was a flash monsoon like at the Nurburgring 2007.

The wrong calls were:

1. Safety car start.
2. Leaving the safety car out for an excess of laps at the start.
3. Leaving the safety car out before they red-flagged the race.
4. Leaving the safety car out after the restart for a further amount of laps.

See a theme? Racing laps are being wasted; it's either good to go racing (green) or not safe enough at all (red).

The drivers only need 1-2 laps to suss out the conditions, not 6-8.



Exactly. It's white or black. White produces racing, while black does not.

Today we had a lot of grays, which is a mixture of both downsides. It doesn't produce racing and wastes laps.

#16 engel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:56

Why would you need a setup for rain? To go faster. But you CAN still run in a wet track with a car set up for dry, just slower. If your team is smart enough to predict rain and adjust the car for that situation the day before the race, then be it. The wet track is the same for EVERYONE, as is the weather forecast so there's no unfairness.



You actually can't. Once the plank under the car hits standing water you are no longer "driving" the car, it's aquaplaning ... so there's definitely a difference there. And therein lies the difference between a wet and a dry setup. A wet setup gives you softer suspension and raises the rideheight.

As to it being "the same for EVERYONE" it's a silly argument. If you throw 24 cars out on a track with a 90% chance they will aquaplane off and 1 gets lucky and doesn't then it's not racing, it's a lottery. They might as well go to the casino and play roulette.

Edited by engel, 13 June 2011 - 00:57.


#17 Alfisti

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 00:58

I think this track needs one to be cautious more than any other. It's very fast and concrete walls everywhere so i'd be way more careful here than at a tilkedome or whatever. In saying that, one lap behind the SC at the re-start should have been plenty.

#18 Otaku

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:00

You actually can't. Once the plank under the car hits standing water you are no longer "driving" the car, it's aquaplaning ... so there's definitely a difference there. And therein lies the difference between a wet and a dry setup. A wet setup gives you softer suspension and raises the rideheight.

As to it being "the same for EVERYONE" it's a silly argument. If you throw 24 cars out on a track with a 90% chance they will aquaplane off and 1 gets lucky and doesn't then it's not racing, it's a lottery. They might as well go to the casino and play roulette.


I know what aquaplanning is, and I'm not talking about a real situation where there's heavy rain and lots of water on the track, like today when the race was red flagged, that was ok. I'm talking in the 99% of the remaining situations when for every1 is EVIDENT that they can race, and yet they still don't or complain, like today after the 2nd start (SC for too long).


I remember last year (?) we heard from Vettel (it's undrivable!!!) and seconds after that from Lewis (it's ok!!!) so you can't always trust drivers to make a judgement, they will always want some advantage.

#19 4L3X

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:02

:up:

I figured Whiting delayed the race restart because the FIA was unsure if the next band of rain approaching the circuit was sufficient enough to halt the race again or not. It would've been pretty pointless to resume the race if that band of rain was just as strong or stronger than the band of rain that hit the circuit on Lap 19 causing aquaplanning again.



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#20 engel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:05

I know what aquaplanning is, and I'm not talking about a real situation where there's heavy rain and lots of water on the track, like today when the race was red flagged, that was ok. I'm talking in the 99% of the remaining situations when for every1 is EVIDENT that they can race, and yet they still don't or complain, like today after the 2nd start (SC for too long).


I remember last year (?) we heard from Vettel (it's undrivable!!!) and seconds after that from Lewis (it's ok!!!) so you can't always trust drivers to make a judgement, they will always want some advantage.



EVIDENT? have you ever been car number 12 in a 24 car F1 snake? You are seeing a very deceptive TV image, shot from higher than were the cars are. In fact if you go read the race thread, you ll see lots of people claiming Vettel was wuss for wanting the race redflagged. Then the camera zoomed in on the standing water in the chicane and they stopped posting. What's evident to you from the comfort of your armchair isn't always true, and similarly Charlie can't ignore the midfielder that can't see shit and will likely take 2-3 cars out when he brakes for T1 and just let Vettel/Button race cause they feel it's ok.



#21 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:08

They don't run in wet conditions anymore. Wet tyres are used for fairly damp conditions, intermediates for damp. Simple as. Different breed of drivers, different generation, completely different mindset.

#22 ExFlagMan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:13

I'm with engel on this.

I would guess that most posters here who are complaining about the SC car being out for too long have neve been anywhere near a racetrack and certainly have never seen the amount of water that an F1 car lifts out of the track. This water has to go somewhere and where it lands is very dependent of the wind.

If there is no or very light winds then it just drops back onto the track. With a stronger breeze it gets carried away by the wind. Unfortunately yesterday in Montreal the wind was blowing along the length of island from turn 1-2 area towards the hairpin and hence most of the mist just got deposited back on te track a bit further along. In addition the track is pretty enclosed by walls/trees/grandstands which tend to keep the spray hanging in the air.

With the spray/mist it is not just a question of how much visibility the drivers have of the cars in front, they also need to be able to see the flag points/lights and the flag marshals need to be able to from one flag point to another and the track in between. from above the helicopter shot is looking down through about 4 metres of spray, from the side of the track the cameras a looking through a bit more, but the flag marshals are having to try to see through anything up to 250 metres of the stuff.

If someone spins in the wall of spray and no flags go out and you get an accident like that at Spa, you would all be calling for Charlies's blood.

Some are making a lot of the SC car staying out too long as some drivers almost immediately switched to intermediates. The moment that the wets stop lifting the water out of the track is precisely the point at which the wets start to deteriorate, so a change is appropriate.

#23 Henrik B

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:27

First of all, each track is different and under these conditions the Montreal circuit retains far more water than a fully modern track more prepared for this. The red flag was necessary and it was right waiting a bit extra for the restart. I can' agree with the excessive use of safety car just because it's wet though. Red flag or race.

#24 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:34

Think the SC could've come in maybe a lap earlier at the first start, but that's just me. Those moaning about the red flag, sorry, but you only had to look at the track, the amount of water they were trying to shift etc to see that the track in places was basically flooded. Wet races are fine if the cars, tyres can handle it safely. Even the SC would've likely struggled a little bit at times when the track was at it's very wettest. The restart after the red flag, again, the SC was out I'd say 2-3 laps too long in my opinion.

#25 Augurk

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:39

The red flag was the right call to make. In fact, what I said to my girlfriend some 10 seconds before they announced it: "They should red flag it, at least that'll give them some chance of racing when its back to normal".

However I feel the safety car start was a horrendous call, even Webber had trouble getting his head around it even though eventually he said it was the right decision, and he is one of the most adamant drivers when it comes to safety. If anything, wet starts are awesome and rarely end up in really unsafe situations.

Then the safety car restart should've been a single lap and then gone. Waiting til intermediate conditions was horrible.

I don't like this tendency of avoiding full wet conditions. :mad:



#26 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:43

I think it's the parc ferme rules that hurt the teams the most. Although I'm not 100% clear on this. Do the FIA allow teams to change setup if it's a wet race (vs dry qualifying)?

If not, they should. There's no point stopping races for safety reasons because people are on dry setups and can't negotiate the track. If they're not going to let the people who gambled with extreme wet setups race, then they should just allow everyone to change the setup. Right now we're going ever deeper into a situation where soon enough all wet running will be banned, I guess it already effectively is.

It ruined the race for me, maybe not the red flag as it was abit much, but the safety car starts, the safety car period as soon as it started drizzling before the real rain came. It's just pathetic. What's the point of wet tyres then.

The main problem is arrogance, I guess. Like the DRS in the tunnel, they would rather stop everyone using something rather than letting those that can, use it, and admitting that they can't because the car/setup isn't good enough.

#27 windoesnot

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:47

The red flag was the right call, it was a flash monsoon like at the Nurburgring 2007.

The wrong calls were:

1. Safety car start.
2. Leaving the safety car out for an excess of laps at the start.
3. Leaving the safety car out before they red-flagged the race.
4. Leaving the safety car out after the restart for a further amount of laps.

See a theme? Racing laps are being wasted; it's either good to go racing (green) or not safe enough at all (red).

The drivers only need 1-2 laps to suss out the conditions, not 6-8.


This 100%

#28 homercles

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:52

That is surely why they have had the same driver in the safety car for about the last 10 years. He must know how the conditions compare with similar ones in the past and should be able to make the call, even if he is not in an F1 car. The drivers unfortunately have their own agenda's - Vettel was clearly happy to just follow the SC car for 2 hours where others were keen to get on with it. I have no idea why they did so many laps behind the SC after the restart - there was a dry line for God's sake!! Also I really don't believe the race needed to be started behind the SC since it was a close call to use intermediate tyres and that should tell you all you need to know. They were right to stop the race though when that deluge came down.

#29 ExFlagMan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:54

If anything, wet starts are awesome and rarely end up in really unsafe situations.

Spa - 1998 - half the field damaged, three beyond immediate repair - 1 driver injured!

Then the safety car restart should've been a single lap and then gone. Waiting til intermediate conditions was horrible.
I don't like this tendency of avoiding full wet conditions. :mad:

You cannot just start racing as soon as the spray thrown up while behind the SC starts to subside. As soon as the cars get up to racing speed the spray increases exponentially.

#30 Augurk

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:57

Spa - 1998 - half the field damaged, three beyond immediate repair - 1 driver injured!

Hence "rarely" as opposed to "never".

#31 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:09

It ruined the race for me, maybe not the red flag as it was abit much, but the safety car starts, the safety car period as soon as it started drizzling before the real rain came. It's just pathetic. What's the point of wet tyres then.


I disagree there, you could see at the 8/9 chicane it was really coming down, and 20 seconds later when they were setting off down the back straight you could already see it was far far wetter that even at the same point the lap previous to that. It was like Nurburgring 07, Malaysia 09, where within 30secs, and certainly within a lap, it'd got to the point where it was already beginning to look like they'd need the SC. The race director obviously saw the rain, saw how heavy it was, had seen the radar, had seen how quickly the track had become extremely wet with huge amounts of spray (far more than the lap previous to that) and so to stop everyone falling off (particularly those on inters) and making it more dangerous, he brought the SC out when he did to try and avoid potential chaos/carnage.

#32 differential

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:13

The red flag was the right call, it was a flash monsoon like at the Nurburgring 2007.

The wrong calls were:

1. Safety car start.
2. Leaving the safety car out for an excess of laps at the start.
3. Leaving the safety car out before they red-flagged the race.
4. Leaving the safety car out after the restart for a further amount of laps.

See a theme? Racing laps are being wasted; it's either good to go racing (green) or not safe enough at all (red).

The drivers only need 1-2 laps to suss out the conditions, not 6-8.


:up:

#33 dav115

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:18

The simple fact is that a lot of this new generation of drivers are pathetic. They come on the radio saying it's undriveable, yet clearly that isn't the case given that they've been following the safety car around for 10 laps without a SINGLE person spinning or even going off track. Just because the Red Bulls can no longer point and squirt their way out of every corner with infini traction doesn't mean the track is undriveable in my book. All they are doing is stalling the race so that it is run in the dry where they can make use of their car advantage.

#34 King Six

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:21

The simple fact is that a lot of this new generation of drivers are pathetic. They come on the radio saying it's undriveable, yet clearly that isn't the case given that they've been following the safety car around for 10 laps without a SINGLE person spinning or even going off track. Just because the Red Bulls can no longer point and squirt their way out of every corner with infini traction doesn't mean the track is undriveable in my book. All they are doing is stalling the race so that it is run in the dry where they can make use of their car advantage.

Pretty much, it's alot like the DRS in the tunnel. Just because they wouldn't be able to go flat out or use it without flying off into the walls doesn't mean they have to ban it. It just means you have to be clever about it. Just like you have to be clever about using brakes and throttle and steering whilst driving a car. Honestly, they just want to go fast and not have to work for it. So people like Vettel who's been in dominant Red Bull's wouldn't understand much else.

#35 Jimisgod

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:24

The safety cars were a joke. When it is wet everyone slows down to walking pace anyway, I can't remember any very serious wrecks in the modern era during a true rain storm, just people sticking a wheel on a wet curb when there is a dry line. They raced in a monsoon at Silverstone in 2008 and that was Lewis' best race.

#36 sv401

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:25

The wrong calls were:

1. Safety car start.
2. Leaving the safety car out for an excess of laps at the start.
3. Leaving the safety car out before they red-flagged the race.
4. Leaving the safety car out after the restart for a further amount of laps.


4. was by far the worst, the other three, while debatable, were at least not clearly wrong decisions without the advantage of hindsight. But the long SC period at the restart is hard to explain, since the conditions were already better after a few laps than at the first start (as indicated by the lap times behind the SC), yet it just continued for a long time for no apparent reason. What made it even more ridiculous is D'Ambrosio getting penalized for switching to the "wrong tyres" on the drying track - the safety car was still out when the track was getting too dry for the extreme wet tyres.

Edited by sv401, 13 June 2011 - 12:27.


#37 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:40

Fuji a few years ago was fantaetic. Poor visibility but somehow the managed to race.

Yesterday was a shame

Edited by MikeTekRacing, 13 June 2011 - 12:41.