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difference between qualifying and race trim


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#1 pbukovca

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 19:40

Back in the 1990 s when the cars could be changed between qualifying and the race. What is the difference between qualifying and racing trim. For example the Williams car back then was often very quick with the qualifying configuration and then say Schumacher's Bennetton or Ferrari

was closer on race pace . Or even say Red Bull and Mclaren in 2011 ? Red Bull dominated in qualifying but the Mclaren was often just as fast or even faster during the race ? How does the setup or features of the car differ between qualifying and race mode ?

Many thanks .

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#2 7MGTEsup

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 14:55

Back in the 1990 s when the cars could be changed between qualifying and the race. What is the difference between qualifying and racing trim. For example the Williams car back then was often very quick with the qualifying configuration and then say Schumacher's Bennetton or Ferrari

was closer on race pace . Or even say Red Bull and Mclaren in 2011 ? Red Bull dominated in qualifying but the Mclaren was often just as fast or even faster during the race ? How does the setup or features of the car differ between qualifying and race mode ?

Many thanks .


In modern F1 I think there is very little difference between qualifying and race set up appart from the fuel load. Back in the early 90's alot of the car was different between qualifying and race, you had dedicated qualifying engines and tyres for starters and probably lots of other components to.

#3 jdanton

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 19:15

Pre-2003 (or was it 02) when the new Parc Ferme rules came into effect, I remember hearing about qualifying radiators, brake rotors, special engines/maps, and a probably a different suspension setup to maximize tire use over one lap.

#4 munks

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:40

Pre-2003 (or was it 02) when the new Parc Ferme rules came into effect, I remember hearing about qualifying radiators, brake rotors, special engines/maps, and a probably a different suspension setup to maximize tire use over one lap.


Yep, all of these, and don't forget brake ducts as well. I'm not sure how much of the suspension setup was different, but I know they sometimes used more than a degree more camber at the front.

EDIT: and *usually* a lower downforce/drag setup in race, because you often needed to protect against passing on the straights during the race; it's possible there were some cases where you needed higher downforce in the race to reduce tire wear, though. The qualifying aerodynamics trim would always, of course, be purely for the fastest possible lap.

Edited by munks, 27 February 2012 - 02:44.


#5 Requin

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 05:14

With the current Pirelli tires, the drivers have found that the rears are weak and will go off quickly. Therefore, a race-based setup will have more understeer, which protects the tires, as opposed to a Quali-based setup which will be geared towards more oversteer, for maximum response over one lap.

#6 GreenMachine

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:49

With the current Pirelli tires, the drivers have found that the rears are weak and will go off quickly.


Last year, yes.

It seems that this year, most are finding the rears less delicate. Pirelli has changed either the structure or the compounds, or both.

#7 jatwarks

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:53

Pre-2003 (or was it 02) when the new Parc Ferme rules came into effect, I remember hearing about qualifying radiators, brake rotors, special engines/maps, and a probably a different suspension setup to maximize tire use over one lap.

Then there was the qualifying car Brabham were reputed to use, in the days of T-cars; small fuel tank etc; a one lap special.

I remember reading a story about Brabham regularly testing rear wings during qualifying. Piquet would set a fast qualifying lap and then the team would experiment with rear wings at the end of the session. Piquet would pull into his pit and the wing would be removed and a new one fitted. It would never lead to an improvement in lap time, but it sure would be useful on the weighbridge, post qualifying.

Only a story from the good ol' days, when Bernie was poacher rather than gamekeeper, of course!

#8 Requin

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 00:33

Last year, yes.

It seems that this year, most are finding the rears less delicate. Pirelli has changed either the structure or the compounds, or both.


I agree with you. This year, the drivers have said that the rears are more durable, in comparison to last year.

They're still a long way off the Bridgestones though. Hamilton has gone on record saying that for Malaysia, he went with more of a race setup (understeer) to protect the rears.

#9 saudoso

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:09

Pre-2003 (or was it 02) when the new Parc Ferme rules came into effect, I remember hearing about qualifying radiators, brake rotors, special engines/maps, and a probably a different suspension setup to maximize tire use over one lap.

They had a qualifying engine. It would be used and removed from the car for a gentler one to be placed there and manage to finish the race.

In 1986 the BMW turbo engine used by Benetton was said to have 850hp in race trim and 1300hp in qualifying trim.

#10 GreenMachine

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:18

Then there was the qualifying car Brabham were reputed to use, in the days of T-cars; small fuel tank etc; a one lap special.

I remember reading a story about Brabham regularly testing rear wings during qualifying. Piquet would set a fast qualifying lap and then the team would experiment with rear wings at the end of the session. Piquet would pull into his pit and the wing would be removed and a new one fitted. It would never lead to an improvement in lap time, but it sure would be useful on the weighbridge, post qualifying.

Only a story from the good ol' days, when Bernie was poacher rather than gamekeeper, of course!


Canadian GP, 1980, perhaps 81, Piquet's car got damaged at the start (?) when he and Jones tangled, and he had to switch to the spare. At the restart, he disappeared into the distance - until the engine lunched itself. Allegedly, it was fuelled with the special qualifying brew, good for a few laps, but not a race ... :lol: Just another incident in a long feud between these two.

Edited by GreenMachine, 29 March 2012 - 04:19.


#11 pbukovca

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 20:01

How does a more understeering car preserve the rear tires more ?

Many thanks.

#12 munks

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 14:20

How does a more understeering car preserve the rear tires more ?

Many thanks.


An understeering car typically has lower slip angles on the rear tires (compared to the front). Therefore they aren't working as hard to get around the corners.