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The development race; how do the cars currently stack up?


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#1 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 21:50

McLaren started the 2012 season with the best car but today showed how far they have dropped back in the development race. Ferrari have improved massively since the start of the season, Red Bull continue to stay at or near the front and probably have the best car now. Lotus have been very close to having the fastest car all season especially over a race distance and could have won a couple. Sauber have probably made their best ever car and Williams have probably made their best car since they parted ways with BMW. Mercedes appeared to have made their best car since taking over from Brawn but the car is eating it's tyres and has lost the 1 lap pace it exhibited earlier in the season.

How I think the cars line up currently:

1. Red Bull
2. Lotus
3. Ferrari
4. Sauber
5. McLaren
6. Mercedes
7. Willams
8. Force India
9. Toro Rosso
10. Caterham
11. Marussia
12. HRT

Agree?


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#2 Wander

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:05

I personally agree with the WCC standings.

#3 Pilla

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:06

1. Red Bull
2. Ferrari
3. Lotus
4. Willams
5. McLaren
6. Mercedes
7. Sauber
8. Force India
9. Toro Rosso
10. Caterham
11. Marussia
12. HRT

But from 1 to 7 its very close

Edited by Pilla, 08 July 2012 - 22:08.


#4 Lights

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:13

I pretty much agree with the OP, except that Sauber/McLaren/Mercedes/Williams is a very tough call and can basically change per session. Of these, Williams stands lowest in the standings but they missed out on an incredible amount of potential through their drivers.

#5 Seanspeed

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:16

Changes too much every race and I think the lack of pace by some teams at certain races is often down to tires rather than a lack of development.

#6 chrcol

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:17

mclaren arent that high.

#7 RockyRaccoon68

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:18

I think the Mclaren is still one of the best in terms of peak performance and it has plenty of downforce but the problem seems to be over a stint. Changes in fuel load, track temp, compound etc seem to throw the car off and it doesn't work the tyres efficiently over a stint. This leads to it being a much less effective race car without being a bad car in the traditional sense. Ferrari are generally the opposite, still lacking in peak performance but the car seems less sensitive to changes and as such is much more potent over a stint. Red Bull seem to have cracked both which is ominous and Lotus appears to be a rocket ship but with inconsistent driver performance it seems impossible to tell! Mercedes seem to have tailed off as the season has progressed and I find it impossible to judge the other teams because the midfield drivers tend to perform inconsistently in my opinion. I suspect the Williams and Sauber are much better cars than some of the results suggest. Force India appear to be trailing behind and Toro Rosso are in a world of their own between the midfield and back markers.

I can't really summarise that into a list but they are my thoughts on each car!

#8 Pyrone89

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:20

Red Bull
Ferrari / Lotus
McLaren
Mercedes / Sauber / Williams
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT

Edited by Pyrone89, 08 July 2012 - 22:20.


#9 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 22:39

I personally agree with the WCC standings.


To be clear Im talking in terms of potential pace of each of the cars rather than the ability of the drivers driving them or the reliability of the cars.


mclaren arent that high.


I almost put McLaren under Mercedes and agree Williams have been much quicker at certain tracks. All considered those three teams could be in any order and it wouldn't be far off the truth. I think the Sauber is better than all three though.

Edited by Tenmantaylor, 08 July 2012 - 22:41.


#10 SirRacer

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 23:12

Red Bull
Ferrari / Lotus
McLaren
Mercedes / Sauber / Williams
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT


This.

#11 Kyo

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 23:28

Red Bull
Ferrari / Lotus
McLaren
Mercedes / Sauber / Williams
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT

QFT

#12 Marbles

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 23:42

Changes too much every race and I think the lack of pace by some teams at certain races is often down to tires rather than a lack of development.


I think you're exactly right. It's hard to draw any hard conclusion at this point because the tires are just too surly.

#13 launcher

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:20

Red Bull
Ferrari / Lotus
McLaren
Mercedes / Sauber / Williams
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT


Sauber and Williams are much quicker than that, they were flying yesterday, but again let down by the drivers.

Redbull
Lotus
Ferrari/Williams/Sauber
Mclaren/ Mercedes



#14 DarthWillie

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:34

Yesterdays race tells us nothing. Due to all the rain a the right setup and tyre usage were a gamble so the performances of the teams were not that representative.




#15 908T

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 06:47

Ferrari
Red Bull
McLaren
Lotus, Sauber, Williams, Mercedes
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT
:)


#16 EarnardBeccelstone

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:20

This year is so even that whoever is 'fastest' depends much on the characteristics of the track, as well as the prevailing conditions of the day. Then there is the big caveat of whoever is getting the best performance out of the tires on the day, which ties in with track conditions, temperatures ect.

I'd say that the Red Bull is the fastest across the majority of circuits. Its slow/medium corner performance seems very good, as does its traction out of acceleration zones. It also looks very well balanced - very little under/over steer and reasonable tire life.

The Lotus/Renault/(Benetton) and Ferrari cars are probably tied at second.

The LR GP car looks a little better than either the RB or the Ferrari through the high-speed corners, but not as poised at slower speeds, perhaps a little prone to oversteer. Its end-of-straight speeds have been consistently high, indicating its either very efficient aerodynamically, or LR GP have been running lower downforce levels than their competition. I think the LR GP car is a bit more hit and miss with the tires, or perhaps has a more narrow optimum operating window than the RB.

The Ferrari also has excellent high-speed corner performance, is fast in a straight line and seems to be quite gentle on its tires, after a few races at the start of the year where it was none of these things. I'd say that the Ferrari has better mechanical grip than the LR GP, but not by much.

Then we have a real bunch of McLaren and Mercedes and then Williams and Sauber. I think it's too close to pick them, with perhaps a tenth or two separating all the teams in ultimate lap time depending on the circuit.

The McLaren generally looks stiff and unbalanced, although a very firm front end has been a characteristic of McLarens over the past few years. The car has certainly gone backwards in relative pace over the season.
It might of just been the race set-up this weekend, but the front end appeared to be washing out (understeer) early in a stint and then the car looks alright in the middle of a stint. However, as the tyres go away, the McLaren appears to pick up a bit of high-speed oversteer. Hamilton likes this, and is faster than Jenson towards the end of the stints.

The Mercedes appears very fast during qualification, but distinctly average during the race. The 'super DRS' doesn't appear to be carrying its weight during the race either, as EoS speeds haven't been spectacular for Mercedes. The car has reasonable mechanical grip and has been good on the 'point-and-squirt' tracks (Valencia, Monaco), but I suspect that there are some advances to be made in terms of high speed cornering performance.

Williams is my surprise package for the year, and I wonder how they'd be judged if they had two known quantity F1 drivers, instead of two guys in their first three years of F1 racing. The Williams looks super balanced across the speed range, although perhaps lacking a little in slower speed corners. The car also appears to have quite a wide operating window for the tires and is relatively kind to them - the FW 34's end of race pace always seems to be excellent.

Sauber also surprising with their pace. The car is very gentle on tires, so race pace is good, but its perhaps not quite there in terms of downforce levels, so its qualifying performance hasn't been quite as good. I don't know of Sauber will be able to stick with the rest of the teams - their development pace seems to be slower than that of RB/Renault/McLaren/Ferrari, although their upgrades are usually pretty well thought out.

#17 gerry nassar

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:25

Its pretty obvious that Red Bull and Ferrari are the best cars at the moment (and over the last few races too). Ferrari still lags in Quali though but more than makes up for it in the race.

After that its Mclaren and Lotus (the former being better in Quali, the latter coming alive in the race).

Then Williams, Sauber and Mercedes very closely behind and mixing it up with the big boys from time to time.

Force India seem to have made a bit of a step as well.

#18 flyer121

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:25

5816003[/url]']
Ferrari
Red Bull
McLaren
Lotus, Sauber, Williams, Mercedes
Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
Marussia
HRT
:)

This




#19 launcher

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:28

There is nothing wrong with the Lotus's low speed handling, it was clearly second fastest at Valencia, and was very quick at Monaco. It really has no weaknesses. There was an idea that is struggled with lower temps but that was never really true. It might perform better in warmer temps than cooler but its still remains very strong under any conditions.

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#20 Headspin

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:31

There is nothing wrong with the Lotus's low speed handling, it was clearly second fastest at Valencia, and was very quick at Monaco. It really has no weaknesses. There was an idea that is struggled with lower temps but that was never really true. It might perform better in warmer temps than cooler but its still remains very strong under any conditions.


And what you think of Ferrari? Is it already worse than Caterham?

edit: Sorry didn't see you already made your statement about Ferrari being on a Sauber / Williams level. Now you're just generous.

Edited by Headspin, 09 July 2012 - 07:33.


#21 sofarapartguy

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:36

Lotus is the most complete car. I'm sure it could've easily won a half of the races already, but Kimi is not there yet and Romain still tries to overtake everyone on an opening lap.

The rest is kind of lottery and really hard to call - anyone of the top 6-7 can be a surprise leader on one race(Williams/Barcelona) and then be an outsider as well (Mclaren/Silverstone).

Edited by sofarapartguy, 09 July 2012 - 07:37.


#22 seahawk

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:51

RBR +
Ferrari ++ / Lotus +
McLaren -
Mercedes
Williams / Sauber
Force India
Torro Rosso -
Caterham +
Marrusia
HRT

+ improved compared to the first races
- worse than in the first races

#23 ArkZ

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 07:54

Currently pace :
RBR
Ferrari
Lotus
McLaren/Mercedes
Sauber/Williams

Sauber and Williams could be in same position as McL/Merc with better Q pace.

Development race since start:
Ferrari
-
-
others (without Macca)
-
-
McLaren
:)

#24 velgajski1

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:01

RBR/Ferrari
Lotus
Williams/McLaren
Mercedes/Sauber/Force India

#25 Jon83

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:51

RBR
Lotus/Ferrari
McLaren
Sauber/Williams/Mercedes/Force India
Toro Rosso
Caterham
HRT/Marussia

To be fair, I'd expect McLaren to come back at the teams in front of them. It will also be interesting to see how far the midfield teams push.