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Aus GP : Friday Free Practice discussion thread


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#1 Julli

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:53

Friday Free Practice is now over- please post comments/observations here.

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#2 SuperDaan

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:59

I didnt see free prac. but what i read was that Hamiltons 1.26.5 in FP2 was set on softs and Kimi;s 1.26.4 in FP1 was set on the hard tyre?
Is that correct?
And are there any stint times somewhere?

I think that McLaren and Ferrari are very close to each other, I think that McLaren still has some advantage in the Q.
BMW will be faster tomorow dont know what they did today, probalby running with a lot of fuel but they will be the 3rd team tomorow.

#3 Looserke

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:15

true, but as i could see there is no big difference between soft and hard yet, tha track is very dirty now

#4 Andy35

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:25

I still have no feeling for who is going well in the midfield. We have the top 4 and the bottom 2 ( Super Ag's) and in the middle everyone else.

Williams must be worried to some extent about reliability even though they say they have them fixed, they are on the backfoot a bit considering lost laptime.

We could have some titanic battles come Sunday. Really looking forward to it.

Regards

Andy

#5 mariuszek

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 07:30

I looked at the laptimes from today's 2nd practice session ( http://www.fia.com/a...agp/timing.html ) and performed a data analysis in Excel to calculate some drivers' average lap time of their fastest 4 laps and the average of their best 4-lap stint. Of course as we don't know the fuel levels etc. the analysis doesn't prove anything, but here are the results I got:

RAI
Best 4 laps = 1:28.540 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.616

MAS
Best 4 laps = 1:28.101 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.164

HAM
Best 4 laps = 1:27.446 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.380

KOV
Best 4 laps = 1:28.102 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.380

KUB
Best 4 laps = 1:29.010 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.513

HEI
Best 4 laps = 1:29.202 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:30.615

ALO
Best 4 laps = 1:28.868 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.207

WEB
Best 4 laps = 1:28.387 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:29.583

ROS
Best 4 laps = 1:28.704 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:30.504

BUT
Best 4 laps = 1:29.363 / Best 4 lap stint = 1:30.649



#6 Melbourne Park

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:12

Originally posted by mariuszek
I looked at the laptimes from today's 2nd practice session ( http://www.fia.com/a...agp/timing.html ) and performed a data analysis in Excel to calculate some drivers' average lap time of their fastest 4 laps and the average of their best 4-lap stint. Of course as we don't know the fuel levels etc. the analysis doesn't prove anything, but here are the results I got:


How did you get those figures in? I could not do it easily.

I looked at 4 drivers with 10 lap stints, and I took the second lap out (which was normally fast as the tyres were fresh) and then I took the next 3 laps, so altogether 4 laps. With LH, I ignored on slow lap (traffic I presumed) and put in the next lap. KR did 11 laps, so he had more fuel than the rest (although we don't know the fuel levels).

Here were my figures:
MW
10 Lap Run
01:29.4
01:29.5
01:31.1
01:30.5
06:00.5
01:30.1

FA
10 lap Run
01:28.8
01:29.8
01:30.5
01:30.9
06:00.0
01:30.0

KR
11 lap Run
01:28.5
01:29.8
01:30.3
01:30.1
05:58.8
01:29.7

LH
10 lap run
01:28.0
01:28.7
01:29.3
01:29.7
05:55.7
01:28.9

so on that basis, I reckon FA & MW are very even. And LH looks quicker than KR. LH's times looked very even too - is that because the car is working easier? Or was it because KR had more fuel?




#7 undersquare

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:28

Thanks mariuszek, MP. :)

The average stint times are a lot closer than the fastest lap times, hopefully we will get some racing after all.

I see Kimi was quoted as being unhappy with his setup in session 2, so maybe this year is more than ever going to be decided by the way the drivers and their engineers get it together at each weekend.

#8 QdfV

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:33

Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC

#9 Mika Mika

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:35

Originally posted by QdfV
Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC


You're right there he looked very smooth (when the ITV feed wasnt jerky that is).

#10 Taxi

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:35

mclaren good ferrari too. red bull 3rd best?

fisichella in front of the renault. how cool is that? :up:

#11 Melbourne Park

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:36

Originally posted by QdfV
Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC

From what I saw, it was either under brakes that most drivers had issues, or running wide. I guess running wide on many tracks will more resemble Monaco - where its not sensible to run wide!

#12 Durant

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:38

Originally posted by QdfV
Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC


He looked pretty inconsistent to me all practice. All over the place. The real test will come in the race not one hotlap.

#13 Melbourne Park

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:38

Originally posted by Taxi
mclaren good ferrari too. red bull 3rd best?

On the stint times I did, FA was a touch quicker than MW. So I think there isn't much between the Renault and RBR. Of course, we know not about the fuel. I think Fisi's fastest time was not a factor this afternoon. Still, it would be amazing - but I doubt it myself.

I've now looked at Fisi's times, and he was ran 13 and I think a 15 lap stint. So I can't compare the times so easily. His last three laps were 1:29.9, 1:29.5, 1:29.9. That looks fast - the only problem with it, was that for instance Webber, put in his fast laps much earlier, and Webber didn't it appears go flat out when he was at the end of his stint. So I doubt Fisi is as fast - but the car certainly is far better than I'd have dreamed it could be.




#14 Mika Mika

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:39

Originally posted by Durant


He looked pretty inconsistent to me all practice. All over the place. The real test will come in the race not one hotlap.


HAHAHAH Did you even watch pratice?! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dear oh Dear

#15 p432rpp

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:39

The Macs appeared to ride the bumps better, the Fiats definately looked harder to drive with Kimi struggling with setup in FP2.

Encouraging times from the Honda's too....

#16 brakedistance

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:43

Just want to firstly say... no matter how many seasons go by, it's always such a thrill to look at actual laptimes from a GP weekend after so many months of waiting.

I'm intrigued by the number 2 drivers.

Kovalinen not doing as well as LH (expected, especially given how now he is to the team).

Piquet is way off Alonso's pace. I know it's early to say (2 free practices only!), but one season of Briatore looking over his shoulder while he languishes 2 secs of FA's pace is not going to help him at all.

How many times have we seen this before? (Anybody remember Pizzonia?)

#17 Durant

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:47

Originally posted by Mika Mika


HAHAHAH Did you even watch pratice?! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dear oh Dear


Yes I saw him doing a number of big power slides, under steering, running wide ect. Out of all of that he finally managed to hook up a good lap right at the end on fumes. Well done.

#18 p432rpp

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:50

Kovalinen must be quite smug after watching his old team! Suprised to see FA all over the place, best not mention PK Jr :blush:

#19 Lukin

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:54

Glock's onboard made it look like the Toyota was trying to kill him.

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#20 Mika Mika

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:55

Originally posted by p432rpp
Kovalinen must be quite smug after watching his old team! Suprised to see FA all over the place, best not mention PK Jr :blush:


Yea Fernando was really struggling...

#21 Owen

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:59

Fisi made me raise an eyebrow with his time. Not often I say this but I thought that was a great effort.

#22 archstanton

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:03

everyone spending all winter talking about traction control, as if these guys are ever gonna light up the rears ... and not a significant sausage about engine braking.

brundle had it pegged in his last itv column, he said 75% off the new problems would come from trying to get into the corner, coming out is easy. from what we saw 75% is an underestimate, it's ALL about the braking and keeping control as balance swings wildly forward.

the set-up experience and tyre-conservation are still a concern, but the one thing that impressed me most the last two years, was watching Hamilton on the brakes, i'm not sure there's anyone close on the grid .... whether that is enough to keep up with the kimi and the red car, not sure, but it'll be a lot more interesting to watch than maybe we previously thought.

#23 Dalton007

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:11

The quali is going to be fun. I hoping Button might spring a surprise and get into the top 10. So drivers might struggle with TC when they have to get that fast time.

#24 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:14

Originally posted by archstanton
everyone spending all winter talking about traction control, as if these guys are ever gonna light up the rears ... and not a significant sausage about engine braking.

brundle had it pegged in his last itv column, he said 75% off the new problems would come from trying to get into the corner, coming out is easy. from what we saw 75% is an underestimate, it's ALL about the braking and keeping control as balance swings wildly forward.


There were countless moments of drivers sliding under acceleration out of corners, it was quite visible.

#25 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:15

Originally posted by Dalton007
The quali is going to be fun. I hoping Button might spring a surprise and get into the top 10. So drivers might struggle with TC when they have to get that fast time.


It is probably more likely that we'll see the drivers struggle without TC and brake assist at the end of their stints.

#26 archstanton

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:22

Originally posted by karlth


There were countless moments of drivers sliding under acceleration out of corners, it was quite visible.



a little very light sliding, very occasionally, a fraction of a tenth, not a problem, not a change in position.

cars getting flung-off left, right and centre in the braking zones, that is what i'm describing here. was there any driver that didn't go through the gravel today, we had cars sideways through braking zones, clattering kerbs and spinning off ... including a ferrari that usually looks like it's on rails.

#27 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:30

Originally posted by archstanton
a little very light sliding, very occasionally, a fraction of a tenth, not a problem, not a change in position.


An unintended slide will lose you a position if you have a car following you close behind. It is though the spectacle which I personally have been missing.

Great to see it back although we'll probably see less of them in better conditions.

cars getting flung-off left, right and centre in the braking zones, that is what i'm describing here. was there any driver that didn't go through the gravel today, we had cars sideways through braking zones, clattering kerbs and spinning off ... including a ferrari that usually looks like it's on rails.


Agree.

#28 Mauseri

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:30

Originally posted by QdfV
Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC

He seems to handle the hotlaps nicely, his drive is nice to watch, but I wonder can he drive like that over a longer stint.

Kimi looked good for both fast lap and long stint. He drives nicely but doesnt burn so much rubber.

#29 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:34

Originally posted by micra_k10

He seems to handle the hotlaps nicely, his drive is nice to watch, but I wonder can he drive like that over a longer stint.

Kimi looked good for both fast lap and long stint. He drives nicely but doesnt burn so much rubber.


Raikkonen was strangely slow in 2nd practice, constantly off the pace with Massa having a definite edge.

They will have to work hard to fix his setup before tomorrow.

#30 primer

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:40

Toyotas were quite decent, and frankly the real surpirses are Red Bull and Force India. In particular, I was expecting FI to be the last two, but they aren't all that bad. Of course, as the season goes on, I expect them to fall back to teams like BMW, Renault etc.

Magmaguri are so slow there's no point in having them on the grid, other than making up the numbers (for Bernard's sake). Might as well get two GP2 cars in there instead. :rolleyes:

Mclaren have the stronger driver line-up compared to Ferrari, although both teams' cars are pretty equal. Massa will be the undoing in WCC fight :o

Honda weren't as horrible as I feared.

Toyota Williams is being held back by Nakajima, get rid of this clown and put someone who can keep up with Nico.

Renault suck. Looks like a Kimi & Lewis kind of season.

#31 Hacklerf

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:46

I have to say congratulations to Force India! excellent stuff and their car looks great on the TV.

#32 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:49

Hamilton's run was probably a qualifying simulation(Race fuel) based on quotes from McLaren.

Don't understand then what Heikki was doing as he went out on soft tyres as well.

#33 ashnathan

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:54

Hekki had traffic in his last short stint.

#34 Galko877

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:55

Still early days but I'm positively surprised by Massa. I was a bit worried for him without TC but he despite of his off he is well on the pace. :up: Kimi struggled in the 2nd FP, let's hope he sorts out his set-up problems for the rest of the weekend.

As predicted, it looks like a close Ferrari-McLaren battle for the title.

I'm disappointed by Piquet, he was very, very slow and also making lots of mistakes. Well, let's see if he is up to F1 standards. :|

#35 jokuvaan

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:56

Midpack is so close that I wouldnt make any season predictions at this point. Mainly because this is not normal racing circuit combined with dirt+temp.

#36 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:57

Originally posted by Galko877
I'm disappointed by Piquet, he was very, very slow and also making lots of mistakes. Well, let's see if he is up to F1 standards. :|


Yes, he was strangely slow.

Then again one cannot expect a rookie to team up with a 2xWDC and be immediately competitive.

#37 angst

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:00

Originally posted by primer
Toyotas were quite decent, and frankly the real surpirses are Red Bull and Force India. In particular, I was expecting FI to be the last two, but they aren't all that bad. Of course, as the season goes on, I expect them to fall back to teams like BMW, Renault etc.


I don't know why anybody who has kept up with winter testing believed that FI would be uncompetitive. There is a great deal more investment (something that has been sorely lacking of recent years), and they have a strong and experienced driver. No disrespect to the likers of Monteiro, Karthikayan, Albers, Sutil or Yamamoto - but there isn't a great deal of experience to draw on there, is there?

Originally posted by primer
Magmaguri are so slow there's no point in having them on the grid, other than making up the numbers (for Bernard's sake). Might as well get two GP2 cars in there instead. :rolleyes:


Is it any wonder they are so slow? They have done virtually no testing, have few spares - they only just (very last minute) survived to be on the grid. And not for Bernard's sake - but in spite of Bernard's duplicity. They, I think, will get stronger as the year progresses - they did a remarkable job in 2007, imo.

Originally posted by primer
Mclaren have the stronger driver line-up compared to Ferrari, although both teams' cars are pretty equal. Massa will be the undoing in WCC fight :o


I agree with this. I think Massa is going to be 'found out' this year, with the removal of TC and engine braking. I expect many, many mistakes.

Originally posted by primer
Honda weren't as horrible as I feared.


And expect them to be able to do better in the races. Especially as they have worked on ensuring that they can overtake - given that they know that they likely won't be starting from the pointy end of the grid....

Originally posted by primer
Toyota Williams is being held back by Nakajima, get rid of this clown and put someone who can keep up with Nico.


Again, I agree. I think Nakajima is a talented driver, but as has been said numerous times, F1 is not a finishing school. Nakajima could have done with another season (at least) in GP2. That drive should have been Liuzzi's.

Originally posted by primer
Renault suck. Looks like a Kimi & Lewis kind of season.


Imagine how bad they would have been without Alonso bringing his six tenths with him.... :p

#38 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:01

BMW seem uninspired. They never seemed to be competitive with any run by McLaren or Ferrari.

On the other hand Honda was a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it was the green pants that did the trick.

#39 Galko877

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:04

Originally posted by karlth


Yes, he was strangely slow.

Then again one cannot expect a rookie to team up with a 2xWDC and be immediately competitive.


To be honest, to me Piquet was always suspect for being overhyped and overrated. He never impressed in testing and that now seems to continue. It's not just that he is not up there with Alonso. I didn't expect him to be up there right away. Not everybody can be a Hamilton. ;) But he is not even up there with others whose cars are probably slower or just as good as the Renault. In the 1st FP he only beat the two Super Aguris and he wasn't a lot better in the 2nd FP either. Well, let's give him some time, but I wouldn't be surprised if he would be the disappointment of the season.

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#40 Melbourne Park

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:11

Originally posted by angst
I think Nakajima is a talented driver, but as has been said numerous times, F1 is not a finishing school. Nakajima could have done with another season (at least) in GP2.

Naka though I do not think has the use of a simulator, which Hamilton had the pleasure of using. IF that's true, then he would have to learn the track. And it was a bad day to do that, with a green track and also it was very windy. Plus if you bin the chassis, you are in real trouble, because you cannot bring a spare car now - the rules have changed in that area.

So, I think its pretty tough to can the guy already. Massa almost binned the F2007 - Naka didn't (I think) get close to that. Tomorrow he'll have a much better idea of the track, and what he's doing wrong. He finished the second session with consistent times - sure a little slow - but they were consistent. Maybe he even had some fuel in the car? He's shown he can be quick, and many think that his partner actually is very quick. Give Naka a break - he's a genuine rookie, and he's position is likely providing a lot of benefits to Williams. His only crime so far is being a bit slow - and that's not much of a crime on Friday, in your first GP weekend. He may even do better than Wurz did.




#41 Mauseri

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:19

Originally posted by Galko877
To be honest, to me Piquet was always suspect for being overhyped and overrated. He never impressed in testing and that now seems to continue. It's not just that he is not up there with Alonso. I didn't expect him to be up there right away. Not everybody can be a Hamilton. ;) But he is not even up there with others whose cars are probably slower or just as good as the Renault. In the 1st FP he only beat the two Super Aguris and he wasn't a lot better in the 2nd FP either. Well, let's give him some time, but I wouldn't be surprised if he would be the disappointment of the season.

Last year when he was testing, he was usually easily faster than Heikki. I wonder if that was bluff. Or if this new car is too twitchy for him, or if Renault produce two slightly different cars to favor Alonso? My favorite conspiracy for a slow driver: he is carrying 20kg weights ;)

#42 karlth

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:20

Originally posted by Melbourne Park
Naka though I do not think has the use of a simulator, which Hamilton had the pleasure of using. IF that's true, then he would have to learn the track.


Williams do have a simulator, although probably not as advanced as McLaren's.

#43 eoin

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:27

Originally posted by micra_k10

He seems to handle the hotlaps nicely, his drive is nice to watch, but I wonder can he drive like that over a longer stint.

Kimi looked good for both fast lap and long stint. He drives nicely but doesnt burn so much rubber.


Indeed. If Hamilton has an issue it will be with using up his rears, on long runs, as he likes to slide it around.

The gap between the front 4 and the rest is disappointing, after all the talk i was hoping for it to be a little closer, but we will see tonight.

#44 Galko877

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:29

Ah, I almost forgot about Fisichella. He was very, very impressive and based on the tests also, I think he is about to rebuild his reputation this year!

To me the guy is an enigma. He always looks like the real deal in smaller teams, weaker cars and when he is in a WCC car he underperforms. Kind of like Frentzen was. I don't know it it's because of the pressure of being in a top team or something else, but very strange.

#45 Anomnader

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:32

Originally posted by eoin


Indeed. If Hamilton has an issue it will be with using up his rears, on long runs, as he likes to slide it around.

The gap between the front 4 and the rest is disappointing, after all the talk i was hoping for it to be a little closer, but we will see tonight.


I would imagine they will take it slightly easier in the race then during practice and qualifying where they'll find a rythmn thats quick enough unless they have to push, again, it'll probs be mostly static amongst the top 4 after the start until pitstops

#46 Juan Kerr

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:37

Originally posted by Galko877
Ah, I almost forgot about Fisichella. He was very, very impressive and based on the tests also, I think he is about to rebuild his reputation this year!

To me the guy is an enigma. He always looks like the real deal in smaller teams, weaker cars and when he is in a WCC car he underperforms. Kind of like Frentzen was. I don't know it it's because of the pressure of being in a top team or something else, but very strange.

Just Alonso and his engineer finding more tricks in the setup of those Renaults. Its the same for Sutil now he's no slouch but Fisi looks like he's driving a different car.
I don't rate Alan Permane at all. Ferrari and McLaren would've proved far more succesful for Fisi.

#47 eoin

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:40

Originally posted by Anomnader


I would imagine they will take it slightly easier in the race then during practice and qualifying where they'll find a rythmn thats quick enough unless they have to push, again, it'll probs be mostly static amongst the top 4 after the start until pitstops


Easier in the race than practice? That would be a first! Hamilton uses the rear more than most, it's just his style. He will probably be fine in most races, but if the tyres are marginal at any race he might be in more trouble than someone like kimi who is smoother.

#48 Anomnader

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:42

Originally posted by eoin


Easier in the race than practice? That would be a first! Hamilton uses the rear more than most, it's just his style. He will probably be fine in most races, but if the tyres are marginal at any race he might be in more trouble than someone like kimi who is smoother.


It makes it seem then that the soft tyre stint will be very very short.

Button should do very well as he is one of the smoothest drivers out there.

#49 HSJ

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:42

Originally posted by QdfV
Lewis is definitely not having problems without TC


Originally posted by Mika Mika


You're right there he looked very smooth (when the ITV feed wasnt jerky that is).


What? If anything, LH made the most mistakes of the Ferrari and McLaren drivers. Braking in corner entry seemed to be the reason, but the mistakes weren't very big or costly time-wise, unlike Massa's spin. But then LH had trouble keeping it on the black stuff in Melbourne last year as well, so it may not be just because of lack of driver aids.

Alonso and DC(?) seemed to like those graveltrap excursions, they went off big time, but didn't spin. I was really surprised to see BMW and Williams have such technical problems, and BMW weren't that fast either. Red Bull may be surprisingly quick.

Definitely more mistakes were seen by all drivers (rather small mistakes mostly, but still) today than last year, and some drivers clearly made more mistakes than others. Hopefully it will stay this way and the lack of driver aids will make a real difference this year.

Edit:

Originally posted by archstanton
but the one thing that impressed me most the last two years, was watching Hamilton on the brakes, i'm not sure there's anyone close on the grid ....


I wonder if we were watching the same practice sessions. LH was definitely having problems nailing braking into corners consistently and keeping it on the black stuff. He was one of the least impressive of all in this regard, the speed he had definitely comes from somewhere else, probably the car is great again and forgives mistakes, just like last year.



#50 wingwalker

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:45

I'm not sure how much can we read from the first FP. But it sure seems like a two horse hears again, but with a lot tighter mid pack, which should create some racing (here's hoping tv directors will show us more action from the back of the back than a year ago). BMW seem to be rather slow, Piquet Jr. is struggling (but remember Heikki last year? He sucked in Australia, but he totally turned his season around later on.

I don't think that lack of experienced on this track is a justifies him, as the other high rated rookies (Nico, Lewis, Robert) were famous for doing competitive times almost instantly, even on the tracks they weren't familiar with.

I can't wait for Q2 to see what is the real pace and see how Q3 turns out.


Oh, and there was tons of sliding in the slow corners, most noticeably in the last one. But locking the rear was was far more spectacular, it might be a good sign: if almost everyone has troubles with it now, it will become even more harder under pressure when drivers are trying to outbrake each other. I predict we might see best race on Monza in years - even in 2007 stability under breaking was a major issue there, so it's gonna be a lot harder now.