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When were warm-up laps introduced


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#1 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 06:51

I saw a comment after the Belgian GP 1966, that the accidents on the first lap hadn't happened if the drivers had been allowed to try the track before the start.
Does anybody know when the warm-up lap was introduced in GP racing? Did they ever have one on the long "Nord-Schleife" of Nürburgring, or was it just a little spin around the pits?

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#2 Sharman

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:53

In the bad old days the only time we got a warm up lap was if it was raining at start time and if practice had been dry and not always then. The same went for the higher echelons of the sport i.e. anything above a club meeting, I refer to late 50's early 60's.

#3 David Shaw

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 08:54

I believe they just ran around the 'Betonschleife'.

#4 ensign14

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:04

Would it make things more interesting if they did not bother with warm-up laps nowadays? Less chance of overheating cars so more chance the races would start on time, but with cold tyres it could be fun on lap 1? Or madness?

Originally posted by David Shaw
I believe they just ran around the 'Betonschleife'.


OT, but I remember at uni someone coming out of a French paper having just translated an article which hinged on the word "beton"...he said he thought about it for ages, trying to work it out, and finally concluded it meant "beetroot".

I wonder what the markers thought of that. Confronted with a paper that had translated a hard-hitting analysis of urban decay into a salad recipe.

#5 Sharman

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 12:58

Coming out of an French exam with a translation hinging on the word "beton" and coming up with beetroot hardly provides concrete evidence of his understanding of the language. :lol:

#6 Rob29

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 13:32

Never heard that word before. I assume we are referring to the pits loop which was something like 'start und zeil platz' when I was there.( in 1975 & 81.(F2)

#7 BRG

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 14:10

'beton' means concrete.

They must have been really hard beetroots...

#8 uechtel

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 20:36

The "Betonschleife" was the backdoor-return to the start and finish straight before entering the real "Nordschleife":

http://www.pro-steil...e/nordkehre.htm

I think it was indeed used for the warm-up "lap" at some time, but I can not quite remember where I read about that. Would need a complete search through the literature...

What I found is reference to some kind of "warm up" in the true sense of the word at the Monaco GP of 1972, where the flooded circuit made it necessary allow the drivers some test laps immediatley before the start. Quote from Schwab´s yearbook: "Slowly, with a maximum of discipline the drivers rolled by the tabak´s shop down the back straight and then through the notoriuous Gasometer curve to make a 10 second´s stop at the starting line. This was the agreed time to avoid the flying start." That sounds very much like a warm-up lap to me.

But usually the format until the mid seventies was to have a "pre-start" ("Vorstart" in German) some 50 metres behind the real grid to see which cars would face technical problems. In the case someone ran into such problems it was sometimes allowed for the first non-qualifier to join in at last second (sometimes also to join in illegally anyway - Hans Heyer, German GP 1977...)

And then I found reference to perhaps the first really complete "official" warm up lap, again Schwab, Dutch GP 1976: "This time the pre-start was not over the usual distance of ten to fifteen car lengths, but over a whole complete lap. This was not very pleasing for the drivers of the thirsty twelve cylinders, which the reglement allowed only the 250 litres of fuel. When the field came in two-by-two order back to the start and finish line it was stopped briefly and then released into the race by a traffic light."

So of course this brings also up the question when was the last race without a warm-up lap.

#9 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 20:52

Originally posted by uechtel
The "Betonschleife" was the backdoor-return to the start and finish straight before entering the real "Nordschleife":

http://www.pro-steil...e/nordkehre.htm

I think it was indeed used for the warm-up "lap" at some time, but I can not quite remember where I read about that. Would need a complete search through the literature...


That's indeed what they did. Before the Grand Prix, drivers had the chance to warm-up their cars via the Betonkehre. Here, for example, Rolf Stommelen does just that before the 1972 GP:

http://20832.com/ima...730_h/B1119.jpg


After the drivers had finished warming up - I imagine they did one or two laps of the Betonschleife - the cars would form the 'dummy grid', about 50 metres behind the real grid, as Uechtel described. With about 30 seconds to go, the cars slowly rolled forward to the starting line. Then the flag fell and off they went. So, no warm-up lap as we know today.

However, sports cars used an Indianapolis-style start (i.e. a flying start), and for this the Betonschleife was used for a pace lap. Here we see the field taking the Betonkehre just before the start of the 1971 1000 KM race:

http://www.jacky-ick...urgring_082.jpg

Accelerating out of the Betonkehre and onto the main straight, the leaders would dictate the tempo, and then as the flag fell it was full throttle for everyone.

For the 1983 1000 KM race, however, the Betonschleife was no longer available, so did they in fact do an almost 20 kilometres pace lap...

http://20832.com/ima...1000km83_01.jpg

The flying start then took place at the Döttinger-Höhe straightaway.

#10 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 07:37

I have never thought of this question before but back in the 1950s when the cars were simply pushed out onto the grid, the drivers got in, waited for the start and off they went, did they have morning warm up laps?

#11 jgm

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 07:58

There used to be a procedure employed in the 1960s whereby the cars would form up on a 'dummy grid' before the start of a race. Moments before the start they would move forward about 100 yards to the grid proper and then start. The idea was that if a car had a serious technical problem it would be left behind on the dummy grid.

#12 eldougo

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 09:05

:clap:
Thanks for this picture Uechtel.
Ouestion did they race FormulaVees on the full length track,and if so what where there time per lap....?

http://www.pro-steil...e/nordk1969.htm

#13 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 09:19

Originally posted by eldougo
:clap:
Thanks for this picture Uechtel.
Ouestion did they race FormulaVees on the full length track,and if so what where there time per lap....?

http://www.pro-steil...e/nordk1969.htm


If I may answer this...

Formula Vee raced on both the Nordschleife and Südschleife, but never on the complete, 28 kilometres long track (although test drives were held on the full circuit in 1968).

Berni Roos (RPG Formula Vee) drove a lap on the Nordschleife in 9.25,1 in 1972.

#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 09:58

Should that be BERTIL Roos?

#15 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 09:59

... and RPB?

#16 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 10:32

Yes and yes. :stoned:

#17 Sharman

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 14:59

Originally posted by Barry Boor
I have never thought of this question before but back in the 1950s when the cars were simply pushed out onto the grid, the drivers got in, waited for the start and off they went, did they have morning warm up laps?



Barry
They were usually warmed up in the paddock or the assembly area, as I posted earlier the only time I can remember that a pre race lap was allowed was when practice was dry and the race was wet. There were no matters of tyre heating to be considered in those days.
JSF

#18 David Holland

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 17:32

I believe uechtel was right with the 1976 Dutch GP being the first official full warm up lap prior to the race proper. It seems to have become the norm on each race after.
There were warm up laps before this but the cars would then form a dummy grid and move forward to the grid proper as a final warm-up.
So I suppose the last race without a formal warm-up lap (or parade lap or formation lap) would have to be Austria 1976.
Since Indy 2005 I have firmed up my view that any driver who does not take the start proper can not seriously be considered a race-starter. Therefore those 14 guys may technically have taken part in the US GP (and the clued up stayed in the car for the first 2 laps until it was declared a 'proper' race) but in my eyes they were simply a DNS.
I blame Murray Walker for a lot of this confusion because one of his major mantras was that "this formation lap is part of the race distance and counts towards the lap totals" which on reflection was not strictly true.

#19 Wolf

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 17:38

David- but if start is aborted and field goes on 2nd formation lap then IIANM the race distance is shortened by one lap; so he could be said to be right in a way...

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#20 eldougo

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 09:28

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rob Semmeling

Formula Vee raced on both the Nordschleife and Südschleife, but never on the complete, 28 kilometres long track (although test drives were held on the full circuit in 1968Berni Roos (RPG Formula Vee) drove a lap on the Nordschleife in 9.25,1 in 1972.
[/QUOTE.
_________________________________________

Thanks ROB :up: that is what i was looking for.

#21 Mischa Bijenhof

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 20:40

As I didn't want to start a new thread on this, I though I might as well ask it here. I vaguely recall a rule that was introduced in 1993, from the Brazilian GP onwards, that only 25 cars (I.O the usual 26) were allowed to start the race. No idea why it was introduced, and neither did the FIA, it seems, as it was quickly scrapped. From the Monaco GP, it was reverted back to the old 26 car-grid. In Montreal, Magny-cours and Silverstone however, it was again number 26 that missed the cut, but from Hockenheim on it was a 26-car grid again. Why was this?

#22 uechtel

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 22:58

I think to make practise a little bit more interesting for the backmarkers...