Tag Archives: BakuGP

Formula One: Williams break the 2 second pit stop barrier

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Williams Martini Racing set a new record for the fastest recorded pit stop at the Grand Prix of Europe. The team finally broke the magical 2 second barrier with Felipe Massa’s stop. Williams are the first team to officially complete a pitstop in which all 4 tyres are changed in under 2 seconds in Formula One.

After a series of calamitous pitstop performances throughout the teams 2015 campaign, for 2016 the team employed a process manager to analyse possible areas of improvement and implement change. One change has been to introduce a 21st person to the process. The person is responsible for monitoring the pitlane throughout the stop and signal (through a hand-held remote) when it is safe to release the car. This additional person reduces the number of tasks to be completed by the front jack man, and as a consequence has allowed for increased focus and improved efficiency. By allocating only single tasks to individuals in a pitstop process focus can be absolute. No doubt rival teams will be looking to emulate the Williams pit stop process in races to come.

For the 2016 Season DHL are awarding a Fastest Pitstop award after each Grand Prix. Williams have won this accolade at every race this season.

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Formula One: Rosberg’s video diary of a winning weekend

Nico Rosberg continues his commitment to share his 2016 F1 championship challenge with as many fans as possible. In this series of films Nico takes viewers through his build up for the weekend, pre race trip from the hotel to the track and post race celebrations.

The increasingly infamous Monaco Resident Private Jet service shows the relationships drivers have away from the circuit. Rosberg and his management team are clearly investing in providing fans a real insight into life as an F1 driver. The production values of the You Tube films are very impressive and feature content filmed using drones.

Nico’s commitment to sharing his experiences with fans both positive and negative is highly commendable.

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Formula One: Stats and Facts from the Grand Prix of Europe

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The very first Grand Prix in Azerbaijan was won by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who started from pole and stopped just once, passing from supersoft to soft tyres, without ever losing the lead.

The top six started on the supersoft and stopped only once for the soft tyre, between laps 8 and 21. This meant that their soft tyre stints lasted up to 43 laps, in the case of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The result was achieved despite a higher wear rate than expected owing to warmer temperatures than those seen in practice and qualifying.

The highest placed of the three drivers to have instead started on the soft was Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who finished ninth from 12th on the grid. Hulkenberg stopped just once, while the best of the two-stoppers was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who used all three compounds nominated for Azerbaijan: supersoft, soft and medium, which was the case also for his team mate Max Verstappen.

Another alternative strategy was adopted by Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein, who completed a very long 29-lap opening stint on the soft, then reverted to the medium before his retirement. Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, by contrast, had a very long closing stint on the soft tyre that even lasted for 46 laps. Manor’s Rio Haryanto went even longer: 48 laps.

Commenting on the race Pirelli’s Paul Hembery remarked:

 “The Baku grand prix contained a number of surprises; firstly with track temperatures still in excess of 50 degrees after one third of the race, and with very little drop in temperature throughout. And secondly because the much-anticipated safety cars never materialised. As expected, it was a one-stop race for the winner, with quite high wear and low degradation despite the long lap length and very high top speeds. We saw a number of different strategies being tried, including some very long stints even on the supersoft, which was key to Nico Rosberg’s victory on this spectacular track.”

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Formula One: Tyres available in Baku

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Ahead of the Grand Prix of Europe from Baku Pirelli have confirmed the remaining tyre allocation available to drivers for the race.

With a one stop race expected and increased running from drivers to familiarise themselves with the circuit, new tyre availability is minimal. Teams are expected to adopt a one stop strategy in the race with most starting on the Supersoft compound then changing to the mandatory Soft tyre at around 1/3rd race distance.

However, as seen in qualifying and free practice many drivers have struggled with braking points through around the circuit resulting in heavy flat spotting. Should this occur in the race additional pitstops will be required and with so few fresh tyres available drivers may be forced to run the Medium compound tyre.

Drivers such as Button and Hulkenberg arguably out of position have a wealth of fresh tyres available to them which may encourage them to consider an alternative strategy.

Commenting on likely strategy Pirelli remarked:

“The teams obviously have limited data regarding Baku, so there is less information than usual on which to base strategy calculations. However, a one-stop seems to be clearly the best option. The top 10 will all start on used supersoft, and we would expect them to move onto the soft on lap 22 (of 51). If starting on the soft, the time to switch to supersoft is lap 29. However, strategies will have to be flexible, as there appears to be a high likelihood of a safety car.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director adds:

“We saw an action-packed qualifying session, where the lack of experience and lack of grip on this new circuit was a key factor, causing a few surprises. The supersoft was used from start to finish, but the fresh asphalt meant that there was little grip on offer, and the track was evolving all the time. As a result it was an exciting session, which suggests also that there could be a high probability of a safety car tomorrow, as we saw in the GP2 race earlier. While a one-stop strategy is clearly the way forward, there are some good opportunities to have on this rapid circuit, which combines the unpredictability of a street circuit with the possibility to overtake and move up the field.”

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Formula One: Baku – Anyone’s Race?

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Nico Rosberg may have claimed pole position for the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe from Baku, but the race for the top step is far from over.

The street circuit, featuring a 2,2km flat out section followed by the tightest series of corners on the F1 calender only a few moments later has proved to be a truly unique challenge for drivers and engineers. In the quest for ultimate top speed teams have been forced into a low downforce set up leaving cars on the absolute edge. This coupled with high pressured , hard compound tyres from Pirelli, alongside a number of niggling 1st race issues around the Baku venue gives us a thrilling Grand Prix in prospect.

The attrition rate seen in the GP2 feature race hinted at the spectacle we can expect in the F1 race. Overtaking is possible all over the circuit, T1 the most common. Run off zones whilst small are just about large enough for drivers to force competitors into them without risk of penalty. All in all, the F1 race really could be anyone’s. Judging by the GP2 race pole position or running in first place could actually work against a driver, expect oval racing levels of slipstreaming and overtaking along the main straight.

With this in mind bookmakers have been surprisingly generous in the odds being offered on drivers in the top ten.  It’s hard to pick out one specific driver to follow for the race, so I’m suggesting 5!

Lewis Hamilton -Dominated the weekend until  a shocker in qualifying, starting 10th on the grid. He is in the fastest car and Mercedes have introduced a low downforce wing which should mitigate the issues the team have had running in traffic in earlier races this season.  Winner odds 3/1

Sergio Perez – Second only to Nico Rosberg in qualifying. A gearbox penalty drops him to 7th on the grid, but after a podium in Monaco, and rumours of Ferrari considering him for 2017, Perez will be eager to impress. A great offering of 40/1 – consider an each way bet

Kimi Raikkonen – Yes Vettel out-qualified him, but he has been quietly doing his thing around Baku, and has engaged reverse far fewer times than his competitors this weekend. Also offering at 40/1

Max Verstappen / Carlos Saniz – How bold are you feeling? If Baku is to be a race of attrition, which may expect it will be. Max showed the world in Canada how calm he can be under pressure, at 80/1 the return could be great! More out there, but an even greater opportunity, Sainz. Arguably driver of the day in the last few races. With a new contract under his belt Saniz could be a great outside bet and a huge pay day at 500/1! Are you feeling bold?

Check out these odds and more at William Hill.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the live IN-PLAY odds available during F1 Races. In a race of attrition there could be some special odds availble for the fast fingered. To find out more about IN PLAY odds, check out my feature here.

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Formula One: VIDEO Rosberg – Massively Frustrated

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Heading home a mere 2 hours after the conclusion of the Canadian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg talks through a frustrating race which saw him come home in 5th place. With team mate Lewis Hamilton winning the race, Nico’s championship lead has now been reduced to only 9 points.

Rosberg talks through what he felt was an aggressive move from Lewis at the start into turn one, which forced Nico to possibly work stress the W07 in order to maximise results for the day. This lead to issues with braking, excessive tyre wear and running extremely low on fuel in the closing stages of the event. In conclusion a massively frustrating race.

Nico will now have two days at home before ahead out to Baku for the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe.

Formula One: The race to Baku

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A mere 8 hours after the conclusion of today’s Canadian Grand Prix, all teams will be required to have completed race equipment pack up and have all containers ready to be shipped to Baku ahead of the inaugural Grand Prix of Europe, taking place in Azerbaijan next weekend.

In order to meet this deadline, many teams will begin the pack up process as soon as the race gets under way later today. With mixed conditions forecast teams will be hopeful they do not see a repeat of the 2011 event which due to severe weather conditions saw the race take place over a 4 hour period including a 2 hour red flag period, such scheduling will play havoc with teams planning for the following race.

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The Haas F1 Team have prepared a number of handy info graphics to illustrate the challenges of the second race taking place in Montreal today.

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Traditionally organisers of a new Grand Prix would look to have a minimum of a two week gap between the previous race and their own event. As such it is some what of an anomaly for FOM (Formula One Management) to schedule a Grand Prix at a new location at the tail of back to back races. Teams will be heavily reliant on the Baku infrastructure being 100% prepared to receive them and for there to be no issues in the release of goods from airports. As such many teams have sent crew’s to Baku a week ahead of the race itself.

In a bid to minimise the pressure or risk around set up delays many teams have elected to ship secondary equipment to Baku directly.

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Still the challenge remains to get a crew of around 80 team personnel  10,300 KM from Montreal to Baku in the shortest possible time. There will be little opportunity from team celebrations post race today.

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JWGP will give a bag of jelly babies to the first team to tweet from Baku with the garage set up with the cars in place!