2012 Predictions From F1 Testing

Uploaded by drive on 05.03.2012


It's the Monday ShakeDown, March 5, 2012, and time for a
potpourri of auto racing news.
Potpourri, that sounds a little bit like Martha
Stewart, and you know who she is, the Danica
Patrick of home decor.
Instead, let's go with a paella of racing news because
we're going to focus on the final F1 testing from
Barcelona, Spain, giving you a taste of what we've learned
and a savoring of the new racing tech cooking
up in the 2012 cars.
Plus some other tech news in the rest of the racing
industry, including a little personal experience of mine
with the DeltaWing, which apparently ran a
shakedown lap recently.
Then, let's finish with this racing "recipe," the V8
Supercars opening race results because it allows me to say a
few words about Ford and leave you with a challenge question.
Yeah, but the real "aperitif" for this ShakeDown menu is me
serving up some F1 predictions heading into the 2012 season.
Then you can throw it all up back at me when my ideas
"choke" against your senses of who's going to win this year.
Way too over the top for this paella food thing, right?
But it could have been worse.
I was really thinking of doing an opening as a silent movie
tribute to the Oscar-winning pick The Artist.
I can tap dance, and I do have this film about a dog.

OK, the executive management of Drive asked me to formally
apologize for showing you that video and the cruel demise of
one of man's best friends.
Drive asked me to tell you how truly sorry I am.
And may I add a personal note.
ShakeDown, in showing that video, in no way encourages
you to participate in the chasing of dogs with the cars.
That should be left to the professionals, OK?
We done there?
Here's another example of where my
mouth got me into trouble.
You know the DeltaWing.
Maybe you've already seen the 17 seconds of testing footage.
Well, I met the DeltaWing people a
year ago at Lime Rock.
I know Dan Gurney from my Toyota days.
His AAR group is building the car.
So we started talking about doing some coverage of the
Delta, maybe a little inside look.
You know, be there for the first shakedown.
Because while I'm not a fan of its looks, I never, like the
others in the media, doubted the tech or questioned whether
it would turn or not.
Delta, in my opinion, is a noble push against traditional
thinking and a fantastic proof-of-concept project,
which racing needs more.
But it seems I did call it ugly, and Dayton Duncan, the
Highcroft head, took exception to my opinion.
You can see where this is going.
So I sent an email explaining my public support of the
effort, my right to an opinion, and a statement
suggesting that we all know the DeltaWing was not an
exercise in appearance, but an exercise in technology.
Still, you call a parent's kid ugly, and even if little Toby
wears out the Photoshop to finish his class picture, you
know you're not going to get a Christmas
card from Toby's folks.
So, the DeltaWing PR reply did come, kind of suggesting
make-up sex thing, but who knows.
And it's all OK with me.
Look, I really do hope we get a story because I have three
questions, and here they are.
Number one, it seems with the rotation of that car being
behind the driver, how do you aim the car at the apex?
It's not putting the nose wheel there because like a
long-ass semi truck, the back will run over the apex.
Number two, they're using the failed Aston Martin LMP1 tub
as the basis for DeltaWing.
So what changes did they make to the Aston Martin piece?
And number three, knowing that ugly is a sensitive subject,
but quite subjective, may I ask your opinion on the looks
of Sarah Jessica Parker here?
Just to get a range on your ugly meter.
Let's talk V8 Supercars.
They ran their opening race in Adelaide.
Will Davison took his Ford to victory, leading a one, two,
for his team and Ford, and obviously laying down the
marker that says, not this year, Holden.
Your 2011 Series Championship is so last year.
Well, kinda.
They run two races over the V8 Supercars weekend.
And on the Saturday race, Davison and Ford did have it
won before running out of fuel on the last lap, giving it to
Wincup and Holden.
But the Sunday main event, it all came good for Ford, just
like it seems to be doing in all Ford's racing, including
attracting Penske to change from Dodge to Ford in 2013 in
NASCAR, moving from what looks to be a pretty cool 2013
NASCAR challenger, Charger, to the 2013 NASCAR Fusion that
we've all seen before.
But here's my question.
I may not like Ford not being in F1 and not going to Le
Mans, but they are committed to what they do--
NASCAR, drag racing, rally, extreme stuff with Ken Block
V8 Supercars, and the new World Touring Car
Championship Focus.
And they win.
So my question is this, are they the best brand
in racing, or who?
Give me your answer.
And hint, hint, as to one of your options.
It wasn't in the racing news, but it may have racing
Audi, in advance of the Geneva Auto Show, spoke about FRP,
Fiberglass Reinforced Springs, 40% lighter,
stronger than steel.
They're going to show up on the 2012 E-Tron R8 production
car, mass adoption across the Audi lineup in
the following year.
And why not in a race car?
Another tech that Audi will showcase is called Predictive
Mercedes is playing with this, too.
But basically, it's cameras scanning the road ahead, 20
meters ahead, and translating the finding as to bumps,
surface, and corners to set the suspension appropriately.
And now you can see where all this computer-controlled F1
suspension work ended up and where F1 was headed.
So it is F1 time let's talk about the test days.
The final days just ended this past week in Barcelona.
I never get that right.
Here comes another one of my top-line summaries, not a full
data dump, so as to focus on the key points and to open the
door for your input as to details and opinions.
First, let's throw out the test times.
Sorry, Kimi, and your last day rise to the
top of the time sheet.
They only flatter to deceive, but I do look at segment time
teachings and speed trends.
And for that, for example, it does bode well
for Kimi and Lotus.
I read the blogs, as you do, and I check the images coming
out of the test.
We saw, for example, new tech be introduced on the final
day, in particular, with Red Bull and McLaren to prevent
more cribbing of their ideas from the other teams.
Oh, and before I get into this, let me apologize for
being somewhat of a tease as to having Scarbs F1 on a Skype
chat on ShakeDown and for doing our ShakeDown
Drive F1 live chat.
The team here's been quite busy.
Matter of fact, all of them are out with Alex Roy shooting
another Live and Let Drive.
And thanks again, Ian Whalen and Cat from FLD for being the
people that are helping us out.
And it doesn't help that myself, I'm also going to be
headed on the road into the next two weeks of travel,
first with the Palatov Simraceway
test and then Sebring.
So frankly, I haven't been dickish enough to force the
two events into the Drive schedule.
But I am assured that they will happen, and I assure you
that we'll give you a sufficient heads up so you can
play with our live chat.
Where was I?
Oh, F1.
Red Bull has a new rear exhaust setup using all sorts
of air flow management and vanes and ducting to push the
exhaust forces to the outer edges of the diffuser to
create an air curtain-- frankly, like on the Sauber,
which has been quick as well.
Wait a minute, Newey's stealing from Sauber?
Plus, Scarbs think they found some vent slats, on the tub of
the RB8, the yellow areas, suggesting air management over
the top of the car and more blown diffuser rumors with
that bottom slat.
Either way, RB8 times have been quick.
The last-minute updates have led to some last-minute
mechanicals, which should be sorted out.
And when Red Bull did race simulation runs, versus
McLaren, they were like a minute down the road at
Simrace end.
But McLaren did last minute updates, too, including a
somewhat complex front wing, and rumors of it being
F-Duct-like venting, venting air through the planes to
reduce drag.
And those black wheels, they look cool.
Speaking of front wings, it feels like the Mercedes is
hiding its true pace and has more than a few
tricks built in.
Focus has been on innovating with its F-Duct front wing,
now called W-Duct.
No driver action required, but rumored to be vented in ways
that the air gets channeled more to one side of the wing
when the car is in yaw-- turning--
to put max down force where it's needed.
Ferrari seems to be able to turn a vanity lap and show
speed, but not consistent pace.
Being extra rough on the tires is the rumor.
OMFG, It's ugly, it's slow, and now it's a handful.
If I were to say it's a dog, well, we all saw what happens
to dogs on an F1 track, and I don't want to
show you that again.
That seems to be too mean for Ferrari, though.
They will struggle, but they will perform--
a bit.
But a bit too late for a championship and probably a
bit too late for Massa's Ferrari career to continue.
Hello, Mr. Perez from Sauber Ferrari.
And here's my other driver guess.
If Alonso and Hamilton were talking, Fernando would say,
Lewis, get your head out of your ass and your house in
order and make the McClaren thing work because you may
regret leaving, assuming options are
always better elsewhere.
And then there is Lotus, showing good design, the
Renault power, good enough for the Red Bull, speed,
consistency, and Kimi.
And look at the Ferrari guys looking over their shoulder in
fear of what Lotus can do on the grid.
So I looked at the race winners for
the last three years.
There were 55 GPs over that period of time.
And I came up with this.
Red Bull won 49% of the time, McLaren 24% of the time,
Ferrari 13, Mercedes Braun 14%.
There are 20 races in 2012.
So should we predict 10 wins for Red Bull, five for
McLaren, two for Ferrari, and three for Mercedes?
Well, yes and no.
I'm taking one from Red Bull and one from Ferrari.
Two of those three years, Ferrari only won one race in
those years.
And I'm giving them to Lotus, two wins for Kimi in 2012.
Now, that's my prediction, what do you
predict for 2012 in F1?