Formula One: Preview GP China 2012
After a three week break, the third round will start in the season 2012. The team had plenty of time to work on their cars, big surprises but it will probably not give.
The last race in Malaysia was a real eye-catcher thanks to the mixed weather conditions. The surprise victory of Alonso, the magnificent journey of Sergio Perez and the amazing pale idea of Red Bull will not repeat well at the race in Shanghai. Ferrari has himself admitted that they hang around eight tenths behind the McLaren, which is a small world at the moment. Indeed, the Italians bring some new parts to China, but it expects this to only a small step forward. It is clear that the F2012 the entire rear end is rebuilt to the GP in Spain. Obviously you want to tinker as a mixture of the RB8 and the Sauber C31. If it does not rain again, which is not excluded due to previous forecasts, Ferrari will certainly have to do more behind. But not only the Italians have problems, it looks very bleak at Mercedes from.
While the W03 is not a flop, but the race pace is simply not enough. If you consider that Mercedes over the Ferrari really should be the faster car, is above all the points yield more than disappointing. Just one point is in the standings, while McLaren have 55 points. On the target No. 3, the ailing Ferrari team standing with 35 points. Sauber has 30 points and Lotus 16. As the field has moved into this more closely, it would already mean a huge effort if you want to advance during the year nor direction P4. The problem of the W03 is the tire wear. It has either too much (Australia) or too little (Malaysia). In other words, one does not find the "sweet spot" of the tire, whose best performance window is apparently also been somewhat close this year. Ross Brawn has announced that they will try to sacrifice the qualifying performance for more race speed, but this is also problematic. But obviously you can see at the moment no other possible answer, suggesting that it could be a fundamental problem with the suspension geometry. And that can not be so easily changed, without rebuilding the entire car again. Still, China should be the Mercedes, you may also be curious if Nico Rosberg with the car finally get along better.
Measure of all things should be in China McLaren. The course was already the chrome-arrow in the past pretty good, besides that, the car actually still makes the ausgewogesten impression. Somewhat surprising was the poor performance in the final stint of the race in Malaysia, worry not, however, makes the McLaren. Lewis Hamilton had his nose ahead of Jenson Button, but had bad luck in Malaysia. The quality and racing duel between the two is likely to be somewhat close again.
Red Bull has been heard in recent weeks little. Vettel expressed more optimistic about the RB8, the Mark Webber is better. You feel that you have much potential for development, but especially the lack of qualifying speed ensures trouble. In the race it is running but usually better, but as a rule of thumb seems to be missing from the RB8 McLaren around three tenths. Straight Red Bull, which do not always keep things in budget rumored to voluntary guidelines can make up for this three-tenths quickly. The question is just, similar to Mercedes, whether the necessary conversion work can be implemented so quickly.
Clean is undoubtedly the team of the moment. The car has a lot of potential there, especially in the rear probably some things that other teams also would like to have. The whole package seems to agree, at least in the race. In the qualifying, the team had been in two races problems, however, have also to do with the fact that in Q2 only once lets the pilots on the route. The partly acting cautiously strategy seems the team here and there unnecessarily einzubremsen. However in race trim the Clean goes phenomenally well and thanks to the very low tire wear Sauber is in a close race again a podium candidate.
This also applies to the Lotus. To the Team Lotus and it was again the week much speculation in terms of Group Lotus ( here are taken good together). Lotus has a fast car, but suffer somewhat due to the different performance of the two drivers. Grosjean's Quali like hell, makes the race but still a lot of mistakes, because he is too aggressive on the road. Raikkonen is superior because it Quali still a little trouble, but the true race pace, has as his fifth-place finish in Malaysia shown. Even Lotus will bring new updates to China and should fit all times, they are also a podium contender.
In addition to Williams Sauber is probably nennne as a surprise team. Although the FW34 by Mike Coughlin is not pretty, but the faster. Stop If the problem with the drivers. Although Senna sixth place in Malaysia was probably the maximum, which may be reached by car, but no matter how you look at it, the question of what a top rider could do with the car, just does remain. Williams consumed so far assume that Mercedes and Ferrari are weak, that Grosjean had to park the car twice and the Force India looks something unsorted. But if the midfield together engaged, it would be difficult for Maldonado and Senna.
Toro Rosso and Force India do at the moment still a little hard. The Italiern could be expected on the basis of the inexperienced pilots still at Force India is lacking especially at speed in the qualification. The progress, however, were already visible in Malaysia, but the question remains whether the financially ailing somewhat Vijay Mallya at the moment much money can churn in his team.
Among the disappointments of the year you can safely continue Caterham count. Renault engine, Red Bull KERS, but depends far behind the midfield and has to return wrangle with Marussia, the car looks good so far. In Caterham have responded and started to rebuild the technical department. Mike Gascon is still responsible, but it has made him new people to the page. Tony Fernandes has made for this year, at least to come close to the points, which still seems like a utopia at the moment. Marussia makes, also thanks to the McLaren-cooperation, not such a bad impression, while HRT is as usual the rear.
The price in China is known, nothing has changed. Shanghai is one of the better Tielke courses, not quite as spectacular as Malaysia, but definitely challenging. The long straights should the Mercedes are good, the infield is Red Bull and McLaren-country. As already mentioned, is the weather in China to be mixed. Showers tend to be possible both on Friday and on Sunday.
Aerodynamic Setup - medium / high.
Top speed 322km / h (DRS) - 310km / h (without).
Full throttle: 55%.
Braking Percentage: 14%
Braking load: Medium
Fuel load: 148 kilo.
Time loss per round at 10kg petrol: 0.34 sec (normal).
Time loss at the pit stop: 21 sec.
Tires: Soft / Medium
DRS zone: A, measurement before T12, activation center of the long back straight.
The strategy for the race, it is difficult to predict. The difference between the tire compounds is around 0.3 seconds / round. This is less than last year and provides the opportunity to try it with a one-stop strategy. This is especially true when the temperatures should be low. The track itself is not a tire eater, so it is a little on how high is the wear on the individual teams. Mercedes will probably try it at least with a car with three stops, the rest of it could be two more stops.
The transmission times are for the last time until fall rather unpleasant. The quality is on Saturday at eight clock, the race starts Sunday at 9 clock. Preliminary reports there are from 8 clock.
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