Race vs Quali pace - questions

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Race vs Quali pace - questions

Post by raymondu999 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 4:18 pm

Hey all.

Just interested here. In the cars this year we've seen great discrepancies (well, relatively great) between the cars' relative qualifying and race pace. Red Bull and McLaren stick up to mind as polar opposites, with McLaren having a great racecar while Red Bull is the one-lap king.

What are the factors that make a car have different race/qualy pace, especially this year? Last year, and in the past, the quali and race pace didn't seem too far away... it was almost just like 50-60 laps of qualifying, in a way.

Sure there's the McLaren whose mammoth diffuser works better at a low ride height, and they have to spring the McLaren very stiffly to keep a low ride height during qualifying, and the Red Bull alleged time-retarded misfire during Q3, but what other factors affect things? (aside from the obvious 160kg of fuel of course :mrgreen: )

Also, about this year's McLaren. If it's true their qualifying pace is down to their inability to feed the diffuser at tall ride heights, then shouldn't the McLarens, at the ending laps of a race, be similarly unable to feed their diffuser? But yet it seems they still have good race pace then, no? And I wonder if their blown diffuser setup will help alleviate their starving diffuser problems in quali.

Also, we see them in the race usually some 7/8 seconds off their quali pace in the opening laps, and even at the end we see them a few seconds off the pace. But we hear drivers say they're just push-push-push, and just going flat, and just going through their qualifying lap each time. But is there still a sense that they are driving WITHIN the limits, to help manage tyres? Their pace looks hardly "pushing flat out" to me in race configuration.

Any and all help will be appreciated.

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Re: Race vs Quali pace - questions

Post by WhiteBlue » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:20 pm

One big difference is obviously the weight of the fuel. The engines with lower consumption will carry less race fuel. The other is the Q3 engine map Red Bull has been using and Ferrari picked up for Hockenheim.
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Re: Race vs Quali pace - questions

Post by marcush. » Sat Jul 24, 2010 5:22 pm

out and out performance wise it may be 4 seconds ...but then you had option tire with very low fuellevels in qualy ,full attack engine map (+ retard ignition on overrun for Q3)and of course a situation tailored to avoid traffic...
so of course in race conditions ...no maximum power over the whole race no option tyre in the dying moments of the race when you only have qualyfying fuelload left in the car.
And you might be ordered to push as hard as you can without pushing the engine as hard as you can...racing does rarely create situations were you have the luxury of no traffic..
so a lot of reasons for not being able to match your qualy time..

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Re: Race vs Quali pace - questions

Post by Scuderia_Russ » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:08 pm

FYI re: Red Bull and qualifying. They are able to retard their ignition which has the effect of releasing their exhaust gases more consistently utilising their blown diffuser to greater effect. This uses more fuel though which is why they do not do this in the race.
"Whether you think you can or can't, either way you are right."
-Henry Ford-

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Re: Race vs Quali pace - questions

Post by alberto222mx » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:18 pm

I think the race pace is restricted by how the fuel weight affect the tyres. The Redbulls are capable of go faster than McLaren or Ferrari, as they do on quali, but they have to keep the tyres as long as they can to make sure they don´t need an extra stop.
"Why doesn´t someone tell Pedro it´s raining" - Chris Amon, 1000km Brands Hatch, 1970