F1Krof wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:12 am
zibby43 wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:40 am
Just_a_fan wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:03 am
There are several openings but only one has a grid on it. Of course, if a small bird hit the front wing first, you'd get bits of small bird that could end up anywhere. Or, maybe the bird hit the opening with the grid on it and then just covered the grid so preventing air getting to the brake. Being that near to 800degC brakes would probably give a gentle char to the birdy hence the reported BBQ smell...
Well said. It was a rough weekend for wildlife in Montreal. First the groundhog, then the bird.
It's likely the bird issue was only a contributing factor, as opposed to the predominant one. Hamilton also took a wrong setup turn late in practice.
Which makes Toto's comments about "small mistakes" all weekend a bit clearer.
On a side note, does anyone else get the feeling that the Merc is going to turn up at Paul Ricard with some major chassis upgrades, in addition to the new PU?
I personally don't think so. All they have done this year is brought simple small incremental upgrades. This is very odd to say the least. Either they're very very confident they have a good chassis and they did not plan any major upgrade and they have some other problem (tires) that they cannot extract the maximum out of the chassis, OR... everything is as I said, working to plan perfectly, it is just the competition overdeveloped them during the winter and now they are left playing catch-up with an unplanned plan. The just didn't do a good job (relative to the competition), and they seem to have underestimated the competition.
But there is another thing I suspect. It is about Winter Testing. Their apparent dominance was true, and they were lulled into false sense of security, however, as it turns out their dominance was track specific (Barcelona). So they must have calculated their performance relative to the others and must have assumed that small incremental upgrades would be enough to keep them ahead... until it apparently isn't.
They are playing catchup in so many areas.
1. Tire Management - time and time again, they just cannot use those softer compounds efficient enough.
2. Traction - they are lacking behind both Ferrari & Red Bull.
3. Max-Downforce - they are lacking behind both Ferrari & Red Bull. Especially the rear balance.
4. Engine - Advantage GONE.
5. Aero Efficiency - Straight-line Speed GONE. They are behind Ferrari.
6. Suspension - it is very edgy on high curbs, and bumpy surface. (I suspect new SMOOTH tarmac in Spain played on their hand more than we might give credit to).
Everything you set out seems entirely within the realm of possibility.
However, I'm not sure if the advantage in the early season was merely track-specific, because Mercedes blitzed Ferrari in Melbourne.
I'm also not sure I'd say the engine advantage is gone either. For a few reasons: 1) I think it's still the most fuel efficient on the grid; 2) Reliability: Merc just announced today they ran their old PUs as hard in Canada as they did in Melbourne (and isn't Raikkonen on the verge of grid penalties already?); 3) We've yet to see Merc's Spec 2 engine, but I have a feeling Merc is one of the few, if not the only manufacturers this year, truly planning on trying to make it 21 races with 3 PUs.
And regarding tire management, they made huge improvements over last year's car in terms of tire management, particularly in race trim. They weren't that bad on the Hypersoft in Canada, either. I'd argue their problem with the softest tires at the moment is that because they avoid them like the plague, they can't get enough setup work done in FP.
James Vowles said they had zero problems with the Hypersoft in Canada, other than not having enough of them. Judging by Bottas’ performance, I buy that.
In sum, what it all boils down to for me is that Mercedes hasn't qualified as strongly and consistently this year, and that has had monumental impacts on their weekend ceilings.