F1- 2018 Season.

New year and the gossip hitting the headlines about haloes, the return of Aston Martin, etc.

HERE WE GO AGAIN.

2018 F1 RACE CALENDAR

March 25 - Australian GP Melbourne
April 8 - Bahrain GP Sakhir
April 15 - Chinese GP Shanghai
April 29 - Azerbaijan GP Baku
May 13 - Spanish GP Barcelona
May 27 - Monaco GP Monaco
June 10 -Canadian GP Montreal
June 24 - French GP Le Castellet
July 1 - Austrian GP Spielberg
July 8 - British GP Silverstone
July 22 - German GP Hockenheim
July 29 - Hungarian GP Budapest
August 26 - Belgian GP Spa-Francorchamps
September 2 - Italian GP Monza
September 16 - Singapore GP Marina Bay
September 30 - Russian GP Sochi
October 7 - Japanese GP Suzuka
October 21 - United States GP Austin
October 28 - Mexican GP Mexico City
November 11 - Brazilian GP Sao Paulo
November 25 - Abu Dhabi GP Yas Marina


2018 F1 DRIVER LINE-UPS

Mercedes // Lewis Hamilton x Valtteri Bottas
Ferrari // Sebastian Vettel x Kimi Raikkonen
Red Bull // Daniel Ricciardo x Max Verstappen
Force India // Sergio Perez x Esteban Ocon
Williams // Lance Stroll x TBC
Renault // Nico Hulkenberg x Carlos Sainz
Toro Rosso // Pierre Gasly x Brendon Hartley
Haas // Romain Grosjean x Kevin Magnussen
McLaren // Fernando Alonso x Stoffel Vandoorne
Sauber // Marcus Ericsson x Charles Leclerc


2018 PROVISIONAL F1 TESTING DATES

PRE-SEASON TESTING
February 26-March 1 Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
March 6-9 Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona


IN-SEASON TESTING
May 15-May 16 Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
July 31-August 1 Hungaroring, Budapest


2018 TEAMS AND ENGINE SUPPLIER

Mercedes - Mercedes
Ferrari - Ferrari
Red Bull - Renault
Force India - Mercedes
Williams - Mercedes
Renault - Renault
Toro Rosso -Honda
Haas - Ferrari
McLaren - Renault
Sauber - Ferrari

Original Post

New regs for 2018 ............. the big ones are ............. 

Engine Allowance for the season is 3,  this is 1 less than the 2017 allowance.   It means 1 less chance for teams to introduce significant power unit upgrades.   

Grid penalties are simplified,  no more multiple grid drops,  in 2018 drivers who have a grid penalty of 15 places or more will start from the back of the grid.    

Tyre Compounds have added 2 more & 2018 will have 7 dry compounds plus the same 2 wets .   The new 7 compounds are;  hypersoft (pink), ultrasoft (purple), supersoft (red), soft (yellow), medium (white), hard (blue), superhard (orange).  

Technical Details:    A lot of fine detail & too many to mention,  but the main headlines are:   

No more shark-fins & T-wings.  These were a loophole development in 2017,  the 2018 regs has closed the loophole.  

Driver protection halo – intended to add driver safety in the event of an accident & deflect debris away from the head.

No more 'trick' suspension systems that changed ride height according to steering angle to improve a car’s aerodynamic performance.

Tony2011 posted:

Good to see AM back in the sport. Well, sort of....

As I understand it they are interested in the proposed 2021 engine technology.  Unfortunately my AM contact has moved on to pastures new so I don't get the inside info,  but high tech car & engine development is a small world around that area.  

Who can say Fred, I hope so.   However I suspect the closer/better competion will be a closing up in the 2nd rank rather than an outright challenge to Mercedes, Ferrari & RB.   I expect this will bring some new faces on the occasional podium, fingers crossed for McL,  Williams need something better than last year,  I wouldn’t be surprised to see another “financial” casualty 

Mike-B posted:

However I suspect the closer/better competion will be a closing up in the 2nd rank rather than an outright challenge to Mercedes, Ferrari & RB.  

Do you think that McLaren might be up there along RedBull (given the same engine and the high regard their car was held in last year - engine excepted of course)?

Right now, every team seems to be saying they’ve made big strides over last year.

At face value then, still expect title to be between Mercedes and Ferrari with RB as best of the rest. Though my Merc chum has remarked how agressive RB have been this time around, which might explain why Danny Ric stuffed it into the barrier on press day...

New engines in McLaren and Sauber may improve those two by a larger measure than the others to put them more firmly in midfield mix but I suspect may take at least a little while to bed in.

Perhaps we can make a better guess next week but in reality will have to wait until Oz I think.

Eloise posted:
Mike-B posted:

However I suspect the closer/better competion will be a closing up in the 2nd rank rather than an outright challenge to Mercedes, Ferrari & RB.  

Do you think that McLaren might be up there along RedBull (given the same engine and the high regard their car was held in last year - engine excepted of course)?

I very much doubt. I partly blame Alonso. Too much hype and not much in feedback. Come me down from you pedestal,  son. You’re not as good as you think you are! Send him packing!

Three more 2018 car launches yesterday;   nothing exceptional, the usual blurb about better/improved over last year,  but the talk doesn't win races,  the chickens get counted starting at Melbourne 25th March

Car colours were eye catching    silver Mercedes, Ferrari (guess, no I not taking bets) the surprise was the McLaren ....... yellow

Eloise posted:
Mike-B posted:

Car colours were eye catching […] the surprise was the McLaren ....... yellow

Isn’t that orange?

Yes your right according to McL its "a revised shade of  orange ............... papaya and blue colour scheme that the team's founder Bruce McLaren first introduced to F1 50 years ago"        When I buy papaya I look for the skin to be yellow & my Mk-II eyeballs say its a touch more yellow than orange,  but hey ho,  specsavers will sort that out & I'm sure the papaya will make the car at least a second a lap faster.        

I see some teams have managed more successfully than others the visual impact oh the dreaded Halo device.

I also noticed that it’s quite difficult to identify the driver from their helmet beneath the Halo whilst on track. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of directive to make it easier to ID the driver.

Eloise posted:
Mike-B posted:

When I buy papaya I look for the skin to be yellow

Surely it’s the flesh of the papaya that’s orange?

Yes indeed it is,  very orange, but not that McL shade of yellow orange. Whatever,  enough of paint.   

"I also noticed that it’s quite difficult to identify the driver from their helmet beneath the Halo whilst on track. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of directive to make it easier to ID the driver."

Names on the side like rally cars? Or would that get in the way of the advertising?

steve

Mike-B posted:
Eloise posted:
Mike-B posted:

When I buy papaya I look for the skin to be yellow

Surely it’s the flesh of the papaya that’s orange?

Yes indeed it is,  very orange, but not that McL shade of yellow orange. Whatever,  enough of paint.   

OK I concead,  I've just seen the www.F1 video of the McLaren testing at Barcelona,   defo orange,  the 'yellow' colour must've been a colour resolution glitch on the official McL photo releases as shown on BBC & Motor Sport 

Tony2011 posted:

Not very good for morale though, is it? Also, the Toro Rosso - powered by a Honda engine-,  was just  0.017s behind Alonso.  I, again,  have a bad feeling about McLaren's performance this year. 

Can't say about McMaren, but I've had this gut feeling throughout the tribulations with Honda that it would be unwise to give up on Honda. They make great engines and have a long history of doing so. The F1 engine requirements are daunting period, more so for a newcomer. But I've always suspected that once Honda got wise, Katy bar the door! I think this year will let us know one way or the other. Toro Rosso could end up having some fun.

It's been a funny old week in Barcelona:   cold, snow & rain are not conducive for F1 testing but I expect the teams have learnt a fair bit.

As I expected Mercedes have kept the top spot,   Hamilton set the pace & did not need a supersoft tyre to do it.  The big surprise was McLaren with Vandoorne posting 2nd fastest time on Thursday,  half a second behind LH & needing the new hypersoft compound to do it,  but its a McLaren !!!!

Ferrari & Red Bull are back in the game & the fastest times of the week as of close of play are:

Mercedes (Hamilton) 1:19.333,   Ferrari (Vettel) 1:19.673,  McLaren (Vandoorne) 1:19.854,  Red Bull (Ricciardo) 1:20.179,  Haas (Magnussen) 1:20.317,  Renault (Hulkenberg) 1:20.547,  Williams (Stroll) 1:21.142,  Toro Rosso (Gasly) 1:21.318, Force India (Ocon) 1:21.84,  Sauber (Leclerc) 1:22.808.

It looks to me that Mercedes, Ferrari & Red Bull have to still be the favourites with McLaren the team to watch & time will tell on that,  it looks like Honda have not gained much in the close season if the time difference to the Renault engines is a guide,  seems the wheels fell off the Sauber.

Even taking into account the weather, Honda completed the most laps of any engine....big change from last year. Speed through the traps was fourth fastest and very very close even as the engine itself was on it's reliability setting. Hmmmmmm. Not out of the woods yet but.....

 

Week 2 testing has been interesting.    McLaren had more highs & lows than most but breakdowns aside must be pleased with the performance when it did keep going.    The top three look to be Mercedes, Ferrari & Red Bull.   

Yesterday - the final day - Raikkonen set the leading time on hypersoft tyres,  McLaren & Renault had a go at chasing him,  Alonso was closest at just over half a second slower.      Mercedes chose to not chase low fuel/fast lap times & focused on high fuel long runs with harder tyre compounds & clocked up an impressive 201 laps between them.  

2 weeks to go before Melbourne & then we will better see who has done what with the new cars.

Well that was that as far as qualifying goes. I won't mention the scores yet in case some have yet to catch up!

I may regret this as I'm not usually one to bark at a safety features but the halo has to go.

I've twigged the key difference between open cockpit and sports car racing as a spectator is that it's much more involving when you can see the driver, even if only their helmet and hands. And now, you just can't. It's like watching transformers hurtling around the track.

I honestly can't see it lasting. I know F1 feels they have their hands tied now in case of an accident. But maybe they could make it optional?

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