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Friday, December 8, 2023

Why ‘all-new’ Qatar monitor provides to F1 groups’ dash complications

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The inaugural occasion in 2021 got here in direction of the tip of the thrilling marketing campaign because the title battle depth between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen ramped up. 

Since then F1’s automobiles have modified dramatically, with the brand new technology of floor impact equipment having little in widespread with the older period of machines.

But when groups had hoped to have the ability to fall again on some {old} knowledge to assist them out forward of this weekend’s race, they are going to be dissatisfied – as a result of the circuit is successfully thought-about to be model new.

That’s as a result of circuit bosses have completely revamped the venue. Past the brand new pits and paddock complicated, of extra significance to groups and drivers is the work that has been accomplished on the circuit.

Because the FIA identified in its official preview notes for the weekend, the primary main resurfacing work for the reason that venue opened in 2004, allied to different modifications, have made an enormous distinction.

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It stated: “All the monitor has been resurfaced and all of the kerbs, run-off areas, guardrails and fences have been changed for the reason that earlier occasion.

“Given the intensive nature of the modifications made, to all intents and functions, it’s thought-about to be a brand new circuit.”

Whereas F1 groups are can address such venue modifications on race weekends, the ‘new’ Lusail provides an additional layer of complication on a weekend after they already face many complications in how they method issues. 

Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB16B, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

As a dash race, which means the groups will must be on their toes to make sure that they benefit from the opening apply session on Friday afternoon. 

It’s the solely alternative to nail the set-up they are going to be utilizing for the remainder of the weekend, as a result of as soon as the automobiles go away the storage for qualifying on Friday night then they’re locked into parc ferme situations. 

In contrast to regular race weekends, the place groups can shake off a foul Friday with some in a single day simulator work to kind issues out for a greater Saturday, there isn’t a second likelihood.

As Mercedes boss Toto Wolff stated: “There have been modifications each on and off monitor. A key characteristic of FP1 due to this fact shall be understanding the impact of the monitor resurfacing. As it’s a dash weekend, we can have restricted time to get on high of this and discover a strong set-up for the remainder of the occasion. It is going to be an attention-grabbing process and one we’re excited for.”

However additional including to the Qatar process is the very fact it’s a night time race, so there shall be fluctuating temperatures and variable monitor situations to cope with as effectively.

Groups know that at comparable night time race occasions like Bahrain and Singapore, the primary classes of the day could be fairly unrepresentative as a result of they happen when issues are quite a bit hotter and the asphalt just isn’t as its finest.

That’s the reason much more of their focus and energy goes into nailing set-ups within the night classes, that are very aligned with how issues shall be within the race.

In Qatar, there shall be no alternative to attend till then. Groups are going to need to take a little bit of a guess about how the monitor and air temperatures will develop as they decide to issues after only one session.

First apply is because of happen at 4.30pm native time, when temperatures shall be at their peak of round 40C. By 8pm native time, when qualifying begins, issues are anticipated to drop to be round 33C. That’s fairly an enormous distinction – and that is earlier than you contemplate how the wind pace and path can change too.

For groups, the important thing shall be in having ready sufficient within the simulators earlier than the weekend to attempt to give them the path wanted.  

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, and Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21, chase the pack at the start

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B, Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, and Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21, chase the pack firstly

Photograph by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Enrico Sampo, head of driving simulation at Ferrari, stated: “Checking our modelling shall be crucial throughout Friday’s free apply.  

“Operating the bottom impact automobiles right here for the primary time provides one other unknown issue, for which the 2021 knowledge is of restricted worth. It implies that work within the simulator is important to foretell automotive dealing with on monitor and to attempt to anticipate its behaviour.  

“With the drivers, we’ve got labored just about to provide you with a baseline set-up, simulating numerous situations in order that we will react to no matter conditions come up.” 

However it isn’t going to be straightforward and groups are going to need to be extremely targeted in not tripping themselves up with dangerous set-up selections.

Williams head of auto efficiency Dave Robson in all probability speaks for everybody when he stated it can in all probability be a stand-out dash occasion by way of its calls for. 

“That is one in every of three remaining dash occasions of the 2023 season and is prone to be essentially the most demanding because of the new monitor floor and night classes,” he stated. 

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