Category Archives: 2011 F1 Season

2011 Vs 2012 Cars


by Jake McMillan

As we are now 6 races into the 2012 F1 season, we can start to make a comparison of the speed of 2012 cars compared to 2011. Rule changes, e.g. banning of engine-blown diffusers, led people to predict 2012 cars would be significantly slower, but no one was sure by how much? Some suggested blown diffusers gave an advantage of 1.5-2 seconds a lap. However, the relentless pace of technology and development in F1 means this would be recaptured to some degree through new innovation.

By comparing pole positions and fastest laps of races this year with those of last year we can begin to get an understanding of the relative pace of the cars. Of course, comparing times from one year to the next is not exactly comparing like for like as track temperatures, tyres and other variables will be different. However, we can analyse if any trends exist and make conclusions from that.

The first 4 races (ignoring Bahrain as there was no race there in 2011) in 2012 showed that pole position in each case was 1.3-1.4 seconds slower than the 2011 pole positions. The pole at Monaco this year was only 0.745 slower than in 2011 and this could reflect the improvements in the cars or perhaps the smaller gap is explained by Monaco relying more on mechanical grip than aerodynamic grip.

The fastest laps this year have been closer to 2011 times than pole position times. The fastest laps in Malaysia and Australia were only 0.15 and 0.24 secs, respectively, slower than the fastest laps set the previous year. However, at China it was almost a second slower, whereas in Spain the fastest lap was actually half a second quicker than the 2011 time. Monaco was slower than 2011 by just over a second, but this could partly be explained by most teams only one-stopping.

The trend seems to suggest that in qualifying mode, F1 cars are about 1.3secs a lap slower than last year but in race trim are only 0.2secs a lap slower. We shall monitor this as the season progresses.

Vettel to become 2011 World Champion in Japan


With one week to go until the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix and leading by 112 points, Vettel must know how close he is to becoming World Champion two years in a row. It is not a question any more of IF he can do it, it is now WHEN he will be crowned the 2011 F1 World Champion.

Vettel can become World Champion in Singapore if:


  • Vettel is 2nd AND Alonso is 8th or lower AND neither Jenson Button nor Mark Webber finish 6th or higher

  • Vettel is 3rd AND Alonso is 9th or lower AND neither Jenson Button nor Mark Webber finish 8th or higher
If Vettel finishes 4th or lower, he cannot become World Champion in Singapore, even if second placed Alonso fails to finish.
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So, if Vettel wins again in Singapore he stands a good chance of becoming World Champion, but it is more likely that he will officially become World Champion at the following race in Japan.
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What Needs to be Done to Beat Vettel?


by Jake McMillan

The 2011 Belgian Grand Prix yesterday was a very entertaining race, but another sight of the Vettel victory finger means that is now extremely difficult for anyone to stop him achieving another F1 Championship.

Yesterday’s result means that Massa (on 74 points) cannot win the Championship now, but there is still a mathematical chance for Webber (167 points), Alonso (157 points), Button (149 points) and Hamilton (146 points). A closer look at the mathematical position reveals the following:

  • The earliest Vettel could potentially win the Championship is in Singapore (2 races time)
  • If second placed Webber won ALL the remaining races, Vettel would need to average 4th place (12 pts) to still win Championship
  • If Alonso, Button or Hamilton won ALL the remaining races, Vettel would need to average 5th place (10 pts) to still win Championship (note: 10.4pts in case of Alonso)
The likelihood of one of these 4 drivers winning ALL the remaining 7 races is extremely unlikely and it is more probable that these will be split between them making it is very easy for Vettel to win the Championship. If he took a a very cautious approach and finished in 6th place at each remaining race, he would still be world champion even if Webber won 3 races and finished 2nd in the other four! 
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Even if he has one retirement (DNF), he can still average 6th place and will still likely be World Champion if the wins are shared between the other four drivers.
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Conclusion: For Vettel to be beaten to the 2011 F1 World Championship crown, the following has to happen at the very minimum:
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– Vettel needs at least one DNF
– Webber needs to win at least 3 of remaining 7 races
– Alonso needs to win at least 4 of remaining 7 races
– Button & Hamilton need to win at least 5 of remaining 7 races
– A miracle
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