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2012 Australian Grand Prix Preview

From: Myron L
Sent on: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 8:43 PM

2012 Formula One Season

Race: Australian Grand Prix
Track: Albert Park, Melbourne 
Lap Distance: 5.303km / 3.294m
Number of Laps: 58
Race Distance:[masked]km /[masked]m
Top Speed: 312kph / 194mph
Average Speed: 221kph / 137mph
Average Corner Speed: 150kph / 93mph
Full Throttle: 67%
Brake Wear: Medium to High
Downforce: High
Tire Usage: Low / Medium (for 2012 it is still too early to tell how the new Pirelli tires will hold up)
Pit Lane Lose (approx): 29 seconds
Fuel used per lap: 2.7kg / lap
Fuel laptime penalty: 0.04 s/10kg

Key Issues – low grip, bumpy track, and weather conditions

F1 Fans we are back for some neck to neck racing! Live for round 1 of the 2012 season. The F1 teams finally can put their entire team to work at the Australian Grand Prix (which could be soon dropped from the race calendar with all the Bernie issues). As usual we are set up for an exciting street race based around Albert Park Lake where things can be a little more slippery than most tracks. This track presents 16 turns, 10 right-hand and 6 left-hand corners, and runs clockwise. 

Challenges for the drivers are the levels of the grip available from when the teams first arrive. But, once we are well into the weekend the level of grip increases as more teams lay down rubber during free practice and qualifying. So how much does it affect the track? How about three seconds a lap? Because little is known about the new Pirelli tires, it is too soon to say how they will perform, hold up and degrade over the race weekend. Other challenges of this track are the stop and go feel of some of its corners. Drivers will have to cope with this go-kart feel of slow corners after heavy braking and then trying to keep the tires from sliding or overheating as they exit the corners. What really makes braking difficulty are the bumps the drivers face as they head into the corner. Hitting bumps while braking can really unsettle the car causing the driver to worry about much more than just hitting the apex. Albert Park features six heavy braking zones where the cars have to decelerate from around 300 kph (190 mph). 

While weather is something we as fans never worry about, for the teams it is something that is always in the back of their minds. Weather in Australia can be as cold as 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) during qualifying and then around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). Therefore the car has to be setup correctly to cope with these variables.

Critical overtaking areas on this circuit continue to be at turn 3, a tight right-hander after a long straight, and turn 15, very tight left turn that can be slippery and precision driving is the key to maintain speed before the start/finish straightaway. The last two turns (turns 15 and 16) are where the car needs to be at its best. These corners are slower and where most of the lap time can be gained from the car. According to Lotus F1 if you increase the grip through these corners by 5 percent drivers can see a difference of around 0.2 seconds per lap which is considerable.

The news around KERS isn’t as strong this year as it was in 2011, so we will leave it alone for now.

If you’re in the New York City Area please join us to watch Live round 1 of the 2012 season at Feile Bar - We hope to see you there!

Sunday March 18th @ 2AM (EST) at
Feile Bar & Restaurant
131 West 33rd St (btw 6th and 7th Ave)
New York, NY 10001
Business: [masked]


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