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Join Paul, Mark (Fake Charlie Whiting) and me as we discuss the Canadian Grand Prix. We talk about the crash, the pass, the block, the lump, the teams, the, the chicane, the advantage, the brakes, the ERS, the DRS and much, much more. We even mention the large guy in the red shirt and suffer through Paul’s dodgy internet connection. We have awards and more.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Royce

    It occurred to me yesterday that Red Bull can’t go with Merc or Ferrarri or Honda engines because of Infiniti.

    They’re kind of stuck with Renault … or building their own engine i.e. buying mechachrome, if that’s who still make Renault lumps.

  • So here’s what turned out to be my Rosberg fanboy post…;)

    Re: Rosberg’s start
    Rosberg made a hard move, but I think that’s racing. I think he has really matured this year, fighting Hamilton. At the first race, he might not have pushed Lewis off the track, but I think he learned his lesson from Bahrain and he’s improving his racing from race to race.

    Re: Rosberg cutting the chicane
    There have been lots of precedents for this kind of thing and it has never been punished. I also think there’s no practical way of doing so. If you’d publish every chicane cutting, you’re bound to run into new problems. Current MO is to that when you gain a position by cutting a chicane, you give it back or you’ll get punished. Otherwise, you’re off with a warning and will only get punished when the offense is repeated. Sounds right to me.
    If you don’t want this thing to happen, I think there’s a better solution than introducing ever more legal punishments, rather, simply change the track. Force the driver who cuts a chicane to do a slow s curve before he can get back on the track and you instantly have solved all the problems that are connected with cutting a chicane. Of course this might in return spell an additional security issue, which is probably why they don’t do that anymore. But maybe one could find a relative safe way to do it.

    Re: Rosberg’s drive
    To me it’s inconceivable how not to award drive of the race to Nico Rosberg. I mean sure, Ricciardo did a great job, but there was nothing spectacular there other than the fact that it’s his first win and that everybody loves Ricciardo. He simply drove his car to its potential, which is great, and might even be worthy of drive of the race had there not been the amazing performance of Nico. Ask yourselves, would anyone have given Vettel drive of the race had he not been unlucky with his pit strategy and actually won?
    Rosberg on the other hand had to completely switch gears for the second half of the race. Not only did he lose his MGU-K and with it a massive amount of power, but also rear brake power, meaning that he had to move the brake balance all the way to the front and alter his driving style accordingly. And we can only speculate about all the adjustments he had to make to the computer while defending his lead in a sitting duck of a car for the entire time. I also used the live timing app and the way he cranked out these amazing first and second sector times every single lap was nothing short of stunning. This was a unique performance. The more I think about it, the more special it becomes. When was the last time we’ve seen this kind of special performance? Schumacher’s 1998 Hungary GP comes to mind where he also squeezed his car to and beyond its limits, albeit under very different circumstances. This was a drive worthy of a champion and should Nico beat Lewis this year, it might well be the race that will be regarded as his defining moment. Of course, should Lewis win, it will most likely be forgotten eventually, but that’s how it goes I guess.

  • Go Ricci… Go Ricci… Go Ricci…

  • Stan

    Great job guys! This was my 3rd visit to Montreal and while I can’t say I love the new sound I don’t really miss the the 2.4s either. While the high pitched high RPM wail should be the perfect fit for F1 ultimately it was just too unpleasant.

    The noise level of the new cars is shockingly low. To see the cars on the big screen and not be able to hear them at all is a very strange sensation. Not that is was too drastic but the Ferrari seems to sound the best – slightly less flatulent and almost wants to scream at high(er) RPM.

    Great job by Ricciardo. Hamilton v1.0 has been trying to bubble to the surface for a few races now and it should be super interesting to see if he completely decompensates.

    • Thanks for sharing your on track impressions. Having missed Canada this year, I was curious how the new cars sound outside city walls. Whilst personally liking the new layered notes, can see how less volume might be objectionable. We’ll see in Austin.

      How would you contrast the Ferrari w/ the Merc Works? To me, the latter is more growl, more “mechanical,” whereas the Ferrari is -K whir under braking/turbo whine accelerating; ICE itself is a scream v. gnashing of the Merc. Distinct, which is good IMO.

      Those Renaults sound like Poop.

      • Stan

        I would say I’m not really a “decibel queen” so the reduction is not the end of the world to me. My love of racing started with IMSA in the mid 80s and some of those sounded like glorified vacuum cleaners.

        The Merc sounds coarse and at low RPM angry. If it were a road car no mentions for silky or jewel-like. The typical turbo sounds are much less pronounced. In general these power units don’t sound like anything else and Merc the most so.

        The Ferrari has some of the low RPM growl but seems to sound much more conventional in the mid to upper range. You definitely get some turbo whine at the top of the range. With some additional RPM it would probably sound great.

        The Renault just sound all soggy and kind of off. It seems hard to believe they don’t have the basic mappings worked out but that poor thing does not sound healthy.

  • Rapierman

    1. Dirty? Seriously?

    2. Congrats to Ricciardo. Smart drive all the way through.

    3. Definitely a head’s up move for Vettel.

    3. Make it here in Austin. I’ll see if anyone’s got some Fat Tire floating around.

    4. I didn’t think that any Merc power unit would malfunction. That makes them the most durable of the bunch. Unfortunately, they crapped out at the wrong time.

    5. Yanno, I’m not even sure that the stewards even know what to do when the leader cuts the corner….

    6. Yeah, it did seem like Rosberg pinched Hamilton down and forced him off, but there you are.

    7. It’s definitely some improvement for Button.

    8. ….and a big improvement for McLaren.

    9. ….and then the controversy begins with the penalty. I thought it was 50-50. Both sides flicked, both sides didn’t see each other, both end in tears.

    10. Up until that accident, Massa really had a chance at getting a podium.

    11. I had heard that he was having trouble with the DRS.

    12. That was a lot of improvement for Vergne.

    13. Pass goes to Ricciardo on Rosberg.

    14. Donkey is a tie between Perez & Massa, but Chilton gets an honorable mention.

    15. Drive goes to Ricciardo: Steady, persistent, picked his passing spots and made it all work.

  • Andreas

    Personally, I wouldn’t call 134dB “extremely quiet”… ;-) It is down a fair bit from the 2.4 V8’s (which apparently were measured at 145dB), but 134dB is still above the pain threshold. During one of the practice sessions in Canada, I saw one of the Sky pundits (I believe it was Brundle) interviewing someone right outside the Mercedes garage when they fired up the engine, and boy did they move fast to get away from the noise :-)

    I think Paul has a point, though – if the engines would rev higher, they would also be louder (and those 134dB might well be measured at 15000 rpm, rather than the 10500-11000 they run at now). And the sound also seems to be quite directional – if they’d gone for twin turbo/twin exhausts, it might have spread better (which I suspect was what Mercedes tried to do with the megaphone/bell end). So I don’t doubt Mark’s assessment that from the stands, the cars are much quieter than before. I just don’t know if I’d use the term “extremely quiet” ;-)

    Rosberg vs Hamilton… to me, the first corner thing was just that – first corner jockeying for position. That’s what happens in just about every race, so that was nothing to write home (or to the stewards) about. The running straight through the chicane is trickier to decide on – the rules say you can’t gain a “lasting” advantage, and it did look like he slowed down to let Hamilton catch back up over the following corners, to negate any lasting advantage. At the same time, a pass not made could be seen as a lasting advantage… I still think the stewards were right to give him a warning, but I also think the track itself should be designed penalize straight-lining. In this case, a couple of well placed styrofoam advertising boards would have done the trick without risking bodily harm.

    The Massa/Perez incident I saw as 50-50. The more I see the replays (especially the helicopter view), it looks like both of them twitched – Massa to the right, and Perez to the left. I don’t see why Perez would be the only one to blame – but then I assume the stewards have seen both cars’ telemetry, so they must have spotted something I haven’t. From the outside, though, it definitely looks like both of them moved towards each other.

    Drive of the race… Rosberg and Ricciardo both deserve it. One for hanging on to P2 with a struggling car, the other for working his way up there to be able to take advantage of the situation.

    • I too think sound output is fine, at least based on an echoing street track with buildings all-around.

      Being fair to the criticizers, though, an 11db drop is significant; over a halving of perceived loudness. Also, the fundamental frequencies V8 v. V6, are different. I don’t know if anyone’s mic’d a spectrum analyzer to either engine, but anecdotally, the V8’s frequency is higher than the V6’s. Our hearing sensitivity varies according to frequency (amongst many other factors), so if the V8’s fall in a “sensitive range,” than the perceived volume difference may be even greater than that measured.

      As an example, using test tones while building speakers, 100db at 30hz on an spl meter, 1 meter distant, is easy on my ears. That same 100db at 8khz is uncomfortable. I don’t know where the engines fall in the freq spectrum, but guess the V8’s would be in the upper presence/lower treble area, say 1-5khz, where our ears are pretty sensitive. IF (big if) that’s true, than the V8’s would seem louder to us than the V6’s, even SPL-normalized. A good sound engineer might be of assistance here.

      It’s a nice debate to have; I’ve made it clear I prefer the new cars’ sound v. V8’s, might want for more volume, but am fine if it stays level. I also appreciate view of those who dislike the sound/think they’re far too quiet, even that it’s ruining the experience for them. As long as one asserts his/her opinion directly rather than with veiled superiority, does so saying “I miss the V8 sound/the new engines are too quiet” rather than dismissive of others’ “ugh maybe I’m just an anorak” bullish_t, it’s cool brainstorming suggestions for the sport’s improvement rather than reading all the down-putting garbage.

      • Chuck C

        “Being fair to the criticizers, though, an 11db drop is significant; over a halving of perceived loudness.”

        Exactly. The dB scale is logarithmic, not linear. As you said, 145 dB is over twice as loud as 134 dB.

  • *Rosberg cutting the chicane.
    -Because he gained an advantage flooring the throttle as he missed the chicane, and in doing so set a fastest lap, I think Rosberg “should” have received a 5 second time penalty for gaining an advantage. Whether a driver’s been penalized or not from the lead is irrelevant, as the regs disallow the move and result. Mind, I’m glad he wasn’t penalized, as I don’t want over-regulation, and current Merc championship standings means a tasty battle between Hamilton/Rosberg, but if we want fair, Rosberg should have taken the pain.

    *Merc info-sharing and brake failure.
    -Interesting perspective, too much sharing. My first thought was Merc was concerned about brake preservation in the heat, and so it the info was the team putting itself before its drivers. Perhaps the team feared rising temps pre-failure. However, we saw in Monaco respective strategies being shared between the two, nullifying the strategy. Perhaps Merc is in fact being too open.

    Regarding the failures themselves, it shows the tight margins engineers leave on car consumables. Probably coincidence, but perhaps Nico’s heavier reliance on the fronts pre-failure saved his rears contrasted to Lewis, which is part-reason why the latter’s cried enough. Prototype racing’s a precarious affair.

    *Massa’s missed opportunity and DRS activation.
    Like Paul, M. Brundle’s commentary pointed out Massa should have passed Vettel in the 2nd DRS zone; I didn’t see the flap open, thought Massa hadn’t activated it.

    If the same as previous years, DRS is operated in one of 3 ways:
    1. Activate and hold (Ferrari had a steering wheel paddle Alonso held)
    2. Activate “On” and “Off” (FI 2013)
    3. Activate “On” and Auto “Off” under braking (Mclaren 2012)

    I believe Williams uses a push and hold DRS button, so as no failure’s been reported, perhaps Massa made a mental mistake and let go of the button.

    Brundle also pointed out Massa should have dummied Vettel and gone inside, that Massa’s raciness is still subpar, although whether that’s true or not I’m unqualified to opine.

    *Power Unit ruminations
    -Unlikely FIA will allow higher fuel flow for more volume; it wants PU development on the ERS side of the PU’s. Whether that’s good or bad is debatable.

    In any case, upping flow rate so that 15k RPM or higher is advantageous would necessitate complete redesign and a new homologation schedule. I doubt engineers built strength/heat/balance margins into the rotating assembly nor forced induction sizing for stresses they wouldn’t see. Current homologation rules allow for substantial 2015 PU development, but IMO not enough for simultaneous 15k RPM and 40% thermal efficiency.

    -Did Sauber/Maussia receive Ferrari’s new-spec PU? Did anyone notice the Scuderia’s rain lights flashing, on throttle, in the straights more than its customer cars? That’s either depleted -K power under full throttle, or -H modulating turbine speed. I’d hope it’s the latter, that Ferrari is getting a handle on ICE/ERS integration. Ferrari seems to have binned its 2nd wastegate, which points to improved -H boost control. However, if the engineers are indeed struggling with balancing blowdown effect in the combustion chamber, Sauber and Marussia might think about saying “No Thanks!” to the new-spec until the Austria new fuel proves it tolerates higher combustion temps.

    -RBR radio calls still point to ERS deficiencies. Ricciardo had communiques about 1.) forgoing lift-and-coast, sacrificing fuel for -K harvest, and 2.) his opinion on best passing opportunity v. Perez so that engineers could plan recovery laps prior to an attempt.
    Of course, other teams could be making similar calls, but for the Merc-powered cars at least, lap times and teammate battles show they have a balanced setup that allows -H to power -K without ES depletion. They can still run competitively lap after lap without resorting to “max discharge” power mode as often as the Renaults; Ferrari’s current upgrade attempts to address this.

    *Nico for drive of the race.
    What a performance, wrestling w/ unbalanced braking. Only remotely-similar experience I can relate it with was setting the adjustable brake bias on a 3300lb road car with less than 400hp, at neighborhood speeds, and it still sucked. How he coped it in an open-wheeled racing car, at racing speeds, and kept from falling off the track, much less keep competitors at bay… Great performance.

    • On your first two points:
      1) There is an informal agreement among the teams and drivers that if you miss a chicane once, you slow down in the next corner to nullify the advantage. That’s what Nico did and I wouldn’t want over regulation, so I think this is a good rule of thumb. Only once you repeat the offense does it become punishable. If this truly was the only way to keep the trailing driver behind, he will catch you the next time, otherwise, no harm done anyway.
      Though as I said above, I think the best solution would be to not regulate every bit of the sport, but instead punish leaving the track by making the car who does leave it lose time through track design. Bring back gravel, bring in speed bumps, etc. When you have concrete everywhere, you’re bound to get into these problems.
      Miss the chicane in Monaco, and you’re out. So much easier.

      2) On the sharing issue, Mercedes is in it to be as quick as possible as a team. So the best way to ensure that is to have a completely open garage. Give both the drivers all the data and let them make the best of it. I rally can’t see the issue here. Are you a better driver when you beat your teammate with exactly the same preconditions, or when you have a trick up your sleeve that your teammate doesn’t know about?
      The people who moan about the Mercedes cars being so dominant and who want more equality now all of a sudden don’t like it when that team makes sure there’s absolute equality for its drivers? I don’t get it. And suddenly equality becomes a conspiracy…after the Canadian GP, I’ve seriously read from someone who thought that there was racism going on at Mercedes GP…WTH?
      Also, I don’t understand the notion at all that since Mercedes is so far ahead, they could let their drivers have secrets. Why is that? Racing is a state of mind, you always want to get the maximum. Mercedes is in the sport to do just that. Once you start compromising, you may as well leave the sport, because then it’s not about the sport anymore, but about the show. Not to mention that we may well have seen a double DNF this weekend had it not been for the open sharing within the garage.
      Lastly, particularly on British sites there’s the notion that Nico is profiting from Lewis’ data. I’d really want to question that. I think they may well profit from one another equally. Why should Lewis be superior when it comes to setting up his car? If anything, I’d have Nico slightly ahead in that regard. I mean Lewis himself admitted before the start of the season (in another backhanded compliment sort of way) that Nico is doing much more simulator work than himself.
      And as for breaking points, etc. all that information is open anyway. Every team has the GPS data, so they all know who brakes where, etc., across all teams. It might not be as detailed as the telemetry, but then sitting in the car and pushing pedals isn’t the most precise thing either, so in this case, it probably doesn’t make much of a difference for a driver who may learn something from another driver. Not to mention that the two obviously have different driving styles, so the data they may get from one another is of limited use to them anyway.

      • 1.) I also want minimal steward-intervention. My point was solely official regs and how they “should” be enforced.
        Unfortunately, gravel traps and high curbing won’t reappear; FIA’s too concerned about aerial accidents. I lament their passing, hate the huge tarmac runoffs, but temper my view when seeing a Perez survive that impact. What horrible onboard video.

        2. I agree that Team Merc’s maximizing it’s collective results (poorly worded/edited made point unclear, apologies). Particularly in Montreal, data-sharing might have helped one of the team’s cars limp home rather than suffer a double-DNF. My admission here was Monaco’s radio calls, Clear/Hamilton passing strategy being relayed to Rosberg. That’s driver v. driver, not team.

        Yeah, media/fan bull… Many spin evidence, anecdote or result to support preconceptions or ramp drama. Part of the F1 circus. I love the sport, but can do without the hero/villain subplots many spin. Lewis/Nico, next Felipe/Sergio, with all the vehemence and smack talk… Woo hoo.

        I can make my own determination on who I relate with/root for, thank you.

        • Seems we’re in agreement ;)

          As for relaying passing strategies, you might have a point there. I mean it might prevent an accident like that between Massa and Perez, so there’s that, but this is really a borderline thing IMHO.

          At the end of the day though, these were only the opinions of the garage anyway and they will always give their advice including in a battle with your team mate. When two cars are closely matched, the actual pass seldom comes at the most ideal place, but rather at the most unexpected place or when the driver in front is pushed into an error. Neither of which is something the garage could orchestrate but is dependent on the race craft of the drivers.

  • i think the donkey should go to the world feed cameraman when instead of showing wheel to wheel action of the red bulls in the hairpin it cuts to the crowd for 5 SECONDS. ughhhh. rosberg deserves drive of the race.congrats to daniel on getting his first win

  • I saw this and thought of Mark: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/06/09/fake-chuck-westfall-reveals-identity-and-announces-retirement

    Mark’s not the only fake out there! hehehe

    A buddy of mine was sitting in that same T2 grandstand… Don’t worry, he wasn’t drunk, nor fat, nor wearing a Ferrari shirt!

  • Chuck C

    Did I misunderstand Mark? I thought I heard him say that this race had the “stupid” DRS zones where A overtakes B and then B overtakes A on the next one?

    If so, then that’s not right. This race is like Australia, in that there’s only 1 detection zone (just before the hairpin). Abu Double has the annoying one.