“slippin’ and slidin’ around more than a shopping trolley on a skid-pan”

 

The 2011 Tyre Colours

Our slogan for BadgerGP.com is “Formula 1 isn’t boring…” and well, for 2011 this will be more true than ever before – not only have we managed to not have the Bahrain (read Borehain) GP which saw F1 ‘deserted’ from excitement last year, but we also have new tyres by Pirelli on the cars too.

How can tyres make the sport more exciting you may well ask, well Pirelli have fulfilled the request of many fans to produce tyres that cannot possibly last a full (or anything near) race distance, which means that we’re likely to see the F1 cars of 2011 slippin’ and slidin’ around more than a shopping trolley on a skid-pan.

As a result, we’ll have some drivers staying out longer than others if they’ve looked after their tyres and then others doing more pit stops and having more stints with better pace with more grip.  In short, it’s going to be strategy-tastic in 2011 and with differing levels of grip at different points in the race, there’s bound to be more over-taking too – it’s inevitable.

“what happens at a pitstop?”

If you’re watching a grand prix on the telly, you’ll see all the pitstops happening, sometimes even replays if they’re particularly eventful, but, even on the box, it’s tricky to see exactly what is happening – there’s more than 20 mechanics doing various things on the cars as they come in and they’re a lot quicker than the quickest of Kwik-Fit fitters…

Thanks to our buddies at Octane Photos, we’ve got this wonderful step-by-step photographic animation of the Marussia Virgin Racing team completing pit stop practice during the Barcelona winter tests.  With the images being snapped at fractions of a second, you can see every movement from when the car comes in to when it powers off again.

Using the navigation buttons, you can really see what happens between each frame and get a great insight into the co-ordination and just how slick these pit stop operations are.  Bear in mind the cars is often only stationary for a few seconds and it really is quite breath-taking.  Enjoy.

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“is strategy exciting?”

In short, yes it most certainly is.  Looking back to the 80s and in particular Nigel Mansell racing Nelson Piquet (Snr) in Barcelona for the 1987 Spanish Grand Prix.  Nigel had no way of winning the race, victory was Nelson’s for the taking… or so we all thought.  With only 10 laps left, Nigel dashed into the pits for a new set of tyres and came out, further behind than before, but with his fresh grip he had more than enough pace to catch Nelson and pull off a fantastic move and take the victory.  It’s one referred to as the “10 laps Mansell charge” where he’d gamble and if timed well, it would be a gamble that not only paid off, but send the crowd wild.

More of this in F1 in 2011 will be nothing but brilliant, not only because it creates overtaking opportunities, but because it tests driver ability and gives drivers the opportunity to have creative strategies and take risks – brilliant indeed.

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