The chase is on
Shanghai 2018
Chinese Grand Prix
And now for some racing…
And now for some racing…
Posted By:   |  04 Apr 2009   |  2:38 am GMT  |  18 comments

In all the excitement of the McLaren and Hamilton apologies, we are forgetting that the cars have been running and that today they will go out and qualify for the Grand Prix. So what is the state of play here in Sepang.

Well yesterday the Brawns were not dominant, even though every one expects them to be later today and tomorrow. The feeling is that they have between three tenths and half a second on the field, depending on which tyre they are on and set up.

Yesterday Jenson Button wasn’t too happy with the balance of his car in the high speed corners, the front tyres were not biting and he felt understeer. They will dial that out for today, I’m sure. Still the teams has done very little low fuel running to optimise the set up for qualifying 1 and 2.

Toyota look quite quick here and I think it will be between them, Red Bull (Webber, as Vettel has a 10 place penalty), Williams and Ferrari for the top ten spots on the grid. BMW looked slow yesterday, especially Heidfeld, who was not running KERS, but I think at least one of them will get in the top ten today.

These teams are all very close on pace so it will come down to the individual driver’s performance on the day. Alonso may well get himself in there, because he’s Alonso and he knows all the tricks and because one of the front runners may drop the ball, as Nakajima did in Melbourne.

As for Vettel, watch out for him being very fast in Q3, with a view to an aggressive first stint in the race. he cannot do the same things as everyone else because it won’t get him anywhere. He has to use a strategy option called ‘game theory’ which is all about setting expected outcomes and then seeing what other possible outcomes there are if your change variables, like what lap you stop on and what tyres you start with. If you want to know more about this, there is an article elsewhere on this site where Renault’s Pat Symonds explains it.

Symonds used it for Nelson Piquet last year in Germany, where he got a podium and almost won the race, from deep in the second half of the grid.

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Of course 42 is another prominent number, it bein the answer to life, the universe, everything!

Amazingly when it is combined with Phi it has great relevance in Elliot waves.


Phi (1.618) occurs in all sorts of unexpected places in engineering science and nature. It is also known as the golden ratio and is the aspect ratio used for credit cards paintings etc. It just looks right. It also happens to be the ratio of limbs on a body ie arm or leg length to elbow/knee distance. (for most people)
You will see it in greek architecture and the pyramids. It is also formed in plants in particular flowers, pine cones etc. And having said all that it is quite likely to pop up in fluid dynamics, power transmission etc. Phi cubed must come in somewhere.

Unfortunately being incredibly old, my engineering diploma course covered Elect 1 and 2, mechanics, statics, dynamics hydro statics and lots and lots and even more lots of steam, (which I have never had occasion to use since however show me a BThU (or ChU) and I’m away with my log-log slide rule and British Callendar steam tables) gas and other engines etc. However Fluid dynamics and FEA (Finite element analysis) was not invented then so I missed out. Geeks in my college days used to wax our slide rule sliders. We also all seemed to ride motor bikes with full knowledge of our indestructibility.

Oh yes, I agree never trust a hedge fund manager or a Forex dealer, particularly with your money, or anything else much.


“He has to use a strategy option called ‘game theory’ which is all about setting expected outcomes and then seeing what other possible outcomes there are if your change variables, like what lap you stop on and what tyres you start with.”

Game theory isn’t really an option or a strategy card, it happens all the time. I don’t think your explanation is very good. IT would be like saying ‘they have decided to use something called ‘strategy”

Thats how it sounds to people who know what game theory is, anyway.


What do you think will happen if it rains James? General consensus seems to be that it wont make a lot of difference pace-wise, just wondering if some teams having tested in the rain quite a bit over winter will have an advantage.


Any tid-bits from the Mercedes dinner last night Sir?


What’s your feeling about the McLarens this weekend? Sure, they don’t seem to be in contention to win, but Hamilton was 7th in FP1, and he and Kovalainen were 11th and 9th in FP2, respectively. According to the FP report on the F1 website, McLaren were trying new parts, with Hamilton said that the car was better than he expected but still lacked grip in high-speed corners.

If the McLarens maintain this form, it appears one of them may be able to make it to Q3. I’m sure Hamilton is going to be driving with a little extra determination, on top of it. And if it rains, then it’s a whole new race.

But then again, the BMWs didn’t look very staggering in FP last week, and yet Kubica qualified P4 (with light fuel, albeit) and made a battle of it.


And DO we need a change of scene!

We’ve had the Prologue, now for Act I.

Here’s the Game Theory article:

Terrific final paragraph Sir:

“Renault sometimes sends its executives to the F1 factory to pick up new ideas and Symonds has taught a lot of people from the road car side of Renault the Formula 1 attitude, which he sums up as, “I don’t know how to do it, but I’ll find out and I’ll do it by next weekend.””

While the “Bomohs” are mixing bat’s blood with garlic to ward off the monsoon with their incantations, I suspect F1’s two most powerful personalities are revelling in the publicity, controversy and anguish.

Even now, scheming to bring ON the rain, at least to mix up the order in practice…

“In our deep vaulted cell the charm we’ll prepare,
Too dreadful a practice for this open air.”
The Sorceress’ Cave, Act II, Dido and Aenas by Henry Purcell

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