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GP Week : Issue 198
TECHNICAL McLaren, with Mercedes and Ferrari, instead having opted for a mid-low downforce solution, halfway to the extremities of the graph. The analysis of the second sector, the slowest of this track, confirmed our first deductions. In T2, the situation shown from the sector times point of view, clearly shows that Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Ricciardo set similar times, showing a similar performance – the graph in fact look almost symmetrical in respect of the vertical central axis. The graph shows also that both Williams and McLaren performance is far from the best in this sector, while Ferrari is exactly in the middle of the field. The top sped analysis of this sector provides us a further confirmation of this, but provides more in depth knowledge of the cars. In fact, looking at the speed chart, in Sector 2 we can still find at the top the Mercedes cars, demonstrating that the medium level downforce they opted was enough for these cars to be fast in the most twisty section of the track, not penalising the over-all speed. Red Bull were very quick in this sector but, as we saw in the previous sector, they were very slow in outright top speed, so the pace in T2 is mainly generated by a high downforce level. Ferrari, instead, sits exactly in he middle, with Alonso showing a better performance compared to Raikkonen, who ran a lower downforce level compared to his teammate. The Williams cars look pretty fast but not competitive in this sector having chosen a low downforce setup in favour of the fast sections of the circuit. Same choice for McLaren, who seem to have not found the right compromise in terms of set up . WcanjudgeSector3asamixof the previous two – it shows how the two Mercedes, even with some setup differences, are two all-round cars. Both cars show they were at ease in each sector without penalizing the top speed too much. Only Alonso and Vettel come close to the Mercedes’ performance in this sector, with Alonso being able to set a top speed even better than Rosberg, much faster than Hamilton, showing he chose a low downforce config, slightly more extreme than his team mate. Hamilton, in fact, is halfway through the speed sheet of this sector, having chosen, as discussed previously, a perfectly balanced setup between slow and fast sections of the circuit. Williams and McLaren, with the former faster than the latter, seem lost. The cars from Grove, showed a very good top speed thanks to a setup favouring it, but were incapable of setting competitive sector times in each sector. McLaren even worse. The drag table we have derived, shows how Ricciardo and Vettel adopted a higher downforce setup while, on the opposite, Massa and Bottas showed low wing angles. At the end of the day, none of the two extremities of setup choices paid dividend – mainly because another car was running seamlessly in a category of his own, the Mercedes. Graphs continued on next page RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS Time analysis in sector T2 34.5 35 35.5 36 36.5 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG T2 T2 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS Speed analysis in sector T2 120 124 128 132 136 140 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG SPEED 2 SPEED 2 34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MALAYSIA PARTNERS: