Thursday, June 30, 2011

European Progress?

It appears that if you combine A) restrictions in engine map usage with B) a low-downforce circuit, you end up with a situation where at least one of the Ferraris can run comfortably ahead of the McLarens, and with -- if not in front of -- the Red Bulls.

This race was always going to be a totally unique situation, what with the transition of regulations. Restricting the engine map usage a race before the off-throttle-blowing becomes illegal creates a single snapshot moment, one that is not really worth developing for.

It appears that Red Bull and Ferrari were well positioned for this race. The McLarens for whatever reason did not have the downforce needed to really run with the front cars. I am sure that McLaren will be better positioned in Silverstone, where the high-speed track is more likely to suit their cars. One can speculate that this may be more due to the Ferrari and Red Bull falling back into McLaren's clutches, as they have so far apparently avoided the performance loss due to engine mappings; one might speculate that this was more due to McLaren using the regulation to a better advantage than their rivals.

So all that verbiage aside, I fully expect that Silverstone will bring us the usual top three battling it out, albeit rather closer together than Valencia showed. There is a very small chance that Red Bull's performance advantage is completely due to the off-throttle blown diffusers, meaning that they will suffer disproportionally when the rules change -- but frankly I doubt it.