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shepherd
05-13-2006, 09:57 AM
Lately, I've been watching Formula 1 races and qualifying because it's the best thing on TV early Saturday and Sunday mornings. Those cars are awesome! I just don't understand the rules though.

What's the deal with qualifying? Do they go on best times? And why have multiple sessions? I guess they're doing eliminations to see who gets the top spot.

Also, what's the deal with the fuel load? Do different cars start with different amounts of fuel in the tank. I know fuel weight has a big effect on the cars' performance. But it seems like some cars do more pit stops because they start with less fuel(?). Does a light car advantage overcome the disadvantage of doing an extra pit stop?

I guess I could research these questions on Formula 1 racing web sites, but I like talking to you guys better... Plus I'm just dumb lazy.

Tom023
05-13-2006, 10:21 AM
No expert, but I used to watch all open wheel racing but dumped F1 because it was so boring, nothing more than a procession of cars at 200 MPH with absolutely NO passing during a race. The only time a lead change occured was during a pit stop. Maybe things have changed in the last few years and it has improved but I still prefer CART, but even my interest in that has died thanks to dumb a$$ Tony George.

Starting grid positon is based on time during qualifying, I don't know why there are multiple sessions but most series have more than one. I guess in case you have a mechanical problem or have adjustments you get a second chance. The more fuel, the slower the car, so it's a gamble between less fuel, faster car and and additional stop. Sometimes teams running two cars will run one with full fuel and one with a lighter load but an additional stop.

I went to an American Le Mans race last night, and I think that series may be the best. Different classes, lots of passing, but bring the ear plugs, I mean really LOUD. It's too bad that of all the vehicles racing, the Corvettes sounded like absolute sh**. They were competitive but just had an awful sound compared to everything else, except the Mazdas.

shepherd
05-13-2006, 11:04 AM
Yeah, no passing makes for a boring race. I guess that's why they treat qualifying so seriously (and why I think it's kind of a joke in NASCAR, where the fastest/luckiest car wins no matter where he starts). When the team won the pole this morning, they were celebrating like they won the race! I just like to watch the cars, especially the in-car camera shots. Those cars are super fast around the corners - pretty impressive after years of watching stock cars creep around corners like that and slowly speed back up.

I don't know about Tony George, but I do like to watch the IRL races.

ski36short
05-13-2006, 11:50 AM
I'm with Tom - preferred CART back in the day and ALMS is the coolest thing going right now (hopefully Acura's entry will keep the prototype field expanding!). F1 is cool and technically amazing but no passing. I'm no expert either but from what I know, the following is true for qualifiying: You have to qualify with the same fuel load you intend to start the race with - this is a team strategy decision based on factors mentioned. F1 qualifying rules have changed significantly each of the last three years; I think the two sessions are to rule out changes in weather, but as far as I know the best overall time still wins. I believe each team still has a limited number of laps to try it though. Also, an engine has to last 2 race weekends. Change an engine=automatic start at the back of the pack.