22 August 2015
BELGIAN GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 6*, (3rd Practice – 6, 1:49.930)
“It’s pretty cool that everyone is so close and I am pretty happy with the lap. I don’t think I left anything on the table and it’s good to be in the mix. Grosjean has got a penalty so that will push me up to fifth and that’s where I started from last year – not that I’m superstitious or anything, but you can always hope! Sector two is fun for us and we can push really hard there. We bleed some time in sectors one and three but the chassis feels good which is really positive for the team. Fingers crossed we have some good battles on our hands for the race tomorrow, the honey badger will try and find some honey in the forest here and go after it!”
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 12, (3rd Practice – 7, 1:49.980)
“I did my best but I missed out on Q3 by one tenth and a half which is disappointing. We will make the most of our strategy, and the tyres we have available, for the race tomorrow. This track allows for overtaking and we will try to make up some places during the race. We’ll do our best to make it work.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “Daniel will start from P5 for the race because of Grosjean’s penalty and his P6 qualifying is the best we could have hoped for. Dany was unlucky to miss the cut off for Q3 by just over one and a half tenths. The chassis is competitive, particularly in sector two, which is good. This is a track on which the drivers can certainly overtake and hopefully with some unpredictable weather, we can move forward from those grid positions tomorrow.”
*Daniel will start the race from P5 due to penalty for car number 8
Pursuit of Performance
No. 6: Sarah Courtenay
Confidence in set-up and strategy stems from gathering, filtering and understanding the vast amounts of data generated during a race weekend. Here, Strategy Analysis Team Leader, Sarah Courtenay explains the job that goes on back at the factory while the race team is at the circuit.
The job really starts on a Friday, at the moment a car sets the first flying lap of FP1. From that point we’ll be doing as much data analysis as possible, looking at the performance of competitor cars relative to our own. At its most basic we want to know where we’re faster, where we’re slower and feed that back to the engineers at the track. They can use the information to refine their setup.
Typical examples might be looking at particular corners, or perhaps straight-line performance, either of which may tell us what downforce levels other cars are running. If everyone is 20kph quicker at the end of a straight that might make us change our set-up. We might also look at different driver lines. If there’s a corner where we’re losing out, perhaps it’s because our drivers are taking a different line. We’ll present that information to the drivers.
We’ll also listen to the TV broadcasts of competitor radio transmissions. It’s basic but it can be important: for instance, if five or six different drivers are complaining of understeer, then when we go out we should expect the same. It’ll tell us understeer is down to the current condition of the track, and that we should probably be patient and wait for it to develop, rather than chasing our tails making set-up changes.
There’s lot of different bits and pieces like that. Nothing provides a massive gain but they’re all elements of building the big picture for the race engineers.
Race day is different, because rather than having time to go through masses of data, we’re doing a lot more live analysis. We’re looking at things such as tyre usage, or spotting the gaps we can pit into. We feed information to the strategist on the pit wall who can use it to make the best real-time strategy decisions.
Based in the Ops Room at the factory we have all the information the engineers at the track have plus a few things they don’t. In addition to the radio transmissions broadcast on TV we have a lot more video feeds available than the one, or perhaps two that are available at the circuit. It’s a great place to get a good view of what’s going on.