Friday, July 28, 2006

Get on with it! Pre-race build-up

I think we’re in for a good weekend at Hockenheim. Home country of Schumacher, Alonso still fighting him off, tensions ablaze, temperatures hot and humid much like the atmosphere on the track. Isn’t this why we watch Formula 1? The excitement and thrill. Oh and maybe, just a small contributing factor, because of the ultra sexy drivers ;)
With only seven races left including Sunday’s race and Alonso with a 17 point lead over Schumi I think that anything can happen. Now Alonso seems particularly level-headed, he’s a calm but determined driver, off the track epitomises the horizontal Spaniard but surely he’s got to be getting a little hot under the collar. If nothing else this weekend will be more about mental determination as much as about skill as a driver. In a grandstand of red tivosi all backing Schumacher, Alonso’s going to need all his focus on the matter in hand. Pushing that R26 to its maximum performance and maintaining a solid and fast drive. Despite the weather conditions, it’s going to be hot and sticky, the similarities with some of the previous tracks where Alonso has won, might help him.
According to the Renault engineering team, the stats for running the car this weekend will be as follows:
Downforce – medium-low
Suspension – relatively soft settings, bump rubbers, forward mechanical bias (which means that the suspension is stiffer at the front that at the back of the car)
Engine performance – 71% of the lap is spent at full throttle but this is still a low throttle track in comparison to the other F1 tracks due to the low speed corners. Hockenheimring is a demanding circuit for engines and an engine that can pull strongly from low revs is an advantage. The R6 is running the RS26, a V8 2.4L engine. On the same vein due to the scorching temperatures on the track the engine develops something known as acoustic offset, meaning that peak power is developed at higher revs shifting the power-band upwards. Being able to use greater rpm, which the C spec RS26 does, is a definite advantage for both Alonso and Fisichella.
(Stats taken from and
I’m interested to see what the qualifying brings tomorrow. I noticed that both Alonso and Fisi did a couple of practice laps but that Schumacher didn’t. Not that this means anything, perhaps simply more of the mind games or more likely Ferrari knows its car is good to go. Looking forward also to seeing Rosberg’s performance in front of his home crowd. Nothing like supportive fans to boost the moral and performance.

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