Formula 1: Against The Odds

Classified Information

with one comment

There has been plenty of coverage this week of the stresses and strains that Monza’s flat out lap puts on the engines of F1 cars.  However it was Norbert Haug’s comments about Monza and Spa together that has got me thinking about reliability:

“At around 80%, Monza has the highest full-throttle proportion per lap of all Formula 1 racetracks. However, the following race will challenge the engines even more. As scheduled, we will start Monza with a new engine in both cars which, according to the rules, is designed to be used in Spa as well. The combination of these two circuits is the highest expected strain for an engine so far since the new V8 engine generation has been introduced last year.”

The Monza circuit used to be a car-breaker in its own right.  Between 1997 and 2003 less than 60% of all the cars that lined up on the grid were not classified at the finish.  Recently things have improved and 2005 saw that most rare feat in F1: no retirements from the race.  2006 saw only five retirements and it is clear that engineers are coming to terms with its challenges.  Spa Francochamps however remains a unique test for both man and machine.

Obviously the drivers who are most at risk are those, like the McLaren pair, who barring any failure in Italy will be required to use the same engine for both races.  A quick look at the excellent La Canta Magnifico Blog shows us that fourteen drivers have a brand-new V8 for Monza: Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa, Fisichella, Kubica, Schumacher, Webber, Coulthard, Rosberg, Wurz, Vettel, Sutil and Sato.

Some of the names on that list initially strike me as more likely to suffer mechanical failure than others. Sorry Red Bull.

According to my records Mark Webber has retired five times this season through mechanical failure, with his teammate Coulthard following him three times. Kimi Raikkonen, Adrian Sutil and Takuma Sato have all retired twice due to car failure.  Admittedly these have not all been engine related, but as we have seen many times before in F1, the stresses caused through prolonged full throttle driving can often have a knock on effect on the durability of other components.

Many bookmakers offer markets for drivers not to be classified in a race and classification can be laid at the Betfair exchange.  I will be keeping a close eye on the prices of the above named in the run up to the Belgian Grand Prix.


Written by f1punter

September 7, 2007 at 1:46 pm

One Response

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  1. […] under Belgian GP, Classified, F1, Mark Webber, Red Bull, Retirements, formula 1 Going back to my Classified Information post earlier this week; I am going to take on Mark Webber in today’s […]

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