Ocon, Astin, Alonso discussed on The Autosport Podcast
The car didn't look that bad on track. It looked, you know, relatively benign handling. But it just didn't seem to sort of have the pace. An Alpine you would probably say is between the two. Ocon did a good job. And obviously Alonso had had a few struggles, but, you know, they'll get back on top of that tomorrow and see what they can do. But yeah, you'd have to say on balance, that sort of battle between helping avatar Aston Martin seems to have fallen out of the window a little bit in that battle for 5th overall. But there's still 6 races and if they have a couple of good rounds, they can come back at the other two teams if they struggle, but yeah, it sort of seems a little bit beyond them at this stage, but yeah, alpha taran Alpine. On balance probably the best two teams out of the three, but astin looks like it might have a good weekend. That is the beauty of this season. Everything is so, so close, not just at the top of the pack when we're talking about Red Bull and Mercedes, but all the way down, it really is a race by race basis. And that's what's keeping things so exciting this season. So keen to see how things unfold in the midfield for the remaining races as well. Now, in today's session, we had a number of laps deleted for track limits, including one of Lewis's which was a very quick lap actually. But do you expect that track limits will be quite an issue tomorrow in qualifying? Or do you think that this was just a case of the drivers today pushing the limits finding the limits and tomorrow they will be able to rein it in and get the car on the limit as opposed to over it? Yeah, track limits are ways are an issue in Austin, especially at turn 19. Because you come into that corner so quickly. It's very, very difficult to react, especially if you're understood a little bit, you just sort of drift wide and then you go off onto the curb and over the white line and that's your lap time done really. I don't know if you've ever seen any IndyCar races, but they take a very lax attitude to that corner and the cars just go off into the into the runoff and nobody cares. They're just go for it and they sort of do a vague approximation of the corner, but never really make it Formula One, obviously, much more strict with that regard. So it's not really a surprise to see a lot of time as being deleted. I think there are quite a few times being deleted into 9 as well. And obviously in the tight corners as well. You don't really gain too much time. But you'll see a lot of drives going off, particularly, you know, turn one if they just sort of overcook the braking and that sort of thing. But yeah, it's just those fast corners like turn 9 to 19 where if you keep your foot in it and you don't keep it on the right side of the curve, then that's by lap time. And I suspect we'll see a lot of that in qualifying tomorrow. Something to definitely something to definitely keep an eye on tomorrow then. Now, final thing, of course you are our technical editor. So it's only right that we pick your brains when we have you here with us, are there any interesting upgrades or changes that you've seen any of the teams bring this weekend? Anything worth mentioning? Well, obviously there's been the sort of furore of the wrong term, but obviously in a lot of interest in the Mercedes appearing to have a sort of system where it can during the high-speed corners or high-speed corners that during the straits rather be able to reduce the rate of the car, which is absolutely vital in getting extra straight line speed, and this is something that Christian Horner spoke a lot about on TV. He suspects that Mercedes is running a system. I don't think it's really a system I think it's just being boxing quite clever with the suspension at the rear. So when the car seems to hit a certain speed on the straights and gets to a sort of certain down force level, what happens is the rear of the cast of hunkers down. And what we get there, of course, is a much reduced frontal area because obviously lifting the rear of the car. If you look at the car dead on, you'll see it's got a much greater frontal area. So that's going to increase your drag if you're running a higher rate setup on the straight. But also what happens is when it hunkers down it sort of deviates usually from what the aero profile is doing. So the floor might, for example, stool, which is generally what teams want it to do on a straight anyway. But you can sort of create a much more extreme level of that, and so you're cutting your drag completely. And so you're going to be able to reach a much higher top speed. Ripple said that it was very, very extreme on the Mercedes in Turkey and perhaps less so Austin because just because of the characteristics of the track really. But yeah, it's helping them get a little bit extra straight line speed. What they're actually doing within the car. We don't really know at this stage. You can probably lots of people. I'm sure draw conclusions. But yeah, they just seem very, very happy with the car Mercedes. They seem to have hit a suspension sweet spot in getting that extra straight line speed. Everything in modern Formula One cars is inter linked suspension and arrow and God knows what. Everything marries together perfectly, and it just seems to have given them a situation where they can drop that rate because they don't run a very high rate anyway. To get more straight line speed, but they just drop it even further, and so derive that advantage. I think that's what I can say on that at this point. I'm sure more will come out in the washers. Is it always does it did with flexi wings earlier in the year and they start on the other. But yeah, just seems to be very clever solution and obviously we can assume that because Mercedes is kind of trying to take it easy with its power units. It doesn't want to run them at too high level. So you would have to expect that the straight line speed advantage they got over Red Bull at this stage does come from that sort of suspension setup and that aero mapping as well. So yeah, I think just the very job from them. Thank you so much for that JBL. It is fantastic to have insight like that. Here on the auto sport podcast, that is all that we have time for today. JBL, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you to everyone for listening. We'll be back tomorrow with our qualifying report. Make sure you tune in and enjoy the sessions as well. We'll catch you tomorrow..