F1 Honda 2006 Chinese GP – Team Integra Forums – Team Integra

17 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on F1 Honda 2006 Chinese GP – Team Integra Forums – Team Integra
Suzuki Mini Free MF1

Pascal Vasselon, Toyota F1 Senior Chassis General Manager

The track itself is average on most parameters like braking, downforce and tyre compounds but it features two very special corners which are entirely unique to the Shanghai International Circuit. At the end of the start-finish straight there is a very long right hander and there is another one at the back end of the circuit. The main consequence is that it puts the emphasis on graining and wear on the front left tyre.

At Turn 1 you also see the highest loads on the steering system from the entire season because of the combination of very high cornering and braking accelerations all together. At the other end of the circuit, the exit from the second long right-hander is crucial for speed along the long straight. That means, unusually, that the cars have higher average speeds along that straight with high levels of downforce.

Ralf Schumacher

It’s a nice combination of being a technical circuit without being high speed. Turn 1 is a challenging corner coming almost full circle. You need to be committed through here because it is easy to make a mistake. Turn 13 is another very long corner, coming onto the long back straight which leads to arguably the best passing point of the lap at turn 14, a tight first gear corner.

The circuit is wide and there are other chances to pass so driving there was good fun last year.

in 2005 Ralf said:

The Shanghai International Circuit is an impressive facility, with a combination of technically challenging corners without being too high speed.

It was well designed and it has some features that are unique, especially the long corners. Turn 1 is so long that you almost complete an entire circle so you need to be committed to stay on the limit all the way round without making a mistake. The whole circuit is very wide so there are chances to overtake, particularly at the end of the long straight into turn 14.

That makes the track a fun place to race.

Willy Rampf, Sauber BMW F1 Technical Director

Shanghai is one of the circuits which places even greater demands on the cars’ aerodynamic efficiency through the switch to V8 engines. Its long straights and generous width make the track a nice one for overtaking, as long as you have good straight-line speed. Running too little downforce, however, will lose you time through the predominantly slow and medium-speed corners.

Mike Gascoyne in 2005, Former Toyota F1 Technical Director and now Stryker MF1 Technical Director in 2007

The track has some interesting characteristics, most notably the complex at turn one with the seemingly never-ending tightening first corner with the tight left-hander immediately following. That is a real challenge for the drivers. Last year the surface of the track was quite smooth, but tracks have a tendency to develop in the early years after their inception, so we will have to see if the track has matured.

The slow-speed nature of the circuit means that we will run higher levels of downforce, but as the main overtaking points come on the straights, we have to find the best compromise with wing levels so that we do not lose too much top speed.

Nick Heidfeld

The first corner after the start/finish straight is very unusual. You approach it at high speed and don’t lift off on the entry. But then the corner tightens up more and more, forcing you to shift down into second gear.

Kimi Raikkonen in 2005

Shanghai has a good mix of challenges, such as the really long straight with overtaking opportunities at each end, which saw some interesting racing. The track is generally very wide, however there are some places where it narrows down, including through the long turn one, which gets tighter and tighter.

Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005

The Shanghai International Circuit has a little bit of everything. I always like Tilke circuits; they seem to suit my driving style. The long back straight, where we reach over 330km/h, has a hairpin at the end, which is a great place to pass.

Turn four is also fun, you need to get a good exit to get a good lap time, and it immediately goes into turn five, which is very long and you pull lots of g forces.


Quote: HondaRacingF1.com

Rubens Barrichello

The Shanghai circuit is extremely impressive but more importantly it has a challenging track layout. The venue holds some pretty special memories for me as I won the very first Grand Prix there from pole position in 2004 which was a great weekend. With three races left of the season, my aim is to put the car into a podium position and I believe that we can deliver the performance to achieve this.

The tests in Jerez have been very positive with developments on the aero and electronics packages, plus intensive evaluation of the tyres for Shanghai and the final races. Importantly the car and engine were very reliable and we hope that this will enable us to continue the strong performance that we have shown over the last three races.

Jenson Button

The Chinese Grand Prix has quickly become one of my favourite races on the calendar and the atmosphere at the race for the last two years has been fantastic. The circuit is very technical and quite demanding for the drivers but also fun to drive, with the stand-out feature being the length of the corners, particularly turn one which is tough on the neck.

We had a good result in Shanghai in 2004 when I finished in P2 behind Rubens and I think that the track will suit our car this year. Our final test of the season in Jerez went well this week and we hope to end the season on a high note with some good performances at the final three races.

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director

Both of our drivers have been very successful in the Chinese Grand Prix in previous years and Shanghai is a great addition to the calendar for our team. We go to China encouraged by our recent race performances and our most recent test in Jerez which was our last opportunity to evaluate all the developments that we intend to use in the final three races.

The Shanghai circuit is a very striking facility with a mixture of long straights and an interesting combination of low and medium speed corners. The main feature is the length of some corners which present a unique and difficult challenge, particularly turn one where the drivers start turning at full throttle at about 280 kph and continuously brake and turn for about six seconds until the slowest part of the corner. Hopefully we can maintain our steady progression in performance and be fighting at the front of the field yet again.

Simon Corbyn, Cosworth Head of F1 Race Engineering

Shanghai circuit’s most significant feature is the combination of relatively long straights and several key, tight corners which drop the engine down to low speeds, such as those seen at the hairpin at turn 14. These low, mid-corner engine speeds potentially pose drivability and traction control issues, but no problems have been flagged on our test cells in Northampton.

2005 Pole Position :Alonso1 min. 34.080

2005 Fastest Race Lap. Raikkonen1 min. 33.242

2005 Button Qualifying 4th. 1 min. 34.801

2005 Button Fastest Race Lap 12th :1min. 34.766


A wide track that allows the cars’ aerodynamics to not be disrupted when following a car in front of them and losing downforce because they aren’t stuck in line behind the car ahead as in other tracks. It has lots of passing opportunities:

1. Turn 1 -Coming off turn 16’s exit starts the long run to turn 1 which is a decreasing radius corner and that creates braking zone passing opportunities.

Jenson at turn 16’s apex

2. Turn 14 Hairpin -Coming off turn 13’s exit is all important to getting a higher trap speed by the time you reach the entrance to 14 and a lot of cars had trouble at Turn 13’s exit last year, as Heidfeld said in the video – a lot of left side tire graining at 13’s exit on the long run to 14.

3. Turn 6 Hairpin – Rarely tried but available. Definitely a good braking passing zone after a quick sprint down a short straight.


For this race we may have to deal with the spectre of the engine change penalty affecting fuel strategy.

Total 56 Laps.

A. 2 Stop Strategy

Button came in on lap 18 and 30 in 2005 (finished 8th) and in the best Honda F1 car so far, the BAR006 in 2004 qualifying 3rd and finishing 2nd in Shanghai, he came in on laps 14 and 35.

Alonso (pole) and Raikkonen (3rd on grid) who were fighting for the 2005 Championship up to the last race in China came in on Laps 19 30.

So the popular more common 2 stopper with 3 fuel windows would be:

18-19 laps, 11-12 laps, 26 laps –

a medium curb weight for qualifying, light in the middle, and heaviest on the last stint.

Interestingly when Jenson came in second in 2004, they ran light for qualifying since he only had 14 laps of fuel on board to gain his 3rd place grid position. Perhaps they’ll need that this year, since they will be taking a 10 place grid penalty hit for installing the Suzuka Special engine in so that they can submit it for 2 race weekend homologation before the Oct. 1 deadline ?

Ralf Schumacher and Klien tried it the other way around from Jenson, Kimi, and Fernando in 2005:having the car be at it’s lightest in the last phase of the race instead.

Klien came in on laps 19 and 45 and tried to have his last (3rd) stint to be the lightest and came in 5th in 2005.

Ralf came in on lap 19 and 47 and surprised everyone by podiuming in 3rd in 2005 after qualifying 9th with a 9 lap last stint and a heaviets middle stint running longer than anyone else but maintained good pace during that phase. That’s where he passed Jenson in the race by leapfrogging him while he was in the pits.

B. 3 Stop Strategy:

Rubens tried a 3 stopper in 2005 on laps 19, 30, 46 – not so hot. he finished 12th.

Fisichella in 2005 came in on laps 19, 30, 52. Fisi finished 4th.

Fuel windows 19 laps, 11 laps, 16-22 laps, 4-10 laps.

C. What To Choose, What To Choose: What would I do ?

It seems to me that the more popular successful pattern over the years is to run light early to gain track position and have a heaviest fuel load in the last stint, IF YOU HAVE A QUICK CAR (like the Ferrari and Renault).

I would emulate Ralf’s 2005 strategy, if your car isn’t up to the same pace (based on practice and qualy results) as the front runners by saving the lightest stint for the last part and having a heaviest middle stint on a 2 stopper.

I don’t think a 3 stopper gives you any advantages by running light in 4 phases. since the pit lane is long.

If they come in on lap 13-15 for the first pit stop then, they’ll have been light for qualifying. If they come in on lap 18-19 for the first stop then it’s a pretty standard qualifying fuel load. If they come in on lap 23-25, it’s because of their poor grid position due to the engine change penalty and they want to run longer early in the race and try to grab track position when everyone goes in for their first stops (like what Trulli did at this year’s USGP).

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