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      05-14-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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F1 how much time does sliding over REALLY lose...

The announcers are always saying at the starts down the straight how sliding over slows the car, including with this last race, but come on, I cannot believe a slow slide off to the side slows the car that much. If you really pay attention you will see just as often or more the car ahead sliding over on another continues to out accelerate the other car.

I think this is a case of selective memory where people see someone slide over and then get outpaced and attribute it to their moving over. If you take this last race, you'll see that was going to happen regardless, Alonso had a far better start and was out accelerating since the moment he crossed the line. If anything he was losing his advantage as they got closer to the corner.

Quick direction changes and inward steering during corners obviously makes a difference, anything that requires grip obviously. But slooooowlly moving over on someone down the straight, come on, they aren't losing any speed.
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      05-14-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Are you talking about like how Maldanado moved over to block Alonso? Or more along the lines of the tires sliding across the surface going into and through turns?
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      05-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 007MCoupe View Post
Are you talking about like how Maldanado moved over to block Alonso? Or more along the lines of the tires sliding across the surface going into and through turns?

At first I thought he meant the latter (which as everyone knows is much slower), but after re-reading a couple times, I'm pretty sure he's talking about Maldanado moving over towards Alonso at the start.

I actually agree -- it's a good question. It's clearly a defensive move when the pole sitter doesn't get a great start. I'm sure it could be precisely calculated if we knew some of the variables.

I already deleted the race off my DVR, but IIRC, it was David Hobbs who said he was wasting/losing time moving over on Alonso. My gut tells me he did not lose much time moving over, he already knew from the launch that it was going to be close at the first corner.

It was not an aggressive move compared to other starts (aka "the Schumi chop") as we've seen from others. For reference, look at Japan 2011, where Vettel did the same pushing Button almost on to the grass at the start and keeping his position:
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      05-14-2012, 10:06 PM   #4
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Yes I might like maldanado vs alonso on the start, the announcers made a big deal about how he would regret it for slowing him down, and they have said that before. But I think that's total BS and just selective memory kicking in remembering all the times someone moved over and then lost the drag race (which they were going to lose anyway) and not remembering the times when the mover won the drag race, or was going to lose but pushing the other guy to the side of the track made him brake first.
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      05-15-2012, 06:16 AM   #5
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Did a little geometry just for fun... Assuming a distance of one-third of a mile and the two cars starting out 20 feet apart, the car that moves over must drive 20 feet more in distance than the car that goes straight--that's about 1.3 car lengths. Further assuming liner acceleration to a terminal speed of 150 mph, that distace equates to about two-tenths of a second.

Kind of like autocross and kart racing--at low speeds, the shorter line wins?
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      05-15-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MFGJR View Post
Did a little geometry just for fun... Assuming a distance of one-third of a mile and the two cars starting out 20 feet apart, the car that moves over must drive 20 feet more in distance than the car that goes straight--that's about 1.3 car lengths. Further assuming liner acceleration to a terminal speed of 150 mph, that distace equates to about two-tenths of a second.

Kind of like autocross and kart racing--at low speeds, the shorter line wins?

Sorry but that's not how it works, Cars 20 feet apart don't travel an extra 20 feet to become side by side.

Do a simple right angle triangle calculation, over 1/3rd mile you're talking about a tenth of a foot to move over 20 feet.

Also calculating the time delta using linear acceleration will never be remotely accurate.
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      05-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Sorry but that's not how it works, Cars 20 feet apart don't travel an extra 20 feet to become side by side.

Do a simple right angle triangle calculation, over 1/3rd mile you're talking about a tenth of a foot to move over 20 feet.

Also calculating the time delta using linear acceleration will never be remotely accurate.
Actually, it's 0.11478 feet... my bad, typo in my math--that's what I get for applyling the Pythagorean Theorem before my morning coffee!
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      05-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MFGJR View Post
Actually, it's 0.11478 feet... my bad, typo in my math--that's what I get for applyling the Pythagorean Theorem before my morning coffee!
Did you really just correct "about a tenth" into .11478?

Point is it has nothing to do with distance and everything to do with the force and friction required to change direction slowing the car down. Which I am still proposing is insignificant in the example given.
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      05-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #9
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Post race press conference:

Q: Fernando, second today and obviously a lot of progress for you and the team. And once again a blinding start.

Fernando ALONSO: Yeah, it was a fantastic start again. The team prepared quite nice again the clutch and everything - the procedure to do a good start. It was close on the straight until Turn One with Pastor, and then we had the better side, the inside...
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      05-15-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Did you really just correct "about a tenth" into .11478?
Clearly (or so I thought) a lighthearted way of acknowledging my mistake. Appears you took it as confrontational and/or serious--sorry, that wasn't the intent. 99% of the time (actually, 99.37893453666%) I try to avoid being serious or taking myself too seriously.

But seriously... I agree that a gradual shift won't scrub much of anything in the way of speed, and as we now know the difference in distance is negligible. Was that Hobbs, Matchett or Varsha making the comment? Two of the three would be, you'd think, pretty well versed in the realities of motorsport. The other, Varsha with a track & field background, maybe not so much (though I like him as a commentator).

Sounding like BS from a physics point of view, but could the point they raise legitimately be one of focus/psychology? By that I mean slowing the driver rather than slowing the car--i.e., "I'm going to move over on this guy to intimidate (or block) him" translates into "focus a lot on not hitting him" instead of just driving the car to its maximum potential. Those guys are, of course, cognizant of traffic and are supremely talented at multi-tasking behind the wheel, but I wonder if being the intentional aggressor in the already stressful environment of an F1 standing start costs an inordinate amount of focus that could be better applied elsewhere during the drag race. Could be an issue for the younger guys, especially. Same kind of concept as driving at an HPDE and worrying too much about what's in the rearview mirror; obviously at a much higher level, but at a level where small fractions of a second matter in terms of who lays claim to that critical first corner. Thoughts?
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      05-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #11
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Well the other drivers concentration has to move to not being run off the road as well, and I can tell you from experience that that kind of a move doesn't even factor into a drivers concentration, I'm sure they are bored on the way to the corner, probably just do it for something to do, lol.
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