• Troy Dalton Blog - F1 2017 Career Season #1 / Race #10 - Great Britain

    F1 2017 Career / #1 Driver for Sauber

    Pre-Race
    Finally, a track that I'm intimately familiar with. However, I am very concerned about the longevity of engine parts. I've already went through 3 ICU's, MGU's, Turbos', etc... and I'm only half way through the season. At some point I fear this is really going to come back to haunt me, but I'm so close to my current rival in points, it's very hard to resist the urge to upgrade to more dependable parts. I fear I will eventually have to dig some of the used parts back out of the garbage bin and put them back on the car.

    Practice
    It didn't take me long to develop a decent setup and after P1 I was confident that I would be able to get out of Q1, not so sure I'll have the pace to finish in the top ten again. The forecast is calling for rain during the race though, so I may be able to take advantage of the conditions. Consequently, I think I'm going to have to sacrifice qualifying speed to ensure that I have a solid wet setup for the race. Softer springs, ARB, and more downforce are what I need and if I can get out of Q1 with a wet setup in the dry, I should have an advantage on race day.

    Qualifying
    Goals, 18th grid spot, beat rival (Romain Grosjean).
    Certain that it is going to rain, I went with the wet setup option and still managed to get out of Q1...barely. Q2 didn't really go any better than Q1 and I finished he session in 14th position. However, Massa had to served a grid penalty, so I'll be starting 13th. This is a big advantage, as I'll be on the racing line for the start.

    Q2/P14 (1:34.237 SS/Tires) Starting 13th due to Massa's grid penalty.
    Pole: Kimi Raikkonen 1:32.043

    Race
    Goals, finish 16th or higher, beat Romain Grosjean.
    Weather Forecast: Rain and lot's of it. Forecast is calling for a wet race from start to finish.
    Race Strategy: One stop strategy. It's going to be wet, so I'll probably be on wets for the entire race, unless the rain let's up. Either way, the plan is to stop for tires on lap thirteen.

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    Race Results
    Podium: P1 Sebastian Vettel / P2 Kimi Raikkonen / P3 Lewis Hamilton
    My Position: 8th

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    Summary
    It was raining buckets at the start. This is the hardest rain I've experienced yet and I was glad that I sacrificed pace in qualifying to run the wet setup. I assume other teams probably did the same thing, but I like the rain and I'm confident that if I can get a good start, there's an outside chance I'll have a shot at a top ten.

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    Starting in the racing line allowed me to swing wide heading into turn one and then I moved to the inside for turn three. I made a bit of a desperate dive down the inside of Grosjean heading into turn three, he flinched and I was in twelfth. Turn four, Ocon got loose, and the field stacked up. I kept it tight to the inside and took advanatage of his mistake. Before you know it, the field is making it's way through Copse and I realize that I'm now running in the top ten. One lap later, the additional downforce is paying off and I'm running eigth behind Perez.

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    I hung with Perez for a few laps, but he was clearly quicker and kept pulling away a few tenths every lap. However, I was doing the same to the rest of the field and for much of the race I was running alone. By the time I was ready to pit for a new set of wet's, I couldn't see anyone in front or behind me. So, other than my engineer asking me to look for standing water to cool the tires, the rest of the race was totally uneventful and I cruised to an 8th place finish.

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    Silverstone marks the halfway point of the season and although Hamilton has a thirty point lead over Vettel, the driver's championship is still very much in question. The same can be said for the constructors championship, as Mercedes-AMG Petronas has a slim 45 point lead over Scuderia Ferrari. Red Bull is solidly in third, followed by Force India. However, my recent finishes in the top ten has elevated Sauber above Haas and we trail fifth place Williams by only seven points.

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    Lastly, I've managed to tie my rival in points and the first person to thirty points wins the rivalry. The next three races will play a huge role in who eventually wins the rivalry. Hungary is next, followed by SPA, and then Monza. Haas will likely have the advantage in all three races, so here's hoping for rain.

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    This article was originally published in blog: Season #1 / Race #10 - Great Britain started by Troy Dalton