• Troy Dalton Blog F1 2017 Career: Season #1 / Race #9 - Austria

    F1 2017 Career / #1 Driver for Sauber

    Pre-Race
    I'm still concentrating on trying to make the Sauber more durable, but it's a slow and tedious process. I generally earn a little more than 500-600 resource points a weekend, which I immediately put right back into the development of the car. However, I'm going through parts much quicker than I anticipated and I need to change the ICU, both MGU's and the electronics yet again. I'm certain that I'm going to have to invest in additional parts just to make it to the end of the season, which is going to result in penalties, but it seems unavoidable at this point.

    20171029233950_1

    Practice
    I really like this track, despite having never driven it before. It's short, but it's got a really nice flow to it and once I got the car to behave in turn two, I was really pleased with the handling. This was one of those tracks that I managed to get all my practice objectives done in P1, so I used P2 and P3 to experiment with different setups. Not surprisingly, the car handles fantastic on the ultra soft compounds, so I'm considering a two-stop race strategy, but I won't decide on that until just before the race. The team doesn't expect much in qualifying, but I'm confident I can get out of Q1 and possibly into Q3 if I can pull off a perfect lap. I'm going to need to qualfy as high as possible though, as I'm certain to get a 5-spot grid penalty for changing out the ICU.

    Qualifying
    Goals, 18th grid spot, beat rival (Romain Grosjean).
    Car is rock solid and I easily advanced to Q2 with a 1:10.778, which is only about a half second off the eventual pole time. However, I feel like I'm developing a reputation of being unable to get it done under pressure, because I was unable to repeat that effort in Q2 and finished 13th overall with a 1:11.035. I was disappointed, especially since I would be starting 18th on the grid, but I was also looking forward to the challenge. A two-stop strategy is usually reserved for only the fastest cars, but the pit in/out is short and the car is so good on ultra soft's, I'm really leaning towards a two-stop strategy.

    Q2/P13 (1:11.035 US/Tires) Starting 18th due to 5-grid spot penalty for changing ICU.
    Pole: Sebastian Vettel 1:10.234

    Race
    Goals, finish 16th or higher, beat Romain Grosjean.
    Weather Forecast: Overcast, turning sunny, then overcast near the end. No rain in the forcast.
    Race Strategy: Two-stop strategy. Start on ultra soft's, then switch to super soft's on lap 11, then back to ultra soft's for the final 11 laps. I'm going to start heavy on fuel, so that I can run the car rich, as it seems much faster despite the weight penalty.

    Race Results
    Podium: P1 – Valtteri Bottas / P2 – Lewis Hamilton / P3 – Sebastian Vettel
    My Position: 9th

    20171029233043_1


    Summary

    Unlike the total caos of Azerbaijan, the field was fairly well behaved heading into T1. I got a great start and was running 15th by the time we reached T2. At that point I turned up the wick and proceeded to gradually knock off one driver after another. I eventually made it all the way up to P7 before pitting for new tires. However, I had pretty much exhausted all the extra fuel that I'd put in, so I would need to watch my fuel consumption for the remainder of the race.

    20171029233122_1

    The second stint went well and after pitting a second time for ultra soft's, I was running just outside of the top ten. However, I really couldn't make up much ground without running the engine rich and I simply didn't have the fuel to be able to do that. I eventually finished the race ninth and although I was happy with the result, I felt it could have been much better had I stuck with a one stop strategy. The Sauber just doesn't have the pace to overcome the time lost in the pits and I gave up way too much track position. Lesson learned.

    20171029233227_1

    Despite that, this was probably the closest I've come to keeping pace with some of the front runners, as I finished the race with the sixth fastest lap time, so that was encouraging. I was also named driver of the race, which is always a cool honor, and Grosjean dropped out late, so I managed to make up some ground on him. Had I performed slightly better at Azerbaijan, he and I would be tied, but now that I'm only trailing him by a single point, I'm starting to think that I might just have a chance to win a rivalry that I didn't think would be possible a few races ago.

    20171029233234_1

    Good race, great pace, and the durability continues to improve, so not much to complain about and it's on to Silverstone.

    20171029233746_1
    WhiskeyChaser likes this.
    This article was originally published in blog: Season #1 / Race #9 - Austria started by Troy Dalton
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Anthony James's Avatar
      Anthony James -
      Wow intense F1 review. I don’t have f1217 but sounds awesome!