German GP predictions, and my latest karting session

It’s the German Grand Prix today. I’ll make my predictions later in this post.

I went to Lakeside Karting on Monday evening. I did two 15 minute sessions. John and Jo, friends if me and Blanche, came to watch. Jo had come straight from work, so she left after the first session, but John stayed for both.

I was out on my own for the first session. I had hoped there would be other drivers because I want practice with some competition. Between sessions, two more drivers turned up. They had done quite a bit of karting before; Raleigh and Buckmore Park mainly. In the second session, I went out of the pits second and overtook both of them, which means I lapped one during my 22 laps (41.xx seconds lap).

What amazes me is the consistency of my times. In the last two visits, I’ve done four 15 minute sessions. The lap times are pretty close in each session. Here are the lap times of my last session Monday, with excuses for slower laps.
Lap Time
001 42.50
002 44.06 Waiting to pass
003 42.92 Passing
004 41.99
005 42.10
006 41.76
007 41.61
008 42.24 Passing (one driver was 4s a lap slower)
009 41.92
010 41.91
011 42.33 Beyond the limit in turn two
012 41.73
013 41.75
014 41.72
015 41.40
016 41.72
017 41.57
018 41.38 Best Lap
019 42.00
020 41.92
021 41.94
022 41.72

And the fastest laps of my last 4 sessions (earliest first)

Right, not long now before the TV coverage starts for the German F1 GP.

Blanche says Kimi will win. I think he’s on low fuel, and the Ferraris are good on strategy, and Michael was the only driver to get into the 1:13s, so my money’s on Michael. I’m no Schumi fan to be honest, I love McLaren, and Kimi’s a fine driver, so I’ll be happy to be proved wrong.

Jenson’s best lap was 1:14.3, and Alonso’s 1:14.7. That’s a big swing in favour of Jenson. Dare I hope for a podium finish for Jenson? I hope so.

Having said that, Fisichella is above Alonso. Looking at the three quali session times, they Renault’s have similar times except Alonso’s final time on race fuel. Perhaps he’s fuelled heavily, but that puts him in the pack so I don’t know why Renault would do that.

So things are a but mixed up. Here’s how I think things will finish.

1 Michael
2 Kimi
3 Massa
4 Button
5 Alonso
6 Fisichella
7 Barrichello
8 Coulthard
9 De la Rosa
10 Ralph

6 thoughts on “German GP predictions, and my latest karting session

  1. Hey Colin,Great predictions again! Shame Kimi wasn’t as competitive as he seemed after qualifying, but still managed P3 after a bungled stop and a sub-optimal strategy. Barrichello might have finished where you predicted, but for car failure, and the Coulthard/Ralf collision on lap 1 put them out of the points. I suppose noone saw Webber coming, though!Nice laps you’ve done at Lakeside. I used to go too deep into turn 2 a lot the first time I was there; I was trying to carry too much speed through turn 1. The only thing I still haven’t worked out is whether the last two turns should be double apex, or I should run wide around the first part… One day I will try both lines in the same run.Kaz

  2. Yeah, McLaren said they’d have to be less conservative in quali, so he was on low, low fuel. I wonder if Coulthard had car problems, because his race-pace didn’t match quali.Webber – what a drive. Shame he didn’t finish. Trulli too, from 20th, he did really well. Good race, all-in-all.I’m not sure I’ll make predictions again. I spend the race hoping for misfortune so my predictions come true, and that doesn’t feel right.Thanks for the comment about Lakeside. If by turn one you mean the slight right before the left, I’m not braking there until just after the apex, then hard as it slopes up to turn two where I apex early, then as I go left round the corner the car is skipping around. I don’t think it matters if you run a bit wide there, because it’s going into a slow series of corners – I still think I can make a 1/10th or two there.I hate the corner by the pits. It’s quite slow, but it’s important to get on the gas because it sets you up for the long straight.The last two turns; I don’t take the first kerb as an apex. Approacing, I’m aiming for centre track as I land after Devil’s drop, then round roughly mid-track until I turn to apex at the kerb on the last part. I use all the track plus a bit on the exit.A friend of mine says I seem slow there, but without more experienced competitors I can’t watch and learn a better line. I’ve tried different lines; tighter on apex one and it seems slower on two, wider on one and it’s too slippy on the outside of the track. I lost it wide once, and nearly went sideways and backwards into the tyres.Perhaps we can go together at some point.

  3. Yeah, I also go flat until just past the apex of turn 1, but I used to get too greedy into 2 by leaving the braking too late. I hadn’t tried an early apex at 2, but it makes sense to me now, because turn 3 is flat, so the line into it isn’t critical.With the last two turns, I go quite wide to the left, after the Drop, but perhaps I should follow your line; I think when you go over to the left, you’re pointing the wrong direction somewhat, so it’s not productive. Otherwise, more recently I’ve been doing it in much the same way as you, I think. The first time I was there, I double apexed, so braking for each turn, but it felt like it could be done quicker. That was the only time I remember what my lap time was; my fastest was 41.4, while the fastest lap was 40.7. It was a team race that we entered, so I didn’t have a chance to go to that end of the track and see the lines other people were taking, unfortunately.Yeah, would love to go together, if work permits!Kaz

  4. 41.4 is fast. The record is 40.657. But, the mechanics have gone faster than that in testing.40.657 to 41.4 doesn’t seem a lot until you consider the consistency of the times. How much more can we squeeze out of the car?Maybe it’s the corner at the pits that can give a little more time. It’s the slowest on the track I think, but it’s the most important because it leads onto the longest straight. If only I could get a bit more speed out of that corner, it would be faster all down the straight.Can’t wait to go again now.

  5. I think the day I did the 41.4 was a fast day; all the other times I could tell were much slower, even on dry days.The slow turn by the pit entry must be important, but I think I’m also losing a bit on the next two turns by not steering carefully enough so, even though I’m flat all the way around, I get a bit sideways, which must be losing me time. Maybe the “slow-in, fast-out” doesn’t work on those slow corners, because the kart’s engine bogs down when you lose speed, so we should be trying to carry the speed all the way around the turn…Kaz

  6. “The next two turns”, you mean the pit exit turn and the next one (before the main straight)? These have been widened slightly, so you should only get tyre squeal, and not much oversteer. However, at the apex, they both have bumps which unsettle the back end, so it seems slightly quicker to miss the apex a little on both turns.I’ll email the circuit. Maybe an employee would like to comment.

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