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« Notes Taken During the 2012 Malaysia Grand Prix | Main | Video Highlights from St. Pete »

March 25, 2012


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Rahal win = 2008 St. Pete

Robert Black

Good run for Josef Newgarden - if I'm not mistaken, 11th is the best non-oval finish for Sarah Fisher (Hartman) Racing since Graham Rahal raced for them at St. Petersburg. And he even got some airtime!

Shane Rogers

Warming up pen. Tea spew. LOL here.

You are correct sir. The pits are closed when the full course yellow comes out to neutralise+ any advantage of speeding back to the pits.

If you remove the incentive to speed under yellow (getting to the pit quickly is the only incentive), the cars can then proceed at a more leisurely pace that reduces the risk enough to allow safety workers on the track.

If you leave the pits open, you then have to wait another lap and a half until the pack actually forms, before the risk to the track workers gets to the same acceptable level as the pits closed scenario.

The pits closed scenario also makes establishing the leader and ensuring the Safety Car picks up the correct car less prone to error.

F1 however, have a different approach, they are pits open during the Safety Car. However, Article 40.7 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations (refer says: "In order to ensure that drivers reduce speed sufficiently, from the time at which the “SAFETY CAR DEPLOYED” message is shown on the timing monitors until the time that each car crosses the first safety car line for the second time, drivers must stay above the minimum time set by the FIA ECU."

A time is shown on the dash to the driver, which the driver cannot beat, so the race is neuralised+ to a "safe enough" state to let marshals intervene, without having pack up, and allowing pitstops at the same time.

The reason F1 has this design, is because if they close pits for packup, when the pits reopen, they get “pit stacking” where both team cars come into the pits together. In F1 one team’s pit serves both cars from a team, so the second car in the line is “stacked” behind it, until the first car is serviced. This is to be avoided because of the increased danger in pit lane, and there’s a large disadvantage to the second driver in the Safety Car queue from each team.

Hope that helps.

+ (sic – Australian Spelling)

H.B. Donnelly

DUDE! The pit stops for the lead with Helio and Dixon! Helio came out AHEAD of Dixon at pit out, but I guess Dixon got him on the run to T4. I don't know, because when I turned to look at the video board, it was showing whatever random crap ABC was on. Thankfully the radio guys were paying attention, because they said Dixon had the spot not to much later.

Helio's outside pass...dont know if he needed ballast in the car with those brass attachments weighing him down...


Yawn. So that's the new, everything's wonderful 2012 season we where expecting? Kind of underwhelming. Not a lot of passing and still way too many Red Cars up front, with the added benefit of 5 teams with an awful engine that barely let's them into the top 10, and when they do get in the top 10 they break. That's progress, right? I know I'm too negative and all of that, but seriously, I would have hoped for a lot more than that. Oh, and the car is super ugly. Viva La Swift.

On the plus side Newgarden was good and so were Hinchcliffe and Hunter Reay. If AA can keep up we might even be able to see 3 teams win a bunch of races like in 2007.

Otherwise it was pretty bland. Hope the racing improves as the season progresses, but since it's onto Barber next I wouldn't hold my breath.

Mike R

"Helio runs over to climb the fence again, this time under the "DAN WHELDON WAY" sign and slaps it a few times. I admit I had to take a moment here. I was farklempt. More than one manly tears may have rolled. Very honest and spontaneous tribute there to Wheldon from Helio. Viewing enhanced. We miss ya Dan."
Yep. Ditto to all that.


Oh please.

The Holmatro guy, in radio contact with race control, tells Helio he climbed the wrong fence. The one with the Dan Wheldon sign is on the other side & he should go and SPONTANEOUSLY grandstand in front of it.

That was as spontaneous as my wife asking me to wash the dishes.

As the Valley girls used to say ..............


"Yawn. So that's the new, everything's wonderful 2012 season we where expecting? Kind of underwhelming. Not a lot of passing and still way too many Red Cars up front"

-Did you see the results? Yeah, Penske and Ganassi where 1-2 but there were surprises in the top 10. Also, helio hasn't won for a long, long time. Nice to see him get W. My only complaint is the long yellow periods. It shouldn't take this long but I will give Barfield a pass for a few races.

A Facebook User

Dylan, this is EXACTLY what we should (and most were) expecting for this race. Technical glitches with the new cars (for all engines, mind you), lotus lagging more behind than the other engines due to reduced available testing, little passing on track (is IS St Pete afterall, and without any form of "Overtake Assist").

And anyone who expected Penske and Ganassi to suddenly suck should take the Red Pill.


For all the changes, the one real constant was ABC: Always Bad Coverage. Really paled in comparison to the enthusiastic Speed coverage of the race in the Malaysia. How many more years must we endure Scotty Goodyear?

Also, the other constant, my local ABC station preempted the prerace show for the local preacher.


Well from those two teams Power and Franchitti did indeed suck who just so happen to be the two championship favorites.

Looking through the lap charts, I know Power post-race complained abot being unable to pass but a lot of cars passed him, be it Power making mistakes or not. He was passed 12 times on track (lap 18: went from 11th to 17th, passed by Newgarden on lap 29 to drop to 14th, lap 51: went from 15th to 19th, and lap 65 was passed by Wilson to drop to 19th) before he passed Mike Conway on lap 72, Dario on lap 73, and Marco on lap 81. So he was a net minus 9 on-track on the day even when you discount his early pitstop strategy putting him back in the pack.

In Franchitti's case he ran out of fuel on the last lap to finish 13th but even before then he was only 9th and was a complete non-factor.

For guys that made a lot of moves in the midfield Sato, Hildebrand, and Rahal had great cars. I could put a more detailed plus/minus up that removes gaining spots via pitstops and strategy later if anyone's interested.

The electrical problems and such, it's what should happen with new racecars, and does, be it NASCAR or F1 or Le Mans.


Sorry, snevalkneivel, simply posting "You're an asshole" aimed at another commenter ain't happening here so I deleted it. Take it Trackforum.


Good Stuff PDog!


P-Dog...nice work as usual. ABC, as a broadcast "partner" with Indycar, has got to wake up! Marty and Scott have got to go. Hire Pippa and anybody else! The amount of missed info and action should not be tolerated by the brass at Indycar or by the viewing public. The only real letdown from this event was from ABC...

Props to Seabass, Simone P., Conway and J. Newgarten. Congrats to Helio. He won this one in great style.

Dustin Dearman

Really proud of Andretti Autosport and HinchTown!. Great drive by he and RHR. Chevy's are obviously cream of the crop. Any comments from Rubens on the race?


@Ryan: Please do post more detail of +/- and passes vs. pit stops, I am very interested. I've been debating a few people in TF (where you can NOT get away with calling someone an ***hole, by the way) who is insisting that the Lotus is a total dog and Bourdais got into the top 10 by lap 50 and stayed there until lap 73 entirely because of pit stop strategy, and while a brilliant driver he didn't pass a single car on track and he was holding up everyone behind him. I don't see how he could have pitted under green on lap 39 and been 6th or 7th at the Carpenter yellow on lap 46 without passing a single car on track or by being so slow everyone behind him was stacking up. You sound like you may have some insight on that, after starting dead last. Thanks.

PS Thanks P-Dog for another entertaining and informative summary.


JB, Ryan, I'm with you guys.

I watched Hinchcliffe like a hawk. He lost at least 1 position on the start and 1 position on every restart (except for the time he lost 2 spots). He never passed anyone on track... and finished fourth.


I love stats...but hate fuel strategy.


Does anyone know if they changed the Kerb heights based on driver concerns? I think the lack of Circus Music and Clowns may have be3en based on drivers staying off the aforementioned rough Kerbs?

Just wondering.

Yeah, ditto on the race comments Dog, they're so good it's now taken for granted :)


I thought that first the race that I watched on Sunday sucked. Then after hearing what other people have to say about it. My opinion of the race has changed. ESPN on ABC really dropped the ball on Sunday and robbed the public a good race. It wasn't the cars or the track, it was ABC that messed it up and made the race bad to enjoy Sunday.

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