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2014 Final Point Standings
After Abu Dhabi
Championship Standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 384
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 238
4 Valtteri Bottas 186
5 Sebastian Vettel 167
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7 Felipe Massa 134
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17 Jules Bianchi 2
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19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0
23 Will Stevens 0
24 Andre Lotterer 0

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2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 405
3 Williams-Mercedes 320
4 Ferrari 216
5 McLaren-Mercedes 181
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1 Lewis Hamilton 11
2 Nico Rosberg 5
3 Daniel Ricciardo 3

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2 Red Bull 3

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2 Nico Rosberg 15
3 Daniel Ricciardo 8
4 Valtteri Bottas 6
5 Sebastian Vettel 4
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8 Kevin Magnussen 1
9 Jenson Button 1
10 Sergio Perez 1

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2 Red Bull 12
3 Williams 9
4 McLaren 2
5 Ferrari 2
6 Force India 1

Pole Positions
1 Nico Rosberg 11
2 Lewis Hamilton 7
3 Felipe Massa 1

Team Pole Positions
1 Mercedes 18
2 Williams 1

Fastest Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton 7
2 Nico Rosberg 5
3 Sebastian Vettel 2
4 Kimi Raikkonen 1
5 Felipe Massa 1
6 Sergio Perez 1
7 Valtteri Bottas 1
8 Daniel Ricciardo 1

Team Fastest Laps
1 Mercedes 12
2 Williams 3
3 Red Bull 2
4 Ferrari 1
5 Force India 1

Laps completed
1 Jenson Button1120
2 Kevin Magnussen 1111
3 Valtteri Bottas 1110
4 Daniel Ricciardo 1095
5 Kimi Raikkonen 1076
6 Fernando Alonso 1066
7 Nico Rosberg 1062
8 Lewis Hamilton 1048
9 Nico Hulkenberg 1036
10 Jean-Eric Vergne 971
11 Sebastian Vettel 970
12 Felipe Massa 954
13 Romain Grosjean 953
14 Esteban Gutierrez 933
15 Daniil Kvyat 924
16 Sergio Perez 891
17 Adrian Sutil 857
18 Pastor Maldonado 847
19 Max Chilton 769
20 Jules Bianchi 754
21 Marcus Ericsson 714
22 Kamui Kobayashi 663
23 Will Stevens 54
24 Andre Lotterer 1
Simulating New F1 Circuits

by Mercedes
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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The Formula One drivers will only turn a wheel for the first time at the Buddh International Circuit on Friday morning. But although those practice laps will mark the beginning of a new learning process, the teams and drivers are far from starting from zero when they actually take to the track. Preparations for the race have been underway for nearly a year - and by race day, around one million simulations of the race will already have been completed. 

When did the team's first preparations begin for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix?

The process of preparing for a new race begins with the logistical challenges rather than the technical ones. The team's travel department conducted a review of the local area in December 2010, and made hotel reservations shortly afterwards. The logistics crew generally make a visit around nine months ahead of the race, in order to plan the layout of the garage, access routes and storage areas. In terms of technical preparations, these begin with architects' plans of the circuit. The elevation and camber provided on these are used to construct a basic track map for virtual simulation, around six weeks before the event. This map is gradually improved as more information becomes available from the FIA and the circuit. In recent years, circuits have only been completed very shortly before the first race weekend - and the same is true for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix - which means the team cannot make a digitized map of the track. Set-up simulations, which provide the baseline settings for the car at the start of the opening practice sessions, are carried out the week before the event. 

What factors are taken into account when devising the baseline set-up?

Circuit characteristics can be distinguished from a basic two-dimensional map. Factors such as downforce levels, braking duty and g-force loadings are all a function of the circuit's geometry, and basic simulations will provide a direction for those parameters. Initial simulation suggests that the cars will spend around 65% of the lap at full throttle, with the longest full throttle period of 14.5 seconds, between turns three and four. The cars will exceed 285 kph at three points around the lap, while the fastest corner is expected to be turn 12, which is expected to be taken at 255 kph. The maximum g-loading around the circuit is expected to be 4.0 G, at Turns 5, 9 and 11. 

How is the driver-in-the-loop simulator used before the event?

The basic nature of the track map means that the simulator can only be used for basic familiarization with the circuit, because the track map is not detailed enough to include information such as bumps and curbs which influence set-up tuning. The team will generally complete around 100 laps (nearly two race distances) in the simulator, programmed with a variety of fuel loads and grip levels, to ensure as many possible scenarios as possible are covered. In addition to using the driver-in-the-loop simulator, the team conducts strategy simulations to analyze as many race outcomes as possible. By race day, we will have performed around one million iterations of the potential race, which are used to inform decisions about how to approach qualifying and the race itself. 

What preparation do the drivers have to do for a new circuit?

Like with other circuits, they must be familiar with the KERS deployment schedule (when KERS is deployed to the greatest performance advantage around the circuit), the DRS zones and also the pit-entry and exit lines, for speed limiter activation and deactivation. In terms of learning the circuit, the drivers will conduct their usual track walk on Thursday to inspect it on foot, and potentially note specific signs and markings that they will need to be aware of when in the car. In terms of learning the circuit, this is an ongoing process through the weekend, as grip levels increase, and the team structures its practice programs to give the drivers maximum time to familiarize themselves with the intricacies of the layout. 

Which track does the new Buddh International Circuit most resemble?

The circuit has similarities to Turkey, with a long main straight and a very long, sweeping corner (Turns 10 and 11) that resembles the triple-apex Turn Eight in Turkey. However, while Turn Eight was taken with an average corner speed of 270 kph, in India the corners are expected to be taken at 170 kph (Turn 10) and 210 kph (Turn 11) respectively. The lap time and speed will be very much dependent on the grip level achieved by the Pirelli tires on the new asphalt surface. A lap time of 1:25.000 would correspond to an average lap speed of 218 kph, while a lap time of 1:30.000 would equate to an average lap speed of 205 kph.

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