The latest Formula 1 race at Suzuka exposed the extent of development which F1 teams have made from 2016 to 2017, as GPS data revealed that the new cars were cornering up to 80 kph faster in certain corners this year.
Lewis Hamilton’s record breaking pole position lap in Suzuka was over 3.2 seconds faster than Rosberg’s lap which put him on pole for the 2016 F1 race at Suzuka. Huge deltas were expected going to the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, however some of the speeds achieved have caught key personnel in the F1 paddock by surprise.
The GPS data from the Japanese GP, which has been acquired by F1 Hub, reveals that the turn 1/2 section was one of the key areas where cars excelled relative to 2016. Onboard footage suggests that turn 1 could be taken easily flat in Qualifying. Indeed, Lewis Hamilton’s Qualifying lap saw him have an apex speed of 80 kph faster than Nico Rosberg achieved during his 2016 pole lap.
The degner corners were another area where Formula 1 cars in 2017 were able to carry a significantly higher speed than they previously did. GPS data shows, between Hamilton’s pole lap in 2017 and Rosberg’s in 2016, that the cars were 9 kph faster on the apex of the first degner. Rosberg took it at 240 kph in 2016 whilst Hamilton took it at 249 kph in 2017. Moreover, at turn four, Hamilton’s pole lap was apexed at 14 kph faster than Rosberg’s in 2016 — 224 kph for Hamilton as compared to 210 kph for Rosberg.