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F1: Tilke, tyres, temperatures and tricks

Legacy Phuket Gazette



F1: Tilke, tyres, temperatures and tricks | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Well, my Melbourne forecast was spot on, and my Sepang forecast was not. Ferrari, which I thought would have problems staying ahead of Williams, stayed ahead of the field.

That raises a few questions. Has Ferrari sufficiently improved to take Mercedes to the checkered flag in Abu Dhabi? If it does, I intend to be there. However, I am skeptical, and Sebastian Vettel has been sounding skeptical too.

What did happen in Sepang? Well Ferrari certainly improved their car, and Mercedes made terrible decisions. They not only chose the wrong strategy, they telegraphed it by using up their medium tyres in qualifying. So Ferrari knew exactly what they had to do to win.

Lewis Hamilton was distraught when he thought his pit crew had put the wrong shoes on him, until he was told that hards was all he had left. Then Mercedes brought in Nico Rosberg for what seemed like an unnecessary tyre change when he might have caught Vettel, perhaps Mercedes did not want to risk the drama of Lewis Hamilton being beaten by his team mate.

Possibly Ferrari was harder on its engine than Mercedes allowed, which could backfire later in the season if Ferrari starts running out of engines. However, Ferrari did look better at preserving their tyres, so maybe…

Shanghai is going to tell us a lot. The circuit, like Sepang, was designed by Hermann Tilke, and he doesn’t like to use a good idea just once. So there is the autobahn of a back straight, a technical first turn complex, and a very sharp hairpin. In that sense it’s like Sepang, but unlike Sepang, it’s cold. Expect 15-20 degrees Celsius, and maybe some rain. In Shanghai, the front axle is stressed the most and that factor, along with low track temperatures, makes getting the tyres up to temperature for the long, high-speed corners a key to success. If teams fail to do this, they will suffer very high tyre wear, which will probably be Hamilton’s biggest challenge in Shanghai. A Safety Car could create problems for everyone.

Prior to this race, it seems that some teams had formulated a cunning plan of which Baldrick might have dreamed. The FIA regulates how much fuel is permitted to flow to the engine, measured by a fuel flow sensor just downstream of the fuel tank. That left a length of pipe to the fuel injectors beyond the sensor. This seductive tube could with ingenuity house a reservoir to hoard fuel during periods of low demand, to be pumped into the engine when needed, creating a higher fuel flow. This Wizard Wheeze won’t work in Shanghai; fuel pressure will now be measured at various points between the tank and the injectors. Rats!

I am expecting a two-stop strategy, with most cars running soft tyres in the first stint, followed by two stints on mediums. Look out for pitstops between laps 12-17 and 34-38. The race could be won there.

Mercedes Technical Director Paddy Lowe said, “As with every race, we’ve spent time analyzing the weekend in Sepang to identify areas for improvement. The most significant weakness was our tyre management during long runs. Exceptionally high track temperatures – even by Malaysian standards – contributed to this. However, it is essential to have a car which performs at all circuits and in all conditions.”

They will rely on aerodynamic improvements to help them with this.

I don’t expect McLaren or Manor (Marussia’s new branding) to trouble the scorers much. Williams has a lot to prove, and I really wonder if they can take the race to Ferrari; that will be a fascinating duel.
So what do I expect? I think Mercedes will take-back the top two podium slots. Lewis Hamilton has won here three times, including last year. I think he will lead Rosberg home. And I rather think Ferrari will be there with them; and its not just Sebastian Vettel who’s in with a shout, Kimi Raikkonen won here in 2007 in a Ferrari. I expect Williams to follow them; the question is how closely?

Qualifying is at 1:30pm today, and the race day is at noon tomorrow. Join me to watch it at The Green Man on the Big Screen, and prove me wrong in my predictions!

— The Digby

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.


Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor



Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth



Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation



Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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