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GP Week : Issue 209
Mercedes: sacrificing top speed and 'splitting' strategic race set-ups TECHNICAL TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor The Monza track is a unique venue for Formula 1. Not just for the long tradition of this track, but for its ultra fast layout. No other track in the calendar has the same features of Monza in terms of top speed reachable at the end of the main straight, not even as an average speed. Thus, it is quite easy to understand that the setup for Monza is a one-off in the season. All the teams introduce their low-downforce revised aero package, whose imperative target is the lowest possible drag as, here, downforce is just generated by the high speed and not by the wing angles or winglet cascades, as happens on all the other tracks. Monza is exactly opposite to Monaco is in terms of downforce levels. But sometimes what seems obvious to everybody in reality doesn’t happen, or at least not for all the teams. Although all the teams adopted a low downforce configuration, Mercedes used a configuration that partially goes in the opposite direction. – the Brackley-based outfit decided to adopt a downforce level capable of providing their cars advantage in specific points of the track and not in a straight line, as usual. In detail, the setup of the W05 Hybrid was optimised for the Lesmo corners and Parabolica. These parts of the track are in fact considered ‘strategic’ in terms of fast lap time building, but it is obvious that if you are able to sacrifice part of your top speed performance, it is because you know that the efficiency of your car allows you to do so. Even though neither of the two Mercedes topped the top speed sheets, and not even the speed trap, they were capable of a race pace that in few laps allowed them to generate a sufficient gap from the other competitors. This fact became even more evident and important bearing in ITALY RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 TIME ANALYSIS RANGE 27,917(BOT) – 28,485(VET) 27.5 27.7 27.9 28.1 28.3 28.5 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS T1 T1 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 SPEED ANALYSIS RANGE 320,1Kmh(MAG) – 336,9 KMH(BOT) 319 322 325 328 331 334 337 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS SPEED 1 SPEED 1 37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> ITALY PARTNERS: