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GP Week : Issue 215
TECHNICAL terms of finding the extreme limit of their next car design – it looks very clear that Red Bull has already found an area capable of guaranteeing a substantial performance improvement on next year ’s car, in terms of aero efficiency and chassis dynamics. The qualifying result reflects the real limit performance of most of the cars on the grid. Mercedes also brought some subtle aero changes at the front, aiming to consolidate the performance gain obtained since the introduction of the last big aero development introduced in Sochi. Here in Abu Dhabi we had confirmation from sources inside the World Champion team that the gain was around three-tenths of a second or even slightly more. This of course reflects in the sector analysis, were it is clearly visible that only the Williams cars were capable of competing at the same level as the two Mercedes. In particular the speed performance at the end of each sector, notwithstanding the medium- high downforce level required on this track, is dramatically better than all the other cars on the grid. It is as if Mercedes has already started to improve something that the other competitors haven’t yet reached. Confirmation can also be found in the fact that the Mercedes customer teams have been advised by the Mercedes engineers that their next year ’s power units will be capable of an increased power output of around 50bhp. That is an of astonishing figure, but one that in terms of cooling needs would mean increased radiator and intercooler efficiency (size) – something that will dramatically influence the fluid dynamics inside the sidepods. At Brackley they may have already found the solution, to guarantee even stronger general reliability, notwithstanding Rosberg’s issues in the ERS area which demonstrated some weakness even in this very last race. On the opposite end of the scale, we can find Ferrari. This last race was probably one of the most disappointing by the Italian squad this season. Even in the very last race of the season, Ferrari demonstrated that the gap which a few races ago appeared reduced, now looks again increased to an unacceptable level. Sources inside the team are saying that a strong point in terms of increased performance for 2015 will be the new PU. The new unit will feature the same kind of ‘splitting’ of the turbocharger and compressor pioneered by Mercedes, that was the team’s secret weapon in terms of performance, especially under acceleration. Renault, at the end of a season that looks being the most troubled for the French manufacturer in recent years, is reportedly not going down the same path. It is not clear if Renault will improve dramatically its PU for 2015, but it is almost likely they will significantly change it in 2016. Now it is time for F1 to get into testing mode, and for us to already start planning our next season with you, our faithful readers. It has been a particularly fascinating season in 2014 from a technical point of view, and we too love to think that we can improve the way we can explain and discover the tiniest details of this fantastic technical world. So see you next March from Down Under... Melbourne is just around the corner. QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS SECTOR T2 Time analysis RANGE 42,000(ROS) – 42,838(RAI) 42 42.2 42.4 42.6 42.8 43 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS T2 T2 QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS Sector T2 Speed analysis range 315,4 kmh(RAI) – 327,1Kmh (BOT) 315.2 318.2 321.2 324.2 327.2 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT MAS BOT HAM ROS SPEED 2 SPEED 2 40 GPWEEK.com // 40 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> ABU DHABI PARTNERS: