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GP Week : Issue 191
The track at Yeongam is one of those few in the season that features very long straights. In many ways it resembles sepang. There are also many direction changes in two sectors that make the set-up of the cars very tricky, as inevitably a very stiff set-up is required but on the other hand it has to cope with the many bumps present on the not perfectly smooth tarmac. Here traction and top speed are the two key ingredients useful on this track to master it. Due to this feature, Lotus brought both the cars in long wheelbase configuration. The solution, introduced only in practice in Monza, and then discarded for not complying with the rules of the bottom of the car, provided increased competiveness to the E21 for both the Lotus drivers here. It is not really a revolution, as the increased wheelbase is slightly less than 10cm, even though the team didn’t reveal the exact figure. Certainly, according to the team’s engineer, this configuration provided a better stability of the car and better use of the Pirelli tyres, which suffered massive graining on all cars, but in a less dramatic way on the Lotus and Red Bull cars. Red Bull were under the spotlight after the monster performance of Vettel in Singapore. Paddock chat had all the rival team engineers widely discussing the incredible competiveness shown by the RB9, trying to understand what kind of secret is hidden under the bodywork. Alleged cheating made the media in the previous days before last weekend, vehemently dismissed by Red Bull chiefs. What is sure, is that this fantastic jewel of engineering allows Sebastian Vettel, to hit the throttle at the corner exit well before his rivals, as Lewis Hamilton stated after watching close-up. We will see how this saga will develop even though, in our opinion, the well- hidden secret is in no way something not complying to the tech rules of the FIA. Apart from this it is important to note that Red Bull, notwithstanding its current dominance, continues relentlessy with the development of the RB9. Further new parts were adopted here, in particular a revised front wing featuring two vertical fins placed on the flap, close to the endplates, to reduce turbulence around the front wheels on the long straights. An interesting rear wing was adopted, in high downforce configuration, but featuring a beam wing sporting a deep spoon profile, in such a way letting just the flap generate the most part of the downforce produced by the wing. In one week time F1 races at Suzuka, a track, along with Spa, that represents the university of motor racing. There, all the teams will bring something different compared to Korea, to cope with the complex layout of the Japanese track ... Korea – straight-line and traction the key TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor 44 GPWEEK.com // 44 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> KOREA