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GP Week : Issue 201
Is this Mercedes performance secret? TECHNICAL TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor As usual, Barcelona has its particularly important role from the technical point of view, with many changes on the cars, not just because the logistics, in europe are much easier compared to fly away races, but also because the inherent features of this track provide a severe test bench for the developments introduced here. Ferrari was very active in this respect, and we expected this to be really a turn-around race for the Scuderia. In reality, that was not the case and we have to judge the performance of the F14T, as one of the most disappointing. The seed of defeat was already sewn in qualifying. For this reason we decided to use our qualifying sector analysis to better understand the state of the technical pecking order of the teams. Furthermore, we are trying to delve further into the secret details of the current championship leader car, the W05, and adding more and more detail every time, to have a complete picture, of what can be really considered the secret weapon of this car. First of all, starting with the Sector Analysis, we can clearly say that Mercedes, as in the previous races, generally uses a set-up that is an all-round one. By all-round, we want to underline the fact that the W05 set-up doesn’t fit specifically one sector of the track, be it fast or slow. Instead, the average set-up of these cars from the wing angle point of view is medium downforce level. It is in fact not the fastest car at the end of Sector 1, the one that includes the start /finish straight. Other cars, and among those the Ferraris, were consistently faster. However, if you look at the Speed trap (on this track placed towards the end of the start/finish straight), Hamilton and Rosberg were the fastest. What does it mean? If we look at the time gap between the two Mercedes and Fernando Alonso as a benchmark, we can see that in the first sector the gap is just three-tenths of a second, While on Sectors 2 and 3 the gap rises to about eight-tenths in both sectors. Clearly this means that Ferrari is trying to gain benefit from a low-downforce BARCELONA QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 TIME ANALYSIS 23 23.4 23.8 24.2 24.6 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG T1 T1 QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 SPEED ANALYSIS 265 269 273 277 281 285 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG SPEED 1 SPEED 1 35 GPWEEK.com // 35 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: