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GP Week : Issue 201
TECHNICAL configuration, compromising the performance of the F14T on the two twisty sectors of the track. At the same time, the Speed trap data confirms that the Mercedes PU (power unit) is undoubtedly superior to any other on the grid. Its acceleration response is so quick and has no comparable examples among the other PUs. This fact provided us a strong motivation to continue our in-depth evaluation of the plusses of the W05, including the Power Unit. The solution of the split turbo, with the compressor element put in front of the engine (separate from the turbine) is not, in our opinion, the main element of competitiveness of this package. Certainly the advantages of such a solution are clear, including a better packaging and reduction of the radiator sizes, favouring better aerodynamics. However, it is how the compressor works that plays the role of main performance differentiator in our opinion. Basing our research on this idea, we were able to get more and more confirmatory elements to our assumption. In our view it is mainly a question of clever pressure management by the Brixworth engineers to provide a better throttle response under acceleration of this Power Unit. It is a method of always keeping extra pressure in the engine airbox, thereby reducing the turbo lag almost to zero. This extra pressure is dependant on the management of the pressure generated by the compressor, done by clever use of the wastegate valve. It is mostly a matter of appropriately setting it up, along with the PU electronic management, to obtain huge gains in terms of output. Furthermore what is fundamental is that the elements are designed to withstand another extra pressure, that inner one, generated in the combustion, resulting as mentioned in an higher power output. In a few words, the higher forces generated by adopting the extra pressure in the airbox, dramatically improves the performance and efficiency of the engine. At the same time, it is not so easy for the other competitors to copy. This is because the relevant elements were designed to provide reliability at those (more extreme) pressure conditions. So, even if we do not take into consideration the engine freeze, that actually comes into action starting from 2015 (the design of the main elements was homologated last February), it won’t be easy for the other manufacturers to build new parts capable of withstanding the extra demands generated by this solution. Furthermore, contrary to what we intuitively thought, fuel consumption is not worsened. In fact, the better combustion of the fuel provides an inherently better efficiency. Of course, things are far more complicated than we have tried to explain in simple terms. What struck us however, is that this kind of solution was and is theoretically available for all the competitors as it is not ‘rocket science’ and doesn’t require years of research and development. It may be surprising, but so far it appears difficult to understand why the others didn’t think about it. We will continue monitoring this thread and keep looking for further details ... QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS Time analysis in sector T2 32 32.3 32.6 32.9 33.2 33.5 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG T2 T2 QUALIFYING SECTOR ANALYSIS Speed analysis in sector T2 250 254 258 262 266 270 274 ALONSO RAIKKONEN VETTEL RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA BOTTAS HAMILTON ROSBERG SPEED 2 SPEED 2 36 GPWEEK.com // 36 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: