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GP Week : Issue 202
Signs of progress from Mercedes' opposition? TECHNICAL TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor Monaco is unique in the Formula1 season, a circuit that imposes something unnatural on F1 cars. While teams have to cope with the slowest corners in the world, it is thus a circuit where top speed is not paramount, even though it includes one of the fastest corners in the calendar, the one under the tunnel of the Fairmont Hotel. Traction is the secret. To be competitive here, cars must have great traction, mostly obtained by increasing dramatically the flap angle of the wings. And even in this uniquw case, if you have an aerodynamically and dynamically efficient car, it is very likely you have an advantage that can’t be overcome by your rivals. We are of course talking about the current dominant car, the Mercedes W05. Here, even though its competitive features aren’t in the best place to wholly express their potential, they still remain in of a class of their own. Nevertheless it is interesting to look how, not depending on the particular layout of this track, other cars are starting to get a little closer to the championship leaders. I am talking about Red Bull and Ferrari. We were able to get this result, by analysing race the sector times and speed date illustrated here. It is interesting to note that in the first sector, the one that includes the uphill rise to Casino Square, Ferrari was one of the best, both in terms of sector time, but also in terms of top speed. In this sector, aerodynamics don’t play a relevant role – instead traction and throttle response are much more important. We can see that one of the weak points in Ferrari’s armoury (aerodynamics), that could have been worsened by the particular track layout, instead seems to not be a problem. Of course, some help in this respect may represented by the fact that the flap angles are high, to generate a good amount of downforce. But if we look at the top speed in the relevant sector, we find that Alonso’s and Raikkonen’s MONACO RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 TIME ANALYSIS 20.3 20.6 20.9 21.2 21.5 ALONSO RAIKKONEN GROSJEAN RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA HULKENBERG HAMILTON ROSBERG T1 T1 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 SPEED ANALYSIS 194 196 198 200 202 204 ALONSO RAIKKONEN GROSJEAN RICCIARDO MAGNUSSEN BUTTON MASSA HULKENBERG HAMILTON ROSBERG SPEED 1 SPEED 1 39 GPWEEK.com // 39 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONACO PARTNERS: