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GP Week : Issue 205
Role reversal – Merc goes for higher downforce TECHNICAL TeCHNICAl PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor This race was not exactly what we expected it to be after qualifying. saturday’s an inconsistent weather played a relevant role both in positive and negative terms, depending upon whether your team benefited from the dramatically variable conditions of the track, or whether you were left out in the cold, being unable to even reach Q2. While Williams and Ferrari could only blame themselves for their strange, or unlucky, strategy adopted in Q1, the race didn’t provide an expected result in its entirety. Apart from the retirement of Nico Rosberg, what was more important to note was the fact that even though the Mercedes was undoubtedly the best car on track, this time the set up of the W05 hybrid was not as had been the case on all the other tracks. Indeed, the W05 of Hamilton and Rosberg featured a high downforce set up that, in terms of pure speed performance, affected the car in a clear way –while in the other races we noticed an all-round set up, not really specific for a particular section of the track, here the set-up chosen primarily as an high downforce one. The evidence was clearly provided by the lack of high speed performance shown in all three sectors of the track. In comparison this time we can say that Mercedes has swapped its position with Red Bull in terms of high downforce set-up. In fact the cars of Vettel and Ricciardo, were for the first time since the start of the season featuried a moderate downforce configuration, and this made it possible to obtain relevant gains in terms of pure speed performance on the straights. The only car that kept its usual characteristics was the Williams and in particular Bottas’ car. The Finn in fact was capable not only of setting very fast sector times, jn each sector of the track, but also his top speed performance was outstanding in every sector. We can conclude that the Silverstone layout encouraged this kind of set up –if we take a close look at the first and third sectors in particular, we can see that both accentuated the same set up, while only the second sector, sporting a twisty section advantaged a higher downforce configuration. It was also important to note in this analysis that tyres were almost irrelevant in terms not just of their performance gains, but also related to their wear ratio. The fact that most of the cars were able to run a single stop strategy showed that GREAT BRITAIN RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 TIME ANALYSIS RANGE 30,670 – 30,993 30.5 30.6 30.7 30.8 30.9 31 ALO KVY VET RIC MAG BUT HUL BOT HAM ROS T1 T1 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 SPEED ANALYSIS RANGE 301,5 – 319,3 KMH 300 304 308 312 316 320 ALO KVY VET RIC MAG BUT HUL BOT HAM ROS SPEED 1 SPEED 1 38 GPWEEK.com // 38 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SILVERSTONE PARTNERS: