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GP Week : Issue 206
Le Freak (FRIC) ce n'est pas chic TECHNICAL TeCHNICAl PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor Very likely this title wouldn’t mean too much to our readers, at least to those that are less than 30 years old (The Freak was a 1978 disco song recorded by American band Chic and was the best selling record ever for Atlantic Records). However, the meaning – using the acronym of Front and Rear Inter Connection – is obvious. It relates to the FIA’s move to forbid the use of this system, adopted on most of the cars on the grid, prior to the German Grand Prix. This system interconnects the front and rear suspensions, by means of a hydraulics system, helping to manage the car ’s load transfer, hence reducing the chassis movements, providing a huge help in terms of maximising the aero performance of the car, by keeping a more constant set-up angle on the car. Its outlawing, common belief said, could cause some changes in the cars’ pecking order, due to the inevitable set up problems, especially under braking. Some even thought that Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying accident could have its in the FRIC ban on the W05 Hybrid. Most paddock insiders, from the very first moment the FIA announced the ban of this device, believed that this was a move especially intended to reduce the Silver Arrows’ dominating competitiveness. We were not so sure about this theory, as it would be difficult to measure the negative impact on each car – it was likely that Red Bull or Ferrari could also suffer a major performance loss, compared to Mercedes. In the end, he race gave us the answer – the cars’ pecking order didn’t seem dramatically reshuffled. Part of this result is due to the particular layout of the current Hockenheim track, that was deeply revised in 2002 from its original layout. The sector analysis provides us a clear view of the fact that, now, this circuit has become more of a downforce and traction track, than one where efficiency and top speed pay dividends. We can see that the time in the first sector is mainly obtained by loading the car. A 10 percent increase in the average load can produce 0.4 sec gain, while the aero efficiency provides a lower contribution – one tenth and a half. The second sector, on the other GERMANY RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 TIME ANALYSIS RANGE 17,567 – 17,998 17.5 17.6 17.7 17.8 17.9 18 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT PER BOT HAM ROS T1 T1 ALO 17,644 RAI 17,983 VET 17,944 RIC 17,692 MAG 17,754 BUT 17,811 PER 17,857 BOT 17,998 HAM 17,567 ROS 17,791 RACE SECTOR ANALYSIS T1 SPEED ANALYSIS RANGE 203,3 – 215,7 KMH 203 205 207 209 211 213 215 217 ALO RAI VET RIC MAG BUT PER BOT HAM ROS SPEED 1 SPEED 1 40 GPWEEK.com // 40 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> HOCKENHAIM PARTNERS: