The Hungaroring in Budapest is one of the most old-school tracks of the year, featuring a mixture of slow/mid-speed corners that really challenge a Formula 1 car’s chassis capabilities. Because of this, we see plenty of teams who do not necessarily have a good powertrain shine through if their aerodynamic package is strong, such as Red Bull.
There is only one long straight where a good engine can really stretch its legs, so downforce levels are almost as high as Monaco but a good chassis balance is better rewarded due to the sweeping corners in the middle sector, whilst traction is less of a key factor.
Whilst most of the teams will be preparing a substantial upgrade for when F1 returns after the summer break, there were some noteworthy changes to some of the cars in Hungary. In this week’s Tech Highlights we will look at upgrades from McLaren, Williams, Red Bull and Mercedes, plus a look into the reasons behind Sergio Perez’s rear suspension failure during FP1 and indeed Nico Hulkenberg’s front wing failure during the race. Continue reading →
As F1 extends its stay in Abu Dhabi for a two day test mid-week, it was no surprise to see further developments on the cars during free practice despite being so late into the season. An early analysis of some components on Friday will help give the teams a headstart when the test begins, whilst also providing data that little bit earlier back to the factory as preparations for 2015 are well underway. Continue reading →
Back-to-back events never really give teams a chance to bring anything new to the table at the second GP event and Brazil was a classic case of this as the F1 circus headed straight from Texas to Interlagos.
Much of the weekend’s practice sessions was spent analysing components ahead of 2015, using large pitot tube arrays to gather information about critical areas where airflow is passing. Whilst CFD and wind-tunnel testing are pretty reliable it is important to transfer the knowledge gained in the factory to the track, hence why the often-used C-word, correlation, is vital to the performance of an F1 car. Continue reading →
In terms of tech droughts it would be fair to say that the past month has certainly been through one. Thanks to customs regulations in Russia there were little new parts three weeks ago and the teams had to compensate in Japan. Thankfully after a healthy break and more relaxed laws over goods, the US GP was a perfect opportunity to bring developments. Some teams even brought 2015 prototype components for evaluation. The Circuit of The Americas is an ideal proving ground for such parts as the track tests aerodynamic performance to quite an extreme: high speed corners and long straights force teams to cut drag whilst retaining a high level of downforce. Continue reading →
Due to customs regulations and the 3 days that separated the end of the Japanese GP and preparations for Russia, there were few technical developments brought to the new Sochi circuit.
It is for this reason that whilst we will still look at the minor changes seen on a few cars last weekend, this post will mainly analyse why McLaren appear to be getting on top of things and beginning to move forward in recent races. Continue reading →
As the season begins to draw to a dramatic close, the development race never ceases. The Japanese GP represented a great opportunity for teams to bring new parts, particularly aero related as Suzuka is a demanding in this aspect.
This was also the first weekend of some serious data collection regarding 2015, as F1 begins to focus even more on next year in anticipation of the new nose regulations amongst other things. Continue reading →
At this time of year Singapore is extremely hot and humid, even during the night. Temperatures were still hovering around the 30C mark come the race on Sunday and rain was even a significant threat. Whilst the rain held off, teams were forced to open up the bodywork a bit more to cool the cars on a track where they get little chance to breathe – 23 corners are separated by only three proper straights.
Singapore also marked the return of the high downforce packages as the Spa/Monza aero will probably be stored away getting dusty for the rest of the year. There were no large developments but an array of smaller, detailed components made their way onto the cars as the F1 circus heads into a packed final five races. Continue reading →