Note: Due to a lack of time (as explained in my Announcements 5 blog post) most of this has been copied off my analysis piece for Richland F1, with some added extras that I worth noting.
Shanghai is a bit of a tricky track to set the car up for as the corners are predominantly medium speed with long traction zones (especially the large banked turn onto the huge back straight), but there are plenty of straights to make up time on.
It is for these reasons that we tend to see a compromised aerodynamic package which will later be seen in races such as Canada, where the trade-off between downforce and top speed is constantly being assessed throughout the weekend.
The lengthy corners also put a focus on front tyre life, particularly the front left, so you can’t take too much wing off the car or else you risk putting the tyres in jeopardy. Even if you have slightly too little downforce the tyres won’t stay in their optimum temperature because the straights cool them down before the driver even reaches the braking zone – you could say that it is one of the toughest rounds of the year regarding setup.
To solve these problems teams bring upgrades, which are ideally more efficient at producing downforce than the outgoing component. Continue reading →
Traditionally the Malaysian GP comes just one week after the opening round in Australia. However this year a two week gap has allowed teams to fine-tune their cooling packages ahead of what is one of, if not the most challenging places to race a Formula 1 car.
Impressively, most teams managed to retain a relatively tight rear end despite track temperatures peaking at 61.4 degrees Celsius. If we compare how open the bodywork was this time last year there is clear evidence that this year’s power units are another step forward in terms of efficiency. Closing up bodywork reduces drag and allows the aerodynamics to work at their maximum potential, rather than being disrupted by hot air vents and larger outlets. Continue reading →