The final round before the 4 week summer break was held in Hungary – a very high downforce orientated circuit with only one straight to worry about in terms of drag reduction. It is for this reason that we often see as many aero bits crammed onto the cars as possible, just like Monaco.
Straightline speed is not a necessity but strong driveability is crucial for good laptime, from both the power unit and the chassis. This is particularly notable in the middle sector where a series of medium speed corners really test the car’s aerodynamic balance and power delivery. This is why Red Bull appeared to be a step closer to Mercedes as their chassis is arguably the best on the grid and their Renault power unit has had multiple software upgrades on the driveability front.
As far as new tech went there wasn’t much to talk about but as always there were a few things that are worth mentioning… Continue reading →
Unlike any other circuit on the F1 calendar, the streets of Monte Carlo traditionally bring the field a little closer together than anywhere else due to the lower impact of aerodynamic performance. With an average speed of roughly 100mph, mechanical grip and driveability are the dominant performance parameters, although teams will cram on as many downforce producing devices to generate further laptime.
Whilst the Principality is not necessarily the ideal place to bring upgrades, the development race never ceases, plus we also got a better look at the Ferrari power unit on Thursday – an item that has been kept in a cloud of secrecy for some time now. Continue reading →
Barcelona is often the place to bring plenty of new bits as not only is Spain closer to home for most teams, but it’s important to start the European leg of the season with additional performance. So it is quite a surprise to see so many new parts turn up in China, just before the Spanish GP in two weeks’ time, although we could perhaps see some more comprehensive updates for Europe.
The Shanghai International Circuit is one of the ultimate compromise tracks: straight-line speed versus down force. It is therefore important to bring parts that will still gain time in the corners but work efficiently to conquer drag down one of the longest straights in F1. It was interesting to note just how much time the Red Bulls were able to claw back in the middle sector relative to the Mercedes cars, only to lose this slight advantage in the third sector containing the aforementioned straight. Continue reading →
Just one week separated the Malaysia and Bahrain Grand Prix which meant that few updates were seen this weekend. However, the relentless nature of F1 ensures that even small modifications are always being brought to the cars every race weekend and Bahrain was no exception. Continue reading →
Performance updates were sparse in Malaysia as the teams continue to optimise the 2014 power units. Red Bull in particular have been making large strides in this area but, as seen though the new FOM fuel use graphic during the race, continue to lag behind the Ferrari and Mercedes units in terms of efficiency – Vettel in particular was using a lot of fuel in his pursuit of Rosberg for second place during the later stages.
However there were still some notable modifications to be looked at. I expect a monumental amount of changes in Barcelona but for now there will be a steady stream of bits and pieces. Continue reading →
Formula 1 is officially back and, as for every single race weekend throughout the season, so is the Tech Highlights series, which aims to cover the most intriguing and important updates over the course of the year.
Although we have only seen a handful of major updates (which you are about to read about) so far this year, expect development to start ramping up very quickly. Most of the aerodynamic modifications have been fairly subtle as teams optimise the aero package around the cooling of the 2014 power units, with substantial performance boosters to come in the near future. Continue reading →
Barring Lotus, the first of two test sessions in Bahrain presented the opportunity for teams to start to delve deeper into their new cars for the upcoming season. Jerez, due to its odd track characteristics, gives teams the chance to shakedown their challengers and put mileage on the next generation of F1 machinery. In Bahrain, however, set-up exploration, race simulation and aerodynamic work start to make their way to the top of the to-do list.
Although we perhaps did not see a huge amount of updates externally, there were a few notable changes to some of the cars and I am sure that many items were addressed to internally post-Jerez.
The C33 was perhaps a little simplistic at the first test therefore it was no surprise to see some a host of additional bodywork make its way onto the car.
As seen in the launch images before testing began, Sauber installed the vertical sidepod airflow conditioner and horizontal vane for the Bahrain test. It is interesting to note the angle at which the conditioner lies relative to the floor – it is very aggressive. Continue reading →