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 →
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 →
Initially I was very surprised at the lack of (visible) updates on the cars during the first few days of the final test in Bahrain, which ended some 7 days ago. However as the days passed the changes started to creep their way in to such an extent that this piece has taken a while to become available to you. Only yesterday I found out about a few more bits and pieces that Mercedes brought!
So here is my final pre-season piece before Melbourne kicks off 2014 next week, hope you find it insightful!
With the highest mileage of any team (just ahead of Williams) throughout winter testing, Mercedes set about further enhancing their W05 package. Having released an outwardly more complex (if not the most complex) car than any other team, refinements have been made across the car rather than all-new parts being introduced.
Although this cannot be said for Mercedes’ new floor and diffuser modifications. Replacing the simplistic splitter up front is a new number, featuring two, long fences running alongside each side to guide airflow along the lower regions of the floor ahead of the sidepod.
Mercedes introduced a pair of intriguing vortex generators above the diffuser