After an incredible return to the front end of the grid, Williams hope to consolidate their recent upturn by fighting for more podiums and potentially victories in 2015. Heavy investment (that ultimately put them in debt) last year has indeed paid off as a host of new sponsors join the Martini-striped FW37, a car that looks like a good progression of last year’s concept.
After the first test in Jerez, Williams were joint top of the speed traps (along with Mercedes) despite running on lower power. A recent interview with Pat Symonds revealed that the team have aimed to retain its low-drag characteristics from last year whilst making a good step forward in downforce and early indications suggest this is exactly what they have done. Continue reading →
Here is a link to my first impressions on tech in F1 this year by dissecting the early releases from Williams and Force India, which you can find here.
A full analysis of all the cars will be on Richland F1 when they are released, plus a more comprehensive version of the top 5 teams (Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren) will be on this blog with a few more drawings. It’s about to get very busy!
Although the current generation of cars are the fastest in F1 history in a straight line, the unique characterstics of Monza are the result of a bespoke aerodynamic package brought by most teams for the Italian GP. Most teams will spend a solid two weeks designing these packages in order to generate a good car balance for the various chicanes which litter the circuit whilst cutting drag and improving top speed.
In case you were wondering, we saw top speeds of 225mph with DRS in use on the main straight, the fastest speeds ever recorder in Monza. Of course Juan Pablo Montoya’s highest average speed of 162.9mph during pre-qualifying in 2004 remains unbeatable for now, but it just proves that despite all the fuss made about this year’s cars not being fast enough was, well, just a fuss.
Overall top speed was, however, limited by the energy usage capabilities inside this year’s hybrids. You will be aware of the fact that sometimes we see cars at the end of the straight with the rain-light blinking. This is to indicate that the MGU-H has gone into harvest mode and the turbo’s rpm is reduced significantly as a result and slowing the car down. When riding on board with cars reaching the end of the main straight, the engine rpm dropped significantly and this was a particular feature on Valtteri Bottas’s Williams. Continue reading →
This is part 2 of the post requested by @robb___alexander on Twitter.
In the first part of this analysis we took a look at the top teams’ technical features. For this second installment we will look at the remainder of the grid including the intriguing Toro Rosso STR9 and just how Williams’s FW36 has recaptured their form. Continue reading →
This post was requested by @cditman. If you would like something explaining or have an questions please contact me either on Twitter, Facebook or email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
As of the start of the 2014 season, teams must nominate all 8 forward ratios (plus reverse) before the opening round. They then have only one opportunity, should they be willing to take it, to change their ratios during the season. That’s it. No bespoke gearing for each track and no free-spirited changing during a Grand Prix weekend.
Given all the computer, dyno and simulation technology at the F1 teams’ disposal, it’s quite amazing how varied the ratio selection is across the grid. There are some positive and negatives for each solution, but is there an optimum setup?
At the midway point in the season, I’m going to attempt to dissect some of the teams’ gear ratio choices and why, surprisingly, they have not converged to one solution. Continue reading →
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 →
A test venue for many years, the Circuit de Catalunya is one of the ultimate performance benchmark tests for any single seater, F1 being no different. The long sweeping corners and quite abrasive track surface mean that both aerodynamic and tyre management characteristics are exposed to near maximum and it is for this reason that the teams opt to bring plenty of new parts for a laptime gain heading into the next 4 months of – barring Canada – European races.
I must admit that as I looked through the various technical galleries on Thursday, I was a little disappointed. Much had been said of the importance of this weekend for the championship and teams such as Lotus, McLaren and Caterham suggested that their cars would see drastic overhauls in a lot of key areas. This was, sadly, not the case although, as you are about to find out, a bucket load of tech still made its way to the cars up and down the grid. Continue reading →