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Lotus reveals the real E22 (More Photos)
Andy Cowell reveals details about the Mercedes unit
Summary of German Original by Fat Hippo
In an interview with German magazine Auto, Motor & Sport Andy Cowell of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains gave some details about the new power unit that put in a strong debut at last week’s test in Jerez de la Frontera.
Asked about how much power the unit would deliver in qualifying, when it was not fuel-limited, Cowell explained that none of the manufacturers would reveal a reliable number and that the new powertrains were all about thermal efficiency. While the old V8’s had a thermal efficiency of 30%, the target for the new units is to reach 40%.
The interviewer tried another spin to wrangle a number out of Cowell, calculating that the 80s 1.5l turbo engines managed to put out up to 1.400bhp with 200 kilos of fuel and a turbo boost of 5 bar. He reasoned that with half the fuel allowance the engines could be expected to deliver 700 bhp. Right, you could calculate like that, was Cowell’s evasive answer, but it is easy to see that this calculation doesn’t really hold water as it ignores most of the parameters.
This list shows a few other details revealed by Cowell:
- The new powertrains have about 3 times as many parts as the old V8 units.
- The units need no more than 20% more cooling than the V8’s. The classic oil and water coolers are smaller, the ones for the hybrid system bigger and with the inter-cooler there is a completely new element.
- There are cooling systems that teams can buy from external suppliers, but teams are also engaging in own R&D.
- The number of sensors has doubled.
- The new units have two more ECU’s than the V8s
- The new engines still have pop-off valves, even though the turbo RPMs are now controlled by the electrical components. The pop-off valve is still present as a safety measure in case the electrical system fail.
- The engines will practically never reach the RPM limit of 15.000, since the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h is already reached at 10.500 min-1. At revs over 10.500 only friction and fuel consumption rise, while the power goes down.
Cowell also explains some of the tactical implications. He explains that drivers will still have to actively conserve fuel, guided by the engineers from the pit wall, who have the pertinent data. The RPM situation also means that drivers will shift less and stay longer within certain gears, which could open non-DRS overtaking opportunities, if drivers use different shifting regimes. He admits that the teams have no real idea yet, how strategy will play out on track as this cannot reliably be determined in the simulator.
Ricciardo to make own way at Red Bull (GMM)
Daniel Ricciardo will have to make his own way at Red Bull, champion teammate Sebastian Vettel has declared.
24-year-old Australian Ricciardo, with just 50 grands prix with HRT and Toro Rosso under his belt, has arrived at the reigning title-winning team to replace Vettel’s retiring teammate, the highly-experienced veteran Mark Webber.
German Vettel and Webber, who like Ricciardo is Australian, endured a notoriously strained relationship at Red Bull, and now Vettel has made clear he will not be actively helping Ricciardo get up to speed.
“Obviously there’s a lot of new things this year that everybody will have to adapt to,” he said.
“But I’m sure (Ricciardo) will find his way quickly: to give advice is difficult because everybody has his own style. He doesn’t have the experience Mark had but he’s earned his place and I’m sure he’ll give me a hard time,” said Vettel.
Ricciardo, on the other hand, said he is hoping to “learn as much as I can” from quadruple world champion Vettel, “and hopefully challenge him of course“.
David Coulthard, a former Red Bull driver, said he thinks Ricciardo has less pressure on him this year than Vettel.
“If he (Ricciardo) matches him, people will say ‘well, he’s really got some pace’. If he beats him, then people are going to really sit up and take notice,” the Scot told AAP news agency.
“So I think the pressure is off Daniel in many respects,” Coulthard said.
Nasr set for Friday role at Williams(GMM)
One of the very last seats in formula one is set to be filled by rookie Felipe Nasr.
Last November, we reported that following countryman Felipe Massa’s move to Williams for 2014, another Brazilian looked set to become the official reserve driver at Grove.
21-year-old Nasr, a GP2 frontrunner, is backed by Brazilian sponsors Banco do Brasil and Sky Brasil, and managed by Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson.
Italy’s Autosprint now reports that Nasr looks to have signed an agreement with Williams that will involve running in Friday morning practice sessions at about half of the 19 grands prix this year.
The deal for Nasr will also include “a substantial number of testing kilometers” during the season, the report added.
Lotus reveals the real E22
First photos of the REAL E22 have started emerging and as TJ13 reported earlier this week they are sticking with the pitchfork nose. The angle of the nose in the photo is rather flattering however it is good to see PDVSA has now made it onto the livery too. Or is this a stark realisation that Maldonado will actually race for Lotus…
Honda making steady progress
Honda announced their decision to set up the European Engine base in Milton Keynes in June last year. The Japanese engine manufacturer stated that the development and manufacture of Honda’s Formula One power units would be taking place at their research and development centre in Tochigi.
Today Honda say they are making “steady progress” and further that, “In January 2014 Honda moved its motor sports development base from the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (at Haga-machi, Haga-gun in Tochigi Prefecture) to a newly situated area in its facility in Sakura City (also in Tochigi), in a move to further strengthen its development organization for F1 and other races”.
The European facility was already being used by Honda associates Mugen – providing a base for their trackside support operations, as well as a suitable location to rebuild and maintain power units. However, this location conveniently facilitated the poaching of a number of production specialists who have been headhunted from across the town.
There has been much debate by fans and F1 pundits alike as to whether Honda will gain an advantage or find themselves behind the curve by returning to F1 a year after the other engine manufacturers have been running their new V6 powertrains.
Further, the Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault have multiple teams running their power plant which of course provides incremental information for analysis. Honda will work exclusively with McLaren in 2015 which could be a smart move as they only need to concern themselves with one installation configuration. Renault at present have multiple headaches of their own making and some incremental problems to solve created by the different car designs of their customer teams.
In their press release today, Honda add, “For the FIA Formula One World Championship, which Honda will rejoin in the 2015 season, the company is making steady progress in developing the power unit,” and “at Honda’s European base for F1 activity in Milton Keynes, UK, installation of the dynamo and assembly facilities will be completed in June 2014 to further reinforce the already solid setup in preparation for racing.
The Japanese car manufacturer’s objective is clear. “To meet and exceed the expectations of our fans, we will accelerate our development to bring back the unique Honda engine sound onto the track”.
F1 2014… Place your bets please
A certain UK bookmaker (who we won’t name as they’ve not offered us any ad revenue) has read the tea leaves from the Jerez test and decided to post some early views on who they think will do what this year.
It appears they believe the Mercedes engine may make the difference in the midfield, with Williams and Force India, ahead of the Ferrari powered Sauber and last the Renault powered Toro Rosso. Williams significantly priced ahead of Force India I have to say is a surprise.
Red Bull are clearly being given credit for Newey’s genius, though history shows he can blob as well as beat the rest. The multiple woes Renault have admitted to – together with the fact the even Newey says he has “no idea” whether he can solve the RB10’s problems to his satisfaction suggest if you want a punt on the world champions, the odds will improve as reality is revealed in Bahrain.
McLaren must be suffering from the fact they their 2013 car was arguably the worst they’ve ever built, because to me the MP4-29 it looked the best balanced of all the cars in various sections of the Jerez track last week.
Ferrari for me are a good price, nearly 4 times less likely to win the title than Mercedes? I think not.
Having looked at the constructors odds, making sense of this is difficult. At 10/1 Rosberg has to be a steal considering he is driving the car considered most likely to win the team championship.
Raikkonen is clearly expected to be an obvious No.2 in terms of points scored at Ferrari, but looks a tidy punt at 12/1. The Magnussen band wagon rolls on as his odds are better having never driven an F1 car than Daniel Riccardo who has 2 years experience.
The head to heads say it all in terms of who is expected to rout and out his team mate.
At least there is some belief that ‘the field’ can beat Vettel in 2015, Ladies and Gentelmen of the jury – place your bets now please.
It’s worth considering, one leading bookmaker believes the odds that Alien life will be proved in 2014 are 50/1. Britney Spears is 100/1 to become Ryan Goslings next chic and Father Dougal Maguire of ‘Craggy Island’ has a 1000/1 shot of becoming the next pope.
Internal power struggle at Team Lotus
Original story by Roman Wittemeier of Motorsport Total. Translation from the fat Hippo and added comment from TJ13
Lotus missed the first week of testing for the 2014 Formula 1 season but they are on track to go testing in Bahrain in two weeks time. The new E22 is being rolled out for 100km
shakedown ‘filming day’ today and tomorrow at Jerez. While Lotus head into the season with not only a striking (term used here as adjective 😉 ) new pitchfork-nosed car, the team structure has undergone a significant shake-up too.
It appears there is a power struggle emerging behind the scenes. Genii boss Gerard Lopez, whose company is still the majority stakeholder in the team, appointed himself team principal after Eric Boullier walked out to take up a job at McLaren. The man from Luxembourg did this to appear to remain in control of the team. Yet Andrew Ruhan, to whom the team is heavily indebted, is seeking the position of ultimate decision maker for himself.
TJ13 noted this was evident the week before Jerez when Lopez was questioned over Mansoor Ijaz claims that the Quantum investment would be completed between Jerez and Bahrain. He stated the “deal is dead”.
Yet days later, Ruhan contradicted this when he told Autosport, “At this moment of time, the original structure of the deal cannot be completed, however, we maintain discussions with Mansoor [Ijaz] and still believe it is possible that a deal on a similar basis can be concluded.”
Lopez has lost face with his own investors – and probably lost his team principal – over the farce that was the announced partnership between Ijaz’s investment company Infinity Racing last July.
Ruhan on the other hand would appear to be a ‘get the job done kind of guy’ were he get the Quantum equity purchase over the line quickly. Of course Quantum would align themselves with Ruhan during any disputes with Lopez, and the Ruhan/Quantum side of the team would have greater voting rights were Ijaz’s company to acquire the original proposed 35% of the Enstone team.
To improve his position in the coming power struggle, Lopez recruited a brother-in-arms. Former Peugeot race director Olivier Quesnel is set to join Team Lotus. Currently the Frenchman is still in charge of the French Le Mans outfit Oak, but was unable to realise his vision there, the planned joint development of an LMP1 car by Oak and Honda (HPD) did not materialise.
Quesnel is considered an important link to the FIA, as he has excellent connections to FIA president Jean Todt, who himself is a former Peugeot man. Also not to be overlooked is that Todt’s son Nicolas is also the manager of Lotus’ new recruit Pastor Maldonado, who brings in much needed millions, important for Lotus’s survival, courtesy of Venezuelan oil giants PDVSA.
Quesnel is set to take up the position as Sporting Director, but is also expected to take over many tasks of a team principal.
It appears we may see lot of Lotus in the news, whether their pitchfork nose gives them a winning edge or not.
Matters of credibility
It irks me to have to write this short piece, however I know TJ13 readers have encountered questions over the credibility of my sources from time to time. So feel free to bookmark this pages and then in future refer those who belittle what is done here.
I reported on the eve of the F1 test in Jerez that there were big problems with the Renault engine. The customers of the French F1 engine manufacturer had been advised their new powertrains were only good for around 250km – 56 laps of the Jerez circuit.
On the final day, Caterham were allowed to push the envelope and completed around for the week – just over 300km, a distance still short of the race in Melbourne.
I was in a group of people talking to a well known FIA member on Tuesday night in Jerez and even though he had been talking to Rob White during the day, he was surprised to hear Renault may have a problem.
By the close of play on Wednesday in Jerez, the mainstream media were waking up to the fact that there was a correlation between the teams who had run the least, and questions began to be raised.
At times certain well known F1 writers pour scorn on their own commentators who use TJ13 as a source of challenge to what they write.
TJ13 reported in the Day 2 Jerez report that the complete Renault fix would take between 15-20 weeks.
Today – some 11 days after J13 broke this story – James Allen and a number of others are substantiating the facts TJ13 reported at the start of last week. That said, the various F1 writers estimates of the time Renault will be playing catchup is rather wide – between 2 and 6 months.
This Judge at times has to read the tea leaves when the evidence presented by the various petitioners is contradictory. However, when the gavel is banged with authority, you can be certain – that I am certain of what is being said.
Lotus are back to their old self
Back in the day, when there were still two Germany’s, West Berlin was trapped deep inside the territory od communistical East Germany. To cope with these special circumstances the city received copious amounts of money each year from West Germany. When Germany was reunited, this special allowance was dropped and Berlin finances soon spiralled out of control and the city is now saddled with billions of debt. Poking fun at that they released a slogan: “poor, but sexy”. A similar motto could be applied to Lotus: “poor, but funny”. After a year full of snappy tweets and pictures of fornicating rodents, they suddenly went very quite, but fear not my friend – they are back!
Please note the clever use of blatant product placement. Lotus certainly know how to please their badly needed sponsors. Well done, lads.
Minardi worried about Marshal safety
Summary of Translation and additional comment by Fat Hippo, Русский оригина́л by Dmitriy Bukharov of f1news.ru
For all the talk about new engines and their cooling, the ever present topic of safety has taken a back seat lately, something that seemingly didn’t bother anyone, but Adrian Newey, who warned about possible dangers of the new X-rated noses. Now former F1 survival artist Giancarlo Minardi added his voice and worries about the safety of track-side marshals.
When KERS found its way into F1 cars, mechanics could often be seen to work on the car using rubber gloves to avoid electrocutions. With the much more potent ERS systems in the current engines, the potential danger is much greater, Minardi explained. The high capacity batteries could go up in flames or deliver nasty electric shocks if something goes wrong.
The cars feature a warning light, which tell personnel whether or not it is safe to touch the car. That’s all jolly well in the pits, where everybody can duck for cover if the light is bright red. The track-side marshals don’t quite enjoy the same luxury if the driver is trapped unconscious in his ruined steed after an accident. One could also question the wisdom of placement of the batteries so close to the fuel tank.
Giancarlo also question, whether or not F1 has done enough to educate the marshals about how to handle the new systems. While there are certification trainings for team mechanics, carried out by the respective engine suppliers, there seem to be no comparable programs for track-side marshals, who are usually the first at the scene of an accident.
Signore Minardi definitely has a point especially considering that we’ve seen wildly dissimilar performance levels among marshals at different tracks. While Monaco personnel is known for the incredible speed with which they can remove stricken cars from the track, Korean marshals could be seen moseying onto the track in a SUV during a live race and generally put in performance worthy of a Monty Python feature. Russian marshals will do the job for the very first time. Maybe FIA should spend more time thinking about that instead of making up artificial rules to tamper with how and when the championship will be decided as nobody will give a flying expletive about viewer figures or championship standings if a marshal has been electrocuted or a driver has been killed because a faulty battery ignited 100kg of fuel and the marshals have been told not to touch the car by a red warning light.