Brought to you by TheJudge13 technical analyst: Lorenzo de Luca
Crazy Race and reliability subverts field values
The Hungarian GP was the most thrilling race of the year, thanks to uncertain weather conditions and neutralizations. The Mercedes team did not shine as expected, with bad strategies and (again) reliability taht was less than perfect which compromised Rosberg’s and Hamilton’s races. The stand out from the Hungaroring chaos was undoubtedly Daniel Ricciardo with his RB10 – Newey’s latest creation perfectly fitting a Hungarian track that emphasized the RB10’s aerodynamic qualities.
Afraid of the heat
Although the Hungaroring is not demanding in terms of power, the Hungarian track is rather severe in terms of cooling. Thanks to its layout, which sees many corners follow one another in quick succession, it becomes complicated to sufficiently cool everything to acceptable levels. This applies to the gearbox as well as the braking system. And it is precisely this aspect that the teams focused on throughout the race weekend as it was necessary to find a compromise between aerodynamic efficiency and an adequate cooling system. Many teams, saw the high temperatures we had on Friday and Saturday and chose to not take risks as we can see by the countermeasures adopted
Red Bull Asymmetrical brake basket
Sauber Asymmetrical brake basket
Mercedes Asymmetrical brake basket
These solutions were used to help the left tire to not overheat as this is the most stressed tire.
Williams engine cover and side pod shoulder duct
On the Williams FW36 the team have dropped the louvred fin – despite this solution aiding the cooling of some of the power unit elements and increasing the rear wing efficiency by cleaning the airflow ahead of it with the mini-vortex generated by the louvres. But we also saw the comeback of the side pod shoulder duct which had been abandoned from a couple of the more recent races. This solution, not only helps the cooling system, but it also has aero benefits, indeed the duct helps to avoid thickening of the boundary layer.
Force India engine cover
Even Force India, had to sacrifice aero efficiency to improving the cooling of the power unit elements and in Hungary the VJM07 dropped the latest engine cover (more tapered and with a shark fin) for the old solution with an additional duct on the roll hoop.
Mclaren engineers adopted an old solution on the engine cover, with louvres set along the top of the sidepod of the Coke bottle sweep to help the cooling of the gearbox. Also notice, the double mushroom ( or butterfly) double suspension arms.
Mclaren floor duct
But that’s not all, indeed we also saw again the floor duct, a solution inspired by the Lotus F1 Team, a duct that should help the cooling of some elements such as radiators or electrical components.
Ferrari engine cover
The team of the Prancing horse, chose to not take any risk here, and brought the last engine cover introduced in Germany. The new solution, although maintaining a RedBull-esque design (to blow hot air into a very crucial area which is useful to generate downforce) has a bigger outlet to improve the discharge of hot air.
Red Bull Asymmetrical ducts
On the RB10, everything design feature has been detailed meticulously. Indeed at the cockpit sides, we now have seven louvres ( before there were only 5). The interesting thing, is that the ducts are asymmetrical, if on the left they are squared, on the right they have a triangular shape. A solution that we also saw on the Ferrari F14-T .
Sauber C33 NACA holes
There were some interesting design choices on the Sauber C33. The Swiss car carried two NACA holes, but only on Sutil’s car, this solution would help the cooling of both the driver and some electrical components which lie inside the chassis.
Mercedes, now things are getting serious
They wasted a chance, for the umpteenth race both W05’s had issues with both their brake system (brake disks overheat + brake by wire) and fuel pump issues. Seeing the pace Rosberg had with the intermediate tires, and the furious comeback of the German driver during the last laps, it’s easy to say that , depsite the FRIC ban, Mercedes is still the dominant force. But at Brixworth, engineers should start to worry. With Hamilton’s car on fire on Saturday, and the issues both drivers had during the race it should be a wake-up call for Wolff & Co. as with more competitive rivals the chase for the championship would not be so easy for them.
Red Bull : a signal to Renault?
We have always spoken well of the chassis qualities of the RB10, a car that from an aerodynamic point of view, has nothing to envy of the Mercedes W05, and Budapest just confirmed this. Although the race has been distorted by weather conditions and the safety car, it was obvious on Friday and Saturday (with Vettel) that the car seemed comfortable on the Hungarian track. As has been said, the Hungaroring is not a demanding track for power, but the victory taken by Ricciardo could be interpreted as a signal to Renault: if the car does not win anymore it is because of the lack of power from the French unit. Meanwhile it’s is obvious that there are no limits to Newey’s work on the car – even in Hungary there were updates on the car – in particular on the front wing; now we have an additional flap on the main plane to increase the downforce.
Red Bull new front wing
Ferrari, are there any improvements ?
The result from Hungary was the son of the ‘perfect storm’ with the particular circumstances which took place during the race. Indeed, for this reason it’s best to look at the qualifying performances as a better indicator of Ferrari’s performance.
Qualifying session sector times chart
By looking at the chart above, we can see how the biggest gap for Ferrari is in the middle sector of the track which is composed by many corners in quick succession. This could be explained by a lack of directionality and downforce at the front. All of this can be traced back to poor choices in the design phase. This solution, led to design a car with an extended wheelbase, which moved the weight of the car to the rear end, thus leading to a front end with neither enough downforce and inaccurate in response to driver input.
F14-T oil tank displacement