Mercedes has focussed on improving the cooling package of its 2020 Formula 1 car, which has been helped by the new engine operating at a higher temperature to last year’s.
Last year’s car had cooling issues that the team could not fully address during the season, because of a limitation with radiator capacity.
The weakness was especially apparent at the Austrian Grand Prix, when extremely hot weather compromised the overall performance of the car.
“We’ve improved the cooling package,” said technical director James Allison.
“We’ve created more face area – so more actual radiator area in the car – which is a difficult thing to do mid-season without incurring quite a lot of penalty.
“But between the years you can do it and it won’t cost you except a little bit of weight.
“We’ve also benefitted from an investment that HPP [High Performance Powertrains, Mercedes’ engine division] have made on our behalf.
“They’ve worked to raise the operating temperature of the engine which eases the cooling burden on us because the hotter the fluid, the less radiator you need to cool it.”
HPP engine boss Andy Cowell explained that the process had begun last year – even before Austria – but the team has taken another step in 2020.
Cowell also stressed that the engine side of the team has to help the chassis side: “As Power Unit engineers we don’t just focus on crankshaft power, we also focus a tremendous amount on the packaging and reducing the overheads for the aerodynamicist, so that they can mainly focus on keeping the car planted through the corner.”
Despite the maturity of the hybrid V6 rules, Mercedes is continuing to find gains by exploring every detail.
“We’re in the seventh year of the technical regulations for the Power Unit and it gets tougher and tougher to find performance gains under stable regulations,” Cowell added.
“So we have had to develop an even wider area of the PU. We have looked at every single system.
“We have looked at improving our combustion efficiency, our drive systems and the ancillary systems on the PU.
“But we have also worked on things like the efficiency of the electric motor, the power module efficiency, and the pure conversion efficiency.
“We have investigated the losses that occur as we transmit energy around the power unit, we’ve been trying to reduce friction and bearing losses through coating work, and we have also reduced the heat rejection to the car.”
Mercedes has also placed a focus on reliability after some issues in 2019, although world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the season without penalty.
“We were very pleased and proud of the reliability achieved with Lewis’ hardware,” said Cowell.
“But we were saddened by the low-life failures that we experienced with other drivers and that’s what we are focusing on.
“We are concentrating on understanding the reasons, the quality issues that we encountered and we are working hard to make sure we have got robust containment in place based on the root cause of those issues.
“Twenty-two races mean one power unit needs to do eight races, so there is an increase in the number of cycles that all the hardware needs to do, putting an even bigger emphasise on reliability.”
Published at Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:29:11 +0000
Toyota’s Elfyn Evans remains in control of Rally Sweden at the end of the opening day of the shortened event, as reigning champion Ott Tanak reclaimed second.
Evans dominated proceedings in the morning, winning two of the first three stages to take an eight-second lead into service after four stages over his team-mate Kalle Rovanpera.
The teenager had kept in touch with Evans heading into SS5 but a spin and a stall at a hairpin allowed Tanak to back up move into second having lost that spot to Rovanpera one stage earlier.
Evans is now 8.5s ahead of Tanak (pictured below) heading into Saturday – a repeat run of Friday’s action – with Rovanpera a further 5.8s in arrears in third.
High temperatures caused Thursday’s opening superspecial in Karlstad to be cancelled, effectively turning it into a second Shakedown stage for the crews. The whole event had already been shortened due to weather concerns.
Treble Rally Sweden winner Sebastien Ogier maintains his fourth place and is now just 3.5s behind Toyota team-mate Rovanpera at the end of the first day. The Frenchman declared his day as “OK” but believes he can extract more from his Yaris WRC on Saturday.
“[There was] a little bit too much gravel here and there, and in some sections it was good fun driving with some good grip, so it’s been an OK day,” said Ogier.
“But it’s clear that our team-mates have shown that we can do better.”
Esapekka Lappi is fifth for M-Sport, ahead of current championship leader Thierry Neuville – who struggled for confidence after running first on the road in his Hyundai i20 WRC.
Neuville said: “We thought going first would be a disadvantage and it definitely was.
“We’re not happy with the overall classification but we are happy with how we are in the car.”
Craig Breen lies seventh behind Neuville heading into Saturday, with the Irishman setting the third fastest time on the final stage of the day at Torsby.
M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta complete the leading WRC times in eighth and ninth respectively.
There was disappointment for four-time Rally Sweden winner Jari-Matti Latvala, who suffered a suspected electrical issue on his privateer Yaris WRC following SS2 which caused intermittent engine cut-outs over the next test at Nyckelvattnet.
The Finn, who is without a factory drive in the championship for the first time since 2006, failed to make it out for the Torsby Sprint stage as a result.
In WRC 2 – for factory backed R5 cars – Citroen’s Mads Ostberg maintains his advantage over compatriot Ole Christian Veiby’s Hyundai. Ostberg’s lead is 8.4s going into Saturday’s stages.
Ostberg is not the top R5 car however, as WRC 3 (for privately entered R5s) Skoda Fabia driver Emil Lindholm is top and 4.5s clear of Ostberg.
Sweden is the start of the Junior World Rally Championship, and the Ford Fiesta R2T category is led by Tom Kristensson overnight. European Rally Championship regular Martin Sesks holds second allbeit 23s off the top spot, while Roland Poom and WRC Esports champion Jon Armstrong crashed out.
Leaderboard after SS5
|1||Elfyn Evans, S.Martin||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||30m43.7s|
|2||Ott Tanak, M.Jarveoja||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||8.5s|
|3||Kalle Rovanpera, J.Halttunen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||14.3s|
|4||Sebastien Ogier, J.Ingrassia||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||17.8s|
|5||Esapekka Lappi, J.Ferm||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||20.9s|
|6||Thierry Neuville, N.Gilsoul||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||23.6s|
|7||Craig Breen, P.Nagle||Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT||Hyundai||24.2s|
|8||Teemu Suninen, J.Lehtinen||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||31.4s|
|9||Takamoto Katsuta, D.Barritt||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||49.6s|
|10||Emil Lindholm, M.Korhonen||Emil Lindholm||Skoda||1m45.7s|
Published at Fri, 14 Feb 2020 14:59:13 +0000