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How Hamilton passed Vettel and other inside stories from Mercedes engine HQ
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Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Dec 2011   |  5:32 pm GMT  |  146 comments

Mercedes has been the top scoring F1 engine maker since it started selling customer engines in 2009, with 35 wins and 104 podiums.

The Mercedes AMG powertrain division at Brixworth in Northampton opened its doors today to a small group of media to give us a behind the scenes insight into what went on during 2011 and to get a sneak peak of how the 2014 engine is coming on, which I will post on separately.

We learned some very interesting background information from senior Mercedes engineer Andy Cowell about some of the things engine builders faced in 2011.

In terms of the best way of managing engine rotation with 8 units having to last 19 races, it was interesting to see that their highest use engine did a total of 3,073 kilometres, which included three of the early season races as well as six Friday practice sessions. Teams always plan to use a new engine for Turkey, Spa and Monza in particular and these units would probably not do a third race.

It’s amazing to look back on the days when each team would bring as many as 10 engines to each race and bolt in a fresh one every day. What has come with the freeze in V8 engine regulations is a deeper understanding of the engines, which has brought amazing reliability The ceramic pistons today, for example, are lighter than those on qualifying engines of 10 years ago when they were just about strong enough to last for an hour’s qualifying session. And yet now they last 3,000kms!

Another challenge this year was dealing with simultaneous KERS and DRS deployment without hitting the rev limiter on the straights. This was done through gearing, of course, because interestingly simultaneous deployment of DRS and KERS adds an extra 1,000 revs at the end of the straight and you don’t want to hit the rev limiter because that adds 15-20% more engine stress.

We also looked at the exhaust blown diffusers, which have now been banned from 2012 onwards. Cowell showed us the telemetry graphs of a typical corner where you can see that as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, the throttles stay wide open, the torque is cut by retarding the ignition and the exhaust gas pressure blowing out across the diffuser is way higher than it would be on the normal overrun. The temperature of the exhaust gas is also way higher by 200 degrees. This must have been very costly in exhaust materials.

What was interesting was the subtleties with the EBD; with certain engine modes the driver could use the throttle in special ways and have an effect on the downforce in corners as a result and Cowell confirmed that this was an area where Vettel had made gains in key moments, typically the final run in qualifying.

We then looked at KERS, which is very much still part of the rules for 2012, although it will be evolved in 2014 to ERS, which will harvest far more energy from different sources and provide double the power back to the engine.

This was where you realise what a wasted opportunity KERS is as a story in F1, as we looked in detail at the way Lewis Hamilton used it to pass Sebastian Vettel in China. Hamilton deployed the KERS button for a good long burst in a place where you would never do it if you were looking for lap time; Turns 6 and 7 and yet he did so because he knew it could give him the surge he needed to get alongside Vettel on the inside for the left hander. And so it proved.

Another example looked at a defensive strategy, with Hamilton using KERS on the straight in Korea to fight off a DRS-boosted attack from Mark Webber. Clearly these were some of the areas of racing where the superior KERS worked for Mercedes’ teams

Mercedes provides exactly the same engine and KERS unit to all three of its teams; Mercedes AMG, McLaren and Sahara Force India and the benefit worked out on average at around 0.4secs per lap across the calendar with some circuits like Monza more of a gain than others.

The only difference between the engines is some of the wiring from the KERS, dependent on chassis design. This year Mercedes got its unit down to just 24 kilos and increased the efficiency to 80%, which means that they needed to harvest 500 kjoules of energy to inject 400 kjoules back in. The KERS processes 400 kjoules per second.

We looked at an engine on the dyno, which was running some development parts for 2012 and even a few ideas for the 2014 engine.

It stuck me that in a heavily testing restricted modern F1 world, engines are really the only area where testing goes on all the time. Whereas each of their teams will do around 50,000 kilometres on track each season, so 150,000 kilometres in total – Mercedes will do that much again in dyno testing.

Each one of a driver’s 8 new engines is given a shakedown test on the dyno for 150 kilometres before going off the race track to be fitted into a car.

We also learned from the Petronas engineers how they support Mercedes on the fuel and lubes side with the works team and the gains coming from fuel in particular. It sounds like there is a lot more to come from this area.


At races, Mercedes supplies each of its teams with 3 technicians, 3 engineers and 1 manager to provide track support. Some of them were on hand to show us the ropes when it came time to have a go at assembling a few parts of a V8 engine. We had to fit the fuel injectors, a heat shield and the exhausts. It’s a little hands on exercise, a bit of fun for guests.

Apparently Michael Schumacher – a keen karting mechanic – did the challenge in under 3 minutes. I took considerably longer as I failed to notice that one of the manifolds had moved and had to undo half the nuts and start again…

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2

Greetings and the best wishes for 2012.

A bit un-related, but how do you see Mercedes GP team getting reading for the 2012 season.

Sincerely,

SK Anand

3

Early days without seeing the new cars but they should be closer to the pace in 2012, but I don’t see them closing the gap to Red Bull – should get some podiums

4

35 wins since the start of 2007, not 2009

5

I would LOVE to see an article that describes the differences between one side of a garage and another .. is the aero staff different? .. fueling, tire management, etc? Are they run like two different teams altogether?

I feel that there’s a great story to be told in how the modern F1 team is structured for a race weekend with competing drivers.

As fans we often suppose that they all pull for the same owner but occasionally you see evidence otherwise. A fresh example is qually in Brazil. Vettel had it won and had the pole season record. Why did RB let Webber make an attack? He ALMOST got Vettel, and would have if Vettel had not improved again.

6

nice thread.. some clever people contributing too..

nice work James…

I find the technical differences amounst the driver styles of drivers fascinating… and under publicised… more please.. since you re did your website.. i think earlier this year… i have noticed a bit of slide toward general f1 reporting and away from technical and unusual posts like this, that i really used to enjoy… you have redeemed yourself of late with some nice work, and this insightfull piece is just brillant..

7

I think you are giving KERS and Hamilton way too much credit for that pass. Vettel’s tires were dead is why Hamilton got by so easily, we saw it all year long. That was the same race Webber passed the whole field as well.

8

James, great article, thanks.

With regard to Vettel’s EBD, there is always the possibility that he simply had a better EBD program than Webber. In an electronic world it would be difficult for Webber to know if they are using the same EBD program/settings. I’m not a fan of both drivers but it’s obvious from the outside which driver gets the most team loyalty.

I do think that Vettel is the better driver of the 2 but not to the extent that this years results would lead us to believe.

Next year will be an eye opener.

9

I’d say the gap between them is quite large, and far bigger than that in the 2010 points standings, where car reliability helped Webber get close but still lose out.

10

Sorry, first paragraph should read,

“Do you think there is merit in the opinion that Vettel’s speed this year is down to him being able to understand how to get the most out of the car with driving style, especially considering that he manages his tyres better than WEBBER and perhaps being able to use the throttle more efficiently to generate better downforce than webber?”

11

Yer I thought I missed something lol

12

Hi James

Do you think there is merit in the opinion that Vettel’s speed this year is down to him being able to understand how to get the most out of the car with driving style, especially considering that he manages his tyres better than Vettel and perhaps being able to use the throttle more efficiently to generate better downforce than webber?

Is it a mark of him being able to grasp the technical aspects of what it took to get the maximum out of the RB7, especially in qualy, and in the early parts of the race.

There seems to be so many areas where he was better than Webber, starts are another example, I can’t remember him getting a bad start, but with Webber it was almost every race.

What I am trying to get at is that he perhaps has a better understanding of the fundamental engineering concepts and this enables him to manage the car better as a whole?

Or is this something we might only find out years from now in his autobiography when they publish interviews with race engineers from Red Bull … 🙂

13

Like all top quality drivers he is adaptable, not just to new tyres but from lap to lap according to the grip levels etc. This era F1 is all about coping with change

14

GREAT ARTICLE THANKS

15

Hi James

Great article which has raised a couple of questions for me:

1) Do you think Vettel’s extra EBD use, is that due to him having more feel/car control and so able to exploit it, or that he got his head round the system before anyone else/Mark Webber was able to?

2) Presumably if McLaren go it alone on the engine side they would also have to engineer their own KERS system as well? I always got the impression in 2009 that they promoted their system as theirs rather than Mercedes Benz’s… How much does KERS cost compared to the engine development these days?

16

reply @ 2)

No need to make their own KERS as well, don’t need to come from the same manufacturer.

Look at RBR, they used Renault engines but dev’d their own KERS.

17

I’ve heard that Mercedes’ KER-system is just a relabeled system built by Zytec.

18

It’s a huge undertaking to do their own engine. Huge egg on face if it isn’t class leading from the start and that’s surely too big a risk

VW/Audi are the ones to watch out for. They could do it if they wanted to and McLaren would be the right fit.

19

Does it really benefit Mercedes to loose Mclaren? James any more insight on Honda, surely they would only come back supplying a top team? Unless they eased their way back in with Mugen!!

20

How about a piece on the elephant in the room James? McLaren are bound to look to develop an engine for 2014 or thereafter given that their aspirations for engine technologies seem to align perfectly. Lightweight, powerful, fuel efficient and low capacity engines – or am I inadvertently giving away state secrets?

21

James – have you ever written a post as to why RB have not maximised their use of KERs? In particular, early on in the season it frequently (magically) stopped working.

22

Adrian Newey Sr of RBR did mention early on in the season that they are an aero team, not KERS team, hence it took them time to get on top of issues to make it a fully functional KERS.

23

James

Any word of how Cosworth will survive come 2014. With Renault revealing how much it is costing just be an engine developer / supplier. I struggle to see how Cosworth can make it pay even now let alone in the future.

Anything coming from the ‘pure’ fantasy guys…

24

Will be tough for them. Need to get the 2014 order book filled in order to commit the money. Otherwise we could end up with Merc, Renault and Ferrari each supplying 4 teams.

25

James: Are there any news on the PURE-Project by Pollock and the Mecachome guys?

26

Great article as always James. Hope to see more of you on our uk screens next year??

My guess for the special mode could be asymmetric blowing? Similar to the Mclaren fiddle brake. So, blow heavier on the left exit cylinder bank for left handers, and the right exit cylinder bank for right handers.

Would this be permitted in the regs?

27

You’ll see me on screens in Australia, it’s a light commitment, I enjoy it and it fits in with the stuff I’m doing here and digitally. I’ve not gone after a full time TV role in UK

28
Grayzee (Australia)

And we welcome you with open arms……….we don’t have too many genuine F1 insiders down here. Great insights once again.

Can’t wait for March!

29

*we don’t have too many genuine F1 insiders down here.*

James would make it a total of 1. The others are just name droppers and wannabees.

You’re most welcome here James.

30

Nice article, as always James. Hope to see and hear more of you on our UK screens soon??

My guess for the ‘special use’ of blown diffuser – something similar to Mclarens fiddle brake? Eg blowing more on left side (cylinders exiting in left exhaust) on left hand turns, and the right bank for right handlers? Would this be permitted in the regs?

32

Seems a pretty emphatic answer. Which regulation applies to prevent this?

I see these, in the engine section:

5.5 Engine throttles :

5.5.1 The only means by which the driver may control the engine throttle positions is via a single chassis mounted foot pedal.

5.5.2 Designs which allow specific points along the pedal travel range to be identified by the driver or assist him to hold a position are not permitted.

5.5.3 The minimum and maximum throttle pedal travel positions must correspond to the engine throttle minimum (nominal idle) and maximum open positions.

5.6 Exhaust systems:

Engine exhaust systems may incorporate no more than two exits.

None of those to me would prohibit a creative interpretation of ‘driver throttle control’?

Is there another regulation (maybe in another area) you see that makes you so certain?

33

Interesting piece.

James, one of the things this illustrates really well is how far Mercedes have come as an engine manufacturer. They have for some time had the best engine in the pit lane, but their reliability wasn’t always at the top of the table. I remember Raikkonen in particular having several failures.

I think it also is worth remembering that Ross Brawn stated after Jenson Button won the Monaco GP in 2009 that his power unit was the first Formula 1 engine ever to have won three races. If that is the case, that in itself is a major engineering feat.

I think that the KERS story has been under exploited, but I do remember in the F1 press in 2007 it was talked about a lot, with some hope that it would improve the show. I feel the reason that it has been out of favour in F1 is down to the teams attitude towards it in the first season it was available. This is shame, because it really is an amazing technology that it is relevant to the wider motoring world.

34

Mercedes didn’t have problems with their engines when run by Ilmor.

Hakkinen was champion in 1998 and 99 using their designs.

Wasn’t it after Paul Morgan was killed that Mario Ilien left Ilmor and Mercedes took over that their engines kept breaking down? As the competition got better, Mercedes were pushing development harder and they kept exploding. Or as Haug used to say, hydraulic failure! I think also the banning of Beryllium caused some problems too.

Then the FIA got involved, reduced the revs, reduced what could be done with an engine design and they haven’t had a problem since..

35

I agree there is a lot more to come from KERS or ERS in the future. Come 2014 the F1 engines will be underpowered with the deficit being made up from the ERS presumeably continuously. Energy will be converted from various sources in the car so the systems will be significantly changed from the current ones in F1, and are more relevant to the road cars of the future. Some of course already have it, but it will become more highly developed and widespread.

36

That’s an interesting fact about the Mercedes engines and in my opinion Brawn wouldn’t have won the championship if they had used Honda engines for 2009 but few payed attention to the engine switch everyone focused on their diffuser.

37

The problem with KERS is that its so badly underspecced to start with that they had to raise the base weight of the cars by 20kg this year just to make it viable, it just doesnt produce enough power for long enough to offset the weight and packaging penalty.

The 2014 rules will have double the power for, I believe, double the time from various sorces (not just rear braking like now) and thats how it should have been from the start.

38

love these pieces of journalism, especially in the close season.

39

Interesting article in general but the comments that Red Bull are gaining from the EBD in particular.

Has anyone estimated how much pace will be lost with EBD as how much more it will affect Red Bull than the other teams?

Also, the comment that Vettel gains the most from this in Q3 is intriguing – does that mean he does something special with the throttle to gain time, or does it just mean the Red Bull car makes the most of the technique?

40

I suspect it means that they have a Q3 engine mode available which gives extra downforce, but carries penalties either in engine wear or excessive exhaust temperature which means it can be used only for a couple of laps.

I too would be very interested in hearing more on this – but as James made clear above, he’s still trying to find out the details.

41

Basically engine maps are now locked in once you leave the garage in Q1. Whatever the engine does; you cannot change anymore.

You can change fuel modes but this is just to feed more fuel for more power or decrease fuel for less; or depending on cooling requirements. You cannot turn on/off the off-throttle stuff after Q1.

42

But that was outlawed from Germany onwards, so the modes had to be the same in Q and race.

43

This was something I was never clear on. Is there a single engine mode used across both qualifying and the race, or a number of presets that the driver can switch between, in the same way that fuel mix, brake bias, etc, can be changed on the fly?

I guess what I’m getting at is, could you have a ‘Qualifying’ engine mode which, though available in the race, would not be used?

44

Daft question here, but what exactly is limited? I thought drivers could still alter modes within the car during the race to save fuel etc? Could it be something as simple as Red Bull have a fuel setting that is more extreme than other teams that would never get used during the race?

45

But the drivers can still select different fuel maps during the race, can’t they? I never did quite understand what the difference was between a mode and a map.

46

There are special techniques which you can use, to drive the car in a way that you benefit the most out of the additional downforce of the EBD.

47

Could it be something as simple as rebalancing the car? I don’t know how much work can be done on the wing settings between the end of qualifying and the start of the race. Presumably EBD would make the car tend to understeer? However, what Red Bull could do that others couldn’t is the big mystery!

48

Hi Stephen. To be 100% honest with you; being an engineer myself (or I used to be one, anyways) I was rather surprised that there was much to be gained with the advent of off-throttle blowing; because the whole point is that the system is giving 100% the whole time.

But what I did notice in early 2010; as did several others such as Mark Hughes and Pat Symonds; was what some drivers did before off-throttle blowing. Before off-throttle blowing, if you had your foot on the floor; then you had more downforce. Lift; and you have less downforce. Rear downforce, that is.

Rear downforce is good mainly for 2 things – stability; and traction. Traction being grip to accelerate in a straight line. With stability there’s not much you can do; as you’re usually lifting on entry; or braking. With no off-throttle; on entry; you just have the downforce that other cars have.

But what happened was that some drivers; of which the most extreme was Mark Webber; was that he started braking very late, very deep into corners, and getting the car turned very quickly; and stamping on the throttle; basically a “late apex” in racing nomenclature. What this does is it maximizes the time you are on throttle on the exit; and so you gain traction there. That was one of the reasons that Mark was kicking Seb’s arse last year.

49

The EBD increases the performance of the floor as an aerodynamic surface, so the balance depends on where the centre of pressure of the floor is relative to the rest of the car and the centre of mass. Even without the EBD, Red Bull demostrated that it had a pretty good floor in 2009. The EBD just makes it more effective.

I suspect it is more a matter of feel and performance of the floor as the car pitches under braking. Feel is a big thing, and certain changes help particular drivers more.

Cheers,

Martin

50

Judging by Silverstone the loss of the EBD will effect McLaren more than anyone else. However, all the teams have known it was going since about May, maybe even earlier, so the 2012 cars have all been designed around not having it, making such comparisons and estimates futile.

51

Yes, taking the EBD off the Mclarens at Silverstone, made their deficit to the RBR’s, the same as in winter testing, 1.3 secs iirc.

52

Not totally futile – it would certainly be interesting to a techie like me – but the received wisdom is that Red Bull had concentrated more on the EBD than other areas so have the most to lose and the most work to do on other areas to catch up.

The feeling I got all season was that the main area the Red Bull wins out is aero performance while the McLaren has better chassis dynamics. I don’t know who else is working at RB but relying too much on Adrian Newey at the expense of the mechanical handling of the car may cause them problems if there aren’t aero tricks they can exploit.

53

For starters, the chief aerodynamicist at Red Bull is Rob Marshall. Newey has more of an architecturl influence that covers mechanical design as well.

F1 is very aerodynamics dependent. There are chassis variations that lead to tyre use, but performance wise the effect is pretty small. In an article that Frank Dernie was involved in, he said that the best way to improve first gear corner traction was to improve downforce. Suspension design is relatively unimportant. F1 cars run wishbone angels to the horizontal that are determined by the aerodynamic design, not the mechanical effect. They are nothing like what road cars have, primarily because the camber control is relativel unimportant. The biggest suspension component by a long way is the tyre.

There are mechanical philosophies that influence tyre usage and that shows up most in extreme conditions. Red Bull – to quote Webber – chose to go a different direction for dry track tyre management and that is why the wet track performance hasn’t been as good as it was in China 2009.

The McLaren aerodynamic philosophy requires greater ride height control than the Red Bull or Ferrari need. Therefore the McLarens jump around more under brakes, and this possibly contributes to the relatively slow pace early in races – especially for Button, compared to how he goes at the end. The hard springs, and the camber and toe-in also work the tyres more, so it is probably a case that this helps turn the hard tyres on more. This choice is about heat management and through that getting performance over a stint rather than one lap pace.

Cheers,

Martin

54

Well, each team will know roughly how much time the EBD gave them and so how much they lose with its ban, but since many of the cars were designed around the feature they wont lose exactly that much time and the new ones will be optimised around a different concept, which is where my futile comment comes in. I should also point out that the EBD gives its best effect in slow to medium speed corners but we’ve seen Red Bull open its wing in qualy through high speed corners where nobody else could and they wont lose that kind of performance next year.

Considering the performance of the RB at Monaco, Montreal, Singapor and Monza, bumpy tracks with high kerbs, there’s nothing wrong with their car mechanically. If anything McLaren have got weeker in that department.

Anyone that thinks Red Bull might struggle next year is in for a shock.

55

James,

Thanks – great article. One wonders, say 10 years down the road, will engines in F1 still be made with something called metal, or will they be using some sort of new material, sitting in some lab somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. I do remember when the ceramic pistons came into F1, didn’t last very long, but now, it seems forever.

In your view, how much of this new Tec on the engines finds its way into our road cars, and how long does it take to make that sort of break through?

56

Ceramic engines would be interesting. As they don’t conduct heat (wasted energy).

From memory didn’t Toyota look into this (not the F1 team) that produced twice the HP of a conventional engine.

The problem was it was too brittle.

“In the early 1980s, Toyota researched production of an adiabatic engine using ceramic components in the hot gas area. The ceramics would have allowed temperatures of over 3000°F (1650°C). The expected advantages would have lighter materials, no or reduced cooling system, and hence a major weight reduction. The expected increase of fuel efficiency of the engine (caused by the higher temperature, as shown by Carnot’s theorem) could not be verified experimentally; it was found that the heat transfer on the hot ceramic cylinder walls is higher than the transfer to a cooler metal wall. Obviously the cooler gas film on the metal surface works as a thermal insulator. Thus, despite all of these desirable properties, such engines have not succeeded in production because of costs for the ceramic components and the limited advantages. (Small imperfections in the ceramic material with its low fracture toughness lead to cracks, which can lead to potentially dangerous equipment failure.) Such engines are possible in laboratory settings, but mass production is not feasible with current technology”

57

Well those were the 80s. Materials research and manufacturing processes have come a very long way since then and ceramic materials are sure worth another look.

In Formula-1-engine manufacturers have banned “exotic materials”, so don’t expect too much innovation there.

I guess that ceramic materials may be better suited to “range extender”-engines (generators) for plug-in-electric-hybrid cars, as these engines may operate with constant revs on their sweet spot.

58

We have had Ceramic brakes in F1 for some time, and they are now in most top end cars as standard. There was a short program on a F1 about a carbon fibre prop shaft been tested and compared to a metal one on TV recently, and it showed that it was a lot strong and better suited to the job, than the metal one. Plus a lot lighter. Also from the program easier to make it appears.

It may sound pretty stupid and hard to get ones head around it, but a carbon fibre engine block? If you take it back to originals then a piece of cloth can become an engine block.

As I have a few grey hairs, I do remember when normal cars had an aluminium head on a steel block, which made up the total engine. People said it would never work, but now most cars have this.

59

I have another post on that

60

James,

I very much look forward to reading that, and seen what is coming down the line in new materials for engines. I have noticed some concepts used in F1 have made it across to road cars. Paddle shift for one.

Back to another question, do you know why or what was sprayed on the front wings of the Ferrari in the last race. Only it seems that Ferrari did this, when they showed other teams pit stops, they didn’t do this. So was this to stop “marbles” from sticking on this new front wing, which happen to Lewis’s car a few races back.

61

Good stuff James. Have you any idea how much new engine development is going to cost?

I would assume that part of the reason RB and Ferrari have quit FOTA is to enable them to spend huge bundles on the new engine race, which must be well under way now.

62

RB don’t build their own engines…

63

Yes interesting insight James. Obviously more to come from that direction. Really would be interesting to know exactly what Vettel was doing in Q3, but I expect the engine boffins are already aware of the possibilities.

64

I would feel confident that everyone of the masterminds inside the sport (other than RBR) are trying to figure out Seb’s tricks too! 🙂

65

A masterful piece of writing James. Some of your insights are the best around, proper journalism. Thank you.

66

Hamilton passed Vettel because Vettel’s tyres were finished because RBR screwed up his strategy and Hamilton was 1.5 seconds a lap faster on fresher tyres.

KERS schmers, DRS schmeRS.

67

Hamilton’s tyres were 7 laps fresher, that is why Vettel was caught. But this item is about how Hamilton passed him, which was clever and involved KERS

68

i enjoyed reading this as I do other articles of yours that I don’t comment on.

I am sure you know this anyhow but just wanted to post to re-affirm that, while the narrative of clever and racing are areas non-fans and detractors don’t accept when applied to Hamilton, those of us who enjoy his driving appreciate the odd article that expouses what we see.

This coming from Mercedes just confirms the insider knowledge that does not always get released to/via media – for me Korea was Hamilton’s best drive this season (& it was encouraging for it to come towards the end of a bad year) but if we analyse too deeply the reasons for this then it just breaks too many preconceptions – better to focus on the one error he made in the race- (an error he probably would have had an opportunity to rectify had the second Mclaren stepped up just that bit more).

Did Mercedes provide any information for Rosberg/Schumacer or even Paul/Sutil? I ask because Schumacher for instance carried out a lot of overtakes/defensive driving it would be interesting to know how use of kers compares amongst drivers – obviously, not every instance but specific headline instances like with Hamilton’s 2 examples.

69

Exactly.

I also don’t think enough was made of the RBR kers which, as I understand, was a’ mini-kers’ that didn’t deliver the full power output allowed but was smaller and lighter. This often put them (read: Webber) at a disadvantage in racing situations.

What I would like to see is a 2 or even a 3 lap ‘reset’ time for kers rather than each lap as we have now (ie 14 seconds for 2 laps rather than 7 seconds each lap). This would increase the strategic element of using it significantly.

Might also mean you could ditch DRS! Hey, there’s an idea in it’s own right… 🙂

70

@ James – All things being equal, are you saying that Hamilton would not pass Vettel without KERS in the same point of reference on the track?

71

Yes.

Hamilton could *never* pass Vettel unless he had a significant mechanical advantage, which he did at the time. Namely KERS and grip.

Interesting article James but the Hamilton thing has holes all through it.

72

Hi James,

Both RBR cars did not have working KERS in the first few races this years, did they?

73

They had a KERS Lite system, I wrote about it in Australia describing it as a ‘Start Only’ system. They denied it but one of the key guys later admitted it was broadly true.

74

How is engine development frozen but parts are sitting on the Dyno being tested?

75

They are allowed to develop for “reliability”

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