giovedì 20 aprile 2017

The performance analysis of the Bahrain Gran Prix


A weekend that did not seem to be too promising on Saturday, has turned on Sunday in a daydream for every Ferrari fan!
So, let's find out what the hidden details that made that this Grand Prix.

For first we have to make a brief reference to the characteristics of the circuit.
In general, the track is very stressful for the PU as the fuel consumption must be kept under control. In the first sector is very important the traction and the engine, given the presence of two straight and two very narrow series of angled curves in which successfully download the power to the ground is crucial.
The second sector requires good traction, but in general downforce is the prevailing factor. Therefore it is the most driven intermediate, where it's essential to have the right aerodynamic balance to have a faster and more efficient car in the corners and in the quick changes of direction.
The third sector, with its long straights, the straight-line efficiency (PU and Cx) is the only really important element.

A first interesting date of this weekend is the comparison with the times recorded in the last year's qualifying. In a track where the efficiency in the straight relies heavily, the bigger frontal surface of these cars (larger wings and wider tires) is made definitely feel and did not allow significant improvements, in particoular Mercedes and Ferrari gained less than a second.

Turning now in  the real analysis it's always important to have a look at the comparison between the ideal lap (given by the sum of the best sectors) and the real time in Q3. 
We note that in general the drivers have not deviated much from their best performance. Interesting to see that Hamilton had actually the potential (for only 30 milliseconds) to grab the pole against Bottas. 
Another detail that can be seen from this graph is the important gap between the teams, with a detachment of the last classified in Q3 of about 2 and a half seconds compared to Bottas.

Staying always on "gap," let 's have a look at the chart that displays the percentage of detachment from the pole of the two most competitive teams  (Ferrari and Red Bull).
The small exploits of Ferrari is well known by all, and after I will give you my interpretation. 
The positive trend of the Red Bull on the other hand has not been much noticed. The car from the philosophy "low drag" has managed to contain the gaps despite the handicap risaputi French power unit.
To give an explanation, at the Ferrari's small exploits in qualifying, it's important to look at what are the improvements between the second and third qualifying session.
From Q2 to Q3, as we well know, teams switch to the most aggressive PU's mappings, speaking in terms of both internal combustion engine and especially of the electrical system, with a greater exploitation of the MGU-H and the MGU-K. 
Usually the transition to more aggresive engine maps leads to improvements in the order of 8 tenths, as we can see in this case for Mercedes.
However, looking at the three Ferrari's motorized we can notice that they were the ones with the lowest improvement delta.
Therefore, by joining this numerical data to the PU substitutions occurred on both Ferraris prior the qualification, (you can find the table of the components used by each driver at the bottom of the page) is easy to understand that Ferrari they simply choseed to not use the most aggressive engine maps in order to avoid the risk of breakage.
Another element that confirms this theory is that in Q2 the gap between Ferrari and Mercedes was only 40 cents ... it would have been rather strange that the gap had turned into four tenths if both teams had switched to qualifying maps!

Many people spoke about a Ferrari with more aerodynamic load than Mercedes to have an advantage during the race, and said that because of this choice, Ferrari wasn't not able to be truly effective in qualifying. 
This consideration is certainly true, but this higher load is not a handicap in fast tracks, and the maximum speeds at the speed traps confirm it.
Ferrari turns out to be aerodynamic loaded from the point of view of the front section, it is true, but in reality this does not damage the speeds on the straights. 
The use of a rake attitude, allows it to be able to travel with more downforce in the curves but then lower in the straights, reducing the incidence of the wings.
This lowering, accompanied by the lowering of the front flaps, closes the picture of a car that from what has emerged until now, seems to have a great aerodynamic efficiency (ratio between Cx and Cz). These characteristics lead to lower fuel consumption and a better behavior on the tires during the race.
Further confirmation of this choice for qualifying comes and also of the design philosophy of the car is given to us by the graph in which is reported the speed gained from the finish line till the speed trap. 
The electrical system of the PU in fact offers great improvements of performance during the accelerations. But when they reach the top speeds, and therefore beyond 300km /h the contribution of the electrical system becomes almost irrelevant and speeds starts to not get higher.
We can note, therefore, that, after passing nder the finish line with slower speeds due both the bigger front section and the less aggressive mapping, Ferrari gained more than Mercedes (remember that in F1 3 km / h are not !).
All thanks endothermic unit that had more chance of working, not having had a big contribution by the electric, but also thanks to the lowering of the car which takes place at high speeds.

Mercedes instead runs with less load , because they are looking for straight smoothness (note the spoon wing) and they probably try to get downforce from their larger floor and larger caarbody ; both results of the choice of the longer wheelbase. A design philosophy diametrically opposite to Ferrari's one.
Design philosophy that has some flaw point and tends to make work a lot (maybe too much) the tires, creating problems in with the low working range compounds (for example the supersoft in Sunday's race).
The analysis of the sectors in the comparison between Ferrari and Mercedes is therefore uninteresting and not significant in this grand prix. 
Generally by analyzing them it emerges only a faster Ferrari in the mixed and less effective in the fast sectors (+ load but - acceleration).
The same situation of Red Bull, who trying not to lose on the straights, has to run with les downforce. In this way it loses a lot of speed during cornering, as can be seen from the speed in the second sector (detection placed immediately after curve 12). The situation at Red Bull is difficult to interpret now and perhaps we could clarify it only after in the next races. 
It's important no mention Renault's performance , which managed to get both cars in Q3, despite a strong differentiation of set up between the drivers. In fact Palmer seems to have been with really more downforce than Hulkenberg; a choice that did not then paid in comparison with his team mate. In general it is a result given by Renault's characteristic of having not much downforce a thing that can help in this kind of circuit.

For the moment it is all. See you in Russia, where I will try to reveal more details about the clash between Mercedes and Ferrari. 
Bye and always pushing keeep !!! 😉
(Excuse me for the not perfect english translation but it's the first time that I translate one of my analysis, so I hope that you enjoyed it my english friends!!)

                                          GRAPHICS ON RACE 

3 commenti:

  1. Grazie for posting this in English Gianluca.

    1. Thanks to you for reading it Paul!!😉


    (Great job buddy, so glad you now offer your content in English!)