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February 4th, 2016, 05:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post

In other news, Bernie Ecclestone pictured here...

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February 5th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #12
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Mercedes has hinted that it is on course to deliver good gains with its benchmark 900bhp+ Formula 1 engine in 2016, with the company insisting there is no 'stopping' its scope for improvement.

The German car manufacturer's power unit has been the class of the field since the new turbo era came into force in 2014, and it has secured back-to-back championship doubles.

Although Mercedes' rivals may have hoped that the Silver Arrows had reached the limit of potential with hybrid V6 technology, engine chief Andy Cowell said on Friday that their engine still has plenty more to deliver.

"We've made some huge gains in the last years as we have done the development," he explained during a briefing with media at Mercedes' Brixworth facility on Friday.

"We have good gains over the past two years of racing. I don't see that stopping. I don't think anybody here sees that we have reached the limit.

"Where we are at today with our thermal efficiency is mind blowing when you step back and look at it."
Thermal efficiency

The new fuel-efficient F1 regulations have put a premium on thermal efficiency, which is effectively the amount of energy produced against the fuel delivered.

The more efficient the engine is, then the more power can be produced from a formula where fuel capacity and fuel flow rate are strictly controlled.

Cowell confirmed that the Mercedes engine was now delivering in excess of 900bhp.

Mercedes believes its power unit was delivering more than 45 percent thermal efficiency last year – and a graph shown to journalists suggested that the step being prepared for 2016 could be as big a leap forward as the team made between 2014 and 2015.

Cowell would not elaborate on the specific data to confirm that is the size of jump expected, but did hint that big chunks of power were still being unlocked.

"It will continue to go up," he said. "Does it get harder to find gains? Yes it does. But there are lots of areas where small gains will come.

"It is a bit like gold mining, you work bloody hard, you get lots of dust and now and again, you get a nice big nugget that makes you smile. And we still find those nuggets…."

He added: "Thermal efficiency is going up, from where we were in 2014 we took a good step up for 2015 – and perhaps it is going to go up in 2016.

"It is definitely going to go up in the future as well because nobody has said that we have reached the limit here. When I walk around the factory I never hear people say that is the best we can do, that is optimum…"
Honda threat

Despite optimism about the Mercedes unit, Cowell is well aware that rivals were chasing them hard, and even reckoned Honda needed to be watched closely.

"If we look at what Ferrari has done over the last 12 months, it's remarkable," Cowell said. "Their improvements have been a huge credit to their reshuffle and their enthusiasm.

"Everybody here is going 'I wonder how we're going to do?' Nobody here is assuming we are going to win, everybody here is assuming that we're going to get beaten by Ferrari, and Honda are a big threat.

"They have come in quickly and they are learning in front of the public but they're hugely determined and partnered with McLaren who are hugely determined.

"We know exactly how McLaren work in terms of a data-driven approach, so they are going to make some big, big gains.

"Renault's determination as well, as they've shown by being a lot more involved now in Formula 1, instead of just being a power unit provider there has been a team restructuring. There are going to be some great stories to talk about."
Mercedes: "No stopping" our engine gains for 2016

I've been telling the idiot F1 fanboys since 2014 started that Mercedes engine advantage was not going to be beaten since they would have designed the engine with upgrade potential in mind. While it's always possible another team(s) will win a grand prix in 2016, I'm expecting to see Mercedes finally bag the elusive season sweep that no team has managed to do yet. A lot of people still don't seem to understand that this advantage Mercedes has is not going away any time soon.

For me the only real question mark for this year is what does Nico Rosberg do.
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February 9th, 2016, 04:58 AM   #13
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Interesting read about why Mercedes doesn't believe in Honda's "Size Zero" concept that they are holding onto.

ormula 1's engine manufacturers have opted for significantly different design concepts for their 2016 power units. But which approach will pay off? Jonathan Noble looks at the differences.

The importance of engine performance in Formula 1 has been clear even since the new turbo regulations came into force.

So it is little wonder that, ahead of the third year of the hybrid rules, the battleground between the manufacturers is as intense as it has ever been.

What is perhaps more surprising, though, is that there remain some fundamental concept design differences between how Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda have approached maximising the power available from 100kg of fuel at a maximum flow rate of 100kg per hour.
Architectural differences

At one end of the spectrum is Mercedes, which has famously split its turbo so the compressor is at one end of the engine and the turbine at the other.

Then there is the Honda approach, with the Japanese manufacturer having also split it turbo but having decided to position both parts within the V-bank for space reasons.

In the middle ground so far have sat Ferrari and Renault, neither of whom have elected to go down either extreme solution just yet.

However, there are suggestions that Ferrari is set to introduce a double intercooler system this year – one in the chassis (like Mercedes) and the second at the left side of the engine behind the radiators.
Mercedes design success

Judging by performance, it is clear that advantages of the Mercedes concept are worth pursuing, while Honda paid the price last year for its compressor being too small.

But, with Honda adamant that a larger turbine and compressor – still within the V-bank to achieve 'size zero' – can be turned in to a Mercedes-beater, there are some fascinating times ahead.

But is Honda right, or is Mercedes correct that its own philosophy – which it thinks will require ever bigger turbines in the future to maximise power output – the best way to keep winning in F1?
Chasing gains

Last week, Mercedes invited a select group of media to a briefing from its engine chief Andy Cowell, where he opened up about some of the design innovations of its power unit.

And although the split turbo and compressor was not the only reason Mercedes has been successful, Cowell acknowledged that the design had played an important part in its delivering the benchmark power unit.

"I don't think it was over-played," he said. "Is it the silver bullet? I think it is something where there are lots of positive contributors that go into it to make that comment.

"It is not done for one reason. There were many reasons that go together; to make it something that we think is still attractive.

"I think the thing that goes against it, is it is bloody hard! In the whole debate, there wasn't one big reason why we should do it, but there were lots of medium sized reasons why we should do it: on the contra side of the table – it was, 'bloody hell how are we going to do this?' Which is the 1000 pound gorilla in the room.

"There was nothing that said it couldn't be done, it just hadn't been done. But it makes it quite fun doesn't it?"
Not copied

It did not take long for Mercedes' secret to get out of the bag in 2014, which prompted many to think that rivals would quickly copy the idea.

That it did not happen is no major surprise to Cowell though, who thinks that there are a multitude of factors that contribute to why each manufacturer has gone down different routes.

"We are all in the same race but everybody has got slightly different efficiencies, slightly different views, slightly different supply levels of vertical integration, or different suppliers," he said.

And perhaps, most crucially, the sizing of various components can be dictated by just how successful each manufacturer is at extracting energy out of its system.

Speaking about the sizing of the turbo, Cowell said: "You need to think about championship points.

"And how you get championship points is on a Sunday afternoon and not in qualifying. So you need to do analysis – what is the ratio of importance between those things?

"Is it about being on the front of the grid but then struggling for energy on lap two, or is it about making sure that you can run a real solid race? That is something that all manufacturers need to balance out. That can skew the way you size the turbo.

"And then it is down to the level of efficiency you are going to achieve from all the bits in that loop. If you think that the electric machine cannot be that efficient then there is no point having a big turbine that is just going to put the energy in to that machine.

"If you think that the two lots of power electronics are not going to that efficient, or the MGU-K is not going to be that efficient, then you don't bother there.

"The lap simulation is based on what is the power than the K adds to the crank. So if you think you have get 100KW from the turbine in to the MGU-H, but you are only going to have 50 by the time you get there, and you look at the weight of all the cooling systems to deal with that wasted 50, then that is going to start impacting your design."
Gains to come

Perhaps most intriguingly is that while some had hoped Mercedes would be hitting a performance ceiling with its engine, it has instead spoken about decent gains still being found.

And, with thermal efficiency currently around 45 percent, it believes there is plenty of scope left for big improvement in getting more out of the 1240 KW of energy that is theoretically available for a full tank of fuel.

To give an indication of how much technology has moved on, when KERS was first tested in 2007, it weighted 107kg and had an efficiency of 39 percent.

During the first tests for the new-for-2014 ERS, the systems weighed 24kg and were 80 percent efficient.

Now, they are bang on 20kg and 95 percent efficient.

Such strides mean that there is more and more energy up for grabs: which means that the turbines and compressors may need to be made bigger to cope with the extra power available.

When asked if it was logical that as efficiency improved, the turbine got bigger, Cowell said: "Yeah. Two areas are going to improve, the efficiency of the ICE is going to go up and up and up every year, and the efficiency of that turbo is going to go up.

"That means the turbine sizing number is going to go up as long as it is not stealing from the engine."

In Mercedes' case, Cowell confirmed that its turbine had got bigger year on year – helping deliver more power.

Had that compressor and turbine size been restricted to the inside of the engine, like the Honda is, then the scope for making it larger is not there – as it will no longer deliver the advantages that size zero supposedly brings along.

It is clear that Mercedes' vision of what's needed in F1 and what Honda believes is right are very different.

But the answer to who is right will have to wait until the cars hit the track.
Analysis: Why Mercedes doesn't believe in Honda's size zero concept
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February 12th, 2016, 07:29 AM   #14
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Sergio Marchionne is hinting at Alfa Romeo possibly making a return to Formula 1 as a full-fledged team. We haven't seen an Alfa Romeo team since the mid-80s when they fielded their ghastly 185T in 1985. They supplied engines for a couple of more years after that, but their heyday was in the early 50s with Juan Manuel Fangio. The last time an Alfa Romeo engine even won a Formula 1 grand prix was in 1978 with Carlo Chiti's Flat 12 in the back of the Brabham BT46 in 1978. A piggish 12 cylinder engine that was never identical from one engine to the next, but it did have power, and it sound like sex.

Marchionne: Alfa Romeo F1 return would be with own team

Sergio Marchionne has revealed his vision for a Ferrari-backed Alfa Romeo team in Formula 1 to help boost the Italian road car company's image. revealed last year that discussions took place between Red Bull and Ferrari about the Milton Keynes-based team running rebadged 'Alfa Romeo' engines as early as this season.

However, due to a number of factors the talks collapsed and Red Bull instead elected to stick with Renault power units for another year.
Ongoing push

Ferrari chairman Marchionne has long held an ambition to get Alfa Romeo back to F1, and now has suggested it will be with its own team, in partnership with the Prancing Horse.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday about the frenzy caused by comments he made before Christmas about Alfa Romeo in F1, Marchionne said: "What frenzy? In order to restore their name they must consider returning to Formula 1. They would probably work with Ferrari."
Chassis plan

Marchionne has only previously suggested that he was in favour of the idea of Alfa Romeo's return to F1, but now has outlined how he would like to see the company do it.

And rather than it being a simple rebadging exercise, he sees it as a much bigger project.

"Alfa Romeo are capable of making their own chassis, just like they are capable of making their own engine," he said.

Although his comments would suggest a standalone project, the price of developing an engine would potentially be prohibitive to the project, so it would be more likely the outfit would take a customer Ferrari engine.

While an Alfa Romeo-Ferrari team may be an unthinkable partnership for some, Marchionne thinks it wrong to rule anything out.

"People struggled to imagine Red Bull working with Ferrari!" he said. "I say that because people criticise me for not giving them an engine.

"I agree with people that say that Red Bull were too tough on their engine suppliers, but in the end this sport must continue.

"The important thing is to have other large manufacturers enter the sport."
Not sportscars

Marchionne is clear on one thing, however: that Alfa Romeo's racing return would be in F1 rather than other high-profile racing categories.

When asked about the possibility of Alfa Romeo racing at Le Mans, he said: "I would rather see them in F1."
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March 3rd, 2016, 07:47 AM   #15
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So Ferrari has debuted their version of the Halo protection system.

Fucking ghastly comes to mind.

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March 3rd, 2016, 08:08 AM   #16
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Surely they can't drive with that fucking thing on the front.

Is Raikkonen racing this year? He's the only driver I like but he's not been too good the last few years.
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March 3rd, 2016, 08:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AntG View Post
Surely they can't drive with that fucking thing on the front.

Is Raikkonen racing this year? He's the only driver I like but he's not been too good the last few years.
This is all being tested for 2017.

Red Bull will be debuting their own protection system in the next month or so, but it won't be a halo structure. It's more of an actual canopy that was designed so as not to have any vision impediment.

Raikkonen is under contract with Ferrari till the end of this year. I suspect he'll be gone after this.
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March 9th, 2016, 07:37 AM   #18
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Was rewatching the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix last night for the umpteenth time. It's one of my favorite races period, and tends to be considered one of the 5 greatest grand prixs ever run. It was simply an improbable race. The 1981 Ferrari 126CK was the Scuderia's first turbocharged effort. They had tested out two different C engine configurations at Long Beach 1981. One was the 126CX which was a 1.6L V6 with a Comprex Supercharger. They settled on the 126CK which was running KKK turbochargers. The engine produced anywhere from 550HP upwards of 600HP. It was the most powerful engine in 1981, unfortunately, the 126CK was all engine. Unfortunately even the engine was not driveable as it experienced massive turbo lag before all the power would come on instantly, causing the car to want to commit suicide into whatever obstacle lined the side of the circuit.

The chassis was ghastly, which was inexplicable given Mauro Forgheri and Harvey Postlethwaite designing the car. It had 1/4 the downforce that every other car on the grid had, which meant it was good for nothing more than a straight line....unless of course, you happened to have Gilles Villeneuve as your pilot. Monaco being a narrow street circuit that seems to be an impossible place to host a grand prix motor race, favors high downforce packages due to the abundance of low speed corners. A lap around Monaco is one of the most difficult given there is no margin for error.

In spite of this circuit being suited for every car but the Ferrari, Gilles Villeneuve put the car 2nd on the grid in qualifying only behind future 1981 world champion Nelson Piquet's Brabham. Villeneuve's teammate Didier Pironi could only muster up a best of 16th on the grid. When the lights went out on May 31st, 1981, Nelson Piquet and 1980 World Champion, Alan Jones in the Williams moved into P1 and P2 respectively, and Piquet opened up a massive gap on Jones. It looked to be an easy victory for Piquet. That was until lap 53 when a lapse in concentration sent Piquet into the barriers in the harbor. Alan Jones then took over P1 with a huge lead on now 2nd place runner Gilles Villeneuve. The cool collected Jones only had 25 laps to go before collecting victory and important world championship points. On lap 67 disaster hit Alan Jones and he pulled into the pit to deal with a fuel vaporisation issue. He managed to get back out onto the circuit still in the lead, but Villeneuve had cut the gap down. He continued to get closer and closer to Jones, swarming all over his gearbox till finally on lap 72, on the start/finish straight, he went for the overtake on Alan Jones to the right, with mere inches to spare to the pit wall and made it stick heading into the right-hander at St. Devote. Gilles being a resident of Monaco had the crowd go ballistic when they saw him enter Casino Square in the lead. He would wind up taking the checkered flag on Jones by putting 40 seconds between them over the final 6 laps.

Here are two pictures from the race, the first is of Gilles harrying Alan Jones on lap 70 or 71 on the entrance to Mirabeau. The second is in Casino Square with Gilles firmly in the lead with his foot down to the floor.

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March 9th, 2016, 08:00 AM   #19
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COTA announced today that Taylor Swift will perform at the USGP this year, and that no one will get their shoes dirty!!
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March 9th, 2016, 08:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
COTA announced today that Taylor Swift will perform at the USGP this year, and that no one will get their shoes dirty!!
Even less reason to hang around after the race.
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