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Alarm at Mercedes and Renault because of Ferrari performance boost

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Alarm at Mercedes and Renault
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V ier races, the battery dispute was quiet. Now he's boiling up again. At the Monaco GP, Ferrari presented the FIA ​​with a solution with which illegal feeding in of more than the permitted 120 kilowatts (163 hp) can be ruled out. Ferrari had to change the software and hardware for this. The opponents had suspected that Ferrari, with the help of its split battery and a clever circuit, smuggled more electrical power past the FIA ​​sensor than allowed.

The latest power boost came in two bursts. A moderate one in Montreal, the big one in Spielberg. Since the Austrian GP, ​​Renault and Mercedes have once again measured suspicious performance data via GPS. According to their calculations, the Italians have increased from one race to the next 28 kilowatts (38 hp). 'You will normally find that much performance in two years.'

From the point that is no longer determined by traction, the scissors open. Until then, the speed graphs run in parallel. Then suddenly the red line for Ferrari moves away from the curves that stand for Mercedes and Renault. With Renault already at 150, with Mercedes only at 200 km /h. If you were to explain this phenomenon in terms of engine power alone, that would correspond to a difference of 28 kilowatts. In a first reflex, another trick was suspected with the energy release from the battery. The competition claims to have determined that Ferrari retrieves an energy of 4.4 megajoules per lap. 4.0 megajoules are permitted.

The MGU-K should therefore also feed 150 (204 hp) into the system instead of the permitted 120 kilowatts (163 hp). FIA race director Charlie Whiting asserts that all data analyzes have shown that Ferrari is operating in the legal area. The FIA ​​measures at two points. First the electrical power at the output of the battery, then the torque at the crankshaft. Both must match. That is the case with Ferrari. The assumption that Ferrari distributes its electrical power differently and prefers to access it in the second part of the straight than in the first makes little sense. Most of the lap time is gained in the first part of the acceleration phase. Apparently Ferrari doesn't have to make sacrifices either at the beginning of the straight or at the end. 'Above a certain speed we can no longer follow.'

Ferrari wins on the straights

Strangely enough, the big power boost at Ferrari did not occur immediately when the Spec2 drive was introduced at the GP Canada one, but only two races later in Austria.That would speak in favor of a software change, since the new hardware has already been in use for two races. At the Austrian GP it was determined that Ferrari had increased its performance exorbitantly on the first three straights of the Red Bull Ring in the power limited area, while at the end of the lap they were back to normal.

Same game in Silverstone , where the increase in power was mainly seen on the Wellington Straight and the full-throttle section before the Becketts curve. Ferrari's enigmatic performance explosion could be seen again at Hockenheim. The red cars made up four tenths on the Mercedes and eight tenths on the cars with Renault engines on all straights. The advantage not only helps Ferrari in the qualifying rounds. At Silverstone, Mercedes noted with concern that Ferrari operated significantly less de-rating in the race. This means switching to charging mode at the end of the straight. If you can avoid de-rating, you will obviously fill up the energy store at other points on the course. Which is difficult at Silverstone because of the few braking points.

The customer teams Sauber and HaasF1 only partially benefit from Ferrari's wonder engine. They took the first step in Canada, but not the second in Austria. Whatever Ferrari has found, it has to be in an area of ​​the drive system where the factory and the customer do not have to be identical.

Renault calls for standardized software

In the meantime we hear that the Ferrari coup has nothing to do with the electric power from the MGU-K. But what else is possible? A tricky reduction in air resistance in the DRS zones? If so, only Ferrari would benefit from it and not the customer teams. However, they also benefit from the latest power boost. HaasF1 has established itself as the fourth fastest car for a few races. And Sauber consistently qualifies with one car in the top ten.

So the secret lies in the drive, isn't it? Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff tried the elimination procedure: “Raikkonen is still driving the first engine specification, but is still faster on the straights. So it can't be the combustion engine. All Ferrari teams have only now changed the MGU-K and the battery. That excludes these components. ”That leaves only the turbocharger and the MGU-H. They were swapped at the Canadian GP.

Does Ferrari use the MGU-H more cleverly than the competition? This normally costs the combustion engine too much power due to the exhaust gas back pressure. That wouldn't explain 28 kilowatts. But perhaps Ferrari has found a way to reduce the power loss of the internal combustion engine. Renault sports director Cyril Abiteboul calls for standard software for energy management: “That would rule out any suspicion. If you cannot clearly determine whether a technique is legal or not, you have toUnify. '

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