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Clean in technical bad luck: braking problems and electronics blackouts

Technology steals clean points
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S o It didn't look good for Sauber for a long time. Felipe Nasr started from 8th place, Marcus Ericsson from 11th place. Nasr was convinced. 'I would have easily finished sixth on the grid, but then had to take off the accelerator in the last two corners because Rosberg had spun.' But the Brazilian also knew that the brakes could be tight in the race.

He remembered the Canadian GP when his pits asked him to take the brakes off after just two laps. In the front left the temperature rose astronomically. For Austria, Sauber had taken precautions with modifications to the master brake cylinder. It should go better, especially with outside temperatures of only 15 degrees.

Everything went well up to lap 40. Nasr set course for ninth place. Then he heard the command on the radio again: 'Take care of the brakes. If you continue to drive like this, you won't reach the finish line.' The driver noticed it too. The pedal got longer and longer.

The brake ventilation has to run cleanly

The Brazilian was defenseless against the attacks of Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo. Not only because his hunters were on supersoft tires in the final. Nasr had to slow down and didn't come under 1.13 minutes. Team mate Marcus Ericsson, on the other hand, set 1.12 times in a row.

'To keep Ricciardo, Felipe would have had to go full throttle', regretted team manager Beat Zehnder. When the driver has to take care of his brakes, a vicious circle begins. Then not as much heat is radiated onto the front tires. The temperature in the carcass drops and the tires start to pebble.

The problem with the brakes is not that easy for Sauber to solve. The Swiss have been using Carbon Industries (CI) discs at the front for three races. They tolerate higher temperatures. With the Brembo discs you would be at the limit on courses like Monte Carlo, Montreal and Spielberg. Even if the drivers prefer the Italian material in terms of feeling. 'You can control the braking force better,' says Nasr.

The track will help in the next race at Silverstone. There is little braking there. But a solution is needed for Budapest, Spa, Monza and Singapore. And it's not easy. It is not enough just to make the ventilation shafts larger. The internal flow must also be right. The windshield cooling, the aerodynamics and the heat radiation on the rims because of.

ECU and engine face twicedead

Marcus Ericsson also had the speed to get into the points. But for the Swede the race was actually over after two laps. First he produced a jump start. The Sauber with the number 9 rolled up half a second too early. It wouldn't even have needed the detectors in the start box. The early start earned Ericsson a drive-through penalty, which he served on lap 12.

On the second lap, he also drove over wreckage that damaged the front wing and the underbody. The necessary repair stop on the second lap cost an extra 8 seconds. The Swede rolled out twice later in the race. The ECU turned out to be dead. No more display on the steering wheel, engine switched off.

Ericsson managed to restart the engine both times. In the hybrid age, this is possible without an external starter. The battery is constantly charged via the generator and it has so much voltage that you can start Formula 1 engines like a car from the cockpit. Now it is Ferrari's duty. The error was clearly in the control unit.


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