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F1 tests top speed analysis: cleanly top on the straight

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F1 tests top speed analysis
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I n the second test week of Barcelona the top speeds have increased slightly. That was due to the wind, more aggressive engine programs, energy management or, for one or the other, the lack of downforce. The top figure of Felipe Nasr in the new Sauber C35 with 346.1 km /h is an outlier. It should have been achieved in the slipstream.

The second best value of a Sauber lags significantly behind with 341.7 km /h. And yet it is noticeable that the Sauber is at the top on 3 out of 4 days. That gives the improved Ferrari engine a good testimonial. But it can also mean that the Sauber still lacks downforce. Like the Renault RS16, which follows in second place on the hit list at 341.7 km /h.

Mercedes and Ferrari almost tied

The top speeds in the second week were difficult to read. Many teams limited themselves to racing simulations and therefore only rarely drove with open DRS. This also had an impact on the engine programs and energy management. We heard that some teams didn't boost halfway down the home stretch. Then 163 hp are missing.

Mercedes and Ferrari ran largely similar programs over the last three days, so they should be quite comparable. The best value on the finish line was absolutely identical with 287.2 km /h. The top speed difference was only 2.1 km /h in favor of Mercedes.

The values ​​in the second week of testing also matched the speed increase between the finish line and the top speed measuring point. Then Mercedes came to 50.2 km /h, Ferrari 50.0 km /h. Ferrari has apparently done its homework on the engine.

The only suspicious thing is that Mercedes no longer achieved its values ​​from the first week in the test, but Ferrari has clearly improved. Actually, Mercedes should have been faster from day five. There was a fresh, more powerful engine in the car, and aerodynamically the car was complete. Didn't the Silver Arrows put all their cards on the table?

Strong employment bad for top speed

It is also interesting that the 3 most heavily employed cars in top speed -Table are far back. These are Red Bull, Force India and McLaren. We had a photo analysis carried out and found that the angle of attack of the three cars mentioned was almost 1.9 degreestwice as strong as the Mercedes. The Ferrari is right in between.

Red Bull, Force India and McLaren finish in 7th, 8th and 11th at the top speeds. Coincidence? Probably not. With the Red Bull and McLaren you could perhaps talk yourself out of a lack of engine power, but certainly not with the Force India with Mercedes power.

The different tank contents also have an influence on the speed. Measuring point 1 about 200 meters behind curve 3 is an indicator of how fast the car is coming out of the 220 km /h right-hand bend. Surprisingly, Sauber is also number 1 with 292.8 km /h, ahead of Red Bull and Force India with 291.1 km /h each. Ferrari and Mercedes land only in the middle with 285.7 and 282.7 km /h, respectively. And they are definitely not the slowest in the corners.

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