Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Why Is Red Bull So Fast In Qualifying Compared To Race??

It is a variety of issues that makes the Red Bull have such a big gap in qualifying only for that advantage to be dwarfed come race, with the most crucial about to be nullified.

In qualifying low fuel weight the RB7 is in its optimal aerodynamic configuration.The flexible front wing is lowest down to the track at the perfect level. With more weight on the rear axle because of more fuel the car is aerodynamically compromised by pushing the back down while lifting the front wing up loosing the advantage.

Another advantage in qualifying is the rear wing. The superiority in speed traps suggests the Red Bull can gain 17 km/h with wing open with McLaren just 12 km/h. Since the wing in qualifying can be open everywhere, while in the race only in one place, and then only if one is close behind another car, the influence of an efficient wing is greatly increased in qualifying.

Playing their part in qualifying are the characteristics of the Pirelli tyres, new also this year. The Red Bull brings the tyre quickly in her working window making it ideal for short stints.

But according to Auto Motor und Sport the real secret lies in the choice of engine characteristics. In qualifying Renault's customers use the most aggressive mapping for the engine and the exhaust. The reports say the 2.4 litre Renault was designed specifically to produce an aerodynamic effect off-throttle, while others have struggled to adapt. "We lost several engines testing this," confirms Mercedes Norbert Haug.

In the race Red Bull drivers have to settle for moderate settings so that the engine and the exhaust aren't over worked. In the most extreme engine mode the combustion takes place with an open exhaust valve. The complete combustion pressure is directed into the exhaust, which would create overheating and reliability issues if tried over a race distance. In addition, the fuel consumption would increase with this setting by up to ten percent. The Red Bull would then have 15 kilos more fuel at the start, which would eat up the aerodynamic advantage gain.

The problem for the Red Bulls are the diffuser exhaust blowing is banned after Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix. The total ban of exhaust blowing could cost some Renault and also Ferrari-powered teams as much as eight tenths second per lap.

FIA president Jean Todt comments "It (exhaust blowing) is a pointless consumption of fuel." Auto Motor und Sport states the Renault engine is designed to be at open throttle when not accelerating, with Ferrari also at risk of reliability and driveability problems in the event of the ban. Specifically, Ferrari argues that it opens the valves in that situation to reduce pressure in the crankcase, while Mercedes and Cosworth have an entirely different approach to their valve workings.

The ban on exhaust blowing was planned before the Spanish Grand Prix. The delay until after Montreal was argued by Renault engine supplier on the grounds that, because of the basic architecture of the engine it creates a reliability issue.

We need something to stop Mr Vettel running away with the Championship and this could well be it as McLaren were already showing extreme competitiveness with the flying bulls in recent races.

Update: 
In the meeting with the technical working group and Charlie Whiting on Thursday Ferrari opposed a compromise set forward by Red Bull. Also of late Stefano Domenicali has spoken out on optimism of the ban helping kick start Ferrari's season. It appears then the information of Ferrari being one of the teams affected most was inaccurate.

Another change since article was wrote is Mercedes is expected to be affected as they have perfected the technique of late.

The 8/10ths has been cut to 3/10th to 5/10th by experts. As Martin Whitmarsh has said recently it has been a moving feast how much one team compared to the other is exploiting the hot blowing technique. 

See   Which Team Will Be Hit Hardest By Diffuser Ban
   
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