10 October 2015
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 10, (3rd Practice – 18, 1:43.347)
“We were slower with the set-up we had in Q3 but we’ve learned which direction to go in for tomorrow, so that’s a positive. Even with a good lap, at this track, we were probably looking at ninth for quali at best, so we didn’t lose too much. We’ll do what we can in the race; we have some strong teams around us, but we will push. On a positive note, it’s good to hear that Carlos is doing well.”
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 11, (3rd Practice – 11, 1:41.358)
“I felt I did all I could this afternoon. Unfortunately, we only had one quick lap available on the last set of tyres so we had to go out a little bit later than we would have liked to. On the first timed lap I didn’t feel the tyres were ready and I could easily have improved on a second lap, because that was the pattern, but we just didn’t have time for a second push lap, so it’s a bit disappointing. Starting P11 is okay and at least it gives us a free tyre choice. I will fight hard and hope to finish in the points, which would be a good result. With Carlos, it was a bit scary at first, but then we saw him give the thumbs up. He’s a strong guy and I’m glad he’s okay.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “Firstly, it’s good to hear that Carlos is doing okay following his shunt in FP3. As for qualifying, we knew this track was going to be difficult for us as it doesn't play to the strengths of our car. Tenth and eleventh on the start grid represents where we are in the pecking order. Hopefully in the race we can make progress from those grid positions.”
Getting a Formula One car from drawing board to grid involves a huge amount of expertise. In this series we’ll talk to some of the highly skilled people whose unique talents help the team to go racing. This race, Engine Assembly Technician, Bal Sira explains how some ‘girl power’ helps get the cars up to speed…
Basically I’m responsible for all of the Red Bull components that marry the engine to the chassis and the gearbox and I do that in liaison with the guys from Renault. That means elements such as the turbo, the clutch, the wiring loom, ERS components. There’s a lot!
Last year I was a mechanic on the car. I was the fourth ‘bolt’ on Seb’s car but I moved across to this job for this season and obviously that was a big change.
To build the engine is fairly complex. We start from really deep down in the turbo and work from there. If anything goes wrong, you’ve got a long way back as it’s about three hours to build that bit of the unit. In total the power unit is probably a six-hour build.
What has happened over the past year is that the process of getting the power unit into the car has become a lot quicker. If we had to get an engine in and out of the car last year it was a really long process but this year I think we’ve got it down to about one hour and 40 minutes, which is very good. It’s a much more mechanic-friendly car now.
Having said that, these power units are pretty complex and we cycle through various elements, so with all those components it can get quite complicated in terms of what’s being used when. The fairly simple solution is that all the engines have names as it really helps to keep track of where we are with them. This weekend we’re using Holly and Anna.
The job is more interesting one for me, for sure. It’s a lot busier but it feels like you’re getting at the heart of the car and also I’m working with the gearbox guys, the hydraulics guys, the designers back at the factory, a lot with Renault, and working closely together with all those departments is a really interesting part of the job. It’ss good feeding back to the factory as well and over the year we build up a wish list of things we think could be improved based on how easy we find it to work on the cars; what has been too time consuming, what’s been tricky to work around and so on.
In all, I’d say it’s been an interesting year, if not the easiest one. If I had to pick the toughest point I would say that doing the rapid engine change on Daniel’s car in Monza between FP3 and qualifying was the most intense. We had a couple of power unit changes that weekend and it did get quite chaotic, but we got there in the end!