Key practice points:
F1 makes first trip to Austria since 2003; two 90 minute practice sessions get action underway
Track challenges the limits of the Power Units with long straights and few corners
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel highest-classified Renault-powered car with sixth in FP2
Rémi Taffin, head of track operations:
‘The running conducted confirmed our simulations: it’s a very quick lap so the Power Units are under a lot of pressure.’
An interesting first day at the Red Bull Ring. The running conducted confirmed our simulations: it’s a very quick lap so the Power Units are under a lot of pressure. We peaked at over 300kph on the pit straight and then again on the three other straights – reaching these kinds of speeds four times in just over one minute places a lot of load through both the ICE and turbo.
As expected the altitude also plays a role in engine management systems – at over 700m above sea level the turbocompressor is working harder to pump the same volume of oxygen to the ICE. We have everything under control but it does need to be monitored to ensure the turbo does not meet maximum rotational speed and be stressed even further. We expect the weather to be hotter tomorrow with less cloud cover which could increase the speeds further so we conducted some tests to fully understand this phenomenon and prevent any potential issue.
Energy management is as predicted – pretty difficult with the lack of corners. The braking is not hard enough throughout the lap for the MGU-K to recharge the battery fully so we have to carefully watch the fuel consumption. Fortunately the consumption limit is not too critical here but we always try to minimize the fuel levels to lessen the overall weight of the cars.
Aside from a couple of calibration issues with Pastor and then an ES problem with Marcus we’ve had a positive day and gathered a lot of information to study overnight. We are hopeful of further improvement tomorrow.