April 04, 2014

F1 Practice: Bahrain 2014

"I don't understand any of it!" - Kid Kyviat (note: real quote)

Now THAT'S how you do a night race.  Forget the city-style tracks in Singapore and Abu Dhabi (particularly the back half), there in Bahrain they drop a race track in the middle of the desert, prop up a bunch of LED flashlights on ladders, wrap everything in Christmas tree light strands and hey presto!

I jest, but I am serious about one thing: it looks awful purty.

It also races differently than it has in the past.  Ambient air temps were about 30 degrees cooler during P2 than P1, which ran at roughly the same time as last year's race.  More importantly, the track surface is also dramatically cooler, which means it takes longer for the tires to come up to grip temps.  Which meant a lot of missed braking points, even more smoked rubber, and more than a few heading off towards the King Fahd Causeway, drivers madly attempting to bring their steeds under control.

Mercedes is still the class of the field, apparently because their turbocharger is cleft in twain, with the compressor at one end of the engine and the turbine at the other.  The two bits are joined together by a shaft that runs through the "V" of the cylinders.  Through whatever magic was used, this means less turbo lag.  It also moves more weight forward in the car body, requires less cooling, is biodegradable, will walk your dog, likes to cuddle, and is an all-around good egg.

Or something like that.  Of course, Williams and Force India get the same benefits, but since they haven't had the engines as long as the team that built them, their windfall has been less.  So far.  Surprisingly, Red Bull hasn't screamed about cheating yet.

There's still time.  Quals in the morning, though the writeup may not be until late afternoon... putting some time in at the store.  See you then.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:11 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I'm not an engineer, and I'm pretty sure my understanding of turbochargers is probably lacking, but I really do not understand how separating the compressor from the turbine would eliminate turbo lag.

Posted by: Ben at April 05, 2014 10:04 AM (Oftf2)

2 As I said: magic.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 05, 2014 04:24 PM (ecz6z)

3 I raced a go-kart in the dark, and it's was very difficult to hit turns. Everything just looks completely different. On the other hand, these are supposedly best drivers in the world.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 05, 2014 10:38 PM (RqRa5)

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