Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

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Pierce89
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Pierce89 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:42 pm

Joseki wrote:http://www.autosport.com/news/report.ph ... 1473543398
When asked about the relative gaps to Mercedes, Ferrari and Honda, Taffin said: "We still have a small way to go to Ferrari.

"I guess Ferrari is halfway to the gap we have got to Mercedes.

"Honda are catching but they are quite a way behind us."
Oh please. MRLUKE and Techman both clearly know more than Remi Taffin.
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by daren_p » Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:12 pm

mrluke wrote:
Taking the next 3 rounds, Bahrain, China and Russia we can conclude that either the Honda PU was no better in 2016 than it was in 2015, OR the improvements they have made had no real impact on these circuits.

While the data is interesting to look at, in reality there are just far to many variables to make any real sort conclusion from looking at such a small sample of data.

With regards to the beginning of the 16 season & this years PU being no better then 15's, remember your just looking at qualifying data & not race data. Honda started this year off with a P/U that basically made the same hp as it ended with last year (actually think they mentioned it was slightly down in BHP), where they made the big gains were with the ERS system. In qualifying, as can be seen, this didn't improve things much. Last year their qualifying was typically stronger, while this year their race pace is stronger. This year, as they have started to dial in the software side better & brought upgrades, their qualifying performance is starting to show gains.

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Nuvolari » Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:47 pm

Thanks for the analysis! I have a few thoughts:

As someone else pointed out, the improvements from McLaren-Honda this year has been most evident in race pace. Even so, I believe the qualifying data you present supports the suggestion that McLaren have a good chassis held back by an average Honda PU in single lap pace alone. I'm talking specifically of this graph:

Image

Honda themselves have been very particular that they focussed a lot on bringing developments that show an improvement in race pace for this year. But I see a clear downward trend in the red line from the early races (Aus/Bah/Chi) to recent ones (Hun/Ger/Bel). In particular, I see this downward trend start since Canada when it was widely reported that Honda brought a significant step in performance. I take this to mean that the McLaren-Honda package is making a bigger leap in performance than the competitors as Honda bring more performance from the PU side. I can only suppose that this is because McLaren have validated aero developments ready to bolt on, in the event of a power increase from the PU side.

I did some calculations based on the qualifying data and posted the results in the team thread before the Canadian GP. You expressed the qualifying times as a % of pole, I normalised the best qualifying lap times to the length of each circuit and express the deficit as a time delta (per km) to pole position of the relevant circuit. This updated table mirrors your above graph:

Image


What is clear to me is that, before Canada, McLaren's deficit to pole position was consistently around 0.4s per km. Since Canada, this has reduced to around 0.3s per km with Spa deficit being the least observed per km of any circuit this year! This unequivocally shows that McLaren's relative progress to Mercedes/Pole this year has picked up since Canada when that PU upgrade came. The only outlier being Silverstone. I'm waiting to see how they perform in Singapore. If it is <0.3s per km or even after the rumoured Suzuka upgrade anywhere in the 0.2s per km, then I can start to get really excited about McLaren's prospects for next year, as I believe there is a big chance that the deficit will likely come down towards the end of the year and could be overcome if they had a great winter.

Also compare how the '14 chassis did versus the '16 chassis. You can tell these two chassis are borne out of totally different philosophies as their respective deficits don't really match up. Where the 2014 chassis is strong is not where the 2016 chassis is strong. I'll post an updated table in the team thread after the Singapore GP.

Note: I've skipped some races as I only included dry qualifying results and events that have been on the calendar for successive years.

PS: Your Mercedes qualifying time for Russia is a tenth slower than the best time for the car. :)

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Joseki » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:30 pm

I think that graph is a bit wrong, in China for example the McLaren duo didn't set a time in Q2 with new tyres and if you use the Q1 time JB set the result is very different. It may have happened a few other times like in Silverstone (best lape time for Alonso deleted) and in Hungary Fernando spun blocking everyone behind.

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by PlatinumZealot » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:32 am

Good graph Novulari. Can you do it relative to Redbull instead of Mercedes?
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Nuvolari » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:09 pm

PlatinumZealot wrote:Good graph Novulari. Can you do it relative to Redbull instead of Mercedes?
Thanks, yes you get three for the price of one!

I went ahead and plotted the deficits to RBR, Mercedes and Ferrari. First RBR:

Image

A caveat with this is because RBR are not the best chassis/PU combo over these three years interpret the graph with the PU upgrades in mind.

RBR are an interesting reference point due to the fact that they had a clear 2nd best car over the 2014 season but showed a dip in performance in 2015 but now back up again for this year. I think the gap McLaren had to RBR in 2015 is not a realistic measure of chassis development over the year although it is quite flattering to McLaren.

Overall though, the trend in '15 and '16 has stayed similar up about Canada. I take this to mean that RBR and McLaren had a similar rate of chassis/PU developments allowing the gap to remain constant. However, at Canada RBR also receive a boost in PU performance so we start to see how the RB chassis performs in relation to McLaren when not limited too much by PU...this was also evident in Monaco but there is a clear widening of the gap by about 0.1s/km. After Canada, the same story here as with Mercedes. McLaren are slashing the deficit both in chassis and power tracks. An acceleration of chassis development. The gap has increased slightly in Monza this year, perhaps a glimpse into the kind of power gain necessary to match the RB chassis in low downforce config.

As a side note, looking at the 2014 trend, it looks to me that it was a chassis flattered by the PU. Despite having a class leading PU, the 2014 McLaren chassis lags quite behind RBR on the 'chassis' tracks such as Spain or where PU doesn't have a big effect (Monaco).

Hypothesis/Prediction: If McLaren have made gains as a result of PU development from Honda and the trend of halving the defit to RBR could be extrapolated to other tracks for the rest of the year, I would expect Singapore to be a real test of the McLaren chassis. Looking at the 2015 trend, this track is not particularly suited to the McLaren chassis compared to other tracks in relation to RBR. But based on this data, I'm predicting that McLaren should have half the deficit they had to RBR in 2015. This equates to around 0.7-0.9s [(0.15 to 0.18)*5.065] slower than whatever time RB qualify at this weekend. Let's see if it holds true.

I consider Mercedes and Ferrari (except 2014) to be more stable reference points as their PU performance allowed their respective chassis to perform at or near their best, so the data is easier to interpret than in reference to RBR:

Image

Image


Hope these plots are useful. If you guys want to have a look at the raw data, I'm happy to post it for further scrutiny.

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by PlatinumZealot » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:26 pm

I see Mclaren within half a second of Mercedes going with your data on slow tracks after the honda engine upgrade.
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by mrluke » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:46 pm

PlatinumZealot wrote:I see Mclaren within half a second of Mercedes going with your data on slow tracks after the honda engine upgrade.
Bear in mind Mercedes did not perform very well at Singapore last year.

However some excellent information there Nuvolari :)

I had also pulled together a reference against RBR but chose not to post it as it just looks like a more extreme version of the comparison to Mercedes. The overall shape is pretty similar just with higher peaks and troughs.

I had seen your previous posts looking at s/km and declined to follow suit as I could not quite get my head around to what extent this was impacted by the average speed of the track, in some places KMs are worth more than at others.

You make the point that RBR had the clear best car over the 2014 season, I would be reluctant to agree as Williams were very competitive and were often "best of the rest"

The Ferrari comparison is really interesting, especially 2015 were the time gap is super consistent compared to the RBR and Mercedes comparisons. I would suggest the 2015 Mclaren and the 2015 Ferrari shared the same strengths which suggests that Ferrari were being held back by their PU last year (as we know the Honda unit was weak)

Some great information and food for thought!

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Nuvolari » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:41 pm

mrluke wrote:I had seen your previous posts looking at s/km and declined to follow suit as I could not quite get my head around to what extent this was impacted by the average speed of the track, in some places KMs are worth more than at others.
I think both our approaches are valid forms of normalizations, but I like mine better because what I derive from the raw data and plot is not far removed from the raw data itself, and I can get my head around it easier than a percentage deficit. I know what a 0.2 seconds per km deficit around Spa looks like but have no clue as to what a 2% deficit could relate to. You're right that some tracks are longer and the deficit is worth more, but that's extra context you need inorder to interpret the numbers anyway. By normalizing we're both trying to see the data from a level playing field, so it's all good. :)

If McLaren are still limited by the PU in qualifying, I'm astonished by their performance in Spa to be honest. It's a small deficit for such a long track. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come. They better do well in Singapore! My ass is on the line here!
mrluke wrote:You make the point that RBR had the clear best car over the 2014 season, I would be reluctant to agree as Williams were very competitive and were often "best of the rest"
I'm not sure I agree with that. Williams were quick in 2014, and they had the best PU. If their chassis was so good, you would expect them to be quick around most tracks. But they only outqualified Red Bull in 7 out of 18 races and finished behind RB in the Constructors. I would suggest RB are a better measure of chassis performance in 2014 especially with the qualifying lap times we are trying to interpret.

Ultimately, we can't dissociate chassis and PU from these data but can see if the deficit increases on a power sensitive track compared to a 'chassis' track provided (1) we have a stable reference point and (2) the chassis development rates over the year is comparable. (1) is easy with Mercedes/Ferrari. (2) is impossible to know/determine so we're left guessing.

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by PlatinumZealot » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:34 am

Mclaren are now limited by downforce issues in singapore according to alonso. Just no grip.
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by godlameroso » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:09 am

I'm willing to bet it's not just chassis, but the power unit as well. I think it's a combination of the car being out of it's downforce window and at the same time the Honda power unit is not so good coming out of slow corners. The corner speed needs to be a little higher for the car to be in it's performance envelope.
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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Dipesh1995 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:30 pm

I reckon it's a combination of lack of mechanical grip and a lack of power. I think the majority of the time deficit at Singapore is due to the lack of mechanical grip rather than a lack of power. They're following the same performance trend that they showed in Monaco. Cars are more reliant on mechanical grip rather than aerodynamic grip in slow speed corners and of all the corners on the Singapore track, the majority of them are slow speed corners.

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Pierce89 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:14 pm

The total focus on efficiency, this season, rather than max DF was always going to.show here. Their development is geared to compensate the PU on "average" tracks, most of which are fairly power sensitive but not too much so. This means their chassis is st is best at the next few minutes.
“To be able to actually make something is awfully nice”
Bruce McLaren on building his first McLaren racecars, 1970

“I've got to be careful what I say, but possibly to probably Juan would have had a bigger go”
Sir Frank Williams after the 2003 Canadian GP, where Ralf hesitated to pass brother M. Schumacher

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Nuvolari » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:42 pm

So, having looked at the best qualifying laps from RB, Mercedes and Ferrari, these were McLaren's deficit to those three teams in Singapore:

RBR: 0.284 s/km
Mercedes: 0.389 s/km
Ferrari: 0.2 s/km

I had predicted McLaren's gap to RBR to be around 0.15-0.18 s/km. Seems I was a tenth/km off.

Last year's deficit to pole (Ferrari) was 0.482s/km, so McLaren have cut the deficit down by 0.1s/km, in keeping with the improvements seen so far after Canada, but it looks like they haven't made further progress beyond that on a 'chassis' track such as this. It seems that they would need another upgrade similar in magnitude to Canada to make further inroads into the competition.

I expected more from McLaren to be honest, although I think I was being pretty optimistic in my prediction as another poster points out that the track is similar in characteristics to Monaco where McLaren seemed to lack grip too. I still believe we haven't seen the McLaren chassis maxed out to say for sure it's not good. I hope the Suzuka upgrade is a substantial one.

Stonking laps from Fernando though!

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Re: Mclaren Chassis Vs Honda Power Unit

Post by Dipesh1995 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:08 pm

As I said before, around Singapore and the same can be said for Monaco, the majority of the lap time comes from mechanical grip not aerodynamic grip. The McLaren chassis just doesn't generate enough mechanical grip, their car doesn't have the same ability to exploit the grip from the tyres in slow speed corners in the same way top 3 teams, Toro Rosso and probably Force India are able to. It was seen in Monaco and it's only been confirmed here.

McLaren probably thought that the poor Monaco performance was just a one-off and hence they were hyping themselves up for here but clearly it's not worked out and the same issue is still present: Lacking overall grip.

http://www.fia.com/file/47764/download?token=zqqC2_Ih

Looking at qualifying sector times, Toro Rosso and McLaren are neck and neck in sector 1 (mostly consists of straights) but McLaren lose roughly between 1-2 tenths in the each of the following two sectors. Both of these sectors consist of mainly slow speed corners with short straights connecting each other with exception of the last two corners.

The Honda PU can't be blamed for this especially since the Ferrari PU in the back of the Toro Rosso is similar in performance, maybe be even behind the Honda PU.
Last edited by Dipesh1995 on Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.