Food for thought:Phil wrote: ↑Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:49 amTo be honest, i smell trouble for Mercedes next year.
Their concept this year has been very conpetitive, but having the best PU once again has clearly aided them, at the very least in qualifying and from a reliability point of view. Next year with oil burning being seriously clamped down, i think the PU difference will be minimal. This means that aero and chassis will be more important.
Ferrari have built a monster of a car this season that IMO should have taken the fight to the last race if it had not been held back by a catastrophic driver and reliability failure in the Asia races. Their car is aerodynamically simple and has a wide operating window. This means the car has been a very strong contender on all tracks this year, even when on many tracks, the Mercedes prevailed thanks to stronger pace in QF and on tracks where PU performance was key. Next year, Mercedes will no longer have this benefit.
Mercedes have gone for the long wheelbase low rake concept because they understood it well. Together with the suspension designs they were able to perfect it. With the ban on their suspension technics, that concept and the potential might have gone straight out the window.
If they do change the concept for next year, i’d be very surprised if they can make it wotk and be competitive from the first race on. I could see them struggling severly and the PU wont bail them out this time.
Going into the winter break, i could see them design two cars - one on this years car and one going high rake and shorter wheelbase and then figure out which one is better. This may limit their ability and resources.
It’s sure going to be interesting.
My hunch for next year is that Ferrari and RedBull will be right in the fight. McLaren, could also be. Mercedes... i am just not sure. I guess it depends how much development potential is still left in the PU (despite closer scrutinieering on oil and fuel) for them to retain an advantage in this area? .....
1) Supposedly, Mercedes has been running at the lower oil flow rate for some time, irrespective of the fact they took their 4th PU before the cutoff.
My understanding is that the lower rate has virtually no bearing on qualifying, and a very minimal impact on the race pace.
2) The Mercedes PU's advantages (e.g., MGU-H) go far beyond the oil burning talk, which is quite frankly, much ado about nothing.
3) Furthermore, the fact that PU allocations are cut down to 3 for the season in '18, after a year in which Renault and Ferrari had some serious reliability issues, has to bode well for Mercedes (who was staunchly in favor of the PU quantity reduction).