In the race, the distances increase. Without the safety car, Max Verstappen would finish in mathematical terms, 23 seconds behind and Sebastian Vettel with 38 seconds. It took Lewis Hamilton at the top in accordance with the statements of the Mercedes engineers still comfortable.
The image of the tire revealed another bitter truth. The Mercedes would have been the only car that would have made a one-stop race at full speed. Ferrari and Red Bull should have changed twice in full attack due to high-wear tires.
Mercedes does not care on most routes how much time they lose on the straights. Because they win time twice and three times in shifts.
Mercedes has deliberately gone this way, an engineer tells us: "The fuel limit was raised from 105 to 110 kilograms, which was also a gift for aerodynamics, they were able to pack and sacrifice efficiency."
Ferrari and Red Bull, on the other hand, have built super efficient cars. In Red Bull it is in the minds of engineers. They were five years long, one must compensate for the PS deficit of the Renault engine through small wings, but more use of the car. Now you are with Honda to only 30 HP of Mercedes, but it has less downforce. And already the chassis is in the review.
Ferrari was launched with the introduction of wide cars in the Red Bull line. That worked well for two years.
The simplest front wing favors the aerodynamic philosophy of the Mercedes. The sets are long instead of a large angle. The Mercedes W10 is between the wheels by 7.9 inches longer than the Red Bull RB15 and 4.5 inches like the Ferrari SF90. Because the Mercedes is behind about 41 millimeters less high in the springs than the Red Bull and 23 millimeters less than the Ferrari.
When turning in a curve, the new front spoiler no longer allows the engineers to directly attack the turbulence of air created in the front wheels that have been hit. That has to happen right behind that. Mercedes has, due to the length of the vehicle, more space between the front wheels and the side boxes accommodate deflectors to calm the flow backwards.
Mercedes has obviously drawn the right conclusions from the Abu Dhabi test last December. A stiffer casing means that the tire gets worse inside. A thinner tread makes the heat worse in the tire. Therefore, the window of the tire slid up.
An engineer tells us: "Ferrari and Red Bull are slipping so much in the first two sectors of Barcelona that they enter the third sector with a surface that is too hot.When Mercedes, the tires are still in the window, so you win twice in the last sector, through more contact pressure and more tire grip ".
It was Mercedes who advised Pirelli last year to reduce the footprint on the critical tracks. If the silver arrows have had a problem in the last five years, then the tires tend to overheat.
Mercedes was also among the six teams that voted for the new aerodynamic rules. By the way, Ferrari too. Red Bull was against. For a good reason. And Mercedes has not vetoed when the fuel limit was raised.
The Mercedes V6 Turbo is the most economical engine in the field. But the advantage it gives up when it comes to fuel consumption, turned out to be less than the advantage one gains in aerodynamics.
This does not bode well for the future. Mercedes can build on the best platform. That's why updates work better than the competition. Ferrari and Red Bull are practically tied hands. They will only take a big step forward if they change the concept of their cars.
At first glance, it seems that Red Bull has the easiest job ahead of Ferrari. After all, it is not easy to mount a steep wing in the rear, which then delivers any downforce. Everything has to be balanced in front. And there are limits for engineers due to the new front wing.
After all, Red Bull has a wing concept like Mercedes. Ferrari went by the other side. But it is not so easy to copy the wing of the competition. The aerodynamics are so complex that you really have to change everything from front to back.
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