AMuS great article translation from Reddit
Where does the Ferrari power come from? Ferrari beat Mercedes in Spa and Monza with his speed on the straight. But where does the power come from? Why can Ferrari call up up up to 55 hp extra in certain situations? We go in search of clues. It's the biggest mystery Formula 1 is currently facing. Mercedes, Renault and Honda are worried about one question: Where does Ferrari get so much power from in the short term? We're talking about up to 40 kilowatts, just under 55 hp.
Ferrari owed the two victories in Spa and Monza to two factors: Charles Leclerc in the cockpit and a powerful engine in the rear. On the straights there was no way past the Ferrari. In Monza even less than in Spa. GPS measurements suggest that Ferrari has added a scoop with the new Spec3 engine.
Monza was for the Ferrari competition a disillusionment. Ferrari made up nine tenths on the Mercedes in training on the straights. Lewis Hamilton hung Charles Leclerc for 42 laps in the gearbox. He would have gone two tenths faster per lap without the red car in front of him.
Hamilton had DRS, he had slipstream. And he still couldn't get past. "Despite these advantages, we only made up two metres on Leclerc on the home straight," the engineers calculated. Too little to tear down the red wall.
Only Ferrari stands out in terms of power Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto mentioned in his race analysis the strong engine and the favourable air resistance. The opponents agree: it is mainly the engine. In air resistance, the cars differ only marginally, especially in Monza, where all are equipped with the smallest possible wings.
But where does all the power come from? "Renault, Honda and we are about on the same level at the moment. Only Ferrari stands out, and this is sometimes dramatic," not only Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is surprised.
Mercedes has been working intensively since the start of the season to decipher the Ferrari secret. Toto Wolff revealed in Monza that one thinks one knows what Ferrari does. Of course, this remains as secret as the trick itself. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told. "We sent a few suspicious facts to the FIA but didn't get an answer."
With Ferrari's engine performance, you have to differentiate. There's the mysterious power boost that the drivers were only able to call up in very specific phases. So far it has only been observed in the qualifying laps, the starting lap and directly after re-starts.
From this it can be concluded that Ferrari needs a slow lap beforehand in order to achieve this extra performance. However, the mode cannot be activated arbitrarily for attack or defence. Otherwise Sebastian Vettel would have loosely countered Hamilton's attack on the Kemmel straight at Spa.
Three theories to improve performance In Monza they saw a new quality. Ferrari now obviously has an attack mode that Leclerc used to defend his position. However, it is not of the same quality as the Q3 power injection. But effective enough to stay in the lead.
Mercedes' plan was to rush Leclerc until the Monegasque ran out of battery power. But that didn't happen, even though the Monza winner on the home straight and before the second chicane permanently called for full power. Nevertheless, he was able to recharge the battery sufficiently on the rest of the lap.
All this can still be explained somehow. For Ferrari's Super Mode, however, there are only speculations circulating in the paddock. Theory one says that under certain conditions Ferrari is able to feed 160 instead of 120 kilowatts from the battery into the system. The slow lap is needed to fully charge the battery beforehand.
Theory two assumes that in the slow lap before activating fuel is transferred between the measuring point of the flow rate and the high pressure pump. This would allow more fuel to be injected in the Q3 laps than allowed.
Theory three says that the air collector (plenum) in front of the engine is cooled with oil and the engineers take some of this oil for combustion. What you should need a warm-up lap for, however, is not quite clear.
The theories may be correct in essence, but certainly not in detail. Because the way they are circulated would be illegal. And any technology commissioner would immediately come across it with his nose.
After last year's investigation into Ferrari's two-piece battery, a possible cover-up of the energy flows, and the bunker of fuel in accumulators in front of the injection nozzles, there is now peace again at the front.
In winter there were various technical directives on the subject, which were intended to rule out possible tricks. The power advantage of Ferrari remained. Conclusion of the opponents: "It must be something very clever what they are doing. And if it's legal, you can only take your hat off."
Ferrari customers look into the tubes Ferrari's customers don't get the benefit of the mysterious PS thrust, by the way. Alfa Romeo and Haas shouldn't get the Spec 3 engine either, if chance hadn't intervened. Actually this is not in the sense of the regulations. But Ferrari has found a tricky way to drive the last development stage exclusively.
They delivered a new Spec 2 engine to their customers in Spa. Thus the same drive version, which Ferrari still had in Spa in the car. For the Ferrari satellites, the Spa engine was the third drive unit. Theoretically Alfa and Haas could also order a Spec 3 engine for the rest of the season and Ferrari could not deny them that, but it would mean an engine penalty and an extra fee. The customers would rather reject it voluntarily.
But now it has happened. Kimi Räikkönen needed a new engine after a training crash. And it had to be a Spec 3 version according to the rules, because this specification was already in circulation in the factory cars.