Mercedes details engine changes for 2020 F1 season

Mercedes has focussed on improving the cooling package of its 2020 Formula 1 car, which has been helped by the new engine operating at a higher temperature to last year's

Mercedes details engine changes for 2020 F1 season

Last year's car had cooling issues that the team could not fully address during the season, because of a limitation with radiator capacity.

The weakness was especially apparent at the Austrian Grand Prix, when extremely hot weather compromised the overall performance of the car.

"We've improved the cooling package," said technical director James Allison.

"We've created more face area - so more actual radiator area in the car - which is a difficult thing to do mid-season without incurring quite a lot of penalty.

"But between the years you can do it and it won't cost you except a little bit of weight.

"We've also benefitted from an investment that HPP [High Performance Powertrains, Mercedes' engine division] have made on our behalf.

"They've worked to raise the operating temperature of the engine which eases the cooling burden on us because the hotter the fluid, the less radiator you need to cool it."

HPP engine boss Andy Cowell explained that the process had begun last year - even before Austria - but the team has taken another step in 2020.

Cowell also stressed that the engine side of the team has to help the chassis side: "As Power Unit engineers we don't just focus on crankshaft power, we also focus a tremendous amount on the packaging and reducing the overheads for the aerodynamicist, so that they can mainly focus on keeping the car planted through the corner."

Despite the maturity of the hybrid V6 rules, Mercedes is continuing to find gains by exploring every detail.

"We're in the seventh year of the technical regulations for the Power Unit and it gets tougher and tougher to find performance gains under stable regulations," Cowell added.

"So we have had to develop an even wider area of the PU. We have looked at every single system.

"We have looked at improving our combustion efficiency, our drive systems and the ancillary systems on the PU.

"But we have also worked on things like the efficiency of the electric motor, the power module efficiency, and the pure conversion efficiency.

"We have investigated the losses that occur as we transmit energy around the power unit, we've been trying to reduce friction and bearing losses through coating work, and we have also reduced the heat rejection to the car."

Mercedes has also placed a focus on reliability after some issues in 2019, although world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the season without penalty.

"We were very pleased and proud of the reliability achieved with Lewis' hardware," said Cowell.

"But we were saddened by the low-life failures that we experienced with other drivers and that's what we are focusing on.

"We are concentrating on understanding the reasons, the quality issues that we encountered and we are working hard to make sure we have got robust containment in place based on the root cause of those issues.

"Twenty-two races mean one power unit needs to do eight races, so there is an increase in the number of cycles that all the hardware needs to do, putting an even bigger emphasise on reliability."

shares
comments
Looking for the ultimate way to experience the 2020 French Grand Prix?
Previous article

Looking for the ultimate way to experience the 2020 French Grand Prix?

Next article

First AlphaTauri F1 car unveiled in striking blue and white 2020 livery

First AlphaTauri F1 car unveiled in striking blue and white 2020 livery
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022