F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Declares ‘War’ on MercedesAMG
This weekend F1 is in Europe, with Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers standings, which augurs the end to MercedesAMG’s dominant run of leading the drivers championship.
Barcelona could be Ferrari’s most dominant weekend to date in this years F1 season.
MercedesAMG has trailed Ferrari throughout the 1st 4 races this season, but their qualifying form, which saw them claim 3 of 4 Poles kept them very much in the mi, leading to their 2 Grand Prix wins this season.
The MercedesAMG engine, which has played a very Key role in them securing all championships so far in The Turbo Era, it seems to be keeping Ferrari off the pip during qualifying.
The Scuderia cars have the edge when it comes to aerodynamics, but MercedesAMG has the power when qualifying, as they the ability to turn the engine up, which gives them around 0.2-0.5s of an advantage, depending on the course.
Following the 1st 4 races of the season, GPS data from the Chinese Grand Prix highlights the strengths and weaknesses of both MercedesAMG and Ferrari, as they continue their “war” for the title.
In Sochi, MercedesAMG held around a 1/10th sec advantage over Ferrari in the 1st 2 sectors, which consisted of long straights which played into the hands of MercedesAMG power, as well as long, high speed corners. But, in the final sector, the slow-speed corners meant the Silver Arrow’s trailed Ferrari, which cost them the front row start.
GPS Data from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix showed that MercedesAMG held a 7/10’s sec advantage in the 1st 3 corners and the traction zone on exit. This shows that, with relatively high speed corners, the 3X champions have a slight advantage over Ferrari.
However, from the Chinese Grand Prix, which was before Ferrari brought a big upgrade the data revealed how Ferrari matched, if not lead MercedesAMG through medium and slow-speed corners. Through the final corner, although MercedesAMG had a 1/100’s sec advantage under-braking, Ferrari held a /100’s sec when it came to mid-cornering speed.
Now, at turn 6 at China, which is a tight hairpin, Ferrari could clock some 3-4 km/PH faster through the corner, which shows the penalty that MercedesAMG F1 team carries with the longer wheelbase racer.
At Bahrain, Ferrari brought a big upgrade earlier than expected, as many thought big upgrades would start coming for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
The Scuderia made changes to its front-wing in China, Russia and Bahrain, which the team went on to win with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, and the upgrades included a heavily modified front-wing, a revised cooling package, a new floor, which brought about controversy amongst other front-running teams over the legality of it, as well as upgraded rear-wing pillars and the suspension system.
Ferrari has led the way in the development race for the 1st 4 races, but MercedesAMG has yet to bring on a major upgrade, but many expect the Silver Arrow team to unveil big upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix to put pressure on Ferrari.
The Barcelona track, unlike the previous race in Sochi, puts particular emphasis on aerodynamics, downforce and the chassis as a whole, which favors Ferrari if it still leads the way in upgrades.
The Circuit de Catalunya features straights, high speed, medium speed and low speed corners that reveals the true pace of each F1 car, which is why the official F1 pre-season test takes place in Barcelona.
Unlike the prior 4 F1 races, there is much less emphasis on straight out power, which could aid Ferrari in taking the Pole, thus making it easier to capitalize on race-day.
At the Circuit de Catalunya, 56% of the lap is spent at full throttle, in Bahrain, where Ferrari got beaten to Pole by almost half a sec, 66% of the lap is at full throttle.
Although Ferrari trail MercedesAMG in terms of outright straight-line speed, The Scuderia has looked better traction-front; its ability to fire out of slow corners.
In Barcelona, 70% of the lap will be spent on the throttle, down 2% from Bahrain.
|NYSE:RACE||84.46||9 May 2017||1.74||83.5||85.51||83.48||1,329,400|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.49)||Bullish (0.40)||Very Bullish (0.60)||Bullish (0.46)|