Bahrain Grand Prix: Renault Sport F1 preview Sakhir weekend

Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 3 March 2012.

Sakhir is a typical modern track – wide, with long periods of wide open throttle followed by tight, low speed corners.

The circuit includes four straights, starting with the 1 km pit straight. After that there is the 500 m burst between Turns 3 and 4, then the slightly longer straight linking T10 and 11 and then the final drag from T13 to T14, which is approximately the same length as the pit straight.

With the ICE and turbocharger working at full revs for around 60 % of the lap, Sakhir sits in the middle of the table for Power Unit demands. The straights give plenty of opportunity for the MGU-H to recover energy from the exhaust, but it’s crucial for it to convert quickly to the ‘motor’ function to give good drive out of the slow speed corners.

A smooth, neutral PU set up will show up in the lap time and it’s something we will aim for from the start of the weekend.

The corners of the back section from turns 4 to 8 and 11 to 13 have several heavy braking points, which will allow the MGU-K to keep the battery reserve at high charge. This is very important since the MGU-K will also be required to feed the ICE on those four long straights.

We follow one hot race with another. As in Malaysia the ambient heat, which can reach up to 45°C, means we need to play particular attention to the cooling. We saw in Sepang that we are running on a knife edge in this respect and a couple of degrees difference between sessions can really affect the balance of the Power Units.

While we don’t expect any significant issues due to temperatures it is something we monitor carefully. Of course, the fact that this year it’s a night race and the sessions are slightly later, means we’ll have a luxury of slightly cooler temperatures but it’s not something we’re taking for granted – it can still be way over 30 °C at 7pm!

News from Total:

  • In 2014, cars are permitted 100 kg on board fuel (40% less than in 2013). If the density of fuel lessens by just 0.025, it can lead to a capacity difference of 5 litres in the size of the tank. Total therefore adapts its fuel to meet the requirements of the Renault Energy F1-2014, but also to those of the chassis design team. The sole aim is to give more energy and a higher density than in the past.

Renault Energy F1-2014 Fast Facts:

  • 4,000 total parts made each RS27-2013 V8 engine, however 10,000 parts go into the Renault Energy F1-2014.
  • Drivers are permitted 5 Power Unit elements (turbocharger, ICE, control electronics, MGU-H, MGU-K, battery) per season. These components can be used as many times as required before a penalty is imposed, as long as the total number of each part does not go over 5.
  • The MGU-K is connected to the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine. It can turn at a maximum of 50,000 rpm and recover 2 MJ of energy a lap. It can deploy 4 MJ of energy per lap, or ten times the amount of the 2013 KERS.

Subbed by AJN.