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22 Feb 2014

A selection of the best technical images from day 4 of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Sutton Images




  1. Matt, what is your comment on the amount of cooling capacity the respective top teams have and their approach to cooling? I think its well known that Newey starts from a different baseline, a minimum one, and then if necessary works up from there...this time the trim looking engine covers and sidepods look have been a mistake. Maybe. In particular the MP4-29 seems to the opposite approach with huge sidepods and equally large intakes, so it seems they have taken the worst case approach and started with the max and will work down there. Given the unknowns this seems a safer approach. In particular, the new engines are likely to be very sensitive to charge air temperature. It seems obvious to me that RBR has gone the water/air intercooling approach and McLaren the Air/air route. Water/air is probably the most efficient and definitely the most space efficient and is also likely to deliver the most stable charge temperature with varying ambient temperature. To me there are a number of implications. 1. The McLaren with its huge intakes and radical aero rear suspension looks to be a there are information on respective top speeds in Bahrain? 2. Possibly McLaren is gambling on trying to over-cool the charge air and gain extra power as a trade off. 3. While stymied in the short term, maybe the RBR approach is better long term but is probably a much heavier solution. 4. Is it likely that teams will play tunes with things like the sidepod size and radiator size according to venue? Eg Malaysia and Spa are likely to have very differing cooling requirements. Your comments would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Rob

      Sorry for the delay in responding, I think the likes of McLaren and Mercedes have done the right thing by starting large and working backwards, packaging wise Red Bull have gone too radical and are paying the price. However I think their larger problem is the installation of the ES / Powerunit, it's placement and the surrounding components that are likely causing them the most issues.
      McLaren isn't too bad in the speed trap but as we know from Red Bull's past, top speed is not the key it's all about low to mid downforce in reality. Both McLaren and Mercedes played with several cooling options during the last test and I suspect all the teams will have multiple packages. The only exception will be the Ferrari powered teams who are using Mezzo radiators (I'm looking into these) but basically they're lighter and more efficient.

  2. That picture of the rear of McLaren shows how big of a task for the engineers was cooling that power unit.

  3. Hello,
    One question about Lotus.
    During these 4 days, has the team changed the orientation of the exhaust?
    Pictures of the first day and last day photos "seem" different. or not?
    Thanks Matt

    1. No, the images of the rear end have been fairly sparse but from what I can tell it hasn't changed specification


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