October 2, 2023

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Formula 1 tests put Red Bull in trouble and cars jump on the track

Formula 1 tests put Red Bull in trouble and cars jump on the track

After four teams He passed the 130 lap mark in the first test From the new generation of cars Formula 1Red Bull were the first candidates to lose a lot of track time due to a car problem. Sergio Perez stopped the RB18 on the track, causing his first test red flag, late in the morning session, and spent four hours digging. The day ended with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in pole position, Alpha Torri’s Pierre Gasly in second and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in third.

However, the final arrangement is still not as convenient as being able to complete the programs every day without any problems. Red Bull confirmed that the car had a gearbox-related breakdown, but did not give details. On the first day of testing, Max Verstappen ran nearly 150 laps in the same car.

Another red flag was raised by Haas’ Nikita Mazepin, the team that also struggled on the first day of testing. The stop was due to a problem with the pump, which also hindered Williams’ morning.

Haas Nikita Mazepin caused the second red flag of the day

Photo: Dan Esteten – Formula 1 / Formula 1 via Getty Images

It also failed to get the mileage they wanted Alfa Romeo. The team already lost track of time on Wednesday, and continued to stay in the pits for extended periods. Valtteri Bottas, who drove in the morning, only performed 21 laps, and the interview scheduled for the afternoon was canceled because the Finn didn’t have much to say. For comparison, Carlos Sainz ran 71 laps with Ferrari in the morning.

In the afternoon, Alfa Romeo managed to run more into the hands of novice Guanyu Zhou. The team was among those who suffered the most on the first day with The movement of the car up and down on straight lines, which is related to the ground effect, who is back in F1 cars after nearly 40 years. New parts have arrived to try to tackle the movement that comes from the build-up and loss of downforce respectively on the floor of the car.

Cars ‘jumping’ straight raises alarm among teams

Most teams suffer from this to a greater or lesser degree. “I think most of us have underestimated the problem and are jumping on the track more than we expected,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admitted. “Fixing this can be very simple. But improving performance without compromising can be a less easy exercise.”

“So I’m sure everyone will solve this. How long will it take? I think the teams that understand this faster will have an advantage at the start of the season,” the Ferrari coach predicted.

In the afternoon of the second day of activities, this effect was not as observed among the cars as on the first, but, Binotto said, when they are looking for performance, it can be difficult to find the balance.

This is because we still haven’t seen clear signs of qualifying simulations or concern about lap times. In this first phase of testing, the teams focus on giving the car the mileage, seeing how everything reacts, as well as doing validation checks against what they’ve observed in factory simulations. For this reason, especially in the morning, many cars were equipped with grilles that measured airflow and teams like Mercedes were making rounds at a constant speed. Both have the same goal of generating reliable aerodynamic data for engineers to work with.

The teams also began experimenting with the car’s equipment, understanding how it would respond to various changes. Only after all of this information is indicated does the focus begin on fine-tuning to get the most out of the cars’ performance.

The cars return to the Barcelona track on Friday for the last day of testing this battery. The second part of the pre-season will take place on the stage of the first race of the year, in Bahrain, between 10 and 12 March, a week before the season kicks off.

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