British GP from an engine’s POV


Silverstone is one of the key challenges of the year as every PU component is put to the test. There is a high percentage of wide open throttle time per lap and some slow, tricky complexes that need special attention so we need to look very carefully at the PU configuration to ensure we make the right choices and not compromise any area too much.

For the past four races we have had perfect reliability in our perimeter in race conditions and the British Grand Prix is perhaps the best opportunity for performance since Monaco as the high speed corners and slower complexes suit the car a lot better. Furthermore we do not have the threat of penalties hanging over us.

We are as motivated as ever, and on the ground we are working to move forward as quickly as we can.

Silverstone counts as one of the power tracks of the season, with 61% of the lap spent at full throttle in qualifying and 56% in the race, plus an average speed of well over 200kph. The circuit really tests the upper limits of the ICE.

There are six sustained periods of wide open throttle over the 5.891km lap. The Hangar Straight is the longest straight at 875m, which translates to 12secs at full throttle. Top speed peaks at over 320kph with DRS open.

The other straights are the old pit straight (750m), the straight from Stowe to Club (600m), the new pit straight (600m) and the Wellington Straight (700m).

Additionally, the ICE will be flat out from Copse through to Chapel for approx. 2secs.

Smooth turbo response is very important at Silverstone as the high speed turns are interlinked. The sweeping Maggots-Beckett-Chapel complex, for instance, sees average speeds of around 225kph and no lower than 180kph at any one point. The driver needs to keep a rhythm going so he can roll through the complex rather than brake and accelerate repeatedly.

Abbey, the first corner, is another corner where turbo response is key. The driver will lift off lightly at the end of the pit straight to scrub off some speed, taking it down to around 270kph. These conditions can lead to turbo surge to keep up with the changing engine demands. However, the driver needs the turbo to pick up quickly so he can keep the speed through to the Hairpin.

There are several low speed corners for the MGU-K to recover energy and keep the battery at a high level of charge. The Wellington Loop complex and Luffield are the most obvious corners to recover energy.

The start of the Loop is Turn 3, a third gear right hander taken at around 100kph. The drivers then brake further to 85-90kph before accelerating up through the gears and onto the Wellington Straight. The energy dissipated to slow the car down through this complex is recovered by the MGU-K as much as possible.

Stowe presents another opportunity for the MGU-K as cars brake from well over 300kph to fifth gear and 180kph.

Vale is the last big stop of the lap. The drivers approach at around 265-270kph and brake to 95kph before braking even further for Club, the 180° opening right hander that leads onto the start finish straight.

The interlinked high speed turns give a steady stream of exhaust. From Copse through to the end of the Hangar straight the car will have around 30secs of full or near-full throttle.

Some 55secs of the lap will be spent on the throttle, providing the MGU-H with multiple opportunities to recover energy. Fuel consumption at Silverstone will be high since the lap is long and quick but the H and K will be able to recover enough to mean that fuel saving won’t be a concern during the race to be within the FIA limits.

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The Honda and Renault p.u engineers hearts must sink so low when they read that.
On the other hand, Marussia must be counting back 22 less 6 is 16. 5 more cars go out and they could be in for a point.