Ricciardo targets Ferrari and Mercedes in wet qualifying

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo is aiming to get on terms with Ferrari and Mercedes if today’s Chinese Grand Prix qualifying session is wet.

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Is it time to get F1 cars weights down – and is dropping the MGU-H the way to do it?

It would seem that at least a simplification of these hybrid engines is on the table. A lot of the comments regarding the weight of the cars, the drivers wanting to push, a look at the fuel rules, that mandate from the FIA/FOM, all this sort of stuff, all points towards a change of power unit architecture.

If I were to hazard a guess, I’d suggest the MGU-H will be the component we see dropped. Remembering the whole point of these engines is manufacturers’ R&D for road cars, if we look across to Audi, they’re bringing out a range of cars running electric turbos which do not harvest off the exhaust gases. Instead, their turbocharger spools up directly off the batteries which have been charged via the braking system. According to them, in a road car, this is a more efficient way of doing things.

Also bearing in mind that a conventional set of sequential-twin-turbo’s is a much better cheaper, lighter way of doing essentially the same thing, I think all signs are pointing to this particular MGU being put to one side, in my opinion.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Ricciardo targets Ferrari and Mercedes in wet qualifying”

  1. Could never remember if it was the Chinese or the Malaysian track that was built on a swamp. I think I’ve found the answer! I’m surprised, given the scale of the project, that when the track was constructed they didn’t ensure it wasn’t going be an issue.

    1. Probably didn’t expect it to last this long…

    2. markopoloman
      16th April 2016, 0:32

      Wasn’t that Korea?

      1. Maybe we need to start a list of tilke tracks that weren’t built on swamp land

        1. desert storm
          16th April 2016, 7:36

          1 Bahrain
          2 Abu Dhabi
          3 ?

          1. The Jacarepagua circuit in Rio de Janeiro was built on a swamp.

        2. Houston, TX
          Washington, D.C.

          Wait, you meant tracks. Sorry…

    3. Michael Brown
      16th April 2016, 2:03

      The Shanghai track was indeed built on a swamp. The first 3 corners are most affected.

  2. Gotta love the Shanghai Daily dredging up a nearly 20 year old photo of Alex Zanardi in his Indy car to use as promotion for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      16th April 2016, 11:06

      Probably due to BE’s outrageous copyright charges if anything F1 is shown ;-)

  3. Re: COTD
    First I am surprised that it is COTD.
    The MGUH is there to reclaim wasted energy from the exhaust, I don’t see that happening in the sequential-twin-turbo’s example.

    If an MGU is to be removed surely it is the MGUK, working on the rear axle. As noted it is the front brakes that do the most work and in a road car recovering energy from them rather that the rear brakes is probably preferable. Especially as most teams, remember RBR at the beginning of last season, having trouble with rear locking due to s/ware issues and the MGUK.

    Isn’t the MGUK the main part in the improvement in efficiency?

    So for road cars removing the MGUK from the rear and installing on to the front would seem logical.

    1. the MGUH is by far the most exciting bit, they may in theory power the car with MGUH, the internal combustion engine is potentially superfluous, except there is a rule limiting the exhaust pipe size… A standard Turbo captures some waste energy, an MGUH captures even more.

      What the manufacturers like Audi are doing (an electric supercharger) is likely to improve the exhaust note massively (no snailcam muffler), therefore increasing sales when the salesman says “listen to this”, I would rather see every watt of energy used for power if that is the goal.

    2. If you don’t have an MGU-K, there isn’t as much to do with the energy you collect in the MGU-H. Pretty much all that’s left is spooling the turbo. The way both systems work together is what gives them so much efficiency.

      The rear axle can do quite a bit of braking at high speeds, due to the rear downforce. Street car generalities don’t necessarily apply.

      RE:COTD, I can’t imagine the MGU-H is terribly heavy. Certainly lighter than a second turbo/compressor/plumbing, I’d think.

  4. Why this obsession with reducing car weight? Won’t that make it even more difficult for tall guys like Webber and Hulk to be competitive in F1. Because surely, being 5 kgs heavier in a 500 kg (1%) car is a bigger penalty than being 5 kgs heavier in a 1000 kg car (0.5%). The power to weight ratio difference between heavier and lighter drivers will obviously increase if the weight reduces. Why would anyone want that?

    1. Because efficiency. Lighter cars means more efficient car. Of course from sport perspective there’s driver weight problem like you describe, but from engineering perspective the lighter the car, the better it is.

  5. Regarding that tweet of empty stands in China, I have been thinking whether this issue applies only to F1. It seems the Chinese are not traditionally big on sports, at least not the kind of sports enjoyed internationally. They are not big on football, basketball, volley ball, motorsports, etc. Heck, they are not even big on cricket which is a popular sport in their neck of the wood.
    Yes several clubs from around the world have been going there to advertise and shore up their revenues based primarily on their massive economy and huge population advantage, still it is not like those sports have such huge following proportionally comparable to what is obtained in the West.
    So like all the European and American brands heading out there, it is all about the Renminbis, even when culture says no.

    1. Yes, most of Chinese doesn’t care about sport as big competition, but what they like is celebrities. Famous sportsman or F1 in this case are more viewed as celebrities or idols there. Which is why we can see lot of hyped up people meeting the drivers while probably doesn’t really understand F1 itself. Also, the act of attending the grand prix itself is more like to show their peers that they attend something prestigious instead of going there to watch the race. The newspaper botch itself shows that most people there think every open cockpit race car is the same, probably.

    2. Actually, Volleyball and Basketball in China a very popular. Volleyball for instance is the 2nd most popular sport in the world, mainly due to China’s population, with salaries higher than, or at least comparable to, the NBA. 1st most popular is table tennis :)(At least, last time i checked).

      Basketball is so popular and well paid there they poach players from the “minor” leagues of a more traditionally recognised basketball loving population here in Australia. They are a powerhouse of Asia for basketball. My Chinese friend tells me you can’t get court time, so they play half court at uni because of the level of interest. By comparison, here in Australia courts are shutting down, and we have just lost one of a national league teams because they just don’t have the support to continue running.

      So maybe it is just F1? I don’t know, it was free practise 1 after all, on a work day. Lets see what the crowds are like on the weekend. They are normally pretty good aren’t they?

      1. What do you mean? Cricket is the 2nd most popular sport in the world!

        1. I think the sport being played in the second most populous country of the world helps.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          16th April 2016, 11:26

          How does Cricket get to 2.5B fans? Based on population I don’t get there.
          Australia: 23,999,999 (took the liberty of counting myself out)
          India: 1,327M
          South Africa: 55M
          Pakistan: 193M
          England: 53M
          New Zealand: 5M
          Sri Lanka: 21M
          West Indies: 39M
          Bangladesh: 163M
          Zimbabwe: 16M
          Adding those up (including all babies etc.) I don’t even get to 2B. @mashiat

    3. The Friday crowds are usually not that great due to people been at work & not been able or not been willing to take a day off.

      Crowds tend to be better for Saturday & exceptionally good for the race with raceway crowds tending to be well above 100,000 (Last year attendance figure was 145,000).

  6. Ricciardo’s fast, but not in the rain. Has he ever shown himself to be a rain master?

    Look at wet qualifying in Malaysia the last two years – Hamilton P1 and Vettel P2, missing out on pole by hundredths of a second. Considering the aero and PU advantage the Merc had each of those years, I’d say Vettel would be fastest in the rain.

    Ricciardo’s results? In 2014 he was over a second slower than Vettel in the same car and last year he was 1.6 seconds off the pace.

    Not saying he can’t or won’t do it, but nothing in his results shows that he can or will.

    1. Australian GP 2014 qualy was wet and he put it on P2 in his first Red Bull outing.

      1. Ricciardo was also pretty epic at Austin last year in the wet, until the track dried out – you might remember him passing Hamilton early in the race, one of only 2 or 3 passes on Hamilton on merit for the entire season.

    2. @uan
      Australia 2014, China 2014, Japan 2014, USA 2015. Ricciardo was very fast on all occasions.

      1. Newey’s cars are fast is what you meant?

      2. @kingshark
        Well i disagree about Japan 2014. Vet on used Wets was faster than Ric on fresh Inters and jumped him by coming ahead on 1st set of Stops and Vet was equal to Ham after he passed Ros and faster than them while Ham was behind Ros, but i disagree with @Uan that Ric is not good in wet. He was very good and his performances speaks for it.

    3. Remember those cars were having power delivery problems (whiplash!) so may not be the best representations.

    4. Vergne has always been better than Ricciardo in the rain …

  7. To get weight down
    I would say Take MGU-K and its battery out and leave H as it gives efficiency. That would save atleast around 60-80 Kg of weight. some requirements would be needed But if we Keep H the exhaust recovery might be good for the road relevance and if we take K package out Drivers might be still remain the same weight unlike the 2014 issues where we saw Drivers almost starved themselves to get competitive.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      16th April 2016, 11:32

      To get weight down
      Fred & Barney say take the PU out and cut a hole where the seat is.

    2. er… You know the MGU-H also uses the energy store, right? If you remove the energy store, you remove the source, and destination, for the power harvested / used by the MGU-H and K.

      Personally, I think anyone advocating removal of the MGU-H is missing the point– we might as well go back to naturally aspirated engines + KERS at that point, since the turbo lag on these engines would be insane without the MGU-H.

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