Force India and Renault rear wings, Baku, 2018

Rear wings reveal rivals’ power advantage – Sainz

2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says the Azerbaijan Grand Prix showed Renault’s rivals still have a straight-line speed advantage.

Renault brought a special medium downforce package for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to ensure they would be competitive on the track’s long straights. This meant running slimmer rear wing angles than their rivals and sacrificing performance in the corners.

“You see the Williams and the Force India with huge rear wings and we, together with Red Bull, are running a very small rear wing,” said Sainz. “It’s no secret that they are very strong in engine performance and it’s allowing them to carry more downforce in their cars.”

“That’s why they come back [to the front of the field] in this sort of track.”

Sainz is optimistic Renault will reduce the deficit to their rivals.

“There’s still a gap, we’re still working on it, there’s development to come to close the gap. But it still exposes that there is a bit of work to do.

“I’m not worried at all because it’s something Renault is looking at, it’s something we are working at. The gap is smaller than what it was in 2015, 2014. So that’s why we were also able to get into Q3 here and Red Bull is also strong.”

Sainz’s team mate Nico Hulkenberg pointed out it isn’t just Mercedes who are leading the way in power unit development.

“The Mercedes power unit definitely helps here. Obviously it’s not a Mercedes power unit on pole but we know Ferrari’s very good too. I think Williams also stronger than in previous events that shows power unit does have an effect here.

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Azerbasijan Grand Prix qualifying speed trap

PosDriverCarEngineSpeed (kph/mph)Gap
1Esteban OconForce IndiaMercedes329.0 (204.4)
2Sergey SirotkinWilliamsMercedes320.0 (198.8)-9.0
3Kevin MagnussenHaasFerrari319.8 (198.7)-9.2
4Carlos Sainz JnrRenaultRenault319.2 (198.3)-9.8
5Lance StrollWilliamsMercedes318.4 (197.8)-10.6
6Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes318.0 (197.6)-11.0
7Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes316.7 (196.8)-12.3
8Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG Heuer316.6 (196.7)-12.4
9Valtteri BottasMercedesMercedes315.7 (196.2)-13.3
10Max VerstappenRed BullTAG Heuer315.4 (196.0)-13.6
11Charles LeclercSauberFerrari313.9 (195.0)-15.1
12Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenRenault312.5 (194.2)-16.5
13Nico HulkenbergRenaultRenault312.1 (193.9)-16.9
14Fernando AlonsoMcLarenRenault309.9 (192.6)-19.1
15Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari309.4 (192.3)-19.6
16Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari309.3 (192.2)-19.7
17Marcus EricssonSauberFerrari307.6 (191.1)-21.4
18Pierre GaslyToro RossoHonda304.3 (189.1)-24.7
19Brendon HartleyToro RossoHonda300.0 (186.4)-29.0
20Romain GrosjeanHaasFerrari299.0 (185.8)-30.0

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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...
Dieter Rencken
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  • 18 comments on “Rear wings reveal rivals’ power advantage – Sainz”

    1. I just realized – there are only 4 engine manufacturers in F1.
      There are:
      – Mercedes – 6 cars
      – Ferrari – 6 cars
      – Renault – 4 cars
      – Honda – 2 cars

      Once Torro Rosso are fed up with Honda, there will be only 3: two top engines and the weaker Renault.

      1. it only took you 4 year more and less? And we started the hybrid era with 3. Also there are 6 cars with Renault engines

        On a serious note, Toro Rosso won’t be fed up with Honda, and most likely they will be with RBR also

        next yera this could be
        Mercedes – 6 cars
        Ferrari – 6 cars
        Renault – 4 cars
        Honda – 4 cars

        1. Yup, corrected:
          – Mercedes – 6 cars
          – Ferrari – 6 cars
          – Renault – 6 cars
          – Honda – 2 cars

          Indeed, only now have I realized it. Shows you how much I care about that. Everybody should have a Mercedes power unit, or whatever you call it these days.

      2. You ‘d realize u’r missing MCL here.. Renault actually supply 6 cars not 4.

        1. *supplies

    2. Looks like Ocon found the party mode switch….

    3. Very much surprised to see Ferrari and co way down at the bottom of the speed trap chart.
      Wonder why.

      1. down-force, a lot of it, that what that car generates, which results in lower top speeds

        1. @johnmilk
          I understand that.
          Isnt downforce a “car” thing ? it needs to be in a balanced with the power output as well.
          But its not just one team, we also see Haas and Sauber there.
          Nevertheless, Vettel and Kimi are 20ks down–that looks like a massive trade-off then. Dont think it affected them too much in the race though.

          1. @webtel that’s setup related, most likely they have choose to run more wing than others.

            We have to be careful with this data, you see one of the Haas at the bottom and the other in 3rd, so how many of this were measured while cars were in the slipstream, and how many didn’t have that benefit?

        2. Read this and you’ll understand it :)

          https://www.f1technical.net/news/21610

      2. Maybe more downforce in their set-up. 1 Haas and 1 Sauber weren’t that bad, so it’s not the engine. I think Ferrari and their customers (Haas and Sauber) not only share data but also follow mostly the same “approach” each GP. I’ve noticed Ferrari, Haas and Sauber have the same tyre allocation every GP. More than sure it’s not a coincidence.

        1. @mg1982

          follow mostly the same “approach” each GP. I’ve noticed Ferrari, Haas and Sauber have the same tyre allocation every GP.

          I have noticed that too. Makes sense.
          Especially when you car is just Ferrari parts covered with a carbon fibre body that reads “Haas”.

      3. @webtel, it was a deliberate decision to run a higher downforce package for this weekend so the team could maximise the performance of the car in the middle sector, even if they gave away a bit in the first and last sectors. At quite a few of the previous races Ferrari have tended to be topping the speed traps and comparisons between them and Mercedes have shown Ferrari seeming to gain time relative to Mercedes on the straights, so it seems to be a set up configuration specific to this venue.

    4. Why isn’t the speed trap located at the end of the S/F straight (approximately slightly before the start of the braking zone for turn 1)? In Brazil, the distance between the S/F line (which also gives speed data as well as the sector timing points) and turn 1 is more or less the same as in Baku, and yet there the speed trap indeed is located shortly before turn 1, so why not in Baku as well?

    5. As far as I know top speeds are meaningless when it comes to assessin engine performance. Car A can have an engine 100 hp more powerful than car B and still be slower in the straights because it uses a setup with more downforce. Actually, I don’t think there is any way at all of knowing which F1 engine is more powerful, I think the best we can have are the educated guesses of some engineers.

    6. Obviously speeds were random and with/without a tow. No way those engines have that much difference.

    7. Those speedtraps er faulty..it was blowing more than 30 m/s in gusts

    Comments are closed.