Tim

Tuesday Update – Brawn to be Wild? F1 cars testing…

In Formula 1 on 10 March, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Well, the first two days of testing for two teams – Scuderia Toro Rosso, and BrawnGP…

Jenson Button hit the headlines on Monday at lunch, after topping the time sheets. There were immediate cries of light fuel loads and low ballast, of course, but just from the media, not from any of the opposing teams technical directors, all of whom were apparently very interested at the back end of the BGP 001…

There has been a bit of furore over rear-ends recently… Toyota and Williams both caused a stir by having diffusers that interpreted the new rules in a slightly different manner to their rivals, but which have been approved by the FIA. Adrian Newey at Red Bull has gone for a retro pull-bar rear suspension that allows for certain mechanical and aerodynamic benefits that had been dismissed by other teams as outdated, but Newey believes that the rules have changed sufficiently to warrant the benefits he believes can be gained elsewhere through the use of this suspension.

“Ah-ha!” I hear you say, “But they have a Mercedes engine supply, so surely the BrawnGP car is going to have a rear end similar to the McLaren or Force India?”

No. Actually not at all. You see, today, Ross Brawn mentioned that unlike Force India, who have a complete drivetrain from Mercedes (engine, gearbox, KERS, etc.) BrawnGP only have an engine. The gearbox is their own. That is also part of the reason that they couldn’t use Ferrari engines… They wouldn’t fit as nicely with the gearbox as the Mercedes engine did. It wasn’t that Ferrari would have a hard time supplying two teams, as Force India had just switched to Mercedes from Ferrari, so they could quite easily have continued producing the same number of engines as last year…

They don’t currently have a KERS system, despite Honda being quite far ahead in developing that area, as when Honda stopped producing engines, the KERS went with them… I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that they adopt the Flybrid KERS system being used by Williams…

Anyway, on Monday, by the end of the day, Button had been knocked down to fourth by Heidfeld for BMW, Räikkönen for Ferrari, and Trulli for Toyota.. … but the BrawnGP car had managed 82 laps! Not bad for a prototype (this is their ONLY car at the moment – they hope to have at least two in time for Melbourne!) on it’s first real test day!

Today’s test finished with Räikkönen top the times, but Rubens Barrichello finishing off a very respectable third!

As my mate Stu just said, when I mentioned that this was the team’s first proper “Ross Brawn” car: “This isn’t just any Formula One car… This is a Marks & Spencer’s Formula One car…”

How about them for a sponsor, Ross?

Roll on Melbourne…

Official BrawnGP website: Click here

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