Ambient temperatures in Shanghai can be variable and there has been a variation of +/-10°C over the past ten years. Temperatures can even oscillate drastically over the course of the weekend, with a variant of around 5°C at some points. While lower temperatures mean a greater engine power output, the changes in ambient conditions can affect the amount of knock, which the engineers will need to carefully monitor.
The Shanghai International Circuit is an exposed track, influenced by wind speed and direction. The main problem is usually T14, with the rest of the track a bit more sheltered. A head wind down the main straight will affect the top speed of the car and must be taken into account when assessing the performance of the engines.
The location of the Shanghai track also provides an unusual challenge. The circuit is situated in an industrial zone next to several factories, some of which produce concrete, which leads to a high concentration of dust particles in the air. It is important to have a good air filter to prevent damage to the turbo compressor and ICE.
When a driver applies the DRS on a straight, the amount of drag created by the rear wing is suddenly reduced. This means that for the same engine power the car accelerates more and reaches a higher top speed. Engineers estimate that the application of the DRS will result in an RPM increase of up to 800RPM at the end of the straight.
Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations
In Malaysia we got close to what we would consider the normal level of driveability we had at the end of 2014. For China we will have some small steps forward. We have continued the intensive test program started after Australia and we will see further results in Shanghai. Performance was likewise an improvement in Malaysia, although we did keep some in reserve to safeguard reliability. Now we are getting more confident in this area we can afford to be more aggressive and we should see better results on the straights, with a higher top speed. We finished in 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th in Malaysia and with the improvements put in place we hope to be further up. Toro Rosso has shown it has a good basic car and the drivers are confident, while Red Bull should be on top of the issues experienced in Malaysia.
With the improvements to driveability and overall performance, we hope we can fight the Williams’ cars and grab some more points in China.
Did you know…from Total
If the classic unleaded Total Excellium were to fuel the Renault Energy F1-2015 Power Unit it would not provide optimal efficiency, with a power drop off in the order of around 30bhp. Total has instead created a fuel that is better adapted to the combustion chamber of the PU. The fuel has around 200 different molecules collated according to their different characteristics and properties such as volatility, response to ignition, energy content, flame speed or even octane rating.