Site logo

German GP: Friday Press Conference

NEWS STORY
10/07/2009

A question to you all. Obviously the pace of development is very important in Formula One at the moment. Can you give us an indication of the pace of development and the new parts that you have brought to this particular race?
Pat Symonds: Well, as always the emphasis is on an aerodynamic development. The pace is high but it needs to be high for us as we try and catch the guys at the front. We have got a lot of new parts here. We have got a new front wing, a new engine cover. We have got modifications to the floor. The pace is relentless and it needs to be because when people like Red Bull put sort of 0.6 of a second on the car at Silverstone, it just makes it that much harder for us all to catch up.

Paddy Lowe: Actually we have pretty much the same package that Pat has just described although we have got a completely new floor and new front wing and top body. Yes, the same and it has been for some years now absolutely relentless. To give an example, the package we brought here, we accelerated that by more than a fortnight to get it here in time. I know of a guy that worked a machine 36 hours non-stop, without sleep, early this week on our floor. But that is the spirit of Formula One and the great competition that we have.

Sam Michael: Actually, listening to what the other guys have been saying it sounds like we are all doing the same thing. We have got a new engine cover, front wing and diffuser modifications as well. I think it is relentless but it is good for Formula One. The racing has been unbelievably close in terms of lap times, probably a lot more so than what I expected it to be with such a big rule change because all the cars are still in an early stage of development relative to the cars we finished with last year. We know how much pace we are putting on our car at every race. I would say on average you are having to put on 2 to 2.5 tenths every race just to stay where you are. That tells you everyone is developing very hard. I think that will continue all year. I don't think it will be the same as last year as some teams gave up early to concentrate on their new cars. This year really I think everyone will be developing to the last grand prix as 95 per cent of it should carry over to next year's car, so I think that development race is going to go all the way through.

Adrian Newey: Yeah, I feel a bit left out having put a fairly major update on the car for Silverstone. We have actually got very little here apart from a new, what we call, pod vane which is the vertical vane at the front of the side pod but other than that the car is the same as at Silverstone. On average the pace is very high as everyone has said. A big regulation change as we have had then there is a much steeper learning curve than there would be perhaps at the end of the old regulations where we had had a stable set of regulations for between five and 10 years depending when you look at the previous big change.

Another question to all of you. The overtaking situation. People have talked about what more work needs to be done on overtaking from the Overtaking Working Group. What are your thoughts on that? What can be done? Can it be closed up?
PS: I think that the work that the Overtaking Working Group did was good. The evidence to support that is sparse, unfortunately. We have had some wet races and we have not had much in the way of cars that are out of position on the grid and things like that. But actually I was having a look at this very subject the week before last, well, straight after Silverstone. I think that, as I put things together, I could see that give or take a little bit we had achieved a fair bit of what we set out to do. I think that there is no doubt that the cars can follow a little bit closer. Statistically, if you analyse the races that are worth analysing this year there has been a little bit more overtaking. I think we probably didn't go as far as we wished or wanted to. We were setting out to try and halve the time difference needed to produce a successful overtake and maybe we haven't quite got that far. But equally I think – and I don't know whether Paddy would agree with me – I think we set a very low target for the downforce knowing that once the teams got working on it 24/7 they would rapidly bring that downforce up but I have to say it went up a little bit further than I expected it to which is not condusive to overtaking amongst other things.

PL: Yeah, I agree with Pat. We always need the level of downforce. It was important as obviously that affects the weight more significantly than anything else and the fact that the downforce that has been achieved by the cars this year is significantly higher than anticipated means inevitably that some of the work we did has been eroded in effect. I think the other factor that is worth bearing in mind, which is quite fundamental, is that as Formula One has become, I would say, more thoroughly professional from end to end and better resourced from end to end on the grid the performances have closed up, so in actual fact the spread of lap time performance from end to end of the grid is about half what it was five years ago. Now if all the cars are that much closer it just means they will always find it more difficult to overtake, so it is quite a difficult problem to crack.

SM: I think the cars are definitely better than what we had last year. It is very difficult as Pat said to quantify that and put a number on it. I think some of the improvements have come through from tidying the cars up, so you don't get as dirtier a wake behind the car if you look at the cleanliness of the side pods and everything now. It has definitely made a difference. When we went through all of the preparation for the court appeal on the diffuser a couple of months ago we looked a lot in CFD at different devices on the car that either made the weight better or worse and there were two or three things on there which made it significantly worse, not just because of the total level of downforce but because they were quite bad for the wake. I think it has been a step in the right direction but it is one of the things you have got to keep working on. You are not going to get to some magic solution in one step I don't think unless you make something false and I don't think anyone wants to do that. One of the things that have been discussed for next year is to remove wheel fairings and not have static or rotating wheel fairings and that, coincidentally, was one of things that, when we did CFD studies two or three months ago, showed quite an adverse effect on the following car. It won't be a night and day. It is the sort of thing where you need to find three or four little things like that and that will add up to a difference, so I think it is going in the right direction but it just needs more.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2020. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms