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The F1 W05: A Technical Revolution

The F1 W05: A Technical Revolution

The F1 W05 is the most complex Formula One car ever produced by the team at Brackley powered by the PU106A Hybrid Power Unit, the most complex power unit developed in the history of Brixworth. The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) at the heart of the new Power Unit has been down-sized to a 1.6 litre V6 configuration and down-speeded to a maximum of 15,000 rpm. To achieve high power delivery and therefore efficiency from the ICE, a pressure charging system has been introduced, in the form of a single stage turbocharger and compressor. The new Hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS), which incorporate electric motors capable of recovering both kinetic and waste heat energy, presented a ten-fold greater challenge than its predecessor, KERS, which was pioneered by Mercedes-Benz in 2009. This advanced Hybrid system is integral to car performance and marks a significant step forward in both system performance and durability. Each driver is permitted to use just five Power Units per season without penalty.

The lifeblood of the new Power Unit is the fluid technology delivered by PETRONAS. New tailor-made fuel and lubricants have been developed molecule-by-molecule by PETRONAS technologists to meet the challenges of the 2014 Power Unit. This year, fuel energy density has become one of the controlling performance parameters of the sport and improving efficiency is for the first time in Formula One fully aligned with improving performance. The contribution of PETRONAS in delivering total Fluid Technology Solutions has been essential to the delivery of the 2014 Power Unit. Never before in the history of Formula One have a Power Unit and its fuel and lubricants been developed so closely.

The Power Unit has been designed for optimum installation in the F1 W05 chassis. This new car is the product of an aggressive development philosophy targeted at optimising the packaging of new on-car systems, such as the increased cooling demands of the Power Unit, in order to give the team’s aerodynamic group maximum freedom to respond to a significantly different regulatory framework. Compared to 2013, the regulations impose a narrower front wing; the removal of the lower rear wing and a reduction in size of the upper wing; and a central exhaust exit which negates the effect of ‘exhaust blowing’ which powerfully contributed to performance in the past three seasons. Every component has been reviewed and redesigned to get as close as possible to the challenging overall minimum weight limit of 691 kg. The result is an exceptionally tightly packaged vehicle which sets new standards in terms of overall integration.

Andy Cowell, Managing Director Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth, explained:

“The 2014 regulations are a game changer for Formula One. In the V8 era, the power potential of the normally aspirated engine was controlled by the flow of air into the engine – and therefore engine capacity and rpm. For 2014, that has been fundamentally turned on its head. The wider automotive industry is focused on the amount of fuel going into an engine, and the amount of CO2 it emits, and these are now our controlling parameters, with a maximum fuel flow rate and race fuel allowance. The fundamental question is now: how can we best convert 100 kg of fuel energy into useful mechanical energy? This challenge has pushed us to develop cutting-edge new technologies, both within the Internal Combustion Engine itself and in the ERS Hybrid system, with the valuable support of our Research and Development colleagues in Stuttgart. These will enable us to develop over 30% more power per unit of fuel than we did with the V8 engine. It has been an exciting and rewarding challenge so far, characterised by a strong competitive spirit and the common objective of building a winning Silver Arrow. But the hardest work is undoubtedly still to come. We will keep our feet on the ground and methodically work through our winter testing programme in order to arrive in Melbourne as well prepared as we possibly can be.”

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