Tag: Paddy Lowe

Mercedes tweet images of W07

Reigning world champions Mercedes have tweeted images of the car they hope will help them retain the championship for the third year in a row.

While the W07 looks largely similar to its predecessor, Paddy Lowe has revealed that most of the changes come on the inside. “It’s difficult to have a complete revolution when the rules have stayed pretty much the same year on year,” he explained. “We aim to make minor revolutions whenever we can – even within a small context. We may look at a completely new packaging solution or suspension concept, for instance. Underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”

“It’s very tough to find performances under a stable set of regulations,” he continued. “We were particularly pleased with how the car turned out in 2015 when we had the same situation. The team did a fantastic job – digging very deep to find all sorts of innovations in areas that might have been considered static. 2016 is another carry-over year from a regulatory point of view and potential gains inevitably become harder to find under these circumstances. This is what tests an engineering team the most and  I must say that this team has been very good at that. It’s far easier to find performance when yo have a new set of rules, that’s for sure.”

It’s not only with the chassis that Mercedes hope strides will be made, they have also been working to maintain the level of performance their engine gave in 2015. “To get the performance out of this new generation of Power  Units, you need to chase efficiency,” Andy Cowell explained. “That’s both combustion efficiency and efficiency in the various energy transition steps – i.e. MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, power electronics and batteries. We’re constantly working on every single piece of the puzzle to improve performance at the crankshaft, while also seeking to ensure we don’t suffer any of the problems we had last year with reliability. So, it’s about getting down to the root cause of issues and making sure that everything is robust across our whole process, as much as extracting performance.”



2014: Mercedes unveil W05 in Jerez

Mercedes have taken the covers off the W05 in the Jerez pit-lane, ahead of the first day of testing.

The car features a nose similar to Ferrari’s and a moderately revised livery. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took the covers off the car, with Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe both present for photographs.

Having finished second to Red Bull in the championship last year, Mercedes will be hoping they can go further and win it this year.

“It is always exciting to pull the wraps off a new car for the first time, but even more so at the start of this momentous 2014 season,” Toto Wolff, Executive Director of Business at Mercedes said. “Our new Silver Arrow is the result of a single-minded, integrated approach between our engineering teams. My compliments and thanks go to every team member in Brackley, at Brixworth and also at our key partner, Petronas, for their hard work to deliver this new car and the Power Unit at its heart; it is the result of several years of intense effort. But we know that the adventure has only just begun”.

The car was taken for a shakedown at Silverstone last week by Rosberg, but today pre-season testing in Jerez starts, which will allow the teams to get to grips with their new cars.

“We have a busy winter testing period ahead of us and a long season where both performance and reliability will be critically important,” he continued. “Lewis and Nico begin the season hungry for success and I am confident that our team will benefit thanks to the continuity of their work during the winter period. We have positive momentum after our second-place finish last season. Our clear target is to continue building up our team and we aim to deliver on every single race weekend in 2014!”

Following the departure of Ross Brawn as Team Principal, Paddy Lowe has stepped up as Executive Director (Technical). “For 2014 we have probably the greatest change in regulations in Formula One history and the start of a new era for our sport,” he said. “From a technical and also a racing perspective, this is an incredibly exciting time for Formula One. We are introducing technologies that are new not just to racing but to the wider automotive world as well. The headline is that of improved efficiency and the fact that we will be completing races with advanced Hybrid systems on just 100kg of fuel sends a great message about the technology that Formula One can deliver”.

“But it is also about the technology that Mercedes-Benz can develop compared with our competition,” Lowe concluded. “Both for the chassis and the new Power Unit. The whole team has done a fantastic job on the management of the project and its delivery. We have hit our milestones and hit our targets but, as ever, we will only begin to understand how successful we have been once we begin running in anger on track. The new car is an elegant but aggressive design and, as is often the way, its beauty is much more than skin deep; the internal engineering of the car is extremely innovative and intelligent. Our team can be justifiably proud of its work so far – but none of us are under any illusions about the amount we still have to do before the first race in six weeks’ time”.

Mercedes-Benz are celebrating 120 years in Motorsport this year, in particular the 80th anniversary of the Silver Arrows.

A Review of the Year: F1 – March, April & May

Part two of a review of the year (2013) in Formula One. Part one (January & February) can be found by following this link.

March 2013

No sooner had Luis Razia been announced as a Marussia driver than he was replaced by Jules Bianchi due to financial reasons.

The third and final pre-season test continued and concluded with Nico Rosberg setting the fastest overall time.

Prior to the first race of the year (the Australian Grand Prix), Formula One announced the extension of its partnership with DHL, with the company remaining as the Official Logistics and Global Partner and sponsoring the Fastest Lap Award.

Sebastian Vettel demonstrated a taster for the year ahead by topping both FP1 and FP2 in Australia. Romain Grosjean was fastest in FP3. Qualifying was delayed until Sunday due to heavy rain. Vettel took pole position but it was Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who took the first race win of the year. Fernando Alonso and Vettel also finished on the podium. Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta, Button and Grosjean rounded out the top ten. The race was the first indication of the struggles McLaren would face over the year.

Mercedes announced that Chief Executive Officer Nick Fry would be standing down from his position, although remaining with the team as a consultant.

Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen topped first and second practice in Malaysia but it was Sebastian Vettel who ultimately topped FP3 and qualifying, then going on to win the race.

Force India announced that their deal with Mercedes would continue into 2014 and beyond.

Williams announced that Claire Williams had become Deputy Team Principal.

April 2013

Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were fastest in the practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton took Mercedes’ first pole of the season and his first away from McLaren. Mark Webber was sent to the back of the grid after he stopped on track after qualifying, unable to provide the required fuel sample. Alonso won the race ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton.

Caterham announced that former race driver Heikki Kovalainen would be re-joining the team as a reserve driver.

Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso topped the Bahrain Grand Prix practice sessions. Nico Rosberg took Mercedes’ second podium in a row but it was Sebastian Vettel who won the race, beating the Lotus duo of Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

Sebastian Vettel became the first Formula One driver to drive at Sochi – the location of the Russian Grand Prix in 2014. He said: “I can already see it will be a fun circuit to drive in a Formula One car and the rest of the venue is very impressive.”

May 2013

In early May, Lotus announced that their Technical Director James Allison would be leaving the team. They replaced him with Nick Chester.

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa topped the Spanish Grand Prix practice sessions, but none were able to prevent Mercedes taking their third pole position in a row. It was once again Nico Rosberg, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton qualifying second to make it a front row lock-out. It was Alonso who won the race, however, beating Kimi Raikkonen and Massa to the chequered flag.

McLaren revealed that from 2015 they would once again be partnering Honda. The multi-year technology partnership would result in McLaren’s long-standing relationship with Mercedes come to an end after a final hurrah in 2014.

Mercedes announced that Paddy Lowe would join them from early June, following his early departure from McLaren.

Felipe Massa took part in a demonstration run in Warsaw. He drove the 2009 Ferrari around a specially-designed street circuit.

Pirelli announced that they would be changing their tyre constructions from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards. Paul Hembery said at the time: “Our aim is to provide the teams with a new range which mixes the stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones.”

It was revealed that the Mercedes F1 Team had taken part in a ‘secret’ test with Pirelli following the Spanish Grand Prix. The matter was brought in front of the FIA International Tribunal in June.

Nico Rosberg dominated around the streets of Monaco to top all three practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself. It was his second victory of the year and saw him finish ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. It was Mercedes’ fourth pole position from five races.

Toro Rosso revealed that they would move from Ferrari to Renault engines from 2014 onwards.

Also on the engine front, Williams announced that they would be moving from Renault to Mercedes for 2014 and beyond.

Mercedes confirm Ross Brawn departure

Mercedes have confirmed that Ross Brawn will leave the team at the end of 2013. The team principal’s departure comes as Mercedes complete the management structure they have been putting in place for the past year. Brawn will be replaced by two Executive Directors: Toto Wolff, who will deal with the business side of affairs, and Paddy Lowe, who will be in charge of the technical aspects of the team.

Brawn, who has had a long and successful history in Formula One, joined Honda as Team Principal in 2008. When they then pulled out of the sport he bought the team and it was rebranded Brawn GP. The team went on to win both the drivers and constructors championships in 2009. Brawn GP was then bought out by Mercedes for the 2010 season and Brawn has remained as Team Principal throughout.

“The most important consideration in my decision to step down from the role as Team Principal was to ensure that the timing was right for the team in order to ensure its future success,” Brawn revealed. The move comes just as Formula One is about to enter a new era in 2014 with a raft of technical regulation changes and new engines. “We felt this was the right time to simultaneously begin a new era of team management to ensure that the organisation is in the strongest possible competitive position for the years to come”.

Brawn’s departure means that Wolff and Lowe, who joined the team this year in anticipation of the management changes, will take control. Niki Lauda also remains as non-executive chairman. “First of all and most important, we must say thank you to Ross,” Lauda said. “When you consider the step that has been made from finishing fifth in 2012 to the second place that we have secured this season, he has been the architect of this success. He put the plans in place to recruit key people since early 2011, and the performance this season shows that the team is on the right track.”

“We have had long discussions with Ross about how he could continue with the team but it is a basic fact that you cannot hold somebody back when they have chosen to move on,” he continued. “Ross has decided that this is the right time to hand over the reigns to Toto and Paddy and we respect his decision.”

Brawn can leave the team with his head held high over what they have achieved over the past few years. “In its different guises over the past six seasons, this team has delivered some of the most memorable moments of my career,” Brawn recalls. “Our second place in this season’s Constructors’ Championship is an important milestone on the road to championship success. I am confident that the future will hold just as much success for the team and will take real pride in having played my own part in those achievements.”

What Brawn will do next remains a mystery. He has been touted with a possible return to Honda, who will return to F1 in 2015 as engine suppliers for McLaren, or Ferrari where he spent a successful decade as Technical Director. He is also expected to take a sabbatical next year and it wouldn’t be the first time if he does. After leaving Ferrari at the end of 2006 he took a year out before returning to the sport with Honda in 2008. Brawn would be an asset to any team, you just have to look at his history in the sport. He could also take up a role within the FIA. Whether or not this is the end of his Formula One career remains to be seen, but here’s hoping it isn’t!

McLaren: MP4-27 Launch (part 3)

McLaren MP4-27 © McLaren.com

On the morning of February 1st 2012 McLaren launched their new challenger: the MP4-27. Held at the McLaren Technology Centre, it was Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button who unveiled the car, appearing on stage alongside test drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey.     After the unveiling a Q&A session featuring Hamilton and Button, Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, Jonathan Neale and Sam Michael, Paddy Lowe and Tim Goss took place, taking questions from the floor.

The car features new sidepods, the nose is an evolution of last year’s and a lot of changes inside the car.

Below is not a full transcript of the Q&A session however it aims to summarise the main points raised.*

Question and Answer Session

Paddy Lowe (PL) – Technical Director
Tim Goss (TG) – Director of Engineering

Paddy Lowe and Tim Goss initial comments

PL: There is a great deal of change. Regulations putting us in narrower boxes [so] no radical changes. The outside looks similar [but] inside are great differences. In every area the teams are tasked to find that 1%. [We have] done a lot of work around the back end – it is a lot tighter.

Questions from the floor

Q: Both were asked if it was exciting and/or nerve-racking just before their new car takes to the track

TG: [We] have worked very hard over the winter period. Of course [we are] a bit nervous and anxious. [We] set ourselves very tough/ambitious targets. Complete re-work from nose to tail. Everything on the car has changed. Very proud of the whole team [and] we already have upgrades planned for front, back and bodywork etc.

PL: There is regulation to limit height of nose. [Ours] meets regulation but follows from last year. You can’t see performance by eye and there is a lot of fine-tuning. Everything is combined for best result in relation to team’s philosophy.

TG: There are lots of parts on the car we want to develop. The first test is used to familiarise ourselves with the car. By the time we reach the third test there is a significant upgrade package.

Q: Both men were asked about the change from ‘u’ shaped sidepods to this year’s design

TG: Last year’s sidepods worked very well. This year at a very early stage we set about a different approach to internal/external aerodynamics – ‘u’ shaped did not work as it was not suited. Ultimately you want to win the race – we have focused on producing a race winning car.

Q: Both men were asked if they had changed their philosophy in relation to producing a car which could beat the Red Bull in qualifying.

PL: Not a lot you can do between qualifying and the race. We are focused on tyre wear and  life of the tyres and concentrating hard on race performance.

This concludes a brief summary of the answers given.

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