Formula 1, Australia: Red Bull No Brakes, Super Williams | FormulaPassion – Carlo Platella
A sly qualifier takes place in Australia, where the difference is adapting to changing conditions, but above all being able to get the tires up to temperature. Throughout the qualification period, the asphalt remained at 23 degrees Celsius, about ten degrees lower than those witnessed in the night sessions in Jeddah, as well as the coldest conditions it has encountered since the beginning of the year. The low temperatures, combined with occasional rain until Saturday morning, made the Albert Park track very slippery. The conditions were difficult for the teams and riders to explain, forcing them to go to great lengths to raise the temperature of the tyres. A scenario that rewarded Red Bull with large payload capacity and that helps explain Mercedes and Ferrari’s once again excellent struggles.
Red Bull, brake alarm
Double sided qualifiers for Red Bull, just like two weeks in Saudi Arabia. In Australia, Max Verstappen clinches a new pole position, with the RB19 so competitive the environmental conditions keep it in check. In a session where everyone struggled to warm up and ‘light’ the tyres, the massive load Red Bull could count on was very helpful in this matter. Not coincidentally, the world champion was the only one to methodically go off the timed laps after just one warm-up session. The Milton Keynes team also brought to Australia two new front wing panels, Bigger update than it looks. Verstappen and Perez have often complained about a lack of control at the start of the season, which is why having new tools available to increase frontal load helps correct balance without compromising the mechanical setup of the suspension. All this opens up new setup options, allowing you to load the rear as well and increase the overall load, without fear of aerodynamic imbalances. On the exact topic of loading, after a Friday of trials in two different formats, both riders opted out The most loaded aerodynamic dress. The single-sided beam wing was maintained on Jeddah, removing the diffuser and downforce generated by the undercarriage, but a new front wing was installed along with the higher downforce rear spoiler in Bahrain.
For the Red Bull who starts first, there is another who starts last row. Sergio Pérez got stuck in turn three after spun wide under braking with a lock, and complained on the radio about the same problem he had in free practice. Since the Bahrain Grand Prix, Red Bull drivers have been pointing out that downshifting is not linear, which creates problems when braking. In fact, when shifting from one gear to the next, the engine braking force transmitted to the wheels varies, and changes normally made by the brake control unit are compensated by wire by the hydraulic brakes. However, the RB19’s abnormally downshifts cause incorrect braking force at the rear, resulting in an imperfect braking balance. As a result, the control unit determines unpredictable braking drain, i.e. excessive shifting of the braking distribution between the two axles during the same braking period. And so Verstappen and Perez collide with the hard-to-stop and steer RB19 at the entrance to the corner. The Mexican will have plenty of time to recover in the race, but gearbox problems remain. If these are due to the control software, Red Bull will be able to intervene during the break, while if they are based on design flaws, they will be more complicated to remedy.
Mercedes comes back to life
The Black Arrows are playing their best qualifier of the season in Australia. The times show how the W14s defend themselves in the central sector dominated by the long straight, underscoring how far the 2023 project is a leap forward in terms of speed on the straight compared to the W13. On Saturday in Melbourne, Mercedes took advantage of the cooler temperatures, which helped put the car into the correct running window, with a jump in performance the drivers could barely explain. Just on the topic of drivers, George Russell is once again closing in on Lewis Hamilton. Russell’s flying lap skills have been known for years, when by true miracles he managed to put Williams in Q2 or even Q3. for his part Hamilton points his finger at a car that is too focused on its front end, in contrast to his preference for the company of the caliphs. In this, moving the forward drive mode did not help the multiple world champion. Mercedes will fight for the podium with Aston Martin, whose best time came in the first sector. Once again, the AMR23 proves to be a heavily loaded car, which manages to instantly raise the temperature of the tires.
If the cold helps Mercedes get into the perfect window, For Ferrari it had the opposite effect. Furthermore, on some days, pilots would describe the SF-23 as a single-seater that was extremely sensitive to external conditions and easily went out of its operating window. In Australian qualifying, there is added confirmation that the Reds are struggling to get their tyres to warm up, requiring more warm-up laps. In this, Cavallino suffers from very conservative design goals, with the Maranello team not having increased the load compared to last season. Indeed, in the Gestione Sportiva it was wrongly expected that no one would be able to recover the payload lost by the changes to the road surface imposed by the regulations. Back in Melbourne, a second try build-up strategy in the third quarter cost Leclerc at least two spots in the net. Monegasque, instructed by a wall of Ferrari who feared the arrival of rain, made just one warm-up lap, and then found himself a lap down on the cold tyres. Sainz, on the other hand, carried out a double preparatory run, a scenario that re-proposes the image of a Ferrari that, in unforeseen weather conditions, tends to differentiate the options to work correctly with the car, thus making sure that the decision is made. error with the other.
The English team is ahead of the others in Australia, at least on the fast lap, with Alexander Albon starting from eighth. Williams is said to be the car that has advanced the most since last season, second only to Aston Martin in this. as well as his predecessor, FW45 is a straight line missile, but this year the car does not suffer from an acute shortage of loads, managing to stand up for itself even in the most pushed periods. The low load package is also among the most complete on the grid, thought out to the last detail: front spoiler, rear spoiler, crossbar spoiler, wheel unit attachments and hood. As if that weren’t enough, Williams brought updates for the third race in a row, replicating the Alpine-school rear spoiler finish panel and Aston Martin helping out the diffuser. The picture is that of a team that performs well both in the planning phase of the project and in development during the season, and then manages to extract all its potential with effective setup options.
Back to Q3 Haas With Nico Hulkenberg. The Italian-American team retained the offloaded Jeddah wing, but opted for a different strategy, paying the straight but defending themselves in sectors one and three thanks to a more loaded setup by way of the double beam wing. , which will be beneficial to the competition. Closes the top 10 Alps, which remains the favorite to establish itself in the middle of the group struggle. Finally, it should be noted that both of them are for the first time this season alpha tori It passed the Q1 cut, though the full updates to the back and diffuser were fitted by De Vries alone. Now talk to the race, as high temperatures can alter the values shown in qualifying.
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