Setting the Scene
Cosworth’s Circuit Tracker for the Turkish Grand Prix highlighted Istanbul Park as one of the biggest all-round tests on engines for the entire season, putting the unit through a complete workout with a varied mix of high, medium and low-speed sections.
While the multi-apex turn 8 remains the greatest challenge for drivers, the range of corner types around Istanbul Park, coupled with the back straight, turn 11 and inclusion of KERS and DRS solutions, places a great emphasis on correct gear ratio selection.
Race Weekend Engineering Notes
AT&T Williams only narrowly missed out on making Q3 after an encouraging performance by Rubens Barrichello which was set without some of the team’s latest specification aerodynamic parts. Pastor Maldonado also made it through to Q2 in spite of running without KERS. The team’s improved performance did not translate into the hoped-for points finish, but the FW33 continues to show signs of pace, as demonstrated by Barrichello’s spirited first race stint.
Hispania Racing’s upward trajectory was maintained in Turkey with both Tonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan narrowing the gap to their nearest rivals. For the first time in their short history, both team cars started off the back row of the grid with a clearly more competitive qualifying performance. Another two-car finish and elevated ambitions for the race reinforce the team’s continued improvements.
Marussia Virgin Racing had a mixed Turkish Grand Prix with Timo Glock’s MVR-02 not making the start due to gearbox problems. Jerome D’Ambrosio had a promising run to 20th after a brave decision to two-stop in stark contrast to other drivers three or four stop strategies.
In a race with impressive reliability, all five Cosworth-powered cars that started the race made it to the chequered flag with no engine problems.
Mark Gallagher - Cosworth General Manager F1 Business Unit
Reliability is of course key, allowing our teams to focus their efforts on overall performance
"From a Cosworth perspective this was a relatively straightforward weekend although I think we share our teams’ frustrations with the overall results as we know that AT&T Williams, Marussia Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing Team all have ambitions to achieve better finishes and ultimately to be scoring World Championship points. It was encouraging to see the Williams-Cosworth FW33 challenging hard for a Q3 slot and narrowly miss that by 0.024s, and it’s clear that both Marussia Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing are working very hard to achieve better pace in qualifying and the races. Reliability is of course key, allowing our teams to focus their efforts on overall performance, including optimising the proven qualities of our engines."
From the Engineers Room
After four events, the 2011 Formula One World season is in full swing with teams afforded a variety of options when it comes to engine usage management. It is one of the key roles for Cosworth's on-track engineers and requires careful attention to detail to ensure each of the drivers’ eight engine lives are correctly managed throughout the season. Engine usage has become a fundamental part of any team’s approach to a race weekend, so the role Cosworth plays with AT&T Williams, Marussia Virgin Racing and Hispania Racing is as strategic as it is technical.
Teams spend a significant amount of time simulating engine usage at all of the circuits
Gerry Hughes - Cosworth Formula One Track Support Manager
"With only eight engines per chassis/driver combination per season, teams spend a significant amount of time simulating engine usage at all of the circuits in order to define their own team specific engine usage plan based on a number of engine performance metrics. One of the functions that I perform on a continual basis is to discuss engine usage with the teams in order that this is fully optimised throughout the season, especially as this is wholly dependant on the engine mileage accrued in each of the sessions and races and, as such, is a very fluid and iterative process."