The interesting battle between the three engine suppliers may be different than we think according to news reports.
While Mercedes dominated the week with good reliability as well as having a German powered team top the timings three of four days, Ferrari may have the better overall engine.
According to Germany’s Speed Week the Italian V6 unit produced a very unique sound when the drivers were off throttle; it is thought their chief engine designer Luca Marmorini may have devised a system that cuts off the fuel flow when the driver is not accelerating.
This would not only improve the fuel efficiency, which is important in 2014, but also improve engine braking. This is another vital area due to the greater effect the larger ERS system will play in collecting energy.
The new F14-T’s airbox and sidepods also caught the attention of the F1 paddock in Spain, which suggests the works team has come up with a solution to the key issue of cooling, the thing that blighted all the Renault powered cars over the four days.
Mercedes’ engine boss Andy Cowell was asked about the Ferrari solution by Auto Motor und Sport, he replied: “Cooling has become such an important issue, both for power and for the aerodynamics, so a lot of research has gone into this field.”
While the Ferrari engine does appear to have the edge in some areas, the Mercedes power unit was the one most left Jerez talking about.
McLaren’s Jenson Button admitted he was impressed at how all four Mercedes-powered teams have worked together so far during this new V6 era.
“While we are here to fight each other as teams,” he is quoted as saying by the Mirror. "The more information we can share in the next weeks or months can really help us.
“So we are all in good shape if we continue like that,” Button said.
As for the third supplier Renault, nothing seemed to be in their favour at the opening test.
With Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham all struggling with the new V6 engines last week it is understood Renault paid for Lotus to undertake two 'filming' days last weekend and invited the three teams to send observers.
According to Brazil’s Globo the new E22 will have a Renault unit running with some of the changes the French supplier have come up with since the difficult four days endured last week.
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