The new Mercedes F1 engine PU106C-drive unit has passed its first tests brilliantly. The four prototype cars reeled off a total of 343 laps or 1597 km. The progress can be summed up in three words: loud, stronger, efficient.
Mercedes has big plans for the 8 days of testing in Barcelona. “We want to pack the same amount of work, we have done last year in 12 days, in two-thirds of the time,” confirmed Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe. Lewis Hamilton made 156 laps or 726 kilometers already.
Mercedes’ new drive unit with the symbol PU106C will also make a splash this year alongside Williams, Force India and Manor teams.
Unlike the last third of the season 2015, all Mercedes teams will now be equipped with the same hardware and software. That should remain so, promises Lowe. With one limitation. “If something unforeseen happens during the tests, we need to think about Plan B. So far we have not yet, however.”
The logistics, as only 5 engines are distributed per driver over the season, is not yet known. “We decide after the test drives. There are two variants. Either distribute kilometers evenly on 5 engines, or specify the schedule on 4 engines and keep a Joker in the hindquarters. At the moment, the motors are designed so that it meets the first plan. ” Paddy Lowe explains: “We’ll only know in Melbourne, whether it is at all 21 races and thus 5 engines or not. This is the time that decides on this question..”
Mercedes has also risen on efficiency and performance. The new V6 turbo mobilizes a system performance, which is above the power of the strongest V10 in the house. The information about how much power the Mercedes-ten-cylinder from 2005 really had, differ somewhat. Mario Illien speaks of 930 hp, others of “just over 900 horsepower”.
A significant part into the increase in performance has been contributed to by new fuels and oils. Petronas brought in Monza in 2015, a new gasoline and in Sochi in 2015 a new engine oil. With the beginning of the season 2016, the Mercedes is again working with a new lubricant. The development work in this field is impressive. Petronas has tested 37 different oils and 65 different types of gasoline in the course of last year.
Thanks to the new wastegate pipe the engines are again a little louder. The noise level rose from 124 to 128 decibels. “We are not so far from the V8 sound. And we have more ideas on how to increase the volume.” For better sound quality also contributes to search for more performance. “We always go higher boost pressures,” Lowe explains.
The 2016 F1 W07 Mercedes F1 car made its first public appearance yesteday in Barcelona. World champion Lewis Hamilton and runner up Nico Rosberg took the cover off the racing car that is supposed to make history for the third consecutive season. READ MORE ABOUT THE NEW MERCEDES F1 CAR HERE.