How do the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team keep cool for the 2017 season?
The changes to the cars for the F1 season are well documented from the teams themselves and the official summary at Formula1.com. Whilst we are still waiting to see how the cars will actually look there are two outcomes we know for sure, the cars are going to look meaner and will definitely be faster - up to 25mph faster in some corners.
These have been driven from some of the biggest technical changes we've seen for a few years mainly driven around how the air moves around the car.
- Tyres are 25% wider.
- Upto 150mm wider front wing and 200mm wider overall.
- The rear wing is 150mm lower.
- The diffuser is more powerful due to the increasing width.
Last year Mercedes won the constructors title for the third year in a row and sealed the season with a head to head battle between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Will they make it another back to back set of trophies for 2017?
Those with keen sight will often see the ebm-papst logo popping up in the garage to keep the car cool.
But the relationship with ebm-papst doesn't end there. Ever noticed how despite the pressure those Mercedes engineers never look hot and bothered despite the humid conditions of some of the race locations? Excluding Silverstone and the British weather obviously.
As Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes Benz Motorsports says "We have 60 or 70 mechanics working in the pit garages. When the car arrives with a hot engine and hot brakes, the temperature can become very high. Both the mechanics and the drivers perform better when the temperature in the garage is 28 °C instead of 45 °C. With ebm-papst, we have created a pleasant working climate. This provides a clear advantage in the competitive racing environment at Grands Prix."
He goes on to say "it’s very important that all the different parts of the team work together. And ebm-papst is a key part of the team because the company helps us in many critical areas. It makes a major contribution by effectively cooling our cars at the track with the on-car cooling fans. And our employees work more efficiently and effectively in a cooler environment in the team garages as well."
It's not just the pit and the car that benefit from the collaboration with ebm-papst, "we have 800 employees at our headquarters in Brackley in the UK. It is important that they work in a comfortable air conditioned buildings — not too cold or too hot and with pleasant air — so they can concentrate. As we measure and improve all aspects of our operation on a continuous basis, I can confidently say that ebm-papst help our success."
If you want to read more from this interview with Totto you can read the full version here on the ebm-papst website.
We all know a noisy work environment can be descracting, in May 2016 the creative team spoke about how the changes to their air conditioning system helped them be more productive. The changes must have paid off given the successes at the end of the season.
Whilst arguabley not quite as spine tingling as the F1 cars of old I don't know about you but it still sounds good to me as this teaser for the 2017 car demonstates.
Good luck to Mercedes in 2017 and enjoy the racing!