Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

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Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Poll ended at Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:51 am

Yes - I think they are
19
37%
No - I don't think they are
29
56%
Don't think so
4
8%
Other - Leave comment
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 52

Swiss1
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Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Swiss1 »

Not seen a similar thread so hopefully not a duplicate.

Obviously the performance advantage is huge (around 3 seconds as shown in Bahrain). Most of this is down to the engine, but also as part of the complete package (they were at times the fastest car last season but suffered with tyre issues - which I am not sure if they have completely cured). We saw in Bahrain the two drivers racing to the max (of their given setup) but was this truly the max engine performance? They could easily have some 'mappings' in hand to give better performance but not allowed to use them unless they are threatened by other teams. My reasons why they would do this:

1/ They just need sufficient advantage to win and winning by a big margin is not necessary
2/ Reliability and limited engines mean you don't want to use everything you have, but be as conservative as possible
3/ Traction limitation - with the extra torque and reduced down-force, having too much power can cause problems for tyre wear, also fuel consumption

As they improve the down force and the other teams catchup, they can then increase the power as necessary. During the race they probably have at least one power mode in hand to be used if needed to battle with another team, but not within the team.

Anyhow this is just my opinion and wonder if anyone agrees or not...

pokerman
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by pokerman »

After watching the performance of the Mercedes after the SC in Bahrain that would give a new meaning to sandbagging if that was the case?

Do you think that Mercedes were merely putting on a show, that warnings given to both drivers too make sure they bring the cars home was just play acting?

We saw what the Mercedes cars were capable of and it sure was impressive and worrying for the other teams.
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dizlexik
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by dizlexik »

What about other teams that use Mercedes power? I think that Mercedes has exceptionally good car, not just engine.
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Laura23
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Laura23 »

dizlexik wrote:What about other teams that use Mercedes power? I think that Mercedes has exceptionally good car, not just engine.

I don't think anyone is denying that Merc have a very good chassis.

But they designed that power unit. They know how it works intimately in a way none of the other teams do. They can utilise the engine in a way the other can't. They will of course get any updates first as well naturally.

Williams and Force India perhaps don't feel confident enough to push their engines to max power just yet because they are still learning how the new power units function.
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dizlexik
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by dizlexik »

Laura23 wrote:
dizlexik wrote:What about other teams that use Mercedes power? I think that Mercedes has exceptionally good car, not just engine.

I don't think anyone is denying that Merc have a very good chassis.

But they designed that power unit. They know how it works intimately in a way none of the other teams do. They can utilise the engine in a way the other can't. They will of course get any updates first as well naturally.

Williams and Force India perhaps don't feel confident enough to push their engines to max power just yet because they are still learning how the new power units function.

There might be some true, but I guess it's still ultimately down to the chassis. From what I remember form one article on Sky website their advantage over other Mercedes teams is that they knew about the unique turbo placement well in advance. Other teams had much less time to exploit the advantage of PU design. I believe PU performance wise they are more or less the same.
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Laura23
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Laura23 »

dizlexik wrote:
Laura23 wrote:
dizlexik wrote:What about other teams that use Mercedes power? I think that Mercedes has exceptionally good car, not just engine.

I don't think anyone is denying that Merc have a very good chassis.

But they designed that power unit. They know how it works intimately in a way none of the other teams do. They can utilise the engine in a way the other can't. They will of course get any updates first as well naturally.

Williams and Force India perhaps don't feel confident enough to push their engines to max power just yet because they are still learning how the new power units function.

There might be some true, but I guess it's still ultimately down to the chassis. From what I remember form one article on Sky website their advantage over other Mercedes teams is that they knew about the unique turbo placement well in advance. Other teams had much less time to exploit the advantage of PU design. I believe PU performance wise they are more or less the same.

The point is they have the advantage they have because of the engine, even if it is a placement thing.

However Williams and Force India will be able to reposition the engine to fit their chassis much better in 2015. Mercedes advantage could be wiped out completely by this time next year. I don't think anyone should rule out the Brawn/one season special of dominance yet.
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Covalent
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Covalent »

What's the difference between "No - I don't think they are" and "Don't think so"?

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by pokerman »

Covalent wrote:What's the difference between "No - I don't think they are" and "Don't think so"?

I was thinking the same but it perhaps handily splits the vote?
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Alienturnedhuman
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

So are we saying that in Malaysia Hamilton was sandbagging and Rosberg was double sandbagging? Or maybe Rosberg just wasn't very good at sandbagging?

They are not sandbagging. Their 2.5s per lap advantage in Bahrain was the result of having fresh tyres compared to Perez, unlimited fuel, and Perez driving as slowly as he had to to keep 3rd place because he knew he couldn't challenge for the lead.

falconchris
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by falconchris »

I also wondered this.
If I were Mercedes (and if I had a massive advantage) I would turn down the Engines even if I were allowing my drivers to race. They want to be able to get the 1s gap after 2 laps to avoid DRS but any faster than that is just inviting the FIA to allow other manufacturers "reliability" changes to their engines.
I have no way of knowing if this is the case though (and I think the cars are revving well under the rev limit to stay in the power band so I can't think of any external way to tell)

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dizlexik
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by dizlexik »

Laura23 wrote:
dizlexik wrote:
Laura23 wrote:
dizlexik wrote:What about other teams that use Mercedes power? I think that Mercedes has exceptionally good car, not just engine.

I don't think anyone is denying that Merc have a very good chassis.

But they designed that power unit. They know how it works intimately in a way none of the other teams do. They can utilise the engine in a way the other can't. They will of course get any updates first as well naturally.

Williams and Force India perhaps don't feel confident enough to push their engines to max power just yet because they are still learning how the new power units function.

There might be some true, but I guess it's still ultimately down to the chassis. From what I remember form one article on Sky website their advantage over other Mercedes teams is that they knew about the unique turbo placement well in advance. Other teams had much less time to exploit the advantage of PU design. I believe PU performance wise they are more or less the same.

The point is they have the advantage they have because of the engine, even if it is a placement thing.

However Williams and Force India will be able to reposition the engine to fit their chassis much better in 2015. Mercedes advantage could be wiped out completely by this time next year. I don't think anyone should rule out the Brawn/one season special of dominance yet.

I think the thread is about performance. OP suggested that Mercedes may have more power and I disagreed.
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by pokerman »

falconchris wrote:I also wondered this.
If I were Mercedes (and if I had a massive advantage) I would turn down the Engines even if I were allowing my drivers to race. They want to be able to get the 1s gap after 2 laps to avoid DRS but any faster than that is just inviting the FIA to allow other manufacturers "reliability" changes to their engines.
I have no way of knowing if this is the case though (and I think the cars are revving well under the rev limit to stay in the power band so I can't think of any external way to tell)

They must be sandbagging in qualifying as well then?
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by ianwit »

I read the other day that they introduced an exhaust upgrade before Bahrain which was much tighter and realigned the side pods to suit. But the customer teams didn't have time to react and McLaren were running with a gap big enough to fit a suitcase in between the exhaust and the sidepod skin. This will be addressed by China but there could be another surprise upgrade in the offing thus keeping the customer teams all one or two races behind them on development.

Ennis
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Ennis »

It's clear their chassis is streets ahead of the rest (with the exception of RB, who perhaps are benefiting from that tight packaging that hindered testing now that most of their reliability is sorted). The Sky program showed a comparison of the width of the Merc versus the width of the Ferrari.. it was frightening. Other teams could catch up for next season, but by that point Merc already have all this season's data in hand to improve even more. There's no doubt the gap will close as the season goes on though.

On sandbagging... I think its the wrong word. It implies people are intentionally hiding performance. They may still have some performance in hand, but almost every team does as they get to grip with the engines. We've heard multiple people talking of how they have the settings very conservative to protect their engine and will ramp up as they start to learn the limits. This has also caused some embarrassing moments IIRC, including Magnussen stopping in the pit entry.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by hydra »

I don't think they're 'playing' with the rest and thus sandbagging but I do believe they have an extra 10-20% in power or performance than we've seen so far. I don't think the drivers have a little turbo switch on the wheel but it probably has something to do with max revs, I'm sure the team can make them go just a little faster if indeed Red Bull catch up with them.

I definetely think this is Mercedes's championship to lose

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by AravJ »

In the last race they were 3 seconds a lap faster than any other car while Lewis and Nico were racing each other.
The cat is already out of the bag.
They may still sand bag a Practise sessions just to give other teams some false hope.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Lojik »

Currently 42% at time of posting think Merc are sandbagging. Really? That's... surprising.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Blinky McSquinty »

I would not label it "sandbagging", but rather racing hard under restrictions. With all the changes, everyone is cautiously exploring the limits of how hard they can push their cars. And right now no one is willing or capable of turning everything up to the maximum. Please remember, reliability may decide the championship. So the engineers decide how hard the car can be pushed, install the appropriate software and settings to ensure the car comes home, then allow the rest of the team to attempt to maximize what they have.

With the strict limitations on engines and transmissions, no one would be stupid enough at this stage of the season to find out just how hard they can push the power units, because the only way to do that is to find out when it blows up. And if you decide to push the car to it's maximum just to gain a position or two in a race, the risk/reward balance may tip in the wrong direction, because a few positions in one race may be offset by having to use an additional engine later in the season, a penalty no one wants.

Formula one cars and their power units have become incredibly complex, a parallel I draw with aircraft. On it's maiden flight, no jet raises it's undercarriage, and no supersonic design every goes supersonic on it's first flight. Rather, they make sure the critical systems all function as plan, then slowly bring other systems into play, a gradual increase in system usage.

Mercedes presently enjoy an advantage, a rare thing in racing. They do not want to chuck it away by pushing too hard only to suffer setbacks. So they now have a baseline derived from past races, and can slowly increase the limitations. If they were running their water temperature at 110 degrees celsius, after examination of data the engineers may allow the water temperature to be increased.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by hydra »

nice response blinky, I agree with you.
And you make a good point about all the restrictions they are under, apparentely Merc's could have gone faster if they Fuel Flow sensor was working correctly but chose to err on the safe side, so I am sure they can increase the speed a little bit but as you mention, at this points there is no need to push the extra mile just yet.

I bet we'll see a fast race between the 2 for the last double points race!

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by sandman1347 »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:So are we saying that in Malaysia Hamilton was sandbagging and Rosberg was double sandbagging? Or maybe Rosberg just wasn't very good at sandbagging?

They are not sandbagging. Their 2.5s per lap advantage in Bahrain was the result of having fresh tyres compared to Perez, unlimited fuel, and Perez driving as slowly as he had to to keep 3rd place because he knew he couldn't challenge for the lead.

This.

They are not sandbagging. The reality is that Bahrain really was a particularly strong circuit for them. In both Australia and Malaysia, one of the Mercedes was outqualified by a Red Bull. These races count. This is not pre-season testing. They are not holding back beyond turning down their engines later in races when they have things under control.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by mika_98 »

I wouldnt say sandbagging but I feel they're not having to push as hard during the races due the the performance advantage they have. Of course, when Lewis and Nico have pushed each other along they're not exactly managing he pace but the stint after the safety car in Bahrain showed what they can really do and they are MEGA!

Would like to see how far up the road they'd be if it was a flat out race between the two.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by ClubF1 »

Their race pace is far superior than their qualy pace. It's their reserves of fuel that's giving them the edge when needed, gained from the efficiencies in aero, chassis, and energy recovery systems. They appear more on the limit during qualy than in the races, as no one is saving fuel during qualy.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by M.Nader -DODZ- »

Yes they are.

They are miles faster than anyone else when they get their foot down so why turn it up?

Bahrain after the safety car their cars were about 1.5s faster than anyone else, now put yourself in the team's shoes; Engines are new and relatively untested, cars are new to the technology and the whole season has the potential to turn into a reliability disaster as Hamilton found out in Australia and McLaren found out in Bahrain. so now do you turn everything up and make the cars as fast as possible or conserve and still be around 1s per lap quicker than the competition?

Now what is truly terrifying is that if that 1.5s was while the systems were turned down, what would the gap be at full strength?


I suspect than given close competition they would turn things up and still beat the rest, but they don't have that at the moment. Also funny that this year the Mercs are much much better the races than they are in qualifying which wasn't the case last year and this proves how much they have learnt

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RickM
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by RickM »

Sandbagging? I dont personally think so. They had that engine turned right up after the Safety car in Bahrain - the amount they pulled away was huge. That was probably top speed by that point.

They do seemingly still have a bit more to get out of the car with aero parts, but I don't think the engines got any extra power to give, not that it needs it.
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by OneDelamination »

no. its the whole package, a real masterpiece of engineering that Mercedes W05 is... Kudos!
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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Swiss1 »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:So are we saying that in Malaysia Hamilton was sandbagging and Rosberg was double sandbagging? Or maybe Rosberg just wasn't very good at sandbagging?

They are not sandbagging. Their 2.5s per lap advantage in Bahrain was the result of having fresh tyres compared to Perez, unlimited fuel, and Perez driving as slowly as he had to to keep 3rd place because he knew he couldn't challenge for the lead.


I am saying they could have more power available to them, but are not using it at the moment. Both drivers would have the same engine mappings available to them obviously. Maybe they have at least one or two mappings on the dial that they are not allowed to use unless it is needed to defend against another team.

These gives them both the same tools to fight each other fairly and saves the engine... from unnecessary stress/wear.

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Re: Are Mercedes still sandbagging (Engine performace) ?

Post by Swiss1 »

I am sure most if not all the other teams are also not running the Power units at 100% for many reasons.

1/ They are still on the learning curve of how to get the most out of the package
2/ They are finding their way with regards to reliability
3/ The software must be quite complex to control the complex package they have for this year and it will take time to get the best out of it, plus each circuit is different and probably would benefit from a different mapping...

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