Cooling the F1 car is of critical importance for aerodynamic efficiency so the teams are constantly on the edge of cooling requirements to sacrifice less aero performance – we bring an overview of how the world champions adapt their W09 to specific cooling requirements in Bahrain.
The cooling solutions are usually designed to provide optimal performance in a clean air where the car doesn’t have another car at close range in front, which reduces the amount of air for cooling and the downforce generation.
But when the car is behind the other car for a long time, cooling problems can force the driver to save the engine, which we saw in the first Australian season race when both Mercedes had to give up their chases to keep the engine temperatures under control.
In Bahrain temperatures are much higher than in Australia, especially during the day, and teams will have to adapt their cooling solutions and thus sacrifice some aerodynamic efficiency.
Mercedes created the S-shaped cooling openings behind the halo protection (turquoise) , which are horizontally divided by a several slits, and next to them are the usual longitudinal openings (blue) through which the hot air flows upward before the high speed airflow takes it down the sidepod surface.
In addition to the above mentioned solutions, Mercedes, like last year, opened the top of the engine cover to get rid of the excess heat. Mercedes uses this alternative solutions to avoid having bigger cooling opening at the rear that would compromise the aerodynamic performance of the diffuser, the key component of aerodynamic package.