As anyone who’s been following the new season of Formula 1 will know, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 has quickly established itself as the team to beat in 2014. Not only that though, but the Mercedes PU106A Hybrid power unit that motivates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s cars is the same one used by Force India-Mercedes and McLaren-Mercedes – and they currently hold second and third spots in the constructor standings respectively too. In fact, out of the nine podium places won over the course of the first three events of the 2014 season, the PU106A Hybrid has been behind eight of them.
Ahead of this coming weekend’s UBS Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit, the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team has released this new video clip which goes some way in explaining many of the technical highlights of the new-generation 1.6L V6 turbocharged hybrid power unit being used in its F1 W05 chassis. What makes this, like previous clips from the team, even more interesting though, is that what’s being illustrated somewhat contradicts what seems to have been uncovered by F1 Racing TRE’s Craig Scarborough, and more recently Motor Sport magazine and Sky F1 reporter, Mark Hughes.
Why? Because Scarborough and Hughes both suggest that Mercedes have split its turbocharger unit into two distinct pieces – the turbine maintaining its accepted position at the rear of the engine, but the compressor and MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit – Heat) assembly being moved all the way up to the front of the motor. In this scenario both the compressor and turbine sides of the turbo are connected via a long shaft that runs directly through the engine’s vee cavity. As illustrated by the F1 Racing TRE clip (skip to 5:15 to cut to the nitty gritty), and a technical segment shown on Sky F1 during the last race, there are a number of benefits to this ingenious design and packaging. That includes a compressor that does not have to contend with the immense heat generated by the exhaust-driven turbine, and much shorter pipework which reduces turbo lag and improves drivability as a result. Pretty cool, huh?
So what’s the truth? Right now that Mercedes are well on their way to season domination. That’s one thing we know… officially.
Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team