Cooling will provide Formula 1 teams with the greatest challenge in 2014, according to two prominent technical directors.
Next season will bring some of the biggest changes in Formula 1 history, including 1.6 litre V6 engines, an Energy Recovery System and limited fuel.
“Fundamentally, the power unit is significantly different; it’s not as if we’ve gone from a 3.0-litre V8 to a 3.2-litre V8 – it’s a significantly different lump of architecture in terms of the physical size of the internal combustion engine and it also has a relatively big turbocharger assembly associated with it,” Caterham technical director Mark Smith told The Official F1 website.
“But bigger than all of that is the cooling challenge. That’s probably the thing that, I imagine, has most people up and down the pit lane scratching their heads. It’s reasonably easy to come up with a solution that will cool, but to come up with a solution that will cool and give you the optimum aerodynamic performance is the challenge.”
“The charged air cooler, for cooling the air from the turbo before it goes into the engine, will, on all of the installations, be quite significant. Physically, the size of the thing will dictate the packaging of everybody’s cooling systems. That’s the biggest single thing, I think, that’s presented itself as a challenge in terms of the overall car architecture.”
Toro Rosso technical director James Key agrees with his rival’s assertions.
“The cooling requirements are completely different. You’ve got a turbocharger with a charge cooler on it, you’ve got a much larger energy recovery system which naturally pumps out more heat, and you’ve still got your gearbox, hydraulics, oil and water to cool, so you’ve got a completely different situation to what we’re used to. You want to package that in the tidiest way you can. There are new technologies involved in all of this – it’s not stuff you can carry over.”
“There are other challenges too: the weight limit is higher than now, but it’s tight. It sounds a bit trivial but it’s not at all; it’s a big challenge – there is a lot of stuff on the car.”