Understeer and little grip

Understeer and little grip

Sebastien Bourdais is on a quest, looking for a miracle solution to his problems. These also occur with his Red Bull. Toro Rosso companions on. "But not as pronounced", says the slightly frustrated and perplexed Frenchman, who also failed to find a solution on the first day of testing at Hockenheim. "I don't think there will be a solution at all", he admits to motorsport magazine.Com. His hope lies in a better setup compromise that brings the new car closer to his driving style.

It's not necessarily the new car that works against his style; it's the latest aerodynamic package that's not to Bourdais' liking. "I have big problems with the aero balance, especially in high-speed corners", he begins his explanation. At the moment he is forced to drive too much front wing for the slow passages in order to have a car that suits him a bit better in high speed. "I feel a bit more comfortable at Hockenheim than at Silverstone, there I had too much understeer in the high-speed corners, I couldn't brake properly because otherwise the rear wheels would have locked and I would have spun – that wasn't much fun."

His dilemma is that the three alternatives are all not very tempting. The first would have a front-wing configuration for the fast sections, which would make the car undriveable in the slow parts. The second is the opposite: a front wing for the slow parts of the track, with which the car would not work in the high-speed part. "Or something in between", Bourdais calls the third variant. "This would kill the rear tires once and the front tires once and would not be happy with one or the other." Nevertheless, he said, this was the only compromise left to him.

For him it's like poison. "I was misunderstood when I said the car was the anti-Bourdais", he clarifies. "The car has only the two things I like least in a race car: understeer at high speed – I've always hated that in all series – and far too little grip on the rear axle at low speed." Both do not help him at all. The great thing about a ChampCar, he says, was that it was only fast when it understeered a bit in the slow corners and offered good traction. "The understeer in high speed was very low, the car overall very balanced", he remembers. That's how he was able to win four titles in a row.

In the current situation he has little hope. "Maybe Red Bull Technologies will bring a package that is a little less efficient, but for me a better balance." At the moment, however, it does not look as if the aero characteristics of the car will change. During the test, he found something in the braking system that is going in the right direction, but he is not yet optimistic about it.

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