So, after the first big challenge in Rally Montecarlo, let’s see if our prediction was correct or wrong.
In our previous post, few days before the start of Rally Montecarlo, we envisioned 3 positive scenaria and 3 negative scenaria of the battery engine within the overall WRC Rally1 cars performance.
About the positive impact
Altitude: According to the WRC commentators, the altitude seemed not to have played any impact. It seems that Mexico will not be confirmed this year, hence we shall leave this point out of our analysis for 2022.
Leaving the altitude point, which was less relevant in Monte, We thought car corner exits would be much faster. It showed in facts that cars were able to receive that boost in the stage hairpins, especially in the asphalt sections, where the cars looked really really fast; however, that extra 100 kw power played a tricky part for some drivers like Solberg, Neuville and Katsuta, who spun in those corners covered in snow and black ice, due to the over boost.
Power Stage: Some drivers, like the Maestro, Mr. Loeb, commented right away about the difference in performance when the battery deploys. We saw some drivers really tried their absolute best to save energy (and tires) on stage 15 and 16 in order to use the most energy in the last stage, like Rovanpera, who took the 5 extra points.
About the negative impact
Battery management: In some stages with Most stages long straights, Rally1 cars hitting the limiter had to lift their throttle and to break more to ensure the energy cycle to be more continuous. Maybe this was inevitable although it makes you question whether the hybrid fits with WRCs , which do not reach massive speed like f1, for instance. It seems drivers need to be even more strategic manage energy.
Extra weight: It seems that some drivers, like Loeb suffered from tires overheat and that sometimes the same Loeb and some other drivers like Ogier and Neuville were not getting the expected extra power from the battery. So we are not sure whether this combination affected the tires but for sure, a battery that does not perform is like carrying a third passenger onboard. To be continued.
Stage transfer problems: Luckily we were very wrong about this! It seemed there were no issues related to the battery during the transfers from stage to stage and we hope it will stay this way.
The question is: Do we like the new Rally1 cars? Well, Rally Montecarlo surely did give a show and we cannot wait to see next events!
Vive le WRC!