The Mercedes-AMG F1 Engine Has a Weird Turbocharger

There has been a lot of speculation recently, especially off-track, about what makes this year's Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 car so blindingly fast compared with its competitors from Ferrari and Renault.
F1 W05 Powerplant 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-AMG/YouTube
Most of the talk surrounded the engine of the F1 W05, also known as the “PU106a Hybrid Power Unit” , with some speculating that it somehow manages to offer much more horsepower than its two arch enemies.

Naturally, the peeps from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Engines in Brixworth would probably love to tell you all about the awesome gimmicks that they used to make their powerplant better, but it's safe to say that that is not going to happen very soon in such a competitive environment.

Well, as it seems, Mercedes-Benz are actually bending the new rules a little bit when it comes to their engines, but it's pretty far from what most would have originally thought.

Sky Sports Formula One analyst Mark Hughes has spilled the beans on one major secret, and it revolves around the way that the engine's turbocharger is constructed.

As most of you know, all engines in this season's F1 are 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s with a good ol' hybrid system to complicate them even more on top.

Apparently, what Mercedes-Benz engineers have done is simply split the turbocharger system into two different parts, with the air compressor at one end and the exhaust gas turbine at the other end of the V6 engine, with the two being connected by a shaft running between the cylinder lines.

The most important performance benefit that this intriguing solution brings to the table is the fact that the F1 W05 can use a smaller intercooler, which in turns means that the single-seater has smaller sidepods and is more aerodynamic.

Secondly, with the air compressor sitting in front of the engine, the transmission can be moved slightly more forward, improving the car's center of gravity.

If the actual engineering solution used by Mercedes-Benz is true or not, remains to be officially confirmed at some point in time, but what is known for sure that this layout cannot be copied by its competitors for quite a while, as the engine development in F1 has been frozen since 28th of February 2014.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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