Image galleries of the team’s and my own photos looking at the new season’s cars in depth
I’ve widened my tech analysis to less than four wheels, follow the link here
I have been addign my updates to Drivetribes, to get the technical side of Motorsport to a wider audience, follow the link for this and other updates from me
Exhaust pipes remain one of the last bastions of hand fabricated metallic parts on an F1 (along with radiators). While we can all marvel at the metal shaping and immaculate welding, the exhaust is also a key tuning aids for the engine and highly influential on aerodynamics too. So here’s a quick dive into some of the unseen technicalities and details of the F1 exhaust from the normally aspirated V8 era.
It’s been a source of many a joke, that High Tech F1 cars run with a piece of wood bolted underneath them. The plank as it’s known by the regulations, is in fact a bit cleverer than a mere piece of wood. Its aim to prevent excessively low ground clearance in the wake of Senna’s 1994 crash has been challenged by the designers and now teams regularly run the tip of the plank along the ground.
A rarely seen part that came with some other R&D mock up parts is this Hydraulic fluid reservoir. This small unit keeps the hydraulic pump fed with fluid, although the example I have a 3D printed part and the finished part on the race car is more likely to be a carbon fibre piece.
Sometimes the level of engineering in F1 is best described by the smaller simpler parts, an example of this is the humble suspension mounting. This part being the point where the wishbone meets the gearbox to allow the suspension arm to pivot around it spherical bearing. This example is a 2012 Sauber C31 rear wishbone mounting clevis, but is typical of several similar clevises in my collection of F1 parts, albeit they appear to get a little more sophisticated in shape each year.
As F1 shifted from push rod rear suspension to pull rod, the packaging of the various compliant elements pivoting on it became more complex too. Here we can analyse in depth the lower section of a Sauber C30-C31 rear pull rod rocker from 2011-2012. This part pivots in a subframe mounted inside the gearbox, to operate the side springs\dampers, heave spring\dampers and anti roll bar.
It’s common for teams to buy in certain parts from third party manufacturers, these can either be manufactured to the team’s design or from the manufacturers. One example is the steering universal joint (UJ), a recent acquisition to my collection of F1 hardware is a Pankl part used by Red Bull Racing. The steering joint allows the high mounted steering column angle down to the steering rack, whilst still allowing smooth rotational movement of the steering column. Continue reading
Set up sheets have always fascinated me, they are the document used to list the hardware and set up to be used on a racecar, before its dispatched from the factory. My latest acquisition has been three Arrows set up sheets from 1997, covering three separate tests with three different drivers at two different tracks within the space of four months. It gives us insight what is included in the set up sheet, the actual set up differences and provides of a story of the team’s year.