When looking at the installation of any Hybrid or Electric racing car, the bright orange cabling is a trademark feature, taking the high currents between the battery, inverter and eMotor. With light weight, reliability and rapid disassembly all factors in the cabling installation, the cable choice and the connector technology are critical and often unappreciated by the fans. I’ve recently purchased some Ex-F1 DC connectors\cables which give us some appreciation of the tech involved here. These are both Red Bull RB8 (2012) parts, taken from the DC (battery to inverter) bus. Rather than simply being big fat copper cables with two pin connectors, they are remarkably complex in their design.
During the F1 KERS era (2009-2013), Red Bull Racing adopted a unique battery set up. Rather than in a recess under the monocoque\fuel tank, the battery is split up into three separate units around the gearbox. I’ve explained the KERS installation in previous posts (LINK), but I’ve recently acquired a 3D printed mockup of one of the side mounted battery cases. This gives us some unique insight into the battery case’s dimensions and layout.
With the FOM world TV feed now using on-board Infrared (IR) cameras, it’s been interesting to see how the tyres temperature changes around the lap. But in Korea we were treated to a rear facing IR camera on Mark Webber’s car that showed the front of the T-Tray splitter warming up and staying hot around the lap. This image helps to highlight both the cars set up and the construction of the car around the front of the T-Tray. Many fans jumped to the conclusion it’s the plank itself running hot under the car, but it is in fact the titanium skid blocks conducting heat through to the floor mount.
This gallery contains 30 photos.
As F1 teams develop front wings with ever greater emphasis placed on the load created towards the outboard end of the flaps, the airflow over the outer 30cm of wing is becoming ever more critical. With designers wanting to keep this area clear of unwanted obstructions, the need to package a means to adjust the front flap angle becomes more difficult. Red bull as ever have had a good look at the issue and come up with the semi floating adjuster that keeps the wings surface almost interrupted.
For many years the shape and position of the cars suspension elements have been an important factor in the cars aerodynamics. For 2013, almost every team have taken the same approach pioneered by Red Bull in 2012, by raising the rear lower wishbone. In doing this the teams have also oversized the wishbone’s cross section to enclose the driveshaft. It transpires that there are two gains from this practice, primarily improving flow over the diffuser and secondarily reducing the aerodynamic effect of the spinning driveshaft.
I was commissioned to produce a full-colour preview of F1 2013’s Rules an Trends for Sport Magazine. On Page 19 you’ll find the F1 Preview starts, with my spread on pages 26-27.
Following on from the under nose slot of two years ago and the letterbox slot of last year, this years Red bull continues to explore aero solutions around the nose box. However with revised nose rules this year, it’s an idea from Sauber that found its way onto Newey’s drawing board. Now letterbox opening faces backwards and is joined to the slot below the nose with a duct, to overcome aerodynamics issues presented by the nose box.