Whenever an F1 car runs on track, the team will have planned what parts are fitted and the set up of every facet of the car. Now over a year and a half old and with an even older car, this set up sheet appeared on the Lotus Media site. It was from Kimi Raikkonen’s debut test at Jerez for the team in a R30 (from 2011). It shows some of the set up detail that the teams go into. This also gives us some insight into the spring\damper configuration modern F1 cars run.
Since its introduction in 2010 the Drag Reduction System (DRS) has gone through a series of evolutions in how the team actuate the movable rear wing flap. Having replaced the adjustable front flap, teams have all switched to hydraulics to power the opening of the flap, where as the front flap angle system introduced in 2009 was commonly achieved with electric motors and only a few teams employed hydraulics.
With the shift toward pull rod rear suspension, the teams’ mechanics are faced with a maintenance issue. As the pull rod reaches down into the gearbox casing, access to the transmission is hindered by the inboard suspension inside the gear casing. Most teams maintain their transmission by first having to remove parts of the inboard suspension. However the Ferrari engined teams have each found a neater solution to this problem. Sauber use the Ferrari gearbox and also follow a similar practice of using a separate module to mount the entire inboard suspension in between the engine and gearbox.
KERS has been in F1 since 2009, the system recovers energy under braking and allows the driver a boost in engine power each lap. However the FIA imposed strict limits on the amount of energy that can be recovered and discharged each lap. Which has often raised the question how do they control this usage and ensure teams are sticking to the rules? This sensor from Isabellenhütte Heusler has been introduced by the FIA this year to ensure exactly this.
It’s rare a technical development passes without anyone noticing and of all teams its surprising Red Bull pulled off that trick in the past few races. As they were seen to have a Mercedes-like Double DRS (DDRS) system in use in Japan. It transpires the system was track tested in practice at Monza and raced in Singapore. Part of the secret of the Red Bull DDRS is that the system is wholly contained within the rear wing. Only the plate over the end of the rear wing flap gave away the systems existence. With this system Red Bull are able to shed even more drag when DRS is open, thus giving them a top speed advantage in qualifying and when DRS can be used in the race.
As RenaultSport consitently provide such detailed technical explanations, I have posted their Pre-Korea Technical Feature in its entirety below
The torque map is probably the single most important reference map used in Formula 1 engine management. It is the fingerprint of an engine and of critical importance for engine engineers to help optimise the on track engine performance.
Sauber have been a leader in aerodynamics this year, with the C30 gaining many compliments from other F1 engineers. With revisions to their front wing this weekend In Japan, it seems good time to delve a little deeper into the complex design of the wing. Their current wing dates back to the Spanish GP and has several features unlike any other on the grid. In Japan the wing gained a new winglet added to the cascades and a small change to the main endplate/
From being in a situation where there car has had only minor updates for several races, the Mercedes development curve has gone vertical during the course of the Magny Cours Young Driver Test (YDT). While their new exhaust solution and Drag Reduction Device were both logical development directions, the reinvention of the shark fin has come as a surprise. On the last day of testing the W03 was seen with both the new exhaust system and the truncated shark fin, this is the first such fin to be seen on a car this year.
Amidst the other updates and wet weather at the Belgian Grand Prix, one small detail that I tweeted about went largely unnoticed by the main stream press, Mercedes AMG ran a Lotus-style Drag Reduction Device. The additional ductwork emerging from the engine cover routed up to the rear wing and back to beam wing, apes the Lotus device. This device was run again in the Young Driver Test (YDT) this week and closer images show the device departs from the Lotus design in the way it blows the rear wing to stall the airflow.
After 13 races of the 2012 F1 season, Mercedes AMG have finally followed the trend of side exiting exhausts to blow the diffuser area. After low placed exhausts were banned for 2012, each of the top teams found methods to coerce the exhaust plume back down from the higher tailpipe. Notably Lotus and Mercedes did not follow this route, although at the Young driver test at Magny Cours, Mercedes were seen testing the McLaren style of sidepod.