More info from McLaren Electronics
Streamed live on Jun 27, 2013
The first of a special live double-header from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone from the Abu Dhabi/F1 Racing Fan Village near Becketts corner, where over 12,000 people are camping for the weekend. All the usual TRE guest stars will be on the panel, including Craig Scarborough (analysing the F1 tech developments since the Canadian GP), Rob Wilson (F1/GP2GP3 driver coach), Anthony Rowlinson (Editor, F1 Racing magazine) and Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit and the former Toyota F1 Team Manager, and special guest Sam Bird, winner of the Monaco GP2 feature race this year and Third Driver for AMG MercedesF1. Together with Scarbs (and a Mercedes F1 steering wheel) Sam will be talking us through an F1 start procedure, right down to the smallest detail.
In 2010 the key technical development was the F-Duct, a legal driver controlled system that stalled the rear wing for more top speed. During the course of the season, as more of the system was uncovered by prying cameras in the pit garages, I attempted to cover the workings of the F-Duct in several posts. But just a couple of years later I was able to buy a Force India F-Duct assembly from one of the teams licensed parts sellers. With this complete F-Duct and some background from people at the team involved with the project, we are now able to explain the solution in more detail.
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.
Every time an F1 car comes to a halt or pulls away, the clutch needs to be operated. In an F1 car this is not cable operated, but controlled by the cars high pressure hydraulic control system. Converting the drivers demand for clutch movement into motion at the clutch spring is the Clutch slave cylinder. With an outwardly simply task to accomplish, the unit hides a lot of complexity.
An F1 clutch is a tiny piece of engineering that completes an amazing job of transmitting the 800+ horsepower from the powertrain through the gearbox. Weighing less than 1.3kg and just 97mm in diameter, the tiny clutch is tortured every time the car pulls away at; race starts, pit stops and leaving the garage. Here we can have a close look at contemporary Clutch technology with this AP Racing clutch.
Keeping an engine that spins at up to 18,000rpm for nearly two hours lubricated and cooled is the job of the oil system. Rarely seen or talked about the pumps, tanks and plumbing are a critical part of an F1 cars packaging.
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.
With far reaching regulation changes coming onto the sport in 2014, the 2013 season is likely to be a year of consolidation, as few changes have been are written into this year’s rule book. So teams will be expected to optimise their designs from last year, correcting mistakes and adopting some of the better ideas of their rivals.
Some rules will have a small effect of car design and some trends from last year will be more common place. Unusually there have been few leaks or well-founded rumours circulating in the off season. This is probably as teams are expending a huge amount of resources in finding big gains for just one year’s competition, instead focussing on plans for 2014.