Competition: ‘Spot the Brake Duct’ – (now closed)

and the winner is Mike Ethier of Winnipeg, Canada. Well done Mike (you need to reply to my emails) and the 300+ of you who correctly guessed the answers. The correct answers are below

Haynes Publishing have very kindly donated ScarbsF1 a copy of their ‘Red Bull Racing F1 Car workshop Manual’ as a prize.  I’ve reviewed the Haynes Red Bull Manual here.  As this is a technical blog and the RB6 manual is a technical  book, I’ve devised a typically technical competition ’Spot the Brake Duct’.

It’s often said F1 cars are hard to tell apart from each other.  I don’t believe this is true and especially this year  each car is immediately identifiable from its rivals by several major features.  In fact I am able to recognise each car purely by the design of its front brake ducts!  So at my recent trip to the British GP at Silverstone, I took photos of the top five teams brake ducts.  If you can detect which of these brake ducts belong to which team, you will be entered into the draw to win the Haynes Red Bull book.

All you have to do is workout which of pictures 1 to 5 below, relate the to the following teams.  Then put the answers on an Email with the subject ’Haynes Red Bull’, by the end of Sunday 24th July.  I will then pick a winner at random from the correct entries and announce it on Monday 25th July.

Teams:

Red Bull – Picture5

Ferrari – Picture1

McLaren – Picture3

Renault – Picture2

Mercedes – Picture4

Pictures:

Picture 1 – Ferrari

Picture 2 – Renault

Picture 3  - McLaren

Picture 4 – Mercedes

Picture 5 Red Bull

Zircotec supports 10 teams at Formula Student

Coatings specialist Zircotec lent its technical and commercial support to 10 teams at Formula Student 2011 held at Silverstone last weekend. The firm’s ceramic coatings were used by a number of the participants including University of Hertfordshire, Coventry University and Cambridge, the latter adopting Zircotec’s patented carbon composite coating to protect a composite bulkhead.

“Zircotec believes that Formula Student is an extremely worthwhile activity, helping participants to understand and implement the technologies of today’s contemporary race cars,” says Zircotec’s managing director Terry Graham. “We now offer a growing number of teams our coating service as a component part of a formal sponsorship package. Teams have access to our coatings and other products and in return we require them to provide a technical report of the results achieved. This way we can both learn from the use of the coating on the car.”

exhaust and bulkhead coating – 10 teams in F1 are using Zircotec’s composite coating

Zircotec’s coatings are appreciated by many of the teams using motorbike engines that tend to run hot in the Formula Student installation. “We are coating exhausts that keep heat inside the exhaust to prevent damage to surrounding components as well as supplying heat resistant foils to protect fuel lines, batteries and the driver,” says Graham. “This year we also coated a composite bulkhead and we expect to see more of these lightweight materials requiring protection in future Formula Student cars.”

Zircotec is equally keen to expand links with International universities and used this year’s event at Silverstone to meet teams from Italy, Australia, Germany, France and Holland. “We visited most of the teams during the week and provided samples of our ZircoFlex foil for them to solve last minute heat issues,” adds Graham. “The level of engineering on these cars is often outstanding and we welcome further co-operation with universities outside of the UK in the coming years.”

ZircoFlex – 9 F1 teams are using ZircoFlex this year

More information:

http://www.zircotec.com/

http://www.brunelracing.co.uk/

Footnote: I attended the Formula Student Finals at Silverstone last weekend. I will post a brief summary and gallery later this week.

Track Test: F1 car (simulator)

In the weeks leading up to Silverstone hosting both the F1 grand prix and the Formula Student final, I got the chance to get a sample of both these worlds. Although I didn’t get behind the wheel of a real F1 car, I got the closest you can get outside of an F1 Factory at the University of Hertfordshire’s Cruden Simulator.
F1 teams have been using simulators for a long time, initially these were closed loop with the vehicles dynamics modelled and run without any driver intervention. Now the technology has progressed to bring the driver into the loop. The driver is fed with realistic forces and feedback from the simulator to replicate the driving experience. Many teams are on their second generation of ‘driver in the loop’ simulator and this forms a day to day part of the development of their car.

Cruden
Cruden provide simulators to several Motorsport customers, including: several F1 teams, Wirth Research, AST auto and Base performance. Able to link into several car modelling programmes, Cruden state that their system is “fully compatible with Matlab/Simulink and integrating with simulation models via dSpace, CarSim and VeDYNA”. This provides simulation of “chassis, wheelbase/track, tyres, suspension settings, drive train (engine, gearbox, differentials) aero loading, aero draft (slip streaming), steering, brakes and driver aids such as traction control, ABS, etc.”. With the driving platform mounted six legs, provides six degrees of freedom, the system can provide an aggressive and realistic sensation of the forces encountered while driving. Cruden say “The secret ingredient of the Cruden package is its highly developed motion-cueing algorithms – the complex and critical maths which translates driver input into motion and force feedback response via the simulator’s interactive motion platform and control loading.”

All the servers are sited within a single rack, control console sits a top this

University of Hertfordshire
Cruden have recently installed their simulator system into the Universities engineering department, use of the simulator will form the part of the curriculum for the motorsport degree courses. Whereas F1 teams are restricted on the amount of testing they can do, so they use simulators to replace some of the testing. University are budgets restricted, so simulators are a good way to teach students the art & science of driving and race engineering, without having to resort to track testing.
With this very aim in mind the Cruden simulator set up replicates the loop of information and the environments the students would work in if they were trackside. The simulator takes it car model from Racer Pro, the simulator provides creates a realistic representation of the driving of a car and the results are displayed on a pit wall set up for the students to analyse the data using tools such as Pi Toolbox. The students use of the set up will change each year, as they progress through the course. First years students being the drivers, the second year students act as their race engineers and the third year students mentor both lower years. So the fresher’s will get more track time and are free to make on-track mistakes without the danger of injury or expensive repairs. Allied to the extensive facilities at the Hatfield campus and the breadth of the course itself, this is an excellent way to train young motorsport engineers.

Pitwall set up to the left - The space between the platform and the pitwall is used when in motion!

Why a simulator?
As mentioned actual track testing is expensive, it requires the capital investment in the car and spares, as well as the running and repair costs. A driver making an error requiring repairs or a technical fault on the car, soon sees the car stuck in the garage and no track time being accrued. As result the students get less time learning about how the car is behaving. With the Simulator this can be run at any time, with little downtime and at low costs. Aside from the capital investment to buy the system, it only requires a moderate electrical power supply and can be run for around £12 a day.
Even if its economic in terms of costs and track time, the simulator must also deliver the technical experience the students need to learn about driving and race engineering. The software the Simulator links are well known in motorsport, it’s the simulator itself that brings the rewards.


An overview of the complete Cruden set up is, the simulator itself; complete with a three seat cockpit atop the six leg platform. Beneath the platform are the electrical systems to power the servo motors in the legs, which in turn is controlled by a small server rack and console. As already alluded to, the system is controlled by electric motors to extend the legs and not Hydraulics as perhaps I had expected. However these are able to accelerate and decelerate more than fast enough to give the driver a rough ride. As well a long stroke, as the clearance around the simulators attests. Indeed the violence of the F1 shift or hitting a barrier, provides enough of a jolt to make the LCD screen “white-out” slightly as the liquid crystal is thrown around inside the cells of the display! This is a near self-contained set up just requiring plugging into a commando socket for its electrical feed. The data that comes out of the system feeds the PCs and 14 screens on the ‘pit wall’.


Although other cockpit set ups are available the University uses the three seat set up, much like a McLaren F1 road car, the driver sits centrally and passengers can sit either side of them. With Sparco race seats and four point harnesses, the seating experience is correct. The driver then has a small suede Sparco wheel, with paddle shifts on the back, a Farringdon Dash and a Tilton two pedal (brake & accelerator, no clutch) set up, with suitably hard brake pedal pressure required to replicate a racecar set up. Three 42” LCDs form the panorama ahead of the driver, which once you’re concentrating on driving, is all you can see.

Steering wheel, paddles and dash

-

Steering feedback is provided by this motor

Tilton pedal set up, the clutch pedal isnt used, so you can left foot brake all the time

Within the software as it comes from the factory, there are several cars and track maps, each perfectly detailed within Racer Pro and visually represented on the screens. Although there is no foreground projected on screen, i.e. you don’t see the front wheels of the F1 car. Tracks provided are Kylami, Zandvoort and the Cruden-ring (an amalgam of classic corners). Cars provided are the BMW M3, Renault Megane trophy (a silhouette V6 mid engined car) and a generic F1 car. Other tracks and maps can be developed andor purchased, while some are available as open source code from other Racer Pro developers.

Driving experience


Driving the simulator feels totally natural. Not being an experienced track driver, I completed short 5 minute stints, which were enough to sense the realism of the simulator and get a feel for the cars themselves. Not to mention improving my driving technique along the way. I first sampled the Renault Megane trophy around Kylami. A clutchless start see’s you accelerate down the straight, with the gear paddles providing a rapid jolt as you upshift into the next gear. Under acceleration the car moves around and the steering feel to keep the car straight feels natural. Braking requires a hard push to get the deceleration started, with the pedal not moving in classic racecar style. As you decelerate the platform pitches, when you turn the steering loads up and the platform tiltsyaws. The feeling is immersive, as you are focussed on the screens you don’t notice the amount of movement you’re experiencing and it feels like the G-loads you’d experience on track. All the dynamics of the car come through; understeer sees the steering wheel force reduce, power oversteer is provided with yaw, locked brakes lighten the steering feedback and make the car slew into the turn. Amongst several high speed ‘offs’ the changes in steering feel and yaw sensation help you guide the car out of a spin. Even running on kerbs and the grass provide the vibration and feedback you’d expect. Soon the handling merits of the car can be felt, although this was at first confused with the roll induced by the platform to provide a sensation of lateral G. This feature is known as G-roll, is to provide you with the lateral loading, but the tilt does also feel somewhat like the body-roll of the car. Some drivers get on with this feature, others turn it off. With it turned off the car felt stiffer in roll, although the actual car model hadn’t changed. I found it better with G-roll switched off. After a few sessions around Kylami I drove Spa in the Megane. The gradient and road camber changes around the track are dealt with realistically by the platform.
Then it is on to the Cruden F1 car. This is accurately mapped in Racer Pro; engineers from within F1 have affirmed its accuracy, especially its power delivery. Despite driving in the same position on the same rig, the F1 car feels so different to the Megane car on the simulator. This shows the Cruden set up does fully replicate the vehicle dynamics and driving experience. You’re not simply driving a faster version of the lower formula car model.

Driving an F1 Car

Acceleration off the start sees the car moving about the track as the rear tyres struggle for grip, the car darts about on the straight far more than the Megane. Braking is the first surprise, not least because the replication of the efficiency of the carbon brakes is accurate. Hauling you up long before the turn, until you push your braking point further on towards the corner. But also because you need to mentally decrease braking effort as the braking event continues. In an F1 car downforce is rapidly lost with decreasing speed, so the tyres have less and less potential for grip. Keeping a constant force on the brake pedal will see the front wheels lock and spin the car. Under braking you have to decrease pedal pressure. For road car drivers braking with their right foot, this skill comes naturally as you learn to drive. Learning to left foot brake means you need to relearn this skill and driving an F1 means you have to further learn to feather the brakes. Luckily I am comfortable left foot braking, which eases the considerable mental load of driving the F1 car. Locking a brake will see the F1 car rapidly snap out of line, but you can catch these moments as the feedback from the simulator is so immediate and accurate.
The next thing I learnt in the F1 car was the breadth of power, as I’ve mentioned the power curve is truly representative of a modern F1 car and you can accelerate from 5,000 RPM all the way to the 18,000 RPM red line. Of course the power really comes in at the last 1,500 RPM, but strong acceleration makes it relatively easy to drive an F1 car a revs below this. But once you do go over 16,500RPM, the acceleration causes instability in turns and on the straight, the shift lights on the (projected) steering wheel display only light up at these revs and rarely did I find it possible to match the gear shift to the last shift light. Often either hitting the limiter or shifting early. I’ve much respect for an F1 driver’s ability to time shifts manually for lap after lap.
When the gear shift is made the jolt that goes through the car is immense and will unsettle the car is some turns. Downshifts can be made rapidly, but perhaps a demonstration of my poor braking, was the downshifts could be left for some time after I started braking.
In slower turn’s power oversteer or corner entry understeer is evident, but the downforce soon makes itself felt in the higher gears. The laps of Spa made Eau Rouge and Pouhon easier than you’d expect, but I’d doubt I’d be brave enough to attempt these turns in 6th gear in a real F1 car. In fact the biggest problem of Eau Rouge was lining up the car coming down from La source, with a grass kerb to the left of the track and no visibility of the front wheels on the Simulator. Placing the car was a problem, and although most likely still a problem in a real f1 car, was mainly a downside I’d associate with the simulator. My bad line into Eau Rouge (once I’d stopped trying to take it in top gear in the Megane) was the reason and place for my most spectacular spins. Indeed with the simulator you really don’t want to be hitting the barriers, the hard jolt the platform delivers reminds the driver they have crashed, this is no soft ride.
My fastest lap of Spa was still one minute of pole in 2010 and I’ve proved I’m no racecar driver, but the simulator provide enough of an experience to get some feel for real F1 car.
For the teams and the students at the university the ability to run these cars, make set up changes and then feel the effect physically and in the data, make this realistic solution. Going forwards the simulators can be linked to other systems, a four post rig so you have both the real car and driver in the loop. Even linking the simulator over the internet to other Cruden systems or even racing several cars, it’s all technically possible. For now the students can start to learn the basic skill sin driving and engineering with this powerful tool.

 

I have to extend very large thank you to both Cruden and University of Hertfordshire, for providing me with access to their simulators. Especially to Jeff Peters (Principle Lecturer in Motorsport Engineering and Head of Simulation and Modeling at the University of Hertfordshire), who provided me with his time and expertise, out of hours to test the simulator.  He also provided me a with tour of the extensive facilities at the University and the progress on their Formula Student car.  They will be competing at the Formula Student event at Silverstone this weekend (good luck).

More on University of Hertfordhsire
http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/schools-of-study/engineering-and-technology/home.cfm

More on Cruden
http://www.cruden.com/

https://twitter.com/CrudenSimulator

A Chance in a Lifetime Opportunity to Join a Formula One Team

MERCEDES PETRONAS GP
 
A Chance in a Lifetime Opportunity to Join a Formula One Team
 
As further support of National Motorsport Week, two of the UK-based Formula One teams – MERCEDES PETRONAS GP and Team Lotus – are each inviting two members of the public to join their respective pit crews at the forthcoming events. 
The four lucky winners joining either Team Lotus or MERCEDES PETRONAS GP for a memorable day will be selected at random from those entering a simple competition hosted on www.gomotorsport.net website. The promotion opens today Monday 20 June and will close at midnight on Friday 24 June when a series of competitions to win factory tours at all eight UK-based F1 teams will commence. Terms and conditions apply and are detailed on the website.
As fully-uniformed members of the team, two winners will join MERCEDES PETRONAS GP at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on either 2 or 3 July. They will assist in the preparation and running of the team’s entry in the world-famous hill climb, providing an experience of a lifetime opportunity to see the operation of a Formula One team from the inside and enjoy the Festival from a unique perspective.
 
The two other winners will join Team Lotus at a forthcoming straight-line test at the Kemble Airfield, near Cirencester in Gloucestershire on either 4 or 5 July. They, too, will gain a rarely seen insight into the workings of a modern Grand Prix team.
Alongside a wide range of initiatives and activities taking place up and down the country at teams, venues, businesses and motor clubs, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will be offering its own support to National Motorsport Week. Britain’s most successful F1 team will be acknowledging and rewarding the legion of volunteer marshals who give up their time to ensure the smooth running of thousands of motor sport events staged in the UK every year. Recognising their contribution, McLaren is offering all registered marshals the opportunity to visit the state-of-the-art McLaren Technology Centre in Woking later in the year via a special competition which, again, will be hosted on the www.GoMotorsport.net website during National Motorsport Week.
 
Backed by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the UK’s governing body of motorsport, and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), National Motorsport Week exists both to highlight the UK’s on-going world-leading role in all areas of international motor sport as well as to showcase the wide range of opportunities open to enthusiasts at grass roots level throughout the country. 
“We are delighted that all eight of the UK based Formula One teams are supporting National Motorsport Week by providing the public with so many special ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities,” said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA. “We have already announced an amazing line up of factory tours giving members of the public are rare chance to see the inner workings of a Grand Prix team and now Team Lotus and MERCEDES PETRONAS GP are taking that one step further by inviting four lucky winners to join their teams for very specials day at Goodwood and Kemble. McLaren’s offer is equally generous. Whether it’s the thousand plus volunteers helping to stage the Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone or the handful of enthusiasts running a Sunday morning autotest, British motor sport wouldn’t be possible without their support. Initiatives like this provide them with some well earned respect and reward.” 
The full range of National Motorsport Week activities – from Croft Circuit in the North East to Mercedes World at Brooklands inside the M25, from M-Sport in Cockermouth to Force India at Silverstone, from Fort Dunlop in Birmingham to Daytona’s kart centre in Milton Keynes – are now listed under the events section on www.nationalmotorsportweek.com.

Motorsport & the UK

Our Competitors

  • Britain has produced more F1 World Champions than any other nation with ten title winners; Brazil and Finland are next up with three each.
  • Two of the last three F1 World Champions are British – Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
  • More British drivers (31) have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans than those representing any other nation, including France (26).  
  • Guernseyman Andy Priaulx MBE is the only driver to have won three World Touring Car Championship titles.
  • The reigning IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion is Dario Franchitti from Scotland.
  • UK karters currently hold six of the 19 International karting titles awarded by the CIK-FIA.
  • The UK is one of only two countries to host rounds of all four major FIA World Championships: FIA Formula 1 World Championship, FIA World Rally Championship, FIA GT1 World Championship and FIA World Touring Car Championship.
  • There are more than 32,000 MSA Competition Licence holders in the UK.
  • The UK hosts almost 5,000 MSA sanctioned motor sport events every year including: autocross, autotest, circuit racing, cross-country, drag racing, hillclimbing, karting, rallycross, rallying, sprinting, time attack and trials. 
Our Industry

  • British-based constructors have won no fewer than 34 F1 Constructors’ Championship well ahead of Italian (16) and French (3) based teams.
  • Eight of the 12 current F1 teams are based in the UK.
  • Two of the three premier World Rally Championship teams are based in the UK.
  • The FIA World Touring Car Championship winning team is based in the UK.
  • UK companies dominate the design and manufacture of components used in the majority of the world’s competition categories.
  • More than 4,000 UK companies are involved in the technology driven world of UK Motorsport and Performance Engineering Industry with an annual turn-over of £6 billion – if which £3.6 billion exported.
  • These innovative businesses invest more than 30 per cent of their sales into R&D when the UK pharmaceutical industry invests 15 per cent. 
  • Motorsport supports nearly 40,000 full and part-time jobs of which 25,000 are qualified engineers.

For more information, please visit: www.gomotorsport.net,

National Motorsport Week: F1 factory visits

UK Formula One Supports National Motorsport Week
It was confirmed today (Thursday 9 June) that all eight UK-based Formula One teams will be opening their doors to the public to promote National Motorsport Week, which takes place from 25 June to 3 July 2011.
Backed by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the UK’s governing body of motorsport, and the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), National Motorsport Week exists both to highlight the UK’s on-going world-leading role in all areas of international motor sport as well as to showcase the wide range of opportunities open to enthusiasts at grass roots level throughout the country. 
Over the course of National Motorsport Week, all manner of activities from promotions to open days and taster days will be taking place up and down the country, hosted by motor clubs, businesses, venues and teams to help drive awareness of, and engagement in motorsport. 
As the prominent element of this week of activity, all eight UK-based Formula One outfits will be opening their doors to the public through a series of promotions intended to provide a unique insight into the behind-the-scenes operations of a grand prix team.
The initiative illustrates not only the fact that the vast majority of F1 teams are located in Britain but also the successes for British drivers at the pinnacle of the sport. Since the formation of the FIA Formula One World Championship, UK teams have notched up an unrivalled tally of 34 Constructors’ Championships (next best is Italy with 16 titles) while Britain also has produced more F1 World Champions than any other nation with ten title winners; Brazil and Finland are next up with three each.

Emphasising this global superiority during the course of National Motorsport Week, a series of factory tours to Red Bull Racing (Milton Keynes), Vodafone McLaren Mercedes (Woking), Lotus Renault GP (Enstone), MERCEDES GP PETRONAS (Brackley), Force India (Silverstone), AT&T Williams (Wantage), Team Lotus (Hingham) & Marussia Virgin Racing (Sheffield) will be on offer via the www.gomotorsport.net website.

Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA, said: “We are delighted that the eight UK-based F1 teams are leading National Motorsport Week from the front by opening their doors to the public, particularly at the height of their busiest period around the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the British Grand Prix.
“While their participation helps to underline the UK’s leadership in international motor sport, National Motorsport Week is about much more than Formula One; it’s about people getting out there and getting involved in motor sport for the first time.”
Similar plans involving the UK’s premier rally teams and other prominent motor sport teams, companies and operators will be announced shortly. 
 
 

 

Go Motorsport Campaign Logo
 
National Motorsport Week at  www.gomotorsport.net

Amongst a range of other promotions and opportunities during National Motorsport Week, UK-based Formula One teams will be offering the chance to get behind the scenes with factory tours via the MSA’s www.GoMotorsport.net website on the following dates:-

 
Date
Promotion
June 25
Win a tour to the Virgin Racing factory in Sheffield (for fulfillment July 1st)
June 26
Win a tour of the Williams F1 factory at Grove, Wantage and passes to attend the Williams F1 Race Day for the Singapore or Monza GP
June 27
Win a tour to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes
June 28
Win a tour of the Lotus Renault factory at Enstone
June 29
Win a tour to the Team Lotus Factory in Hingham, Norfolk
June 30
Win a tour of the Force India factory at Silverstone plus two passes for the Force India VIP British GP partner event
July 1
Win a tour of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS factory at Brackley
 
 

Ferrari: Spanish Rear Wing Extension

In Free Practice for the Spanish this weekend, Ferrari caused a small technical controversy when they ran a new rear wing. This new wing appeared to have large extension to the rear flap. After the days sessions were complete Charlie Whiting from the FIA spoke to Ferrari about its legality.

This 30mm extension was fitted the Ferrari 150 in Spain

We can see the wings long extension is not in fact a gurney flap as it is not an “L” shape. Instead the extension forms a continuation of the flaps shape. This makes the wing some 30mm longer than allowed within normal interpretations of the regulations. Clearly this much additional surface area will create more downforce. Beneficially this tall extension also retains the DRS pivot axis in its normal location, such that the when the larger flap is moved by the DRS the flap flattens out much more than with a conventional large flap (See http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/drs-optical-illusion-why-some-wings-appear-to-open-wider/).

How could this be achieved legally?

Ferraris Slot Gap Separator

 3.10.3 In order to ensure that the individual profiles and the relationship between these two sections can only
change whilst the car is in motion in accordance with Article 3.18, they must be bridged by means of pairs
of rigid impervious supports arranged such that no part of the trailing edge of the forward section may be
more than 200mm laterally from a pair of supports. These pairs of supports must :
– be located no more than 355mm from the car centre line ;
– fully enclose each complete sections such that their inner profiles match that of each section. With
the exception of minimal local changes where the two sections are adjacent to each other, their
outer profiles must be offset from the inner profiles by between 8mm and 30mm and may not
incorporate any radius smaller than 10mm (‘gurney’ type trim tabs may however be fitted between
the supports) ;
– be aligned as a pair so as to provide a bearing across their full thickness and along a profile length
of at least 10mm when the distance between the two sections is at its closest position ;
– not be recessed into the wing profiles (where a recess is defined as a reduction in section at a rate
greater than 45° with respect to a lateral axis) ;
– be arranged so that any curvature occurs only in a horizontal plane ;
– be between 2mm and 5mm thick ;
– be rigidly fixed to their respective sections ;
– be constructed from a material with modulus greater than 50GPa.

Ferrari have sandwiched and split the separators to form the extension

What I believe Ferrari have done is the sandwich the two separators together in the centre of the wing, then split them at the “V” cut out in the middle of the wings trailing edge. Each separator then runs along the trailing edge of the flap, creating the extension. As the extensions can be 30mm deep they can be 10mm more than the 20mm allowed for Gurneys.
It could beat the rules as each separator runs along the trailing edge, no part of the wing is 200mm laterally from a support. The change from the longitudinal centre separator to the trailing edge could meet the horizontal curvature requirements.

Each Separator also forms the 30mm extension

Overnight I heard from Spain is that the wing will be allowed for this race, but a clarification from the FIA ill ban this interpretation for future races.  However this morning conflicting stories are emerging.  Andrew Benson from the BBC reports “Ferrari have been told they cannot run their “clever” new rear wing design – it exploited a loophole in the regs to do with overall height” (@andrewbensonf1).

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Sauber – Explanation of the rear wing infringement

It seems a manufacturing error lead to Saubers disqualification from the Australian GP. New rules this year set a minimum radius for the rear wing elements, these were introduced to prevent slots being added to the wings to allow blown slots and F-duct stalling slots. However in post race scrutineering the Sauber fell foul of the new test, which is to uphold the revised rules; 3.10.1 and 3.10.2. The rear wing flap on both races cars was tested and its upper surface (with the logo “Sauber F1 Team”) was found to be made with too tight a radius.

The new test involves checking a minimum 100mm radius is applied to all areas of the wing on contact with the external airstream. As exclusively revealed by Gocar.Gr, it appears the upper face of the rear wing flap was too curved by some 5mm. Sauber have three versions of the flap available and two were brought to Melbourne. It seems the version raced was not fully checked at the factory and therefore the error was not picked up, whereas the other (un-raced) specification flap was checked and deemed legal. Not every car and every component gets fully checked by the FIA scrutineers. The cars will go through different tests at different points in the weekend. It seems the Sauber flap in question was not tested until after the race.

Teams are trying to make their flaps relatively small in order to make the DRS adjustable rear wing system more effective. As a smaller flap loses more angle of attack when it pivots from its trailing edge to the maximum 50mm slot gap at its leading edge. This means the wing loses more drag as the DRS is activated, for more straight-line speed. It appears that Sauber have gone to a very tight radius flap, right on the edge of the regulations, but the manufacturing problems sent the minimum curvature over the limit of the regulations.

Sauber felt this problem did not produce a performance advantage and will appeal the decision.

Mercedes – Sidepod internal arrangement

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5628/img1378rp.jpg

This picture via Nico / Slideways @ Autosport.com shows the unique double stacked radiator arrangement with the mercedes sidepods. This explains the splitter seen inside the sidepod inlet, which I queried in my earlier analysis (http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/mercedes-w02-preseason-side-pod-exhaust-update/).

More analysis and properly hosted image to follow.

Pic sent to me  via @shamelessgeek and http://forums.autosport.com/index.php?s=aee026f80a1aef790bb8a86f6f1a61f4&showtopic=144440&st=120&p=4907785&#entry4907785

McLaren preseason rear end update

20110318-093655.jpg

McLarens pre season has been thwarted by unreliability and apparently aerodynamic problems. The team have run a succession of exhaust designs (at least 4 so far) and time has been spent mapping the cars aerodynamics with sensor arraysflowviz. While the exhaust solution has yet to be finalised (I have a forthcoming post on this), The last days of the Barcelona test allowed the team to introduce some new parts around the back of the car and a new front wing.

20110318-093710.jpg

Their new rear wing sports vanes along its lower edge. These are legal as they sit in a small 5cm loophole zone in the bodywork regulations. This area has been exploited before by Red Bull on the RB5 and subsequently Toyota and Williams in 2009. Sauber also have much smaller solution on their current car. Having bodywork in this area effectively extends the diffuser sidewalls by some 30cm, which helps maximise the expansion ratio of the diffuser for more downforce. Such is the shape of the flow out of the diffuser, the bodywork needs to be vaned to allow the flow to expand. McLaren have formed four vanes into the allowable area. For the test, the rear-pointing exhausts were lined up with these vanes, thus the exhaust flow (red) will be routed by these vanes, accelerating flow inside the diffuser for even more downforce.

20110318-093727.jpg

McLarens problems also delayed the testing of their DRS (Drag Reduction System) adjustable rear wing. To feed the hydraulics to the actuator mounted inside the middle of the rear wing, the team have routed a non-structural pylon up from the gearbox to the wing. This houses the hydraulic cables & sensor wiring and does little to support the upper rear wing.

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With the weather warming a little during the relatively cold Spanish tests, the team were able to reduce the size of the engine hot air outlet for the last test. In the middle of this outlet is the oval gearbox oil hydraulic cooler outlet. Leaving the rest of the outlet for general sidepod cooling



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2011: Trends and Solutions

 

A reworking of a 2010 car, legal to the 2011 rules

A 2010 car for comparison

 

We’ve already covered the rule changes for 2011. Over the late part of last year and the winter, the teams have been finding ways to regain the performance lost through the new rules and how to maximise the new tyres. I’ve put forward an idea of a generic 2011 F1 car. Admittedly based its on the RB6, but as that car has a lot of the feature we can expect from a 2011 car, this is mainly for convenience. I’ve also speculated on what workarounds or innovations as some call them might be. It seems designers are now working with other engineers on one hand and lawyers for interpreting the rules on the other. There’s bound to be other ‘innovations’ aimed at finding solutions to circumvent the rules intention, it will be interesting to see what the teams have found to be the new double diffuser or F-Duct for 2011.
 

Layout and weight distribution

The cars layout will inevitably be hit by the Pirelli tyres and mandated weight front to rear distribution. The weight will be shifted a few percent rearwards, this will provide the teams a chance to alter the cars layout, shifting the major masses towards the rear axle. Most likely the gearbox will be shortened, having been extended to maximise the double diffuser last year. So for the first time in several years, super short ‘boxes will be in vogue. Curiously USF1’s idea for super short transverse box, might be attractive for an innovative team.

Additionally the rearwards weight bias, no longer rewards super light and of course expensive carbon gearboxes. Although as with any part on an F1 car, lighter weight components simply create more ballast available for tuning the cars set up.

To maintain wheelbase, the teams can either extend the front of the chassis or extend the fuel tank length. The former will be good for aero and making the vanes around the front work more effectively. While the latter solution will be attractive as KERS will eat up crucial fuel tank volume.

KERS & Cooling

In our Generic 2011 car (above) I’ve shortened the rear and extended the front, retaining the same wheelbase. To maintain Fuel tank volume, rather than mount KERS battery pack under the fuel tank, I’d suggest it goes in the right hand sidepod, as McLaren did in 2009. Sitting at floor level in the wake of the lower side impact protection beams, this should not impact sidepod volume or undercut. Albeit at a small cost in CofG height, as many teams will still prefer to fit the battery pack under the fuel cell, as the 10-15kg battery is denser than fuel the CofG is lower and the batteries safely out of the way. Also helping retain fuel volume, could be Hondas idea of mounting the Motor Generator on a series of gears, to shift it from the front of the engine and into the sidepod area.

With the KERS Power Control Unit in the left-hand sidepod, this needs an air inlet as the electronics are air-cooled. The Battery pack is water-cooled from its own pump and radiator in the right-hand sidepod. The Motor Generator is oil cooled from the existing engine oil system. The engines oil cooler is mounted atop the gearbox and fed from ducts either side of the roll hoop.

Also on the cooling side, the radiators reach right to the very front of the sidepods, nestling in the side impact protection. The also frees up sidepodfuel tank space, and beneficially allows an extra cooling outlet at the front edge of the sidepod. One of the few legal areas for cooling outlets. Additional cooling outlets to the side of the cockpit and at the tail of the upper engine cover are used, as they vent hot air close the front of the sidepod, this reduces the sidepod volume required to route the air to the rear of the coke bottle shape. Slimmer sidepods force better airflow over the diffuser for more downforce.

Diffusers, Exhausts and Gearboxes

Another aid to the flow over the diffuser is the shape of the gearbox. This is largely dependant on the teams philosophy, Red Bull reintroduced Pull rod suspension at the rear of the car. This is likely to be the much talked about shift in concept for other teams. Pull Rod is lower, but wider. Push Rod tends to be taller and narrower, but mechanically has a higher centre of gravity. I doubt there’s a significant gain from either system.

With either suspension system, the smaller “single deck” diffuser will not encroach into the volume taken up by the gearbox. Thus designers can make the gearbox and in particular the heavy differential, much lower. This creates a easier path for airflow to the beam wing and usefully lowers the CofG. However Red Bull took this approach in 2009 and suffered some driveshaft issues as the angularity of the CV joints was on the limit of their design.

A practice first exploited by Red Bull was the lowering of the rear wing endplates down to floor level. This is a loophole in the rules, as although the wing is narrower than the diffuser, the additional rear overhang increases the expansion ratio of the diffuser, effectively making the diffuser longer than its meant to be. Williams and Toyota also exploited this idea in 2009 albeit using the full width of the diffuser too.

Blowing the exhaust over the diffuser will be exploited by all teams. This will be most easily done by having low exhausts, blowing onto a gurney on the top or side of the diffuser. The rules demand two exhaust outlets, so multiple exhausts are not allowed, equally blowing into the diffuser is not supposed to be allowed. The only openings in the diffuser are the starter motor hole and a 5cm area on the outer section of floor.

Exhausts could be routed to this outer section of floor, but routing the large diameter exhausts across the floor could create their own blockage effect in-between the rear wheels. Offsetting the benefit they are supposed to provide.

However, the starter motor hole could be exploited! If the left and right exhausts were joined and then split into a upper and lower exit, one smaller exit could blow into the starter motor hole, the other exhaust would blow over the top of the beam wing, allied to a big gurney flap. This meets the two exits and no-opening rules. The exhaust routing might be a bit tortuous though.

Rear Wings

Above all this the rear wing has no scope for active or passive f-ducts, the driver adjustable wing effectively makes those solutions redundant anyway. As rear downforce will be lost from the diffuser, the rear wing will need to recoup some of the losses. The middle 15cm of wing are still free for additional slots and wing profiles. So we can expect the usual slots and perhaps the mini winglets normally only seen a high downforcehigh drag tracks.

One innovation could be to use this mount for this winglet and perhaps the rear wing support pylon as continuations of the shark fin. As the fin must not extend behind the rear wheel, equally the rear wing may not reach any further forward than before. With a rear wing fin the flow off the truncated shark fin could reattach to the RW fin. Regaining some of the yaw control and flow straightening effect of the longer 2010 style shark fins.

Front Wings

At the sharp end the front wing no longer needs to be quite as powerful, as it only needs to create downforce to balance that available at the rear, in doing so matching the ‘centre of pressure‘ to within 1-2% of the mandatory weight distribution.

Front wing designs have converged towards the downturned ends of the wing creating the endplate, then a remote vane being fitted to direct flow around the front wheel and also meet the FIA minimum surface area for bodywork ahead of the front wheels.

As McLaren found in 2010, the cascade can be split to encourage flow either side of the front wheel. Many team started to play with camera mountings, to place them aft of the Dwg7 neutral centre of the wing, This is likely to be a feature for many teams front wings, to create a little bit more wake-friendly downforce.

As regards flexibility, we saw obvious deflection on cars front wings last year. These met the both the original and uprated FIA deflection tests. Thus a precedent has been set that wings that are seen to flex, remain legal as long as they meet the deflection tests. Thus most teams will be looking at the composite lay up of the front wing to allow the vertical deflection test to be passed, with the wing then deflecting with the compound load (both longitudinal and vertical) seen when on track. It’s a concern that teams will have to exploit this to remain competitive. There’s a risk of wing failures, as teams find what the structural demands are for a aero-elastic wing.

Front wings have merged into the endplate, Cascades aim to split flow around front wheels

A variety of solutions improve flow the rear wing and reduce sidepod volume

Sidepods are crammed with the water radiator to boost fuel tank size

To accommadate KERS Sidepods need space and cooling for the Batteries and Control Unit

Rear wings connected to the shark fin are banned, but a fin on the RW may be allowed

coincidentally seen on the Red bull and HRT

Double diffusers are banned, maximising the blown single diffuser will be critical

WILD IDEAS
 
 
 
 

A 15cm winglet on the Rear Wing could act as both a sharkfin extension and a downforce creating device

 

 
 
 
 

Extending the endplates down effectively make the diffuser larger, mated with blowing exhausts (red)

 co-incidentally seen on the McLaren

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Exploiting the Diffuser starter hole by siamesing the left and right exhausts into upper and lower, might be an efficient way to blow the exhaust