Cars & Motorcycles
Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering February 2018

Racecar Engineering is the world’s leading technology publication for the motorsport industry. From aerodynamics to engines and from handling theory to manufacturing practice, Racecar Engineering is read by motorsport’s top professionals. Only Racecar Engineering brings this insight every month.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
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12 Issues

In this issue

5 min.
the fast and the curious

Fangio did not have to prove anything – five world championships with four different manufacturers did all the talking for him With the racing season now at an end, all the championships decided, we are in to the build and testing seasons for 2018. But it’s also a time to look back. Because, for me, the end of the 2017 season marked a fairly major milestone in my life, as my first race was the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, on 7 December 1957. Sixty years in racing has brought a huge cast of characters into my life, of the sort one does not usually meet in a conventional existence, racing being a high risk, high intensity sport, and like a circus – after which it is named – also highly mobile. Racing does…

5 min.
badges of honour

It’s more likely the addition of works and customer engines, even teams, to F1 might well come from corporations that don’t produce cars at all Recently a touch of romance has been seen in Formula 1, with the return of the Alfa Romeo name to the sport, and now possibly Maserati, too. There are hard-headed business reasons, of course, for Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne’s decisions to badge the Scuderia’s power units as such and supply the former to the Sauber team and the latter, maybe, to Haas. Both of these legendary Italian manufacturers have struggled for decades to survive, let alone to do so profitably. Alfa has, especially, never cut it in the American market. With Liberty’s US ambitions for F1 this might be a shrewd decision for pepping up the brand,…

14 min.
clean air

‘I am impressed that Formula E has put together a set of regulations which successfully achieve a lot of things that F1 has been targeting in recent years’ Formula 1’s new owner is trying to use the 2021 regulations to help generate exciting racing. But could the answer to this problem actually lie with its electric cousin, Formula E? As F1 teams continue to spend millions developing intricate aerodynamic devices for minute performance gains, Formula E is running on approximately nine to 18 per cent of the budget. By restricting the aero surfaces of the car and limiting top speed, FE teams are focusing their resources on innovating the next generation of powertrain components. This energy-saving electric ethos reduces the championship’s dependency on aerodynamics, which means closer racing and more attractive cars.…

2 min.
brake ducts

In Formula 1 brake ducts are crucial engineering tools. They are complex carbon structures located on the inner wheel and they guide oncoming air into the brake system to cool the brake pads and discs, which can exceed temperatures of 1000degC. Brake cooling systems can also be designed to influence the tyre temperature, using the hot air coming off the discs. Establishing the optimum working temperature ranges of both the tyres and brakes and adjusting the set-up to get within these windows is one of many trackside headaches for a Formula 1 race engineer. However, get this right and not only does the tyre grip increase, but braking distances reduce; both contributing to saving several tenths of a second per lap. Of course, maximising these lap time gains from a single part…

8 min.
out of this world

The SRT05e is known to have been constructed using new materials that are aimed at reducing the overall weight The momentum achieved by the Formula E series in just three seasons has surprised even those that have spearheaded racing’s great electric revolution. While the fourth season kicked off with what is now some very elderly hardware in Hong Kong in December, the prototype of the second-generation Formula E car had already conducted its first endurance tests. The car, known as the SRT05e, had already clocked more than 2000km of initial running by the end of October, amid great secrecy in Spain. It’s an important step forward for Formula E as with the introduction of the SRT05e it’s planned that the mid-race car swaps that have been a feature of Formula E since…

10 min.
eighth wonder

With Ferrari pushing Mercedes hard all year it forced the team to be fairly aggressive with development A storm called Doris was blowing across the Silverstone circuit when Mercedes rolled out its 2017 Formula 1 car for the first time. The car’s official name was not quite as snappy as the storm’s, but the Mercedes-AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ (the 08 testifying this is the eighth in a remarkably successful line since the manufacturer returned to Formula 1 in 2010) had the power of a mighty storm, alright, and its rivals would have possibly anticipated its arrival with as much trepidation, too. Penned by the design team at Brackley, England, the W08 had to be a completely clean sheet of paper design, due to the new aerodynamic regulations introduced at the start…