Cars & Motorcycles
Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering August 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.
ouest world

The next generation of Le Mans cars is something that is very close to my heart. Having raced there since 1983 and seen the successive generations of top class iterations, it seems that the all-out missiles that this century brought may have reached high tide. The fact that only Toyota (which had something to prove, after all these years as the bridesmaid) was left indicated that the cost had sobered even the wealthy manufacturers, although the fact that Audi and Porsche had nothing left to prove also no doubt played a part in their withdrawal. The proposed top class for 2020-2024 (see page 80) tries to bring a closer connection to the look of the production car, to make the racecar similar to the road car. It’s something for manufacturers to…

5 min.
who’s the boss?

WRC event-winning driver Kris Meeke made the news recently by being sacked from his works Citroen C3 seat following his major shunt in Portugal. Team principal Pierre Budar said Meeke’s accidents meant he had decided to change the line-up on ‘safety grounds and as a preventive measure’. He underlined that the driver was being dropped ‘due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew’s safety’. The wording of the statement is interesting. I don’t ever recall a driver being dropped before on safety grounds. Poor finishing record, XPB failure to perform consistently and competitively, bad relationship with the team, wanting too much money – yes. Also, of course, there’s lack of sponsorship versus another driver…

14 min.
going fourth

‘I suppose I can justify the change in concept by saying that the car is now a lot quicker than it was last year’ It is unusual for an F1 team to embark on a major change of concept just one year into a set of rules, but this is exactly what Renault has done with its 2018 RS18 design. It’s a bold move for a team which in 2015 (as Lotus) was on the verge of financial collapse, but the takeover by Renault and an injection of cash has seen the Enstone team get steadily more competitive, and at the same time increase its headcount while improving its facilities. ‘At the end of 2015 we had about 450 people working at Enstone but since then we have been recruiting and building…

1 min.
tech spec

Renault RS18 Chassis: Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque. Power unit: Renault RE18 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 with direct injection. Energy recovery system with MGU-H and MGU-K in a compounded layout. Transmission: Carbon fibre casing; 8-speed semi-automatic with reverse gear; quickshift system. Suspension: Double wishbone with pushrod actuated torsion bars at front; pullrod at the rear; aluminium uprights. Fuel cell: Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL. Electrical: MES-Microsoft standard electronic control unit. Braking System: Carbon discs and pads; calipers by Brembo; master cylinders by AP Racing. Wheels: OZ machined magnesium wheels. Cockpit: Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite with 6-point harness seat belt. Steering wheel integrated gearchange paddles, clutch paddles, and rear wing adjuster. Dimensions: Width, 2000mm; front track, 1600mm; rear track, 1550mm; length, 5480mm; height, 950mm.…

1 min.
smoke and mirrors

During the Spanish Grand Prix Ferrari introduced a new wing mirror layout with the unit mounted on a stalk extending from the Halo, something which the FIA has specifically said is allowed. The Ferrari solution was subsequently outlawed, though, as its upper ‘support’ was deemed to be purely for aerodynamic purposes. However, Renault also experimented with its own solution which is thought to be within the rules, as the support structure clearly has the primary function of actually being a support structure. It was only briefly fitted to the car in Barcelona in mock up form, but it’s thought it is still likely to appear on the RS18 at some point during the season.…

1 min.
pipe line

From the moment the RS18 rolled out in winter testing at Barcelona the relationship between its exhaust tail pipe and the underside of the rear wing raised eyebrows, and it is clear that the exhaust plume does have an influence on the wing because there is a ceramic thermal barrier applied to the underside of the main plane. ‘To prevent blown diffusers the rules [say] the exhaust has to sit inside a regulatory box, and our exhaust is entirely within those limits, so it’s completely legal,’ Bell says. ‘It is on the upper edge of the box but fully within it. Other people chose to put it lower, they didn’t do that because they wanted to be even more honest, and even more in the spirit of the regulations, they chose…