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Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering September 2020

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.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Chelsea Magazine
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
the ‘new normal’

We’re racing again! After a five-month pause, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship re-started at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, right where it left off at the end of January. The re-start provided us with a welcome change, but also a new challenge. I’m happy to admit I felt apprehensive about going on a ’plane again, and the prospect of wearing a face mask throughout a transatlantic flight. Heathrow was eerily quiet, and the Department of Homeland Security check freaked me out when they said they had been waiting eagerly to meet me! The ’plane carried 60 passengers to Miami and there were only two of us in my cabin, so I felt safe, and going through security in Miami for my connecting flight to Charlotte was nice and quiet, too. But…

4 min.
representative inspiration

In my years as a motorsport engineer, a particular memory that will stay with me is a time I attended an MIA conference in 2019. It was held at Force India’s HQ and lots of senior motorsport representatives were present. It was a great event as I had the opportunity to network and engage in some very interesting conversations, but rarely in my adult life have I felt ‘all eyes on me’ in such an intense manner. Reason being I was the only attendee of dark skin, and I definitely felt it. There was no overt negativity aimed towards me, but I felt a strong sense that, because of my appearance, I was an unknown and extraordinary quantity. I felt the uncertainty and unfamiliarity that comes with being a black man…

5 min.
face value

On face value, Andrew Green and his design team at Racing Point have done an exceptional job in producing a 2019 Mercedes-like car, a move which has propelled the team to much nearer the front of the F1 grid. However, results haven’t quite met initial expectations. No matter how intense the scrutiny, their engineers cannot know – just from observation, anyway – such details as the W10’s suspension set-up and diff’ settings, let alone PU and braking energy recovery calibrations. This information is crucial, in wet conditions especially. This might explain the poor performance of the cars in the Styrian GP’s soaking qualifying, in stark contrast to their pace in dry practice. In any case, having a good car, even a great one, is only going to lead to success in current…

12 min.
packaging cool

‘It’s the usual process of constant improvement, but it’s a brand new car’Jan Monchaux, technical director Alfa Romeo Racing For the second season running, one of the most interesting cars in the Formula 1 pitlane is not a Mercedes or a Ferrari, but an Alfa Romeo. Cast your mind back to the beginning of the 2019 season, when the technical regulations encouraged simplified aerodynamic design, with wider front wings, standardised end plates and complex structures on front wings banned. Alfa Romeo’s C38 arrived at pre-season testing with the most extreme example of an ‘unloaded’ design, which quickly made it the talk of the town. As a reminder, this is where the height of the front wing elements dramatically taper downwards from the nose to the end plates, reducing downforce but promoting outwash.…

1 min.
tech spec: 2020 alfa romeo c39

Power unit: 2020 Ferrari Hybrid 1.6-litre V6; 90-degree bank angle; 80mm bore; 53mm stroke; four valves per cylinder; max speed: 15,000rpm; direct injection at 500bar; battery energy: 4MJ per lap; MGU-K max speed: 50,000rpm, max power: 120kW; MGU-H max speed: 120,000rpm Chassis: Carbon fibre monocoque Front suspension: Double wishbone, inboard spring and Multimatic pushrod-actuated dampers Rear suspension: Multilink, inboard hydraulic pull rod-actuated suspension Brakes: Brembo six-piston calipers; Brembo carbon-composite discs and pads Transmission: Ferrari eight-speed, quick-shift, carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-composite clutch Dimensions: Length: >5,500mm; width: <2,000mm; wheelbase: approx. 3,600mm; height (without overhead camera): 950mm; track width front: 1,650mm, rear: 1,550mm; weight: 746kg minimum (including driver)…

14 min.
high frequency control

Mechanical inerters, comprising a rotating mass on a ball screw, first appeared in Formula 1 in 2005, and for some time McLaren had a monopoly on the technology, thanks to a smart commercial agreement with the original inventor of the device, Professor Malcom Smith at the University of Cambridge. The team managed to keep a lid on its new tuning device for some time, referring to it as J-dampers, the J standing for jounce (a combination of jolt and bounce). It even came up with a name for units of inertance, zogs. From the very start of their development for racing, in 2003, Penske Racing Shocks was involved with inerters, but could not use any of their knowledge in the public domain until 2008, when the company entered into a commercial agreement…